Oranges and lemons
Say the bells of St Clements
You owe me five farthings
Say the bells of St Martins
Summer arrives in England, and so the UK blogger pulls out her seasonal cotton. My goodness, there had better be more than a few days of sunshine left to us for making lemonade!
I arrived home from the US to find that I’d brought the sunshine with me. As I waited for my wool outfit to decompress from the suitcase, it felt only right and proper to delve into the new package that had arrived from Sewaholic. The Cambie Dress, as blogged about by Scruffy Badger and Dolly Clackett.
Unlike both of my beloved blogging friends, I was not able to sew this up straight out of the packet! By now in my sewing career, I know my own body well enough to understand that bodice fitting doesn’t just fall out of a jiffy bag for me. I cut a size 12, but the waist line needed expanding and the upper chest needed significant shrinking. Go, figure! My boobs are smaller than my waist. Hmmm…
That’s an over simplification, obviously, but it was nevertheless reassuring recently to hear my new sewing teacher, Beth, confirm that my upper chest is weirdly narrow. Oh, and I have one shoulder lower than the other. All of which confirms the genius of the Cambie dress. See those shoulder straps? Adjust as you see fit to the weirdneositoy of YOUR body!
I bought this fabric last year from a seller on Etsy. At the time, I wanted to chase the trend of Stella McCartney’s Spring 2011 citrus-themed line of clothes. The only problem was that I totally lost any energy for making dresses in 2011. I just wasn’t interested, and so this cotton stayed in the stash box. Until now. Another blogger commented recently that the right fabric will find the right pattern … eventually. Amen, sister!
So what should I tell you about the Cambie dress?
If you have concerns about fitting, I would urge a full toile. Why? The construction of this dress makes it very difficult to try it on in stages during the make. You have to cross your fingers and toes. If you’re not confident about your digits’ abilities to bring you luck, make a toile.
There’s a clever, new technique for sewing the lining down to the inside of the zip.
As if you didn’t already know, this pattern confirms Tasia’s deep understanding and empathy with the female form. It’s flattering – feminine yet modest, a dress that straddles the decades to be wearable at any age. For that, I am deeply grateful. The modesty of Sewaholic’s blogging, combined with the genius of her pattern drafting make her someone I want to thank again and again.
Thoughts moving forwards? There are some tweaks I’d make on future makes, yet even as I type this I know on some deep level that my favourite Cambie will be my first make, even with its little fitting flaws. A parent loves all their babies, non?
On which note…
I just finished reading a novel. It’s aimed at the Young Adult market, but if Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s never to age bracket a work of fiction and dismiss it. The book’s called ‘Wonder’ by the author RJ Palacio. It lives up to its name – it’s truly wonderful. Heartwarming, funny, humbling, true. And it has an awesome quote:
Shall we make a new rule of life? Always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary.
Kinder than is necessary… Not a bad rule to live life by.