Cotton Cambie

It’s been a busy weekend so far! I finished hand sewing on the waistband and finally hemmed the lining of Cambie on Thursday, but haven’t gotten around to getting photos until today, since Mr. 5 and I were busy prepping for, and then throwing, our housewarming BBQ! You gotta have a pretty dress for a fun outdoor party, right?

Sewaholic Cambie
A Cambie curtsey

Wearing this dress makes me feel like I stepped right out of Mayberry. The modest neckline, the cute plaid that almost makes me think of a picnic tablecloth, but not quite. The full skirt, and the way it makes me feel like I should don a bigass floppy straw hat or have a freshly baked pie cooling on a windowsill.

Mayberry Aunt Bee's Apple Pie Recipe Postcard

I found this fabric – a lightweight woven cotton/lycra blend Eastery colored (makes me think of sherbet or cotton candy) plaid with vertical metallic strands on clearance at JoAnn. Their clearance fabrics were half price that day, and despite the fact that I have a 5×5 Expedit full of fabric, I couldn’t help but snatch up enough to make Sewaholic’s Cambie.


The last time I worked with a plaid was in college, making a flannel shirt as an exercise to learn matching plaids. So, needless to say, it has been a WHILE since I actually have done so. I put forth some effort, and things match in some places:

Left side


but are a bit off in other:

Right side

Hell, at least the straps are using the same section of the repeat:


Sure, it’s not perfect, but it doesn’t affect the wearability of the dress. I’ll try harder next time, I guess. ;)

Despite my cutting (AKA plaid matching) challenges, this dress came together like a dream. I traced an 8 (view B, obviously) and proactively applied a 3/4″ FBA (total of 1.5″ added around the ladies), splitting the giant uptake of that dart into two darts, which turned out to be spot on. Note: Go Tasia for using curved darts! You don’t often see them in commercial patterns.

After trying on the muslin, I added 1/4″ to each side of the CB and 1/8″ to the waistline of the front (lengthening the waistband in kind) and applied a 3/4″ swayback adjustment (Things didn’t used to pool so much back there! I suppose a swayback is one of those things that sometimes happens as you get older, eh?). If I make this again, which I probably will (gotta try out view A!), I’ll probably take out the extra ease that I put into the waist back out. With my adjustments, I ended up adding 3/4″, and wearing this dress I can pinch out at least that much. Making a frock which is optimally flattering yet still has enough wearing ease is quite the tricky balance, ain’t it?

I’m very happy to report that I only had to make the one muslin (this pattern rocks!), and was able to move on to the main event from there. I had no problems sewing this puppy up, and the blog posts about attaching the straps and sewing the lining to the zipper were quite helpful additions to the instruction sheet.

It could be that my markings were off, but the openings to attach the straps were smaller than the straps themselves. I ended up ripping them open more to accommodate the extra fullness, favoring toward the armhole, but when I put it on I got these weird diagonal pulls from ma ‘pits. So, I ripped that out and instead moved the sleeves more inward (starting them at the notch by the armpit and allowing them to go as far as they needed into the neckline). This looked much better.

I had heard that some folks had trouble with the neckline pulling away from the body, so I purchased a roll of nylon stay tape and applied it to the neckline, while ever so slightly scrunching the neckline into the tape. I was afraid that it would look funny in the end, since I didn’t clip the curves, but it stays flat against my body and looks great! The neckline turned out pretty high, though, so if I make another I think I will deepen the sweetheart. Wish I had taken some in progress pics of all of this, but I was focused on sewing and forgot about documenting.

The one thing I wasn’t crazy about with this dress was installing a full lining. Though, I have to admit that it makes the innards quite pretty:


I only have one complaint about the finished product – the sleeves limit your arm movement. Getting things out of high cupboards wasn’t so easy, and I feared that I could be stretching out the dress by doing so. Basically, this is not the dress to sing and dance “YMCA” to, and you may want to avoid hanging out on the monkey bars after school.

monkey bars

After finally experiencing my first Sewaholic Pattern, I definitely have a taste for more. I actually bought the Minoru jacket pattern before Cambie, but the seasons in Wisconsin this year went pretty much straight from winter into summer with very little transition, so I put the traced pattern aside to work on more summery pursuits. When I finally get a Minoru made, I think I may allow myself to acquire the Thurlow trouser pattern…yum.

But, back to lovely Cambie. Some more shots of this sweetass design:

Sewaholic Cambie
Thar Cambie be!


Some funny bunching in the back. Seemed like I needed a swayback adjustment for sure, but looks odd in the finished garment.

(What’s in it’s) pocketses!!!!

Picking a zucchini

Why, yes…I always garden in a dress and heels

Cuke time!

Got da cuke. Holy crap, look what’s growing here!

A melon!


And here’s the dress in action at our BBQ! The pockets were freakin’ great for holding my phone, camera, and sunglasses (when I wasn’t wearing them).

My beautiful sis and me!

Mr. 5 bought me these flowers :)

And my bosses brought us these.
So sweet!

Didn’t get many photos, and none with Mr. 5 :( (hosting is busy work!), but we had an awesome time with lots of family and friends. Lots of food and drink was enjoyed by all! We are blessed that so many people came to celebrate our cohabitation with us. :)


8 thoughts on “Cotton Cambie”

  1. What a lovely summer dress, perfect for a BBQ! Impressive plaid-matching, too. I have been too scared to attempt plaids, but I love the way they look on a full skirt. Good idea with the stay tape at the neckline. I always have trouble with open-ish necklines. Great job!

  2. Beautiful dress. Your writing is awesome too. You make sewing blog reading way too fun.
    You probably already know this, but Sewaholic is having a moving sale right now–20% off. Jump on it, girl. I haven’t made any Sewaholics yet, but I own Alma and Renfrew. Now I gotta get a Cambie. They’re just too cute.

    1. Aww, shucks…you sure know how to make a girl blush!

      Yes! I’ve totally ordered Thurlow. Thought about getting Renfrew as well, but I restrained myself. Will have to wait until I knock out a few more patterns!

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