Cracking Out The Cambie

Cambie Dress, Sewaholic

Before I began sewing, the arrival of summer would prompt the following internal monologue:

Ooh, sunshine! Summer dresses! I’ll go and buy some summer dresses today. Oh, Oxford Street. It will be hellish. The tube. Muggy. Humph. Maybe I’ll just wear my jeans, then.

So if you’re new to sewing, here’s the great news. When Britain finally deigns to have a summer, you have dresses sat in drawers, all ready to go! I made this Cambie dress last May.

If you’re in any doubt, let me tell you that the Cambie is a superb pattern. But I was never entirely happy with the sweetheart neckline, which gaped. So before I packed the dress away for winter, I added a couple of on-the-hoof darts. I remember feeling very dissatisfied with the darts and angry with the dress. As far as I was concerned, they weren’t 100 per cent perfect.

Ella Escaping

Dear readers, if you can point out those less than perfect darts, please could you let me know? Because when I pulled this dress back on, I struggled to place them myself!Β Just goes to show. Perfection is a state of mind.

Do you have a favourite make that you like to crack out for summer?

Ella Spots A Bird

Ella Spots A Bird

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43 Responses to Cracking Out The Cambie

  1. Nikie says:

    Well i cant see any darts, i think this dress is lovely!

  2. sewbusylizzy says:

    I love and adore the Sewaholic Cambie – in fact I’ve made FOUR and blog posted my latest version last week. It’s truly easy to sew and beautifully finished. I confess Cambie No.5 is also in the works… a black eyelet version…
    I love your fabric – so summer and fresh!

  3. The Cambie is awesome, I’ve made two so far and one of them is quickly becoming one of my favourite summer dresses!

  4. Nothy says:

    I remember when you made this, I admired the fabulous fabric you used. Wow! It lasted the test of time! I have the Cambie pattern but I’ve never made anything with it. Perhaps it is time….

  5. Sweetpeagreen says:

    I made my first Cambie recently and the neckline gaped, so I did the same and put a dart in where the shoulder met the neckline – I wasn’t happy so took out the darts and made the shoulders a little shorter and also brought them in slightly – I’ll wear it, but wish I’d left the darts instead as I think that was a better fix. Live and learn – athough what would the method be to stop the gape in the first place?

  6. Julie Cruickshank says:

    I have two hot day numbers made from Style 2893. They are ay least eight years old! I love them. So easy to wear and much more compfortable than shorts and a top in the warm weather. Just got fabric out that I bought at ‘Sewing for Pleasure’ at the NEC in March on Rosenburg’s stall.I bought a new pattern too but do I want a zip on a hot day?

  7. Just got my first lily dress done in time for the good weather! The Cambie looks lovely!

  8. Kathryn says:

    This is gorgeous, I love that fabric and every Cambie I see just makes me want to buy the pattern more and more! That must have been a lovely surprise to bring it out of hibernation and be happier with it than you remembered!

  9. Becky says:

    You are so right! Perfection is a state of mind, and this dress looks perfect to me. I have not made this pattern yet, and I must get busy.

  10. So I Sew says:

    I came out of lurkdome to tell you that (a) I don’t see the aforementioned darts and (b) i LOVE that fabric. I can’t wait to get started on my own pack of Cambie dresses!

  11. anenthusiast says:

    Lovely! I really like the shoes too…
    Isn’t it funny how sewers/crafters are so perfectionist when it comes to our own makes. It’s hard to let go. Obviously time is a great healer! Maybe I should take that on board for myself and be a tad more chilled…

  12. ooobop! says:

    What darts indeed?! I’m going to have to make one of these. I love the style. But I’m going to be hard pressed to match that fabric. It’s stunning! X

  13. Lori says:

    Certainly can’t tell there’s any darts from here! Your Cambie looks absolutely fabulous! I just bought the pattern and can’t wait for it to arrive in the post. Thanks for your inspiration. Love your blog.

  14. lisa g says:

    nope, can’t see the darts at all! though if i had to put darts in i’d do it where the strap meets the bodice. one day i’m gonna have to make that pattern… πŸ™‚

  15. Jenn C says:

    Love the dress. I’ve made 2 Cambie’s recently as well. Great pattern but I found I had to move the straps to prevent some gaping. I also love your shoes!

  16. liza jane says:

    I am drooling over your shoes!

