Saturday, 14 December 2013

A Christmas Cambie

Pattern: Cambie from Sewaholic
Size: 10
Fabric: Satin and lace from Minerva Crafts

The work Christmas party comes but once a year, but every time requires a new dress! I don't go to many dress-up occasions, but as this one is always the same people, I can't recycle!
It's surprising how hard it is to find a nice party dress pattern that isn't a teenage prom dress. I originally wanted something with a low back to show off my new tattoo, but nothing was quite right. I started to make a New Look 6173 but tried it on halfway through and realised I looked somewhat pre-pubescent so gave up on that. In a panic by this point, I decided to go with something tried and tested - Cambie. I love the summer version I made, I know it fits and it's easy to make.

I chose to go off-piste a little bit and do layered fabric. I found a beautiful pale blue satin, and paired it with a black corded lace over the top. My plan was to baste the lace to the satin for the bodice, lined with more satin, and for the skirt use the satin as the lining and the lace as the 'main' fabric. Great plan. On paper.
It became clear, quite a long way in, that this was a bad plan. Attaching a stiff zip to fine lace, making darts in lace...disaster! So, I unpicked the skirt and basted the lace to the satin instead.

I was nearly done and about to pat myself on the back when I discovered I'd sewn the lining the wrong way. I wanted the matt side against my skin but of course that meant making the 'wrong' side the 'right' side and I'd had a brain fail and done it with the shiny side out. This was an epic mistake. I had to remove the entire lining and unpick EVERYTHING. Darts, and all.

There were so many times when this dress nearly ended up in the bin, due to my own idiocy. Eventually though, she rose like a phoenix. Lining in correctly, no weird lumpy zip, seams finished with bias binding. I love how neat it is inside: it's almost reversible!


A beautiful dress with a superb fit. Thank heavens the pattern is so great and I'd made it before or this would probably have driven me to irreparable levels of crazy. The amount of unpicking I did, I'm surprised it's not a threadbare rag, but the fabric seems to have held up!

Apologies, was feeling a bit silly at this point
I think the only thing I'm not crackers about on this version is the sleeves. The stiffness of the fabrics means they stick out in a rather Star Trek stylee and make wearing a shrug/cardi over the top almost impossible.

It's a good job I took these photos at home as there isn't a single clear shot of the dress from the party! However, here she is in action, as proof of partying existence.

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