I’m not gonna lie, guys. This dress really lives up to its name. If I was going on a first date, I wouldn’t think, I know! I’ll wear my factory dress. The one that goes really well with a hair net and safety boots.
I’ve worn it all day. When I catch sight of myself in a mirror, I don’t cringe away. I kind of like it. No, I do – I like it! Still, there’s no denying that it’s a pig to photograph. Which suggests it’s not that flattering in real life.
One error I made was being too literal in my choice of fabric. I thought this cotton suited the aesthetic of the dress. It does – and that’s the problem. I honestly wouldn’t look out of place clocking in to a war time factory to grease engine parts. But what if this was in a red linen or a bold print?
Another error I made was in ignoring the envelope photography. The dress is swamping the model, so what did I think it would do to me? I did a lot of unpicking and sizing down – two whole sizes. And my dress is still roomy. Oh well, I know now – and so do you! Go down a couple of sizes. Trust me.
I didn’t find the instructions super-easy to follow. They’re fairly basic. The sketches suit Merchant & Mills aesthetic but I repeatedly found myself asking, ‘So, is that the wrong side or the right side?’
I’m not giving up on this dress. Get it right, and I have the perfect cool throw on for summer. I think. I hope!
I’ll admit, my issues with this dress are more than fabric and pattern alone can answer to. My body is changing – I’m in my mid-40s now. I’m trying to find what suits and sometimes I’m failing. I’d never have believed this transitional period would be so challenging, but it turns out it is. I’m not sure that sewing a factory dress helps!