I dove in to the Sewaholic Cambie dress one more time to see if I liked it more with some modifications. It felt like this project took forever and I was glad when I reached the finish line. I'm wearing it to a wedding this weekend and there were times during construction when I felt like the fabric choice was going to make me look like I was IN the wedding as a bridesmaid. My initial thought was, "I'm making a bridesmaid's dress and I'm not a bridesmaid!" but my next thought was, "Hey! I made a bridesmaid's dress!" I'm not worried about that anymore. I think it turned out well.
For this version, I omitted the waistband and lengthened the bodice by 1 inch. I also opted to add some pleats to the neckline and finish it with a tie belt.
I used this silk crepe de chine from Mood for the main fabric and this silk organza for the lining. I've never worked with organza before. The crepe de chine felt a little slippery when I started. When I finished working with the organza and went back to the crepe de chine, it was like working with quilting cotton. Organza is shifty.
This was a project where my imagination tacked on a lot of time. My original thought was to leave the waistline plain like this....
...but then I didn't really like the finishing on the waistline (more on that later) and felt I needed to add something. My first plan was a belt with an enormous flower detail on it. I started cutting the petals out and then decided against it. My next plan was to add the same pleating at the neckline to the waistline. After some texting consultations with a friend and my mom, I decided against that too. My third idea was just to go with a belt. The right belt is hard to find. I did a tie belt on this dress and liked it a lot so I went with it on this one. I like it. When in doubt, add a tie belt. And if I ever find a regular belt I can have two options.
As you can tell from the above picture, the dart on the main fabric and the dart on the organza didn't line up when I stitched-in-the-ditch. You can tell in the picture but I'm not so sure it's noticeable in person. I initially lined up all darts and side seams but that resulted in excess main fabric in the front so the mismatched dart on the left side is what I went with in the end. I want to be very clear that I cannot stand to stitch-in-the-ditch. I have an edgestitching foot and I still find it to be a very painful task. I did it three times and then decided it was good enough.
All seams are French seams except for the waistband. I initially serged it which led to an incredibly bulky waistband. I then went back and pinked the edges which helped.
I like the pleated detail along the neckline a lot. My only regret is that I made them a little taller than I should have. They are prone to falling down a little in the middle. I catch-stitched them together on the back side and that really helped. To make the pleats, I cut a very long piece of fabric that was 3 inches wide. I folded this in half lengthwise and pressed. Starting in the middle and working towards the right side, I pinched fabric together on the backside and folded it to the left.
It's an easy thing that adds an interesting detail to this neckline.
I did a rolled hem for the first time on the hem and also along the edges of the tie belt. I tried and tried to get it to look right on my own but I couldn't figure out why those loops kept showing up to the left of the right needle stitching.
I posted a question on the RTW Fasters Facebook page and received good feedback about adjusting tension. However, it still didn't work. I went to my Bernina dealer for some handholding and when I got there she said she was going to show me how to do a rolled hem but first she needed to find a screwdriver to take the left needle out. And that's when I knew instantly what my problem was. I unthreaded the needle but didn't take it out, so the loopers were looping as if the left needle was making a stitch. I was so thankful to have the answer that I didn't bother to be embarrassed.
I said after making my first Cambie that the waistband really bothered me but I've worn it twice so apparently it doesn't bother me that much. It's fun to see how a different choice of fabric using the same pattern changes the finished look.