The funky cambie dress

Sewaholic Cambie Here it is, my long awaited first cambie.  This was the pattern that inspired me to start selling Sewaholic patterns in Australia, and it’s taken me this long to find the perfect fabric.  This is styled as my “going to work on friday but not meeting any clients” dress.

All I can say is thank goodness I took a break from sewing the Renfrew pattern to discover the joy of the Cambie.  This was honestly a joy to sew, easy to fit, great finish and it’s comfortable.  This is going to get so much wear that I’ve already cut out another 2.  This one is getting it’s debut this friday for work, and then Cambie and Cocktails.  More on that later 😉

You know what else was a joy?  The sunshine that is overdue for us long-suffering Melbournites.  This is the one part of my backyard that isn’t a swamp from all the winter rain, so the moment there was a sunny day we dashed outside to get some photos.




I made a full muslin expecting to have to adjust the bust area, and had already planned out how I was going to do it, but Rachel at MyMessings had made hers without a FBA…and I was surprised that it worked without one.  Ladies with a small bust – how did you find the fit?  I used a cotton sateen, so I muslined a size 8 aiming for it to be a bit snug, which then gave me a lovely fit with the stretch.  Even so with an interfaced waistband, a pasta lunch might be out of the question.

The only changes I made was to shorten the straps (a good 2 inches) and bringing the waistband up on the front.  Perhaps I should have shortened the bodice to bring the waistband up and not have to shorten the straps – but then it might get a little flashy.  There’s a growing suspicion in these parts that I have a long torso with a high waist.  All previous theories about being an hourglass are being replaced with a pear.


The main fabric is 2 metres of cotton stretch sateen from spotlight – I’m pretty sure it’s part of the reproduction range and was the overwhelming $6 per metre.  Cotton sateen is a great choice for this dress as it gives gently enough, and has a stiff enough drape to hide the pockets.

Lining- the bodice is self lined as I had enough fabric to do so, and the skirt is some shiny slippery lining from spotlight that was in my stash.  The bodice is a little too bulky, but not overwhelmingly so.   The skirt has a narrow hem as a longer skirt feels more balanced for this print.


In terms of construction, again I followed Rachels sage advice and used the Crescent skirt tutorial for inserting the zip, by sewing it to the lining first then sewing it to the main fabric.  I also didn’t use an invisible zipper as 1.  They’re like $5, 2. I don’t have an invisible zipper foot for my singer yet, and 3. they seem to break more than normal zips.  I have grand plans to hand prick-stitch the lining but as yet no action.

Future lessons

The top of my zip isn’t pretty, it hasn’t flipped round the right way properly which I’m disappointed about. The zip actually isn’t set into the fabric far enough, I misplaced my zipper foot somewhere and used a normal foot so really it’s my own stupid fault.  I may go back and fix this as soon as I can find that bloody foot.

Things I wish were different?  Only wish I’d lengthened and deepened the pockets.


16 thoughts on “The funky cambie dress

  1. Yay! Looks great, job well done. It fits you perfectly and I can see it as such a versatile dress – not just for work. Thanks for the tips too…. geez, I better get myself organised and start on a muslin for my Cambie…. they all seem to turn out so beautifully! 🙂

    • It seems to be almost the angle of the pocket edges that will allow things to fall out easier without more depth, so without changing the angle of the pockets the depth/length needs to be altered. I’ve lost a phone out of pockets like these.

  2. This is just gorgeous – such a lovely choice of fabric. Spotlight has had some brilliant sateens in this year! Another option for my beloved black/blue rosette sateen print…
    Great job – can’t wait to see Numbers 2 & 3. Makes me want to make 4 & 5…

  3. Beautiful Sarah! Absolutely beautiful. I have two fabrics ready for my Cambie, but they are very summery so I have time up my sleeve. I like the idea of a work Cambie…

  4. It looks great!!! and the fit is perfect! It does make a change from the Renfrews and I also really like this pattern: not too complex and with brilliant results. I will definitely make myself som more – but maybe I’ll wait until autumn and winter are gone.
    It’s funny because I actually found that the instructions for the zipper were easier on the Cambie than on the Crescent (I’ve just finished it and was glad there was a sewalong!)

  5. What a great looking dress…and excellent review, really appreciate your thoughts re fitting, zippers and increasing pocket depth …a Cambie with a straight skirt is on my horizon…

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