The Red Hot “Charmbie” Dress


Another completed project to share – victory! This one is my official contribution to the Sew Sexy Sew-Along hosted by Lisette, Wanette and Clio. Here are the details…

  • Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie (bodice) and By Hand London Charlotte (skirt)
  • Size: 4 bust transitioning to 6 waist/hip
  • Fabric:  Silk dupioni shell (Mulberry Fabrics), silk organza underlining, and China silk lining (both from B & J Fabrics)
  • Notions: 20″ zipper, stay tape at hem
  • Alterations: Cambie – shortened bodice 1/2″ and went down to a size 4 bust (I went with a size 6 last time); Charlotte – changes same as last time

I decided some time ago that I wanted to combine these two patterns so I could have myself a Charmbie dress. And I absolutely love how it turned out! I had this dress in mind before the sew-along was announced, but I’m so thrilled I joined because it gave me a deadline to finish this one. Plus, it’s been great seeing what everyone else has come up with!

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Sewaholic Cambie: Snowflakes in July Skirt

Oh, I’m so glad you liked my Wearing Yesteryear series kick-off post! I’m working on a button for it if you’d like to add it to your own blog and join in on the good times.

Today I’d like to share a simple project I worked on during the heat wave we had here in New York. It took me a little longer than expected to finish it because finding energy in this hot weather was a little tricky!


  • Pattern: Cambie (skirt portion of view A) by Sewaholic Patterns
  • Size: 6 at waist transitioned down to 0 at hips
  • Fabric: Less than 1 1/2 yards of “Pocho” Nani Iro double gauze from Purl Soho; light yellow cotton voile for the lining
  • Notions: Dark teal regular zipper
  • Alterations: Used a regular zipper instead of an invisible one

I bought this fabric not too long ago and I’m glad to see it’s made a quick turnaround. It was one of those purchases made when I was in the store looking for something else (you know the kind!). After being slightly delusional and thinking I could make a circle skirt with 1 1/2 yards of fabric, I tried different skirt options until I settled on view A of the Sewaholic Cambie dress. There’s a small amount left over that will go to the remnant pile.

I think of this double gauze as having tons and tons of snowflakes on it, perfect way to mentally stay cool even with sizzling temperatures in abundance, ay?! Didn’t hurt that a song from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” randomly played on my iTunes as I finished pressing the skirt.

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Wearing Yesteryear: July 2012 One Year Later

Hello everyone! It’s me again, back with yet another post (I know, they’re coming in left and right!).

So, this is a series I’ve been meaning to start for awhile now, but I’ve just never gotten it off the ground. It’s a pretty simple concept: write a reflection post a year after a sewing creation was shared here on my blog in order to see how it wears in the long run. Sure, it’s nice seeing pretty pictures of a garment, but how does it wear in reality? Does it fit nicely into my everyday wardrobe or is it a great piece to take out every now and then for a special occasion? Has it since been altered or does it never see the light of day because, well, things just didn’t work out for one reason or another?

That’s where this reflection series I’m calling “Wearing Yesteryear” comes into the picture. Since I’m not the most prolific of seamstresses, I can review all the projects I posted in July 2012 right here, right now in July 2013. Last I checked that’s a grand total of two (yes, two!) projects.

I think this is a great way of being honest with yourself (and with your readers) about what really works and why or why not. It’s not the worst thing in the world if a project doesn’t work out as long as you can learn from it. This is easy to say now, but that’s why Wearing Yesteryear is a helpful way of separating enough time from the hours you put into making a garment you hoped against hope would come out just as you had planned, only for it to end in frustration or plain ol’ misery.

Okay, so without further ado, here’s to kicking off the Wearing Yesteryear series!

muddy waters dress

The Muddy Waters Dress

Blog Debut: July 11, 2012
Pattern: Cambie Dress by Sewaholic Patterns
Worn In: Summer, but would be a better spring dress with the Bemberg lining (see below!)
Wearability Meter: Sadly, a dud
Lessons Learned: Go with my high bust measurement for the bust and do possible FBA; Bemberg lining in humid summers –> just say no!

What a sad way to start off Wearing Yesteryear, but if we’re going for honesty here I must admit that this dress just doesn’t work. I last wore it to Gertie’s book launch party last fall; just to prove how often I don’t wear this, there’s a small chocolate cake stain on the bodice from the party that I haven’t removed.

The problem? Gaping at the neckline from going with my bust measurement when I should’ve gone with my high bust measurement. I was trying to provide more room in the bust area, but if I drop down one size to reflect my high bust measurement I can work in an FBA if needed. I’ve never done one of those before and I think my method of cheating by going up one size at the bust failed me this time! I tried shortening the sleeve pieces to fix this, but that ended up pulling the darts in odd ways that only I seem to notice (which is enough to keep me from wearing it despite the compliments this dress received!).

Another thing? Bemberg lining in a hot and humid New York summer just does not breathe. Wowser was I trying to convince myself otherwise in my original post or what?! 🙂


The “In the Garden of St. Mark’s” Skirt

Blog Debut: July 21, 2012
Pattern: Flirt the Issue Skirt by Anna Maria Horner
Worn In: Summer
Wearability Meter: In regular rotation!
Lessons Learned: Fabric print is key; easy to care for; in another version, I’d add inseam pockets

This super easy to make skirt has definitely found a place in my summer wardrobe. The pop of those big flowers pairs nicely with a plain top as seen above, and it makes a simple outfit quite fun and interesting! I’m not an accessories person outside of earrings so the print accessorizes for me. The elastic waistband makes this a nice adjustable piece.

The cotton broadcloth fabric is also super easy to launder so when it gets dirty it doesn’t sit in the laundry basket for weeks waiting to be hand washed.

There’s definitely room for inseam pockets here and I’d work that in to a future version. Doesn’t really bother me though, and I even wore this skirt yesterday to work!

Okay, that’s it for now. Do you do these kinds of reflection posts of garments you’ve already made? Do you find it helpful?

Sewaholic Cambie: The Muddy Waters Dress

Hello! Here is my take on the Cambie Dress (view A) from Sewaholic Patterns. I’m excited to say that I was finally able to participate in a Sew Weekly challenge after signing up as a 2012 contributor; this dress appeared on the site for last week’s Independence Day theme: Red, White & Blue.

How neat that I was able to find a scene in Greenwich Village – one of my favorite historic neighborhoods – with a white bike and a red car to complement my blue dress for the weekly patriotic theme! Definitely didn’t plan that (and didn’t realize the great color scheme until I was looking through these photos). It was really hot that day – in the 90s – but I managed to stay cool with this dress. I’m at the intersection of West 4th and Bank Streets, if you’re curious.

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