Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Geometric Cambie Dress

I'm finally catching up with blogging all the projects I finished a couple of months ago! I made this specifically to wear to a friend's wedding back at the end of September after my lovely boyfriend bought me the pattern for my birthday. We all know by now that I am a big fan of Sewaholic Patterns and I'd heard a lot of good things about the Cambie Dress so I couldn't wait to try it out!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

I wasn't at all disappointed. It is again another beautifully drafted pattern by Tasia and I think the only thing I would change next time would be to shorten the sleeve pieces by inserting the gathered ends deeper into the gap between fashion fabric and lining during the final steps. It doesn't slip off the shoulders but feels a little loose at this point; I think I must just be short in the body here.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

You may recognise the pattern of my fabric...it is in fact the negative print of the fabric I used for my Salme Playsuit in the summer. I LOVED the feel of the viscose I used for the playsuit so when I spotted this fabric amongst the jumble on my favourite market stall outside Rolls n' Rems in Lewisham I snapped it up! On closer inspection it was the same print but unfortunately not as silky to the touch. It's got a subtle crepe like texture and I have a feeling it's a poly blend but with it's weight and drape it worked fantastically for this dress and at about £5 for 3 metres I'm not going to complain! The lining is exactly the same fabric, bought from the same stall, just in a plain cream.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

I've only fully lined one other dress (my Circle-Skirted Elisalex dress) which I attached to the bodice of the dress following the By Hand London instructions for lining the bodice. I was really pleased with how this turned out at the time but now I've tried the Cambie way I think I'll be doing it on everything! In fact I've seen quite a few other bloggers talk about using 'the Cambie lining technique' in a lot of their makes. Tasia's method involves attaching the lining after the invisible zip has been inserted into the main fabric and includes securing the lining to your zip using your regular machine foot rather than hand stitching afterwards. This way you get a lovely crisp, clean finish at the corners where your zip meets the neckline. I love it!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern
The lovely clean finish along the zip makes me so happy!

If you follow the instructions the entire finish of your dress will end up clean and crisp. I pinked all my seams for longevity but there would be no need to otherwise as all seams end up concealed. I also love the feature of using the fashion fabric as both sides of the waistband. Don't you think just that little hint of the outside inside livens up the lining beautifully?! I know no one will ever see it but I know it's there!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

I chose to make view B of the pattern with the full skirt. I imagine view A is perfect for everyday wear but I wanted something a little bit special for the wedding which I could have some fun dancing in. Plus who doesn't enjoy the 1950's feel of a full skirt?! This skirt, fully lined and in this fabric is dreamily swishy and rustles nicely when I walk which makes it feel special.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

I was concerned about the amount of gathering around the waist. I'd never made a skirt like this and can't remember having any similar in my wardrobe so was wary about adding bulk in this area. In a thicker fabric it might be a problem but I think the fact that there is a waistband of a good width around the narrowest part of your waist means you don't loose definition here, like you might if the gathered skirt was attached directly to the bodice.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

I used some black satin bias binding as piping along either side of the waistband to highlight that feature in amongst the print. I was going to add this along the top of the neckline and to edge the sleeves in the style of Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time's beautiful polka dot version. However, I was worried about achieving a smooth even finish around the sweetheart shape of the neckline and to be honest was running out of time to finish the dress so left it off. I'm pleased I did as I don't think in this dress it needs it. I might add piping here on a future version if I try out Tasia's tutorial for making the neckline straight.

I made an attempt at pattern matching (seeing as the shape of the skirt is so simple) and am generally pretty pleased with how it turned out and how the squares are laid out on the bodice. Just check out the pattern matching down the right hand side seam!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

The left hand side seam is not quite so good however...

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

You can't see it very well in that picture but down this side seam the tiles ALMOST match but their almost matching somehow seems to make it more obvious that they don't! It's all because I thought as the fabric was a little sheer and I could see the black squares through I could get away with cutting a double layer like usual instead of each pattern piece twice on a single layer as Lladybird recommends in her pattern matching tutorials. I thought if I made an effort to get the squares of both layers exactly matching as I looked through the fabric then both pieces would come out exactly the same but obviously things shift ever so slightly when cutting this way making the pattern matching ever so slightly off when sewn up.

I'm really pleased with the finished product and found it really satisfying to sew. Tasia I feel like you've improved my sewing skills yet again! Plus, in the style of Taracat...it's the perfect dress for dancing!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Max Mara Style Geometric Print Sewaholic Cambie Dress Sewing Pattern

45 comments:

  1. This is lush!!!! Can't believe you kept it off the blog for so long! I love seeing your projects though I do confess I'm so jealous of your proximity to fabric stalls/shops etc!

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    1. Thank you! There's been too much sewing for blogging! I generally don't fabric shop for myself that much to be honest just go on a big spree now and again with a big list of projects to buy for. It is part of my job which while being amazing can be risky as I'm always seeing things for me!

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  2. This is fabulous! I love the geometric print!

