This is my second attempt at Sewaholic Cambie.
My first attempt is the complete dress pattern with the gathered skirt and it is lacking only the lining to be finished. The problem? I’m not loving the fabric now that it’s all sewn up. The fit is perfect and it is my first time to do a real full bust adjustment on a flat pattern but I just can’t see myself ever wearing the dress so it is sitting in the UFO pile. But that didn’t stop me from moving forward with my great-fitting post-FBA bodice pattern and turning out a second version. I decided I wanted a cute peplum blouse when I found this green Swiss dot fabric at Hancock and I am so pleased with the results. I lined it in a soft, light aqua cotton that I picked up for a steal at a local fabric salvage store. The pattern is well drafted and goes together smoothly. I only have a few issues/suggestions/comments, so I will list those here:
1. The sweetheart neckline doesn’t hug the body very well. I understitched the lining to the seam allowance and this helped a little but on my next version (currently in the works), I am going to ease in a slightly shorter piece of twill tape to the seam allowance to get the neckline to hug my body better.
2. Along the same lines, the instructions tell you to trim the seam allowances of the neckline before you insert the sleeves. This makes it a little trickier to know exactly how far to pull the sleeves through before sewing. Next time I will just wait to trim everything after I have pulled the sleeves through and sewn them in place.
3. For my FBA, I used the Palmer/Plescht method and created a new dart in the side seam. I chose my starting size based on some crazy theory that I came up with — basically I calculate what my bust measurement would be if I was a B-cup based on my band measurement. So if my under bust measurement is 28.5″ and US bra sizing adds 4″ for the band size then a B cup is 2″ above the band size, my theoretical bust measurement would be 34.5″ which corresponds exactly to the pattern size 8. I do these crazy measurements because my high bust measurement never seems to correspond well for me and the fit is always off if I go by that method. Maybe most people don’t have that problem and you can ignore my psycho idea but it works for me :)
So I started with a pattern size 8 and made the slashes up and across according to the Fit for Real People book. Since the pattern doesn’t have a side seam dart, I created one for better shaping. According to my DD cup size (I can’t believe I just said that!), I needed to add 1″ between the vertical lines of the slash I made, opening up the waistline dart wider. I trued up the length of the bottom of the bodice piece, made sure my bust point was still accurate, drew in my dart legs (kept the waist dart curved with my French curve ruler), and I was done. I have to say, this is the best fitting bodice I have ever sewn! Yay!!!
4. Since I modified the dress in to a blouse and swapped out the two pattern skirt options for a peplum, I had to draft this myself. No worries, though, because drafting a small full-circle peplum is pretty simple. Just google “drafting a full circle skirt” and you will find plenty of great tutorials on how to do it.
5. I moved the zipper from the center back to the left side seam.
Tasia gives great instructions on her blog about how to sew the lining to the invisible zipper. I will be using this technique from now on. It is so professional and clean and I didn’t even need to sew in a hook at the top of the zip!
All in all, this is a stellar pattern and you should start working on your Cambie dress (or blouse) ASAP. Stay tuned because I have another version coming up that is a good deal fancier than the one you see here… :)