The Merchant & Mills Factory Dress- introducing a guest star

Hello there sew folk,

I am on final countdown at work before a week of holiday mega -sunshine.

I planned to make 100 flippy summer dresses for effortless dressing options, but my sew queue was reorganised when Ma FOB asked me to make her a dress- she’s also off on holiday this week and wanted a cool dress option for the hot weather. So this week we are introducing a new guest star, Ma FOB! 

When visiting her a few weeks agao we wandered into Millie Moon in Frome and she fell for the Merchant and Mills, Factory dress pattern. They had a particularly gorgeous version the window made from some of the Merchant and Mills linen, so neither of us needed much convincing.

As this was going to be a long distance sew and the first comission from Ma FOB from me to make, we decided to make up in some reasonably priced gingham seersucker…once this dress has been road tested we’ll move onto the fancy stuff.

This is the first Merchant and Mills pattern I’ve made which is surprising, as whenever I see their patterns, fabric, tools or books I am totally googley eyed. Their industrial, simple deisgn is so beautifully done and it is a genuine struggle not to just order one of everything from them.

Ma FOB sent me her measurements and I cut the best sizing from there- due to the long distance alternations we’d have to do, I left the sleeves and hem finished with my overlocker, but not turned so that she could try on and see what the best length would be for her (Ma FOB is a dab hand at sewing herself by the way, so had no problem in doing these final tweaks, but she is also magic elf sized so we knew a fair few inches would be coming off the hem).

I was slightly dreading putting the collar in, but actually it was pretty easy, so no need to be shy with this one if you’re a beginner. I used a medium weight interfacing for the collar and placket. At the moment it is a little stiff but I’m sure the good time my mum will show the dress on holiday and washing will loosen it up. If I were to make again with a light cotton like this maybe I’d use lightweight interfacing instead, or to decode that, use the right shit for my shit.

The skirt is nice to sew with pocket and pleat details. Maybe FOB OG might make a factory dress too for a mother -daughter double act?!

Anyways was a nice sew and Ma FOB has made her alterations and seems pretty happy. Thanks to her for making a great cameo in this co-production. She’s already offering artistic consultancy on our next feature. 

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