In January, we added to our ongoing Makeshift series, adapting available garment patterns using Alabama Chanin techniques with a Merchant & Mills pattern for the Shirt Dress. This month, we’ve created another Merchant & Mills garment in our own style—an Alabama Chanin version of the Factory Dress (love the name). This piece is shown here without embellishment to highlight the simple design, but you can choose to utilize any of the techniques from our previous posts or our Swatch of the Month Club to embellish your project
Keep in mind that Merchant & Mills is a UK-based design house and that UK sizes differ a bit from US numbered sizes. Their website has clear size charts that can help you select the right pattern size for your body. Also note that their patterns are priced in pounds, not US dollars, and you should take into account shipping costs when shopping. Alternatively, there are quite a few stockists in the US with ready links available here.
Merchant & Mills: The Factory Dress Pattern
*2.5 yards of 60”-wide 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Button Craft thread
Basic sewing supplies: scissors, pins, needles, ruler, rotary cutter
Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, or Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns: All four of these books contain the basic sewing and embroidery techniques we used to make our version of this dress.
Follow the Merchant & Mills instructions as written, but reducing the 5/8” seam allowances on every pattern piece to 1/4” by removing 3/8” from every seam.
Hand sew all seams with a straight stitch, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance, using a double strand of thread on our Alabama Chanin medium-weight cotton jersey. We felled our seams for the dress above, but that is a matter of taste and desired style. If you choose to use a floating seam, we suggest reducing the seam allowance or trimming around all seams after completion to reduce bulk. Leave hem raw.
*This garment was made in a size 8. Yardage may vary for different sizes—please reference pattern for the exact yardage required for your garment.