The SewDollyClackett that wasn’t… and a giveaway…

(but there is a dress with bare-chested sheilas instead…
and I think Dolly Clackett would approve of that!)

I really did want to sew a SewDollyClackett dress. I’d love to tell you I have a great excuse. In all honesty, I am the busiest and most exhausted I’ve been in some time… but I always sew through those dark patches…

I love Roisin. I love her style. I love her sass. She’s an awesome sheila. She knocks out dresses like nobody’s business. She can be funny, blunt, honest, thoughtful… and always beautiful.

And you know what I love most about her? She’s Roisin – without apology. She sews exactly what she likes. She’s got crazy fabulous shoes, owns enough divinely feminine dresses to clothe a small nation’s Olympic team and has her very own quirky style. She’s intelligent, quick witted and sometimes soft & vunerable. And I bet that’s why Nic loves her so and wants to spend the rest of his life with her – because she is Roisin. There’s no one else quite like her.

And that’s why anyone loves us – because we are unique souls.

I did try to make a Dolly Clackett dress. Oh lord I did try. I sewed a great dress… the stripe matching was fierce and the print choice was perfect… and then the back gaped. Ever so slightly but I hated that.


SewNotDollyClackett – this is a Burda pattern (sorry can’t remember and I’m too tired to look it up)

So I took off the bodice. Unpleated the pleated skirt. Added a Cambie bodice… added a gathered skirt… and I still haven’t hemmed it… and I don’t know if I will…. because I’m not Roisin. And I felt bad about that for ages – because the whole point of the sewalong was to sew something in her style… but the inner SewBusyLizzy beast was roaring…

I tweeted rather cheekily if I could sew something else (ie not a SewDollyClackett style) – and Roisin said yes πŸ™‚ (another reason why I love her so). I also think myself blessed enough with fabrics and patterns from other bloggers, designers and stores that I didn’t want to win any prize. However I did want to sew a dress for Roisin. I heaved a sigh of relief and decided to salute Dolly Clackett in SewBusyLizzy style.

Fortunately there was a hoard of fabulous, clever stitchers around the world that truly got into the spirit of SewDollyClackett – and paid her tribute in amazing style. Check them out! And congratulates to Sarah of Rhinestones & Telephones who organised this global sewing salute.

If I was going to be a wedding crasher, what better with a classical print featuring semi-nude ladies, knit fabric, self-drafted/frankenpatterned dress?

I’ve made this four times now… including a ‘lounge about at home animal print one’ which I knocked up because I had to re-drafted the back pattern piece… because it is MIA in the sewing room. It’s a very hacked blend of the infamous Vogue 1250 and Maria Denmark’s day to night dress – I also chiselled out the sides and shortened the midriff – it’s a perfect fit. It takes 40 minutes to make from scissors to hemming.


Still SewNotDollyClackett (wondering about the weird pose? I’m taking my sunnies off – because I always seem to have them on…)

The print is not cute quirky ‘Dolly Clackett’, instead there are a stack of classical ladies with bared chests so I figure it’s a nuded-up classical version of a Dolly Clackett novelty print…

Gallery Fabric from Tessuti

Gallery Fabric from Tessuti Melbourne

I first saw this fabric on the Tessuti online store. Then I saw it in person at the Sydney March meet-up… and everyone looked at me like I had three heads and no brains in any of them. When I got home I realised that whilst I may not have any brains, my little dark heart wanted those nude ladies in my life. Fortunately it was still available in the Melbourne store! I chose this pattern as there are very few seams to break up this extraordinary and very busy print!

Wedding Crasher alert - and she's got no shoes on!

Wedding Crasher alert – and she’s got no shoes on!

And in case you are struggling to see the ‘ladies’ – here they are…

there's a set of knockers on my hip...

there’s a set of knockers on my stomach…

another set on my hip...

another set on my hip…

and another on my back...

and another on my back…

My nine-year-old daughter has deemed this dress ‘very inappropriate’ – which of course makes me love it more (I’m guessing it’s a concern when a pre-tween daughter starts tut-tutting at her mother’s wardrobe). I’ve even worn it to work πŸ™‚ I work in a cultural centre… why not?

