Top No. 64

Lately I’ve had a bit of a thing for raglan tops. And kangaroo pockets. Top No. 64 by Merchant and Mills has both!

Top 64

You know how sometimes you see a pattern and it registers vaguely but you have no intention of making it? And then, a few months later, something clicks and suddenly you just MUST have said pattern? Yep.

Top 64

This happened to me when I saw Lisa’s version on the Tessuti blog. I think she made it a while ago but I only recently saw it, and all of a sudden I saw untold potential.

Anyway enough about what convinced me to buy the pattern, let’s talk about the top I made. The pattern suggests canvas and the like for a kind of work top look, but I went for a squishy boiled wool from my stash. For once I did a toile first, using some wool flannel, but the resulting garment was a bit restrictive for my liking, and the neckline a bit high. For the version you see here I widened the neck by about 1cm all around, and sewed the underarm seams at 1cm instead of 1.5. It helps that the boiled wool has some give to it, so this came out like a very cozy jumper. Bonus: boiled wool doesn’t fray, so I didn’t need to finish any of the seams! I just turned and hand stitched the hems. I used an interfaced Liberty scrap for the neck facing.

Top 64

Top 64

This is the first Merchant and Mills pattern I’ve tried, and I really enjoyed the experience. I didn’t splash out and get the super duper cardboard pattern, I just got the tissue version, but it was lovely to use and I liked the way that the instructions were illustrated. I’ll definitely use this pattern again.

I’ve been wearing it to work over Scout tees and with jeans, and it has proved to be a very practical and warm addition to my wardrobe!

Top 64

Have you tried a Merchant and Mills pattern? Which one and what did you think? I’d be keen to try others!

 

 

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28 comments

  1. Looks lovely on you Bella and I think the boiled wool is probably a great improvement on canvas. I’m not generally enamoured with the Merchant and Mills patterns. The 1930s factory aesthetic just isn’t my thang, but this raglan of your may just inspire some patternmaking!

  2. Oh! This looks awesome! Reminds me a bit of your Saiph Tunic. I love this style on you, it looks effortlessly chic AND at the same time practical/versatile! Are these Gingers you’re wearing with your super cute shoes? 🙂

    1. Yeah it is quite reminiscent of the Saiph tunic! I wore that today, actually. Yay for boxy shapes with pockets. Alas, those jeans are not Gingers. I wish! I still need to perfect the fit on my first pair, there are some crotch issues that I need to resolve, gah.

      1. Ha, must be telepathy! And I feel you on the crotch issues. I actually didn’t transfer the changes I made to my pattern so I am veered hesitant to do it all over again. We should do a few weeks of Ginger fitting and sewing sometime!

      2. That is a good idea, I’ll certainly need some encouragement to tackle that pattern again, especially with the nice denim in my stash!

  3. Lovely! I have the card version of the pattern and made one ages ago. Will be digging it out again this winter now.

  4. Ooh, that must be so nice and warm! I love boiled wool. Its a great shape, i really like its simple lines. I’m really interested in seeing some of the patterns from the Merchant & Mills Workbook made up, they all look like nice basic wardrobe builders!

  5. It looks chic and warm! My beef with M&M is the absolutely depressing, slouchy, underwhelming way they photograph their garments! The clothes need to be 3 sizes smaller for their models….. It makes it kind of hard to imagine the pattern in a flattering light. Anyway, you’ve done it! Rant over 😀.

    1. Agreed! I think that the only reason I tried this was because of Lisa’s version! Oh and the pockets… I just couldn’t resist them!

  6. Hi Bella, I’m about to make this top and just love the way yours fits. What size did you cut and how does that compare to your RTW size? I know you changed the neck a bit but did you also lengthen the top? Thanks!

    1. Hi Diane,

      I just checked and I made a size 10. My bust is about 33 1/2″, if that’s useful. I don’t think I lengthened, from memory. I should take better notes! The two things I do remember are that I sewed a smaller seam allowance under the arms, because I felt that the fit was a bit snug in the armpits, and also the sleeves are quite long. I made a toile first in a non-stretch wool flannel and I have to say that I much prefer my second go, pictured here, which is a boiled wool with some give to it. I felt a bit restricted in the toile. I’d recommend a practice go, because I did make several small changes – neckline, armpits etc.

      Hope this was helpful!

      Bella

      1. Hi Bella, Thanks so much for this – very helpful. I will definitely make a muslin and start with something bigger than a 10 based on what you’ve told me. I always tweak a pattern quite a bit also.

  7. I never would have guessed this was a Merchant and Mills, I always liked their patterns but they always looked super oversized! but seeing your version it looks more structered and not too loose. I love it and you’re seriously tempting me to buy this pattern!! Which is bad because they are quite pricey! 🙂

  8. Hi, fabulous version of the top! I have made a very similar one with double knit ponti and took your advice and did a Liberty facing, The self-facing was just too thick. How did you get your facing to sit flat???

    1. Hi Fiona, I under stitched all around and also hand tacked the facing to the inside of the top at each seam. Since it’s a raglan there are plenty of seam allowances to invisibly stitch it to. Hope that helps 🙂

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