A perfect combination for any mood, if Ellis is a gentle woman then Hattie is a blithe bachelorette. Both feature four delicate neck darts, Ellis, who gets some more feminine shaping from bust darts, is waisted, with set in sleeves and inseam side pockets. Hattie has a lined bodice, dropped waist and bold patch pockets.
All seam allowances are 1.5cm unless otherwise stated.
Skill level - intermediate.
Fabric suggestions - Suitable for linen or light wools, light to medium weight woven cottons such as drill or sanded canvas.
If you order a paper copy you will be sent a printed version of our pattern. If you select PDF, you are purchasing a digital file which will be stored on your account to be downloaded at any time. PDF's will include a tiled, an A0 copy shop file and your instructions. The tiled file can be used on any home printer and stuck together and is compatible with both A4 and US letter paper. Alternatively, you can send off the copy shop file to be printed full size; we can usually recommend someone in your area. If you are in the UK, we would recommend The Fold Line. The instructions can either be printed at home or simply follow along on your computer or phone.
Interfacing - 0.2M.
Lining (Hattie) - 0.6M - 1M.
Button - 1 x 15mm.
Mustard Check Hattie - Woodstock.
Blue Hattie in Diesel Organic Cotton Poplin. Larli is a UK size 20.
Fluro Ellis - Frankie Lemon.
Green Ellis in Garden Slate 185 linen. Claire is a UK size 26.
Rust red Hattie in Cinnamon Dust 185. Claire is a UK size 26.
Red Check - Hettie Linen Gingham.
Ecru Gingham - Sommen.
We have taken our popular Ellis pattern and reimagined it in sheer fabric with a full sleeve and placket and ‘let down’ tucks. We’ve also given the option for adding a lining to the bodice and skirt which you’ll need with a sheer cloth. Our organic cotton voile is perfect for this hack as well as our Indian dobby spots.
You can download the instructions here.
Our cotton jacquard is soft and cosy and perfect for comfortable clothing like our oversized Sidney sweatshirt or a winter dress. As well as clothing you can keep it very simple and use it for a throw for a bed, either just as it is, bagged out with a backing, or with a backing with wadding in between for maximum squish. It’s a wonderfully tactile and textural fabric that we are very happy to have in our collection.
The fabric is 120cm wide, and £24/m. The reverse is a gauzy cotton, there is no batting in the middle of this cloth, the inside is made up of a series of thicker yarns which gives it the quilted feel. The top is a fine cotton.
You can view all of the jacquard here.
Sarah is wearing the Ellis dress in Quink Jacquard which has been slightly lengthened.
Elwen is wearing the Sidney jumper in Rushes Jacquard with Sky Dip ribbing
The Crew neck Fielder top in Shadow Jacquard and our Ice and cream ribbing
We have use Shadow Jacquard to make a simple envelope cushion.
Elwen is wearing the Sidney Jumper in Dauphine Jacquard with Matte Pink ribbing.
Our Orton bag made in Quink Jacquard
Sarah is wearing the Sanda coat in Hardy Falls Jacquard
Sasha is wearing the Sanda jacket in Natural Jacquard
Our Hot water bottle cover in Shadow Jacquard (pattern coming soon)
Claire is wearing the Sidney jumper in Quink Jacquard
The Edie Top in Euphoria Tencel/Linen (out of stock | The Unfolding Jacket in Ahoy Jacquard Cotton and The Ellis Dress in Lollipop (out of stock) | Lb Pullover and the Saltmarsh skirt both in Markwick (out of stock) | The September coat and The Jack Tar bag | The Ottoline jacket in Hazel Check Wool Coating (out of stock) | The Ellis Dress in Scenery Autumn.
First of all can you tell us why you decided to come to a M&M sewing retreat, what you made and what you got out of the week?