I love this picture - not because it's a great one of me - but that 'window' in the print looks like a peephole into my soul... or belly button LOL

I love this picture – not because it’s a great one of me – but that ‘window’ in the print looks like a peephole into my soul… or the ocean behind.. or just my belly button LOL. With a print like this there are always going to be placement issues. My major concern was to get as many naked ladies as possible onto the dress LMAO

I wore this to High Tea (I’m sitting at the front like Lady Muck) when I popped up and stayed with Busy Lizzie in Brizzy in March (who a delightful host and felt like a long-lost sister – and her husband Josh put up with a million and one questions about beef-jerky making – awesome people).

I’m just me. And Roisin is gloriously Roisin… and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Love you madly Roisin – and I’m sending you every best wish for a fantastic, interesting, slightly crazy and very happy future with your lovely Nic. Mwah.

And my posing super coach has some wedding photo tips for you…

She's happy to travel if you need wedding photography advice... I will of course need to accompany her as she's a minor (with a major personality)

She’s happy to travel if you need wedding photography advice… I will of course need to accompany her as she’s a minor (with a major personality)

although if you want to travel for your wedding photos – we have plenty of scenery on offer…

Shelly Beach, Port Macquarie - pretty even when it's overcast

Shelly Beach, Port Macquarie – pretty even when it’s overcast

oh… and the giveaway?

I had a second blog birthday last month – and typically of me – I missed it.

So comment away – and send your wedding wishes to the perfectly one-of-a-kind Dolly Clackett (and Nick of course!)… because we wouldn’t have her any other way…

I’ll send the winner a package of something… not sure what yet… but things that make me smile (and some sewing things!) and might make you smile too – because what else is there?

And what two year celebration post would be complete without me typically barefoot, on the beach with sunnies on?

β€œBe yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

β€œBe yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde


139 thoughts on “The SewDollyClackett that wasn’t… and a giveaway…

  1. Oh Lizzy! I love the Sew Dolly Clackett dress that wasn’t but I am so, SO glad that you decided to listen to your heart and sew something that made it sing, and which was much more you. Your bare ladies dress is beyond fabulous – I love that the print isn’t apparent from a distance and that those bare-chested sheilas will be a surprise for anyone who is looking a bit too closely!

    Thank you so much for your kind, kind words and your lovely well-wishes. You’re absolutely wonderful and I am so privileged to be able to call you a friend.


    • I’m so delighted you like it. I did try so hard to pull of a Dolly dress but at the end of the day the people I love & admire the most are always unapologetically themselves. People like you xo
      It’s the only way to live.

  2. I have to say that you original Dolly Clacket dress looks lovely – but the “get your tits out”dress is just takes the biscuit! I love the window on your soul effect and those boobies are just delightful. I think we should all aspire to have our daughters tut-tutting over our dresses – mine certainly does!
    And I think Roisin and Nic will feel both delighted and honoured to have that dress made in their names.

  3. Look what I found – ‘To dream that you are barefoot represents your playful attitudes and relaxed, carefree frame of mind. ‘ that’s why we love your posts! Your dress proves it.
    And a great present to celebrate a Dolly Clackett wedding.

  4. I love it- you took the challenge and made it about being the unique gal that you are- a perfect tribute to the Clacketty one. Wish I’d thought of it too!

  5. Love this Lizzy! The best part is your daughter pointing out the nude ladies – hahaha. I almost spilled my coffee when I read that. πŸ™‚

  6. Your style is so gorgeous πŸ™‚ I understand this year being super busy! My year has also been insanely busy too – I wish Roisin and Nick have a wonderful life together – their engagement story is absolutely adorable!

    Who wouldn’t want a bare breasted dress!

