Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sewaholic Cambie Dress


Oh my gosh, someone stop me before I make another floral dress !  

However when they turn out so well I can't help myself. When my recent sewing student, Karen, was here we did a tour of my closet and she was dazzled by the selection of various bright floral dresses, some which have rarely seen the light of day. I really don't need another. However I am a big fan of Tasia and her Sewaholic website, in fact I have tested a couple of patterns for her, so it was time I purchased a pattern and supported her company. I decided to support independent businesses two ways. Tasia had mentioned recently that more retailers were stocking Sewaholic patterns, including my favorite local store, Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics, so I bought the pattern there.

Cambie dress 11A


The Sewaholic Cambie Dress, made in a lightweight cotton sateen that has a touch of lycra. I made Version A, with the A-line skirt and angle pockets.  I changed the sweetheart neckline to a straight across the front bodice.  I am not really a sweetheart neckline type, in fact this dress is pretty far on the sweetness scale for me, but I think it worked out and I will get plenty of wear this summer. I have a lot of sundresses that are a bit more bare, so this dress is summery but not strappy, if that makes sense. 
I made a few changes on the pattern (when don't I ?).  It is slighly unusual to have a bodice + skirt style of dress that has a waistband, and I like to be able to sew up the side seams last, for fitting purposes, so I split the waistband into front and back waistband pieces, adding seam allowances.  Also for the pockets, I like the pocket lining that touches the skirt portion to have a slippy quality, since cotton on cotton sometimes has a tendency to stick, so I cut the pocket piece in half and made the pocket facing side in a scrap of acetate lining.  That way the floral fabric completes the skirt side but the lining fabric is lightweight.
Cambie pocket construct1
Part of the reason for these 2 changes (pocket and waistband) were construction methods I use, but the other reason is fabric availability. Does this fabric look familiar?  I made a dress a while ago for Lia, my hair stylist, that used this fabric, and then from the remaining scraps I made a skirt for myself.  That used up all the fabric, but then I took a shopping excursion with my friend (fabric enabler) Alice to a shop in Oakland, Happy Stop Fabrics.  It is a little hole in the wall store, filled with fabric remnants and lots of weird poly fabrics, lots of knits, and a few goodies among the oddball stuff. I found a piece of this fabric and bought it along with a ton of other cotton poplins for very little money. Yards and yards which I have used in my Etsy shop. So that was quite a good haul on the first visit, last week we went back and were uninspired. I think it is totally hit or miss, but so inexpensive that it is worth a try. 

The piece I bought of this coral/black print was 48 inches wide, length of 1 yard 23 inches.  The Cambie dress calls for 2.5 yards of 45" or 2 yards of 60".  Don't ask me how I squeezed the pattern pieces on my fabric, I couldn't tell you. I did cut the dress out at the size 0 hemline since it seemed to be fairly long and I am not.  Otherwise I cut out a size 8 bodice and a size 10 skirt, that seemed to work out well, although I did take out about 1" in the center back seam since it was gaping a bit at the back neckline when I basted the zipper in to check. I lined the bodice in white cotton but the skirt is unlined.

Cambie backCambie side close up

I love this fabric's color combination, coral is one of my favorites.  I don't usually wear black, so this is as close as I get to a black dress.

OK - enough with the dresses for a while.  If I write it here, then it is so.  (maybe, until I get a bug in my head for some other style)  Separates - must make some separates!   Actually I  have a shirt started and have been playing around with T-shirt neckline bindings.

Update:  I have received lots of affirmative replies to our sewist/blogger meetup and group lunch at the Gaultier exhibit,   A great group of bay area sewists are planning to meet (or meet again) and talk fashion, sewing, patterns, and more.  I have had a couple of emails asking if there is space for another person, and the answer is an unequivocal YES.  Unlimited room - please come.  If you are concerned you will not know anyone - no worries, it is a great group and very welcoming.  See you on June 23, 10 am at the De Young museum, SF Golden Gate Park.

Here is today's SunnyGal garden photo - an action shot (ha ha), more like a photo outtake. Check out those hydrangeas - starting to bloom all over the garden.  And a look at the dress without my hands in the pockets.  ooo - love a dress with pockets :)
Happy weekend sewing, Beth

Cambie action shot

22 comments:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! You've done that pattern proud. Very interested to hear about your tweaks - especially the acetate pocket lining. I love cotton sateen. It holds shape so well.

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  2. That's a beautiful dress Beth. I like it because it is Summery but has large enough straps that you can wear a decent bra. I like seeing your pattern tweaks Beth they are so helpful.

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    1. I meant to add thanks for your comments on my gaping neckline issues.

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  3. Love the fabric just my kind of floral.

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  4. Lovely, lovely dress! Thanks for the wonderful process post.

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  5. Gorgeous print and I think your version is really great!

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  6. A beautiful dress, Beth, and it fits perfectly!

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  7. Beautiful! I think this is my favorite version yet!

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  8. Hi Beth
    This dress is really well made and it looks really good on you. The floral agrees with u!

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  9. What a cheerful and fun dress to have for summer! You look great in it too! A woman can't have too many floral dresses so please keep making more - they're inspirational!

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  10. That's a gorgeous dress and such a good fit. Try buying that in a store!

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  11. Ohhhhhhhhhhh and Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!! You look too lovely in this dress (is there such a thing?) Seriously, there are alot of floral prints out there that aren't very flattering. Your fabric choice is bold yet lovely and I love the feminine lines of the dress. This dress definitely gets an A+++

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  12. What a great dress! Looks fantastic and the fit looks perfect.

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  13. What a wonderful summer dress!

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  14. Great dress! The neckline is very flattering I think. Thanks for introducing me to this independent pattern company. Before I started exploring the sewing blogosphere I never knew anything other than the big brands.

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  15. I love floral on black fabric! It makes the colors more vibrant and the overall look is a tad edgier. And with your straight neckline, it definitely balances out the femininity. Love your version.

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  16. So pretty! You really can't have too many floral dresses, in my opinion. Even when you have as many as I have.

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  17. Very pretty on you, I like your neckline. Thanks for sharing your changes to the pockets and waistband - great ideas that I would "forget".

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  18. Beautiful dress! Your workmanship is outstanding.

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  19. I love how when you make what looks like the simplest dress is so beautifully constructed. And you can't have too many dresses, especially in the summer.

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  20. I love this pattern! I'm wondering... did you take the bodice straight across at the straps to eliminate the sweetheart neckline?

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