Saturday, September 9, 2023

The House of Serendipity: Sequins and Secrets by Lucy Ivison and Catharine Collingridge



Myrtle Mathers is a very skilled seamstress. She is the daughter of a tailor.  But when her father dies her mother has to sell the shop and goes to live with a relative who owns a farm.  Myrtle goes into service.

Slyvie Catrwright is one of the daughters in the big house and has a talent for drawing haute couture clothes.

Myrtle and Sylvie become a team. First of all they design and make a superb dress for Sylvie’s sister Delphine.  Then they become involved with Agapantha Portland-Prince who wants to wear trousers for her coming-out ball and also wants to disguise herself as a man so that she can go on an exotic adventure.

It almost all works but a misunderstanding about a tiara leads to Myrtle getting the sack. However, the girls’ designs are taken up by Hollywood, leaving the story open for another adventure.

The story is 267 pages long in blocked text with a classic serif font though it is double-spaced.

There ae several beautiful dress designs in the text and there is a pair of scissors underneath each page number.

At the end of the book we are treated to the opening pages of the next story.  There is also a note from the author. There are instructions for how to make glamorous headbands there are recipes for afternoon tea and Shirley Temple mocktails. Usborne provides some  “quick links” where you can access more dress designs, photos, videos and more activities.  

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