Tag Archives: linen

The Titchy Threads Twisted Tuesday Tour

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Have you been following the Twisted Tuesdays Tour to mark the launch of the new Titchy Threads patterns? ¬†Laura, the designer behind these fabulous new patterns, has rounded up a brilliant group of bloggers (myself included ūüėČ ) to help showcase the style and versatility of the Twisted Trousers and Twisted Tank. ¬†We’re into week four right now. ¬†You can catch up with weeks one, two and three here.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Twisted Trousers

Fabric

The main fabric for the trousers is¬†some lush navy linen that I’ve had in my stash for ages. ¬†They keep these trousers light and breezy for springtime (although I must stay, I’m a little concerned about how quickly they could have holes in the knees!!). ¬†The contrasting back pockets are Kona Cotton in Pickle (I adore this colour!) from The Village Haberdashery. ¬†The piping I picked up in Belgium and it’s been waiting for the perfect project. ¬†The fact that I had the right amount of piping – down to the last inch!! – is proof to me that it’s the perfect project! ¬†The waistband is some¬†stripey ribbing.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Options

I chose to make the non-reversible version with the un-piped back pockets and I omitted the grommets from the waistband. ¬†To be honest, I would have liked to have added them but I chickened out a little bit! ¬†I also thought about adding knee patches (Manu is incredibly hard on his clothes!) but I just wasn’t convinced that I’d like the way they’d look. ¬†Maybe next time.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Size

Manu is five and a half and a little on the small side. ¬†Based on his measurements I made a size 4 for the trousers, extending them to size 5 for the length. ¬†[Note: because of the twisted nature of the trousers you can’t just add length to the bottom – pay attention to where the pattern instructs you to lengthen them.] ¬†This wasn’t difficult to do and I’m so glad I did – he’ll get much more wear out of them.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Tips, observations, thoughts, insights and what-not

It was no surprise to me that these trousers were a joy to sew. ¬†Laura explains each step in the perfect amount of detail. ¬†She even takes the time to add a ‘cheat sheet’ for those who just want a basic version of instructions – you know, for when you’re making your sixth pair (because this pattern just begs to be made again and again with different features).

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Much about the pattern has been discussed on this tour so let me just throw my two-cents-worth in there:

  • Pay careful attention to the grainline on the pattern pieces. ¬†Because the trousers are ‘twisted’ the pattern pieces are at odd angles and you really need that grainline marking to keep everything lined up.
  • For the back pockets (I did the version without piping) I used a technique that I learned¬†Figgy’s Banyan Trousers pattern¬†to help get really sharp corners. ¬†1. Take your pocket pattern piece and measure in 2.5cm from the top and 1cm from all the side edges. ¬†2. Fold along those edges. ¬†3. Cut out a cardboard template to this size. ¬†4. Centre this template on your fabric leaving 2.5cm on the top and 1cm around the edges. ¬†5. Double fold the top edge, press and sew. ¬†6. Use your template to press the remaining edges. ¬†This will give you get nice crisp corners.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

  • Wonder tape. ¬†The pattern suggests that you use wonder tape to hold the back pockets and coin pocket in place before stitching. ¬†This is genius and I’m going to be using this tip for lots of different things. ¬†This means you don’t have to pin the pocket which can often lead to crooked and imperfect sewing.
  • I didn’t have any technical trouble with the pattern. ¬†The only time I struggled a bit was sewing the waistband to the top of the trousers. ¬†I had to be really careful not to trap the elastic that was inside the waistband in the stitching. ¬†So, be careful!

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

 

(Un)Twisted Tank

Fabric

I love this tank! ¬†The viking fabric is a Lillestoff print and it’s just perfect. ¬†This tank really doesn’t use much fabric so I’m hoping to make a few more as gifts. ¬†The orange ribbing was from my stash.

Options

Well, as you can see, my tank’s not twisted! ¬†With this patterned fabric it wouldn’t have worked. ¬†But I’m dying to try the sewing technique to make it twisted – I need more stripes and solid jersey in my life!

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Size

As with the trousers, I made a size four extending it to size five in the length. ¬†I’m completely happy with the fit.

