Merchant & Mills Bantam singlet
So summer’s really kicked in here in Melbourne, and thanks a lot to El Nino and climate change it looks like we’re in for a few unbearably scorching months. In preparation for the blazing days ahead, all sewing plans involving sleeves have gone out the window and we’ve been having a little singlet festival.
While to the untrained eye many singlets look vaguely the same, we sewists love and appreciate the tiny details that make a pattern unique. In the past couple of weeks, with the help of sewing buddy and singlet specialist Justine, we’ve managed to sample five different singlet patterns, which we’ll be profiling every day this week…with a rest on the weekend, thanks.
First up is the Merchant and Mills Bantam. It’s no secret we’re huge fans of Merchant and Mills fabrics and patterns – their linens, denims and Indian printed cottons are so dependably gorgeous, and their patterns are utilitarian yet classic with subtle tailoring. The Bantam’s a relatively new pattern, and it didn’t disappoint.
Pattern: As far as I know, the Bantam doesn’t sell as a single pattern, but you can find it in the Merchant and Mills Workbook. The book has full pattern sheets which means no overlaid patterns (such a luxury after a recent stint with Japanese pattern books!). Seam allowances are included and marked with notches – breathe out!
Fabric: I made my Bantam in a teeny-tiny black and white houndstooth check in an ultra-light cotton, which I dug out of a remnant bin. Justine’s blue print is MM’s Marbled Indigo Web from their Rajasthan Express collection. Both singlets are the same size, but the different drape of the fabrics really changes the shape and sizing.
Tricky bits and adjustments: The Bantam is a clear and straightforward pattern – I widened the straps by a half an inch and narrowed the binding, but am planning a follow-up with standard straps. The rounded hem takes some care and time to ensure it sits flat, and unlike other top patterns, the instructions for this one start at the bottom. You hem the front and back pieces individually and then French seam the sides – so my standard practice of choosing the hem length at the very end of the make was out the window.
Verdict: I was unsure about the length at first, but I’m really enjoying the longer line and I love the racer back – I’m even embracing the occasional bra strap flash!
Bantam love: This white linen version by Ute is classic and lovely;
House of Pinheiro has mastered the Bantam in a knit – and offers lots of tips in adapting the pattern for stretchy fabrics;
I love how this Jolie Bobines version pops against the MM bag in acid yellow.