Saturday, June 9, 2012

cambie, can it be?

Can it be... that I sewed something blue?

I do like other colors, I think. I just forget about them when I'm shopping for fabric. But I should really stop being embarrassed to show you blue garments because otherwise I'd have nothing to blog about and it'd be a disaster for humanity if I stopped blogging, right guys?

I doubt this dress needs an introduction because anyone who reads sewing blogs probably recognizes that I used the new Cambie dress pattern from Sewaholic. One of the fabulous benefits of sewing for yourself is that you'll always have a unique-to-you garment in the end. Yet, when you're part of a sewing blog community and everyone's making the same dress at once because you love Tasia and her patterns with all your heart, it kinda makes this dress feel like old hat already.

Luckily for me, the real-live people I interact with daily do not know that there are adorable seamsters in other nations/states/nation-states prancing around in their own versions of this same gathered-capsleeve sweetheart dress. (OK, maybe it's only Scruffy Badger who I've ever witnessed prancing, and she looks good doing it!) And it still means I will never again have to experience the horror of walking into a party wearing the same Target dress as someone else. Weird: just three months ago I was still friendly with Target and didn't feel too gross about buying their clothes. But I was there last night and found myself scoffing at their sad unlined shapeless polyester dresses with misaligned stripes at the seams. The seamstress snobbery hath surfaced.

So yes, I do love my Cambie dress, I really do. A lot, even. This feels like one of the better-quality garments I've made. The full lining helps with that, and it just fits well (in the bodice at least) and is modest yet flattering. I lined the skirt with Bemberg rayon which seems way more luxurious than the $2.99 polyester I usually use (o-god I admit). The main fabric is a navy-and-white pure cotton lawn in a "botanical abstract" print from Fabrics and Trimmings on Etsy. I had enough left over to make the bodice lining, so I decided to stay economical. Here's the inside:

Yeah they didn't have white lining so I went with the navy. I notice in the photos that it does darken the fabric from the outside but big whoop, yaknow? Call it an ombre effect. This dress wasn't difficult to put together, but took a few evenings of solid work to finish it. I sometimes got lost within the layers when I was sewing in the lining and had to reorient myself over again. The fit of the skirt was the most time-consuming part, as I couldn't get the pockets to lay right without them tugging or gaping in the wrong places.

Since I'm Sewaholic's target seamstress (meaning, pear shape and/or awesome), I cut a straight size 6 according to my measurements. Who knows what happened, but the front skirt ended up being way too huge to fit the waistband. I took it in a lot but still had to ease the rest in, so my "A-line" skirt kinda drapes awkwardly when I stand certain ways:

I didn't make a muslin but the fitting wasn't that onerous beyond the skirt. The neckline gaped, as expected, but I took in the front bodice at the top side seams which made it acceptably snug across the top of the bust. The back neckline also gaped, as expected (I'm a hunchback, remember?), but I was able to adjust and angle the straps to eliminate that. I like that the straps/sleeves are attached last so you can ensure that everything sits correctly in the end:

I didn't make any design changes, and the only technical change I made was understitching the sweetheart neckline so the seam wouldn't roll forward. I'd recommend it. You could also understitch the back neckline and armhole seams in the bodice, but I only noticed seam-roll issues in the front so I didn't find it necessary to do the whole thing. Here's the understitching from the inside:

I made this dress primarily to wear to a friend's wedding (today!) but I bet it'll get some mileage at work and nicer restaurants. Uh, but knowing me I'll probably wear it to bars to watch the NBA playoffs, too. Overdressed freak.

How are your summer (or winter, as it may be) dresses coming along?