I heart Cambie

Ever since I started reading other sewing blogs, I have seen the Sewaholic Cambie dress pop up everywhere, and I immediately popped it on my “to make” list… once I had a few projects under my belt and felt a bit more confident. I’m so massively late to the game, you guys are all like, “Oh that’s soooooo 2012…” Lol… Love the blogging world, I know everyone will actually be like “you go girl” ūüôā

Enter, my first Cambie dress, and I am in lurrrvvveeeee!

IMG_1349

Cambie Selfie!

Usual shocking wardrobe selfie…

Luckily I did a test run with some scraps of quilting cotton, as for some reason I measured myself and cut out a size 10…. and when I tried the finished product on it was swimming on me & looked HORRIBLE… so re-measured myself and realised I should have actually made a 6. Don’t know what on earth was going on there. Lucky for muslins!

Test run with some scraps of quilting cotton!!

Test run with some scraps of quilting cotton!!

So my first¬†wearable awesome¬†Cambie (view A) I made out of a gorgeous Cotton Sateen (ok so the lady at the market was telling me “Cot-ton-ee, Cot-tonn-eee” so I’m guessing as much…) that I picked up for 4 Lari/m ($2.50/m). Massive Bargain, pity it was the last 3 metres ūüė¶ I lined the whole thing with a white lightweight calico type fabric that feels just lovely against my skin.

IMG_1348

I love the inside of this dress! :)

I love the inside of this dress! ūüôā

The only changes to the pattern I made was cutting the back skirt pieces in the lining material a few inches ‘thinner’ than the pattern,¬†as the lining material wasn’t wide enough to fit the pattern piece in the right direction, and I thought there would be enough bulk in the back anyway with the lining and material (especially since I ain’t pear shaped!). Also, as the sleeves get fitted last, it was easy to adjust these to fit perfectly, I found that¬†they were about 1.5in too long. Oh also, I omitted the pockets. I’m not a massive pocket person…. I mean, I would do the pockets in the View B coz they’d look cool….

Cambie sleeves unattached

Just another pic of the inside. I love that the waistband strip is in the outer fabric!

Just another pic of the inside. I love that the waistband strip is in the outer fabric!

I did find that when attaching the waistband strip to the bodice, it ended up about 1/2 inch shorter than the bodice, and I was SOOO pedantic about the seam allowances and dart measurements, so I’m not sure what happened there…. I just attached the skirt to the waistband and then serged the open back seam to line up to the waistband. I then just lined the zip up to the edge of the serged seam instead of 5/8in allowance.

I used Tasia’s method of putting the zip in, and finishing around the edges, and it came up beautifully. This was the first fully lined dress I have made, and found putting in the zip an absolute breeze! I’ve always found zips to be troublesome, but this was so easy!!

I deliberated over how to finish the hems on my lovely pretty dress. For the lining, I just serged around the edge, ironed it up about 2inches and did a straight stitch through the serged section. But since its turned out to be a bit of a fancy dress, I wanted to do a seamless finish on the outer hem. I trawled through blogs and tutorials on how to do a blind stitch, and figured out that my machine actually came with a blind hem foot Рwho knew!
I found the Colette tutorial (here) on blind hems with a machine foot to be the best one I discovered, and followed her instructions (since my machine manual just made me ridiculously confused). Then it just kept annoying me, so I gave up and straight stitched it around. And it looks great!!

As I was trying on the dress to take some photos for this post, the zip pull broke off… Oh seriously! Stacey (a la Stacysews.com) ¬†gave me the suggestion via Instagram to get a jewellery charm to attach to it – SOOOO glad she suggested it, as I was working myself up to unpick the entire lining, shell and insert a new zipper… So only the one bad “selfie” pic of me in the dress, as I can’t do it up by myself with no zip pull!!

Broken zipper

So as you can gather,¬†I’m so totally in love with this dress, but find this version a bit fancy for everyday wear, so I’ve already made another more casual version that I wore to the pool yesterday! For this second dress, I just lined the top section & slip stitched the bottom edge of the waistband together. ¬†I did this as it is over 35 degrees (Celcius) most days and it is just too HAWT to wear a fully lined dress!

The only other change that I made to this “casual Cambie” was making the skirt less “poufy (??!!!)”. I cut the skirt front out about 2inches less on the fold line, and used the front skirt pattern piece to cut the two back pieces as well. It still has a lot of gather, but about half as much as the original version! Again, did no pockets….