    • Thank you πŸ™‚
      I always think that ‘this year will be calm’ but alas it never is. This month I’ve volunteered at Ironman, helping run a big stall at the school fete, doing ‘ballet mother’ duties at the Eisteddfid – and then there’s fulltime work & the family. I need a life holiday! LOL

  7. I almost spewed my coffee when I saw the caption: I have a set of knockers on my stomach.Too funny πŸ™‚
    The dress is beautiful, as is everything you make. I am sure Roisin is pleased.
    Take care.

  8. Lizzy, you are as much Lizzy as Roisin is Roisin! And you look gorgeous in this dressβ€”as always, of course!
    I’ve been thinking about making a dress from the Day-to-Night Drape Top, and now I want one even more! I’ll have to see whether I can find any suitable knit fabric, the choice around here isn’t that great.

    I’m not worried about Roisin’s and Nic’s marriage. They sound like the kind of awesome people who would just make it work without a lot of effort. Best wishes to you guys! I’m really, really curious about Roisin’s wedding dress! (:

    • Oh I think we are all curious about the wedding dress! If you check out the tags on the side of my blog and click on the Mariadenmark tag you will find my various dresses made from this top and Vogue dress mash-up (including my sequinned number!). It’s the perfect dress for me. And soooo comfortable!

  9. A fab dress as always!!! I didn’t sew anything for the sewalong either, because whatever I thought of just seemed like a costume and not something I would honestly wear! I”m glad you found the right balance for yourself!

  10. this is lovely and the “window” photos made me laugh. Questions–how much of Vogue 1250 ended up in your final pattern? Could you make this just with lengthening the Maria Denmark top? And how much fabric did you need? Can you tell I have a smallish piece of a gloriously patterned knit that is dying to be made into this exact dress? (Sadly it won’t have involve any naked ladies, though).

    • I only use about 120cm or so – it really doesn’t need much – the nude ladies one is longer than the leopard print one so used slightly more.
      You could just lengthen the top – however I really like how the Vogue pattern has a small back piece and the front extends and wraps around to the back. I think it improves the fit of the dress and how it moves as you walk – but that’s just my humble opinion. You can see all my versions under the MariaDenmark tag on my blog

  11. I also didn’t quite SewDollyClackett…I tried, but I just couldn’t get my dress finished in time, so mine was a crashing the reception having missed the wedding dress! But I love it, and I love yours too πŸ™‚ I like the fact that it looks so classical and well behaved, until you look more closely.

  12. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA- “very inappropriate”!!!!! Ahhh, I want a day with your family to see you all interacting. I really like the print- it’s so artsy and cool! And if someone is staring at you hard enough to see the boobage on your mid-section, well, there are other problems with that. πŸ˜‰

    • Yes I mean if they are going to start at anything it should be my junk trunk! LOL.
      I love people circling me looking for all the boobs – it’s quite a conversation starter!

    • I always tell them to be themselves – it’s too exhausting to be anything else πŸ™‚ they do think I’m slightly mad but I think all the best mothers and friends are!

    • It’s a surprisingly versatile pattern. I’m always amazed how different they are from casual to classical to sequins – it’s just the perfect pattern for me!

  13. Love, love love your bare chested ladies! And as Roisin pointed out,,,it makes your heart sing. That’s what counts. Best of the best to Roisin & Nic in their life together…and happy blogiversary!

  14. Oh Lizzy, the first ‘dolly clackett’ style dress is so gorgeous..if I was small enough I’d be offering you big bucks for this dress!! Wear it…it’s so Audrey Hepburn…give it a go! I don’t think you do flats but it’d look great with ballet pumps. The bare chested ladies fabric is wicked! Love it! Loving the “trompe l’Ε“il” effect of the tummy button…with the ocean in the background it actually looks like we can see straight through you to the ocean behind! brilliant!! Kate x

    • The ‘window’ is a real blast – and completely unplanned! I agree that style could be very Audrey… now I’m tempted to make it in black! I do have some of the most gorgeous black and white floral print…

  15. This is great! I love the bare breasted ladies especially the fact that you Have to search for them! And good for you for being true to your heart and style! It’s perfect!

