I can’t believe I finally finished this dress! I started the Cambie about three months ago but when I had too many fitting issues to allow me to complete it before an event, it languished in my sewing area for months. Although I love the style, it’s not one I would wear regularly. When I realized I had a wedding this weekend I figured I should just finish it and wear it. It’s my first dress with a zipper and lining. Yay! I have to admit I was worried about wearing this to a nice event. What if the seams ripped open? What if the fit was totally off and I was too close to the project to see it? In the end, I think it turned out fine.
Initially I set out to make a muslin out of my cotton lining fabric and if it was close enough I’d already have my lining made. Turns out I had quite a few adjustments to make so it required new pattern pieces and cutting all new lining fabric. Sewaholic patterns are designed for a pear shaped person, which I thought I was. I guess I’m not as dramatically a pear as she designs for. So, I ended up with a 10 in the bodice and waist blended down to an 8 in the hips. Totally the opposite of what I normally have to do. Oh well, that’s what muslins are for, right? I also had to shorten the bodice and back by an inch, shorten the straps and take in the side seams of the bodice so I ended up solidly between sizes.The fabric is a stretch cotton on the outside (which I love) with just muslin for the lining. Since it was a summer dress I went for a cotton lining to keep it comfortable. I sewed my seam allowances a bit smaller on the lining since it doesn’t have stretch like the exterior fabric. I don’t know if that’s a legit adjustment but it seemed to work.
In hindsight I should have used a cream colored zipper –it’s showing more than it should. The ends at the top of the zipper are a tad uneven but I can live with that -I don’t have to look at it. I should have paid more attention (or any attention at all) to matching the pattern in the back. Luckily it’s not too bad.
I’m wondering if I should have taken the hem up another 1/2-3/4 of an inch – what do you think? I tried to have it hit right above my knee but it doesn’t look that way in the pictures.
Typical of Sewaholic patterns, the instructions and the process to complete the dress were excellent. The only tricky part was sewing the lining to the zipper but Tasia has a tutorial on her blog that made it super easy. The inside finish looks fantastic. The sleeve/strap insertion was very cool too. You do that at the last minute so it can be adjusted to fit you perfectly.
Love the pockets. I know a lot of bloggers rave about pockets and I never really understood the passion out there for them. I don’t carry things in my pockets and they add bulk. But on this dress the pockets are great – very comfortable and don’t add any lumps. I found myself using them a ton. I wish I would have stabilized them as I read on Gertie’s blog this week but they were already done. I have a feeling they will stretch out.
Speaking of stretching out…The only negative of the dress is some gaping at the neckline. It doesn’t lie flat when I sit. I had to watch myself at dinner or I’d give a show. I don’t know if it is a fit issue or if the fabric stretched as I sewed it. Might be both. You can kind of see the stretching below.
I’m pretty psyched about the dress, more from an accomplishment standpoint than a wearing standpoint. I’m not so sure I’ll wear it often only because when I wear dresses they are usually either dressier or more casual sundresses. This falls somewhere in between. If I still worked in an office I would make 10 of these! I may make a solid black cotton version since I think that would be really versatile. I highly recommend the pattern!