Sew Dolly Clackett …

Yesterday I decided, pretty much on a whim, as you do, to sew a Dolly Clackett dress.  

Followers of Roisin Muldoon’s glorious frock blog will know that she is getting married soon (to a very handsome and smart young man) and to celebrate there’s this bloggy Clackettesque frockalong thing happening.

Obviously I won’t have it finished in time, the closing date is Wednesday, but I needed something to boot me out of the sewing Doldrums,   Also, I will have to modify the style somewhat – I’m a bit too old to rock a full on Dolly Clackett frock!

So I settled on this; Kwik Sew 4001, view B (the one with sleeves).

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Now, this is something of a departure from my usual style, but I have a celebration lunch function to attend in July.  Hopefully this will be the perfect dress for the occasion.  The fabric is cotton, with tiny strawberries amongst a navy blue check on white background.    I like to think Dolly might wear it to Wimbledon …

It’s quite narrow fabric, so I think it may be quite old stuff, I bought 4 metres of it from a remainders store last year.  The pattern has a lined bodice, which I’ve never done before, and a reasonably full skirt. 

This afternoon I pre-washed and ironed the fabric, and traced off the pattern.  Unfortunately It’s back to work tomorrow, so I won’t be able to do any more until Friday now.  Ho hum.  Hopefully it will be finished in time for the actual wedding, which I believe is to be in May.

Whatever, I would like to wish Roisin and Nic every happiness.  I do love a good wedding!

Check out the Flickr group of finished Dolly Clackett Frocks.

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Is anyone still reading?

Hello friends,  I’m sorry I have been missing for a while.  I went off on a lovely holiday, and since I returned I haven’t been in my sewing room – apart from to hide newly acquired fabrics and patterns in my already overflowing stash.

Sewing Mojo has been in very short supply.  I have a biiiiig pile of mending/alterations to do, which isn’t appealing to me at all.  Instead, I’ve been overtaken by a new pre-occupation …..

A year or two ago, around the time I became interested in sewing again, I bought this dear old lady.  (Ahem. Those with obssessive compulsive tendencies towards housework should probably look away now).

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She graces my entrance hall, usually shouldering a pile of ‘stuff’ that doesn’t really have a home.  She’s just handy to put things down on.

On the inside, this is what she looks like.  A 1916 Singer 66K, dressed in the *Lotus pattern decals unique to Scotland, and made in Kilbowie, Clydebank, at the world’s largest sewing machine factory (now a housing estate).   *In the USA this model came with the Redeye decals, both types are now highly sought after by collectors.

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Faded glamour, I think you’ll agree. Initially she was just intended to be a hall table.  Then she was to become a restoration project.  Unfortunately, I rescued her from an abusive home, and she is badly damaged.  Rust and tarnish abound, but happily most necessary parts are present, and those that aren’t can be found..

After a half hearted attempt, I sadly decided she was beyond redemption, and she would just have to live out her retirement as a hall table, albeit a rather lovely one.  Then I hit on an idea.  *Lightbulb moment*

Why not buy another one, and just swap the machine heads over?  Well, yeah.  Why not?  No-one need ever know …

And so began an avid ebay search.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, when I set off to Runcorn to collect this rather beautiful 1920 Singer 66k hand-crank version.

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Now, you don’t have to be Einstein to see that this one is in near mint condition.  Oh my word!  The delightful lady who sold her to me told me that this was her nan’s machine, bought and kept in the same family from new, through 3 generations.

And she came with accessories – a whole set of original presser feet, and her original bentwood carry case.  Wow!

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My original plan was to cannibalise this machine, harvesting the lovely shiny parts to restore my treadle version.  Obviously, that would be sacrilege, and probably an offence punishable by a gruesome death.

So, armed with valuable info on how to, I’m back to my original plan of restoration of the treadle model.  It’s going to be a project for later this year, when, (woohoo!) I’ll be retiring from paid employment and becoming a lady of leisure.

Now my interest in Vintage machines has been piqued, I’m hankering after a 201K, reputedly the best sewing machine ever built by Singer.  The search goes on.

More soon, and I hope this finds you all well and happy.