Wore this to the pool, and my girlfriends had no idea that I’d made my dress until I told them, I LOVE that it is not immediately obvious that I made it! Very impressed with myself. (**pats self on sunburnt back**)

Blue Spotty Cambie

Blue Spotty Cambie

IMG_1330

Didn’t realise that I cut the waistband with the dots in the “wrong” direction… but now I think it looks really cool because of the centralised line of large dots! ūüôā

I did get some grey / flowery fabric that I think would look great as an Alder shirtdress, so thinking of making a pattern purchase … I’ve never done a collar, button placket, done 3 button holes in my life, so it will be an interesting challenge I think!! Stay tuned, and for a post on Cambie #3… &#4….!

Handmade gift love

I’ve just realised that I’m heading off home to Brisbane for a visit in less than 2 weeks (umm 11 days!) … and since I haven’t been there since December, I’ve missed a few of my friend’s babies/kids birthdays, a friend has just popped out a new bubba, and a few other birthdays are coming up in next couple of months that I want to leave some gifts for!

Since it’s “winter” there in Brisbane at the moment (I highlight ‘winter’ as really, people wear beanies, scarves, coats & boots for the fashion not the weather)… I visited my fave yarn stores down in Baratashvili underpass, grabbed my crochet hooks and set about making some crochet beanies for some presents! These are quick and easy and are so cute! I use the awesome patterns from Repeat Crafter Mes blog – she not only creates awesomely cute beanies/hats but if I get time I’ll try her little baby booties pattern too!

I made a puppy dog hat for my bubba during our winter here, and it was a permanent fixture on his head during the snowy months! *Ooh thanks for the reminder to take it with me to Aus. Ugghhh packing…

I’ve almost finished a little Moo Cow hat/beanie for the little newborn. I think I’ll have to make one for my little man too, super cute! It was a babysitter day today (first time in 2 weeks, sighhhh) so I went and sat in my local cafe and finished off the ears while having a coffee. Bliss.

Newborn size Moo Cow hat sans ears etc...

Newborn size Moo Cow hat sans ears etc…

A wee coffee & crochet break

A wee coffee & crochet break

I was also asked by one of my friends here in Tbilisi to make a little dress for her niece¬†– she really wanted to give her niece a dress in a more ‘boy’ themed fabric – what a great project!¬†This is the 2nd dress I’ve ever made for a little girl, so was excited to give it a go. I used the Lilybird Studio’s Tianna Dress, after seeing a friend’s pic on Instagram!¬†¬†We used “Cars” fabric (as in the movie Cars) – it’s actually a sheeting fabric, but there are limited choices of kids fabrics (*That I have found) here in the stores – its predominately sheeting or flannelette! Anyhow, all’s left to do is the buttons (of which I have never done before…. what?!?!!). Quite impressed with myself, even if the gathering is a little bit (massively) un-even!

"Cars" Lilybird Tianna Dress

“Cars” Lilybird Tianna Dress

IMG_0705

Buttons… decisions decisions!

On my selfish-sewing front, I’ve almost finished a really simple self-drafted pleated skirt, have made another Sorbetto tank (which I forgot to pre-wash the fabric for and now its a wee bit tight under the arms… grrrr!), and have printed out the Washi Dress pattern… I also want to make a maxi version of sleeveless moneta dress (just picked up some gorgeous pink jersey fabric today) – all before I leave!

EEEEK I’m going to be busy, or not sleep at all for the next 10 days!!

 

Colette Sorbetto Tank

Proud braggy moment… I made my first ever top for myself on Saturday! Since I got my sewing machine almost 2 years ago now (and it’s been in storage or travelling for about 9 months of that time!!) I have only made items for my bub or gifts for other friends’ babies… with the exception of a long dress for a black tie wedding in October last year! (Simplicity 6223 with modifications!!).

I am getting ahead of myself though – the whole reason I’m able to make tops for myself is because I bought a printer last Thursday! Super exciting people! The (sewing) world is my oyster!!

Anyway, so I was up late reading some blogs Friday night and saw the various Colette Sorbetto tops made by Navybluethreads and thought it was a super cute and simple top Рwhat a great one to start with. Even more ahhhh-mazing was discovering the pattern was a FREE Рyes РFREE download on Colette Patterns website! Thank you Colette Patterns!

