Creative Mama, Handmade, Sewing

Merchant and Mills Camber Top

29th May 2019

Wow, I didn’t mean to be absent from this blog for so long, but sadly life got in the way.  Back in February one of my boys was taken ill, and although he is now thankfully back to full health, it has taken me a while to get back to anything creative. 

I have really been missing sewing so I decided that it was time to leap back into it and challenge myself with a project.  I have made very few items of clothing, but was reminded that I had put some garment sewing on my 2019 sewing goals, so decided now was the time. 

If I am honest I have always been rather nervous of making clothes.  It feels like such a large amount of fabric to commit to something that you don’t know whether you will like – or if it will even fit.  I made a lovely dress once on a dressmaking course at Millie Moon and really enjoyed the experience, but when I then went to make my first solo project afterwards I had a bit of a disaster and lost all confidence.  So I decided that I needed to start with something straightforward, but lovely. 

A number of my sewing friends had recommended the Merchant and Mills Camber Set, which included both a dress and top.  Everyone said this pattern was fairly straightforward but produced lovely garments that were easy to wear. 

Having been given some gift vouchers at my baby shower last September, I headed for Millie Moon in Frome and picked myself up a paper copy of the pattern.  I also got some beautiful cotton in a Japanese Print by Lecien, from the Miyabi Collection.  I thought the gold embossing on the cotton would make the top feel a bit special whilst still being able to wear it with jeans.

I set to work last weekend and was pleased to find that the pattern was easy to make.  The pattern is definitely suitable for a beginner but it does assume some prior sewing experience and knowledge.  For example it assumes you know how to sew darts (which, luckily, I do).  The only issue I had with the pattern was the amount of fabric required.  I hadn’t noticed that the width of the fabric on the pattern was 120cm and I was buying from a 44inch bolt.  This meant that I was slightly short of fabric.  I got around this by making the yoke lining in a different fabric from my collection as it was hidden inside the garment but I would suggest buying slightly more fabric than needed to be on the safe side. 

I made the size 12 from the pattern, which I am pleased with.  I used my body measurements to guide me on size and felt that the top came out as I expected.  Once I finish breastfeeding I will possibly make a size 10 and see how they compare. 

Overall I am really pleased with the outcome and I will definitely make this pattern again.  I would also like to make the dress version when I get some more time to sew.  A big thank you to my friends, who gave me gift vouchers for when I needed a sewing treat.  This was the perfect time and project to use them for! 

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