The weekend before last I paid a visit to a ‘new’ shop in town, and purchased 1.5m of this beautiful waxed cotton. I pre-washed and pegged out and began perusing my patterns. I settled on the Camber top from Merchant and Mills. I had made a couple of the dress versions previously and I thought the simple lines of the top would showcase the bold print.

I planned my weekend to incorporate a good chunk of sewing time after lunch on Sunday and got to work. Firstly I messed up attaching the yoke and yoke lining, catching in the front neckband and rendering the hole too small to fit over my head! I didn’t however discover this until I had trimmed and clipped the curved seam. I then noticed I had cut both sleeves the right side up, and as I had barely any fabric left decided to leave the sleeves off and double turn the arm holes and hem. I skipped a step and didn’t finish the bottom of the yoke lining correctly leaving it raw. At any of these points it would have been a good idea to put the project aside and do something different, but I alas I continued.

I French-seamed the sides, and was pleased with how neat they looked. But when I tried it on, the faults on the neckline bothered me and the cut of the arms was all wrong – and really I know full well you can’t just remove sleeves and hope for the best. I set the top down and decided to give up; the fabric would join my (mountain of) scraps.

Yesterday however, I had a change of heart. In the evening I looked at one of my GBSB books and found the pattern pieces for the shell top. I used my chalk pen to redraw the arm scythe, ensuring I chopped off the thicker hemmed parts. I then cut two more pieces of neck binding from the Camber pattern and sewed them together, hoping they would reach right around the neckline. I re-hemmed the arms and attached the new binding, encasing the raw bits and adding the band to the back where previously there hadn’t been one. I also hemmed the bottom. After trying on I decided to re-French seam to pull the sides in a little.

The fabric pressed beautifully throughout and was a real pleasure to work with. Having made my previous Cambers successfully I assume it was pure user error that hindered me on Sunday, but I am really glad I persevered and ended up with a wearable (though somewhat summery under today’s damp and cloudy skies) top. So, here, finally, is my entry for this week’s GBSB Sewalong International Week. Thank you to Sewisfaction, Maven Patterns, The Avid Seamstress, Happy Fabric, and My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns for sponsoring. I definitely learnt some valuable lessons this week!

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