A Fielder for Frocktober

A Fielder for Frocktober


Hello October and Hello Frocktober!  What a great excuse to sew one of my favourite garments ever… a frock.  And not any frock, but the Fielder Dress/Top pattern by Merchant & Mills.


Frocktober is initiative by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) that invites people to hold frock-fundraising events in October.  The Drapery has got on board again this year and are offering 10% off for every frock pattern + fabric purchase.  This offer is valid in store and online by using the code FROCKTOBER at checkout.  For every Frocktober combo purchase during the month of October, The Drapery will donate $2 to OCRF.  That’s right, your shopping raises vital money for ovarian cancer research.  It’s a win win for everyone!

Frocktober logo 2015

Now it’s time to spill the beans on this dress….  This project was a pleasure from start to finish.  So much so, I thought I’d write a report card that includes an excessive amount of photos.



Well it’s an A+ for drafting as all those notches match perfectly.  I needn’t have felt nervous as I attached the jersey neck binding and cuffs to a woven fabric… they went on without incident.  Although, I expect that had a lot to do with my walking foot rather than the fact I held my breath!


It isn’t apparent from the Fielder line drawings, but there is a dart in the raglan sleeves that creates a beautiful fitted shoulder.  I’m calling it… a sleeve of beauty.



These sleeves are also my favourite three-quarter length and they just demand to be pushed up… and who am I to say no?


The dress includes inseam pockets, but I left them off.  I know many sewers/sewists love pockets, but as I don’t use them on a day-to-day basis, I only include them in my makes when they are a design feature.


The instructions and accompanying diagrams are very clear.  I read them before I started and then followed my own orders of preference for sewing a raglan garment.


I did follow the instructions for hemming, and it was my first time ironing the hem up to the hem notch, opening it up a little and tucking the raw edge into the crease line to create a double hem.  I’ll be using this method again for sure.

I love learning little tricks or different ways of doing things and then applying them to other projects.  Here is a little sewing tip for neck binding/ribbing and/or cuffs…

To reduce bulk, snip little triangles out of the seam allowance where the binding/ribbing folds in two.



Merchant & Mills patterns are renown for being roomy, so I sewed a size smaller than my bust measurement suggested and it was the right size for me.


My test version of this dress indicated that the bust darts were in the right position, but a touch too long.  For this version, I shortened each dart by 1cm and now they are good, but not perfect.  In an ideal world, they could be dropped a smidge.  This is not an uncommon alteration for me.


The other small fit issue I had with the pattern, was a slight gaping back neckline.  Nothing that a scarf won’t hide, but enough to irritate this perfectionist who must stop forgetting about her high rounded shoulders (ie. the cause of the gape).

It’s a personal preference thing, but I shortened the dress by 2 inches so it sits slightly above my knee.



The Fielder dress/top is designed to be sew in linen with matching cotton ribbing.  I took that information on board, but of course I did my own thing.  Tweedy Bird is apparently a favourite at The Drapery, they even dedicated a blog post to it, and now I can see why.  It contains  55% hemp, 32% organic cotton & 13% wool making it a great trans-seasonal fabric that has the warmth and softness of wool, the strength of hemp and the easy-care of cotton.

This fabric was joy to sew.  The thing that impressed me the most was how beautifully it pressed.  Now I want to sew everything out of it!  The jury is still out on the base colour of the fibres, yes the old blue or black debate, but I’m voting for french navy and cream.


I’ve discovered that quality cotton ribbing in a variety of colours is actually hard to come by, so I opted to use some grey merino rib.  I originally thought I’d add some bright colour, but realised that keeping thing tonal would allow for a variety of colourful lipsticks, scarves and shoes to be worn with the dress.  If I can liken this thought process to buying a neutral couch and adding colourful cushions!


Great pattern, great fabric, great cause… get on board!


Pattern:  Merchant & Mills’ Fielder Dress/Top pattern
UK 10
Tweedy Bird (55% hemp, 32% organic cotton & 13% wool) and Grey Merino Rib from The Drapery
Shortened the darts by 1cm (3/8″).  Shortened the dress by 5cm (2″)
Accessories:  Scarf from gift from a dear friend & shoes a recent purchase from Mountfords.

The pattern and fabric for this project were gifted to me by the Drapery, but the opinions are my own.


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