Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Trans-seasonal International Dress of Friendship

I wasn't kidding about my desire to make something colorful and patterned after all that Whiteness of The Shirt.  Saturday morning I got started on a  project that's been in my mind for a long, long time.

This is a dress sewn by an American using English fabric given as a gift by a Canadian originally from South America!  Behold, Cambie #3:

with Frye Corrina Campus Wedge

If you've been reading for a while, you may remember that my dear friend Andrea came to visit last June, and when she did she brought me a very generous and lovely gift of two meters of Liberty lawn in Landis B.  This print is really incredible - it looks interestingly mottled from a distance, but up close, you see that there's an architectural theme:


Andrea chose this for me because she knows I'm interested in architecture.  This print came in a few different colorways, but this one is perfect for me - these colors go with so many things in my closet and are really perfect for any season.  I made a few different outfits to demonstrate.  Above was Summer, worn on its own with some sky-scraping Frye sandals.  Below is a look I'm hoping to be wearing very soon for Spring:

with Frye Carson Harness flats and an old green jacket I just love

But the reality is that I'll probably have to wear it this way for a while longer, a la Fall and Winter:

with Frye Fiona Moc oxfords, tights and my Exeter sweater

(Do you notice a shoe theme?)

The fabric also goes very nicely with these tourmaline earrings I made a few years ago:

hand-formed and hand-wrapped

This fabric was really interesting to work with.  It is so smooth and silky, and it must be quite tightly woven, because I could hear every needle prick going through!    Construction-wise, I made this one mostly like my first Cambie.  Cambies number 1 and number 2 were really muslins for this version - this fabric was so precious I wanted to be sure I was making the right size before cutting into it.  My first Cambie was a size 6 with no alterations, and at the time I felt it was a little loose.  So number two was a size 4 - it looks great on, but is really tighter than is comfortable for me.  The other day before cutting this dress out, I slipped on my blue Cambie again and decided that is the fit I really prefer, so this one is a straight size 6.  Really the only thing I did differently was to "unsweeten" it by making the neckline straight, and to add some fusible tricot along that edge to help with the flaring I was getting on my previous two versions.  I do think that I'll need to do a neckline adjustment in the future, although I'm probably the only one who notices the slight gape.

This time around, I decided to get a "fancy" zipper - and by fancy, I mean twice as expensive as the ones I usually buy.  Sadly, the quality ended up not being commensurate with the price - it was very stiff, and I was never able to correct the way the ends diverged from each other:


It's even too far apart to close that gap with a hook and eye!  Good color match though!  And again, no one will notice but me.  At least it's even, so it almost looks like a design feature.

I tried again to do a narrow rolled hem on my lining - with limited success!


Quite a steep learning curve with that little foot!

But despite these little flaws, I'm in love with my new dress and hope to wear it a lot.  Thank you again, Andrea, for this amazing gift!


40 comments:

  1. I haven't even read this yet, but I have to tell you the title is compelling!

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    1. hehehe - thank you. I'm looking for a job as a "namer" :-)

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  2. That fabric is adorable and the third version of the dress is another hit - very feminine and beautiful! I like all of your seasonal outfits.

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  3. That fabric is amazing, and all the more special with the story of how it made its way to you! It looks great as a cambie dress, and as I looked through the photos before reading your text I genuinely admired your zipper "design feature."

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    1. Hehehe - yes, it's a design feature. Spread it around ;-)

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  4. I love this fabric. I have it in another colourway but only ever had enough for a tiny top. Your cambie is stunning and so versatile with your wardrobe. BTW, I hate that about zippers... cost isn't always the same as quality.

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    1. You are the Liberty Queen! I love your Liberty library and all the gorgeous things you've made from these fabrics!

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  5. That fabric looks incredible, and I'm sure it feels even better! I didn't even know Liberty lawns were available in non-floral prints. And I'll work hard to forget that they are. ;) LOVE it with the mustard tights!!

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    1. Oh, you like mustard, do you? ;-)

      I love a floral, but the non-floral Liberty prints are kind of incredible. I've sort of got my eye on Richard and Lyla B: http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/product/Liberty/GUERRILLA-GARDENING/Richard-and-Lyla-B-Tana-Lawn/83367

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    2. Yes, that one's gorgeous too... enabler!! And hehe re: the mustard comment... :)

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  6. Drool! Love the fabric. I don't know how I've gone this far without getting the Cambie pattern... or a blind zipper foot (all my zippers are totally exposed still!) I need to get with the program already.

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    1. Yeah! How did you get this far? You need both the pattern and the foot! Get with the program, LOL! May as well get yourself some nice, fancy fabric while you're at it ;-)

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  7. Beautiful job on the dress. I love how it's traveled about. The print is very nice. SF has an architectural tour I think on Victorian homes, but do bring walking shoes as the hills are steep. I did this tour with a third grade class while volunteering back in the day.
    Oh and if you do want to see Peapod Fabrics, you can take the subway/N train which will take you out to the Sunset avenues and then you'll wak a block or so to the Left.