    • It’s taken me a while to figure out exactly what my style is… and now it is so hard to alter my course… I do love to sew and I have so many ideas in my head I just need more hours in my days!

  16. So fabulous! It’s very you. I’m still giggling about “very inappropriate” and the fact that you seem to have a see-through belly. Also, “get out your tits.” I think I need to buy this Day to Night pattern…

  17. Hee hee I love those jugs all over you πŸ˜‰ and serve you right that you got a telling off from your daughter πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

    I couldn’t make a sewdollyclackett dress either, for reasons that will become obvious in a while, but I wish I could have. Oh well, I’ll send them both lots of love for their marriage without a dress on…

    Happy blogiversary!

    • It’s one of a kind! I absolutely kicked myself for not buying it when I was in Sydney – sometimes the thing that you love again all rhyme and reason is really meant to be

  18. So that dress with the window to your soul is fabulous sweetie! Really fits you beautifully and the fabric is kitsch heaven. I love shocking my children too, makes me feel like a naughty school girl.

  19. I love it! I think it’s great to salute Roisin’s style like this, hopefully you can rescue the first dress in some way. Love your scenery, as always!

  20. I was surprised when I saw your first Sew Dolly Clacket on Instagram. Love that you found such an awesome Sew Buzy Lizzy take on this now!

  21. I LOVE your bold booby print! Wild, but you have to look for it. Love reading your blog. Keep it up and congrats on your anniversary!

    • It is wild – and I really worried about taking scissors to it… but I think it’s going to be a wardrobe classic – even better that it is a knit and comfortable!

  22. I’ve only recently started following a few sewing blogs and I love your cheeky streek (this post tops it off!) and unashamedly relaxed ‘by the beachside’ vibe. For entirely selfish reasons – your posts bring a good girly giggle into my otherwise male-filled baby world – I hope your blogging keeps up for another 2yrs at least!

    • I’m so glad I give you a giggle – and always find time for yourself – babies are hard work and you can sometimes get lost in that world and responsibilities that come with it. Enjoy! And I’ll keep being cheeky for you!

  23. Let’s face it Lizzy, that is brave fabric. Not everyone could carry it off, but you certainly do. I laughed when I read your daughter’s views. Mine are always censoring me!

    • Aren’t we lucky to have such moral and upstanding daughters!
      I agree it is brave fabric and I almost chickened out of using it – but I’m so glad I did. I don’t want a wardrobe of them – but it certainly has it’s place.

  24. Well, I have to agree, and say you did a great job with this dress. I love the pattern you used, the fabric is stunning and you are lucky you can wear it to work πŸ™‚
    I also admire Roisin and her style, and I couldn’t pull it off with wearing the dresses that she wears – hats off! Congratulations to Roisin, I hove she has a great time at her wedding, and that life is going to be even more beautiful from now on πŸ™‚
    xx Mariana

  25. LOL, I love it. I was captivated by the notion of your stripe matching being fierce. But the knockers? They knock the fierce stripes into a corner. I also like the fact that you are fulfilling your clear motherly duty of embarrassing your children. How truly delightful all round!

    • I take embarrassing my children very seriously. I once swanned quite innocently into school for few years ago for ‘pick-up’ in a LBD, patterned stockings, high heels, trench coat, pearls and cap on (it was drizzling). My daughter marched straight past me, muttering ‘oh you are so embarrassing Mum’. “Why??” ‘because everyone goes ‘look, look, look, there’s your mum! Everyone knows who you are!’ “Ummm is it possible that they think I’m a cool dresser”. ‘Absolutely not’ she huffed.

  26. I don’t think there is any dress you make that I don’t like, and this in no exception. The fabric isn’t quite “me”, but I love the dress pattern you’ve made, and I think the total package is very cool! I’d love to be able to make dresses like this and look as good as you wearing them!

