Cambie, Shaken Not Stirred
The Cambie dress pattern seems to ride a very fine line between super twee and possibly sophisticated. I’ve made it once before and only wore it that one time because it just wasn’t “me.” It also didn’t fit that great, I used the a-line skirt but it was too big so it always looked (to me) like the gathered skirt version. And the sweet heart neckline, while cute on some people, just feels weird in my definitely-not-sweet style.
It’s kindof funny how I actually really love most everything Tasia at Sewaholic puts out, but her style is so much more girly than mine. I think it’s because her patterns are very current to what I actually see on the streets in “middle America” (or North America because Tasia is Canadian, doesn’t matter, we love our neighbors to the north). Styles change much slower in the middle of the continent. Modern or edgy is nice, but Sewaholic just feel more current – like what people want to wear now, instead of what people think will be the future of fashion, if that makes sense. Her patterns are also very easy to remove the “girly” factor when that’s not your style, I can not say that about most indie pattern companies out there.
Pattern: Sewaholic 1201 Cambie Dress
Fabric: Navy with white grid line linen blend, and some poly lining fabric for the skirt (bodice is self lined).
Design Likes/Dislikes: I like the idea of the a-line skirt, but it’s still too full on me. I also like the sleeves, I think they’re really what make this pattern cool. I dislike the neckline though, a lot, which I obviously changed. The pockets are just ok, honestly I don’t feel like I need pockets in my clothing that much.
Sizing and Fit: From my original post about this dress:
I cut a 2 at the bust then graded to a 4 at the waist and continued with the 4 in the skirt
I think I should have graded back to a size 2 for the skirt because I ended up removing a lot of width from it. But the waistband is a perfect fit, almost tight, so what it really comes down to is I’m not pear shaped like these patterns are supposedly geared towards. I probably should have started with a size 4 on top, then graded down the skirt. Whatever.
Changes: I already mentioned reducing the skirt, which caused the pocket openings to become smaller (because I didn’t do this until the dress was mostly complete). I also changed the neckline, several times. I meant to cut the neckline straight across, but it got off grain and with a plaid, anything off grain is too noticeable. So I cut it out again and accidentally cut the sweet heart shape, so I cut it out again, straight, and on grain. But then it looked too stuffy on me. I waited until the dress was otherwise completely finished (hemmed and all) and scooped the neckline out just a little bit (you can do that with this dress because the neckline, armholes, and zipper are the only places the lining is connected to the exterior), now I think it looks so much better.
You might have noticed I also cut several pieces on the bias, mostly so I didn’t have to think about matching plaids at all, and to break up the pattern more. I was really worried about how this would end up looking (messy or off kilter), but thankfully it looks great! I actually started to hate this dress while I was sewing it (taking up 4-5 inches when hemming helped my perspective a lot, which is why I waited to do the neckline). The bias back makes the zipper wavy, but that’s minor in my mind.
For Next Time: There will not be a next time, I think I can firmly say that I am done with the Cambie. This dress was very much an experiment that thankfully worked out, but there was too much that had to change from the original pattern.
By the way, if any family members or neighbors are reading (and are similarly sized to me) and would like to take the red Cambie off my hands, I’d be glad to give it a new home (wink wink)! The dress measures about 33″ around at the bust, 28″ at the waist, and 40″ at the hips (6″ down from the waist).