Pretty dress, face like a Klingon – Cambie No 2

P1210634I rushed to finish this on the last day of June as my last make of Indie Pattern Month. Although I think it is now finishing this weekend, so fingers crossed and children permitting I may actually have one more Indie pattern sewn up before it ends.  It is of course Sewaholic’s cambie, my second. I actually started this in April but finished it in June, so it counts, right?

I used a John Kaldor chiffon that my friend Penny gave me when she was de-stashing.

IMG_2158Yes, chiffon.  I know.  What was I thinking?  It is very girly.  It also has little creases as part of the design.  It is an absolute bitch to sew but I persevered because it’s pretty and the sun was out and when the sun is out you need pretty floaty dresses.  I cut it exactly the same as my Nautical Cambie, including lowering the back, and lined it with a cotton sheet. I also used the sheet to underline the bodice pieces to make the chiffon easier to handle.

On Sunday morning the sun was shining, the children asleep and hopefully the neighbours too so I headed into the garden for some pics.  I started out at the back of the garden.  Dangerous territory.  Next door have a clear view from their windows.  It is one thing prancing about in front of the odd stranger on the beach but I will have to see my neighbours every day.


Grinning like a loon.


Checking out the foliage.  Doesn’t everyone wander round their garden in full make up and a flouncy dress at six thirty on a Sunday morning?


Hang on….. Is that the sound of next doors’ patio doors being unlocked?

I chickened out and retreated to a corner of the garden closer to the house and out of view of neighbours windows.  I did not however take into account the effect of direct sunlight on my forehead. Who is that child scaring Klingon?


The cat doesn’t seem too scared. He thinks I am smuggling cat munchies in my cleavage …


Twirly twirly…. I think I have said it before, twirling must be taken very seriously.

Actually I am a little disappointed with this dress.  Not the pattern because I love my last attempt, and not so much that I won’t wear it. However the fit on this one is just not quite right.  The straps still don’t sit properly on my shoulders, and look at the back. I hand picked the zip and it looked perfect on my dress form but when I put the dress on this happens:


There are other issues too, which is annoying because I can only think of one thing that I did differently with this one that I didn’t do with my Nautical Cambie.  It comes up too high. I think this because I tried to make the straps a bit shorter as that was the only thing that bothered me about my last Cambie. Instead of making the straps fit the shoulders better the bodice has just been hoicked up to meet them, so the neckline now comes up too high.  Or maybe the bodice is too long?  I think that is definitely the case at the back.  Instead of shortening the front straps, if I shortened the back near-ish the top then it might make the straps sit better on my shoulders. And the bodice looks a bit shapeless.  Maybe I could have taken a bit more in at the side seams? But I’m just guessing here.  What do you think? I would love to hear your suggestions.

P1210600It is not unwearable by any means, and now I know what I need to do to improve my next Cambie. Because this pattern is totally addictive and I am already planning another. And the cat seems to like it.

30 thoughts on “Pretty dress, face like a Klingon – Cambie No 2

  1. Cherie

    Oh! That has happened to my zippers too. I just recently perfected my invisible zipper. Maybe try that? They are some great tutorials available online. Or if you have enough seam allowance, you could do a lapped zipper. But I disagree wholeheartedly about your face looking like a Klingon. Bad zipper, good face. Can’t wait to see the next one!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks! I have always been a bit scared of invisible zippers and I don’t have the proper foot either, but I think you are right, it would have been a much better choice.

  2. sewinggoddess

    The dress looks great on you, not sure why you’re disappointed. The sliding shoulders might be uncomfortable, but they make the neckline wider which looks very classy

  3. Ginny

    What a pretty fabric! Not that I go for yellow much myself, but I like it on other people, hehe. Hmm, hard to tell but your bodice may be a little bit long, possibly more so in the back. I’ve never made this pattern so I don’t know, but I’m assuming the band is supposed to sit at the waist? Hoik it up so that the band sits in the right place (either on your waist or wherever the pattern says it should sit) and check what happens to the bodice. If it seems to come up too high at the top edge or if you get horizontal wrinkles then it is likely too long. Pinch out a fold running across your body to determine how much needs shortening.

    And yes, possibly try a different zip technique- I’d go for a lapped zip if you can, or possibly a concealed zip. Personally I hate back zips and always put them in the side if I can- they seem to pull less, and at least it’s hidden under your arm if they do!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thank you so much! I’ve had a look and you’re right, the bodice is too long. I don’t think I can be bothered to fix it on this dress at the moment but I will remember for the next time I make it. And that is a great idea moving the zip to the side where it is hidden more.

  4. prttynpnk

    Primrose seriously becomes you- as another pale Klingon, I support you in your quest to freak out the neighbors! My zippers have yet to look couture worthy, but I guess we just press on, right?

  5. elise

    Lovely, flowy and great job taking on chiffon! I think you look great in it. In answer to your question, I’ve always gone by the rule from my pattern drafting instructors that what you do to the front, you have to do to the back, so I would stick to that if you do any more shortening. If it’s a matter of them falling off the sides of the shoulder, maybe try moving a little toward the centre to fit your frame, and then you can take in at the sides as well if you feel like it needs it?
    But I love the whole look!

  6. IngeMaakt

    Lovely Cambie! what a sweet fabric, bit I can imagine it was a bit tricky to sew. And for the fitting part: I am no expert but I do think your bodice is a teeny bit too long, and shortening it a little bit will improve the fit. Not that it’s bad though, it looks pretty great!

  7. zora read

    I think it is a very pretty fabric, but chiffon seriously how difficult is that. But you have done a great job, it looks very nice on you and the colour looks great and very summery. Maybe the bodice feels a teeny bit long but would anybody other than yourself or another dressmaker notice and the zipper, I have never sewn with chiffon, but it may have been a better idea to put the zipper in the side as previously suggested, especially as the fabric was chiffon.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      TThanks! I don’t know what I was thinking attempting chiffon, but all things considered I am now quite pleased with how it turned out. I agree though, a side zip is definitely the way to go with the next one.

  8. Gjeometry

    Well, I think it’s still very pretty! Odd though that it didn’t come out the same as your wonderful Nautical Cambie. Perhaps it’s a chiffon thing and the fabric ‘pulled’ more when you were sewing or moved, i.e., floated away when you were cutting. That happened to me when I used a very thin viscose. So difficult to cut!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thank you! I didn’t think about the fabric pulling when I cut it, but looking at it now i think that is exactly what must have happened. I must take more care next time i attempt something with tricky fabric.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks, and yes, they are a major pain in the ass. If I can get away with leaving them out i do. when I made simplicity 2444 I managed to get it over my head without. Actually I wonder if I could get away without next time I make a Cambie?

      1. Bec Stitches

        I made my first elisalex with a wayy smaller than suggested zip and now I have to slightly put it on.. take my bra off, swiggle around pull it over my boobs and guts,pull the front bit down put the bra back on and pull it up. Worth it? Probably..

  9. Lynne

    I think this dress is lovely, I really like the delicate print on the fabric. And I totally agree with the seriousness of twirling…

  10. Pingback: Cambilex – when Sewaholic meets By Hand London | The Amazing Adventures of Taracat

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