The Merchant and Mills Workbook is a beautiful book. The layout and way it’s put together have the usual high-quality Merchant and Mills look- what’s not to love. The pattern pieces are spread over multiple sheets so it takes a bit of work to trace the pattern off.
First pattern up is the Curlew which can be made as a vest, long-sleeve top or dress
I used some lovely, map-print, chiffon-weight rayon bought in the Glasgow Mandors to make the vest (I have a couple of metres of the blue version for another project in the stash).
All versions of the Curlew are cut on the bias and lined to finish off the edges. I added a bit of length to the front and back of the vest as I cut it out- 2″ front and 3.75″ at the back because that’s what I could fit on the fabric and used the French curve to tidy up the curve between the front and back pieces. Then it just needed a spray of starch before starting to sew.
I stay-taped the shoulders with ribbon then made stay-tape with fusible knit interfacing using this fab tutorial. I hadn’t used this trick before but it worked brilliantly to stabilise the neck and armscyes without stay-stitching.
I’d read a couple of people had ended up with pointy darts when making this pattern so I used a one-thread dart (tutorial here). The set-up instructions sound really odd but it worked perfectly- no pointy darts.
I didn’t line the vest but finished all the edges with me-made white rayon bias binding, hand-stitched on the inside.
The instructions are really good, just enough without too much detail, and the bias-cut is genius- it skims but doesn’t cling which makes it really flattering. More patterns will definitely be made from this book.