Sunday, 24 April 2016

Merchant and Mills Union Dress

So, I have finally gotten around to making the merchantandmills union dress.  It appealed to me since it was released, in that it seemed an easy-to-wear dress with pockets that could be worn in a number of different ways.  Every time I took the pattern out of the envelope, I was never sure which size to make.  Sometimes when I have sewn M & M patterns they have turned out way to big for me and there were so many steps to this one, I'd have been gutted if it hadn't have fit.

Had I used the measurements on the envelope I would have been making an 18!! In the end I went with the actual pattern measurements on the instructions and made a size 14, which is my normal dress size and the fit is great.
Three-colour buttons.

I'm not going to lie, for this dress to look fairly plain and simple, there is a lot of making to it, but I think it's definitely worth it. There are darts for shaping, the making and attaching of the mandarin collar, front and back facings, making the front placket, lots of top-stitching, front pockets, in-seam pockets, sleeve insert, side-splits and button-holes.... PHEW!!

That's quite a lot, I think, but none of the individual parts were really too tricky.  It's all explained well and I just took my time.  The trickiest bit for me was attaching the collar, especially at the front, simply because it's quite a narrow collar piece so you don't have a lot of room to work with it.

I shortened the sleeve to elbow length, as we are meant to be in spring and coming into summer, I toyed with having to taper the sides, but in the end I didn't.  They are straight enough to just shorten.

The side in-seam pockets feel like they are a bit too low for me, don't know whether that's my proportions or not?  I made it from a medium weight linen fabric from Merchant and Mills, which was purchased last summer, it's pretty crisp at the moment, but I think it will soften and crinkle well over time.  It's a french navy shade of blue and was really great to sew with.  (I don't think they have this particular linen at the moment, but lots of other beautiful ones)

So, in the end I'm very pleased with the final result and I think I will get a lot of wear out of it.

Wore it today, but was very glad to have my Haremere jacket to put on over it ... it's still pretty nippy here in the Antrim hills.


  1. Gosh that does sound like a long sewing list, the dress is great though so worth it. The buttons make it!

  2. The M&M patterns always seem to come out big - I haven't made the Union dress (which looks lovely, by the way) but I've made the Factory Dress and the Camber Set. Still, I always think it's good to have a dress you can eat cake in.

  3. Just about to start sewing and my machine has gone on the blink. I live in N.Down and noticed (from an old post of yours) that you live in N.I. Can you suggest someone to repair the machine or, better still, recommend a machine! Heather