Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Sewaholic Cambie

This dress! THIS DRESS. I may never make anything again, other than this dress over and over again, I love it that much. I can't wait to try it again with the full skirt (although I'm totally thrilled with how the a-line fits).

It's the Cambie dress from Sewaholic. I did have to make a ton of adjustments to the top (full bust adjustment, add side darts, shorten front and back, take a tuck out of the back for my swayback), but I think it's a very well crafted pattern, and the dress itself was very easy to sew (even with a full lining!).

Of course, by the time I sewed the real thing I'd already made 3 muslins, so that might be why it was so quick...

The perks of custom fit: I think this is the first dress I've owned since I was 13 where the front waistband didn't end up sitting higher than the back. In fact, it's actually lower, because that's how my natural waistband is due to my terrible posture (aka sway back).

Also, I'm in love with the fabric.

So there you have it - it took 2 months, but it was totally worth it. I even got it finished in time to wear in New York for my parents' choir concert. And one day I'm going to have a closet full of Cambies.


  1. So cute!! I want to pay you to make me one someday--it's a great dress!

  2. Amazing dress! I really love the pockets.

  3. I love this and it would work in almost any fabric and pattern!

  4. I'm mentally muslining this one right now so very happy to see your version!

    You don't mention anything about the size you chose on your PR review but I am doing an informal poll: did you go by body measurements or finished garment measurements? You don't need to tell me the size you picked if you are uncomfortable doing that but I am really curious about this.

    I started a thread on the Petite board and both members who commented say an FBA is necessary for B cup and up. The morphology seems to be long waisted, narrow shoulder, small bust pear shapes. Do you agree?

    1. Hi! I went by body measurements - I cut a 14 skirt and 16 waist (although I probably would have been fine with a 14 waist, but I was worried it would be a bit small for sitting, since it said 33" and I measure 34"), and a 12 top with FBA, based on my upper bust measurement. I wear an E cup, so I added about 3 inches (and a side dart) using the slash and spread method - I think it's definitely a standard B cup in the pattern. And I did have to shorten the bodice front and back (in front I shortened in the straps), although I'm pretty short-waisted already. In my experience, the pattern is quite true to the measurements she gives.

      Good luck! I highly recommend the dress. :)

    2. I am glad to see a succesful FBA at a Cambie dress (a gorgeous one by the way, you did such a great job!), as I was planning to do the same alteration.

      Recently I rode for the first time about upper bust measurement, but it isn't totally clear to me: With what do you compare that measurement? With the 'normal' bust measurement in the chart? I hope you can help me, thank you very much!

  5. Hi Elise,

    I matched my upper bust to the "normal" bust measurement on the chart - for me, this meant that the shoulders and back would fit properly. So I measured my bust under the armpits, and then picked the size of the top based on that.

    In order to determine how much of a FBA I'd need, I did a tissue fitting of the size I picked based on my upper bust - I pinned the pattern pieces along the seamlines, and tried it on as much as was possible, and then measured how far the centre seam ended up from my "centre seam" (since the tissue was pinned on the side), which was 3 inches in my case. That made sense to me, since the Sewaholic patterns are made for a B cup, and I've been measured to be a E/F cup (which is about 3-4 inches difference).

    I had to add a side dart to make the adjustment, btw, since there wasn't one there already. And then adjusted the vertical dart the appropriate amount. The hardest part was then figuring out how wide it needed to be to grade the 12 top to the 16 waist - most of my muslins were dealing with that, trying to get the top to match the waistband and skirt!