October 22, 2012

Sewaholic Cambie

I finally made a Cambie! After seeing so many beautiful versions around the web, my covetous nature got the best of me and I just had to make one of my very own. (Go! Just look at them all!)

I made View A, with the A-line skirt. I think it suited my heavy-ish fabric better than the fuller gathered skirt of view B would have. The fabric is a linen/rayon blend and the white dots aren't printed- they're embroidered. I'm a sucker for texture. And bargains. I picked it up during a 50% off red tag sale for just $3.50/yd.

I mostly cut and sewed a straight size 8, which in Sewaholic's special pear-shaped land isn't exactly a perfect match to my measurements, but it was close enough. I used a 1/2" seam allowance up top in lieu of a full-bust adjustment, and just sewed the skirt up as instructed. I'm happy with the fit, although it is quite roomy in the hips and I think next time I might try to grade down a size to fix that.

I had to shorten the shoulder straps a couple of inches to get a good fit up top. Thanks to the way the bodice is constructed though, that's easy to do and it's no big thing to pin and adjust as necessary before you sew it together. I played with it for a bit, tightening and loosening until the fit was best, trying not to poke the valuable real estate up there with too many pins in the process.

The sweetheart neckline still gapes a bit, but I think that's all my fault. I probably should have just gone down a size and made a full bust adjustment instead of cheating and cutting the eight, but I was too anxious to get going and couldn't be bothered to make another bodice muslin.

For the record, I did make a muslin from an old duvet cover, but the fit of my final product ended up being completely different anyway. The duvet was really tightly woven cotton, and my muslin was actually a little tight in the bodice. My fashion fabric is loosely woven and behaves very differently, so my finished dress is looser. There's something to be said for the recommendation that you make a muslin in a similar fabric, eh? Oh well.

I had originally planned to make the lining from some ivory mystery fabric that I had stuffed away, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It was just so... blah. I decided on this springy green mystery fabric instead- also from my stash and of dubious origins. It's certainly a poly blended with something, and it's obnoxiously shiny on the right side. I used the more sedate wrong side for my lining because it was just nicer to look at. And hooray for stash-busting!

Hmm... I'm honestly not sure what all that wrinkling to the left of the zip is about. I think it might be due to the fact that I sat on it for an hour during the car ride to the pumpkin patch, but it could also be my zipper insertion. I'll have to double check now that I've noticed it. And perhaps I should have shortened the back bodice just a bit? Just 1/2" or so? I'm pretty happy with the back fit, but the more I look at that center seam the more bothered I am. It really looks like it's pulling all kinds of crazy. Might have to open that seam up and stitch it back up again.

I couldn't stop myself from using this lemon yellow rayon seam binding on the hems. I took a 3" hem on the outer skirt because I'm a shorty, and then cut 3" off the lining and stitched up a narrow hem there. The binding is machine stitched to the black fabric then catch-stitched down. On the lining I serged the raw edge first, stitched the binding right on the serge line by machine, then folded it up and blind-stitched it in place by hand. Both fabrics were pretty fray-tastic, so this keeps things nice and tidy inside. Oh, and I just pinked all the raw edges. I didn't want to add any bulk to the already heavy outer fabric by serging or binding the seam allowances, and I couldn't be bothered to do anything else on the lining. Why?

I LOVE the fact that there are pockets in this dress! I do find them a tad small (lengthwise- maybe I have big hands), but it's nice to have them anyway. Good for the cell phone or chapstick or whatever.

I paired it with my rain boots and my wool coat for a trip to the pumpkin patch, and I felt appropriately adorned for the fall weather. The linen keeps it casual and comfortable and the whole look was Halloween-ey enough once I added my black crow necklace and the purple striped knee socks that Lincoln picked out for me.

Consensus? I like it! I wasn't really sure about the sweetheart neckline at first, but I think the fabric and color keep the dress from reading too sugary sweet. It's a nice addition to my fall wardrobe, and it was fully stash-busted for a grand total cost of less than $10!

And speaking of things that are cheap and/or free- you might notice that I'm sporting new frames in these pics. I recently took advantage of Firmoo's free glasses promotion, and this is what I picked. I'll be honest, I actually really hate the whole get-something-free-for-blogging-about-it system, but for whatever reason I threw my moral standards out the window for a minute and let Asia send me some free $8 glasses after I saw that VeryPurplePerson did it too.

I'll admit I giggled a little bit at the rough English translations on the website and in the emails that I received from the customer service team, but overall I was really very pleased with my transaction. My free glasses application was processed and approved very quickly (within 24 hours) and my glasses were in my hand in just over two weeks. Pretty impressive!

The fit is comfortable, and they feel much more substantial and well made than I was expecting $8 glasses to feel. I would be confident building my wardrobe of eyeglasses inexpensively with frames from Firmoo. From my experience, the customer service is great, the quality is better than you would expect, and the shipping was quick!

Do you wear glasses? Do you have more than one pair? I have three now, and while I used to think that was silly, I'll admit that I'm glad for it now. It's nice to have an option to match an outfit, and this way there's a better chance that I'll actually have a pair in my bag when I need one.

Oh, and the virtual try-on feature is all kinds of fun too. I never would have been able to choose glasses online if not for that. You should try it! Unlike some places where you have to upload a picture, you can use your computer camera to take a pic right on the website there. It's easy and fun!