The Cambie Dress Adventure - Super Online Sewing Match

Thanks for stopping by to check out my last garment for the Super Online Sewing Match!
Everyone has left such nice comments along the way. 
It really means so much to me - thanks for cheering me on : )

The project for this challenge is Sewaholic's Cambie dress.  I love the dress - it is so cute. 
I was drawn to the A-line version which I saw myself wearing more often.

   This dress required three muslins to get the design and fit right!  It was definitely worth the effort - the fit is fabulous and I will be making at least one more for Fall. 
 No matter how simple the style is, I always, create a muslin to make sure I like the design details and the fit of the garment before I stitch into the actual fabric.

This round my inspiration came from a wonderful book on 40's style fashion and a pair of darling shoes I purchased - cheap - at  Anthropologie a few years back.  I happened to have a lovely cotton jacquard fabric in my favorite color -  yellow - that goes smashingly with the shoes.  I think finding a fabric I wanted to use was the biggest challenge.  I decided on the jacquard because it has a summery feel!

*A little note - those of you who watch Project Runway - this weeks challenge was to design a dress inspired by a pair of shoes  : )   *

I decided to change the darts to princess seams and add an empire seam line under the bust which is a more flattering style for me.

White piping was added to the pockets, waist and empire seams. 

I added curved pockets with piping - similar to the A-line skirt I created in Challenge #1.

The upper pocket bags are lined with a pretty coordinating fabric.

Once single vintage button was added to the upper neckline.
I purchased these button on Etsy - real glass vintage buttons! It was fun to put one to use : )

The invisible zipper starts 5" below the top neckline edge to create a slit for a fun little back detail.

The invisible zipper turned out splendidly down to matching the piping at the back waist.  See this post for a tip on getting your piping to match.

The bodice is completely lined with the same pretty floral print that was used for the pocket lining.
The neckline was gaping a bit so I used a handy technique of Staying the neckline.
See below for a tutorial.
I love the hanger view with the lining showing : )

The Skirt is lined with a soft white cotton.

The hem is faced with the same pretty floral.  Click here for a quick tute to add a hem facing to your garment.

Summer is almost over here in Seattle but I hope to find a special occassion to wear this little number!
I think a girls night out is in order : )
 Fixing a Gaping Neckline - or - Staying a neckline.

This is such an important tip for sweetheart and other neckines.  I was so bummed - my dress was almost finished and the neckline was OK  - but not perfect.  It was gaping a bit but then  I remembered learning about learning how to stay a neckline from a tailoring class!  The perfect solution to this problem!  The basic idea is to stitch a piece of fabric that is slightly shorter in length than the seam you want to fix - basically easing the strip of fabric to the neckline to eliminate the gaping neckline.

Materials -
I used selvage from mid wt. quilting cotton which I cut to 1/2" wide.

1. Measure along the seamline on the portion of the neckline you want to ease - or bring closer to the body.  In my case, I measured inside the neckline straps along the seamline and measured 7 3/4".  I decided to cut my tape 1/4" smaller - or 7 1/2".
To determine how much fabric to ease onto the tape, pin out the gaping neckline and use that measurement.

2.  Fold the tape in half and mark.  Place the marking at the center front neckline making sure the tape covers the seam.  Pin in place on the lining side centered on the seam line.

3.  Pin the edges to the place you want to start easing your neckline.  In my case, just inside the straps.
Pin in place.  Also pin along the seamline to the center front, easing in the neckline.  Be sure your stay tape is centered on the seamline.

4.  Flip the garment over and stitch the tape to the neckline following the previous neckline stitching. Be sure to stitch just inside the seam allowance.

My "Go to" book for couture sewing techniques is Claire B Shaeffer's "Couture Sewing Techniques".

Thanks to Beth and Kristin for a fun contest.  It was lots of work but also lots of fun.  It was so nice to meet new friends via Sew Mama Sew. 



  1. Your dress looks great! It really does match the shoes perfectly and the color is very pretty yellow. Thanks for the tip for fixing a gaping neckline-I'll definitely be using that one of these days. Good luck!

    -Melissa @Scavenger Hunt

  2. Have been checking your project for sewmamasew... I can't just write I love all the details .... I Love all the careful thoughts that you added in your design clothes and patterns. You look so great in this dress. The lining print fits perfect for the style.

  3. Your sewing construction is just perfect! Enjoy wearing your lovely dress with those great shoes!

  4. It's beautiful. You always have flawless technique. Everything is so precise.

  5. Your dress turned out lovely ~ good luck with the challenge! Love the shoes too.

  6. I love how you focus on the little details! This is gorgeous!

  7. Charise, you are perfectionist! Every piece of clothing you sew is gorgeous and with some surprises (like printed fabrics hidden somewhere). I keep my fingers crossed for your 1st place in contest!

  8. this is just stunning, Charise. you really outdid yourself on this dress. i really think you deserve 1st place, but i may be biased :)

  9. Gorgeous, Charise!!! The dress is beautiful and you look beautiful wearing it. I love the lining and the vintage button is just great.
    p.s. I agree with Melinda!

  10. Well done Charise! The dress suits you perfectly! The little touches like the vintage button really do say Charise. I can see using those shoes as inspiration for an outfit several times over. I love Project Runway but have to wait until a later date for it to air up here. Best of luck!

  11. Just have to say Brava for a splendid interpretation! And your Retro inspiration. It's my fave of those I've seen. Such professional finishing and details. I love how you did the back closing, not taking the zip to the top of the neckline. You're making my fingers itch even more to sew more frequently.

  12. What a wonderful dress! I love that you started the zipper a little lower to create that slit in the back and the vintage button is a wonderful touch! You have so many details, the dress is a thing of beauty! Congratulations !

  13. Oh the details Charise! I love how the princess line bust piping flows into the pocket piping, your style tweaks are wonderful!

  14. Oh for God's sake! This is just stunning! and you are stunning and so are your boys! And of course your hubby in that fabuloua shirt you made. I love piping. It is such a wonderful detail. LUV the second dress also!

  15. It's really a work of art Charise! Good luck!!!

  16. This is a breathtaking dress, truly. Your skills are enviable and I really appreciate the details that you've shared along the way. While I never picture myself having the patience for this level of couture sewing, it's fantastic to know there is a way to fix a gaping neckline ;)! Congratulations on all of your contest makes - they're divine.

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