cambie pattern review

Cambie Dress

Cambie dress
Pattern: Cambie Dress by Sewaholic

This is my first attempt at a Sewaholic pattern, and I’m impressed.

Tasia proportions her products for “pear-shaped” bodies (smaller bust, wider hips) which I do not have, so I had to do some serious adjusting, but it was fun! Maybe it was just my attitude or increased experience, but I didn’t have the frustration I felt when trying to get Colette patterns to fit me.

I graded the skirt from 12 at the waist to 8 at the hips, and I could have gone down to a 6. It was super wide! For the bodice, I started with size 14 and did some funky stuff to it, because I seem to stubbornly resist learning how to do a classic FBA. I princess seamed it, added a side bust dart, and then took out an inch on each side at the underarm (tapering to nothing at the waist). It still has too much fabric at the neckline, so next time I’m going to adjust the top of the princess seam to take out another inch.

I’ll also add an inch to the bodice length, and maybe add shoulder darts at the back too, to tweak the fit further.

Because yes, I’ll be making another! I love this pattern!

The main fabric is Lucy’s Crab Shack by Sweetwater for Moda. I find it hard to find apparel weight cotton or linen in lovely prints …. do you? I was even in the downtown fabric district, but seemed to be awash in a sea of quilting cottons and synthetics. I guess this is technically a quilting cotton but the hand is pretty soft, so I went with it.

What kind of fabric do YOU have trouble finding?

I fully lined the dress with cotton batiste* which was a bit of a pain when it came to sewing the two layers together. I’d stay stitched the neckline of the lining, but not the main fabric (just forgot to do so), and they turned out to be radically different lengths by the time I got to that step. So the inside is not, ahem, pretty.

The next dress won’t really need a lining, so I’m going to try just binding the neckline/arm edges with bias binding.

I think I need three of these puppies. Because seriously, this is my favourite garment I’ve ever made for myself. Thanks for the great pattern, Tasia!

*Funny story. I asked someone at Michael Levine if they had any cotton batiste, and she led me to the batiks. Um, lovely, but not what I was looking for ;-)

Leave a comment


  1. lovely! i’m seeing so many fetching cambies :)

  2. THis looks so amazing! I love it on you. Beautiful fabric choice too. That “batik” lining is great.

  3. Louise

     /  July 2, 2012

    Gorgeous! A style which may even make me reconsider never wearing a dress again!

  4. look at you, hot mama! it looks great on you :)

  5. Cuckoo Chanel

     /  July 3, 2012

    Gorgeous. Really nice work! The print is absolutely perfect.

    It’s interesting that you mentioned having fitting problems with Colette. I was beginning to think I was the only one. I’ve been working on the Hazel sewalong, and, while I love the finished product, it does seem to take more altering than other patterns I’ve been trying. Guess it’s all part of the learning experience. Congrats on your perfect Sewaholic fit!

    • Yes it is odd, especially considering Colette is designed for a larger bust. But I guess the other parts of me are just too different to fit easily in her patterns ;-)

  6. Dear dear artist friend, you look absolutely beautiful! Does Topanga mean that you’re not moving back to Oz? I so wish you’d come up north for a visit. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. I make clothes for Chelsea out of quilting fabric all the time. They wash up better than you’d think. The only fabric I’ve used that I didn’t like (aka wasn’t soft enough after a wash or two) was some cheap stuff from Joann’s..

  8. I’ve been getting a LOT of apparel fabric at They have a variety of lovely draping things, i.e., voiles, lawns, challis of cotton AND rayon. I used to use quilting fabric all the time but now that I’ve switched to apparel fabric, I can really see the difference.

    • Thanks, tinygoldenpins. This view of Cambie requires something with a bit of structure, so I wasn’t looking for anything too drapey. I think in this instance the (fairly soft) quilting cotton is OK. But I’ll check out your suggestions! Thanks for visiting and commenting; I appreciate it :-)

  9. It’s gorgeous!

  1. when you’re onto a good thing, stick to it « such wild love
  2. at long last: a dress | such wild love

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