Pattern Review • Merchant and Mill's The Top 64

Posted on April 05, 2016

We've just finished making The Top 64 by Merchant and Mills and we've thoroughly enjoyed making it. 

Merchant and Mills The Top #64 Sewing PatternThis style is best described as a work-wear garment, an artists smock or a smart jumper. It features in-seam pockets at the front, along with central seams both front and back and raglan sleeves. It's a feminine take on the style and function of a fisherman's top and we love it!

Merchant and Mills The Top 64 in Robert Kaufman's Yarn Dyed Essex Linen

For this style you need a fabric that will hold its shape, so with that in mind we chose to make ours in Robert Kaufman's Yarn Dyed Essex Linen in Black, shown above, it's the perfect weight for this style but has a lovely hand-feel as well.

Merchant and Mills The Top #64 Sewing Pattern

As we've come to expect from the Merchant and Mills sewing patterns, the instructions are clearly laid out and illustrated. And this make was surprisingly easy to sew! It's much easier to make than it looks. The raglan sleeves, for example, are much easier than a set in sleeve, and although there are a lot of pattern pieces, they're all easy to sew together. Plus, you can choose whether or not to top-stitch.

Merchant and Mills The Top #64 Sewing Pattern

Whereas some of the Merchant and Mills patterns have tended to come up a little on the big size, we're really pleased with the fit on this style, the only adjustment made was to shorten the sleeves slightly.

Merchant and Mills The Top #64 Sewing Pattern - Top-stitching

This style lends itself nicely to being top-stitched. We chose to top stitch the central seams, front and back, and the cuff and main hems.You may decide to take it further and top-stitch the bottom panels and the central sleeve seams, or you may prefer not to top-stitch at all.

To get a lovely straight line for our top-stitching we followed Jane, from Jane Makes, advise, and used a low-tack masking tape to mark the stitch-line, which worked a treat!

Merchant and Mills The Top #64 Sewing Pattern

We love how this top has turned out, and it's definitely a style that we'd make again.

Other fabrics that The Top #64 would work well in, as well as any of the other Essex Linens, including the new metallics! This style would also look good in the 8oz Washed Indigo Denim, and you could top-stitch in a traditional gold colour associated with jeans, and the striped Navy & Cream Railroad Denim would also look good too.

Merchant and Mills The Top #64 Sewing pattern

This style would also lend itself well to being adapted, the raglan sleeves are really flattering  and would work well as a short sleeved summer weight top, you might choose to remove the in-seam pockets for this and also possibly the horizontal seam that they're built into.

Merchant and Mills The Top #64 Pattern Hack - Dress

By co-incidence, Merchant and Mills have been working on a pattern hack of this style and have made it into a short sleeved dress, which we think looks fantastic, the hack for this will be available on their website very soon.

We hope we've inspired you to try The Top #64 for yourselves! And don't forget we love to see your sewing projects, so please do email us via the contact page with your photos!


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