Sewing

Pioneer Dress Refashion: Sprigged Cambie Dress

Today I have a fun little refashion. This is a “pioneer” dress that my older sister gave me several years ago. I have been meaning to redo it for forever! But I waffled around until a week or two ago when I wanted something easy to do. I sat down and unpicked the whole thing, and ended up having more than enough to make a Sewaholic Cambie Dress. (I seem to be on a Cambie kick lately. . .)

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I have been pretty busy this past week or so! My husband’s birthday was last week, and I wanted to surprise him with something a little special. His family doesn’t really get super excited about birthdays, whereas my family has little traditions that we do for each person on their birthday. The birthday person is permitted to select what dinner and cake/treat they want to each on their special day. I decided to do something similar for my husband. I made him a chocolate torte that has five eggs, and a whole pound of chocolate chips in it. It is amazing! And he had no idea I was doing it so I was able to surprise him too. It was a win-win!

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The weather has been becoming increasingly reasonable as September draws to a close. We have had some overcast, windy days in the mid to high seventies that are just fantastically amazing. I’m so excited, Fall is on her way! But let us discuss this last summery dress.

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I managed to squeeze everything but the back bodice lining out of the pioneer dress, and I ended up using some leftover muslin for that last piece. I cut a straight size 10 which makes for a nice, snug fit in the bodice. My favorite! I shortened the original skirt, and pleated it into the bodice. I had enough lace and ribbon trim to go all around the waist, and across the front neckline. Unfortunately, the lace does stick out a little, so I shall eventually add a few small pick stitches to hold it flat. They will be invisible, but it will look much nicer.

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The whole reason I kept hold of this dress for so long was the fabric. It’s ordinary cotton, but I love the shade of blue and the little sprigged flowers/leaves all over it. It just makes me happy inside. It goes really well with red and white for a super patriotic look too. I do have a couple of issues with this dress though. The first being, when I shortened the original skirt, I forgot to make sure all the seams were the same length. I wanted to use the original hem and when I was sewing it together I lazily decided to just do two or three small pleats to make the left skirt seam match up. If it had been one, it might have been okay, but as is, it looks a little funny. I think I’ll be happier if I unpick that spot and do it properly.

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The other issue isn’t that big of a deal and isn’t due to me, but rather to the pattern design. The way the sleeves/straps extend over the shoulder makes lifting my arms above my head almost impossible. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but I have discovered that it is quite difficult to do my hair after I have the dress on. It requires some forethought in the morning! But overall, I like this dress quite a bit. I think it is cheery and fun with a pretty twirly skirt. Also, pockets. Pockets make it a winner.

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Jolly day to you!

~Emily

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