My Handmade Style – Dolly Clackett

Welcome everyone to the second in an exciting new series, looking at how some of our favourite sewing bloggers curate their handmade wardrobes. Where do they find their inspiration and how do they channel it into their makes?

I’m over the moon to introduce you to someone you probably already follow. We know and love her as Dolly Clackett, also known as Roisin Muldoon. We’ve swooned over her romantic vintage style dresses, we’ve gaped at her seemingly endless shoe collection, we’ve secretly wondered if she owns ANY trousers… and we’re about to find out! Over to you Roisin…

Dolly Clackett aka Roisin Muldoon

You have the most enviable collection of dresses Roisin, many of them vintage or vintage inspired. How would you sum up your style (oh, and do you actually own any trousers)?

I do have a *lot* of dresses, it’s true! And no, I don’t own any trousers. Well, I have pyjama trousers, and one pair of trousers that don’t fit me but which I have held onto for sentimental reasons. I think my style could probably be summed up as ‘romantic’, maybe? I sort of hate that word but most of my dresses are quite traditional in terms of shape and style – full-skirted knee-length dresses or pencil dresses make up most of my wardrobe, there isn’t anything very edgy in there.

Where do you find your style inspiration and how do you channel that into your me-made wardrobe?

I read so many blogs, both style blogs and sewing blogs. These are great because I’m not interested in fashion, strange as that might sound. I don’t care about what’s on trend, but I will take inspiration from people I think look stylish. I’m also lucky to have some incredibly stylish and well-dressed friends! I think my tastes have been well catered for in recent years, I know everyone loves the Mad Men look so I’m not saying anything groundbreaking here, but that show’s popularity has meant more inspiration and more beautiful clothes for dress-loving ladies like myself!

Who are your style icons and why?

This is actually a hard one to answer! I sort of hate to say this because the character annoys me no end, but there isn’t one thing that Charlotte wore in Sex and The City that I wouldn’t happily have stolen off her back. I think Diane Kruger always looks amazing – she has an edgy vibe that I can’t quite pull off, but I love how she looks. Yeah it helps that she has Joshua Jackson on her arm, yum. And yes obviously the Mad Men ladies, particularly Trudy Campbell.

Charlotte from Sex and the City

Are there any particular designers that you use for inspiration?

Yes! I love Vivienne Westwood. I don’t think I could wear her more architectural looks, but her use of prints and colours is amazing. On a more affordable level, I love Bernie Dexter’s clothing line and it was her Eiffel Tower dresses that made me decide to make my Foux du FaFa Chantilly dress.

Foux Du Fa Fa Frock

If you had to select one self-stitched garment that really encapsulates your style – what would it be and why?

My Sail Away Ceylon dress, I think. It’s probably the dress I’m most proud of. It has everything I want in a frock. It has a retro vibe, and anchors, and polka dots, and then more polka dots. I like things that are just a wee bit too much, and I think that’s it!

Sail Away Ceylon dress

Do you ever take risks and experiment with your look? What’s worked and what hasn’t?

No, I’m a bit crap in this department – I know what I like and what suits me and I stick with that. I did cut my hair up short a few years ago and I liked it, but I do like it better in a bob. I’m not naturally a redhead, but I don’t think that dyeing your hair red is really that much of a style risk.

Is there anything you wish you could wear but can’t? 

Goodness, yes. I would LOVE to look good in layers. Like, artful layering. It just escapes, and it makes me look untidy. I’d also love to look good in menswear inspired tailoring but I’m not Katharine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall! That’s fine, though.

What would be your dream outfit, existing or otherwise?

I know I said earlier how much I love Charlotte’s outfits in Sex and the City but my favourite ever outfit from that show is one Carrie wears in the final episode in Paris. It’s a red dress with black polka dots, worn over a green petticoat with an amazing morning coat. She’s wearing white Christian Louboutin pumps with cutout detailing on them. I have paused the DVD so many times just to sigh over that outfit!

SEX AND THE CITY Finale: Sarah Jessica Parker. photo: Craig Blankenhorn

Finally, what other sewing bloggers would you recommend for great individual style?

Oh my word, too many! I love everything Paunnet has sewn. Same with Julia Bobbin. Catherine Daze has a style that’s radically different to mine, she’s like the Tilda Swinton of sewing blogs, and I love seeing her makes. She always looks fabulous in them. I also love Debbie of Stitches and Seams. Again, her style is different to mine, but I love seeing what she makes and how she wears it. I think Ruth of Roobeedoo is amazing, as well. I love her style – particularly her awesome trousers!

Thank you so much Roisin for sharing your inspiration! Your combination of vintage prints and retro style patterns is a winner every time.