The Cambie is rated as an intermediate pattern, which is what put me and my then-limited skills off last summer, and I think that is probably right as it is a bit more complicated than a standard beginner pattern due to the full lining. At the same time though, there's absolutely nothing scary about this and, as always with Sewaholic patterns, the instructions and diagrams are totally clear and easy to follow and everything came together really nicely.
The Cambie is such a gorgeous design and so flattering - or I think it is at least! The sweetheart neckline is really pretty and the gathered cap sleeves add an interesting bit of detail. I think having the separate waistband also really helps to define the waist, which is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned. It's also probably no secret by now that I'm fairly fond of girly dresses with nicely fitting bodices and twirly skirts, and this definitely fits that bill - plus there's the added bonus of pockets in the skirt. That's not to say that I don't like view A with the A-line skirt though - that will be on my to-sew list at some point in the future.
Without wanting to tempt fate, I think I might have done a U-turn in my opinions on invisible zips! After completely losing faith in them when one broke on me a month or so ago, they now seem to be behaving themselves and I haven't had any trouble (touch wood...) with the last couple that I've sewn, and they do give a nice finish to a garment.
I cut a size 14 at the bust, grading down to a 12 at the waist and back out to a 14 at the hips, although I could probably have got away with using a straight size 12 for the skirt - it's lovely and full so there's plenty of room around the hips. Other than this, as normal I needed to add a bit of length to the bodice (an inch and a quarter in this case), and that gave me a toile that fitted really nicely.
Once I came to try on the dress to check the length for hemming, I noticed that somewhere between the toile and the finished dress the sleeves seemed to have grown a bit and, even though the bodice fit me perfectly from the neckline down, I had extra material up around my shoulders. I fixed this by unpicking the seam between the front of the sleeve and the neckline, and then inserting more of the sleeve through the gap that is left there. This does mean that my shoulder seams are slightly further forward than they should be, but I don't think anyone other than fellow sewists would notice this, and it seemed like a much better option to me at that point than unpicking all of the lining to adjust the shoulder seams instead!
The fabric that I used is a John Kaldor cotton lawn that I got from Fabric Rehab, although unfortunately it looks like it's sold out now. It was lovely to sew and it's great to wear. As the shape of the Cambie is undeniably pretty girly, I quite liked the idea of using a more geometric, abstract print for this one, and the gorgeous shade of blue and white together are a good colour combination for me so choosing this fabric was pretty much a no-brainer. I intentionally cut the waistband with the print in the different direction to try to make it stand out more, which I think has worked. For the lining, I used some plain white cotton voile that I got from Abakhan - again it seems to have sold out (and I'm now wishing I'd ordered more!) but this is the same fabric in black, it works really well for lining summer dresses.
This might be quite a big statement to make, but I think this may possibly be my new favourite dress. I love the print and the colour, it's really flattering and it feels great to wear.
I've come to the conclusion that one way to judge the success of a sewing project is to compare how easy it is to get decent photos of each garment - I always make far more weird faces and awkward-looking poses when I'm wearing things that I'm not entirely happy with, whereas with this one, while I'm definitely no supermodel, the main "problem" was not getting blinded by all the lovely evening sunshine - which isn't a problem I'll be complaining about any time soon because, after all, more sun equals more excuse for making pretty sundresses, yay!