September 3, 2013

Here it is guys!  The final challenge of the Super Online Sewing Match – the Cambie Dress by Sewaholic.

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant when I found out what the final challenge was.  I have always admired Sewholic patterns, but have been reluctant because I have heard that they are patterned for a pear shaped body type.  I am kind of the opposite – more apple shaped.  I am a little self conscious of my broad upper body and boxy waist.  I didn’t feel any better either when I measured myself and my chest and waist put me in a size 10 and my hips in a size 0.  Luckily the skirt is full so it didn’t really matter what my hip size was, but I still wanted to do what I could to under-emphasize my shoulders and chest.

It’s such a cute and sweet dress and I have seen it made up many times to be absolutely adorable, but I just wasn’t sure it was going to look great on me unless I made a few customizations.  The first and biggest change was to change the sleeves a bit.  To do this I simply got rid of the gathers (the lining piece has no gathers so you can easily just use it as your top piece as well.)  I also raised the point of connection between the sleeves and bodice to make the sleeves appear a little more built in.

Another way that I tried to make the dress a little more flattering for my body type is through color blocking and fabric choice.  Both of my fabrics came from Mood and the colorful one is silk and the black is a crepe.  It was very important to me to find fabric that was flowy and not cotton because I wanted the full skirt to have a more body conscious silhouette instead of a 50’s style one.  I also wanted the dress to be a little more formal and I think the the silk really adds to that.  The slippery fabrics definitely gave me some fits during the construction, but in the end I think that the effort was worth it.  By putting the bright fabric in the center and the black on the outside I was trying to create the illusion of a thinner silhouette.

Another change that I made was to the back of the dress.  I wanted to create a dress that I could wear to a wedding or special event.  To add a bit more drama to the back I lowered the back neckline to about half way down my back.  It’s high enough that I can still wear a normal bra with it (a must in my book) but low enough to make it feel a little more formal.  Other than that the only changes that I made were for fit. I sewed up two muslins of the bodice before cutting into my silk and as a result took in the sides by about 1/2″ and the shoulders up by about the same.

The way that the instructions have you attach the lining to the dress is pretty awesome and a technique that I would definitely use again.  It makes for such a professional finish to both the inside and outside of the dress.  Another feature of this dress that I LOVE are the simple hidden pockets.  It just makes any dress so much more practical.

It was important for me to keep the seams nice and neat but as minimal as possible so as not to hinder the flow of the skirt.  In the end I decided that a simple serge was the best solution.

For the hem I made a 1/4″ machine stitched hem on the lining and a 1″ invisible hand stitched hem for the main dress.

And that’s it.  I just need someone to invite me to a wedding or surprise me with a cruise so that I have somewhere to wear this dress!

I must say that I have a huge sigh of relief as I post this final project.  It has been so much fun to be a part of this competition and I have learned a lot.  But it’s also been a lot of work.  I have some really well made garments to show for it and am pretty ecstatic about that no matter what.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Kendra September 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I have seen a lot of beautiful Cambies, but yours has taken my breath away! Stunning!

  • Reply Amy September 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Gorgeous! I love how you’ve chosen to play with color just in the front center.

  • Reply Mela R. September 4, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    What Kendra said! Such a great take on a dress that has been made so many times. Absolutely gorgeous.

  • Reply Denise Santana September 4, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    That is gorgeous! You made so many smart choices, I love it!! I wish you sold them so I could buy one haha

  • Reply Melissa September 4, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Wow Kelli, your dress is absolutely gorgeous! I love what you did with the contrasting panel. I know what you mean about breathing a big sigh of relief- I’m very glad to be done too! Good luck!

    -Melissa @Scavenger Hunt

  • Reply katherine h September 4, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    This is awesome! All you changes are for the better. Love the back neckline and the colour blocking.

  • Reply kristin September 4, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Beautiful!!! I love it. So modern and you made some great changes to fit your body type. Rooting for you!!!

  • Reply Laura - Behind the Hedgerow September 4, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    I’ve had the same hesitation with Sewaholic Patterns (I have two that I have yet to get the courage to try) – but this stunning version is swiftly giving me the courage to give it a go. This looks beautiful on you! x

  • Reply Cirque Du Bebe September 4, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    Spectacular! Barely recognizable from it’s former self as a Cambie. Really love what you’ve done with the colorblocking, definitely a flattering dress. And you look gorgeous!

  • Reply Jo H. September 4, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    Wow! That’s all, just wow! So many good ideas, and they turned out so great!

  • Reply Suzie September 4, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    Beautiful. That was very clever putting the coloured silk center front, it worked really well.

  • Reply Fabric Tragic September 4, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    Beautiful and clever!

