Monday, April 07, 2014

FO: Love Cats Mortmain Dress


So here is the dress I made on holiday:  The Mortmain by Gather.
I was attracted to the high-waisted skirt plus bodice style, which I thought would give me the shape I like in one piece, instead of having to play matchy-matchy games every morning, looking for a top to wear with my skirts.
This pattern, unusually, recommends quilting cotton.  Those box pleats and quite formal-looking darted bodice definitely benefit from a fabric with some structure.
It's other quirky feature is the exposed zip.
Ha ha ha - you should have seen FL's face when I turned round!  Perhaps they are an acquired taste?  He actually gasped:  "That's a very visible zip!"
Yup.
And I like it!
Maybe not for every dress I make, but it's fun once in a while, and I think it goes well with the fabric I chose.
 
You might be surprised to hear that you turn the raw edges of the centre back to the outside, edge stitch the zip in place near to the teeth (but not too near - ahem!) and then trim away the excess fabric under the zip tape, before sewing it again near the outer edge.
Clever!
All the raw edges are neatly hidden away.
Except on the facings.  Ugh.
I really need to buy some pinking shears.

I finished the inside of the hem with  black and white gingham bias tape.
Is that a dog hair I see there?  Already?!  Sigh.

 Stats:
Pattern:  The Mortmain Dress by Gather, £13, in size 8 - this is the smallest size and it is surprisingly busty.  Check your measurements!
Fabric:  2 metres of Cocoland cats sailcloth from Frumble Fabrics, £26.40.  I used every last scrap of the fabric - you would definitely need more than 2 metres if you added any length at all.
Other:  A 22 inch brass zip, £5.20 (ouch!)
Love Catsssssss!
 Process: 
I lowered the bust darts by almost an inch and shortened the front waist darts by the same amount.  I could have done with lifting the shoulders too, but I only realised this when I saw these pictures.  That would have meant lowering the darts yet again, so... yeah.  Maybe I need to accept I am smaller and shorter than average.  This is the sort of messing about that puts me off making fitted dresses!
Otherwise, I followed the pattern instructions, which were really detailed and helpful - hooray!
It took quite a lot of sewing. 
Call me a wimp, but I wouldn't want to try to make this in one session.
Verdict?
"So  wonderfully, wanna flea wanna flea wanna flea PRETTY!do do doobee doo da!
Oh dear goodness, I gotta have a dance now!
Join me?
"Hand in hand is the only way to la-and, always the right way round!"
P.S. Why is it that every time I start singing The Cure, the wind gets up and my hair goes back to the 1980's?

24 comments:

Paola said...

I bought pinking shears a month or two ago, and they are definitely worth the investment. And the method for the exposed zip is very clever - thanks for sharing!
Like the dress on you too.

Alice said...

You look so chic. I haven't seen that pattern before - it's great.

When it comes to fitting dress patterns I agree it can take a lot of work. Sometimes I just don't have the patience. And even when I do, and it seems to be going well, it's so frustrating when I find that the alteration I have made has created the need for another. Domino effect!

Your dress looks so brilliant I may have to buy the pattern. Have you seen Bluegingerdoll's Winifred dress pattern? The line drawing looks great.

Jane said...

Ooohh your Love Cats dress looks fab, I really like it! This pattern is in my queue so it's good to know a) that the exposed zip works - it adds a little edginess to a pretty fabric which is what I was hoping it would do. And b) that the cut is surprisingly busty - that's in my favour! I'm all fired up now! x

Marie said...

The fact that you made this dress on holiday and that you're singing THAT song by The Cure, makes it even cooler! But, it's a cool dress in its own right and you look super cute in it! I love the shape, your fabric choice and how great the exposed zip looks! It's perfect Roo!

beate grigutsch said...

you did the best job ever!
the whole dress came out gorgeous! and the zip is not expensive as a kind of build-in jewelry :-)
now the pattern fits you you can use this as a block for endless variations. it´s not wasted time to made all the alterations.

i just got all the cotton dresses out of winter storage. spring is already here!

Sew little time said...

it's lovely. i totally heart that song too! i have this pattern in my queue and i'm looking forward to making it! your fabric is perfect!

colesworth said...

I absolutely love your version, and it suits you so well

Janine said...

Such a lovely dress and the dog hair just seems so appropriate on a cat dress ! I like to finish facings with bias binding - it looks quite pretty and fancy as well. It looks like you had a very restful holiday - well deserved.

madeinoxford said...

What a fabulous dress! It looks great on you, and I love those inverted pleats. Awesomesauce :)

Emily said...

Love this dress, and your title/inspiration for it! I can see this in colder weather, too, with a turtleneck and stockings. Very, very cute! And tell FL that the exposed zip is very on-trend! :)

Textile Art Forum said...

ooh lovely!

Lynne said...

This dress is gorgeous! I think the zip looks great, and what an interesting way to insert it. I love that fabric so much, those wee cats are fab!

Jan Hicks said...

That is a gorgeous dress. It is so well fitting and elegant. Out of interest - you took your sewing machine on holiday, right?
Jan

sandra said...

What an ace Mortmain! I totally love that fabric - you can never go wrong with cats. As for zips, we get ours from Jaycotts who are quite a bit cheaper and have a whole range of lovely colours - http://www.jaycotts.co.uk/products/zip-mdz#.U0LytlwSPGJ

Roobeedoo said...

Alice - thanks for the tip about Winifred. I must look out for FOs across the globe :)

Sandra - Thank you SO much for a lovely pattern and the source of affordable zippage - that's an enormous saving!

RooKnits said...

Roo, I think this may be my favourite sew of yours as yet. I absolutely love it

Kathryn said...

Thus looks great, I love the fit! And I am now starting the day with the Cure in my head - thank you, always a nice way to start the day!

jenibrown said...

Beautiful! And so you. Love it!

ambermog said...

Wow, I love it so stunning:) love to you and FL

Nita said...

Love it! I am inspired!

Alice said...

I've just realised that my mentioning the Winifred dress must have seemed like an odd, random recommendation! In fact I mentioned it because I thought the style would look great on you (silly me!)

Louise Perry said...

Great dress, I rather like the exposed zip, it is funky. The cat fabric is beautiful too. I love that you made this on holiday, I've just been away but was persuaded not to take my machine- but I missed her terribly.

sophie (monbouton) said...

Absolutely love the dress! fabric and pattern go so well together! If I ever sew this one, I don't think I'd have the guts for an exposed zipper though :)

acharmofmagpies said...

Oooh, this is fabulous! Both cute and edgy, what with the kitties (awww) and the exposed zip (rowr)! I love how it looks on you too.