So while my husband worked on Saturday, I plopped the toddler in front of the Baby TV channel (great parenting there…), made myself a coffee and spent the next couple of hours creating the first ever top for myself! He also had a super long nap that day. Awesome.

The pattern was so simple to put together. After reading comments from others that had already made this top (yeh I’m a little late to the game..), I lengthened it about an inch, and after sewing front & back together, I also took the seams in at the bottom of the top as they flicked out a little too much for my taste.

I used a Valori Wells Cotton Voile that I ordered through Hawthorne Threads Рthe weight of this fabric is perfect & light for the hot weather here in Tbilisi at the moment.

IMG_0538

This was a really easy top to construct, the part that took the longest for me was making the bias binding to use for the arm and neck holes. As I don’t have a bias tape maker, I got a few steam burns on my thumb while ironing the strip of bias into binding. Ow. It would definately save a massive amount of time to use pre- bought bias binding (but I haven’t found any here…).
For my next one if I can’t find a bias tape maker (which I haven’t got a lot of hope for here..) I think I would just fold over the bias strip once and use it as a facing instead of bias binding.

top without bias binding

top without bias binding

urghhh making bias binding...

urghhh making bias binding… but love my pretty ironing board cover ūüôā

I will have to make a couple of modifications to my next Sorbetto as the neck hole gapes out a little bit, it may also be because I didn’t do a stay stitch along the neckline ….

Such a cute top with so many possibilities though!

Apologies for the awful pictures (yes I’m sure I’ll say this everytime) as my husband has taken our camera to work so trying to take photos of myself in our walk in robe on an iphone. eek.¬†You can tell I don’t do it much.

 

 

IMG_0542

 

Last night I purchased, downloaded and printed out the Colette Moneta dress pattern, so this morning I have assembled the pattern and cut out all of my pieces – Stay tuned for a super duper exciting blog post about it – please wish me luck that my teether cranky toddler will go to sleep at his actual bedtime tonight, not like last night.. and I really want to sew something more exciting than mending a hole in my hubbys work coveralls. (yep. Thats how I spent my morning. Fun.)

Why hello new printer! Hello Moneta dress!

Why hello new printer! Hello Moneta dress!

 

Wrap Skirt

First order of business – I received my fabric.com and Hawthorne threads orders yesterday and today… so I have a mound of oh-soooo-pretty-I’m-drooling fabric and no patterns to sew it with!

So last night, I got my tape measure, and some of Bubbas paper and crayons out, sat in front of some Grey’s Anatomy re-runs and drafted a wrap around skirt pattern, using some of my cheaper fabric I found here in Tbilisi, a lightweight cotton floral print. I used 1 back piece and 2 front pieces as I am having the skirt wrap at the front. When I put together the three pieces and tried it on, it was much too ‘flowy’ as I cut each piece to be almost double the width at the bottom as the top. So I took the seams in to be a little more “tulip” shape, and cut the front piece to be also what I call “tulip” – oh just look at the picture and decide for yourself – doesn’t flare out at the bottom. It is hard to see how the front overlaps¬†in this picture, I’ve done some unintentional print matching……!!

Floral Wrap skirt

Floral Wrap skirt

In any case, because the front piece was curved now from the waistband down along the hemline, I was wondering how on earth I was going to do the edging without it puckering and a LOT of effort (and then hem the remaining part of the skirt the same!?)…. so I used a strip of fabric cut on the bias folded over once, and sewed it raw edges together all along the edge and hem, then ironed it away from the fabric, and folded over and sewed it down (see this MUCH more thorough¬†explanation of the same for a neckline¬†here). I had just done this method for a neckline the other day so thought it would be a neat finish taking into account the curve.

Before I did it, I just made sure that the skirt was at a good length!!

IMG_1987

Hemmed with bias and overlocked seam lines

IMG_1986

Skirt laid out (on my bed!) Can see how the the inner front (closest to bottom) and back piece (middle) both have straight lines yet the front piece (at top of pic) curves from waistband down along the hemline.

 

For the waistband and ties, I used the same process as Tilly uses for the Miette skirt, you can find it on her awesome website here!

Wrap skirt, Finished!

Wrap skirt, Finished!

I’m so happy with how it came out for a self-drafted pattern, and although it’s just a tad too big, I’m definately going to be wearing this around Tbilisi this summer!!

Now I need to also work on my photography skills…. that was the best picture of me in the skirt out of around 20 – I’m definately not¬†in the ‘selfie’ generation!