Magnificent Mortmain

Well hello there, I have broken up for Easter today and I can’t tell you how happy I am about that.


Look … I made something which actually fits me and doesn’t have too many boo boos – thanks to the girls at Gather for their amazing pattern and to Handmade Jane who led the workshop at Badger and Earl where I made this dress over two consecutive Sundays.  For ten hours in total we worked on our frocks and not one of us managed to completely finish so our fashion parade at the end was somewhat hurried.  Had we been on the Great British Sewing Bee we would probably have had ninety minutes and had to throw in a bolero jacket as well!


I had a specific event in mind for this dress which influenced my fabric choice – a gorgeous ….. actually, I’ve no idea what it is!  A cotton sateen maybe? There was a bit of stretch which I hadn’t realised initially and the white background is embossed; the lilac/purple splodges look like watercolours. My school colours are lilac/purple and this year a new event was introduced: The Lilac Dinner.  The idea was to have an evening where the students, parents and teachers all have supper together just before the students go off to take their GCSEs. I do like to throw myself into things so decided I was going to make a lilac dress – of course I was!  I originally bought a purple gingham but when I was at Sew Over It making my coat the fabric kept calling my name and whispering “Lilac Dinner, Lilac Dinner”.


I LOVED the workshop.  There were four of us and we all had gone for floral prints. The dress was a great fit on all of us without any real alterations – it seemed to be a magic pattern. Everything seemed to fit together perfectly. The only really tricky thing was the exposed zip – I thought invisible zips were supposed to be hard but they are a doddle compared to the exposed zip.  Thank goodness Jane was there to expertly guide us through every step of the way.


Here is the back view – I have to admit I was a little sceptical of the exposed zip but it does make a statement and a lot of the girls had similar zips in their outfits so it must be very “in”!


It was really great to meet Jane – she was very perceptive at gauging exactly where we were at any one point and who was fine and who needed help.  The only thing I messed up, and I am so cross with myself about this, was that I managed to put my armhole facings in upside down.  Jane was so kind in offering to re-set them for me as she knew I needed the dress for Thursday but I just pressed the life out of them and they stayed in place.




And obviously we have to mention the shoes!  Aren’t they gorgeous?  I saw them on Dolly Clackett’s blog and knew they would go perfectly with my dress so I literally ordered them just before the workshop on Sunday; they arrived from Sweden yesterday at 1pm – cutting in fine!  I find I am being influenced more and more my reading sewing blogs – it’s the second time I’ve “borrowed” style from Dolly and have also blatantly copied Justsewtherapeutic. Is that wrong – I’m not sure? Do you say copy or inspired by?


Anyway, I have had a hideous half term and I am really pleased to have broken up today.  I was thinking about going away but actually I just want to rest at home, read and sew so hopefully I will have a few things to show you over the next couple of weeks.  I will definitely make the Mortmain again (arm facings the right way up) and have already bought the zip.

Hope you have lovely things planned for Easter,

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x






33 responses

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  4. Wow your dress turned out absolutely lovely! And the combination with your bolero is just great. I’m not 100% sold on exposed zippers yet! but seeing them more and more tempts me to try them one day as well. Yours goes really well with your fabric. Hope you are having a good Easter break.


  5. WOW! What an amazing outfit! I love the dress, (style, fabric, and fit are all perfect on you!) And I am coveting those shoes! I hope you have a great break and are able to forget all about your horrible half term!


  6. Your look gorgeous in that dress! And the fit and the zip make it stand out! Bang on trend!. Love the white/cream cardigan that goes with it. I hope you get all the rest and relaxation you need over the break.


  7. I am convinced Swedish HasBeens are the unofficial sewists shoes!! I had never heard of them pre sewing saw them around a lot of sewing bloggers but a post ages again on them by Closet Case Files was when I finally caved and got a pair 🙂 haha
    I’m gonna copy you and definitely go to a class at badger and Earl. I love classes and their Tilly one is calling me.
    The whole outfit is gorgeous together, love the jade bracelet too, goes perfect with the lilac.
    I always though exposed zippers were the easiest! Have a good rest! and enjoy the Easter holidays 🙂


    • Exactly the same for me too – had never heard of them and now have five pairs – shocking lack of self control but as their logo is Better Shoes for a Better World I feel I am doing my bit! I do LOVE a class and meeting other sewistas.


  8. Your dress is beautiful and fits you perfectly! I too am pleased that is the end of term and looking forward to sewing and sunshine for the next two weeks! Your lilac dinner looked like fun too. 🙂


  9. What a fabulous success! The shoes, the hair, the cardigan, but most of all, the dress! The exposed zip was worth all the teeth chomping in the end – it’s a perfect match for your fabric. So pleased you enjoyed the workshop, it was great to meet you. x
    ps. the offer’s still there if you decide you want the facings re-doing!


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