Saturday 9 January 2016

UODPH part three: Cambie

So I said originally that this would probably be the last of the UODPH I'd make for seasonal reasons, but then I made it third instead, because I'm crazy and unpredictable. OK, that's not why. I was getting a bit overwhelmed at the amount of fabric I was going to have to buy for the last three dresses. Three metres per dress is a lot, and when I try and buy for that many specific projects at once, I end up panic-buying and at least two of my acquisitions end up not being right for what I want to do.

After worrying about it for a while, I found myself reading the back of the Cambie packet and realised that view A wasn't a tight-fitting pencil dress like I thought - it's by no means a full skirt, but there are a few inches of ease in the hips. And view A could be made out of two metres of fabric. I got very excited - I had two metres of green crepe I'd bought for a trouser project I abandoned ages ago, and a ton of dark green lining that I could repurpose.

(This dress didn't come on holiday with me, so witness my first attempt at taking photos in my bedroom. They're not great, but they'll do.)

When I held my lining up to my main fabric, said main fabric seemed to have gone unaccountably blue all of a sudden and looked super drab next to the dark green. Huh. Oh well, no problem, I thought, I have two pieces of bright blue lining in my stash. I'll use that instead. So I got that out, and the fabric decided it was going to be green again and clash enormously with the blue lining. And I know it's only lining, but I also know it would bug the hell out of me. So I put it aside for several weeks. Finally I went lining shopping and it would seem that my crepe is the actual most awkward colour to match in the entire world. I couldn't find anything that looked good. So I bought a fairly neutral colour which looked like a very pale and unobtrusive buttercup yellow in the shop but turned into an odd apricot-y bedsheet-y colour against my fabric's stupid, stupid not-blue-not-green shade. So it still wasn't great but I couldn't find anything better and I figured it would do. The fabric looks really blue in these photos, but in real life everyone looks at me funny when I tell them this story because it's obviously green.

Apart from a bit of faff with the pockets (entirely my fault for trying to sew under the influence of a horrendous head cold and getting confused for no real reason), the first stages of the pattern were super easy and I had my main fabric sewn up in a couple of hours. I was a bit worried about the invisible zip stage, because my zip insertion skills still aren't great, but it went in fairly easily, and by following the extra instructions on the Sewaholic site, sewing the lining in was really easy too.

The sleeves don't look quite like the other Cambie sleeves I've seen, and at least part of that is that I couldn't get the fabric to gather particularly well. I think these sleeves are fine, but it would be nice to know I can do it the proper way and get to make the choice. I think I've worked out what I was doing wrong now, so we'll see.

I did have a concern that this dress was going to be a bit too precious for me. I've seen a lot of really sweet-looking versions that look great on the people wearing them but would look like a Hallowe'en costume on me. Pretty sleeves and a sweetheart neckline = possible Teen Goth Jen rebellion. However, I think the dark colour and the slimmer skirt take away the sweet somewhat and leave me with an actually super useful dress. It's also, I think, one of the more professional-looking garments I've made. How much of that is me improving and how much of that is a really impressively drafted pattern I couldn't say, but the way this dress came together makes me really want to try out Sewaholic's trouser pattern.

For my next Cambie (maybe electric blue in spring/summer time) I'm going to size down in the shoulders and do a full bust adjustment. I thought the fit of this was totally fine when I finished it, but this was the last dress I made before starting to experiment with full bust adjustments, and now the fact that it's slightly tight across the bust and slightly gaping at the top is really annoying me. I probably won't use this weird-ass polycotton lining next time, either.

Finally, a short series I like to call Jen Got A Hat For Christmas:

You will be seeing more of this hat when I start my Inspiration series and bore you all to tears on the subject of Phryne Fisher. Consider this your advance warning. 

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