Friday, May 22, 2015

Sew Dolly Clackett Day

May 23, 2015 marks Roisin & Nic's first wedding anniversary and, coincidentally (despite Rule 39), the first anniversary of Sew Dolly Clackett.  Last year, hundreds of bloggers all over the world joined in and sewed their finest Clackett style frock in honour of Roisin's nuptials.  I am still blown away by the response to my humble gift.  Amazing!

On Sew Dolly Clackett Day I will be wearing my most Clackett-tastic frock and raising a glass of champagne (more likely Pommer's cider) in honour of Roisin and Nic.  Right now it's a contest between my Miami Vice dress or my Little Red Riding Anna.  Decisions, decisions.

Join me!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Little Red Riding Anna

Oh, little Red Riding Hood meets matryoshka doll goodness, how I love thee!  Admittedly, I don't sew with as many novelty prints as I used to but this particular one made my wee heart go pitter patter.  *sigh*

I've loved the Anna Dress pattern since it first came out.  In fact, it was Roisin's many lovely versions that made me suck up the exorbitant shipping and order a copy for myself.  Do you remember when there was really only the Big 4 to choose from?  Then came Colette Patterns, my beloved go-to for fun and pretty garments, and now it seems that the indie pattern design world has exploded.  Thankfully, I  might add.

While Simplicity and I will always be dear friends, I find I reach more and more for independently designed patterns.  It's a combination of a desire for a unique garment with a need for a well-drafted, well-fitting pattern.   Occasionally, Butterick comes through for me, but it's mostly the indie folks nowadays.

By Hand London is no exception.  I essentially buggered my first go at this pattern last year and laid it aside, completely disenheartened.  Leave it to Dolly Clackett to tempt me out of my funk.  I came across a pin of her Deanna dress.  The Star Trek reference had me at hello but the beautiful fabric and overall design sucked me back in.  I think I finally have the fit sorted on this dress.  I moved the bodice pleats just slightly and sewed it with a 3/8" seam allowance.  I prefer the knee length, v-neck version out of all the options.  I look like a mushroom wearing maxi dresses.

I know the fabric is beyond ridiculous but I just don't care.  Twee designs definitely has a place in my wardrobe.  I feel particularly clever as I was able to slide in discreet pockets to the gores of the skirt.  Gathering skirts hurts my joints right now, so I'm drawn to patterns like this.  It's the need for a feminine shape without aggravation which is a key seller for me.  Set in sleeves are also not on my love list now so the kimono sleeves of this dress are a definite win. I hemmed them with bias tape as I hate facings and avoid them whenever possible.

I showed Chris how to watch This Old House on YouTube through Apple TV a couple of weekends ago and he has been happily binge watching ever since.  I've created a bit of a monster there!  To tell the truth, I don't mind watching that show but I definitely prefer the pretty, decorative parts of it to the down and dirty construction bit.  I'm lucky as Chris is really handy and could, in essence, build me a house from the ground up.  He did, after all, build quite the fantastic playhouse for Miss G last summer.  I will eventually inherit it as my electrified and insulated sewing shed.

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Fabric: Grey Riding Hood Story by Josephine Kimberling | White hereGrey here.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gypsy's Acre

I love Miss Marple mysteries, don't you?  Julia McKenzie is my most favourite Miss Marple.  It's the not-quite-hidden sense of glee that she shows when she's in the process of nailing the criminal. Plus, I really like how she plays up the harmless knitting old lady angle when she's investigating.  Genius!

I was thoroughly engrossed in the Miss Marple episode, Endless Night, when I was making this.  I love to hate a suave villain (Mike Rogers) with Aneurin Barnard as the tuberculin architect best friend was an added bonus.  I just love him.  He's bloody handsome and I find his performances absolutely believable.  Did you see him as Richard III in The White Queen?  Fabulous and quite the romantic knight.  Incidentally, how do you pronounce his name correctly?  Welsh friends, help me out!

This episode was a gripper.  I had to watch it twice to pick up the clues I missed the first time around.  Thank goodness for Acorn TV!  It's narrated by Mike Rogers, one of the main characters.  He takes you through his life prior to meeting his wife, during his marriage, and after her death.  I won't say much more about the plot in case you want to watch it yourself.  It's a definite twister!

I'm a huge mystery fan and have seen every iteration of Sherlock Holmes I can get my hands on.  I've read all the original Arthur Conan Doyle mysteries and have recently found new ones on Scribd, including one written from Mrs. Hudson's perspective.  Jeremy Brett and Benedict Cumberbatch are  my favourite Sherlocks and I am really looking forward to seeing Mr. Holmes with Ian McKellan (Galdalf! Magneto!) as an elderly Sherlock.  Have you seen the trailer? I'll wait to see it until it comes out on DVD.   I love movies but not movie theatres.  I'd rather see a play if I'm going to be in an audience.

Right now I'm working my way through the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries.  She's a necessary addition to my personal survival list while I wait for the next Phryne Fisher book to be published. Georgie Rannoch, aka Her Royal Spyness, is another.  I do love a well-written, sassy sleuth.

If you're a big reader like I am - on average I read 2-3 books per week - I recommend checking out Scribd.  For $8.99 per month, you can read an unlimited amount of eBooks.  They also have other documents, like papers and, incidentally, the Ruby Slip pattern and instructions, and a huge collection of audio books.  I've got the app on both  my Kobo and iPhone.

Today's dress is the second version of Dress D from the Stylish Dress Book.   My first one is here.  I made just a few changes with this one:  lengthening the keyhole opening and using a button back instead of a waist tie.  I sewed it all using French seams, the finish I am in love with at the moment. The fabric is, of course, a blatant thievery of a Dolly Clackett design.  I fell in love with the periwinkle background and flamboyant flora and fauna of the print.  Amy Butler does big and bold really well, doesn't she?

So, that's my new  make for today.  I'm off to cut out a wrap dress in this floral fabric and to try and sort out how to sew my own bras.  Incidentally, the lovely lady teaching this course is as  nice in person as she is on camera.  Beverly runs the Bra Maker's Supply Shop on Ottawa Street here in Hamilton and it's where I've bought all my supplies. She's been really helpful making sure I have what I need.  They have a detailed website and I highly recommend them.

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Dress: Dress D, Stylish Dress Book
Fabric: Amy Butler Paradise Garden