It should come as a surprise to no one that I’ve made a Sewaholic Cambie. I fell hard for this dress from the moment it landed in my inbox (and it made me very jealous of the pattern testers who got to see it first…) In fact, the only reason it took so long to make up was figuring out whether I wanted to do the full-skirted or A-line version first, and whether I wanted to make it a part of Project Drop Waist or not.
Unsurprisingly, the answer was full and yes.
So, some deets:
The fabric is a navy seersucker from the thrift store, whose purchase I agonized over way back when. (You guys are such enablers, I headed back and got it). I actually had to give in and go buy some poly-cotton broadcloth for the lining, however, which wound up costing rather more than the fashion fabric. /sigh.
I used the bodice pieces from Simplicity 3965 to extend the Cambie bodice to hip length, which worked fairly well and even seemed to correct the rear-trending side-seam issue. I also wound up removing a fair bit of length through the bodice above the waist, plus my usual square-shoulder adjustment. I did a muslin but didn’t bother photographing it—sorry. I started with the size 6 (the same size I made for my Lonsdale last summer), though technically my measurements are a bit closer to the size 8; the finished measurements Tasia so thoughtfully includes on the envelope cover seemed to suggest that it would work, however. Initially the muslin seemed perfect through the bust but a bit snug through the waist and hips, so I added a wee bit—however, when I tried on the finished bodice, I wound up taking off what I had added to the hips. I think when you add the weight of the gathered skirt at the hips, the downward pull on the bodice smoothes out a lot of the wrinkles from close-fitting, and also spreads out the shape so it looks kind of boxy if it’s not snug. Or at least, that’s how I have felt about both this dress and the Star Wars dress. Either that or my fashion fabrics have more give than my muslin fabrics, except that in this case both involved broadcloth, and I don’t think bedsheet has a lot more give, either…
The pattern pieces for this pattern are really curvy—curvy sweetheart neckline, curvy shoulder on the back piece, curvy armscye. All the curves prompted me to do a lot of reinforcing with narrow strips of interfacing. Maybe it was overkill, but it feels nice and sturdy. Once again I underlined the bodice (with some remnants of black cotton voile I had kicking around). Unlike the Star Wars Dress, I did a separate skirt lining.
I used the original length from Tasia’s skirt pattern, but then the waist is dropped, but then the bodice was also shortened—so I think I’m in the realm of maybe an inch longer nape-to-hem than the original pattern, but maybe not. I think I’m a bit taller than Tasia, too. I like the knee length it turned out, anyway. Because I’m too lazy to trace rectangular pattern pieces, I just ripped strips across my fabric the right length. An interesting feature of this pattern is that there’s roughly twice as much skirt in the back as the front. I decided to just use the full width of my fabric (45″ or 115 cm, roughly) for the skirt panels, so there’s one panel gathered across the front and one for each side of the back.
My only issue, at the end of the day, is that with all the bodice shortening, the dropped waist wound up being not quite dropped enough—at least at the centre front. I haven’t attempted to add shaping to the dropped waist in this area (though that is a gorgeous look), kind of as a “keep it simple, stupid” measure—but I think the next time I do this I will, because I really wish I could drop the front waist seam just a little more. It doesn’t quite sag to the sides, but it comes very close. And no, there’s not enough seam allowance left to let it out.
Also my bust darts are still kinda pointy. I stitched them as drafted, basically. I really should spend some more time figuring out how to make a perfect, non-pointy dart. D’you think if I keep saying that often enough, I’ll actually do something about it?
I did not forget the pockets (hooray!) but I did forget to take a picture using them. Anyway, pockets are, of course, awesome. Also, do follow Tasia’s directions for attaching the front strap/sleeves. I tried to go my own way and it was a disaster. Hooray for seam-rippers.
And, as you saw yesterday, I finished the hems with navy hem lace (it matches much better in the non-flash photos, by the way). Just because I could. No fancy horsehair braid or anything this time—the seersucker has plenty of body. And I don’t have enough horsehair braid left from the Star Wars dress.
Most of the pictures were taken wearing my super fluffy square-dancing petticoat, which definitely notches things up to full fifties-crazy-skirtness. In the theme of honesty in blogging, the above picture is without a petticoat—just the skirt and lining to hold it up. For most everyday wear I’ll probably wear my fluffy petticoat, which, while not as spectacular as the crazy one, is a lot less obnoxious and doesn’t hit both walls at the same time when I go down the basement stairs.
I think my fluffy dress itch *may* have been scratched. It’s just possible—just barely possible—that I can move on to less ridiculous projects now.
Well, maybe. I make no promises.