I am so glad I discovered independent patterns (and pattern makers) last year. For me it is the best way to learn sewing because these patterns come with excellent and couraging instructions. You get to work on a real project while someone is holding your hand, giving directions and tips. While it´s been very rewarding to me, it´s also a good way to support worthy makers/companies by buying a pattern that´s relatively affordable.
One of my two favourite labels is Merchant and Mills. From the beginning I was smitten by their look because I have a soft spot for things from UK in general. So I decided to try the Camber Set.
I knew I had to start by making a muslin because it´s a bit difficult to see what their patterns can do and how they fit. Don´t get me wrong I love their imagery but I just have difficult time imagining the garment´s shape and size. I had been looking Camber dresses and tees on Pinterest but it proved really informative to make a mock version. I was looking for a fuss-free dress pattern and thought of making a Scout dress alteration or either Inari Tee Dress but I think this pattern really provides the best of both worlds, the simplicity of Scout and the slighter A-line/bell shape of Inari.
After fitting the toilé version I realized I would have to go down one size (to 8) because the fit is quite generous. Also I decided to make the neckline 1 cm/ 1/2″ wider from the front in order to get in more easily and shorten the whole dress approximately by 7.5cm/3″. In addition I made note for myself to position the ease on sleeves a little more to the front so the sleeve would set in better.
After making a toilé I had a pretty solid understanding of the pattern. But still I decided to sew Camber Tee in size 8 with those aforementioned mods before cutting into my actual fabric. I chose this Marimekko print from my leftover pile. I used it to line my black wool coat and had just the right amount for a Camber Tee. It was a good lesson in pattern matching and I ended up tweaking the dress pattern by adding 1″ to the sleeve lenght.
My actual fabric for Camber dress is also from Merchant and Mills. It´s lovely wobbly linen with black and white waffle weave. I have one (very old) summer tunic with similar weight linen and knew how nice this fabric would be. After flashy colours of the previous picture it looks a bit dull but it really shines beyond comparison in my opinion. And it´s lovely to sew, especially with a walking foot to match those squares.
I feel pretty pleased with the both versions but I will report back on both of them when I have finished the dress.