dressmaking, Fashion, pattern review, sewing

The Purple Merchant and Mills Ellis Dress

I’ve loved this pattern since I saw Noni @isewyousee and Vicky @sewstainably make and wear their own versions. I knew I needed a couple in my wardrobe and this is my 1st, I decided to use the special denim I custom dyed from this post.

Image by merchant and mills

The Merchant and Mills pattern comes with 2 variations, the Ellis with the sleeves and Hattie which is sleeveless and lined. The ellis has a slightly shorter skirt length with in-seam pockets and the hattie has the longer skirt plus patch pockets. I used a combination of them the ellis body and the hattie skirt and patch pockets. The ellis also has dropped shoulders, this is a feature of the pattern so bare that in mind when your doing you fitting.

First up the bodice, I didn’t make many changes to the fit. I just altered the shoulders slightly as they are quite sloped I straightened them out a little so the neck line sits flush.

I also top stitched the darts in the neck and waits with gold top stitch to make a small feature and they look super pretty.

The back – again I didn’t really change much for the fit but looking at these images I might lower the arm holes slightly on future versions. the shoulders and dropped but this is were they are meant to sit so I’m happy with them.

The skirt and pockets – The skirt does have quite a lot of gathers but not too many to make the denim too bulky but you could easily remove some width from it if you want to reduce the bulk, this is defiantly something I would recommend you consider. I love the skirt length on this version and the deep hem, again I topstitched it with the gold thread, you cant really see it unless your up close but I love this detail. Merchant and Mills include all the markings on the pattern for the hem and gathers which is very handy.

The pockets are my absolute favourite part of this pattern, they are the perfect size, I like my pockets like I like my cake, HUGE. They are big enough for all my treasures and several chocolate bars. I also overlocked the edges of the insides and this is the best because it stops your fingers and keys getting caught on the loose threads. They were top stitched on with gold thread with a rectangle to reinforce them.

So my final thoughts on this dress …

I absolutely love it and I think I need a couple more versions and definitely one in a light blue denim or chambray. I do find the sleeves on the tighter side so I’ll do something with them in my future versions. This long version is perfect for the winter with tights, its actually a nice warm dress to wear, however, I’m located in the North of England so I’m used to the colder weather so don’t take too much of my advise on how to dress for cooler weather.

Do you think you’ll try your own version of this dress?? what colour would you make??

Thanks for reading,

Samantha x

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