Gather Kits: Mortmain

Hi y’all.  Sorry for the absence on Monday it has been a crazy couple of weeks and this weekend there was just no let up.  As a result I have been floored by a cold (yep, a simple cold) and sore throat.  My body is telling me I need to give myself a bit of time for some R&R!  Long story short, work is busy, my Husband’s self employed status is turning back to employee and director as of the 1 April as we’ve taken the decision to change his business into a Limited company.  His business is stupid busy, which means behind the scenes I’m busy!  We’ve recently put in for a number of jobs and been awarded the majority of them which makes me incredibly proud of him but also brings with it a fair degree of stress as these are all on a commercial level.  Pretty damn impressive for a one man band!  At the moment I’m working a minimum of 32hrs a week in my place of employment, working 10-20 hours on Husband’s business and being a Mum as well as trying to maintain a clean(ish) house with food in the cupboards!  How I’m not crazier than I am I have no idea…

Anyway, please forgive my less than glowing face and somewhat grumpy expression, I wasn’t feeling exactly glamorous when taking these, but you’re more interested in the dress than me, so what the heck!


Back in 2013 Gather Kits were looking for pattern testers for their first pattern ‘Mortmain’.  I stuck my hand in the air and was lucky enough to be picked!  This is actually my second version of the dress as the first one is now too big (wahoo!).  I made it using a teal plaid wool (I think, it was from the charity shop and presses like a wool!).  I did my usual FBA (please forgive the bust darts that look like they’re heinously placed – I’m wearing a different bra to the one I fitted this in) and sway back adjustment.  I also chose to fully line this rather than just use the facings and also swapped out the exposed zip for an invisible one (but I forgot to take back view photos – sorry!).

Because I chose to line the bodice with white cotton, I didn’t want to run the risk of this peeking out around the neck or armholes.  So I carefully pressed the edge of the facing under and edge stitched it to the lining.  I’m really pleased with how close I got the edge of the facing and how close to invisible it is!  To get a really good finish on the lining I followed this tutorial.  I then catch stitched the lining to the waist band of the skirt.  This enclosed where the skirt meets the waist band too.  I lined the skirt by duplicating the skirt pattern piece and creating the box pleats with both the outer and lining fabric.  I think I got the plaid lined up pretty well!  The lining was finished with my overlocker and I overlocked and pressed up the skirt hem before catch stitching it by hand.

Mortmain 2

I love working with plaid – it’s a challenge but when you get it right it’s really satisfying too.  You can also have fun with the direction so I cut the waist band on the bias and used some lightweight fusible interfacing to stop it stretching out.  It gives this work appropriate dress a little bit of a twist and some added interest.

This pattern is a great basic and the box pleated skirt manages to have a full hem that I love with out being too bulky around the waist.  The separate waist band nips you in and gives a lovely shape.  I used the instructions to insert the exposed zip on my first version and they work really really well giving a fabulous finish.  All in all I’d recommend this pattern and not just because I was lucky enough to test it!  It’s a great building block and with the sleeve options with their cute cuff detail it has so many possibilities!

33 thoughts on “Gather Kits: Mortmain

  1. Looks great on you!
    I totally hear trying to establish a normal life with all that going on. I’ve been struggling with the kids returning to school and Miss 11 dancing three afternoons & one morning a week – on top of me working five days.
    We will get on top of it eventually… probably when the kids leave home LOL

  2. Love it! That fabric is a great choice for the style of dress. You are looking really great by the way! Hope you manage to find a little time for yourself amongst the crazy!

  3. looks lovely. i am thinking that i need a polka dot mortmain! definitely find time for yourself. hilariously my hubby thinks that i have me-time during my 3 hours a day commute!

    1. Oh dear, that made me choke! 3 hrs a day commute?! That’s purgatory, not me time!
      You would look fabulous in this dress, polkadots especially!

  4. Well done, If I had your workload I’d never get any sewing done. This dress looks great on you and what a great find in a charity shop! Lovely fabric, and your finishing is impeccable.

    1. That’s kinda what it feels like at the moment, all work and no play! It’ll pass though and I’m getting a little sewing here and there done! I’ve managed to hem two dresses that have been waiting for that finishing touch for months this weekend!

  5. Very classy dress! Looks like a really nice, flattering fit and I love the rogue waistband cut on the bias. Hope you get a bit of a break from the mad onslaught soon! x

  6. This is a lovely dress! The pleats are so pretty and I love it in plaid! Well done, lady! Glad to hear that business is booming, but hopefully your workload will level off and become more manageable!

  7. Really lovely dress, and very nice work on the finishing details! 🙂 I can sympathize – with a 60+ hour work week and 3.5 hr commute daily, it leaves me little time/energy for anything else… you gotta be good to yourself, and really savour those few moments you can steal for sewing when you’re motivated, but not begrudge yourself the need for R&R too ^__^

    1. Sheesh! That’s a mental working week – I had no idea that your job took up so much of your time! I knew you worked hard but woah! Quite often sewing is my R&R so it’s kinda nice to have the time, but I’m not above a bit of hemming or hand sewing in front of the TV either!

  8. Gorgeous dress! Love the box pleats.
    I just wrote about finding time for sewing on my blog. It goes in waves, eh? Still it’s better to be busy with people you love! 🙂

    1. It does, doesn’t it. One moment you feel like you’re king of the sewing heap, the next that you’re staring up the face of Everest. Gotta keep it fun though!

  9. OMG your finishing details are awesome. I just can’t stop looking at that epic serging! And the pattern matching- lady, you are on fire! 😀

  10. Yet another gorgeous dress! I love the fabric. I’m always really impressed with your attention to detail on the insides, I’m trying to be a bit more like that!

    1. Thank you Lynne, I guess the guts is one way to help differentiate what I wear from RTW. I hope that my finishing means that all the effort I’ve put into making what ever it is means that I’m going to get a lot of use out of it – I want the return on my fabric and time investment!

  11. This looks perfect for work! I hear you on working with plaid – it takes forever to cut out the pieces, but once sewn up it is so satisfying. I always feel extra special in a well matched plaid dress, because most RTW garments don’t do a great job with that, and if they do it is out of my price range.

    I have to ask, so did you “flip” the first picture, or move your watch before taking it? 🙂 Hope all is well with the fam and things start to slow down. Congrats to your hubby and the success of his business!

    1. Ha ha! Yes, I flipped the picture so the trip worked better! I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets a kick out of decent plaid matching!


  12. Oh this is super cute Vicki and I really like the fabric you picked. The teal accent makes that plaid pop, plus a great canvas for fun accessories.

    1. It is, it’s a sold from a distance and the idea of accessorising it hadn’t really occurred to me until you mentioned it! Thank you for the tip!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s