As soon as I heard that M&M were holding sewing retreats I was hooked. I live in Edinburgh but have managed to visit the shop every couple of years, to feel the beautiful fabric and check out the notions, falling in love with the town too, so to spend time sewing there – well it just all added up. A friend and I booked a retreat for summer 2020, which was sadly cancelled due to covid, but it meant that when we did manage to make it to a retreat, we had the added bonus of staying in the beautiful M&M house. I loved the atmosphere of the retreat, the peaceful setting, the calm pace, the simplicity of sewing with skilled help at hand – and lots of time to wander amongst the fabric and make informed choices about future purchases. I chose to make the Heroine jeans, a more complicated make. I felt nervous about attempting fitting and sewing jeans, but I was able to try shop samples on for size, which was a great starting point. Katie and Elwen are so skilled and helpful, and they know the patterns inside out. I learned to go back to basics, to be precise and the jeans came together beautifully. I found being totally focussed on sewing with no distractions (food and drink was provided, we didn’t have to lift a finger, and I managed to switch off from social media) better than any spa retreat.
Can you tell us about your sewing journey?
My mother sewed all our clothes (and my father knitted our jumpers and cardigans on a knitting machine) but, having seven children, did not have time to teach me. I think I absorbed the interest in clothes, textiles and sewing from her. In school I squeezed in Needlework O level as an extra subject in sixth form and never looked back. I sewed many of my clothes, and then my children’s clothes, for the next 25 years. During this time sewing was something I did alone, something I enjoyed, but didn’t share with anyone else. With the advent of the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC in 2013 my passion was rekindled and this time it is different as, through social media, I know many other folk who share that passion and speak the same sewing language. I feel validated, that sewing is more than just sewing – it’s a creative outlet. Working with textiles, having a needle and thread in my hand, imagining, and creating garments for myself that give me joy and confidence, is something I would find hard to do without.
If you don’t sew all of your clothes are there certain places you decide to shop and does being a sewer influence how and where you choose to shop?
Since returning to sewing I buy very few clothes, and don’t shop in the way I used to. When I find myself passing through a clothes department, I’m usually very disappointed in the fabric, although the designs can be inspiring. Toast is really the only shop I choose to visit – I have taken part in their Toast Circle, where you can swap items of Toast clothing for others on their Circle rail – and I have acquired a favourite skirt this way. I love their approach to mending too. Their aesthetic is very similar to M&M, which could explain the appeal.
What is SewOver50 and how can people take part?
SewOver50 is a community account on Instagram that I started in August 2018. It’s easy to take part – follow the @SewOver50 account, use the hashtag #SewOver50 in your posts, search for others who use the hashtag, and comment on their posts. This way you will start to make connections with others and will find inspiration. And you don’t have to be 50 to join in or use our hashtag. It is really lovely when under 50s tell us that they find the community inspiring and that they are now looking forward to hitting the big 5 0 instead of dreading it.
Was there a catalyst to starting SewOver50?
I was over 60 when I started the account. I had been through a period, after turning 50, where I felt very despondent whenever I went shopping for clothes. Suddenly nothing seemed right. Nothing seemed to be for me. This was reflected in the media where suddenly I felt either invisible or was being told what I should or shouldn’t wear. I lost a lot of confidence. When I began sewing again in 2013, I initially felt inspired, but then let down again as I didn’t see myself represented in the images on patterns and on social media and didn’t feel acknowledged by brands when I tagged them. I had noticed older fashion influencers popping up on Instagram and thought there was a need for this amongst the sewing community, yet I did not want to do that myself – I had no desire to be an ‘influencer’ and indeed did not have the style to inspire others. Another community account, Sewcialists, had encouraged people to start accounts serving niche corners of the sewing community and the over 50s was one they suggested. This was the catalyst I needed to do something about it, to celebrate women and men over 50, and to encourage them to inspire and acknowledge and find each other.
Do you think SewOver50 has helped push for change within the sewing pattern industry or is there still a way to go?
