Cutting myself some slack and almost two new dresses

My floral Cambie in version 2
At the beggining of july, I had not touched my sewing machine for over a month.


It killed me, because in the spring I was so motivated to make a summer wardrobe I even sweared-off buying clothes. I had ideas and aspirations and time and energy and then - BAM!- I got a teaching job and -POUF!- out the window went my sewing plan.

I tought I might be able to squeeze in a few hours of sewing every week starting june, but work was so intense I just did not get the time, energy and patience required to make a beautiful garment. Then I found two well fitting dresses for work, bought them and felt awful about it... After a while, I realised that I had again set irrealistic goals for myself, which I often do when it comes to hobbie. (Call me optimistic!) Anyways, I realised I had been a tad ambitious so I decided to cut myself some slack, but still try to keep some of my resolutions like buying less and making more, especially using some of my stash.

Confessions aside, once summer school was over, the first thing on my hobby to-do list was trying out the Cambie dress. First, I made view B in a floral cotton voile and light poplin lining. The construction was a snap: I used my seam ripper only once! I would totally recommend this pattern for someone who wants to learn how to line a dress. 

How about that camera work!

The instructions are really clear and gave me a lot of confidence for future projects that are lined. What I love about this dress is the shape of the neckline and the gathered skirt, which are very flattering. The results are a smidge more fancy that what I'd hoped for, but I still love it to pieces. Since it was my first go, I didn't make any big modifications: I took in the bust darts a little but for a better fit and that was it. Next time, I will use a more lightweight lining fabric, nip in the waist even more and decrease the width of the skirt pieces for less "poof".

What is up with this pose? Moving on...
The second version is in view A, but it's not totally finished yet. I'm hoping to submit it for the Sew weelky reunion! It was my first time working with linen and bemberg, both of which, I found out, crease like the dickens! Because of that, I'm not sure I'll use linen again. The bemberg was also quite slippery and shifty, but I managed to wrangle it. Unfortunately, the construction was not as easy-going as the first try, but that's all my fault. I foolishly decided to take the seams in a bit on all sides- from 5/8 to 6/8 of an inch, to be exact- thinking it would all work out and make it a bit more snug. WRONG! When the bodice and skirt were to be attached, OF COURSE the front darts didn't match up. (I'm still trying to figure that one out: maybe I didn't transfer the dart markings correctly on the shifty linen...) I tried numerous ways to adjust the skirt so it would fit the bodice, and this resulted in me getting very frustrated. It took me a few many tries, but in the end I did it. Here's how: since the seams and darts of the back pieces were aligned, I sewed them together, leaving the front open.

Back of Cambie version 1

Using the front bodice darts as guidelines, I repositioned the skirt darts carefully, making sure they were perfectly aligned. Everything seemed good, so I went ahead and attached the lining, the sleeves, etc. I was left with finishing the sleeves and the hem when I figured out the pockets were not 100% symetrical, so i'll be unpicking them again... Here are some pictures of the unfinished dress.

Inserted the zipper correctly on first try: WIN!
Front of Cambie version 1: sleeves not attached

In the end, I really liked this pattern: it's cute, comfy, easy to pull-off and versatile. A true winner! After making two Cambies, I really want a change of pace, so I'm off searching for my next project, hopefully using some of the things in my stash. In an ideal world, I would take the time to tweak the Cambie's fit a bit and make a few other versions. Ooh, and I would make a dent in my to-mend pile AND finish all my UFO's... but who am I kidding? I know all too well I won't be up to it, so I'm hesitating between another summer frock or something more autumnal. What about you? Are you still making clothes for balmy days or are you already sewing for the season ahead?


  1. What a super cute Cambie!

  2. Thanks! I'm still kinda in awe of you for that amazing Elisalex dress...