A woman in grey trousers and white shirt sits on grass

Merchant and Mills Strides finished

A woman in grey trousers and white shirt stands by a window

When I last posted about these trousers I was struggling with the pockets. But as you can see I finished them and I’m very pleased with the results. These are the Merchant and Mills Strides. They don’t seem to be available as a standalone pattern but are part of the Merchant and Mills Workbook, a collection of six patterns making up a wardobe. The Strides are described as classic menswear style trousers. They’re straight legged, very high waisted, and have slant pockets and pleats on the front. Mine are made up in a mediumweight non-stretch grey denim. It’s heavier than any of the recommended fabrics for the pattern but it’s unusually soft and drapey for denim, which makes it work. I’d link to it, but it seems to have sold out.

Closeup of grey trousers

I really like the fit on these but it’s only fair to say that other people have had mixed results. The sizing is a little hard to fathom as there is no size chart provided, only finished garment measurements. The size numbers look like they’re meant to match UK retail or Big Four pattern sizing, but in fact they aren’t equivalent. I’d say to go down at least one from your usual size. There’s no inside leg measurement given but after checking the pattern I lengthened the leg something like 8cm, which is more than I usually do.

What I ended up with is close fitting on the natural waist and roomy everywhere else. Very comfortable to wear. The pockets worked out ok after I recut the back piece longer to match the front one, although I’d prefer them to be a bit deeper overall. If I’d used the original pattern pieces with the shorter back piece they’d be far too shallow for a phone (at least for the size I made; I haven’t been back to check the others).

A woman in grey trousers and white shirt stands by a white wall

The pattern is described as inspired by classic menswear but it’s simplified from traditional men’s trousers, which makes it a much easier sew. There is no centre back seam on the waistband for adjusting the size and no back pockets of any sort. However there is a very nifty shaped fly guard with an internal button closure to keep the front lying really flat. I had a bit of difficulty with the button placement on that – the buttonhole seemed placed much lower on the pattern pieces than on the diagrams in the instructions – but that might have been my mistake in tracing and marking. I made it work but next time I’ll check the pattern pieces really do line up before making the buttonhole. Interestingly the photos in the book of the insides look more like how my fly guard ended up than the diagrams do.

Here’s the back view. I get those wrinkles under the backside on most trousers. I suppose I could take some length out of the back crotch curve to try to deal with it but it doesn’t really bother me.

A woman in grey trousers and white shirt stands by a window with her back to the camera

I’ve been wearing these a lot since I finished them. They feel effortless to wear but I’d like to think they have a Katharine Hepburn vibe. And I love the proportions I get when tucking in a top to the high waistband. It’s as if they were drafted for me personally. I’ll definitely be making this pattern again.

The shirt is Style Arc’s Juliet – another one I have plans to sew again. Thanks to my husband for taking the photos.

A woman in grey trousers and a white shirt sits on grass

22 thoughts on “Merchant and Mills Strides finished

      1. Only one photo each on the sale page, and some of them aren’t very informative. Not so much for trousers, but I need drawings to see if they facilitate the multitude of adjustments I have to do for tops. Pretty much never buy patterns without drawings. Generally more informative than photos. Designers rarely include photos of models my shape: short, squat and busty – pretty much the opposite of you 🤣

      2. Ah right, I’m going by the more recent patterns on the website! I agree that technical drawings give a better idea of a garment. I always find myself browsing Burda by the pages of diagrams rather than the model pics. Not having the fabric and the model to distract makes it much easier to see a pattern’s potential.

  1. Great trousers – but wouldn’t it be nice for the centre back men’s style adjustment to be available. As someone whos waist and hip difference is very small I’m not sure this would work for me but they look fabulous on you. I’m glad that you persisted with the pattern, and I agree that you will be likely to use it again.

    1. That did seem like an odd omission as it’s not a hard thing to sew. I understand skipping things like back welt pockets. Although I’m kind of tempted to add those if I made these again.

  2. Quite lovely! A good pair of comfy, yet stylish, trousers is a win and a must. I just finished a linen pair last night, but they are best ‘modeled’ than worn. (Posting soon).

  3. Great Strides! I’m glad you got those pockets sorted out, after all, what is the point of pockets unless they are truly functional. I’m interested in the comments about the fly guard. I seem to get a few problems with trousers not lying flat at the front (I think this is mostly due to my shape). I wonder whether this shaped fly guard would help?

  4. great trousers – adore that shirt – they make a great combo. Glad I was not the only person perplexed by a merchant mills pattern. I have their Landgate Jacket pattern and I am still unsure what size it should be cut to fit!

  5. What a lovely pair of trousers – and in denim, no less. I see you are wearing the lavender shirt from your previous post. They go so well together!

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