Cami dress with 2-sided fabric

Happy birthday Monthly Stitch!  It’s my blog’s birthday too!  Applebymakes is also 2 years old this month!  Hasn’t it gone quick? This is my entry for the ‘2’ themed challenge, the Pauline Alice Cami dress made with 2-sided fabric! (Is that a bit tenuous?)

I bought the reversible fabric from Dewsbury on a blogging meetup and I knew then it was destined for a shirt dress.  I wanted a pattern that really showed off the the reversibleness (?) of the fabric.

I semi-followed the sew-along on the Pauline Alice website. Like a good sewer I knocked up a quick toile of the front, the back and one sleeve. I cut out a size 40 (UK size 14 approx) at the bust and graded out to a size 42 at the waist and tried it on.  It fitted nicely across the back and shoulders. My boobs and waist wouldn’t fit into it though – far too small! I made another toile, this time lengthening the bodice an inch, grading out the waist even more to a size 44. This is the biggest size!  I also carried out my first ever FBA which was quite fun! I worked out that I needed a good inch in the boob area.  The bodice only has waist darts but carrying out an FBA created a bust dart.  I didn’t mind this at all but is there a way of carrying out an FBA without creating bust darts?

Shall I start with the good things?  The messing around with the fit mostly paid off and I love the shirt part of it.  I folded the button placket back on itself to reveal the gingham which I really like.  I also made the collar and cuffs in the gingham and the effect is just what I wanted.  I originally was going to have a patch pocket in the gingham too but changed my mind as I thought it may be a bit too much.

The cuffs were fun to do.  They went on like a giant piece of bias binding really.  My top stitching is not too bad either thanks to my ‘stitch in the ditch’ foot.  The collar was constructed in a different way to how I’ve done it before and it was here things started to go wrong really.  I made a small mistake on constructing the collar and got a pucker (shock horror!) so I unpicked it.  It was here that I realised that I couldn’t really unpick this fabric because it has a loosely woven texture and I was more likely to pull out the woven threads than my stitching threads.  I only needed to unpick a tiny bit though so I got it done but it did take a while.  That wasn’t too bad but when I attached the collar to the bodice I didn’t align the two sides up properly at all.

Ooops!  One side is a good half inch higher than the other side and all because of my inability to follow a seam allowance guide on my machine. Mistakes like that would nomally be unpicked right away but I knew I’d make it worse if I tried that.  I decided not to put a button on the neck stand (I would never have it buttoned to the top anyway) and hopefully no one will notice! The other thing I didn’t notice until too late was the fact that one of my waist darts eliminated a white stripe but it’s still there on the other side. Now it’s made up it’s glaringly obvious to me.

Can you spot the missing white stripe?

The skirt part was really straight forward.  The plaid made it very easy to cut out the rectangles nicely and I kept the selvage at the bottom which meant I could be lazy and not bother hemming it!  This is the first time I’ve ever sewed side-seam pockets (it was dead easy) but unfortunately, thanks to my one-inch lengthening of the bodice, they are now too low down to be much use!

Looking at these photos my daughter did a good job of taking them and they’re starting to make me feel a little bit better about my dress. When I first tried it on I really didn’t like it at all.  I didn’t think that the gathered skirt did me any favours at all and I felt enormous in it.  I love the bodice (apart from the collar and missing stripe) and I think the pattern can be hacked to make an excellent shirt pattern, especially since I’ve fiddled about with the fit.  I’d love to know what you think of it. What could I do to change it?

17 thoughts on “Cami dress with 2-sided fabric

  1. Love you fabric and dress! Its a perfect season transitional dress. Thanks for the heads up on the pocket – i have this pattern muslined and it needs an inch to the bodice but I hadnt thought to change the pockets since I only muslined the top. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No problem! In hindsight I probably didn’t need to lengthen the bodice – the weight of the skirt pulled it down a bit. You may need a shorter zip if you want to move the pockets up a bit though! Can’t wait to see your finished dress!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks very much! I know what you mean about shirt dresses. Most of the ones I tried on previously made me look like a nurse. This one doesn’t though!

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  3. I love your use of the fabric! I had to look at it for a minute to figure out what white stripe you were talking about… no one will notice unless you tell them 😉 I really need to think about making a shirt dress… I always love when other people make them I’m just not sure about them on me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would definitely say to give it a go. It’s only the waist part of me that’s big, the rest of me is about medium really! I’m not really in proportion! The pattern is drafted for 5’6″ and I’m 5’7″ but I found the skirt’s measurements a bit short. But then it’s just made of rectangles which can be any length you want!

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    • Thank you! It’s reassuring that the mistakes aren’t too obvious. You’re right about being more critical about our own work. I’m terrible, but then I can also be critical over RTW stuff too!

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