Tips, observations, thoughts, insights and what-not

Laura’s twisted tank is a clever pattern. ¬†On one level it can be a straight forward go-to pattern for summer tank (like I’ve done here today and also in this version). ¬†Alternatively you can make it more special by incorporating the twisted elements and contrasting pockets.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

The tank comes together really quickly which is always very satisfying! ¬†And even with a simple pattern like this Laura offers tips that will improve your sewing for future projects – like how to evenly distribute the neckband onto the neckline. ¬†I usually just divide each into quarters and then stretch to fit. ¬†This never works perfectly because you have slightly more fabric on the front of the top than the back (because the neckline dips deeper in the front). ¬†The pattern explains how to get this distributed perfectly. ¬†It’s the little things! ¬†I love ’em!

Manu loves his new outfit! ¬†It’s been a while since I’ve sewn for my boys so it felt great giving him some new duds! ¬†I’ve already got another pair of trousers and a Rowan tee planned for George. ¬†Now all I need to more time!

Happy sewing and thanks for reading,

Laura x

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

 

Winter into spring linen dress

mara dress linen - title imageMargot needed a new dress. ¬†As a home sewist with a little girl, this is not something that’s said very often; dresses are the most tempting item to sew and consequently Margot usually has plenty to choose from. ¬†But, due to my lack of sewing (discussed in my last post) and the fact that my kids now wear school uniforms, the dresses are suddenly in short supply!

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

Planning the dress

I knew exactly the kind of dress I wanted – something that could be worn now (with layers as it’s still quite cold here), but was equally suitable for hot summer days.

I knew exactly the overall feel I wanted – dusty pink, muted Liberty fabric…a nod to springtime without turning Margot into a pastel easter egg!

All I had to do now was figure out how to sew what was in my head!

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

One of my goals for 2015 is to be more deliberate and thoughtful about the clothes I make in order to achieve my own vision for a garment – rather than just following a pattern, unthinking. ¬†To help me with this I’ve started to be more disciplined about using two tools:

  • An online mood board. ¬†By putting all my inspiration into one collage-like view I was able to get a clearer idea of what I wanted for the dress.
  • [Question: This mood board was thrown together quickly in Photoshop – does anyone know of a good mood board app? ¬†Pinterest is the obvious one but I want something that allows you present it all collage-style.]

  • A fashionary sketchbook. ¬†This is a great place to write down all the planning stages of a garment. ¬†The book has very faint outlines of people on the pages so you can sketch the clothes – or feel free to just write over them if necessary. ¬†The first few pages are an excellent reference tool for everything from pattern and garment shapes, to body measurements and sizes, to typography, to online colour generators!

And, although not quite as detailed (or outlandish!!) as the drawings above, I used my book to map out what I wanted for this project.

linen Mara dress notes // Behind the Hedgerow

Making the dress

 

Now, with all this inspiration floating around it was time to actually make the dress.  Not wanting to buy any new books or patterns, I limited myself to what I had on hand.

linen Mara dress // Behind the HedgerowThe top part of the dress is a sleeveless version of the Mara blouse by Compagnie M.  I wanted the yoke to be more of a square shape (similar to the Tova top) but, due to time limitations, I decided to leave it as it was.

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The skirt shape and length, as well as the pockets are from the Oliver+s Jump Rope Dress (view B).

The main fabric is a gorgeous shade of dusty pink that my husband bought for me from Purl Soho when he was in NYC in 2012! ¬†If you ever want to know if your husband/partner truly loves you then send him/her to NYC (while on a business trip if you want to add even more pressure!) with a list of fabric shops and tell him to “just pick out some things I’d like”! ¬†He chose really well!!

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The pockets and piping are Liberty print – from my stash.

mara dress linen - pocket detail 2

Once all these details were decided upon, the actual sewing was quite straightforward. ¬†As I’ve made both patterns before I was comfortable with all the processes and it came together pretty quickly! ¬†The only time-consuming part was making the bias binding as well as the piping.

