Time for Tea Break

4.23.2014

Dear blog readers, today a single tear runs down my face because #sewdollyclackett is over.  Part of me wishes it could go on forever, or at least until cold weather returns and makes me abandon dresses. Channeling the style of Roisin has been nothing but fun and there are several more crazy shoe purchases I'd like to rationalize. Many thanks to Sarah from Rhinestones and Telephones for thinking up/hosting this wonderful sew-a-long.   Congrats and well wishes to Roisin and Nic on being awesome and for their impending marriage. Even though I've never met you in person, you seem perfect for each other and I hope you have a great life together.  I'd toast you with some wine, but Froggie seems to have consumed it all.  Should have never bought him that wine glass with a frog in it.
Anyway......before closing the book on #sewdollyclackett there is one more dress to share. It's the "My cup of tea" dress complete with more Miss L Fire shoes.  Previously purchased shoes, mind you cause my husband is reading the blog now. "I read something the other day that says you're neglecting our son?""
For my third and final Dolly Clackett dress I decided to break out the rusty pattern drafting skills and finally knock off this Eva Franco design from last summer.

Awesome dress right! Even more awesome is that Modcloth keeps the web page accessible so you can zoom in on all the seaming details. It's hard to see since the bodice is a solid color, but it has diagonal seam lines that divide the bodice into 3 segments.  These seam lines serve as a design element and provide the bust shaping for the garment. It's basically an armhole princess with a slightly different shape. (This garment is on my sewing inspiration pinterest board if you want to take a closer look.)
The stash was lacking matryoshka doll fabric, so I went with an equally bold linear print "Genmai tea cup" from Alexander Henry Fabrics. Mmmm Japanese tea cups, I love you so.
Stash busting effort having been made I went and purchased Kona cotton in Royal Blue for the contrast. In my defense the stash has very few solids that aren't black or gray. My favorite tea cup cotton demanded better.

I've yet to draft my own bodice block for pattern drafting, tsk tsk bad pattern drafter, no cookie.  So I went the easy way out and used the Emery bodice with SA removed as a base.  After some enthusiastic cutting and a little dart manipulation, a diagonal princess line bodice was mine. Muhaaaa!
Maybe you can see them a little better on the inside.
Yeaaaaah look at all those nice seam joins.....is it weird that I said that?

The skirt is divided into four quarters, each with two 4" box pleats. Completed skirt length is 22" with a 5" contrasting hem band. The skirt pattern is almost a rectangle, but with the side seams angled out/hem slightly rounded to give the skirt a little more flare.
I'm 90% sure the original dress did not have any pockets.  But home sewing means we can have all the pockets we want snitches! Side seam pockets were added so that I could lounge around with my hands in them during most of the photo shoot.  I need a stylish to shout, "Get your hands out of your pocket for 5 minutes!" They would also have to yell. "Don't look at your husband, it will mess up your camera mojo."  Cause my husband was off to the side looking at me like I'd lost my mind.  What's weird about this pose? BTW - I'm pretending that rock is an Easter egg. Totes normal for Easter weekend, right? Just say yes and we'll move on.
There are two areas I'd tweak on a redo.  First would be to have move the straps in because they are in the awkward "almost slipping off the shoulder" location. That was a drafting error on my part.  Secondly I'd narrow the contrast piece on the bodice just a bit. It's not egregiously large, but the bodice was drafted the bodice to be sewn in a solid.  I just like to change my sewing plans at the last minute. MOAR tea cups in the dress! Frog commands it!  Frog also commands that I hand over the peanut butter cups.
Oh there is one more confession that needs to be aired.  I had to make the bodice a little big in the back to have evenly sized pleats.  My circumference in the front is exactly 8" but I'm more like 7.25" in the back.  As much as I like a snug fitting bodice, who wants weirdly narrow pleats in the back of the dress. So my dress is about an 1" too roomy in the waist. I just cinched my belt on tightly and tried to forget about it.  Besides, Froggie tells me that it's just extra cake ease.

Mmmm yeah, I might need that cake ease cause there's one waiting for me in the kitchen right now. Pretty sure there's a rule that a girl can eat as much as she wants on her birthday. Oh yeah, I'm another year older and pretty much as immature as ever. So here's to pretty dresses in loud patterns, shoes with bows/fruit/birds on them and to cake. Now hold my drink and watch this. Wheeeee!
P.S. Do you guys want a pattern drafting tutorial for this bodice?  Ask and you shall receive. :)

43 comments:

  1. Gorgeous dress. And yes, cake ease is a sought after commodity in a cotton frock!

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  2. So pretty! I love it! And yes I want a tutorial. Thanks for offering!

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  3. So cute! The back neckline is a gorgeous shape! My sister has a bunch of those real Japanese tea cups - such a fun print for your dress. =)

    And happy birthday!

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  4. Yeah the tea cup dress!!! You did a fabulous job and that bodice construction in brilliant!
    Now I understand your cake/candles comment. Here I thought it was Des's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HEATHER! I don't know why I shouted... must be all the cake.

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  5. The back of this dress is all kinds of gorgeous! WOWZAS!

