Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I have a confession to make: I am a Sewaholic!

The Cambie Dress

I was lucky to have the opportunity to be a pattern tester for Tasia’s new pattern, The Cambie, that was released last Friday.  

Most likely, you have already heard the good news, but if you have not yet had the chance, be sure to stop by Sewaholic Patterns.  

This is a fantastic summer dress!  It’s bra-friendly, classic silhouette, and very easy to wear - the ultimate summer frock.  If you have lots of yardage to use up, the gathered skirt looks fabulous.  But if you only have a couple of yards to work with, don't worry, you can make the fabulous a-line look (that’s the one I chose). 

Yesterday I mentioned that my green polka dot cotton was used as the lining for a dress, and here it is.  I finished this one a month ago, but was sworn to secrecy.  

Of course, I had an extremely limited amount of yardage, and I managed to forget to add the extra length that I always add to the torso of my garments on my polka dot cotton.  Rookie mistake – always think before you cut!  It's not perfect, but I do love the contrasting dots with the floral.

The floral cotton has been living in a drawer for some time.  Every spring and summer it gets pulled out, until I realize that there is not enough fabric for my intended pattern.  Aargh – don’t you hate when that happens?!

Lucky for me, the cotton knew better than I that the perfect project was going to come along this Spring.

This dress goes together beautifully, and I would highly recommend getting your hands on it!

Tasia has labeled the pattern as an “Intermediate” skill level, but a tenacious beginner should have no problem with this dress.  The instructions and diagrams are very clear and easy to understand.

The only thing that gave me a bit of trouble was taping the pattern together, but, of course, now that the pattern is printed, you will not have that issue.  So no excuses - it's time to start on your summer wardrobe!  

By the way, how do you handle those printable patterns?  I just do not have the floor space or patience to tape things together, I guess.  I want to get right to the sewing.

I have to say that this dress has restored my faith in pockets after the bad luck I had with this project.  I LOVE the pockets!

To break up some of the busy print, I made a quick belt out of some green fabric leftover from some forgotten project that just happened to match back perfectly.

Thank you, Tasia, for another lovely pattern! It was thrilling to have the opportunity to test this pattern.  And I love that I was able to shop the stash for the entire project, from fabric to zipper.

Remember to stop on by Sewaholic Patterns – you know you want need the Cambie!

Dress:  Made by me, The Cambie Dress from Sewaholic
Shoes:  Aerosoles "Lady Bug" in Dusty Blue
Cardigan:  Mervyns
Necklace:  Dabby Reid


  1. What a great pattern. Just what I've been looking for.

    As for printable patterns...I find like with any other pattern I have to cut out a few days in advance so I can go straight into sewing when I get the urge rather than messing around with cutting out.

  2. Love the dress, very cute. A few years ago I jumped on the bandwagon of using pattern software for sewing, you have to print & tape your patterns together. I obviously got really tired of it because I can't get myself to buy these downloaded patterns now! I don't want to tape a pattern together before I can get on with cutting out the fabric & sewing. I guess I burnt myself out ....

  3. Another lovely version of the Cambie dress. I have ordered the pattern and can't wait!

  4. Laura Mae, you show the pattern pieces and work in progress dress on a gridded surface. What is this, it looks so useful and I would like one.

    1. My Dritz Superboard has seen better days, but it really is a fabulous thing to have. I purchased mine at JoAnns years ago with a coupon. I am on my second board - they are made of cardboard, and after years of using it on a carpeted floor (before my back pain made it necessary to find a cutting table)some of the edges and foldlines are worn and it has too many pinholes to count. So they do not last forever, but it is a relatively inexpensive thing to use as a cutting surface - and that grid and bias cutting line REALLY comes in handy!

      At some point I would like to get a huge self-healing quilting mat for cutting, but, for now, the Superboard works great. I would highly recommend getting one!

