the Flamin' Go! dress

the Flamin' Go! dress (variation on Butterick B4443)
Hello everyone! Here is my fifth entry into the Sew Dolly Clackett competition (closing on Wednesday - time to sew one more? I have some Eiffel Tower fabric...) and yes, it's another Butterick B4443. 

I love the flamingo print - you might recognise it from Roisin's Honolulu Baby dress

by Hillberg Fabrics
I have to say, I thought I was being terribly original when I snapped up a few metres of this at Rolls & Rems in Lewisham a month ago, but alas, I later discovered that Dolly Clackett had got there waaaay before me.

The print is so tropical, it made me make it into a dressy-ish summer dress. I couldn't give it a high neck or sleeves. It was just screaming halter neck at me, so I went with the screaming. 

Wow. It has clearly been a while since my legs saw the sunshine! They're a bit blue!
I used view A of the pattern, which is just a straight strapless bodice, but "drafted" my own sweetheart neckline (just drew it on a traced pattern piece basically). Gotta be honest, it's not quite the perfect shape for me but I'll fix that if I make it again. 

I decided to copy the strap design from a favourite Vivien of Holloway top (like this one). Well, it isn't an absolute copy, but it's more than inspired by. It was quite tricky to get it to lay the way I wanted, so there was a lot of pinning with the dress on me to make it right. 

I used sew-in plastic boning in all the bodice seams (on the lining). Of course I did a practice first. And it was actually really easy. It gives the dress a really nice structure and a bit of support, so I'm glad I put the boning in. 

The only problem is that it's a tiny bit too big all over. Why does this keep happening to me? I even bought a new tape measure before this dress because I have only just learned that tape measures stretch over time! Mine had gained an extra half inch!!!

I'm thinking maybe it's because the other views of this dress fit me so well in a straight size 14 I thought the strapless one would too? Perhaps the fit is different? Anyway, it's not obscenely too big, I'm going to live with it for now, but I'm a bit disappointed in myself. 

I sewed most of it on marathon day (hence the name: flamin' go!). I was nursing a hefty cold, but got up and did some stitching while watching the start of the race. Then Liam and I abandoned everything and ran down to Deptford (about a mile away from us and on mile 7 of the race) to watch the leaders pass and give them a cheer. 

Instagram snap of the elite men

We stayed and watched and cheered for a bit, enjoying the atmosphere, then wandered back home to watch the rest on TV. A lovely Sunday and by the end of it I almost had a dress!

Then last night I did the hand stitching (lining and hem), and here she is! Ready for a garden wedding in a couple of weeks which I'm very excited about. I think I'll wear these shoes but may require a new bag. Oh dear. What a shame...

I also added the Emery pockets on a whim. Why not? I love dresses with pockets. 

I would like to give huge congratulations to Roisin and Nic on their wedding, and wish them lots of luck in their marriage. Also good luck to Roisin for the judging of Sew Dolly Clackett - there are some corkers in there!

Taking part in the competition has been ace - and I've been so inspired by everyone else's dresses. Thank you Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones for running the competition!

Over and out!


  1. This is fabulous! I love the sweetheart neck and the halter neck. Can't get over that you sewed most of it in one day! I must be the world's slowest sewist!

    1. Thank you so much Lynne. I'm looking forward to wearing it to the wedding. Re: slow sewing... Not at all! I may have mislead you. The marathon day of sewing didn't include cutting out, actually figuring out how to do the strap and the hand sewing! That one Sunday was the construction bit. I would say it usually takes me about 3 good evening or weekend sessions to make a dress (if nothing goes wrong!).

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  3. I can't believe you've managed to sew 5 dresses for Sew Dolly Clackett! I think this one's my favourite. Well done with the halter neck and it really doesn't look too big on you. Looking forward to seeing if you manage to squeeze another one in before the deadline :)

    1. Hi Betty! Me either. It's done wonders for my productivity. Thank you, I'm glad the bigness isn't too visible! I'm not sure I'll get another one in in time now... but I'll have a go!