After making a Camber Set by Merchant & Mills top (pre-blog) I wanted to sew one up as a dress/tunic length. I love the back yoke and bias neckband features of the Camber Set giving it a more tailored look that a standard shift.
The Camber does come with a lot of design ease around the hips so bear this in mind when selecting your size. For my top I’d made a size 14 and the fit was spot on (with no alterations) I went with that, with a view to taking in the side seams later if required.
I used some mid-weight denim chambray that I had left over from another project. The denim is yarn dyed in classic denim blue colour. It is heavier weight that a lot of the chambray fabric out there, making it a bit stiffer and less drapey, but perfect for this style of dress. For the inner yoke and pocket linings I used a small piece of Liberty tana lawn “Isle of Wight D” fabric I had in my stash.
All the seams were sewn on my sewing machine, and then overlocked where relevant.
After sewing up the sides I tried it on to check the overall look. The length was OK, but I re-sewed the side seams from the bust to the hem, taking it in quite a bit. I compared my final stitched line to the pattern and guesstimate it ended up around a size 10 at the hip. If you are thinking about making it, check the finished garmet measurements to see what size you need, and consider how much drape your fabric selection has.
This dress gets a lot of wear and now that it is getting colder it is easy to layer up with a long sleeved t-shirt underneath. I’m not keen on the look of it un-belted – I find it a bit too shapeless with the stiffness of the chambray – so I always wear it with a belt. It always gets a lot of complients in the shop which is nice. Perhaps I should start stocking the pattern?
If you wanted a similar style but with more shaping to avoid having to wear a belt, then the Colette Laurel would be worth considering as it has back darts and a zip.
Would I make it again? I’m not sure the pockets are a total success. I think I probably placed them a little low, and the pocket bag isn’t that big so you can’t really store anything in them. I’d like to try making this again with the apron style pockets on the Vogue V1247 skirt (another pattern I have in my stash that I’ve yet to get round to making!).
Fabric: Denim Chambray – 1.6m @ £18.40 ; Liberty scraps ~£5
Pattern: Camber Set from Merchant & Mills – £0 (used before)
Total cost: £23.40