Magic Mortmain – Mark 2

Hello all on this lovely sunny Sunday,

Guess what? I’ve been having another one of my little ponders and have realised that the garments I make multiple versions of are the ones where I have had success e.g. Sorbetto and Kim.  However, the trickier ones where I have been to a workshop and KNOW that I should make another as soon as possible after to consolidate just doesn’t happen despite my good intentions.  And so is true of Gatherkits Glorious Mortmain which fitted so well I previously thought it must be magic.

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I made my first Mortmain at a workshop run by Handmade Jane at Badger and Earl.  I was delighted with the result (notwithstanding that in my haste to finish I managed to insert the armhole facings back to front/upsidedown). You can read about that workshop here.  As I said, full of good intentions I bought a further large exposed zip from Badger and Earl whilst I was there. I had a rootle through my little stash and came across the fabric I had bought when I first got my sewing machine so at that point it was a year old and I guess my first ever “stash”.  I bought it from Clothkits. It is covered in large daisies but the centre is actually a rose.  I’ve included a close up here so that you can see the fabric as it is not really so clear on the photos.

You will see I took no chances this time with the pesky armhole facings

You will see I took no chances this time with the pesky armhole facings

I cut the dress out straight away and there it has sat – since March – on the corner of my sewing table.  I think I shied away from it for so long because I was worried about the exposed zip – and the box pleats for that matter without Jane to hold my hand. I kept putting other projects on top. A week ago I cut out an Anna (another previous success) in a lovely Liberty poplin …

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… and just as I was about to start working on it, I heard a little voice in the corner say “What about me? You were excited about making me once. What went wrong?”  Well … I thought it was a good point, well made so I put my Anna (and an Edith I got out of the scraps) in the corner spot instead, picked up poor, abandoned Mortmain and just got on with it. By the way, does anyone else think of Brideshead Revisited every time they read Mortmain because they link it with Marchmain? Remember Laurence Olivier as Lord Marchmain swanning around Castle Howard (Brideshead).

For me, one of the most amazing British dramas on television

For me, one of the most amazing British dramas on television

I am so pleased that I did.  It really is a lovely pattern.  Everything is so carefully explained with diagrams and then close-ups of the diagrams.

image It turned out to be a straight forward sew – armhole facings in correctly; exposed zip – almost perfect.

imageYou can see here the box pleats and the close fitting bodice. I do still need to get a decent camera instead of my ipad so that I can improve my blog photos. I haven’t actually got a specific event to wear this frock for – I always like to have something special for a first public outing. Feel free to invite me to anything Mortmain Appropriate!

Which reminds me. Thank you for all your kind comments on my blogiversary which I celebrated in my last post.  I really do appreciate the lift that our supportive sewing community gives. My lovely friend and neighbour Ali popped round unexpectedly with a little gift: a metre or so of a navy blue wool with a pin stripe in a brighter blue and a vintage pattern of a skirt which I had admired on her, for me to trace. This will probably be my first make of the Autumn sewing phase but I am not there yet – too many summer plans still to get through!

What will be my first vintage pattern make

What will be my first vintage pattern make

I was hoping to give my blog heading a facelift but so far have only managed to get my sewing machine serviced. You may remember some moans about that fact that my machine has never been able to do button holes? Well, now it does and it won’t surprise you to read that, apparently, it has always been able to do button holes if only I had set the dials appropriately!

Lots to look forward to next week: Open Day at Fabric Godmother; working on my project for The Monthly Stitch Two is the Magic Number Challenge and … A level results.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

Just one last peep at the exposed zip - I am in love with it

Just one last peep at the exposed zip – I am in love with it

 

 

 

 

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Magnificent Mortmain

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

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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!

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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”.

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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.

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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”!

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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.

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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?

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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

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