An Easter Mortmain for Dolly Clackett

Mortmain Dolly Clackett

I’ve never met Roisin from the Dolly Clackett blog, but I love reading her posts and seeing what incredible new creations she’s come up with. Her crazy-patterned-fabric dresses are always so cheerful and really celebrate the fun, joyful side of making your own clothing.

When I read of Sarah’s (from Rhinestones and Telephones) wedding present to Roisin of a dress-making competition inspired by her unique style, it struck me as such an incredible gesture of friendship and support that I really wanted to take part.

So, here’s to you, Roisin and Nic – huge congratulations and hope you both have an absolute blast together at your wedding and for many years to come! 🙂

SDC Dress

The box pleats are uniform (honestly) though the breeziness while we took these photos suggests otherwise…

If you’ve seen any of my previous blog entries, you might have noticed that I don’t really use heavily patterned fabric in my clothing. But I’m branching out for this dress, because it really couldn’t be a Dolly Clackett-inspired make otherwise! I bought this fabric (100% cotton) in Joann’s in the US at Christmas, at the same time I bought the rayon I used in my vintage pattern pledge shirt dress.When I heard of Sew Dolly Clackett, I knew it would be just right for the competition.

I’ve used a pattern I first came across through Roisin’s blog – the Mortmain dress by Gather. I had a few struggles in making this dress and they were all down to either (a) frustration at the insane noise and fumes generated during the renovations of the house next door and (b) the enormous affliction that is my invisible zipper foot (which has now been cast out of the sewing box, the aul divil).

SDC Back

The zip, as you can see in this photo, is a not-quite-invisible-zip. I bought the exposed zip recommended in the pattern but baulked just before putting it in as, although I like zips as a design feature, I wasn’t sure it would work right here.

My invisible zipper foot is basically a piece of plastic you jam on to your machine and it really, really doesn’t work for me. I’ve since jettisoned it in favour of the regular zipper foot – I’ve actually put in a few nice invisible zips since making this dress by using the normal foot and rolling the zip teeth carefully as I go. Lesson learned!

Huge thanks to the Gather girls for being so quick to respond to my tweet about the box pleats – I wasn’t sure how many I should be putting in and was somehow completely misreading my pattern markings. A quick tweet from them and I was back on track.

If you want to scope out all of the #SewDollyClackett entries, have a look through the competition’s Flickr group page.

Skills learned: Making box pleats

Recommend pattern?: Yes! I think it’s appropriately marked by Gather as being suitable for ‘ambitious beginners’ as it’s probably a bit too advanced for being a first dress project. I’m looking forward to making a few summer holiday dresses from this pattern, maybe with the box pleats sewn from the right side for a different effect – and maybe with some cute Dolly Clackett-esque pin-up fabric 🙂



25 thoughts on “An Easter Mortmain for Dolly Clackett

    • Thanks Laura! It’s a lovely tea dress/summer dress pattern but I’d say it’s not too hard to adapt something similar to have box pleats (I actually don’t have many dress patterns for comparison!) Can see myself making this a few more times before summer is out.

  1. I can’t find an invisible zip foot for my machine under ~$60! I do the same thing, quite often. Yeah, yeah, I should probably learn to do a placket zip. Sure.

    I love your choice of fabric here! A simple pattern like this is the perfect way to show it off. I always like having multiple color options for a cardigan and accessories and this definitely has that.

  2. I was one of the pattern testers for the mortmain and still haven’t blogged about it, oops! Really like your fabric choice, very DC appropriate! I would definitely recommend getting a proper invisible zip foot for your machine if you’re sunning to do more, it makes a huge difference.

    • Lucky you! Yes, I must look into it again now but I really have been pleasantly surprised with how well the regular zipper foot manages to hide invisible zips. I’d imagine the proper foot is a lot quicker to use though!

  3. Such a lovely line on your dress the box-pleats have worked out so beautifully!
    I think you will get lots of wear out of this little number – cool and breezy with a little cotton cardigan for spring / summer and will look equally good with some bold tights, brogues and a big chunky knit.
    Good luck with the competition.
    I will be popping back to see how you are getting on with your first Me-Made-May. It will be my first year too – so will be great to see how you find it too : )

    • Thanks Caroline 🙂 Yes, I think I need to source more tights options to change up how this looks! Good luck with your MMM pledge too, I’m looking forward to your updates! Should be an interesting challenge 🙂

  4. Your dress is gorgeous, I love the fabric! Re the invisible zipper foot, I have a metal one and find it’s sturdy enough to hold the wee teeth back when sewing. I can see were a plastic one might not have the same umph. But life’s too short to battle with a zipper foot!

    • Ha, I agree, Lynne! There’s not much fun (or use!) in battling zipper feet along the way 🙂 From what I’ve heard, the metal ones are the way to go. The plastic one came my way after it wouldn’t fit on my mother’s machine, but I think it’s in permanent retirement at this point!

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