Trapeze Dress from Merchant & Mills

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I tested the sizes 20 – 28 size range of the Merchant & Mills Trapeze Dress in their Woolsey Boston Fall linen/wool double gauze, which Merchant & Mills kindly sent my way along with a digital copy of the pattern for the purpose of the review.

Their extended size range goes up to a 55″ (139.5 cm) bust and 57.5″ (145.5 cm) hip. The largest finished bust measurement is 62.59″ (159 cm), there’s no given measurement for the hip measurement and the finished bicep is 18.79 ” (47.75 cm).

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Boxy Barkcloth Torrens Box Dress

Torrens Box Dress

There’s a very popular dress and jacket pattern that’s not available for fat-makers and I decided today on a whim that I’d like to make something very similar for myself, but using a pattern that is available in my size. So here’s part 2 of my Torrens Box Dress exploration, using the Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top pattern.

Torrens Box Dress

I’ve been saving this lovely Outback Wife Barkcloth fabric from Fibresmith in Australia for a special project, and since Outback Wife fabric isn’t made anymore, it was more important than ever that I made something that I knew would fit well! I make a Size 1 in Muna and Broad sizes for my 47″ bust and 56″ hip.

Torrens Box Dress

I had 3 metres of this fabric, which was enough to cut a suitably long dress from, the narrow-sleeve long sleeve and also the facings. I doubt I would have had enough of the fabric to cut the in-seam pockets from, but since I wanted to use something a bit lighter and less structured for the pockets, that was fine.

Torrens Box Dress

I added side-seam pockets shortly below the armpit, and lengthened the top pattern in a straight line down after the pattern piece ended using my blue silk noil torrens as a guide for length. I also cut out a self-fabric tie, which I was intending to interface but didn’t need to since the barkcloth was quite firm.

The outcome? I love this dress and can definitely see myself wearing this to work (when we go back to work)! I’m already mentally sifting through my stash to see what other fabrics might make dresses suitable for pairing with tights for winter!

Adrianna Dress Toile, Friday Pattern

I’ve used my ‘sewing in isolation’ time to work through the backlog of printed-but-unmade PDF patterns in my stash, which includes toiling this Adrianna Dress pattern from Friday Pattern Co in some rayon fabric that I bought on super sale, and which I now consider to be extremely ugly (but I can’t remember if I thought that at the time of purchase, or if I thought it would be handy for toiles)…

Adrianna Dress

The Adrianna Dress pattern (which is available up to 54″ bust and 57″ hip) is the woven dress companion pattern to the Adrienne Blouse (which is for knits, is a top and isn’t available in the extended size range).

Friday Pattern Company patterns are drafted for a B-cup and on reading the reviews from Sierra and Michelle over on the CSC I decided that I’d probably need to do baby’s first Full-Bust-Adjustment.

Adrianna Dress

Size Details: So I started with a 1X at the bust and graded out to the 4X from below the bust dart (I used the 1X sleeve pieces, since they seemed generous enough). I then used this tutorial on the Curvy Sewing Collective to do a FBA of 2 inches (so 1 inch on each side). This hideously patterned fabric might be hiding a multitude of sins on my FBA, but given how to top of the dress fits (quite snug), I definitely couldn’t have gone without it.

Adrianna Dress

I had to cut the sleeves shorter than called for due to a lack of fabric (the sleeves are so wide) and I didn’t bother putting elastic in the bottom since this dress isn’t likely to ever be seen outside of my apartment.


This was my first Friday Pattern Co pattern and I thought the instructions were great. I saw that the designer Chelsea studied fashion design and I think there’s absolutely a correlation between having training and being able to make consistent patterns which fit bodies, I’m looking forward to purchasing and making more Friday patterns!

Torrens Box Dress Hack

Torrens Box Dress hand on hip
Torrens Box Dress Side

I’d been dreaming of my own comfortable box dress in the style of Elizabeth Suzann’s Georgia Dress in silk, and I knew this fabric would be gorgeous to wear and would drape well.

I have an entire pinterest board of sack dresses where the vast majority look exactly like the Georgia dress and I think the cute sleeve angle is an integral part of what draws me to the dress!

Torrens Box Dress front

I used the Torrens Box Top pattern (in my usual size A) and simply cut the fabric down in a straight line from where the pattern piece ended. Because the top includes a generous amount of ease, I knew there’d be no need for me to grade out at the hips.

I didn’t include pockets because I was worried about the long-term performance on the silk noil from me jamming heavy things in there, but it would have been easy to draft and add some in-seam pockets in!

Torrens Box Dress back

Trin from A+R Fabrics kindly sent this mirren blue silk noil my way (I believe this blue and the moss green are the two newest colours that she’s started to stock in her silk noil range).

Silk noil is great to sew with! Because of the lovely texture, it’s not at all slippery, and I almost never pinned the seams before I sewed them (except the neckline)! Since it’s a natural fibre, it’s lovely to wear and will work for winter & summer.

Fabric Usage & Size Details:
The silk noil is 110cm wide and I’d say that I could have cut this dress with about 2.5 metres and still had a small amount left over (I cut on the open, rather than with my fabric folded).
I used the Size A for the Torrens and I’m a 47″ bust and 54~” hip, but I had plenty of room at the hips without grading up.

Torrens Box Dress Landscape

Stylearc Eme Dress in Tencel

Eme from StyleArc in brick tencel

Stylearc’s Eme Dress is touted as the roundneck sister dress to their popular Adeline Dress (which I’ve made so many versions of)! Stylearc sent me a copy of the Eme multi-size printed pattern, but quite ironically I thought I’d sew a straight size 22 and I don’t think I’ll bother grading for my (inevitable) next version of this dress.

The illustration does a better job of highlighting the cocoon nature of the dress and also shows the 4 darts at the hem which give the dress the shaping.
While I often find Stylearc instructions to be incredibly brief and also frequently confusing, I’m pretty sure these instructions were the strangest ones I’ve dealt with yet. It wasn’t a huge problem because there was nothing particularly unusual about the construction of the dress, but I’m pretty certain they never actually told me to sew the bodice to the skirt. Fortunately, I worked that necessary step out myself. I also managed to attach the sleeve facing (although I’m not 100% certain it was how they intended I should attach them).

Also, I skipped adding the inseam pockets.

Eme from StyleArc in Tencel

This fabric is a kind of sandwashed tencel from Harald’s Warehouse, which I visited for the first time over the weekend. The store had some real treasures that aren’t so commonly found including quite a lot of tencel, wool gabardine, and So Much More. Although the pictures look a bit like a struggles with the tencel puckering, the tencel was in fact a dream to sew and what looks like puckering is actually just scrunching in various places.

Eme from StyleArc

Size Details: According to the StyleArc size chart my various bits range between their size 22 at the bust, through to size 26 at the hips. Since I had success with their Adeline dress in a straight size 22, no grading, I also made the Eme in size 22. This still gave the ‘sack’ look I was after, but avoided me needing to grade.

My verdict- stay tuned for more of these dresses. Maybe with some patch pockets added.