Sew Dolly Clackett #3: Rock Around the Clock

As soon as I saw this fabric propped up outside Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road I thought: that's what my Sew Dolly Clackett dress is going to be made out of. And then I saw the price : only £1.50 a metre! I promptly bought 3. 

Now, most of us know that £1.50 per metre fabric is probably not going to be the highest quality we've ever bought, and I do too, but the print was just so damn cute. I love how their ponytails flip back over their heads. 

This couple make me laugh. They look a bit, um, thrusty.

The grain is all over the place, meaning I couldn't cut anything on the fold, which of course took extra time, but I kind of didn't mind. When I'm working with a fun pattern the pretty pictures distract me from tedium. 

I decided to make Butterick 4443 (a pattern I already had), view F with the V neck and little cap sleeves. I paid no attention to pattern matching. Lined her in lovely soft white cotton batiste, also from classic textiles. 

I was pretty darn excited because this is pretty much the first experience I've had of "it fits straight out if the envelope!". Actually that's a bit of a lie. I raised the shoulder seams about an inch. BUT THAT IS ALL. Consequently it was a very quick sew and I'm going to say what I've said about every pattern so far on this blog: I love it and I will be making more. Want to see?

Rock Around the Clock dress  (Butterick 4443)
I mean, the fit! The shape! 

Moving on to: the sleeves! 

They look cute on the line drawing, no?

Well, I sewed them up, lining them up with the princess seams like on the drawing, and they looked, in a word, Ridiculous. They were so small and didn't cover any of my arm, more like they were a small fabric seashell perched precariously atop my shoulder. The proportions looked bonkers.

I looked at them for ages, from many angles, hoping they'd grow on me (literally! Ha!) but they didn't. They just looked wrong and I knew it would spoil the dress, which was otherwise lovely, if I left them. Sleeveless would be ok, but I'd planned cap sleeves, dammit. I wanted sleeves.

Out came the unpicker and an episode of the Mighty Boosh. I was so desperate to rip those suckers out that I didn't even get a picture of the hilarious sleeves. You'll have to take my word for it.

I tried a tulip sleeve for the first time. How pretty?! 

Since the sleeve pattern was so tiny, I just cut two more, sewed the lining in etc and then used two sleeve pieces for the tulip, overlapping by eye until I was happy. 

I'm so glad I tried to tulip sleeve. I'm a fan. 

OK, enough pictures of the sleeves. I'm proud, OK?

So my dress is ready for a sock-hop somewhere. Wanna come?

My first ever lapped zip!
This, of course, is our soundtrack. I urge you to play this video. The music, the dancing, the OUTFITS. Love it all. 

Yes I did have a little dance around to this in my new dress. 

Did you spot the lady in the awesome trousers in the instrumental section? I want me some trousers (and a figure) like that!

But for now, I'm super happy with my dress. 

New shoes! Apple wedges by Mel. Come oooon summer sunshine...

Here it is in the picture below without the little petticoat. A bit less poufy and more summers day in the park style. 

Yes I own Dirty Dancing on vinyl. 

A few collages to leave you with!

Don't forget to check out all the lovely Sew Dolly Clackett entries here! Some gorgeous dresses being sewn up. I've got at least one more coming too. I can't help myself. 

Over and out!


  1. Wow I've got serious dress envy! I really love your fabric and I'm going to scour ebay and the web in the hope of finding some. Sadly I'm too far from Goldhawk Road (although I'm sure I'd be v poor as I'd be tempted to buy loads of fabric if I lived nearby)! I like all your 'dolly clackett' dresses. I've only managed to make one!
    Rachel (aka LittleMissWhipstitch)

  2. Thank you so much! I hope you find some of that fabric. I was pretty excited to find it. I love your Sew Dolly Clackett dress too, I've been admiring it since you posted it. Perfect fabric and pattern combination. And you've inspired me to make some shoe clips too!

  3. Fabulous dress and fabric (and such a bargain!) Really love the print but must resist a trip to the Mecca of Goldhawk Road to see if theres any left, as it always ends in frenzied fabric purchasing.

    1. Thank you. I have limit my trips to Goldhawk Road too. It's so easy to get carried away isn't it!

  4. Glad you like the shoe clips! They do seem like a good solution to pimp up some boring shoes- and are so quick to make too. I'm going to search for your fabric now as I'm on a mission to make a similar dress to wear to a party next month!

  5. Your dress is gorgeous! I love the tulip sleeves.

  6. ADORABLE. That is all.

    1. Gah! Thanks! Wore it today to a (cold) BBQ and it got a lot of love!

  7. I love the way you did the sleeves! Just to clarify, you used the actual sleeve pattern, but used 2 sleeves for each arm, and overlapped them until you liked them? I am planning on making this for my daughter's Homecoming dress and I don't think she'll like the little cap sleeves as the pattern is written. I am totally going to steal your idea. Thanks for sharing the cute dress!

    1. Thank you! Yes, that's exactly what I did. I just faffed around with the placement and the amount of overlap before I pinned and sewed them. I'm so glad my version might have helped you in some way! Good luck with your daughter's homecoming dress!

  8. I was searching for B4443 examples and now I'm going to check out your archives too. Hooray!