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Pattern review: Merchant & Mills - Eve Trousers

Merchant & Mills never disappoint! This comfortable and flattering trouser pattern was the perfect addition to my work wardrobe.

The Eve trouser epitomises Merchant & Mills' minimalist and contemporary style. Featuring a cropped, subtly tapered leg, a side zip and button closure, and two back pockets, these trousers are both functional and timeless. They were just what I was after, making them the perfect addition to my work wardrobe.

 

A wrap-up of this review

Cutting and layout
 

The makers: Merchant & Mills

Let's begin with a little background on the makers, Merchant & Mills.

  • The company was founded in 2010.

  • They are based in the United Kingdom with a store in East Sussex. Their products can be purchased online through their website, which offers worldwide shipping, and via a number of stockists located across the globe.

  • Their product offering includes sewing patterns (dressmaking and bag making), fabric and tools.

  • They focus on slow, not trend driven, sustainable fabrics and patterns that you will wear for a long time.

  • The Merchant & Mills website is not only beautifully designed but really inspiring. The site includes a large range of quality photographs of the completed patterns utilising a variety of their fabrics, and in a range of sizes.

  • A simple search of their fabrics' and patterns' hashtags (e.g. #evetrousers) will return a number of results, also providing a great source of inspiration.

  • The quality of their products is unsurpassed! I can personally vouch for this, having bought a number of different patterns, fabrics and notions from them. They also arrive beautifully packaged (plastic free of course)!

Head to their website (linked above), check out their social media @merchantandmills, or if you are lucky enough to be in the area, check out their Rye store in East Sussex, UK!

 

The pattern

Sizing and availability

The pattern is available in both paper and PDF formats in sizes UK 6-18 and 18-28. It can be purchased via the pattern page of the Merchant & Mills website, or a number of stockists located worldwide.


Design

The pattern includes two versions, giving you the option to insert pleats or darts into the waist seam, and include a turn up at the leg.


Overall the design of both is fairly minimal, featuring;

  • Darts or pleats at the front and back waist.

  • Narrow waistband.

  • Left side zipper opening with button.

  • Two back patch pockets.

  • Cropped, slightly tapered leg.

  • Optional trun up.

Whats included in the pattern

When ordering the paper version of this pattern you will receive:

  • Full A0 printed patterns on a lightweight brown tissue paper. Tissue paper is my preference over standar paper as I find it really easy to handle when cutting and pinning, and you can also iron out any creases (carefully)!

  • Two large double sided sheets of instructions. I always find Merchant & Mills instructions really clear, detailed and easy to follow. Each step is also accompanied by a simple and clear diagram. The only downside is that the instructions come as loose sheets, not as a booklet, which just makes it a little tricky to keep in order and follow at times (I am being picky here!).

  • A beautifully minimal pattern envelope. The front of the pattern envelope features a simple flat lay image of the trousers. The reverse includes the essential information, from technical drawings, fabric requirements, sizing and finished garment measurements.

 

Fabric and notions

The suggested fabrics for these trousers include mid-heavyweight cotton canvas, corduroy, light-medium weight woollens, and 7 - 12oz denim. These fabrics will help maintain a more structured shape. While lighter weight fabrics (e.g. linen) are fine to use, they will simply give you a softer silhouette.


To complete the trousers you will also need matching thread,1 x 18mm button, an 18cm (7 inch) zipper, and fusible interfacing.


I intended to wear my version for work. Therefore, I opted for the 8oz Organic Sanded Twill in Black from Merchant & Mills. This Oeko-Tex certified, 100% organic cotton has a fine twill with a soft sanded finish on one side. It is described as having a "utility look and feel to it". I selected one of their 4 holed, matte, 20mm Hemp Buttons also in Black. I also chose an 18cm YKK metal zipper.

 

Cutting and layout

As always, I would recommend pre-washing your fabric as per the care instructions prior to starting any cutting or sewing. For more on pre-washing your fabric, check out my article 'How to: Pre-wash your fabric'.


The pattern consists of only 5 pattern pieces:

  1. Front

  2. Back

  3. Waistband

  4. Zip guard

  5. Pocket

The layout and cutting is straightforward, fitting quite nicely within 150cm wide fabric. This pattern will also work with narrower width fabrics, with the instructions providing cutting layouts for 110-150cm wide fabrics.


Tip: Remember to check whether your fabric has a nap*. The pattern includes instructions for fabrics with and without a nap.

 

Fabric preparation

Once you have cut out the pattern pieces, you are only required to do a little prep work prior to commencing sewing of these trousers.

  • Ensure you have transferred all pattern markings and notches onto your fabric. In particular, ensure you have marked the positioning of the darts (or pleats), pockets, zipper and button, and also the waistband to ensure correct alignment.

  • Apply interfacing to the waistband.

 

Sewing

This pattern is described as intermediate, and I would have to agree. The pattern will have you;

  • Straight stitching.

  • Finishing seams (zig zag or overlock).

  • Sewing darts, or pleats.

  • Preparing and attaching pockets.

  • Top-stitching.

  • Inserting a zipper.

  • Creating and attaching a zipper guard.

  • Creating and attaching a waistband.

  • Hemming with turn-up.

  • Creating a buttonhole.

  • Attaching a button.

Overall, the sewing involved for the Eve trouser is fairly straightforward. You will probably notice that the trousers come together quite quickly! The only real fiddly part is the insertion of the zipper.

 

The fit

In regards to the fit, I can only comment on the size 6 trouser. However, I found the trousers fitted really nicely at the waist. I found them a little too roomy around the hips. This would be an easy fix if I was to make them again, as I would simply shave a little bit off the pattern at the hips. The darts provided the flat and smooth front I was after, and pair well with a more fitted, or a looser, peplum style top (I love pairing mine with the Merchant and Mills - Florence top, and Matchy Matchy - Collage Gather top).


I am definitely more on the shorter side (approx. 155cm) however, I found the length (with no turn up) to be perfectly cropped.

 

Glossary

Nap*: Refers to the texture or direction of the fibres, creating a raised or fuzzy surface when manipulated in a certain direction. This can be directional, meaning it runs in one direction and changes the appearance of the fabric when viewed or touched from a different angle. An example of this is velvet, where running your hand back and forth over the fabric changes its appearance and feel. Or non-directional, where the nap runs in multiple directions without affecting the fabric's appearance.

 
Please get in touch or leave me a comment. I would love to know if you found this article helpful. Maybe I have inspired you to check out the Eve trouser pattern, or the beautiful products on offer at Merchant & Mills.

Thanks for reading.

Emma xx
 

This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions contained on this site are my own. I am not affiliated with any brands, products, or organisations mentioned, and do not receive any sponsorship, payment, or other compensation for any of the content on this site.

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