Needing no introduction…

You know what this is.

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.

Click to enlarge

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…

Underlining & fusetape

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.

deflated skirt

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.



Filed under Sewing

58 responses to “Needing no introduction…

  1. Gorgeous, just gorgeous.
    The narrow interfacing along the curves is a brilliant idea.

  2. *jaw drop*
    That looks amazing! I love navy on you. I don’t know what to say.
    Did you read Gertie’s nipply dart suggestions? I used them and it works well.
    I must make this dress.

  3. What a terrific rendition! I really love this dress – especially in navy!

  4. Sherry

    I love it – totally gorgeous on you – I want one!
    Navy is definitely one of your colours!

  5. Oh, I love this! You look gorgeous in this. Perfect shape.

  6. dressesandme

    I absolutely love it! Looks gorgeous!!

  7. What a beautiful dress! Navy is such a good colour on you. I’m loving all the Cambies I’m seeing these days. Your drop-waist is perfect!

  8. This is beautiful. It really suits you. I love the drop waist. I remember I had one dropped waist dress when I was a teen, and I loved it.

  9. OMG! is so lovely with a petticoat! I love love love your version!

  10. This is by far my favorite version of this dress. And I have to agree with everyone else by saying that navy is Amazing on you!

  11. Shams

    That is lovely on you! Navy is a fabulous color for you.

  12. Wow, such a beautiful color and dress on you! I’m working on this dress now too and have had problems with pointy darts. I usually don’t have a problem with that and am wondering if when I re-drew the darts (because I’m between sizes) I messed something up. I’m tempted to seam rip them out and try again, except I finish my darts at the point with a stitch length of 1 so that’s going to be tricky…

    Anyway, you’ve inspired me to finish up so I can wear mine sooner than later! Nice work, as always 🙂

  13. Your version is so very pretty! And I especially love it with the petticoat in the first pictures…

  14. Sufiya

    Yes, I agree! Fab dress, and the colour is in fact VERY flattering on you! The petticoat looks GREAT under the skirt; if it was me, however, the petticoat would be RED. Red goes very well with navy blue, though it needs to be a ‘blue-based’ red; the orangy shades don’t work so well! Try it with red shoes too! (if they are in the right shade!)

    • A red petticoat would be awesome. For the moment I’m OK with my white one, as it’s versatile and they take a lot of space to store… but if a red one ever throws itself in my path I will have to take it home with me.

  15. LLBB

    oh my gosh this is fantastic!! Somehow it looks elegant, fun, flirty, and refined all in one! Amazing. I also have Got to figure out this dropped waiste thing…. I think I have a long torso and do not like looking pregnant when I am not. 🙂 I added an inch to my bodice but it doesn’t seem to have helped all that much. I’m pretty new to this– can anyone tell me how much length I can add just by slashing v. when I need to do a fancier adjustment like you have?

    • Well, it depends. The bodice length and the drop waist are two different alterations—one for fit, and one that’s really a style alteration. Does the added inch of length bring the bottom of the waistband to your actual waist? (remembering the original Cambie has a waistband piece I omitted here) At least part of the reason I do the dropped waist is because I naturally have a very short torso above the waist, so a waistband at my natural waist tends to look short and dumpy. I know some people with a longer torso who don’t like the dropped-waist look as they feel like it makes them look all body and no leg. (I think height’s also a factor in this…)

      As for how much length you can add by slashing, I’d really say as much as you need (to get to your natural waist, remembering that waistband piece, too)—but double-check the dart position to make sure you have enough height above the bust as well.

      Not the most helpful response, sorry! 🙂

  16. I think you need more navy in your life. 🙂 This dress is great, congrats on another fabulous dress! 🙂

  17. The prettiest one I’ve seen so far!

  18. Ahhhhh! So cute! I LOVE this one. You might have convinced me that I should try some Sewaholic Patterns… Or at least that I need to make more dresses. In blue.

