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March 5, 2017

Merchant & Mills Curlew T Shirt


I recently acquired the Merchant & Mills Workbook and have been devouring the content. My first make from this collection is the Curlew T Shirt which is a bias cut top whose elegant lines can be either dressed up or down. I’ve described the making process in this post as well as my thoughts on working on the bias.

On the Bias

Quite a bit of time has elapsed since I made a garment cut entirely on the bias. When I got my copy of the Merchant & Mills Workbook, I knew it was time to get my bias on. I chose to start with the Curlew T Shirt pattern and am still marveling at the construction details and how nicely this first attempt turned out. The Curlew T Shirt was not a quick sew for me; however, the time spent on the construction details was well worth it.

Making rhe Curlew T-Shirt French Seams Sewing is Required

Making this Curlew T Shirt was not hard but did take some review on my part to perfect. Constructing a garment that is cut on the bias takes some patience, but the end result can be stunning. One key technique to incorporate with bias cut projects is the need to stabilize seams that could become stretched or distorted due to the instability of the bias. I used standard seam tape for this and was mindful of the seam allowance and the width of my seam tape. Since this project also incorporated French seams, the placement of the seam tape also had to be considered. I found the instructions in the Workbook to be clear and the pictures helpful in getting the seam tape just right. The French seams were a welcome addition to my current sewing repertoire and one that I will use again. I forgot how clean & professional they finish a garment. Similarly, the bias binding is a technique which has become my standard go-to for edge finishing.

Slow Sewing by Sewing is Required Merchant & Mills Curlew T Shirt

The sizing on this shirt was true to the pattern. When I was first researching this project, I read several posts describing ill-fitting bust darts. I found just the opposite when I made up my first muslin of this shirt- the bust darts were very close to where I needed them and I didn’t end up making any adjustments. There was also some discussion on using the recommended small zig zag stitch to close the dart. I didn’t have any problem getting my darts to lay flat after using this stitch- the key was using a lot of steam and pressing them over a ham. The fabric I selected for this project was a linen blend that has a nice weight & drape, and of course, I love the color.

Final Thoughts

I plan to make more items from this Workbook and will continue to use a muslin fitting first. I like the idea of creating a capsule-type wardrobe based on the patterns included in this Workbook and I will definitely make the other bias-cut patterns before too much times goes by!

Merchant & Mills Curlew T Shirt Pattern by Sewing is Required

Sewing the Curlew T Shirt by Merchant & Mills Sewing is Required


  1. […] The Curlew-T Shirt is one of these. I have a previous blog post on this make (which you can read here). The bias cut fabric and French seam construction was a welcome challenge to the tank top genre, […]

  2. […] few items from this gorgeous book. My first garment was the Curlew T Shirt which you can read about here. Continuing through the Workbook, this post describes my making of the Heron Wrap Top. With its […]

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