A dress shirt to cheer…


Hello friends, it’s been a sad few weeks here , but I have at least made a dress that makes me happy.

This is my second Merchant & Mills Dress Shirt, and unlike last time,  I made with hardly any unpicking, go me. Yes alright, I did have to insert one of the sleeves twice, but compared to last time (is it possible to get a blister from using your unpicker….sadly yes.) she came together like a dream. I’ve actually worked out what I did wrong, the key is to have the front of the dress , which is sandwiched between the yoke & yoke lining, about 1 cm in from the edge of the two yoke pieces. In fact all you need to do is ignore me & look at the picture, it shows exactly that! Why I didn’t do that first time around is anyone’s guess.

Bloody cat digging the garden…

For this version I made the same Size 18 but lengthened by 2 “/4 cm, which I’m really happy with. I used the same sleeve piece (with a full bicep adjustment of 2.5 cm) but I made the longer length to turn up, which I love. There is something wonderfully chic about a turned up sleeve on a linen shirt, casual but not too casual.

I LOVE top stiching

The top stitching detail is lovely, despite the fact my thread matching was so on point it’s almost impossible to see. It still creates a great crisp edge to seams which is such a nice finishing touch. But I am toying with another version, using contrasting top stitching (you can never have to many dress shirts, am I right? Indeed.)

The fabric is glorious Paprika linen from The Fabric Store, how lush ? It’s cold, it’s gray, and quite frankly its been a shitty week, but at least I don’t look cold, or grey. Which helps really.

The Merchant & Mills aesthetic isn’t for everyone, and I do sometimes wonder if the models realize how much fabulous expensive linen they are casually scowling at,  but I like the style lines, and I feel great wearing the patterns I have made so far.

So why so blue. A dear friend & member of my craft group passed away last week, a fabulous, sparky , fun filled woman of just 56 years old. Cancer sucks. I wish it were like the movies. People fighting valiantly, never looking TOO sick, often recovering, or at least muttering something profound before they slip gently off this mortal coil.

The reality, or mine anyway, is anything but. I lost my Father to cancer, I’ve been to the funerals of friend’s parents, friends of my own, just a few weeks ago a lovely work colleague. It’s a shitty, soul destroying, smelly, horrible disease. It strips dignity, privacy, and leave carnage in its wake. If you are suffering you have every molecule of sympathy & rage I can muster. You, she, we deserve so much better.

Not perfect, but we got there…

But I’m trying to think of the fun positive things so I shall leave you with the tea cosy Susie helped me knit. Including memorably pointing out , when I proudly showed off the fruits of MANY hours labour ,  that I still needed to knit the other half. And I made it too short. Doh!

Our group was fostered at work, many lunch times were spent knitting, crocheting, talking (a lot in my case), 2013 will forever be known as the year of the Hot water bottle cover. Lesley is currently working on one for me which we think Susie would have approved of. I tried to knit one of my own but after four years I still only have one half (I seem to lose puff at that point…) And cold toes.


We had “thimble teas” at each others houses, this is one of the first, in my garden in summer. As you can see, a lack of craft on show, but plenty of wine & yummy food, such good fun! We learnt we needed to craft first, then introduce the bubbly & canapes…

Lunch in the garden, so much chat!

It’s awful to lose a friend, but I’m glad we had so much fun over the years. Vale Susie, you were a pearler!

Have a lovely week

Kristina xxx



  1. patb2014 says:

    Good morning Kristina…thank you for sharing your Merchant & Mills Dress Shirt…a fabulous job!…I love the color and it is perfect, cheerful and lovely on you…and you did make me laugh over your comment about the Merchant & Mills models…omigoodness…so true isn’t it…They all look miserable! I’m sorry that you lost your friend…I hope your memories of her and the summer sun bring you some solace…
    peace & good


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thank you so much💕 Yes very pleased with it, so nice to have something pretty on a grey day !


  2. Natasha says:

    I agree with you about cancer. It’s awful and I hate it. It took my dad also. I do love your dress and I think that color is beautiful, especially for the season you are in.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      I’m sorry for your loss Natasha 💕 x


  3. Pingback: Emelia for Spring

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