I'm in dress heaven here, because I've made my first (but definitely not last) Merchant & Mills factory dress. As dresses go, this one, just like Mary Poppins, is practically perfect: not too fussy, a little bit retro (but not so much that I'll look like I'm off to a fancy dress party whenever I wear it), and it has to be the most ridiculously comfortable dress imaginable. It's also a doddle to make, although it is worth taking your time over the bodice and collar area to get the right amount of definition and to avoid unwanted wonkiness.
I used a medium weight wool knit, which is not what the pattern recommends, but it works well so was worth the risk. Moreover, as the temperature has slipped from mild to cold and frosty it's also beautifully warm–especially if teamed with t-shirt underneath. I pretty much stuck to the pattern, with only one deviation which was to use a Liberty tana lawn for the front pocket facings. It's kind of my little secret as no-one can see the tana lawn (unless I deliberately draw attention to it) but I know it's there, and that makes me happy. Using the tana lawn helped reduce any bulk where the top joins the skirt, that would have resulted had I used the plum coloured knit for both parts of the pocket, and while I could pretend that this was due to forward planning, in truth, it was just a happy accident!
The dress has been hanging on my wardrobe door for several days now, waiting for me to photograph it, but the weather has been too dreary. As it doesn't look like it's going to brighten up any time soon, I decided to photograph it anyway, so apologies for the gloomy pics, which really don't do the dress justice. Looking on the bright side however, now that I've photographed it, I can at last wear my new dress!