Sunday, December 23, 2012

Summertime Cambie Dress

If you follow me on instagram you will have seen that a couple of weeks ago I started a new project with the lovely Lilac embroidery anglais that I bought at the Rag Market in Birmingham back when I visited in July. Right from the outset this fabric was destined to become a full-skirted Cambie dress from Sewaholic Patterns. However, since it is definitely a summer dress I had no desire to make it up while it was still winter. However, summer has definitely arrived (in proper Melbourne style with a mix of sunshine and rain, and temperatures ranging from 10 to 40 degrees celcius), so the dress needed to be made!


While making up the dress I decided that it would be interesting to track how long the dress took me to make, so I made some notes of my progress as I worked away. It should be noted that as I have already made the Cambie, the pattern was already prepared (with the exception of the two full-skirt pieces) and I didn't have to worry about which size I was making. Times are rounded to the nearest 5 minutes.

I won't bore you with the details of the breakdown of the construction times, but the dress took me about 7 hours and 10 minutes. That also includes a couple of mistakes I made that I had to undo and fix.


It took a little longer than I think it normally should have because I altered the construction slightly to accommodate the holes in my fabric (which is where one of the mistakes came in). I used the lining as part lining and part underlining.


I stitched the neckline as if it were lining to finish that edge, but I did the darts with both layers together so that you can't see the darts through the holes in the fabric. I then did something funky with the waistband so it's all totally enclosed (as because of the darts with both layers I couldn't do it the normal way.


The last change I made was to add a thin line of milliners elastic in a little channel along the neckline of the dress, as it was gaping very slightly (but not as much as my last version, so I didn't add princess seams like that one). The elastic has pulled the neckline in that little bit it needed and I don't think it looks too obtrusive.


In true confusion of methods, I hand-picked the zip but machine stitched the hem - pick your hand sewing battles I say! The hand picking of the zip probably added about half an hour to the construction time over doing it by machine; but that's assuming that the topstitching went well first try by machine! Sadly I've seen in the photos that the zip pulls a little at the waistband and you can see the zip there, but nevermind! If that's the worst thing about the dress I'll survive!


A massive thanks must also go to Sarah for being my photographer today, as well as being a superb sewing enabler (I am kinda now the owner of a copy of the Cordova Pattern, whoops!), and of course allowing me to use today's trendiest accessory to any summer dress, her beautiful daughter.

18 comments:

  1. Gorgeous dress! Gorgeous you! And gorgeous baby.

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  2. Oh, well done on this dress! Love how the straps become little sleeves - you picked the perfect fabric to match with this dress pattern...even for Melbourne weather!!! ...J

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  3. It's gorgeous! I love it. And it's a beautifully done zipper at the top too - this is always an area I struggle with. The benefits of having another sewist taking your pics is she knows exactly how to do it :) Such a gorgeous little girl too!!

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  4. You've done well. The colour is very pretty on you - very retro.

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  5. Lovely to see you! This dress is even lovelier up close, the matching is just perfect of the fabric. The elastic is a brilliant idea, I should go back and add it in. Shame our little Nudie didn't want to smile for the camera!

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  6. Love your Cambie! And brilliant move with the elastic in the neckline! But, what is milliner's elastic? I'm not familiar with that... Off to google!

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    1. Milleners elastic (or what I used anyway) was just some thin round elastic, maybe 2-3mm in diameter.

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  7. Beautiful dress! Perfect for summer. I really must dust off my cambie pattern...

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    1. Thanks Leith! It's so comfy to wear too.

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  8. This is lovely Rachel, spot on for summer! What a cute baby accessory too ;o)

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    1. I know! Lets hope Melbourne delivers with a decent summer this year

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  9. Lovely, Rachel. I'm very jealous that you're at the start of summer too so you can wear pretty dresses like your Cambie... Can't believe you were at the rag market - I live in Brum! If you're ever over again, we must go shopping there together!!

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    1. I'll (hopefully) be back next year; I'll post about it beforehand and hopefully we can catch up!

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  10. An absolutely beautiful dress, and as for your accessory? So adorable!!

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    1. I know, such a lovely baby too! (despite drooling over my dress)

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  11. Could this be any lovelier? I think not! Gorgeous frock!

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  12. Hi Rachel, I think we made the same cambie dress ;o) your is very beautiful.

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