Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Embroidered Cambie Dress

If you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should btw) you would have seen a sneak peek of this dress probably over 2 months ago when I finished it. I was SO happy with how it turned out, the fabric is perfect, the back was matching up and the fit was pretty spot on. And then the day came when I had to wear it for a special event... And the zipper broke, while I was putting it on. I may have had a total meltdown, and put it aside for weeks until I could mentally face the zipper again.  Anytime a dress has a waistband and a gathered skirt it does the invisible zipper gives me a hard time.

Anyway, this is my second Sewaholic Cambie dress. The first version I made was out of the Kokka fabric, and I made the A-line skirt. I tweaked the fit a little for this one, raising the neckline, and making a new sweetheart shape. 

The fabric is this crazy cute. It's an magenta embroidered cotton on a black background, made in Italy that I bought at Fabricland. We only got a small amount of this beauty, so I quickly snatched up 3 yards. We sold out out of it the next day! The skirt I gathered on the crossgrain to take advantage of the edge of the embroidery. I carefully zig-zagged around the flowers on the bottom and cut away the excess black for my hem. The whole thing is lined in black Robert Kaufman savannah cotton, I love this stuff for linings, it's SO soft and not too expensive. 

I wore this dress to the Project Fabricland fashion snow, and it was a big hit! I even made a hat to match it since some of the students participated in a Head to Hem challenge. I'll show you my hat later this week! 

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Quilt Dress

When I saw the Mary Adams quilt dress (below) I knew I had to make my own. I've been obsessed with her book The Party Dress Book, she has so many different ideas for dressmaking, including an entire chapter on piecing. So I bought a fat quarter bundles on etsy, I'm in love with the April showers print from Moda. I also got a  flying geese ruler which is just a triangle with different sizes on it, to make the pieced bodice front and skirt front. 

Mary Adams apron dress using hand pieced "tumbling blocks" from client's great grandmother.. Great inspiration from all those unfinished quilt pieces found at estate and garage sales..
Inspiration from dressmaker Mary Adams

I used the smallest flying geese measurement for the bodice, It worked out that four across fit perfectly for the front piece of the princess seamed top from a Colette pattern I knew would fit me. I made the front side pieces the April shower print and the side back and back pieces in coordinating prints. The triangles are made from 9 different fabrics, and a light green seersucker background.

The skirt is made from strips of the fabrics, some from the Moda collection, some I got at Fabricland to match. The strips are cut at different widths, and sewn together and attached to the other pieced part I made. The skirt "quilted" part in the front is two sizes bigger than the bodice, 2 1/2 inches, I also made them four across, and gathered the whole thing to attach to the top.

The skirt was a little bit short so to hem it I made a facing from the leftover seersucker and sewed it at 1/4". This dress is fully lined to prevents all the pieces from unraveling. It is so fun to wear...I wore it to work and people stopped just to look at it! I might even make another one if I fall in love with another group of fat quarters. It was a lot of work to make, I spent a ton of time cutting and piecing, but I think it was worth it!

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