Saturday, November 16, 2013

FO: Merchant and Mills Factory Dress in Dotty Chambray

Ta da!  Just what every woman needs in the middle of November:  a thin chambray dress!
But this particular dress lends itself to layering, so I didn't actually freeze to death taking these pictures in the garden this afternoon.
Pattern:   The Factory Dress from Merchant and Mills in size 8 (the smallest size)  I bought the cardboard version a few days before they released the multi-size paper pattern.  I would have bought the paper one if I had known, but the cardboard one was a new experience and very high-quality.
Fabric:  2.5 metres of dot-print chambray from Cousette Tissus, about £20 total
Other: Woven fusible interfacing from stash (from the English Couture Company) and thread.  Oh - and one of my "Half Agony Half Hope" labels, as usual :)

I cut this out two weekends ago, and sewed the bodice last Saturday.  Today I finished the skirt section and hemmed the sleeves.  I enjoyed taking it slowly.  I was in no rush to wear a summer frock, but having cut it out in a rush of Merchant and Mills enthusiasm, I didn't want to leave it languishing in a drawer, half-made.
It was a very straightforward make.
I didn't make any changes to the pattern or suggested construction method.
The only part which caused me to stop to think was the sandwiching-together of the facings and collar.  The diagram explained more than the instructions, and the combination was sufficient.  I thought I was going to end up with puckers and pleats at the back neck, but everything worked out perfectly - huzzah!
Once again I was impressed by the drafting of this simple style. 
The line drawing suggests it is a great big baggy smock dress with a dropped waist:  the sort of dress which usually drowns me.  But the waistline hits my high hip, and has just the right amount of ease to give flow to the paired tucks at the front.  Those tucks give the skirt a slight tulip-shape, even though the pattern pieces are cut straight.  The back skirt is narrower and plain (no tucks), which is flattering... but impossible to capture in a photograph on a windy day!
You can just about see the side-seam pockets in this picture.
I love those pockets! They are in exactly the right place to sashay around the garden, hands in pockets, pretending to be  a model!
Speaking of which...
Oh dear, Roo!

Worn with: 
Seasalt striped tee (from way back), Norie knitted hat (a Shetland Trader pattern), White Stuff ankle boots, and my granny's glass beads.
Much better than I expected when I saw the cardboard pattern pieces!  I was afraid I would look like a sack of potatoes, but once again the designer has worked her magic to draft a figure-skimming style.
The result is a really comfortable dress, perfect for home and holidays.
I would absolutely love to make one of these in a Liberty Bloomsbury print. 
The turn-up sleeves remind me of my Portfolio tunic, but the open collar and dropped waist hint at 1920's/30's vintage style.  I couldn't resist wearing my flapper beads!
I don't think I would risk using a heavier fabric.  It definitely suits a lightweight cotton.
But - ooh - imagine it in a drapey wool jersey for the winter?  With a polo necked sweater underneath?  So many possibilities!


Donna Hensley said...

I love this look!! Beautiful fabric choice. :)

violicious said...

This is super! These patterns are so appealing. I am all over the layering too. Sewing with lightweight wool is really fun too. Wonder if you could line it and then make it more windproof. Great job!

Xenia Kathryn said...

Great job, it really turned out lovely! I really like the layering. Glad you had a chance to sew something for yourself :)

mags said...

It really suits you, I love it over the striped top. Can't think how you use a cardboard pattern!

seamsoddlouise said...

Stumbled onto your blog today. And I love this dress. It totally has that 30s vibe to it whilst at the same time being really wearable. Looks great with the layers too.

kushami said...

Very Japanese looking!

pennylibrarian said...

Loving those blue hues on you!

beate grigutsch said...

just perfect!
the pattern is drafted for you!
love the little dots on the fabric :-)

Jenny Wren said...

I've jumped on the Merchant & Mills bandwagon and have just bought the Factory Dress pattern (I didn't realise that they did a multi-size in this - darn it!) Do you reckon it would work in a baby chord?

Roobeedoo said...

Jenny Wren - it would work in any fabric you would us to make a shirt. So a really fine / soft / drapey cord would be lovely!

velosewer said...

I like your interpretation for this dress.

Scruffybadger said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! Everything about it sings and hits the high notes!! Love it. And particularly like it with layers :-)

acharmofmagpies said...

I love how you've styled this! It looks great with the striped tee underneath. Very stylish.