It's been a while since Meg, Liz and I collaborated. Summer is always crazy that way. But, not even sunshine and sandals can distract us from sewing and knitting. It can, however, slow us down considerably. Like, a lot. At some point towards the beginning of the summer we decided it would be fun to combine sewing and knitting into one complete outfit. Neither Liz nor I had ever sewn a Cambie before. And, we both wanted to remedy the situation. Meg, is a pro at Cambie sewing, but she was more than willing to add another to her closet.
You may think the duration of the summer would have given us ample opportunity to finish our projects, but it wasn't until we imposed a deadline on ourselves that we jumped to action. In fact, Liz and I pushed the envelop and finished our sweaters after we arrived at the location we'd chosen to shoot photos. It was a high intensity morning, to say the least.
But look at those smiling faces. We all made it!
I'm even wearing shoes! Oh, yes. I left the house (late, might I add) in lounge wear and forgot to pack my shoes. Then we had to stop for gas (tick, tock, tick, tock)... Thank goodness there was a Target on the way for an emergency shoe stop (I felt like I was on Super Market Sweep- in and out in under 5minutes), and thank goodness Michael is the most patient and unshakable man on the planet.
We quickly forgot any stresses that we'd brought with us after a couple cups of coffee, breakfast and the banter that ensued during. I wonder if you can tell how rowdy the three of us can be based on the faces you seen in these photos. It's pretty silly. And ridiculous. And there may exist video evidence that Meg and I know all the words to Sir Mix-a-Lot's biggest hit, of which we are ambassadors.
Speaking of big butts... Sewaholic. Tasia's patterns have a reputation for being generously flattering on pear shaped bodies, and the Cambie dress does not disappoint. Liz, Meg and I represent a pretty diverse spectrum of 'fit' and we were all able to sew this dress with very little modification. That's rare.
Liz opted for the full skirted version. And the skirt is exactly that, full. Liz reported having more fabric to gather into the waistband than any of the 50's dresses she's sewn previously. The result is gorgeous. Especially with the horsehair Liz added to the hem of her dress. Paired with her 1950's cardigan and the bias printed plaid Liz's Cambie has an incredibly vintage vibe.
Meg chose the A-line skirt and a fall pallet for her version. Her sweater had Liz and I envious. It's a gorgeous shape and weight. It also has some of my favorite elements in a sweater, faced edges. They look so nice.
And me, let's start with the sweater. The pattern is Dynamic Jacket by Phildar France. And, it's written in French, so I started by translating the pattern, thanks largely to Google Translator. Almost everything about the pattern worked out the way it should have. However, you can tell, in the photo above, that the neckband contains far too many stitches for the sweater. With the excess stitches in the band, the body of the sweater is elongated/stretched to make room. The band also did not want to lay against my body. Later in the evening, after we were done with photos, I removed and re-knit the button band. I subtracted 100 stitches from the recommended stitch count. I know, that seems like a lot, but I still pick-up nearly 300 stitches. It looks SO, SO, SO much nicer. It was an easy fix, and something I could have resolved prior to pictures, if I hadn't been so far behind schedule.
Now that the issue with the neckband is resolved, I really love this sweater the way I hoped I would. The yarn is fingering weight cotton, Sienna by Jaeger (Discontinued). It's beautiful. It's got a lovely shine and drape. And, I know it's going to be perfect for transitional weather while we wait for temperatures to drop into the wool wearing range.
I had a much more difficult time choosing my version of Cambie than I expected. This dress is very feminine and borderline adorable. Adorable is a style I struggle with. It's right up there with things like novelty prints and the color pink. I think they're fabulous on other people, but I feel absolutely ridiculous wearing them. I broached the issue with Meg and Liz, and decided on three things: 1. straighten out the sweetheart neckline. 2. Use wool. 3. A-line skirt.
I dug through my stash and found a cut of mid-weight wool with a fun swavy print. In the dim light of my hobbit hole (a.k.a. sewing space, a.k.a. basement), the colors seemed to be a perfect match, alas, the pattern in the dress is more turquoise than mint; the grey breaks things up enough that it's not immediately obvious. And, I think I can get away with it.
I was a little hesitant to sew the dress in wool, because most of the Cambie's I've seen are sewn in cottons. But, the details in the pattern, especially paired with the A-line skirt, created a really nice tailored, effect in my finished garment. Even if I did struggle trying to press my seams flat.
I topped the whole thing off with a silk lining, because I'm fancy. Sort of. I joked afterward that the zipper in my dress (~$4) cost me more than the fabrics I used to sew with combined (<$3). Truth. That's a major benefit to salvaging fabric from estate sales- Save money, save the environment and look swanky doing it. *steps off soapbox*
This mission will be filed under successes. I think we're all really thrilled with the outfits we made. We're all also looking forward to a little break before we tackle another project of this magnitude.
Finally, a HUGE thanks to Felix for taking all of our blog photos!!