    Quite funny how your daughter finds the dress inappropriate, not sure my 8-year old would love it either…

    • Wow – that’s a great compliment! I’m surprised how much my style and confidence has evolved over the past two years of my blog – it’s been such a great journey – and I can’t wait to sew more!

  27. What a beautiful post and ode to Roisin and Nic! Their wedding is like a royal wedding in sewing world! Happy blogaversary! Congrats on being you.

  28. I love the boobies on the dress! My friend in Berlin and I are always on the look out for statutes and other bits and pieces that have the ladies bare chested. I even had a calendar one year that had some very tasteful ladies on it. French I think they were. Fab dress.

  29. As ever I got started but not quite finished for the Clackett party! but I’m with Nic and Roisin all the best as they seem like such a lovely couple. Love your dresses, both the leopard and the boobies :o)

  30. I thought about this post and dress all day. Such great fabric and what so great about sewing is that you can use the most outrageous fabric. It’s a great tribute to Roisin and Nic. Big love to you!

    • Thank you – I had such a battle with myself and then I figured that whilst I love Roisin to pieces, it was going to be a more heartful tribute by being rebellious me! Thankfully she loved the idea!

  31. Love the Dolly Clackett dress, but he naked lady dress (also love) is so much more you! Both dresses have given me some ideas to sew! As if I need more! HA!

  32. Both dresses are fabulous. But the bare naked ladies are utterly you. And there is no one youer than you and I love you for it.
    The belly button window is just brilliant!!

  33. Firstly, congratulation on your Blog Anniversary! Now, how about one of the two fantastic dresses you just modeled as the surprise give-away? πŸ˜‰ I have a serious case of green envy! They both reminds me a bit of Dolce & Gabbana designs, which has been hot on my radar recently.

    The panel print dress reminds me of their Spring/Summer 2013 collection ( The fitted leopard print is just such a classic D&G shape & print. LOVE them both! Heck, even your SewDollyClackett Dress has a bit of D&G S/S ’03 in it. Love luv LUV love LOVE!

  34. Congratulations on your blogoversary and to being true to yourself! The dress is fabulous! I thought my crayon dress was being subversive – I wonder who would notice if I had a dress from your print. I wish contentment and happiness to Roisin and Nic. And to all of you and yours.

  35. The dress you made is fabulous! And a much better idea to have made and love wearing that than something which you know just isn’t your style. And happy blog-birthday!

  36. Your dress is totally fabulous and looks great on you. I think it’s definitely still in line with the spirit of Dolly Clackett. Also, good choice for an inadvertent blog-birthday dress, you won’t forget it!

  37. Having suitably admired this dress on you in person, I now am wondering how I missed your belly button? πŸ˜‰ The dress looks just as awesome in your terrific photos.

  38. What a beautiful description of Roisin; couldn’t have put it better πŸ™‚ I love that you made something uniquely YOU, and it is really really cool at that! πŸ™‚ It’s very cheeky – and yet, I think it’s still wedding appropriate… at least for an equally cheeky couple getting married πŸ˜‰

  39. I love your blog and I think that dress style looks stunning on you! Port is beautiful but there is no way you could get me down that way and away from the tropics during winter!
    Also, a dress with boobies! How awesome. It must be hilarious to watch peoples faces as they realise what the print is

  40. Love, love, love your dress! Totally agree with your decision to include as many topless ladies as possible. I guess 9 year olds don’t see a difference between nudes & nakedness. It’s not like you’ve got centerfolds on your dress! When it comes down to it Roisin would simply be happy you made a dress you’re delughted to wear. Mission accomplished!

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  42. Daughters have such great opinions on what Mummy should or shouldn’t wear. Always makes me laugh.
    Love both the dresses but am highly entertained at the thought of your with your pre-Raphaelite babes dress at the cultural centre. I imagine a double take or two.

  43. You’re awesome – as always πŸ˜‰ I love the inappropriate dress, mostly for the window to your soul – perfect placement as I’m sure I can see the open sea & sky behind you. πŸ˜‰

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