Dresses | Modern Patterns

(Another) Cambie Dress

By on August 30, 2013

I really thought this was worth sharing, even though I know the Cambie Dress has been made so many times you all are probably sick of seeing it!

This is my first post on We Sew Retro, although I’ve been following it for a while now. I recently started a blog of my own, and I’d really appreciate it if you checked it out here. It’s work in progress, but I think it’s coming along nicely!

This is the second Cambie Dress I’ve made, and I love both of them! It’s a great pattern – view B is vintage-y without being over the top!

I’m calling this my “duvet dress” because I made it out of an old duvet cover, purchased at the thrift store for $6.99! I have no idea how old it is. For anyone with more experience working with vintage fabrics than I do, I would love some help dating it! Not that it really matters; I love it no matter how old it is. It’s 100% cotton, which I wouldn’t have believed before I found the tag. It’s so soft and drapey that I could have sworn it had some rayon in it! The tag also said that it was made in Canada, which (in my mind, anyways) means it’s not very recent.

It was wonderful to work with! It was about 84 inches wide, which means I got the entire dress and a self-lined bodice out of only 1.5 metres! As for the skirt lining, I decided on Bemberg rayon lining, which I love the feel of. Although if I use it again, I would figure out a better way to finish the seams. I tried serging the edges, my go-to finishing technique, but the fabric puckered horribly, and looked really messy. Ironing didn’t help at all! I tried a couple different methods and in the end I just did a couple rows of straight stitching. It doesn’t look as nice as serging, but at least it’s on the inside. (If anyone has any tips on how to finish Bemberg lining, they would be much appreciated!)

The construction went pretty smoothly, other than my problems with the lining. I made a muslin for my first dress so there were very few fitting problems. The waistband did end up a little bit big, because I had to add a little onto the pattern piece and I think I overcompensated. I could have fixed it, but because I did a hand-picked zipper, that would have involved ripping out and redoing lots of hand-stitching.

I also decided to understich the sweetheart neckline, which was probably a mistake. At first, it made it sit much more smoothly, keeping the lining to the inside, but once I put the straps in, it gaped oddly. I think the understiching might have just stretched it out a little. I fixed the problem by sewing another line of stitching in between the seam and the understiching and easing it in slightly. It’s not very pretty on the inside, but it will do.

I added on 2″ to the skirt length so I could take a more generous hem, which, in my opinion, looks nicer. I sewed it by hand and I’m quite pleased with the result.

The shape of the skirt it a little subtler than my first version because of the drape of the fabric, so most of these pictures are shown with a crinoline.

I wanted to keep this short and sweet, so if you’d like to read more, head on over to my blog post here.

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