A few months after starting the account, and being joined by Sandy Bach as a fellow editor, we launched our challenge So50Visible. The idea was to sew a garment where the image on the pattern was someone over 50 and so celebrating those brands that did acknowledge us. We ran this challenge again about a year later. The number of patterns to choose from was abysmal – and this was the point of the challenge, to raise awareness and to start pushing for change. In March this year we ran the challenge a third time – now renamed SewOverAgeism – and I am happy to say that the choice of patterns is much much better. The push for better representation of age has coincided with the push for more diverse representation across the board, and although it is much improved, we feel that many pattern brands, with noticeable exceptions, are still not getting the age message. We are a huge community – some say around 50% of those who sew are over 50, so it does not make sense to ignore us.
What can Merchant & Mills do better in terms of representation?
Continue to feature a variety of models on your website. It’s really useful to know model’s height and what size they are wearing. We also find it inspiring to see makers in their finished garments. Although we can see these by checking the relevant tags, it would be good to see a greater diversity of these in your stories.
Do you have a TNT pattern?
Just one? I have a few – the top one being the Paper Theory LB Pullover of which I have made many, and my favourites use M&M linen. This is now closely followed by the September and the Florence. I have made two wool versions of the September and a short lightweight mac, with plans for another mac and a linen or twill version. I wasn’t sure of the Florence until I tried it on when I was on the retreat. I fell in love with it and have since made two dresses and a top, with a couple of spring/summer tops in my plans.
What gets you excited about sewing?
Putting together a pattern or style and fabric and creating something I will love to wear. I enjoy the process, and am getting better at controlling my imperfectionist tendencies, but am definitely motivated by planning and wearing my memades.
What do you see for the future of Sew Over 50?
As I write this SewOver50 is in a state of flux. After more than four years it feels time for me to step back from the account and follow up some other interests. I am getting more involved in local community projects, including a Repair Cafe, community market garden and nature conservation. We are currently thinking about ways forward, from closing the account completely to getting more people involved. Whatever happens the hashtag #SewOver50 continues, and the strong community of over 45,000 will, I am sure, continue to inspire each other and the sewing world. we are a force.
You can follow Judith and SewOver50 on Instagram by following the links.
It’s always wonderful to make Christmas presents for friends and family, but how nice to set aside some time to make yourself a Christmas dress!
Katie and Elwen are our pattern development and sewing duo, they made themselves 2 Ellis dresses, a Trapeze, a Florence and a shortened September!
Outfit details as follows:
Sleeveless Trapeze Dress – Espresso Velvet (FYI Elwen wears a 12)
Checked Ellis Dress – Hettie Gingham (Katie wears an 8)
Shortened September coat – Shadow Brown Velvet (Katie wears an 8)
Green Ellis Dress – Anouk Heavy Tencel Twill (Elwen wears a 12)
Stripe Florence dress – Biscotti Linen (Elwen wears a 12)
The Ellis and Hattie is the newest pattern to be extended into our UK 18 – 28 size bracket. You can view the PDF here, the paper pattern will follow early next year.
A perfect combination for any mood, if Ellis is a gentle woman then Hattie is a blithe bachelorette.
Both feature four delicate neck darts, Ellis, who gets some more feminine shaping from bust darts, is waisted, with set in sleeves and inseam side pockets. Hattie has a lined bodice, dropped waist and bold patch pockets.
Ellis and Hattie can be made in a variety of fabrics, of course linen is perfect, but you could also use denim, needlecord, lightweight wool, Tencel/linen, cotton poplin, or our hemp/cotton collection. We’ve detailed below our top 6 picks for Ellis and Hattie, winter edition!
Claire wears the Ellis dress in Garden Slate 185 linen. Claire is a UK 26. Larli wears the Hattie dress in Diesel Organic Poplin. Larli is a UK 20.
From left to right | Woolsey Cinnamon Dust, Wicker Japanese Linen/Cotton, Suzanne Tencel/Linen, Mela Olive Japanese Cotton, English Charcoal Flannel, Organic Brushed Chocolate Gingham.
