Make The Camber Shift or Trapeze Dress - A Pattern by Merchant & Mills

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Make The Camber Shift or Trapeze Dress - A Pattern by Merchant & Mills

Sunday 20 August 2017

Session: 1


Time: 10.00am - 5.00pm

Level: Beginner Plus

Maximum Class Size: 6

During this full daytime class you will make either of these beautiful utilitarian dresses. Both patterns are designed by Merchant and Mills, a brand famous for their no-fuss style and ultimate comfort, add your own personal touch to make the style completely unique to you. Both dresses give you the opportunity to learn a range of  making-up techniques.

The Camber Set is the perfect introduction to commercial sewing patterns. This simple shift dress doesn’t even require a zip so if you’re new to dressmaking, this pattern is a great opportunity to focus on learning how to translate a paper pattern and it’s notations into a beautiful, very wearable dress. The Camber Set has a tapered A-line silhouette, yoke and short sleeves, you also have the option to make it as top. It is perfectly comfortable and works in many different fabrics, so you'll want make it over and over again for every occasion.

The Trapeze is Merchant & Mills’ classic signature dress suitable for all seasons when made in a range of fabrics. It features 3 versions – short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve and sleeveless. It is a versatile dress that you will want to live in! It is a relaxed, classic flared cut to be worn loose and is absurdly practical and comfortable, the pattern features an optional flared sleeve godet. 

Level: This class is suitable for anyone who already has a good grasp on basic sewing projects (cushions, tote bags, pencil cases etc.) and has already completed our Next Steps class or equivalent. Ideally students should have attempted to make their own clothes using a commercial pattern but is not essential. Both dresses are an ideal starting block to begin your dressmaking journey, if this will be your first made garment we recommend that you choose a plain, easy-to-sew fabric.

In class you will cover the following techniques:

  • Sizing & body measurements

  • Understanding commercial dressmaking patterns and their notations

  • Layplans and cutting the fabric

  • Garment construction techniques and tips

  • The pattern is included and will be yours to take away but you will be required to bring your own fabric for the garments.

    Fabric Requirements:


    Fabric 120cm/140cm wide:

    Sizes 8-10: 2.2m/1.4m

    Size 12: 2.3m/1.5m

    Size 14 2.4m/1.5m

    Sizes 16-18: 2.5m1.6m


    Fabric Recommendations:Lightweight or laundered linen, Light-medium weight cotton, poplin, brushed cotton, fine wool, lightweight denim, chambray or silk. Slightly heavier weight fabrics such as Cotton Twill can be used for the Camber Set.

    This is a one full day workshop, we will provide lunch and refreshments throughout the day and all notions are included.


    Moyna Hamilton studied clothing technology at London College of Fashion before going straight into the fashion industry and working as a pattern cutter. For over 18 years she worked for a wide range of companies from designers to high street suppliers and, after having children, she also successfully set up and ran her own children’s bed linen and accessories company called Eazy-Tiger. More recently she has been teaching in primary and secondary schools and is pleased to be combining her experience in schools with her years of experience in fashion to teach others the art of sewing, pattern cutting and making their own clothes.

    Luisa Tobitt began to develop her interest in stitch and textiles whilst studying for a BA in Sculpture at Brighton University. Much of her work involved taking garments apart, reworking them and stitching onto them. On completion of her degree, Luisa returned to London and studied a Diploma in Theatrical Costume at Kensington & Chelsea College. She spent the next two years studying design, pattern cutting, construction and decoration for 18th Century dress and the Victorian era. Gaining a Diploma in Handcraft Tailoring at London College of Fashion closely followed this and three years later Luisa also gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Pattern Cutting & Garment Technology, also at London College of Fashion. With a strong love for vintage fashion, Luisa enjoys using vintage patterns, reworking vintage garments and studying traditional sewing techniques.