Three-Cambie Weekend

My back-to-stash August started off with a bang - three Cambies in one weekend!

Cambie #1

I bought the Cambie pattern in May, with the intention of making my birthday dress with the aqua green Amy Butler Love Bliss Bouquet fabric... but the fabric was temporarily out-of-stock and by the time it arrived, I had a different pattern plan & Cambie languished, uncut.

All that changed this weekend.  I decided to make a muslin of the Cambie.  I cut a straight size 10 bodice because that most closely matched my measurements, but I also noticed the finished garment had 3" of ease, which seemed like a lot for the style, so I was braced for having to make adjustments.

3" of ease for this bodice didn't look very flattering on me, so I took in the side seams considerably. I also had a lot of trouble fitting the back of the sleeve and the back neckline.  I had a lot of extra fabric puckering all over the place, so I recut the shape of the arm scythe and the neckline (after my zipper was in, thus it pokes all the way up to the top, even though I originally installed it so there was enough space above it for a hook and eye closure.

I ended up improving the fit considerably, but there was still a lot of improvement. I felt determined, so I drew all of the changes that I made onto the pattern pieces and recut a second dress.  My first dress was made with a very crisp vintage cotton I thrifted.  The second fabric is also thrifted, a soft drapy rayon that I think is from the 1990s.

On the second make, I took quite a bit out fabric out of the sleeve on the front and the back.  The first dress looks okay in some of the photos, but the cap sleeve was too large for my small stature and felt constricting. The second dress keeps the idea, but makes it into more of a strap that a sleeve, which looks more flattering and feels more comfortable to me.

Cambie #2

I also went down two sizes in the shoulders, bust, and overall length and one in the waist to get a more fitted look than the first muslin.  On both muslins, I omitted the waistband because I am very short-waisted and the bodice on its own came to my natural waist (it was actually a little too long on the first one, even with no waistband.)

My husband snapped a few quick photos of the second dress, which I wore out this evening, but they were mostly quite blurry.  Maybe we'll get some good pictures from the front later, but these show a smoother fit on the back.

I cut a deeper neckline to avoid back gaping and cut the sleeve/arm scythe narrower to eliminate excess fabric.  The sleeve/straps are now much easier to move around in and don't have the same bagginess in the armpit area on the back.

With 2 muslins complete, I was confident enough to move away from thrifted odds and ends to more special fabric. I cut out a third Cambie from Michael Miller prints and it's almost finished. Stay tuned for more photos when it's complete.  I think its still in a semi-muslin phase for fit, but the prints will be a lot of fun to wear. 

For now, I will conclude with a parting shot of my fun contrast-fabric pockets in both muslins.