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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My first Merchant and Mills Dress Shirt Pattern

Oh, I have been in love with this pattern ever since I first saw it on Pinterest.
sewing pattern - the dress shirt pattern :: Merchant & Mills , now available http://www.atelyeah.info/
I tried to find it to purchase and when I was in Denver for a business trip, I found the pattern at Fancy Tiger Crafts but with the multiple bolts of fabric I had in my hand, the patterns I had and the very limited room in my suitcase I decided to put the pattern back....but I still ached for it, incredibly so!

I had to have it and so I did the only reasonable thing a girl can do and ordered it online.  Finally, it was in my possession!

This is my wearable muslin.  There is something about the simplicity of this pattern and the easy fit that just really draw me to it.  If you haven't heard of Merchant and Mills they are based out of England.  The description from the back of the envelope is this: The Dress Shirt is relaxed, loose and absurdly comfortable.  Its signature silhouette is inspired by a classic gentleman's shirt.  

Suitable fabrics include cotton, linen, lightweight denim, washed silk and baby whale corduroy.  It is noted to choose a relaxed fabric that will make a nice pleat down the front.  You are encouraged to use the bust measurement to fit the dress as it is an easy fit.

Based on my measurements and high bust, I made a size 12.  The dress doesn't call for a dart, but I put one in and am glad I did.  It lies so much better down the front.  I should have taken a before picture but forgot!

I choose to make the version with the rolled sleeves, and there is a short sleeved view as well.


I used a black chambray I purchased from Fabric Mart for my muslin.  This picture shows the details of the front which I really like!

I am so pleased with the finishing on this garment.  The manner in which you finish off the back yoke, the shoulder seam, and facings is just lovely and will make me want to purchase many more Merchant and Mills patterns!

I found this easy to put together even though a convex and a concave piece are put together.  I found the directions completely adequate for this and to me this made perfect sense.  Some other online reviews mentioned the directions for this stop were a little confusing but I didn't think they were at all.  I did notice that I made the pleat incorrectly!  It should not have been inverted.  Oops!

I really like the easy fit of this pattern and the look especially from the front but I thought the back was too roomy and wide.  I messed with adding some pleats, taking in the side seams, and such but decided I didn't want to loose the look of the front and the front details as that is what initially drew me to the pattern.  So, I decided to make a casing for elastic to cinch it up in the back.  I sort of like this but wonder what else I could have done.  Any ideas?  You can tell by the amount I cinched it, that it was very wide in back.  Perhaps this pattern is more suited for a girl with a more athletic build?

I do like this and will wear it and I will make it again.  I choose the black Chambray just because it seemed like the right fabric choice.  It would also be fun in a tiny floral, rather subdued, print as well.
\What do you think?  The casing looks a little low in this picture..I'd better reevaluate where I added that!

Thanks for reading!


  1. This is lovely! I looks dressy and comfortable!

    1. Thanks Shirley Ann! It is very comfortable and I think depending on what you wear with it determines whether it is dressy or casual.

  2. Ooh cute I'm going to have to check out this pattern!

    1. Thanks Bryanna! I hope you like it as much as I do!

  3. So cute, I have got to see about this pattern and others by this company. TFS, Annette

    1. Thank you Annette! I really like it too!

  4. Hey Sue, I just discovered this dress and am obsessed with finding it. I just found your version while shopping for it. I want it all the more!

  5. I've just made this dress and have at least 2 more planned. I wondered about and inverted pleat sewn down as far as the waist at the back to draw it in slightly. I think I prefer your front pleat and I will do this on my next one. I have some Robert Kaufman mettalic linen on order. A Xmas present to myself :))
    Yours looks lovely.