Monday, March 31, 2014

30:60: Project 8, 9, and 10: Puttin' on the Ritz

Friends, I love dressing up.  LOVE IT.  I especially love dressing up for parties and weddings because that means I can make new things to wear!  Of course, I do have the bad habit of waiting until the last minute and finishing my wardrobe the day of, but it all works out in the end (or at least that is the case so far!).
Project #8: Sewaholic Cambie for Meryl's Black and White Birthday Bash
So the party was black and white themed, so everyone there was dressed to the nines. When I first got the invite to the party, I knew I would be making a Cambie with this obnoxious black and white plaid from my stash. This fabric was the WORST. There were so many snags that I had to cut pieces out very carefully, throwing out more than a yard and a half that was completely ruined. Could I have saved it for something else? Probably - but it wasn't worth the hassle of fighting to cut pieces out.

Me, Meryl (the lovely birthday girl), Becky, and best friend Stephy (in her Anna dress)

She's got legs, she knows how to use them.

I am already a professed fan of the Sewaholic Cambie pattern, but I decided to mix it up this time and make Version A without the gathers in the skirt. I ran into a problem early on in that I misplaced the pocket pattern piece for the Version A skirt. Whoops! I substituted and shaped the pocket piece from the Hollyburn skirt to fit, which works fine enough, only to find the pattern piece for the Cambie after the dress was finished. Le sigh. 

Even though the pockets don't fit perfectly, I think it still came out well. I wish that my white cotton lining didn't show so much, but it doesn't bother me enough to shelve this completely.  I'll definitely be wearing this dress again, probably to work with a colorful cardigan before Spring is over.

Batman (aka my friend, Travis) wanted to be my prop for some photos. This photo is acceptable because he isn't trying to lick my face or stick his beer in my armpit. #friendship

A close up of the plaid.  I tried so hard to plaid match down the center front but eventually settled for things being a little off. This dress was giving me enough headaches between the snaggy fabric and fudged pocket, so I picked my battles and let the fabric shift where it wanted to go.

I'm still a huge fan of the pattern (as you'll see below), and I liked this version very much!

Now that I've found the correct pocket pattern piece (which had slid under the ironing board during the cutting out stage), I can definitely see more of these happening in my closet down the road.  I may even try another plaid - shocking, right?

I will be taking a brief break from sewing any more Cambies right now, as within two weeks time, I made another (Version B this time):

Project #9 and #10: Sewaholic Cambie and McCall's 6044 Go to a Wedding
Friends, meeting the family of your significant other can be a little stressful, so why not be comfortable and make something for yourselves to ease the experience?

This past weekend, I accompanied Josh to his family's wedding in the area. Several weeks ago, we had chatted about me making him a shirt for the event, as well as a dress for myself.  

I went shopping for his shirt fabric with the lovely Mari, and used some emerald poly crepe from my stash for the Cambie.  There was enough for a full lining even, so I had very little leftover at the end.

The fabric for Josh's shirt is a very light gray cotton/rayon shirting blend, and it is so smooth and soft. Josh and I had discussed colors that would work well with a navy suit, and both agreed that gray was much better than white. 

We needed to make a few adjustments to McCall's 6044 as Josh is quite tall (6'5"). The length ended up working out well (could have been a smidge longer in the body - will have to remember that for next time), but we added 4-5 inches in the arms so he could stretch out comfortably.

A little wrinkled, but we were sitting and dancing and these things happen.  The fit across the shoulders was spot on, and the collar didn't choke him at all, so I felt like this shirt was a victory. I did fudge up the top stitching around the collar points (per usual), but other than that, I was very pleased.  It also helps that he is so tall and I can't get close enough to look at my shoddy job on the collar when he is wearing it.
My dress also got a little wrinkly, but I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

The color, style, and pockets were perfect for impressing his family, but I have to tell you: his aunt was a Home Ec teacher who taught sewing for MANY years, and once she started examining my gathers, I broke out into a cold sweat. I was so glad I had packed deodorant in my bag.
(She gave my gathers a passing grade and said they were all very even. WHEW!)

Poly crepe is a little tricky in that it immediately wants to start fraying all over the place, so I put my zig zag stitch to good use on this piece.  I was unsure about needing to add a skirt lining, but I was afraid the fabric would have been a bit too sheer without it, and I didn't want to risk giving his family a show.  Adding the full lining took a little longer than I hoped, but I still managed to finish the dress with an hour to spare before we had to leave.  (I got to wash my hair and put on a decent face - high five!)

Friends, do you ever find yourselves using special occasions as a reason to get out the sewing machine? Do tell in the comments below!


  1. You two clean-up nicely!!! The shirt looks amazing! I need some pointers. Mike bought himself some shirting fabrics with plans for summer. I'm building up the courage. :-D The cambie is a great dress for you!

  2. Not yet! although I promise myself! my journey back to dressmaking is progressing far more slowly than I hoped! with me unhappy with more makes than I am happy with! or at least that I would be prepared to wear in public! so special occasions are still thrifted for, for now!

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  4. I love that men's pattern. I've made Alex probably a dozen of them over the years!

  5. Oooh yay! Glad the wedding was a success and you two look grand. :D Emerald is such a pretty color on you, Meg.

  6. Good job making two things for the wedding - that's impressive! I'm a bit contrary, I don't like sewing for special events - it stresses me out! :)

  7. I usually lurk here since your skill is so far beyond my this point I am just enjoying the eye candy and the utterly charming posts and being inspired. =) But I had to tell you I think both dresses are darling, I'm blown away by your plaid matching and the shirt...I can't even imagine making that! Congratulations on the successes!