Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Dolly Clackett Sewing Bee


On Sunday I learned how to make a dress and am so, so excited about it.  I was originally going to make the Simplicity 2444 until I saw Roisin's latest make, the Emery from Christine Haynes.  I adored the shape and actually prefer a gathered skirt to a pleated one.  I also liked that the bodice was lined meaning my first make would look nice and tidy on the inside too.  I got my sewing machine for my birthday the week before, I went for the Janome SMD3000 after having a little chat with the lady from Sewing Machines Direct.  It is computerised and has loads of really neat functions and is so, so quiet.  It is a joy to use.

I had a blast learning and chatting crap with Roisin and Char, blogging has bought the best girls in to my life.  Roisin is a fab teacher, she explains things clearly and also shows you how to do them before getting you to do it yourself, I personally learn better that way.  If you are interested in a crash course in dressmaking I cannot recommend Roisin enough.  She teaches at Berylune in Leamington Spa, her next class is March 23rd and for just £60 she will guide you whilst you put together a pattern of your choice and will don a proud parent smile when you leave with your new finished garment.  Read about her passion for teaching here.



It wasn't all hard work, as well as the incredibly rewarding handiwork we had plenty of time to chat over coffee and hot chocolate and of course had to keep our energy levels up with chocolate.   A big thank you to Viking for keeping the chocoholics in us happy!



Char has already made several dresses this year so didn't need the kind of guidance I needed but she did pick up some handy tips and changed the way she finished her arm seams as a result.  There is never a right or wrong way of doing something and it is great to see that you never stop learning and picking up better ways to do things.  Char's dress was amazing, I absolutely adore the fabric and this photo, so beautiful.


Proud face time!! Putting my finished garment on for the first time was such a great feeling.  Eeekk! I made that beautiful dress.  The fit is perfect and I couldn't have picked a better print to make my first dress extra special and memorable.  I am hoping dress number two will be as easy, that will be the real test.  I know that I can do this though and even if things do not go as smoothly I just need to put it down and come back to it later, it will not beat me!


We only made a few tweaks to the bodice for it to fit me perfectly.  I didn't want either the collar or the bow on my dress as the print is pretty busy and I decided they would end up lost in the print.  We also didn't use the pattern for the skirt as I like my skirts fuller.  Roisin taught me how to make a gathered skirt from the width of the fabric and I adore the results.  Isn't she a clever bunny!

It is pretty handy living relatively close to Birmingham, there are a few decent places to go fabric shopping.  We headed to Barry's, had a walk round the Birmingham Rag Market before visiting Fancy Silk Stores.  If you know of any other places we should try please let me know.  In fact let me know where the best place you've found to go fabric shopping in the UK is.  I am happy to turn the hunt for fabrics into a road trip and stay overnight if required!  I do love a girly weekend away and have had plenty in Birmingham though none have yet involved fabric shopping.  Hotel Direct  have loads of half price hotels at the moment, I think I need to take advantage of this offer.

I need to wait til the weekend to get decent outfit photos of my beautiful dress so she will be coming to an outfit post soon!

♥♥♥
 

20 comments:

  1. You did amazingly well and should be so, so proud of yourself! I know that you'll be able to go on and make many more beautiful dresses. Thank you for this lovely write-up and for an absolutely brilliant few days!

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  2. Happy sewing faces :) I love your dress and I'm excited to wear my new dress on Sunday!
    Best lesson of the day: If in doubt, poke it in and sew it down.

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  3. I adored your fabric over at Roisin's blog and I love the dress you made, great fit! Congratulations on your first selfmade dress! I bet there'll be plenty more to come now. *^o^*~~~

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  4. Oh wow, well done! I was thinking about trying to make my own dress and putting my dress makers doll to use, rather than just using it to wear jackets I can't be arsed to put away, haha.

    Your dress looks fab.

    Corinne x

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  5. Aren't you two clever ladies?!
    Sophie
    x

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  6. You both did brilliantly! The fabric on both is gorgeous!! well done:) xx

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  7. Right, getting a commission in for either you or Char for a book print dress please ;) Love both of your dresses xx

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  8. Both your dresses look amazing, love the prints too! Wish I was handy with a sewing machine but it all goes straight over my head!
    Gillian · elevatormusik.com x

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  9. Your dress is gorgeous I'm having total fabric envy :) x

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  10. What a fantastic job! I can't believe it's your first dress! I love, love that fabric!

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  11. You are both such clever cloggs!! Well done the pair of you <3 Claire @ Jazzpad

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  12. Stunning! You are really tempting me to learn to sew!

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  13. Fabulous! You have every right to feel very very pleased with yourself!

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  14. ooh this is fabulous! (and how much do I want to make dresses and drink hot chocolate? Looks like the perfect hang!)

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  15. Sarah, that is awesome!!!!! Have you ever made anything before? I ask because if you made that for the first tome,having not made anything before, I am seriously considering booking for that workshop!! Have you used a sewing machine before, or own one? Char's is beautiful too and that's SUCH a beautiful picture of her! X

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  16. Oh, I missed you saying you bought one! X

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  17. That map dress is awesome! And your dress is gorgeous - well done. I've never had the patience to make my own dress. :) x

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  18. Well done you, I love both yours and Char's finished dresses. This is something that I really need to attempt to get into but I'm not sure I have the time/patience. x

    Leanne - A Slice of My Life

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  19. Gorgeous fabric, and the dress suits you perfectly - well done! Have just bought the Emery pattern but I'm very nervous about it - I wouldn't class myself as an intermediate, so I'll see how it goes . LOVE the fullness you've managed to get on this skirt - can I ask what adjustments you made to the pattern to do that? Thanks x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I don't think it's that complicated, it was the first item of clothing I made. I didn't use the skirt pattern, just two widths of the fabric like in a dirndl skirt. Good luck!

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