The Factory Dress

Today I have been preparing the pieces for a toile of the Factory Dress pattern by Merchant and Mills

factory dress

I love the fact that Merchant and Mills sell their patterns on card, with notches and drill holes for marking darts and seams and the like.Ā  They are a little more costly but are so much more accurate, involve no cutting preparation (as you order just one size) so you can just weigh the card pattern pieces down on top of your fabric and get started!

I am not a pinner … I much prefer to mark my patterns with tailors chalk or a water dissolvable pen.

Here is a pic of my toile pieces ready to sew (I had a lot of this cotton, not sure why!?) …

factory pink

Next up: fitting and tweaking the toile ..


Sewing with stripes and checks

My most recent commission is 3 Christmas dresses for cousins to wear on Christmas day. Cute, great.

Not quite, as they were to be made in the family tartan.

Firstly, the Scots are very protective of their ‘proper’ tartan fabric – its expensive.

Second, matching checks, gathers etc etc – you get the idea.

I decided a pinafore dress would be perfect, here is matching attempt 1:


not that great, here is attempt 2:


much better (not perfect).

How about some fabulous examples to drool over:

Karl Lagerfeld:


A great use of darts at Emilia Wickstead:


and check out the seam on this skirt:


If you are planning on tackling a patterned project yourself, here is a great tutorial from the Coletterie

And another great one from The Selfish Seamstress