Thursday, August 29, 2013

Things I've Sewn Lately: Cambie Dress

In an effort to whittle down my (already very small) stash before my trip to New York, I used my American-made Colorado fabric to make a Cambie dress. And, because I like to save new items of clothing for special occasions, this dress made its debut on Male Pattern Boldness Day

I had already made a pink Cambie from a bedsheet, which I wore to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding I attended in Colorado, but broken zippers and decreased breathing room in that dress (plus a few other muslin mistakes) mean that I won't really be wearing it much, or at all, if I'm honest. It's just not comfortable except on my thinnest "thin" days.

I will say, that I learned with this version, on which I broke two zippers, how to stop breaking invisible zippers in Cambies. The instructions have you insert the invisible zipper normally on the outer fabric, and then with the lining and the outer fabric right sides together, it has you stitch the lining to the zipper.

Do yourself a favor and don't stitch the lining too close to the zipper teeth. I guess I'm a slow learner, but I broke a total of four zippers between the muslin and the final.

I took a few pictures with my "special occasion" crinoline, just because it looks pretty with this dress, but I'm not really one to wear a crinoline on a regular day. Too itchy and difficult to fit through doors/around crowds (though I totally take my hat off to you vintagey ladies who wear them on the regular! I love the look.) 

Aside from assorted zipper-related issues, this dress, like all Sewaholic patterns I've made, has lovely instructions and is very well drafted. I made a straight size 6. Because my last one got really tight with the broken zippers, I decreased the seam allowance to 1/2" instead of 5/8". I don't think I needed to, though. I'm pretty sure now that all of the tightness in my other one stemmed from the zipper issue. However, the extra breathing room is very nice to have. I wore this on a four-hour car trip, followed by a long day in NYC plus a second two-hour car trip and I was very comfortable all day long.

I worked really hard to make the inside of this dress as lovely as the outside (and then I neglected to take pictures of the inside -- woops!) I used lace hem ribbon on the lining and seam binding hem tape on the fashion fabric. I hemmed by hand, as I usually do.

The dress is fully lined -- I used white cotton lining fabric, also from Colorado -- and the gathered skirt version has hidden pockets.

This is the first sweetheart neckline dress I've ever owned, but I really like it. Normally, I'm a necklace-wearer, but I think the neckline interest in this dress eliminates the need for one. I do wish I'd overstitched the neckline -- I probably will go back and do that. It's not rolling, but even with pressing it looks a little puffy to me.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this dress and I could definitely see myself making it again -- maybe with the A-line skirt in a more work-appropriate fabric if I start working in the office more frequently. 

What have you made lately?


  1. I've been seeing so many gorgeous Cambie's lately that I really really need to finally make mine when I get my sewing machine back.

    This is such a lovely version :)

    1. You really should! I'd love to see your version -- you make such lovely things! :)

  2. I love this dress on you. I recently got this pattern and I'm sad that summer is almost over and it will probably be next year that I wear one.
    I also wanted to let you know I nominated you for a blog award:

    1. Thanks so much! I totally feel your pain -- I've got a couple patterns I wanted to sew up this summer and didn't end up getting to. Next year for sure! ;)

      And thank you for the sweet (see what I did there?) award! That's so kind of you to think of me!!