Thursday, August 18, 2016

Merchant and Mills Saltmarsh skirt

A couple of months ago, I started learning about Merchant and Mills.  I had seen several of their patterns on a variety of threads and was especially intrigued by this dress made by Ruth.  That post is what got me started looking at these patterns.  I ordered the 'Workbook" and love the vibe of the whole thing.

The patterns are printed on both sides of the sheets, but they are not overlaid on top of each other and they are easy to read.  Also, the sheets are not so huge that they are unwieldy.  They are about 1/2 the size of a BurdaStyle pattern sheet.  Much easier to use

Here are the patterns that are included.

When I saw the Saltmarsh Skirt, I knew that would be the first thing that I made.  I even had some great linen on hand to do it!  The color of mine is called Blue Bonnet from

According to my measurements (which you have to convert from metric if you are used to US standard) I needed to cut the size 16, which I did.  Next time, I will cut it down to the 14.  There is ample room.  Also, next time I will add 2" to the length.  I have short legs, and even worn below my waist, I could not do the 1.25" hem as suggested.  I just serged the edge, turned it under and stitched to get it as long as possible.  It is the perfect length for me now with flat sandals.  The skirt looks fairly straight in the pictures, but it is actually more of an A-line.

I love the pockets on the sides and I like the way they were done.

This skirt has a separate waistband.  They have you thread the tie through the grommets after the waist band is attached, but I didn't do it like that.  I sewed the front of the waistband and then placed the tie against the fold, pinning it in place so I didn't accidentally stitch through it. Before pinning it, I used a safety pin to bring the ends through the grommets.  My bodkin would not fit.  You could also use buttonholes instead of grommets, but I really like the way they look.  I used the 1/4" grommets.  I really wanted brass, but they only come in silver or gold colors.

The waistband is then turned to the inside and you stitch in the ditch.  I recently bought a new foot for machine called a "fabric-joining foot"  It's designed for stitching (either zigzag or faggoting) two fabrics that are butted up to one another.  The little blade on this foot makes it super easy to stay in that ditch for the stitching.

The pictures I took of this skirt were after wearing it all day, in and out of the car multiple times for errands, in 106 degree heat!  I think it held up better than I did!  And yes, I love those pockets :-)

I love this skirt and actually had a stranger come up to me in the parking lot to tell me how much she liked my outfit.  (This made me feel especially good, because she was a lot younger than me and stylish looking.)  Even  the nurse at my doctor's appointment today was asking me all about it.  We got on a big discussion about linen and I told her that my favorite place to buy linen is at  I definitely think I will have to make another one of these!

(The next time I wear this, I think I will adjust the gathers to be more at the center back and none at the side seams!  That's a pretty wide fanny view. )


BigShirley said...

I am new to sewing garments, so I think everything that doesn't work out is a reflection of my lack of skill so I was quite pleased to see your version of the Salt Marsh turned out more of an a-line than straight. I made a muslin and hated it! I was expecting something much straighter. Unfortunately, I am not skilled enough, although I made it longer (I'm 5'9"), to alter the shape correctly. I'd love to make the bias cut dress, but the bias terrifies me lol. I love your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your sewing.