Getting in right at the last minute for Sew Dolly Clackett, I made a dress this weekend!
Now, I had big plans for the Dolly Clackett sew-along. I love dresses, and I love quirky prints, and cottons. (And I love Roisin’s style.) So this sew-along? Pretty much perfect, really.
Fabric was chosen, as was the pattern (to start with, making two Cambie dresses). And then, it happened.
The lack of sew-jo.
For a month.
And not only that, exhaustion set in as well. I was just too darn tired to do anything except fall into bed at a crazy early hour every night.
My sewing machine was gathering dust. The fabric was sitting in it’s pile, untouched and ignored.
Yep, that’s a 13-week baby bump, folks.
(Which also means there was no way I was gonna be able to squeeze into any Cambie dresses anytime soon. Or anything else with a fitted waist, for that matter.)
And then it was Easter. A 4-day weekend. And the end of the first trimester. The exhaustion lifted slightly, I was rapidly running out of things to wear. Gloriously, the sew-jo returned!
I dug out Butterick 4513, a re-released 1950’s pattern that I’ve made once before, way back in 2010. It’s a crazy-easy pattern to make, with a total of four pieces – front and back skirt, front and back bodice. Four darts, some elastic at the back, and you’re done. Voila!
It’s super-easy to wear, as well. A pull-on style, with elastic at the back so it looks fitted around the waist but that fitted-ness can stretch as required as a baby bump grows. Then spring back into shape for post-baby wear! Win!
Now, I was going to show you a photo of the first time I made this pattern, way back when. I know I did a blog post about it. But can I find it, anywhere?!?! No, I can’t. Argh! Instead, I’ve trawled through the archives and dug out a rather terrible image from Me-Made-June 2011. Here ’tis:
(What you can’t see here is that the top and armholes of the bodice are edged in red bias binding, which extends to tie in bows at the shoulders, just like on the pattern envelope. You’ll just have to imagine that part, I’m afraid.)
I decided to make a couple of changes this time around. Firstly, I moved the darts, as they were in the wrong place for me. I moved the side bust darts down a couple of centimetres, and moved the bust darts across as well as lowering the point by a good inch. (Can’t remember the exact amounts – I wrote ’em down, but the paper has gone walk-abouts.) I also shortened the bodice by 2cm as I found the waist of the first dress I made from this pattern was a bit too low. (In hindsight, 1.6cm would have been about perfect for shortening. Next time.) And I shortened the skirt by about 16cm or thereabouts.
The other change I made was to the shoulder straps. While I like the bias binding finish and the little bows of the pattern, I’m planning to wear this quite a bit over winter with a long-sleeved merino top and tights underneath, and little bows on the shoulder look kinda bulky under cardigans. (Plus, I’m trying to channel Roisin’s style a bit here, and she goes for wider shoulder straps.) So instead, I just made some wide, flat straps and attached them at front and back.
(I reckon the result looks a little bit like this dress of Roisin’s. Only with little wee turtles and fruit on it, instead of floral.)
I’m pretty happy with how this came out. It’s super comfy to wear, is gonna work for the next month or two of pregnancy, and will be all good to wear after the baby arrives as well. (In fact, I’ve been wearing it quite a bit the last few days. I’m seriously thinking about making another one with the same adjustments. And pockets, which I forgot to add to this one. And we all know pockets make things awesome-er.)
As to how it’s channeling Roisin’s style? Well, here’s what I was using for inspiration/ideas:
- It’s a vivid colour (she is rather fond of blue)
- It’s a cotton in a quirky print (little turtles! Apples and pears!!) (even though it’s a smaller print than she goes for usually)
- It’s a 1950’s inspired style, with a fitted waist (plus elastic, woo hoo!)
- It’s got a reasonably high square neckline and wide straps, like the Flora dress she’s been making a lot lately
- Plus, it works well with brightly coloured shoes and a cardigan. And we all know Roisin’s about the shoes and cardigans. 😉
So there we have it – Sew Dolly Clackett, maternity style! (And our front door is even blue, so I could attempt to mimic’s Roisin’s photo shoot style. Hah.)