Cami Dress | A finish {Dressmaking}

Friday, 27 September 2013


This post should have appeared on the blog ages ago . Pauline, je suis vraiment désolée. And with no further ado here it is: my first ever handmade dress. Impressed? Well, I impressed my family (I had them all here for the finish, so there was a lot of scrutinising being done).

There is a reason why you don’t see a lot of dresses (or other girly garments) on the blog, I don’t do dresses. Mr MiH did have to mention that he did not want me to wear a trouser suit at our wedding… I was supposed to arrive in a white dress, as I mentioned I don’t do dresses. I am warming towards dresses though, and skirts, I suppose losing a bit of weight helped, running shaped my legs a bit, and maybe I have grown up of my tomboy phase (probably about time..).  And I now know how to make one, well who knows that we will find on the blog.

I went for black, totally playing it safe here (for my shape but also to hide any sewing imperfections). Let’s remember this is my first handmade dress - ever. However it quickly became obvious I could potentially look like I was making a dress to go to a funeral. Not exactly what I had in mind. I therefore spent some time working out details I could add to the dress to make it more fun and interesting. I used some Summersville fabric I already had in my stash (a FQ if I remember well) for the cuffs, the collar and the pockets. I also had a chance to use some vintage buttons I bought on Ebay a long time ago – they work perfectly with that dress.  


Pattern: Cami Dress from Pauline Alice (there is  SAL happening right now as well!)
Fabric: Lightweight Cotton Drill in Black (perfect for the Autumn, and need a minimum of ironing!!) from Abakhan Fabrics and a FQ of Summersville; Vintage buttons found on Ebay
Modifications: Apart from the fabric choice, I had an issue with the bust (small bust for large frame it seemed), I added two darts to add shape. Apart from that I was pattern testing, so did as I was told. I made the biggest size (44)
Review of the pattern: This is a great pattern, for the Autumn or the Summer. It is vintage, but you can really add a modern twist to it. I had in mind to make an African print version, but that may be for next summer. The explanations on the pattern are very comprehensive, and with the SAL on the blog, you cannot fail on this dress (even with the side zip – I was SO happy when I managed it!)


So who is missing a piece of vintage and a dress in their wardrobe? Try the pattern, you will be amazed at what you can do! (and then come back and tell me all about it!)


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23 comments:

  1. It looks fantastic–love the details you've added, and to think, that's your first attempt at dressmaking!

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  2. Wow! It looks amazing. I’d love to have it in my wardrobe.

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  3. Nathalie, you've made an amazing job! Everytime you sent me pictures of the details I was impressed: the cuff and collar contrast, the buttons that look like chocolat, the beautiful black fabric... And knowing it was your first dress... I actually feel bad as the pattern is not so easy! But you mastered everything and the results are perfect!
    Congrats and I hope the experience will change your mind about sewing dresses (my second pattern will also be a dress, ahah).

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  4. Your dress is beautiful! I'm going to buy this pattern and make it. I think it will be the perfect office dress for me, fun and dressy :) I also wanted to say hi, I always love reading your blog but haven't commented for awhile...

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  5. Holy smokes! It's fabulous and very flattering on you

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  6. Very Impressive!! Beautiful dress. I like the belt. I have a similar dress (bought not handmade), but the belt is not quite as wide as yours. Maybe I should make a new belt for my dress I like how it looks on you.

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  7. Nat, it's beautiful! I can't believe this is your first handmade dress! Very impressive.
    I love dresses and have plenty in my closet but can always have another! ;) So I'll keep this pattern in mind!

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  8. Great job! I am amazed you can create something like that the first time you decide to make a dress!

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  9. Amazing Nat! It looks so beautifully finished. I'm very impressed.

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  10. Pretty! Love the Summersville detailing. You did a lovely job.

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  11. Gorgeous dress - you've fitted it really well too. Well done. :-)

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  12. Ooh, it looks so good, especially with the kimono belt! Black/white is good - it goes with anything!

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  13. What a great dress! I don't wear dresses often either, but I'm not sure why, since it's such an easy way to look pulled together. I love the vintage feel of this, and the little details are fantastic. I especially love the detail inside the neck. If I ever try making a shirt or dress I'm going to remember this!

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  14. Brilliant! It looks really great! Personally I am a huge fan of dresses for work wear. I wear them in winter with a long sleeved top and tights underneath and in summer with a little cardigan or blazer. It means I don't always have to had a skirt and top that match. And also, dresses are much more forgiving of the post-lunch bloat than skirts!

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  15. OHH!! I love the cuff and collar contrast,
    You look fantastic!! goog job!! kisses

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  16. WONDERFUL! I love the contrast you used with the print fabric at the cuff and collar! Very nicely done. I think this type of dress is a classic, always in style sort of dress.

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  17. Fabulous! I can't believe that this is your first! I hope we've won you over to the dress side ;)

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  18. You look fantastic! Great job for a first dress, but really no matter how many dresses you've made. I love the punch of design the Summersville adds.

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  19. That is cute, lovely contrast with the crosshatch summersville prints!

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