  17. Nope, no dodgy darts, even zooming in on the photo! Love that dress, it looks so elegant on you Karen and the colours are so citrusy and fresh. I have a favourite sundress I like to crack open when the sun comes out, it’s the Colette Parfait and I’m wearing it right now! x

  18. Petra says:

    I remember how much I swooned when you made this dress, and your shoes are on my must-get list. Beautiful!
    I will engrave ‘Perfection is a State of Mind’ on my sewing machine, and spend more time enjoying my makes and discovering birds in the sky – thank you Karen and Ella!

  19. SewRuthie says:

    Lovely fresh dress!

  20. senjiva says:

    The first thing I said (in my head) when I saw this dress was. ” I want it!”. So it must be awesome. I see no construction issues. Actually, if someone is looking that close at your bosom, they must either be a) your man, or b) a person who needs to get outta your personal space. I say well done!!!!

  21. Amanda says:

    Lovely dress, perfect darts and gorgeous shoes! A great look for this great British weather….. Well today anyway!

  22. Sarah says:

    I love this dress! It is one of my very favourites makes of yours πŸ™‚

  23. Sarah says:

    *favourite (I meant!)

  24. Well you know those darts, they migrate for the winter!
    Since you asked, I’m wearing my maxi skirt lots thos summer and I get compliments on the colour. But today I’m making a toile for a summer shift dress.

  25. Connie says:

    What darts? Lovely dress

  26. twotoast says:

    Very cute summery dress! I understand that it is summer this weekend in the UK – so enjoy πŸ™‚

  27. gingermakes says:

    This is one of my favorite of your makes! I absolutely love it! Last summer I made the Colette Hazel dress, and I hated the fabric that I used and thought that the shape was really unflattering. But this summer it’s the dress I find myself reaching for constantly!

  28. Helen Johnstone says:

    That looks a good pattern for when I get brave enough to do a dress – different sizes top and bottom.

  29. Jackie Sorich says:

    Darling dress, great print and it looks lovely on you. Great job!

  30. IngeMaakt says:

    Lovely dress, it is such a fabulous pattern! I also really like your shoes, they match the dress perfectly.

  31. Gjeometry says:

    Hey, it looks all sunny and fabulous in your pics! Or is that special “it’s not really sunny, but we can fake it” lighting? Here, it has been cloudy, grey, rainy, EVERY day. When the sun shines (for 8 seconds, the odd time) people race out into the street and stare directly into it!! So, I’m making a Christine Hayes Retro Summer dress in a pastel summery, abstract architecture fabric, but not sure if I’ll wear it anywhere but my house. I love your Cambie and the fun summer fruits fabric.

  32. foamofdays says:

    That looks so delicious! Where do you find such a cool fabric? πŸ™‚

  33. pxzi says:

    Ella is adorable! I have a black mini schnauzer named Dobby- they look like they could be twins!

  34. The orange and green are great colors for you! Love the shoes. What a great complement to the dress. And, you are right. Perfection is a state of mind. A favorite sewing writer that I enjoy always talks about how forgiving clothes are when you sew them. Your dress is proof. The darts may be there, but you can’t see them. The dress is too spectacular to get caught up on details like that. Happy summer!

  35. Maddie says:

    Cambie looks awesome on you and nope, I can’t spot any darts. I wish Britain’s weather allowed you to wear this more throughout the year!

  36. Jacq C says:

    You look lovely in that dress, so fresh and summery – it makes me want to sit on a terrace drinking a G&T, nice bowl of olives, watching the sun go down … I can dream! Oh, and I see no darts – sometimes you can get too close to a project, a bit of distance helps perspective πŸ™‚ I love all the Cambies I see but I think I’m the wrong shape for the patterns so I’ve held off (that and the enormous number of patterns I already own that remain pristine and unused!

  37. Philipppa says:

    I couldn’t agree more. We are far too hard on ourselves when it comes to sewing. For some reason we imagine we can’t match up to what’s in the shops, when often home sewn garments are constructed in a far superior way. Can’t see your darts – but it’s a lovely dress!

  38. Ruth says:

    I believe in the Magic Wardrobe. Also I agree that making clothes is oddly more “efficient” than shopping for them! I’ve also found that like anything you learn, your skills plateau, then suddenly progress, then plateau and progress repeatedly. So, this year, the fifth year of my “return” to sewing, I have happily found that I can knock out summer clothes at a great rate. This partly because I have resolve my “fitting issues” and partly because I have learned to distinguish between major faults and minor mistakes and not to fret about unnoticeable “mistakes” or “imperfections”. Darts? I don’t see any darts? And what if I did?

  39. Marie says:

    This dress was divine last year and it’s divine again this year! And you’re so right about perfection being a state of mind…I’m so ‘stealing’ that phrase!

  40. Sarah/eatmyoxygen says:

    I adore your shoes!

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