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  6. This was a lot of fun. I love Frog gazing adoringly at the frog on the wine glass. And your photo shoot dialogue is great. But oh the dress! Love the teacups! I think you did great with the pictures, and you don't have your hands in the pockets in all the pic ;). Yeah Pockets!!! Silly Steve reading blog posts and commenting.

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  7. Brightest birthday wishes Heather! Cake ease...now me likes the sound of that! And I'm on a tea kick right now...so cake ease and your teacup dress is even bettah! I love your dress...it suits you to a tea! I don't have the Emery pattern so I'm not sure if a tutorial would benefit me, but I love the bodice design. Sure! Show me more please!

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  8. Fabulous dress and amazing shoooooes! Happy Birthday :) enjoy the cake.

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  9. Pretty dress, love the funky shoes, they go perfectly with the dress! :-) Hope you're having a fantastic birthday! Perhaps CatBoy will be ultra well-behaved today?

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  10. Heather I love this dress. Your blog is quickly becoming one of my favourites :) The fabric is great. Makes me want to drink green tea. I also get the comments about neglected children. I'm like, he needs to learn how to unravel himself from my yarn one day ;) In all seriousness though I think it's important to show kids how important hobbies and creative outlets are, and a good example for them to see you passionate about something you love xx Happy Birthday again, what flavour cake was it?

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  11. Happy birthday! This is a lovely, lovely dress from lovely, lovely fabric. Very clever!

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  12. Happy Birthday! Totally have all the cake you want:) The dress is gorgeous, and yes please to a tutorial!

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  13. Beautiful...and a very happy birthday to you too! I especially love the yoke and the back V on the dress. Pretty colour on you.

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  14. It is always said when a sew along is completed, it is a sense of relief and sadness at the same time. I love your dress and would love to see how it came together.

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  15. Stop talking like a quilter with all the "nice seam join" business, KnitNBee! ;-) LOVE your dress.

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  16. Louise Tomlinson-SylvestApril 24, 2014 at 3:49 AM

    This is super cute. Love the blue (my fave colour) and the teacups are adorable

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  17. Great dress! Yes please, I'd love to have a tutorial. Thanks so much.

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  18. Those tea cups... I wish I had ever single one! They are so awesome. Besides, you can't go wrong with blue. And I had to zoom in on the picture to see those amazing shoes close up. :D amazing!!

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  19. Thank you T, we really value cake ease more than we do.

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  20. Thanks Sarah and thanks so much for hosting the sew-a-long.

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  21. Thank you Margo. I had several pieces of cake and may find that there is no cake ease left. ;)

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  22. Thanks Isabelle. I took tutorial pics today so it should be posted before the end of the month.

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  23. Thank you Brooke, I really love the pictures of the back too. A collection of real Japanese tea cups sounds beautiful. I'm a little jealous of your sister now. :)

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  24. Haa haaa haa CAAAAAKE SHOUTING! There was some of that going on yesterday. Thank you for the Birthday wishes and your lovely comments on the dress. I'll salute you with more cake.

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  25. Thanks Melanie! The post probably didn't need two back view pics but I couldn't resist.

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  26. I've got some new blog readers and thought they might be wondering who this Frog was. LOL I should make a page with info about him! "Frog enjoys sewing children's clothing, eating chocolate and cracking the efficiency whip when necessary."

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  27. Thank you Sue, tea and cake just go together. :) I'm having some now but sadly not in a Japanese teacup. The bodice drafting tutorial should work for any dress pattern that is close to a sloper. You might be about to use some other pattern laying around.

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  28. Thanks Sian, I had a great Birthday and the cake was delicious.

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  29. Thanks Susan, I like a girl who gives me a cake pass. I've got the tutorial in the works!

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  30. Thank you Debbie. The back might be my favorite part too. Hooray for blue dresses!

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  31. Thanks KS. I do feel a bit adrift now that the sew-a-long is over. Though a bunch of new projects will probably plop in my head soon. I've started working on the drafting tutorial so you'll be able to see that before the end of the month.

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  32. Haa haa! I've always liked a good seam join, so there! Thanks Maris. :)

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  33. Thanks Louise, blue is my favorite too! Maybe teacups make it even better.

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  34. Thank you Sue. I started working on the tutorial today so it should be done in a couple of days. :)

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  35. Thank you Kristin. OMG those teacups would be an amazing collection. I think the one with the crane on it is my favorite, but several of the floral ones are really pretty too.

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  36. I have had so much fun with Sew Dolly Clackett!

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  37. Happy birthday, lady! Hope you had a fantastic day!!! Loving this dress- the print is fabulous and your pattern hacking is awesome!

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  38. Thanks Ginger. It was a good day and I had lots of cake. :)

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  39. Belated Happy Birthday! And this dress rocks. I'd love a bit more info on your pattern hack too - the possibilities! (Just need some more sewing time...)

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  40. Oh yeah who doesn't need some cake ease - a must have for all dresses right?! I love your dress, you are soo damn talented!

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  41. Thanks VickiKate. I was a nice B-day with plenty of cake and a decent amount of sewing time. What more could a girl ask for. :)

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  42. Thanks Sandra! I do need that cake ease. Between Easter and Birthday I gained about 5 pounds. Oops.

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