Hello friends, hope you've had a great weekend! Mine involved a lovely friend's baby shower yesterday (I made this cute sleepbag for the occasion) and getting splattered with mossy mud during 3.5 hours of pressure washing our patio today!

Anyway, before I flop down in front of the TV in exhaustion, I wanted to share a link to my Sewing & Style interview over at Seamstress Erin's blog. It's part of a really cool series of interviews that Erin has been hosting for a while now, featuring some truly inspiring stitching bloggers! I'm humbled to be in their company, so thank you very much for approaching me Erin!

Lastly, a HUGE thanks to all of you who entered My Rag Doll giveaway - the lucky winner is Vicky Kate Makes!!! Congratulations Vicky Kate, I've passed our email address on to Stitch Craft Create for delivery to be arranged once the book is released.

After warming up for #SewDollyClackett with my Springtime Cambie Dress, I've managed to squeeze the 'real deal' in for today's deadline! I'm seriously loving my Time for Tea dress (see how I even named it a la Miss Dolly Clackett herself), so be warned of the 'smiley chipmunk' photos below. There's a reason why I don't usually smile like this for photos, but being dressed like Roisin feels ridiculously great!

The pattern is none other than Christine Hayes' Emery Dress, which Roisin herself is a big fan of. One of my favourite details is the A-line shape of the skirt, which I think looks a lot prettier than a rectangular gathered skirt. Remarkably, I cut out a size 4 and hardly made any adjustments at all! I just stitched the bodice side seams at 1cm rather than 1.5cm and chopped 3cm off the skirt length before hemming. I didn't even have to shorten the bodice or adjust the back and shoulder area! So, believe the hype people...this pattern is a keeper! Although, I suspect that if you're not particularly petite like I am, it may be a slightly different story. 

As you can see, I opted for the 'no frills' version of Emery, as my fabric print is busy enough. I did include contrasting pockets though, for added secret fun! Construction wise, Emery is a breeze to stitch up. However, due to preferences alone, I did / will do a couple of things slightly differently next time. Because I like overlocking my seams where possible, I finished my pocket and skirt seams before sewing up. So I overlocked the curved sides of all four pocket pieces, as well as the centre back skirt seams. I then pinned my pockets to the skirt side seams as instructed and overlocked the straight edge of the pocket together with the side seam. If this is unclear and a 'how-to' would be helpful, just shout as I took a couple of pictures.

The other thing I would change next time is the way the bodice lining is attached. I can't deny that the suggested method is very clever and neat, but I find that my lining keeps catching in the zip. As much as I hate hand sewing, catch-stitching the lining to the zip prevents this from happening. Minor gripes though, which aren't gripes at all!

Other than my choice of sewing pattern, I think you'll agree that what makes this #SewDollyClackett is the fabric print of course! It's a beautiful cotton lawn from my favourite fabric shop in Leicester and I can't stop feeling giddy every time I look at it! Now to actually fill my kitchen with identical crockery!

Hilariously, and I couldn't have planned this if I tried, I've ended up with a 'milk' jug on my...errr...left jug! Luckily it's not too noticeable...is it?!?

Apparently, using props for photos can make you feel like a right idiot! But how could I resist such a fitting opportunity to pose with my stunning 1930s tea-set?!?

A huge thank you to the lovely Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones for coming up with such a fun challenge (and possibly the best wedding gift Roisin could dream of), and of course to the gorgeous Roisin herself for inspiring countless stitchers around the world with her unique sense of style! 

Have you taken part in #SewDollyClackett? If not, you seriously have to check out the Sew Dolly Clackett Flickr Group!

My super exciting news for the day, or week, or month, or maybe even year...is that I'm a Craftsy writer! The good folk at Craftsy contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if I'd like to regularly contribute to their blog. On reflection, my response was probably a tad too enthusiastic, but luckily that didn't put them off and I'm now signed up for two blog posts a month. Although I'm being compensated for my work, I will strive to share my honest views and opinions...so it'll be just like reading my ramblings here...but elsewhere ;o)

My first contribution is already live, so check it out if you want to know how to sew faux leather seams! You will also be able to see all my Craftsy posts through my Craftsy profile, or by clicking the I'm a Craftsy Writer badge on my sidebar.

