Camber-ing all over the place

LInda Lencovic sewing

My last few sewing weeks have been devoted to the famed Merchant and Mills Camber Set. The pattern has a top and dress version and as I’d purchased some beautiful denim linen for the dress I wanted to make sure I had all the fitting sorted out first, so I decided my toile would be a wearable one in the top option.

The top is a deceptively simple t-shirt with lovely detailing.

Camber top in cotton and chambray.

The yoke features a gorgeous double fabric layer that sandwiches the seams and leaves you with a clean finish inside and out. I spent a bit of extra time on stitching in the ditch along the back seam so as to hide that stitch line across the shoulder and keep the yoke as simple as possible. The pattern recommends hand or edge stitching, but I felt my hand stitching isn’t really up to par for this, where as my ditch stitching (is that a term?) has gotten pretty good over the last while, so gave it a whirl. Worked a charm!

Back yoke with contrasting fabric and stitching in the ditch. Please ignore that little thread that I see needs cutting!

The front neck is finished with a bias strip brought to the front, like a classic t-shirt.

bias neckline

bias neckline

I decided the pattern has such elegant details that they needed to be matched on the inside, so went for some immaculate French seaming – my preferred method of finishing raw edges. I did the hem as suggested in the pattern with a tiny turned over seam. This worked quite well in this crisp fabric, but not so well on the thicker linen. More on this shortly!

french seams and turned up hem

french seams and turned up hem

As a toile, this top was as perfect as I’ve managed to date! I was pretty confident at this point so…enter step no.2, the Camber dress version.

In Scout Denim Linen – a gorgeously heavy, washed chambray linen with the most delicious drape – this dress is classic and yet SUPER comfortable. See how smug wearing it makes me?? ;-P

Camber dress in Scout denim linen

Camber dress in Scout denim linen

I was a little worried as I was finishing it that it might be a little too conservative for me, but it feels divine on, so I think I can just spice it up with accessories when I need a bit more punch.

I kept this one simple, using the stitch in the ditch technique on the back yoke again, with only a change to fabric grain to subtly add detail.

yoke on the linen dress with stitching in the ditch

yoke on the linen dress with stitching in the ditch

I couldn’t help myself, though, and added a little bit of contrast fabric on the inside yoke which can only be seen when I take the dress off!

contrast fabric detail

contrast fabric detail

The biggest change I made was to the dress length, cutting off about 2 inches to bring it up to the knee. I found that the turned up hem didn’t work with this fabric as it looked amateur and a little ghetto, so I unpicked it and did a subtle blind hem for an elegant finish.

Camber blind hem

Camber blind hem

This pattern is the first one I have never had to do a sway back or any other back/hip/bum adjustment and it was SUCH a relief. What a joy! Would highly recommend this to anyone tempted by it. The directions are straightforward and clear and don’t assume too much knowledge, which makes it perfect for beginner/intermediate sewers!