Once upon a time I commented on an IG post by Karen from The Draper’s Daughter and as a result we met up IRL and became friends! Karen is a stockist for Merchant & Mills and having seen her version of the Top 64 I bought the pattern. It sat in the waiting to be made pile for months but after spotting Sal’s top on IG (@sewingunlimited) I was finally inspired to get on with it. I had a remnant of a crinkly fabric with a tiny stripe from C & H Fabrics which I thought I’d try for the first attempt.
I was particularly keen on the pockets hidden within the front horizontal seam and the raglan sleeves which are made up of two separate pieces (i.e. front and back).
I do like the utilitarian packaging and presentation of Merchant & Mills patterns, although I think the illustrations may not be sufficient for a complete beginner (and I spotted a typo on the envelope!). I traced off the Size 8 and made no initial adjustments even though I knew the sleeves would be way too long on me. Everything came together very easily, especially the pockets, although I didn’t follow the instruction to secure the pockets down the back of the garment. Instead I marked the stitch line on the front with chalk and used that as my guideline for top stitching. I did end up with a rogue triangle of fabric sticking up at the top of the sleeve – I mentioned this to Sal and she didn’t have the same problem so I had clearly done something wrong. My remedy was to chop it off, add the neck facing and pretend it hadn’t happened!
I was right about the length of the sleeves! Here’s the finished garment before hemming. The sleeves extended way beyond the ends of my fingers!
I prefer three-quarter length sleeves even in the winter so in the end I shortened them by about 20 cms.
This wasn’t the best fabric. It doesn’t press that well and didn’t appreciate having iron on interfacing attached to it but, despite that, I think it worked really well for this top. I wore it for the sewing meet-up previously blogged and it is so comfortable to wear. My favourite thing is definitely the pockets. I noticed a photograph of a dress version in the pattern details on the website which isn’t mentioned on the pattern itself. I definitely think that would be worth a try. I made a feature of the cross stitch used to secure the facing to the garment on the shoulder and back seam using embroidery thread which I really like.
Another pattern I’d recommend and next time I’ll aim get the top of the sleeve right!