—————————————

So, we’re almost into April and Margot has one new dress. ¬†It’s a start but I need to get a move on before the really warm weather comes!

What is your planning/sewing process for a new project? ¬†What are your go-to patterns for customising? ¬†And finally, what dress should I make next? ¬†I feel I’m on a bit of a roll now!

Hope you’re all sewing up something lovely on this sunny spring day!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow¬†A new dress is¬†always¬†something to get excited about. ¬†When said dress actually lives up to the expectations in your mind’s eye then the satisfaction is even greater. ¬†This month’s Minerva Craft Blogger Network project did just that – I love the style, colour, and fabric of this dress. ¬†It appears I have quite a thing for blue at the moment – my last three projects have been in a very similar palette. ¬†Discovering my own personal style or just getting boring and stuck in a rut?!

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

Slightly apron-like? ¬†Maybe. ¬†But it’s made from slouchy, supple linen with a few¬†glimpses of Liberty to give it a refined and slightly sophisticated look. ¬†And the pockets! ¬†A dress¬†is only as good as its pockets and these are easily accessible (mostly for puppy treats these days!) and don’t interrupt the lines of the dress (like I thought they might do if I added them to the side seams).

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

The details

Pattern

This is another stellar pattern from Merchant and Mills. ¬†The pattern is oh-so-simple which really is its beauty. ¬†It’s well-drafted and leaves lots of room for personalisation. ¬†I already have at least three other versions in my head.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

Fabric

Petrol blue linen from Minerva Crafts. ¬†Fantastic drape with the perfect weight – I’d happily wear this layered up for winter. ¬†I love the crumpled look and make no apologies for the worn-in look of these photos. ¬†I love it this way!

Size

Bust size seemed to be the most important factor in determining size. ¬†I was between a size 10 and 12 for this. ¬†I went for size 10 as this is the same size I made my Factory Dress from Merchant and Mills so was pretty confident of a decent fit. ¬†It’s on the snug side but overall I’m happy with the fit.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

Construction notes

  • Overall, a very straight-forward sew. ¬†If in doubt with any of the instructions just focus your attention on the illustrations as opposed to the words.
  • I added pockets. ¬†Ever since making the Oliver+s Book Report Dress for Margot the usefulness of these pockets has stayed with me. ¬†I followed the basic guidelines from this pattern and added them to the Camber Dress. ¬†I’m so happy with how they turned out!book-report-dress-action1

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I shortened the length by 15cm.
  • I haven’t been present in the world of social media much these days. ¬†Each day I endeavour to get on top of my sewing projects and re-engage with this supportive and always-inspiring community. ¬†I have however recently found a new and fresh love for Pinterest. ¬†It was here I found this post on different hemming methods so decided to try something new for this dress. ¬†I added some sparkly bias tape for a touch of bling. ¬†I was enjoying making this dress so much that I even decided to hand-stitch the hem.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

 Final thoughts

My sewing and blogging has slowed down immensely over the past few months. ¬†Our house move, summer holidays and settling into a new life in a new country and, most recently, the addition of a puppy to our lives, have conspired against me to force sewing to the back burner. ¬†I have so many thoughts and ideas for the future of this blog and I can’t wait to have some time to get them all underway. ¬†I miss sewing, I miss posting, and I miss being in touch with so many others from this community.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

But let’s talk about the dress. ¬†Well, in short, I love it. ¬†It’s simple and definitely a staple wardrobe item for me. ¬†Although a simple style, the pattern is well-drafted and there’s a meticulous attention to detail to give a professional finish to your handmade garment. ¬†There are so many possibilities for personalisation – my head is already spinning with ideas for pockets and different necklines.

This dress is sewn as part of the Minerva Craft Blogger Network and you can find all the fabric and notions here.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

So, tell me, what have you all been sewing?!  Thanks for sticking with me and continuing to read.

Laura x

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress (Selfish Sewing Week)

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

This dress very nearly didn’t happen. ¬†I bought the pattern and fabric back in January with a flurry of excitement about the possibility of it all. ¬†Like all good sewists, I dutifully pre-washed my fabric and left it…for months!…on top of the washing machine. ¬†When it came time to sew I unfolded it, looked down, and shrieked in horror for this is what I saw.

