Going Dotty Cambie

Very slow to catch on to this (probably now long past) trend, I thought I would give this pattern its BusyLizzie debut! There are so many lovely versions floating around the internets and the girly-ness of this pattern really appealed. Plus those cute little sleeves are perfect to protect my shoulders from our harsh Aussie sun!

Polka Dot Cambie

I made a muslin first and using my upper bust measurement and an FBA using this method and got a really nice fit. Those of you that follow me on Instagram might have seen that my original plan was for a floral one, but then I decided the fabric was too much and I couldn’t stand it as a dress, so it got wadded into the corner to be made into sleep shorts (coming soon).

Polka Dot Cambie
I swear these darts are not that pointy IRL!

The other major change I made on this pattern was to switch out the skirt to the Belladone skirt. I didn’t want a super full skirt and didn’t have enough fabric anyway, but I knew the A-line one would be too smooth across my tummy (where I am not so smooth). The pleats of the Belladone skirt make it super flattering and I know it has worked before. I also shortened the bodice by an inch.

Whilst I love this dress, the colour and the general look, I have one small problem…I can’t get dressed without help.

Polka Dot Cambie
Sorry, no pattern matching here 😦

I have limited mobility in my right arm due to breaking it when I was young and can’t reach high behind my back (you may notice most of my dresses have a low back). So this one proves to be very difficult to get in and out of. Perhaps with more ease it would move more and I could twist it somehow, or maybe I might do a v-back version a la Anna of Paunnet. (oh getting another vision in my head now…)

I followed the instructions to the letter with this one (with a couple of hiccups as I went ahead without reading). I had heard the lining had an amazing technique for insertion – it’s true it does, and here’s the best bit…no hand-sewing required!!  That is my kind of construction.

Polka Dot Cambie

What I liked:
– the ease of construction
– the cute sleeve detail and sweetheart neckline

What I would change for next time:
– potentially shorten the bodice by 1cm as it still feels ever so slightly long
– give myself more ease around the waist
– insert a stay onto the neckline so it sits closer to my body. Couture Academic has some great tips on how to do this

All told, I am loving this dress and feel super girly in it. Not sure I have immediate plans for another, but there will be one eventually…so many more patterns to try first.

Thanks to Kat for taking the pics 🙂

Polka Dot Cambie

Pattern – Cambie by Sewaholic
Fabric – 2m of cotton from Spotlight (pre-stash count)
Notions – Lining, zipper & thread from my stash

25 thoughts on “Going Dotty Cambie

  1. Very cute! This dress looks wonderful on you. It is a beautiful style. And I am totally with you on the shoulder sleeves. I’m forever looking for new ways to cover my shoulders in summer in a way that is cooler than set in sleeves.

  2. Ooh I love the Cambie. This is a great classic dress and the polka dots give it a bit of whimsy and fun. It looks like you got a great fit because it’s really flattering.

  3. Lovely version.. Sorry about your arm .. The polka dots are looking good 🙂 I have a polka dotted blouse to be completed now. I recently illustrated it and blogged about it 😀 Polka prints are ever fun and never out of fashion. Lovely Cambie once again 🙂

  4. Lovely version of the Cambie, Lizzie. I really like the skirt you chose, especially those pockets. I’m also late to the party on this pattern but I’m hoping to make one this summer… right now we are buried under a layer of snow in Canada so seeing your summery photos has me dreaming of warm weather makes.

  5. This dress is gorgeous! I love the green and the polka dots. Also, adding the Belladone skirt is inspired, because it looks fab. I bet loads of sewists will be copying you!!

  6. So lovely! I think the fabric really lets it shine and look girly without being too over the top.

    I have a dicky shoulder that’s exacerbated by my deskjob and it’s not too noticeable except when I want to wear a fitted dress with a back zipper! It’s a problem.

  7. Looks terrific on you Lizzie! I like how you used the belladone skirt, it looks sleeker this way. I can’t wait to sew my cambie , I’ve never sewn one either. Although I’ve selected floral fabric fir mine, lol. I want to find out how the lining goes in.

  8. This is so cute! I couldn’t pull off a dress this girlie, but it looks wonderful on you! I’m also loving this green color on you– it’s really a nice shade with your complexion!

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