  5. Overheard Conversation #20:

    (scoff) "Sworn to secrecy! Another sewing ambush!"
    "Actually, this particular effort was technically a 'cambush'."
    "The green polka dot fabric must be the new black."
    "How do you suppose she found so much of that pattern?"
    "Please, she stone ground her elbows to hypodermic points and clawed through a crowd of unsuspecting others."
    "Isn't that her life story?"
    "Only if someone with journalistic integrity were to write it."
    "Like the folks from 'Entertainment Tonight'?"
    "Ya, Rona Barrett or Robin Leach."
    "Mmm hmm. They could see through all the tulle and tricks."
    "Wouldn't she just place her little dog on her full-skirted lap, tilt her head, and with doe eyes answer their questions with questions?"
    "A little petticoat dysfunction?"
    "Mmm hmm, her fail-safe disposition and defense."
    "It's gonna take the military to figure an effective strategy to combat that."
    "In the fashion wars this one is a green polka-dot beret."
    [simmering sigh] "THAT Laura Mae!"

    1. Oh, goody--a comment from Testosterone! I've missed your delicious little observations for a few weeks. You make me smile, quite broadly! Keep it up, please. From a bona fide Laura Mae admirer ...

  6. I love your version! I'm really enjoying all the versions popping up on the blogs. Your fabric is lovely for this dress. I think I need to go find some nice floral fabric to make into a summer dress.

  7. I love your version, especially the hidden polka dots! I cannot wait for my copy to ship so I can get started on it!

  8. This is a lovely dress! The rose print and the green highlights are awesome!

  9. I adore sweetheart necklines, and would be very much drawn to this pattern, too, myself (if the sewing machine fairy ever decides to show up and leave me one, that is ;D). Marvelous job on it! The colours are gorgeous and look absolutely splendid on you.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend,
    ♥ Jessica

  10. You sold me - I bought it! I was disappointed that your version (which I like best - though all were nice) was not at the official sewaholic website. Hmmmm. I even have some green polka dot fabric leftover from another project. Yes, I shamelessly copy great ideas. Thanks for the lovely sewing you share with us.

  11. This is a lovely dress on you! Fabric + Pattern = Loveliness!

  12. Gorgeous, and the lining fabric is such a great choice! I love it when a garment looks just as good on the inside as it does on the outside.

  13. Soooo lovely! How much fabric did you end up using for your outer fabric, if you don't mind me asking? I have 1.5 yards of white eyelet that I would love to attempt making an A-line Cambie out of, but that will be a squeeze.

    1. Tina - I had less than 2.5 yards of 45" fabric for a size 10 dress with extra length added to the bodice pieces, and I had no trouble fitting everything on my fabric.

      If your fabric is 60" wide you may be able to squeeze the pieces out with a creative cutting layout. With only 1.5 yards I think you might have to shorten the skirt by a few inches.

      Or perhaps you could use the eyelet for the skirt with a contrasting bodice, or an eyelet bodice with a contrasting skirt for a dress masquerading as separates? Good luck!

    2. That's about the only thing that troubles me about Sewaholic Patterns - she does tend to overestimate how much fabric you need. Still, I'd rather that than find I ran out of fabric ;-) It may, of course, be because because I make the smaller sizes. It's just sometimes a little annoying to spend quite a lot of money on fabric (I buy for projects, I'm not really a stasher)and then find you have half a metre left - too much to throw away, not enough to do much else with. I'm slowly learning how much I can get away with buying when it's Sewaholic though :-)

    3. I am not above laying out the pattern pieces on my cutting table in order to figure out the the exact amount of yardage I'll need before I go shopping. A gridded cutting mat is helpful for this, or one can use a length of muslin as a stand-in for the fashion fabric.

  14. What a gorgeous version, Laura Mae!

  15. Such a pretty dress you make me want to buy all these patterns!!!

  16. LOVE this fabric, and you have gotten me over my question about whether I liked the A-line skirt version. I do! :)