Thursday, 22 January 2015

Merchant and Mills dress shirt - AKA my christmas pressie

For the first time ever I got a dress making pattern as a pressie! This time last year I had no idea there were so many fab patterns out there and now I am ticking off my wish list one by one. I have had my beady eye on this Merchant and Mills dress shirt for a while and it is so lovely to make it up knowing it was a gift. The double whammy is that I was gifted the fabric by the lovely Helen over at Just sew therapeutic, so was under pressure to make something I love (pressure of my own making).

Helen is one of the lovely sewists that I have gotten chatting to over the last 6 months and is so sweet. She has also very kindly tested two of my patterns for me and I hope that we shall eventually get to meet in person one day!!!! ;-)

So, the dress! I had been warned by the sewers of Instagram that this brand does come up large, but made up the straight size 12 and I'm happy with the fit. That's not to say I didn't make any changes, as I did encounter some issues with the back yoke gathers that needed some tampering. I basically have used a fabric that was much stiffer than recommended. This is a lovely beige cotton needle cord and the pattern clearly asks for something softer and if you don't want to deviate from the pattern then you do need to use a thinner cotton or linen. My fabric choice caused the gathers on the yoke to poke out and give me a hump back and the sleeves were nigh on impossible to ease in without having gathers.

I unpicked the yoke seam and created a long pleat in the centre back of the main piece and sewed down flat. I think that this is much more pleasing and may apply this to future versions as I have never found yoke gathers very flattering on me.

There was a lot of ease on the sleeve head, which I just could not fit in without a pucker somewhere, so made an executive decision for some 'feature' gathers on the top. I think it looks really pretty and there was enough excess for a decent amount of gathers.

The little box pleat is also a bit pokey outy in this fabric, so this may get removed on the next version.

I had some of this gorgeous Liberty cotton twill left over from another dress, which I used to line the front bib. I used the lining pattern piece for both sides of the bib, as I didn't fancy a seam down the centre front (also, marginally less sewing).

I am a big fan of this style and all in all this was a satisfying make. The changes I made as I went along were minor and all personal preference really. The overall roominess and the length are perfect for my style and this fabric is sooo soft. Need more cord in my wardrobe!!!