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

Stain remover + Irish linen + 2 months = bleached out fabric disaster! *sob*

What’s a girl to do?! ¬†I had¬†already only bought 2 metres of fabric (instead of the suggested 2.3 metres) so I really thought this project was over before it began.

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

But, what do you know?  With a bit of creative pattern placement and good chunk of patience I managed to eek out all the pattern pieces!  The moral of that story:

  • Don’t be a lazy sod and leave treasured fabric lying around.
  • It really is amazing how far you can stretch your fabric if you take your time.

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

Whew Рso I was back on track!  After my visit to the Merchant and Mills shop (read all about that fabulous experience here) I knew which size Factory Dress to make (10) because I was lucky enough to try on a muslin of this very pattern.

merchant and mills - purchased items

The fabric is grey Irish Linen with a faint line of blue running through it.  The texture is soft, yet slightly stubbly; it creases which (IMHO) adds to its charm; it drapes well and is up there with Liberty as my favourite fabric to sew with.

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

Tips and Observations

  • There is a lot of ease in this pattern. ¬†Of course it’s meant to be slouchy and loose (which is what I love about it!) but I actually made a size smaller than my bust measurement and it’s still plenty roomy.
  • The instructions are quite brief. ¬†This is really not a difficult sew but there were a few moments (particularly when attaching the collar) that I was scratching my head.
  • When in doubt, ignore the words and focus on the illustrations.
  • If you’re petite check the sizing before buying this pattern. ¬†The smallest size is an 8, I made a 10 and I don’t consider myself to be the second smallest size of woman.

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

 Verdict

I knew from the moment I walked into the Merchant and Mills shop that I was going to like this dress. ¬†The style, the fabric, the design details all have a timelessness about them. ¬†My husband thinks it has a Scandinavian feel to it – I think it’s quite Japanese with its shape and construction method. ¬†It’s one of those garments that makes you feel grown-up and mature but in a good, non-stuffy kind of way.

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

I love every single thing about this dress and it’s quite possible that I will wear it every single day of Me Made May! ¬†Ok, maybe every other day!

Have you had a successful Selfish Sewing Week? ¬†Will you be joining me in Me Made May? ¬†Have you ever sewed a Merchant and Mills pattern? ¬†I’d love to hear what you thought!

Thanks for reading!

Laura x

 

 

 

Simplicity 1652 – Minerva Craft Blogger Network

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

The more garments I sew for the¬†Minerva Craft Blogger Network¬†the more I enjoy it. ¬†Choosing from their extensive range of patterns and fabrics started out being totally overwhelming but I’m now slowly starting to know the patterns/designs that suit me and which fabrics would work well for them. ¬†This month’s choice was heavily inspired by Trine’s awesome version.

Last month was all about kid’s pjs so this month I made sure to get in a little selfish sewing…and boy am I glad I did! ¬†This dress is definitely in my top five favourite things I’ve sewn for myself!

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

Dress: Simplicity 1652. ¬†Size 12, Cup C, Front – View A, Back – View B. ¬†Fabric:¬†Black/white pinstripe cotton-linen blend. ¬†Buttons:¬†self-covered with Liberty scraps. ¬†Tights:¬†hand-dyed ombre tights ‘sunset’ from BZRShop. ¬†Boots: Camper Annie Ankle Boots.

The Dress

Simplicity 1652 is part of Simplicity’s Amazing Fit collection. ¬†What this means is that you have multiple choices for not just the size of the dress but also the bust size (and in some cases, the fullness of the skirt). ¬†This allows you to mix and match thereby giving you an¬†amazing fit. ¬†Well, that’s the idea anyway.

The dress has three sleeve options and two back options.  I went for View A in the front (short sleeves and button tabs Рjust say NO! to chunky chains sewn onto clothing!) and View B in the back (cut-out triangle).

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

This dress also has really great pockets that are sewn into the front section seams – easy to do and makes it a bit more interesting than pockets along the side seams.

