Hello everyone! 

For my Blogger Network post this month I’ve made a great wardrobe staple – the Merchant & Mills Camber Dress Sewing Pattern

This dress is a simple-yet-timeless A-line shape and the pattern gives you instructions to make both a dress and a t-shirt. I’ve had my eye on this Geometric Cotton Fabric for ages and thought it’d be fantastic to use for the Camber dress (the pattern envelope suggests choosing light linens, lightweight denim, fine wool or even silk!)

I’ve never made a Merchant & Mills pattern before but I was very impressed with the quality of the pattern paper and the simplicity of the instructions. This dress is a simple shape but there are a few design details that make it a delight to sew, such as the neck binding, the back yoke and the little set-in sleeves. I took my time making this dress and I think it shows in my execution – there are lots of crisp lines which will only be effective if you take the time to get it just right. I’m particularly proud of my neck binding: I don’t think I’ve ever stitched anything so neatly!

I made the smallest size Camber dress (the 8) and, as you can see from the photos; it’s quite a roomy dress. Perfect for eating a big lunch! I’ve styled my dress with and without a belt to show you how different it looks with a bit of shaping. 

The only amendment I made to the pattern was to cut about 5 inches from the hemline – without this the dress comes almost to my ankles! Otherwise I think the neck, sleeves and back fit pretty well on me without any adjustments. If I was to make this dress again I’d perhaps take a few inches off the width from the bust darts downwards, just to give the dress a bit less ‘room’.

And let’s talk about the fabric! I used a linen-look cotton for my Camber dress in a navy/cream geometric pattern. I really love the print on this fabric; it’s very modern but also looks quite timeless and it’ll match a lot of things in my wardrobe. This is exactly the kind of fabric I’m looking to sew with more often this year on my journey to produce more wearable, everyday pieces. If I had to find a negative about this fabric it’s that it’s quite stiff: this means that the dress holds its shape very well, but that’s not so great when you sit down or lift your arms up and the fabric doesn’t want to move with you! I think putting the dress through the wash a few times will soften it up and solve this problem pretty easily.

So what do you think of my finished Camber dress? Do you prefer it with or without the belt? As usual, my cat Barnaby wanted in on the action in this photoshoot – I think he complements my outfit pretty well! Have you ever made a Merchant & Mills Sewing Pattern before?