Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Plaid Cami

Yep, I've been busy sewing!

This is Pauline Alice Cami dress.


I first saw this dress on Dolly Clackett's blog and when I looked at it, I decided it was the shirt dress pattern I needed for this fabric. The fabric has been hanging around in my stash for a while and I was supposed to use it and give what was left over to fellow Wellington sewer Mel, but I was so long getting a pattern, she gave up and got her own and made up a dress ages ago!

Even so I still procrastinated... My muslin of the bodice was wrong, all wrong and in the end I decided I had to do my first ever FBA! HELP! Where's that book, website, etc, etc. Why was I so scared, it was easy! This pattern only has waist darts and for me I need a bit more which was why I did the FBA and gave the bodice bust darts too.

Then due to my fabric choice I had all the fun of pattern cutting combined with pattern matching! I'm after something easy next, what a headache this was with some of the matching it required! The skirt is just two rectangles and so I didn't use the pattern pieces for those, I just cut two widths of fabric so I could match the pattern perfectly. I even put in an in seam pocket...

Can you see the join?

I went for version B with the longer sleeves. These have a really cute cuff which is shown folded up, although I have seen some versions online where the cuff is left down. I had to cut one of these again as I realised I'd sewn it upside down and the pattern wouldn't match! I think I will now just add a couple of catch stitches to the tops on the inside seam to ensure they stay in place.

The pattern became quite an obsession in the end! I was so obsessed that each piece was the right way up and that it matched where it possibly could. I even recut one of the cuffs because it didn't match. Just check out this front placket!

The dress has a side seam zip and did I say it had pockets? Oh yes, it has pockets! I only put one in, as I decided I could cope matching the pattern with an inseam pocket and the bottom of the side seam zip!

One think I rarely do is top-stitch, but I decided with this dress that I would. There is top stitching down the button placket, around the sleeve cuffs and also around the collar.

The hem however is hand stitched. I think many of my regulars will know how much I love a hand stitched hem. Even when I was little, Mum used to sew and the last thing she ever did was hand sew the hem, I think it must be some kind of obsession or something which means something isn't finished without hand stitching the hem. Yep, I know there are two widths of 1.5m wide fabric, but that's no excuse for letting standards drop...

Oh, did I mention the pink grosgrain I used to finish it too?

What else can I say about this?

Fabric:  Blue, black and pink plaid cotton from Fabric Warehouse Jan 2013. There was 4m of this which I got for $30. Bargain! I think I've got about 1.5m left.
Notions:   Thread, interfacing for the collar, cuffs and placket, buttons from Spotlight and pink grosgrain ribbon for the hem from Made on Marion.
Pattern:  Pauline Alice Cami dress
First worn:  For photos at Truby King gardens, Wellington. Worn with a bought black belt, black tights and my bright blue snakeskin pumps. I also wore a petticoat to help the skirt stand out.

Changes made:  I did an FBA which meant I ended up with bust darts. The front waist darts will also have been shifted to fit my shape better. The skirt pieces I didn't use the pattern pieces for, I just cut two widths. No other changes made.
Recommend?  Definitely. Even doing the FBA was not a problem and only because I've perhaps a bit more than the pattern asks for around the bust! The drafting is great. The sleeves are not too tight, which can sometimes be an issue, but the fit of these is great. The instructions are really clear and easy to follow, with pictures for most steps. What I really like about the instructions is that for the version you want to make, Pauline has said exactly which pieces need printing to save printing the whole pattern. Each pattern piece states which pages are required to piece it together, eg the long sleeves are on pages 4, 5, 8, 9. Such a simple easy thing which is a great touch as far as I'm concerned as it certainly saves on the printing costs.

Can you tell I like this dress? Not obviously the the number of photos is it? It also fulfills another of The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern month challenges. You can now vote for me to win even more awesome patterns here

I've never made up one of Pauline Alice's patterns and this is definitely New to Me.

Thanks to one of my fellow WSBN ladies who took these for me. Of course, it wouldn't be a post without a couple of outtakes...


  1. I love a shirtwaist dress. I love plaid. I love pink and blue.
    I love it!

  2. fantastic dress - the fabric is absolutely perfect for this style of dress. Great work on the pattern matching too, isn't it satisfying when you get all those plaids matched up!

    1. Yes really satisfying, but really hard work. I had to sit in peace and quiet working things out sometimes!

  3. That is one heck-of-dress. Job well done!

  4. Making this dress, although it was somewhat time consuming, is something to be very proud of. You took the challenge and completed every detail. I also complete my hem last and almost always sew it by hand. I love a flat smooth hem.

    1. Thanks, I am really happy and proud with how well it's turned out. Definitely one of my better makes. I get loads of comments when I wear it. Yep, hand sewing a hem last is the best!

  5. So beautiful! What great details you've put into it! Stunning job :)

  6. This is beautiful, it shows the effort you have put into it. I cannot wait to see it in real life.

    1. OK, I'll make sure I wear it one breakfast! ;-)

  7. Eep, can you believe it, I only just realised i wasn't following your blog!!! this dress is amazing, you have done so well with the pattern matching I am well jealous! Loving it :)

    1. Bad girl, not following your breakfast buddy! Thanks Jenna, I am dead chuffed with this dress!

  8. This is absolutely exquisite! I loved Mel's dress in it and I love yours. And you've done such a stunning job of it too, that button plaid matching is amazing! You look like a million bucks.

    Hey, you ever want to sell your scraps, let me know ;)