The Fabric

For this dress I chose a versatile black/white pinstripe which is a cotton-linen blend (click on photo to learn more about it). ¬†I love this fabric! ¬†It’s easy to work with (yes, it frays so make sure to finish your raw edges) but it’s a great weight and is suitable for cooler weather (tights and cardi!) or just as is with sandals in summer.

Also, with this fabric there were lots of options in terms of how to lay out the fabric (ie, which direction you want the stripes to go in for each pattern piece).  I had fun sketching out all the different possibilities and finally decided on doing vertical stripes for the main bodice, skirt and sleeves, horizontal stripes for the button tabs, and bias cut stripes for the side bodice and back.

Construction

I’ve made a Simplicity Amazing Fit dress before (Simplicity 1800 – you can see it here) so I should have been fine with the method of construction. ¬†But, alas, much time had passed and I’d forgotten just how mad this method it! ¬†I don’t think you’ll find any sewing blogger writing about the Amazing Fit collection without referencing the odd construction process.

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

In short, you sew the bodice pieces together and then you sew the skirt pieces together Рthis part is pretty straightforward Рbut then you sew the bodice to the skirt inside out (so, you sew with the wrong sides of the fabric facing each other) with a large seam allowance in order to tweak the fit.  Then you have to take it apart, make your adjustments and then put it back together the right way around.

Some other notes on construction:

  • The front bodice is unlined. ¬†I didn’t really like this and next time would try to draft a lining.
  • I added a lining to the skirt. ¬†The fabric is rather sheer so opted for a lining here. ¬†I drafted the lining based on the assembled skirt pieces and then attached it along the skirt/bodice seam line.

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

  • The sleeves were trickier to set than I expected. ¬†You are instructed to set the sleeves¬†after¬†the side seams are sewn and lately I’ve been setting sleeves into an open side seam and then closing the side seam and sleeve seam with one line of sewing. ¬†Next time I’ll do it this way.
  • For the buttons on the tabs I made my own covered buttons with scraps of Liberty print fabric.

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

Sizing and Fit

The last time I made an Amazing Fit dress I made size 12¬†with a D cup. ¬†After sewing it I thought it fit well but now that I’ve worn it for a while I realise that it’s actually too big in the bust (but I’ll still wear it!).

simplicity1800(6)

This time I made size 12 with a C cup and this worked *much* better. ¬†I’ve actually worn this dress a few times already so I feel confident in saying that I’m happy with the fit.

The only issue I have is that there is a bit of gaping in the back along the top of the zip. ¬†I’m a bit stumped about how to remedy this – if I were to take it in anymore then I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to move my arms!

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

Final thoughts

So, I guess the final question is – Is it¬†really an amazing fit? ¬†The short answer is yes! ¬†I didn’t really make any adjustments from the size 12, cup c pattern so, for something so closely fitted around the bust,¬†is¬†pretty amazing! ¬†Now that I’m happy with the fit I want to rush out and make more from this collection (before I forget all the details of construction). ¬†I already have Simplicity 1882¬†in my stash so I really should get sewing!

And here’s me taking a pic of my photographer for the day…
Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

…and my photographer… (follow me on Instagram if you’re interested in seeing more behind the¬†hedgerow scenes shots!).

Kids off school. Putting them to work. #lifeofablogger

A post shared by Laura Fisher (@behindhedgerow) on

Start ’em young!

If you’re inspired to give this pattern and fabric a go then you can buy the full kit here. ¬†It includes the pattern, fabric, interfacing, zip, lining and thread. ¬†It also includes yellow buttons for the tabs. ¬†If you want to do covered buttons (which are surprisingly easy to make and very effective) then you can find everything you need for that here.

Thanks for reading

Laura x

Merchant and Mills – more than a fabric shop; a way of life

I’ve found it! ¬†I didn’t even know it existed and now I’ve found it – the place that embodies everything I love and aspire to be as a home sewist.

While visiting Rye, East Sussex, England earlier this month I had the opportunity to visit Merchant and Mills, the bricks and mortar shop of the brand I’d previously only experienced through the internet. ¬†On the most basic level it’s a fabric and haberdashery shop. ¬†But, for me, their approach to sewing, attitudes and aspirations mean it’s so much more than a shop; it’s a lifestyle philosophy.

Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field, the founders behind the brand, specialise in fashion/design and photography/writing, respectively. ¬†They started the business in 2010 – although it looks so natural and comfortable in its warehouse space that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it has been there for generations – a true testament to the timeless nature of the products, patterns and fabrics they produce and sell. ¬†They’ve worked tirelessly to make the shop and brand what it is today and, as they say themselves, their combined efforts are greater than the sum of their parts.

The shop itself has a stark, utilitarian feel to it.  There are no colourful quilting fabrics, no rick rack, and absolutely nothing could be described as cute.  Instead you get quality, hand-chosen natural fabrics (most of which come from British or Irish mills); sewing patterns that appear somehow timeless and contemporary and once; traditional scissors, pins, needles and other sewing essentials; stationery covered with hand-sewn oilcloth; classic bag-making supplies including leather handles and buckles; and much more.

merchant and mills - interior4

Every item is hand selected and seems to have weight, texture and/or substance to it. ¬†I found myself picking up various bag buckles and tools (and I don’t even make bags) just to feel the weight in my hand and appreciate the potential use for such an item.

In fact, the whole experience at Merchant and Mills had a bewitching effect on me. ¬†Even after I’d looked at everything (once, twice, thrice) I didn’t want to leave. ¬†I wanted the ethos of the shop to seep into my core. ¬†I even found myself craning my neck for a glimpse of the goings-on within the cavernous warehouse space (the shop only occupies a small corner) hoping Carolyn would invite me to start sewing with her.

merchant and mills - interior5

Without even needing to spell it out, Carolyn and the shop itself give off a certain spirit.

  • Sewing clothing (or bags, or whatever you wish) in a calm and intentional way gives you time with yourself. ¬†It encourages you to notice the small details and to be present in the present (a sentiment that Roderick expands on in the video clip link below). ¬†I’ve always wondered why sometimes I hardly care about a garment once it’s complete – I realise now that I was simply craving that process of creation for exactly these reasons.
  • Sewing is a lifestyle choice as much as anything else; a conscious choice to make your own clothing and thereby become less dependent on mass-produced garments with questionable environmental and ethical footprints.
  • With their endeavours they aim to, in Carolyn’s own words, “elevate sewing to its proper place in the creative world, respecting the craftsmanship it entails.” ¬†This is a big one for me. ¬†I have always struggled with the term ‘crafting’ – always trying to fight against the public perception of frivolousness and superfluousness. ¬†For example, when I tell people I sew I feel I quickly need to debunk the notion (whether real or imagined) that it’s all patchwork tea cosies and ruffly pink baby dresses. ¬†I want my sewing, my crafting, to be about craftsmanship, quality and style. ¬†I want it to be meaningful and deliberate and rewarding.

merchant and mills - interior1

Within the walls of Merchant and Mills and in the presence of Carolyn Denham, I feel that all of these dreams and ideals are possible.  So, if you have the chance to go to Rye then, by all means, go to Merchant and Mills for some great fabric, notions and patterns, but, brace yourself!, you may leave with the feeling that your efforts in home sewing could actually change the way you live your life!

PS – Of course I didn’t leave empty-handed! ¬†I was quite restrained (post-Christmas and all of that) and bought one dress pattern – The Factory Dress – and some gorgeous grey and blue Irish linen. ¬†An additional perk of buying it in the shop was that I was able to try on a sewn version of the dress to determine the correct size to sew. ¬†You know what that means?! ¬†No need to make a muslin!! ¬†Watch this space for the final garment…

merchant and mills - purchased itemsPPS РAs gushing as this review is, I was in no way paid or persuaded in my opinions.  I just love it that much!

PPSS – If you’re interested in learning more about Merchant and Mills you can:

  • Listen to this BBC radio interview with Roderick.
  • Watch this clip on the Merchant and Mills blog.

What’s your favourite fabric shop? ¬†Have you ever had a textile experience like this?

Thanks for reading,

Laura x