  19. I LOVE this. I love the navy seersucker so much it’s a little troubling.

  20. I really like your Cambie dress- it suits you so well! Project Drop Waist was a success… That color is divine on you…

  21. I LOVE and ADORE this dress. Particularly with the insanely fluffy petticoat. I’ve been tempted to order one or two for my dresses. I dunno, I really want the Cambie dress but I have to make some skirts and jackets for work instead. Oh, and kids’ clothing.

    • I really, really like at least some kind of a fluffer for under full skirts. Maybe not as crazy as the square-dance one, but something… (they’re not hard to make, either, just a little annoying.)

  22. Fantastico. Just Fantastico.

  23. Wow, this is the best one I’ve seen so far! The color really suits you. And that neckline is so flattering! I’ve restrained myself so far, but now there’s no other way but to go and get it too.

  24. You look Bellisimaaaaaa!!!! I love how the blue sits so nice on you and on your white skin! Bright colours go with you for sure! NIce job on this one, once again!!!!

  25. That looks great! And I really like the more gathering in the back idea.

  26. serious. fluffy. dress. envy.
    I need a petticoat.
    And I totally agree that the bodice of a dress like this needs to fit close.

  27. It looks fabulous, and I really love the fabric choice. The navy blue ratchets down the girly flavor a notch and adds a tiny touch of sophistication, and then the sort of casual seersucker look makes it all look like you’re not really trying all that hard to look so stupendously wonderful.

  28. Of all the versions I’ve seen thus far-yours looks the best, (I’m not into 50s frou-frou)the navy seems to tone it down and drop waist looks natural rather than overdone. Good stuff. XD

    • I tried for a long time not to be into 50s frou-frou… but I have fallen and fallen hard. /sigh. So glad I’ve finally figured out a way to pull it off…

  29. bubiknits

    just wow! this fifty-look is gorgeous! I love it and i’m gelous of your talent 🙂
    you look beautiful, this dress is simply perfect! well done!

  30. making me crave a drop waist, you are…

  31. Awesome. The style is SO pretty on you & your dropped waist adaption is gorgeous. I also love the colour on you – totally suits you. Up with Star Wars dress in my most favorite of your makes. Glad you went for it in the end!

  32. Meg

    An absolutely stunning version of this pattern! Positively marvelous!

  33. Oh now that really really suits you – the colour, the shape – everything! FAB!

  34. Ali

    I saw this a few days ago in my sickly state and it was such a sight and inspiration! This may be my favorite version of the dress — navy surprisingly a great color for this dress (and on you!) and I wouldn’t even notice the drop waist in these photos — you look so curvy and balanced. You make me long for seersucker…such great texture.

  35. Must…resist…urge…to make a Cambie right this minute…I have so many things in the queue ahead of it! But really, this dress is so nicely executed! That color is fantastic on you and the petticoat really adds a nice oomph.

  36. I LOVE your version of this dress. You look amazing in this color too! Great idea to drop the waist and have the fluffy petticoat underneath.

  37. oh. god. i *might* need my own cambie now due to the sheer fabulousness of yours in that last picture.

  38. Gorgeous!
    What a great idea, dropping the waist. I too have a short torso, but I’m short all over, and rather plumper. Now I’m considering muslining a dropped waist on my Cambie just to see how it looks!

  39. Amy

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love this deep blue color on you, so elegant and dramatic. I’m glad you went back for the seersucker! (I fuse-taped the neckline, too. I was just too worried about stretching it out.) I’ve liked reading about your dropped-waist experiments and this really hits a nice proportion, hitting you in all the right places. What a great silhouette on you.

  40. Oh wow, so gorgeous! Just as everyone else said, navy is a great colour on you. I love the lines of this dress. And I’m definitely keeping the strips of interfacing along curved seams in mind for next time. Good idea!

  41. Pingback: Prezzies (2) | Tanit-Isis Sews

  42. I love your dress, this colour is beautiful !!! It really suits you !

  43. Pingback: Cambie dress 1- qui coud 0 | c'est qui qui coud?

  44. Pingback: An accidental wedding dress.  | Tanit-Isis Sews

Leave a Reply to Ali Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s