A Garden Party Cambie

I finished this dress almost two weeks ago, but I was so busy finishing up my two Laurels that I just didn’t have time to post about it. The Cambie is the dress that got me interested in sewing again. When I saw Tasia’s red eyelet version of the dress, and all of the super-clear tutorials she has at Sewaholic, I just knew I had to give sewing another try.

It’s especially fitting that I used a fabric that I bought several years ago to make a summer halter dress (Marilyn Monroe style), but the pattern (Vogue) was so ginormous and I had no idea how to fix the bust on the muslin (I don’t know anyone in real life who sews), so I gave up and vowed never to sew again. But the fabric was so lovely I just couldn’t get rid of it. I had visions of dancing barefoot in a meadow. Or going to a garden party. It didn’t matter that those things never happen in real life.

So I was pretty nervous about the fit when I started this one, especially since Sewaholic patterns are designed for pear shapes, and I’m not at all pear shaped. I cut a 6 on top and a 0 from the waist down according to my measurements, and it actually fits! No other adjustments necessary. I couldn’t believe it.  I’m glad I made this one before the Laurels because I had to make lots of adjustments to that pattern to make it fit even though my measurements match the size chart almost exactly. I guess Colette patterns are for shorter torsos and Sewaholic patterns are for longer ones? I’m not sure. I’m just glad the Cambie fits because I love this dress so much!

Garden Party Cambie Dress

Pattern: Cambie by Sewaholic, view B
Fabric: Cotton from Fabricland (of all places!), lined with the same fabric in the bodice and organic cotton voile in the skirt from Organic Cotton Plus
Size: 6 on top, 0 from waist down
Modifications: Added a couple of inches to the hem, but I forgot to write down how many

I had to omit the pockets because I didn’t have enough of the print to match at three seams, and matching one seam at the back was hard enough!

Garden Party Cambie

Garden Party Cambie Dress

Garden Party Cambie Dress

Garden Party Cambie Dress

Just as I was finishing up the dress, I noticed a tear on the side of the bust! So upsetting. I don’t even know how it happened. I’ve stitched it up so it doesn’t get any bigger, but it doesn’t look so good. I’m thinking of adding a flower from my leftover scraps to cover the hole.

a tear

There will definitely be many more Cambies to come. It’s the perfect summer dress! Now I just need to find some garden parties or meadows…

In other news, Me-Made-May is here! I don’t have many items yet since I just started sewing a month ago, but I’m going to participate anyway! I figure 3 days a week should be manageable (I hope!) so here’s my pledge:

‘I, Chantal of A Handmade Wardrobe, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear a self-made garment three times a week for the duration of May 2013’

It’s going to be fun!


9 thoughts on “A Garden Party Cambie

  1. Carolyn

    Chantal, this dress is gorgeous!!! So light and summery! I can’t believe you’ve only been sewing for a month – you’re a natural. Fantastic job – enjoy this dress! : )

    1. Chantal Post author

      Thanks, Carolyn! I did take sewing in high school many years ago, so I’m not a complete beginner, but I always struggled with the fit of commercial patters, so I’m very grateful to indie pattern designers for making sewing enjoyable!

  2. Kelly

    It is sooooo pretty, I really need to try this pattern! How heartbreaking to find the hole…but I think covering it with a flower is a good fix!

  3. Chantal Post author

    Thanks, Kelly! I definitely recommend the pattern – the instructions and online tutorials make it really easy to follow.

  4. Pingback: MMM ’13 – Week 1 | A Handmade Wardrobe

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