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    1. Thanks! It's a great one isn't it, bold without being too crazy!

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  3. Beeeeyoutiful! I love this dress! I think I may have to finally buy this pattern as it looks so pretty. Great fabric too.

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    1. Thanks! I can definitely recommend the pattern, it's so much more flattering than I thought it would be and super satisfying to sew!

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    2. Update: I just got this pattern for Christmas! Think I shall do version A and I love your checked fabric so much, I think I'm going to use a fabric from my stash that looks like subway tiles :)

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    3. Hooray! I can't wait to see what you do! So lovely to hear that something I made has inspired someone else's project!

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  4. Beautiful! Really pretty. And I can't see he almost matched seam at all!

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    1. Thank you! That's because it's a kind of blurry picture haha! It's not bad but it bugs me!

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  5. Beautiful, I can't even see the miss matched seams!

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    1. Thank you! They're not too bad but I know they're not quite right!

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  6. Wow, so cool, it's gorgeous! I already made three versions of the Cambie dress, but now I have to copy yours!

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    1. O wow I'm popping over to see yours now, to get some ideas for my next one's!

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  7. This is SO CUTE on you! The black and white is fabulous, and well done on the lovely finish inside.

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    1. Thank you! I love a bit of monochrome! I can't take credit for the lovely finish, it's all in the pattern!

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  8. This is super cute! And the inside is GORGEOUS! I am going to have to check out this lining method! :)

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    1. Yes! Look into it! It's so simple!

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  9. The pattern matching is great at the back, I don't think the side is very noticeable, great job!!
    This is the cutest cambie I have seen so far, I love the print!! The inside waist band is lovely!
    At the moment, my zipper is sandwiched and machine stitch between the lining and shell (a method I made up myself though trial and error) but I need to check out this "cambie lining technique' for tips!
    Great dress, can't give all the compliments I want to otherwise I'll be here all day :)
    Love your blog!!

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    1. Thank you! It's lovely to hear that people enjoy my ramblings! Your 'sandwich' method sounds great and actually very similar to how this is done, I must try it!

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  10. Replies
    1. Thank you Jo, I'm becoming a Sewaholic addict!

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    2. Or should that read Sewaholic-aholic!

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  11. Fiona, you are the cutest! Love the dress (and everything else you've made, by the way).

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    1. Thank you so much Katrina! I try to make every single sewing project I do special so it's lovely to hear that!

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  12. Oh I really need to try this pattern. What a georgeous version!

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    1. You HAVE to get this pattern! You'd look so lovely in it!

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  13. Lovely dress! Cambie is high up on my to-sew list and every new version I see just makes me want to make it even more, trying to be sensible and wait until the summer or until I have an occasion to wear it though!

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    1. Get that Cambie up to the top of your list! Who cares if you have to wait to wear it, it's just enjoyable to make!

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  14. This pattern is totally made for you! I've had it in my stash for ages but just haven't found the right fabric.

    For cheap as chips fabric it looks fantastic, perfect for a wedding boogie. Lovely both inside and out, as always ;)

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    1. Thanks Amy! I didn't expect this pattern to be as flattering as it is, I'm going to have to try some more gathered skirts now!

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  15. This is realllllly, realllllly cute! I love it on you! What a perfect dress for dancing!

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    1. A lot of dancing was done! And I'm pleased to say it held up well! Thanks!

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  16. It's a really lovely dress. It suits you nicely.

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    1. Thanks! I think it might be one of those shapes like the Anna which can work on lots of people!

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  17. So sweet and looks beautifully made. Great print too, I will have to look out for it next time I'm remnants-bin diving at Rolls & Rems.

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    1. Ooo I love that remnants bin! Make sure to check out the market stall (and the lady who runs it!) just outside

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  18. Absolutely stunning, Fiona! I think your pattern matching skills are pretty awesome, but that photo of your thumbs down made me laugh so much. You're adorable! I think the Cambie is a very addictive pattern - I've made countless versions of it now and it's so fun to wear. Happy sewing many more!

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    1. The thumbs down is becoming famous and it's all my fella's doing! ALL of your Cambie's are gorgeous, I'm going to have to have a look back through them to give me some inspiration for my next one(s!)

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  19. HAHAHAHA another thumbs down shot!! You guys crack me up.
    Love the dress, the print is bold without being distracting.

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    1. The thumbs down was all his idea again...I'm not sure if I should be offended about his opinion on my sewing! Ha!
      Thank you

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  20. Wow! What an amazing job you did! I really need to hurry up and make this pattern, I've had it for a while now and just haven't made it past the muslin stage yet, but I've seen so many great versions I need to get my a into g!

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    1. Yeah you need to get onto it! It's such as satisfying make because it can't help but turn out really neat and beautiful!

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  21. What a gorgeous dress! I love the fabric, and the piping around the waistband really sets it off.

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    1. Thank you Lynne! I thought it needed a little something to break up such a lot of that bold print. Have you made a cambia? I bet it would really suit you!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!