Alert the Press: I sewed something!
Luckily it is Hallowe’en, because I am ghostly pale in these pictures. Possibly because it was far too cold to be outdoors in a flimsy t-shirt!
Pattern: The Camber Top by Merchant and Mills, size 8 (the smallest size)
Fabric: 1 metre of silk / cotton voile from Cousette, about £12 if memory serves me right.
Other: Just thread, from stash.
I wasn’t planning to make this top, but when the pattern arrived I had a sudden attack of cold feet about cutting into my lovely flannel to make the dress version when I had no idea how it was going to turn out. I have scoured the web, and haven’t yet found another blogger who has made this.
Merchant and Mills patterns perhaps appeal to a different demographic: dare I say slightly older women, who may be less likely to blog…?
So despite the autumnal chill, I excavated this lightweight voile from the stash and set to work on the top, just to try out the pattern.
I am really glad that I did, because despite its simple shape, sewing the Camber is all about attention to detail and achieving a high-quality finish. I had to put the brakes on and take it one step at a time, because the yoke construction was entirely new to me and I was in serious danger of botching it up by going too fast.
Breathe, Roo, just breathe!
It is described as “easy to make” and I suppose that is true if you already know how to sew. It would be a really good pattern to use in a dressmaking class, because there are no awkward fastenings to insert, no buttonholes, no interfacing. But I think a complete beginner might get into a grumpy strop tackling that yoke on their own at home. It is beautifully constructed. The end result has the potential to be immaculate… but only if you are meticulous with your measuring and stitching and instruction-following.
Me? I took two shots at the shoulder pivot before I got it right. Just saying.
I decided to cut the smallest size and made no attempt to alter anything. I had read on the Raystitch blog that the designer bases her sizing on a Toast or M&S model, so I expected it to have lots of ease and it does. I am very happy with the fit across the shoulders and the neckline is just right – not as high as my 60’s shell pattern, and easy enough to pop over my head as long as I remember to take my glasses off!
The darts are in a good place for me: not too high.
It might be a little too roomy for me through the hip, but better that than too tight.
Yup. This could very well become my go-to pattern for a woven summer top.
I can’t imagine wearing it for another 6 or 7 months without at least two more layers above and below, but that’s my own fault for sewing such thin fabric in October!
Next up? The dress version, in seasonally-appropriate fabric.
Woo hoo! I am sewing again!