Pleating the skirt
Ellis & Hattie have a gathered skirt but there’s no reason you can’t pleat the skirt instead. You don’t need to alter the size or shape of the skirt piece. Below we’ve given two examples of how you can pleat the rectangle. Katie and Elwen’s dresses have smaller pleats whereas Michelle’s are wider. These are our examples of how to do the pleat, but you can create any types of pleats you like, there are many online pleat calculators if you google!
Katie in an old black Japanese wool/cotton (hopefully coming back this Winter!). Elwen in Grigio 160 linen and Portland on the bottom, Katie in Fudge Check linen | Michelle in 5.9oz Japanese Slub Denim.
Hattie dress with lip
The Hattie dress normally has a dropped waist, for this version Elwen made the bodice the same length as Ellis and created a fold that goes over the skirt seam. You could do this all in the same fabric or choose two different fabrics, like she has here.
Blue version – Navy linen with Wavy Navy skirt. Grey version – Grigio 160 with a Portland skirt.
Widening the neckline
Some people find the neckline of the Hattie and Ellis too high, one option to make it lower is to cut a different size at the neckline to the rest of the pattern.
Lengthening the sleeve, skirt, and creating a hem facing
You’ll notice that Katie has lengthened her sleeves in both dresses, she also lengthened her skirt. We’ve also included an instruction for creating a hem facing as this can be a lovely finish for some fabrics, and gives the skirt some weight.
From left to right | Ink Pool | Black | White | Day Dreamer | Bloomsbury Green | Fogland
As part of our sustainability switch, we have moved over our cotton double gauzes to an organic base. These double gauzes are made from 100% GOTS organic cotton and are Oeko-Tex certified.
Sewing with double gauze – a helping hand!
Double gauze consists of two layers of fine open woven cotton. They are attached together with tiny stab stitches at regular intervals, in a grid pattern. Because of the double layer there are a few things you can do when sewing to make your life a bit easier!
Pattern choices for double gauze
Double gauze lends itself to casual styles. It looks a bit undone, like something you’ve had for years and washed and washed. Don’t pick anything that needs precision like a collared shirt for example. If you want to dip your toe into sewing with double gauze we would suggest the Trapeze, Tee, 101’s or Dress Shirt. Slightly more challenging patterns would be Edie, Sunday, Florence, Camber. These aren’t particularly hard but because they have bias strips you’ll need to handle the gauze carefully.
Linen is one of the world’s oldest fabrics, celebrated for its strength, softness and subtle lustre. The perfect summer fabric, cool to the touch and absorbent, it will keep you fresh in the hottest of weather.
Linen is lint free, moth resistant and is stronger when wet. It is naturally dirt, stain and abrasion resistant. It is produced from the flax plant that require few or no pesticides to cultivate. This is why we love it.
The simple white linen dress teamed with natural leather sandals or a pair of converse is a clean, sophisticated, yet surprisingly dramatic statement. Keep styles relaxed and informal and let the fabric crumple. We have made the Trapeze, Fielder, Ellis and Camber. These are all very simple to make and easy to wear. These could be your holiday wardrobe is sorted.
Caring for linen: linen can be washed at high temperatures, although we recommend 30 degrees, avoid tumble drying regularly, line dry if possible. As linen has low elasticity (causing it to crease easily) do not fold away, repeated folding in the same place will cause the fibres to break eventually. Keep linen garments hanging up. Bleaching will damage the fibres as will certain strong antiperspirants. Press while damp.
From top left to bottom right:
Fielder Dress in Virgin White linen.
Camber Dress in Virgin White linen.
Trapeze Dress in Milk Heavy linen. We made an opening for the back at the neckline and made a simple tie with the linen to fasten.
Fielder Top in Virgin White linen and ribbing. These are not our Heroine jeans.
Ellis dress in Virgin White linen. We decided to line the bodice to make it more opaque.
Many thanks to Harriet Olins for being such a fun and willing model. Harriet wears a size 12 in these samples.