Thursday, 2 October 2014

Mortmain dress & an ode to chambray

I mentioned in my post about my denim Lilou that using the remains of my first Mortmain dress for the lining had reminded me that I should make another version of this pattern. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to be honest as I really like my first version and I had definite plans for making a sleeveless version this summer but they never quite became reality, but I've now got a second sleeved version at least - better late than never!


There are a couple of differences between this version and my first one. Firstly, I decided to reverse the pleats in the skirt - this is one of the suggestions included in the pattern instructions and there's also a really helpful tutorial on the Gather website if you're not familiar with sewing pleats. I'm pleased that I reversed the pleats on this one, in some ways it's a small change but I think it makes a surprisingly big difference to how the dress looks and, much though I like Mortmain no. 1, I think I prefer the pleats in this one.


I also used a regular centred zip this time instead of using an exposed zip as the pattern suggests. I quite like the exposed zip on my first version because it's a bit of a contrast with the extreme girliness of the rest of the dress, but as a general rule I'm not a massive fan of exposed zips. Plus, in places where I've seen them for sale anyway, they cost about five times as much as regular zips!


My first version uses ribbon ties on the sleeves, and I really do love this feature, but it's not massively practical for wearing under cardigans, so this time I used buttons on the sleeve cuffs instead. The pattern has instructions for adding a small elastic loop to one end of the cuff to secure the button, but I found that I had enough space in the cuff to sew in a buttonhole, and I thought that would be more secure, so that's what I did.


OK, so the material. It's a gorgeous dot chambray by Robert Kaufmann that I got from Dragonfly Fabrics and I LOVE it. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, if I had any poetic talent I might even be inclined to start writing sonnets about it, that's how much I love it. The only thing I don't love about it is that it seems to be some kind of shy wallflower and doesn't want to show off how lovely it is to you because it doesn't photograph brilliantly so you might not appreciate it in all its glory, but trust me that the glory is there. I do love spots and dots, so that definitely helps, but aside from that the colour is gorgeous, it was lovely to sew and it feels so nice to wear. I'm seriously tempted to get some of the indigo for another dress. And as a bonus, the material came so beautifully wrapped that it felt like Christmas had come early!

Sorry if I sound like I'm going a bit over the top there, I possibly may be getting a bit carried away with myself, but it really is lovely fabric. I've also become aware recently that the difference between me just liking a finished garment or really loving it tends to be the fabric that I've used, and not so much the obvious aspects like the colour or the print, but the the quality of the fabric, the way it sews up and how it feels to wear. Does anyone else find that? It's not a particularly earth-shattering realisation, and probably one that that I have been a bit slow to arrive at, but I'm glad I got there all the same.


On a not-particularly-related subject, the photos for this post were taken in the grounds of the American Museum in Bath. My Mum and I popped over there last Saturday mainly because they have a Kaffe Fassett exhibition on at the moment, which was so inspiring. It's on until 2 November, so if you're in the area and you're a fan of colour I'd definitely recommend it. The only problem was that I came away from it wanting to buy huge amounts of rainbow-coloured material and yarn to make massive quilts and blankets to brighten up my flat (which is rented, therefore entirely painted in magnolia). I'd always been intimidated about quilting, and not really sure if I wanted to give it a go, but after seeing some of his work, I definitely feel like I should try it some time. I'm still slightly intimidated by the idea though! Any tips on how to get started?


Even once the Kaffe Fassett exhibition is over, the museum would still be worth a visit if you're interested in quilting at all, because they have a lovely collection of quilts and textiles. Plus, as you can see from these photos, the grounds are beautiful. Although I don't think there'll always be yarn-bombed lampposts to greet you, I think they're in honour of the exhibition!


To cut a long story short, I love this dress and I had a great day wearing it for its first outing. I still really like the idea of a colour-blocked Mortmain, so number 3 may be appearing at some point this autumn/winter. And there will probably have to be some more dot chambray in my life - it's OK to use the same fabric multiple times, isn't it?!

15 comments:

  1. Very stylish!
    -Stephanie
    http://positivelystephanie.blogspot.com/

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  2. It's very okay to use the same fabric again if you love it, go for it. May now need to head over to the website and check this fabric for myself! This dress looks great and even though I loved the fabric ties I love the buttons even more.

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    1. Thank you! I do really love this fabric. And yes, much though I love the ribbons on my 1st Mortmain, I think the buttons are more practical and this one will probably be worn more.

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  3. This is such a pretty dress. As to using the same fabrics, certainly. Especially with a very understated fabric like this. A real wardrobe staple

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    1. Thanks Kaitlyn! I agree, this dress is a real wardrobe staple, I think I'll be wearing it a lot!

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  4. I absolutely love this dress, please may I have it when you've finished with it :-)
    Joy x x

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    1. Thank you Joy! Haha, you might not still want it when I've finished with it - I have a feeling that I'll be wearing it to death so there might not be much left of it!

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  5. Oh I love it. You've inspired me to reverse the pleats on my next one. I am a little bit in love with this pattern and already have three, so I need to do something to change the look of the next one I make!

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    1. I really like the reverse pleats - I think they suit me a bit better. And it's always nice to be able to make small changes to make things a bit different when you're sewing a pattern multiple times - the Mortmain is quite a good pattern for making little changes I think!

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  6. More polka dots :) and on a chambray, yeah. Your Mortmain turned out very lovely and I'm a bit envious about how perfect your shoulders and sleeves fit - that's always my weak spot in pattern fitting. These sleeves make the dress perfect for the colder month, so maybe I should get the pattern as well. Did you make the matching bow as well?

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    1. Thank you! I do love polka dots! :) I've been pretty lucky with fit so far - the only adjustment I regularly have to make is adding length, and that's fairly simple. It's definitely a great dress for autumn/winter - I'm sure you'd like it. And no, I didn't make the bow - it's one of those headbands with flexible wire inside it and I've had it for years, but it does go very well with this dress!

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  7. I really enjoyed reading this post - your dress looks lovely! Its so funny since I just bought the pattern and the excact same fabric 1 week ago - just in the navy colourway - then I googled and found your dress! Now I cant wait to sew it up.

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    1. You obviously have very good taste in patterns and fabric! :) I love the chambray so much that I got some of the navy too and it's being made into a different dress as we speak. Hope your Mortmain turns out well!

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  8. Your clothes would look nice on my bedroom floor. Hey, i am looking for an online sexual partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)

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