Monthly Stitch: A Tropical Cambie

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This month's Monthly Stitch theme is the long-awaited Indie Pattern Month. Unlike other months, this is also a competition of sorts, with prizes for each weekly theme.

Week One's theme is Dresses (posting til July 7, voting starting on July 11), which is in my direct wheelhouse over here.  I love making and wearing dresses. Love it. This gave me the incentive to make up my third Sewaholic Cambie (second which follows the pattern exactly).

I bought this tropical print cotton just a couple of months ago at a thrift store, and knew immediately that it would make a fabulous Cambie. It's a medium weight with a crisp finish, and it just called out for a sundress.

Love these cut-on pockets!

Back View

Since I was already planning to use this fabric for a Cambie, the Monthly Stitch theme gave me incentive to get moving on it. I cut it out on a Wednesday night, and was finishing up the hem on Sunday morning. Sometimes a group deadline is really helpful!

The busyness of the fabric was both blessing and curse. I had to lay out the pattern pieces carefully, and moved them around quite a bit before cutting, since I wanted to avoid a red flower or yellow stamen landing in the wrong spots. I think I managed in the end. You can see the print clearly in these closeups.


 It's a very well-designed dress, fully lined, with the nice suggested detail of making the inner waistband piece in the fashion fabric. I love that detail even if only you know it's there. It gives the inside such a nice feel. And there is a fabulous technique for sewing the lining to the invisible zip so that you don't have to hand stitch it, which I love as it is both quicker and tidier looking in the end.

 I also love the cut-on pockets -- they hide visually in a print, but are so convenient. They lie smoothly and don't rumple up like side seam pockets can. And they are also fairly easy to sew up.


 I made my regular size alterations: a horizontal wedge out of the mid-back and a vertical one at the shoulder, for my shorter upper back. I also shorten the shoulder pieces by 1/2" as I need to raise the bodice a bit, again, short upper torso. I'm also not a big fan of a princess neckline on myself so I once again changed this neckline to a straight one; I quite like the strong square effect it gives with this shoulder straps. The only other alteration I made was to add an inch to the length, as I wanted it a little longer than my previous make to give it the right vintage feel.

It's not only well designed theoretically, it's also comfortable for sitting in. Because the bodice and waist are so fitted I find it doesn't ride up when you sit down. But this fabric has just a tiny bit of stretch in it so it's also very easy to relax in.


 Another win for the Cambie. It's a great pattern that makes a lovely dress. I found that I had to make a bodice muslin the first time around and did have to make a number of minor adjustments, as I've noted. So I do recommend muslining this one. But because of the drafting with the pear-shaped figure in mind, I didn't have to make major adjustments like usual with a fitted style. I love this design and think it is a really sassy dress. Here's me feeling a little like Anna Wintour in it!






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14 comments

  1. SO PRETTY! The fabric is wonderful and you look great wearing it!

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    1. Thank you! I absolutely could not resist this wonderful fabric at the thrift store ;)

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  2. You go girl! This is lovely - well done!

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    1. Thanks - I really love how this pattern fits me, & thought of it instantly when I saw this fabric.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! I enjoy making this one as it is so well designed.

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  4. The neckline is absolutely gorgeous on you!

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    1. Thanks Rhonda! I changed it for my first version and just love the look of the square neckline.

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  5. Lovely dress and fits beautifully too. Well done!

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    1. Thank you! I do love this pattern :)

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  6. I love this on you Melissa! Always a good day finding cool thrifted fabric;) I have yet to make a Cambie, but I'm using the sleeves in another dress. Fits you like a glove & I love the tropical print:)

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    1. Thanks - yes, it is fun to match random fabric finds with patterns :)

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  7. Melwyk-love this dress on you! Great fit and very flattering. Love the tropical vive!

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