  • Reply Jenny September 4, 2013 at 5:56 AM

    I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with this pattern. Usually Cambie is a bit too twee for me, but this is something I would wear! The way you’ve changed the straps into more of a raglan-style sleeve gives the whole thing a more modern look, along with your brilliant choice of fabric for the centre panels.

    Now, as for the cruise, I reckon your husband definitely owes you for his Negroni…. that’s a fair trade, isn’t it?!

  • Reply Teresa September 4, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    Kelli…your dress is amazing! I love everything about it…but I think the lowered back is my favorite part! I’m hoping you will win…you have done an awesome job!

  • Reply poppykettle September 4, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Wow – this dress really packs a punch (in the best possible way)! I’m with you all the way on your sentiment for Sewaholic patterns – definitely not a pear here either. But I absolutely love what you’ve done with the cambie here. And a seriously kick-ass fabric combo certainly doesn’t go astray. Looking AWESOME!!

  • Reply Nancy September 4, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    This dress is amazing, I love the patterns you chose and the colour-blocking! I’ve enjoyed seeing all your creations throughout this challenge, I hope you win!!

  • Reply Marie September 4, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Wow, this is a truly lovely take on the Cambie pattern! I hope you don’t mind, but this is getting pinned to my ‘Sewing Inspiration’ board as I type!

  • Reply Clio September 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Your fabric choice and color/pattern blocking is superb. Bravo Kelly!!! I think it’s tough to be given a pattern to sew that may or may not fit your body type and really make it work (you rocked it!)

  • Reply Sarah September 4, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    I love that pop of colour! Your dress is stunning.

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee September 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Wow, Kelli!! Just… wow. You really did a fantastic job on this. Like you, I’ve always been looking on eagerly from the sidelines with Sewaholic’s patterns because that’s just not my body type! So I really like how creatively you reimagined this dress, designed for a pear shaped body, to make it SO. INCREDIBLY. flattering for you! The pattern placement is just genius!

  • Reply Madalynne September 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Wow! What a stunning dress. All the alterations, fabric choices, and construction details came together to make one rockin’ garment!

  • Reply Amanda Evans September 4, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    You bought your fabric at Mood. Still getting over that. Did you use your Go Bank card and take your hp tablet and drink fancy spring water while you were there? AMAZING dress. I’m so amazed at your projects for each challenge. I appreciate how you stayed true to your style – I think the items that you made are the most wearable.

  • Reply Ramblelu September 4, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I literally gasped when I saw your dress, it’s unbelievably beautiful, classy and modern! I love how you used color blocking to create an hourglass shape,ingenious! I have a similar figure and I never thought the Cambie dress could be so flattering on a apple shape and you proved that it can. Well done! I hope you win!

  • Reply Michelle September 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    I love how you manipulate your fabrics in this dress! I’ve not seen anyone attempt a similar color/pattern blocking with this pattern. It works wonderfully! I’m excited to see the challenge results, and I’m glad I’m not a judge!

  • Reply teaandrainbows September 4, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Absolutely amazing, it’s gorgeous and looks wonderful on you!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas September 4, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Well done Kelli! Your dress says effortlessly chic, {even though I know how much work went into creating it.} The colour blocking is both creative, effective, and…well gosh…beautiful. Lucky you, shopping at Mood…I always enjoy watching the Project Runway contestants buzzing through in 30 minutes. It would take me 30 minutes just to say hi to Swatch. Best of luck!

  • Reply Staci September 4, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Truly a beautiful garment and I love the way you’ve created an hourglass shape in the contrasting material. Stunning! Makes your already model-esque figure look even more beautiful. Good luck on the grand prize!

  • Reply Michelle September 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    This is stunning! Truly it is absolutely perfect on you, and the changes you made to the pattern suit you beautifully. Great job!

  • Reply Hannlib September 4, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    I just clicked over to follow your blog from sew mama sew. I love what you have done with this dress, unique, flattering and very clever indeed. Good luck! You totally deserve to win, not just on this round but your previous entries too. Great style.

  • Reply sewmuch2learn September 4, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    You took that pattern and made it your own, The fit is impeccable, the use of the print inside the black is sheer genius! Congratulations!

  • Reply September 4, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    This looks fantastic! Great to hear about all your adjustments. i love the thinner silhouette illusion, I’m taking that one 😉

  • Reply Lori September 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    This is a beautiful dress, your changes are amazing. Good luck.

  • Reply Barb September 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Your version is awesome! You deserve a date night so you can show it off.

  • Reply Miss Adelaide September 4, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    What a stunning dress. Those colours look amazing on you. Well done!

  • Reply KellyLeaSews September 5, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    I haven’t been crazy about the Cambie pattern so far, but what you have done with it is awesome! I think you deserve to win for sure, I have loved everything you made (that bag, so cool!!). Good luck!!

