Sewaholic Cambie — As a Blouse

11 Aug

Me at Nanette Lepore showroom, standing in front of the upcoming season. Of course I’m blocking the whole section of NL clothes that match the shirt I’m wearing.

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.

Please pardon the I-just-pulled-it-out-of-the-dirty-laundry-to-take-photos wrinkles 🙂

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… 🙂

18 Responses to “Sewaholic Cambie — As a Blouse”

  1. Dianne August 11, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Beautiful fit!

  2. prttynpnk August 11, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Cambrie peplum, how cool is that!!!

  3. punkmik August 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    this is such a great idea! I had this in my mind too but no idea how to execute it and the perplum detail sets it off perfectly! 😀 Cant wait to see your other versions!!

  4. Crafting A Rainbow August 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    It’s really great! I did a FBA adjustment for my sister when I sewed her a Cambie (Dragging my feet – It should have been finished a month ago, but it still needs hemming!) For myself, I turned to bodice into a princess seam by freehand drawing a curve coming up from the dart. It made it really easy just to add an inch more to the curve to make the FBA! Just an option for next time?

    • Susie Homemaker, MD August 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by! I love your Cambie dress and the princess seams worked out perfectly. 🙂

  5. Breenie August 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Hi, there! I just started following your blog. ( I’m a Alabama girl, too.) I was curious how you got started with your sewing. Did you take a class(es) or did you learn when you were younger? I love to sew but haven’t in awhile. I’m trying to find the best way to brush up on my skills. I’ve never been good at fitting patterns to my size but would really love to learn. Any suggestions where I might start? ( I would like to learn online as I live “out in the country” and taking classes locally isn’t an option.)

    I really enjoy your blog and I’m in awe of all your various talents!


    • Susie Homemaker, MD August 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi, Breenie. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and thanks for your kind comments! Glad to meet another AL girl 🙂

      I started sewing a few years ago (if you don’t count cross-stitching as a kid). I took my mom’s old 1970s Kenmore dinosaur and she showed me how to do a basic straight stitch and the rest I learned from pattern instructions and the internet. Sewing blogs have been really helpful as well as Threads magazines, Craftsy online classes, and I have taken one class locally but you can definitely learn a lot without leaving home. What part of Alabama do you call home? I am on the Gulf Coast…

      I hope you decide to dust off your machine — would love to see some of your projects!

  6. Lynn August 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Beautiful blouse! Now what is your local fabric salvage store? I only know Daphne Fabric and Lace – is that the one? I’m hoping there’s another one I missed – we’re a little short on fabric stores…also hoping to try those fish tacos sometime – yum!

    • Susie Homemaker, MD August 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

      Thanks! Yup, just Daphne Fabric and Lace — was called Daphne Salvage when I was a kid so I still tend to refer to it as that. You should definitely give the tacos a try! 🙂

  7. kaorumarie March 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I just discovered your blog and came across this post. I recently purchased the Cambie pattern and made a muslin while I wait for my fabric to arrive in the mail. I’m glad I read your post first because now I want to change the zipper to the side seam! And I love how you made this pattern into a blouse, something I definitely want to try too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Susie Homemaker, MD March 6, 2013 at 8:03 am #

      Thanks! And so glad you liked my variation 🙂
      Would love to see what you do with the pattern!


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