Ellsworth shirt

Look away now if you don’t like wrinkles!

I really fancied sewing myself a Merchant and Mills Ellsworth shirt this summer, but the paper pattern was out of stock everywhere for absolutely ages! Yes I am very aware I could have bought and printed the PDF, but I just like paper patterns, OK? It finally became available again a few weeks ago and I snapped up a copy within seconds of the stock being added to The Fold Line.

Love a boxy fit.

There were many things that drew me to the pattern; I’m a Merchant and Mills fangirl, I love sewing shirts, the boxy fit looked fun to wear, the half-placket and split hem were nice details and so on. I also had the ideal fabric in my stash – this beautiful salmon-coloured lightweight linen that I bought from Saeeds Fabrics in Walthamstow. I even found the perfect little shirt buttons in Grandma’s tin, so once I’d bought some matching thread I was all set!

The shirt looks great with jeans and denim shorts.

Once my shirt was all cut out I hit a bit of a wall, which hasn’t really ever happened to me before. This seemed to be because the very first sewing step was creating the front placket – no gentle easing into the project with a bit of stay-stitching or sewing some shoulder seams, just BAM – chop down that line and do lots of complicated folding and pressing. I put off starting the shirt for ages, but of course once I actually got down to it it was smooth sailing – what a waste of time!

The French seam into a split hem had me scratching my head, but it’s a lovely neat finish.

I really like the Merchant and Mills instructions and the shirt came together nicely over the course of a few evenings. The only step that was a bit tricky was sewing the French seam at the side seams and then transitioning that into the split hem. The illustrations really helped to work this out and the finish is lovely – it would look even neater in a fabric that doesn’t fray as much as linen! The collar and cuffs went in beautifully too and the whole finish inside is very tidy.

I love the relaxed fit.

My body measurements in Merchant and Mills patterns put me in a size 10, but I always make a size 8 as their finished garment measurements are very generous. This was definitely the right call for the Ellsworth – it’s still lovely and over-sized, but I’m not swamped in fabric. I didn’t make any adjustments at all and if I make the shirt again I wouldn’t make any changes.

Fully embracing that ‘lived in’ look!

Now I’m definitely someone who irons her clothes and I absolutely hate looking crumpled. I have been known to hold my seatbelt for an entire car journey to avoid getting wrinkled and I will happily stand up on the train for 45 minutes so I don’t crease my outfit. However, there is literally no point fighting against linen, so I decided as soon as my shirt was finished I was going to embrace the ‘lived in’ look. Surprisingly, I really like it – it works so well with the style of the shirt and gives that really ‘summery’ vibe.

New shirt joy!

I’m so pleased I finally got my hands on a copy of the Ellsworth pattern and it was definitely worth the wait! I’d love to know how you feel about wearing linen – are you on team ‘tame the wrinkles’ or team ’embrace the crumpled look’? Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Ellsworth shirt

  1. I love the style of the Ellsworth too but unfortunately it’s one of my PHDs šŸ˜£ hopefully I’ll finish it one day.

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