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    1. And I love how it will always remind me of my friend :-)

      Great tips - I'm going to have to start writing these down! (i.e. in a place where I'll be able to find them again! LOL!)

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  8. This is so cute! I love the fabric-- great choice, Andrea!

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    1. She did good, eh? (That's Canadian for "amirite?".)

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  9. Oh, Gail I love the way it turned out and the fact that it is so versatile, but most importantly, I love the fact that YOU like it! Also, I never stopped to think how that fabric was so international, ha, ha! As for the zipper and lining hem, those are tiny details that no one will ever see. I'm sooo glad you liked the fabric - it looks as your new Cambie.

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    1. I LOVE it! This really was such a fantastic gift and I had a great time daydreaming about what it should become. Thank you again!

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  10. What a lovely dress. The fabric is gorgeous, I love the architectural details (if I had the chance to start my studies/career over again, I would be an architect). It's fabulous that you've managed to style it to wear any season. I love the winter look, but hope you are able to move on to a more spring-like outfit soon.

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    1. It's so unique, isn't it? It is supposed to be based on the movie "Metropolis" which I think is even cooler!

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  11. Such a cute dress and fabric choice. I've yet to master the narrow hem foot, too. It's suppose to make things easier, but it doesn't.

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    1. For me it is easier than trying to do it without the special foot - but I can tell I'm going to need a lot of practice!

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  12. great dress! the fabric is perfect for a cambie. i've been window shopping some great liberty lawn prints on lowpricefabric.com. one of these days i'll splurge for a yard or two... and oof those rolled hem foots are either the best thing ever or will make you want to hurl your machine across the room!

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    1. Because this fabric is so wide, I was able to make the A-line dress with less than two yards of fabric. I haven't checked yet, but I think I have enough left over for a Sorbetto! I may consider buying myself some more Liberty in the future - it really feels luxurious.

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  13. I am so glad you've shown a couple of hems like that, it makes me feel better that I sometimes do the same. :) (Though haven't tried a rolled hem, I'm even capable of doing it on ones that are folded up.)

    I love the dress! Definitely four-seasonal. The Liberty print is really cool, too, what a lovely gift!

    And as a Frye fan myself I definitely noticed a footwear theme... ;)

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    1. I thought it was really funny when I read your post later in the day and you were wearing Fryes too!

      It was really a fantastic, gift, wasn't it? I'm a lucky lady!

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  14. This pattern has been on my mind all day! You're dress is lovely! Fabric gifts are the best aren't they? Ok I'm going to go check out your other two Cambies and maybe, I'll get going on mine.

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    1. I just love this pattern - putting on one of these dresses automatically makes me feel pretty :-) I have 4 or 5 more pieces of fabric that might become more Cambies! (Not Liberty though - this one is special!)

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  15. Does the rolled hem only work using a rolled hem foot?
    Like in this vid?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdDysubNrdM

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    1. You could try to do it with a regular straight stitch foot, but you'd have to press and pin the heck out of it. With this foot, you don't have to pin at all, you just feed the fabric into the foot like she showed. Easy enough for the first foot or two, but after that I eyes start not knowing where to look! Also, even though every teacher says NOT to try to work this hem over a seam (like a side seam), I still keep trying to make it work, and that's when everything gets wonky. I guess it's time to admit that they're right. :-)

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  16. EVERYONE: thank you SO much for your compliments on my dress! I feel like a broken record when I write thank you to each and every one of you in the replies, but please know that I truly appreciate your kind words!

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  17. Gail, you are amazing! Seeing all your lovely dresses really makes me wish I sewed, but at least I get to see what you create!

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    1. You could certainly sew, although the most difficult bit for you would probably be finding the time to do it!

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  18. Your done! You'll never need to make another dress. It goes everywhere in every season. But then wearing it so much will mean that it wears out, and by then you would have grown tired of it. That's no fun! Hmmm, I think you need to make another dress;)
    It really is cute and the fabric, just so special.

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    1. Ironically, the things I love most get worn the least - I always feel like I want to "save" them! So I'm really going to make an effort to wear this one. (Planning on wearing it to a meeting tomorrow!)

      And you're right - I don't NEED to make any more dresses! But it's so darn fun!

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  19. I love that you put together all those outfits with it. It is so lovely :)
    I saw this zipper tip a while back, could it help? (I have no idea, I haven't tried it, lol!)
    http://theworldofeugenia.blogspot.co.nz/2011/08/how-i-get-invisible-zipper-looking-neat.html

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    1. Thank you! Thanks for the link too - I've pinned it!

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  20. Gail, another for the 'win' column!

    I was lucky enough to be gifted a couple of yards, or rather meters, of Liberty from a friend in the U.K.

    Lovely to sew with after all the pondering of what project was worthy. :-)

    Love your ability to accessorize.

    Hugs

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