Apologies for such a self-indulgent post today, but to say I'm not excited would be a dirty little lie!

Hope you've all a wonderful weekend and are tackling the week ahead with boundless energy...

I'm pretty sure you've heard about the meet-up of the century already, the question is...are you coming along? Organised by Minerva Crafts to celebrate the success of its Blogger Network, the day will give you the chance to meet lots of the contributing bloggers (including myself...hehe), pose your burning stitching questions to Karen of Did you make that?, hear from the talented girls at By Hand London, take part in various workshops and feel like a carefree kid again with a Craft Treasure Hunt. If this isn't enough to convince you, have you seen Minerva Crafts HQ?!? Just imagine the fun we'll have running around in there and fighting over bolts of fabric!

The good folk at Minerva Crafts have even put some information together about Darwen attractions local and accommodation. I sure hope you can join us!

Hello friends, I hope you've all had a great weekend! To soften the blow of Monday's imminence, I have an exciting discount code for you! When I shared an update on our home improvements so many of you expressed enthusiasm for our choice of sofas. I fed this back to the guys at Harveys who were so delighted they decided to offer you10% off their gorgeous Opal range - the code is BLOPAL10% and will be valid for the next six months. Pretty cool, eh?!?

I must also say how impressed I am with the time and effort Harveys has put out into engaging with me and how overwhelmed I was to receive a lovely letter and thoughtful gifts! Chris clearly took the time to look through my blog and register my interests - thanks a million, much appreciated!

Friends, meet my Springtime Cambie Dress! I’m being super cheeky and doubling up this make as both my latest Minerva Blogger Network project AND my first #SewDollyClackett submission. I say my first of the latter, because I’m just warming up! Consider this an interpretation of Roisin’s earlier style, with something reflecting her more current style in the pipeline...sewing Dolly Clackett through the ‘ages’, if you like!

This is my first ever Cambie Dress, despite buying the Sewaholic pattern way back when it was released, but I'm so pleased I finally got round to making it. The irresistible cotton lawn from Minerva's designer selection is a perfect match for the pattern and a great way to welcome the glimmer of warmer weather in sight. Needless to say that Tasia's instructions are second to none, resulting in a beautiful garment inside and out. The pattern has become a firm favourite among stitchers around the world, which must have something to do with all its lovely details!

Gathered sleeves perfectly frame the shoulders and complement the sweetheart neckline.

Sneaky pockets come in particularly useful when you don't know what to do with 
your hands and arms in photos.

My best invisible zip to date, with a perfectly lined up waistband and everything! 

The construction of this dress is really clever, concealing all raw seams. The entire dress is lined and beautifully finished, with a nifty way of attaching the lining. At least, that's the theory! I fully lined mine with cotton lawn, but decided that the skirt was way too voluminous, so I ripped the skirt lining out. It still looks super neat with just the bodice and waistband lined though.

In terms of sizing, I made this up in a Size 8 (UK 12), but went down a size for the neckline and sleeves. Next time, I’ll probably pinch a smidgeon out of the front bodice – the gaping isn’t terrible, but could be better. Skip this next bit if you’re not up for a moan about muslins...

..The thing about muslins is that they sometimes trick you! After choosing my size and shortening the bodice pieces by my obligatory couple of centimetres, I then sewed up my muslin and pinned in a zip. When I tried it on (bodice only) it felt a little snug and too short. This ALWAYS happens by the way! I bravely ignore it normally and the final thing comes out fine. But this time I decided to reduce my side and waistband seams by 0.5cm. Guess what?!? My bodice is now a little too long and smidge too loose. Aaaargh! Does this happen to anyone else? Could this all be down to the weight of the skirt on the final garment?

I couldn't help adding this last photo in! I was surreptitiously picking a rogue thread off my dress when my boyfriend snapped me - he claims it looks like I'm feeding chickens! If we had chickens, this is definitely how I'd like to dress for feeding time...

Anyway, despite my minor gripes, I'm pretty smitten with this make overall! What do you think?