  • Reply Amy Harvey September 5, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    This looks incredible! The style is super flattering, the colours in the silk are amazing and I love the modifications. I only wish that I was as talented…

  • Reply Dk's Wife September 5, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    It is a awesome dress. I love the changes to the bodice/sleeves. I do not like to have my arms show much, and this makes me want to buy the pattern. I own several of Sewaholic patterns anyhow, but wasn’t willing to give this one a try until now.

    Again awesome. Great job.

  • Reply Bekk J September 5, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    Hi Kelli, I’ve just seen your entry on the sew mama sew blog and had to click on the link to your blog to tell you what a good job you made of this challenge.The colour blocking has worked brilliantly. You said you were conscious of making a pear style dress flattering for your body shape, well the dress is stunning and looks great on you so I would say that was success! Well done. It’s the best version of this dress that I’ve seen.

  • Reply lsaspacey September 5, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    A lot of the new independent pattern companies are putting out a very feminine but young (almost juvenile) look so I just love when someone creates a womanly rather than childlike look from them. This is a gorgeous, striking, and extremely flattering dress on you. Great job!

  • Reply Anonymous September 5, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Love your dress – it looks great on you!! Good Luck!!!

  • Reply Irelle September 5, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    I LOVE your dress. The changes you made are well thought out and awesome. Makes me want to try this pattern and I would not have before. Thanks for the detail on your blog and I’m going to add you to my Bloglovin to see what else you do!

  • Reply gingermakes September 5, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Oh, Kelli, this is so perfect! I love it so, so much! This pattern is a little too cute for me, but you’ve made me want a dress just like this one! It’s seriously inspired! I LOVE it. Great job, girl! Now put your heels up and relax after all this sewing!

  • Reply Ruth Procter September 6, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Just found your blog via Sew Mama Sew and I love your dress! I like the Cambie pattern anyway, but I love the way you’ve colour-blocked your version. It’s so different from the other versions of the pattern I’ve seen and it looks great!

  • Reply Beth September 6, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Congrats on winning!!!! I loved your projects–all of them. Most impressive was this one–taking into consideration the sizing challenge.

  • Reply The Nerdy Seamstress September 6, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    congrats Kelli! I love your dress. Even though I have the pattern, I haven’t gotten around to sewing it, but seeing yours sew one similar to yours! Congrats again!

  • Reply beth lehman September 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, Kelli!!! i have followed you for such a long time, so it’s so nice to see your hard work get recognized in this way. this dress is fantastic!

  • Reply liza jane September 6, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    It’s gorgeous!! I love the changes that you made.

  • Reply Meli September 6, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    My jaw just actually dropped when this page opened. Wow.

  • Reply sewmuch2learn September 6, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Congratulations! I have watched you quietly, almost stalkerish (is that a word?) and you deserved the win! Your dress is fabulous!

  • Reply Carolyn (cmarie12) September 6, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Congratulations on your win! Personally I’m not particularly fond of the Cambrie Dress but you have interpreted in such a way that I would buy the pattern to make your version of the dress! You did an outstanding job and so deserve the win! BTW, you are going to love the Janome 8900! I bought mine in January 2013 and can’t believe how awesome it is to sew with!


  • Reply Nicole September 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Beautiful dress, Kelli! Throughout the competition, you’ve done such great work so a big congratulations on the win! Enjoy that new machine!

  • Reply Meg @ Mood Fabrics September 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Congratulations, and we are so pleased Mood fabrics perhaps contributed in a small way to your success. Well done! Hope to meet you the next time you’re in our store. —Meg at Mood

  • Reply Jessica September 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    I have made 3 of Tasia’s patterns and love them all,but this dress never appealed to me. I just didn’t think I could pull it off, but I LOVE your version!

  • Reply MaterialGirlQuilts September 10, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    This dress is gorgeous! Congrats on winning the competition, so well deserved.

  • Reply Kestrel September 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I love your really individual take on this pattern. I really like Sewaholic patterns but am also the opposite shape for the shape they are aimed at. Just goes to show you can make anything work for you, with a little thought!

  • Reply Gail September 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I love this interpretation of the pattern. Breaking down the vibrancy of the centre fabric with black is the answer.

  • Reply A Fine Hand September 26, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    What a fantastic take on the Cambie! It answers so many questions for me as well, since I am not a pear. I love the fabric choices, and your color blocking is inspired for the look you were trying to achieve. I am looking forward to working my way back through your blog. Both to get to know you and to see the work you did for the competition. I’ll enjoy New York vicariously through you – that’s my home town/city.

  • Reply Sassy T March 16, 2014 at 6:12 AM

    One of my fave Cambies and featured on SSB

  • Reply Super Online Sewing Match FINAL Entries | Sew Mama Sew December 20, 2017 at 11:42 PM

    […] Kelli from True Bias […]

  • Leave a Reply