Introduction to Garment Making: Make a Merchant and Mills Trapeze dress

  • Make a Selection

Maximum class size: 6

Level: This class is suitable for anyone who already has a good grasp on basic sewing projects (cushions, tote bags, pencil cases etc.) and have already completed our Level 2 Essential Skills A 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.

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.

You will cover the following techniques in class:

  • Sizing & body measurements
  • Understanding more complex commercial dressmaking patterns and their notations
  • Garment construction techniques and tips


Tools are provided and the pattern is included but you are required to bring your own fabric. To allow maximum sewing time, we would recommend cutting the paper pattern and fabric beforehand. Please let us know at time of booking if you would like to collect or have the pattern posted to you. If you would prefer to cut on the day and would like advice on this process, that is absolutely fine but please be aware that you may need to complete your project at home. 

Fabric Requirements

TRAPEZE DRESS

115cm wide fabric:
All sizes: 2.65m (please note, narrow fabrics are not suitable for size 18 in this pattern) 

150cm wide fabric:
Size 8: 1.65m 
Size 10-12: 1.85m
Size 14-18: 2.15m

Please allow half a metre extra for fabric with nap.

We recommend, particularly for beginners, making the closed back variation of this dress in the class - as buttonholes can be challenging and this pattern requires 10. 

If you would like to make the open button back you will need 10x 20-23mm buttons. 

Booking a class at Ray Stitch entitles you to 10% off everything in-store and our team are happy to help and advise on fabric choice and requirements for either pattern.