Make a wax jacket with Angela Pitcher Dowdell at Stiwdio 3



Merchant and Mills is a UK based dressmaking success story. Since setting up in 2010 the company has inspired and enabled garment makers worldwide.

Make it in Wales tutor Angela Pitcher Dowdell is a fan of The Landgate Pullover by Merchant and Mills. She has made five of them - two for herself (one oilskin and one linen) and three as gifts for friends and family (two oilskin and one linen).

This course is designed for those who have some sewing experience. i.e. you are comfortable using a sewing machine whether it is for making garments/curtains/quilting.

Probably the biggest challenge for most people will be working without pins. The oilskin fabric will happily feed through a domestic sewing machine but you will need to learn a different set of skills for cutting and stitching this unique fabric.

Angela says “My usual approach to dressmaking is to ‘listen to the fabric’ but with this you have to tell it what to do. If this is your first time working with this fabric then this course will make for an easier learning curve and sewing in the company of others is so enjoyable.”

What is oilskin? It is a waxed cotton; the sort of stuff used to make Barbour jackets. It is robust, showerproof and has the amazing quality of just looking better and better as it ages.


A two day sewing break is a brilliant opportunity to play with your own sewing machine and equipment. If you decide to bring your own equipment then this is what you should aim to pack:

• Sewing machine (with size 90 needles) and all your machine accessories

• Tape measure

• Shears for cutting fabric

• Small scissors for cutting thread

• Seam gauge (small metal ruler with sliding guide)

• Pattern weights (these could be pebbles)

• Unpicker (it happens!)

Also useful if you happen to have them:

• 30cm or 45cm ruler

• Quilting/patchwork ruler for marking parallel lines

• Tracing wheel

• Dressmaking awl

• Sewing clips

• Hand creaser

The raw edges on our sample garment were neatened using a zig zag stitch on a domestic sewing machine.

If you would like to neaten your seams using your own overlock machine then you are welcome to bring it (pre threaded!).


You will need to buy:

• The Landgate paper pattern (each person must have their own). If you will be making the man’s version there is an adjustment to make to the pattern. It is perfectly straight forward but will need to be added to the schedule so please let us know beforehand.

• Oilskin fabric (according to pattern fabric requirements). We made ours using red oilskin, you can see other colours by clicking the ‘alternatives’ tab.

• Zip. The pattern states a metal zip. If you are able to purchase your zip in your preferred colour and length then metal is fine. If not then purchase a chunky plastic one longer than you need and you can shorten it to fit (as on our sample garment). This will be covered in the course.

• 300m Gutermann sewing thread to match your oilskin fabric. 250m fine MIGHT be fine – it depends on how much undoing and re-stitching is required! Our sample garment has contrast stitching to match the zip colour. There is nowhere to hide with contrast stitching so if you are likely to be stressed by stitching that is ‘jaunty’ in places then stick to self-colour thread!

We have changed the construction slightly so the waist casing and the side pockets are on the outside of the garment. There is no need to purchase the webbing or drawstring cord; metal eyelets; fusible interfacing or lining for side pocket bags mentioned on the pattern envelope.

Please note, the casing and pocket constructions shown on the envelope will not be available on this course.

You can see the casing and pocket details on the photographs of our sample garment.

We need a minimum number of participants for any of our courses to run.

Please do not purchase any of your materials until we have confirmed the course has sufficient participants to run.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

• Tuition from designer Angela Pitcher Dowdell (Maximum class size will be 6 participants)

• The use of the specialist equipment needed including tracing wheel, sewing clips and hand creaser

• The use of general sewing equipment including sewing machine and shears

Delicious lunches are available from our cafe downstairs.


Angela at Make it in Wales


Stiwdio 3
3 High Street
SA43 1HJ

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners


2 days (9:30am to 4:00pm)

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