Cambie #6: The Leaving Dress

I guess this technically meets April’s challenge requirements as well? Continuing on the wedding theme, here’s my friend’s leaving dress! It was kind of funny how this turned out. She was IMing me about 3 weeks ago, telling me she was stressed about finding a leaving dress since her main dress is so delicate. Then she started listing what she wanted: sweetheart neckline, A-line skirt, and sleeves-but-not-sleeves. So I sent her some of the wedding dress Cambies from Sewaholic and said, “You mean this dress I’ve already made 5 times?” Thus, I took on the task of making her leaving dress.

carissa cambie front

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie View A

Fabric: Chiffon, charmeuse, and bridal lining. All of the fabrics used are scraps from her main wedding dress.


  • Some sizing weirdness. I had to make some adjustments for her shoulders and bust area.
  • Length: She’s 5’3″ (as a comparison, I’m 5’11”. Apparently I like to feel extra tall around my friends), so I had to do some length adjustment with the bodice. The shell fabric was also too delicate for pockets, so I just used the front lining piece for the shell.
  • I moved the zipper to the side seam.
  • Understitched the front of the bodice.

Notions: Zipper.

Make it again?: I swear, this time I’m taking at least a 2-month break before making a new Cambie. I’m also going to need to buy the pattern again or completely re-draft it from my old Cambies. I lose another piece every time I made this dress.

Favorite parts: I am really happy with how this looked on her. Granted, my friend can make a trash bag look cute, but I’m very pleased with the overall fit. I’m interested in taking on sewing and costume commission work in the future (like, years from now), so practicing on people now is giving me an idea of how I need to go about it. Since we didn’t have time to make an actual mock-up (I know, I know), I made a “muslin” out of the lining first then made the adjustments to the pattern and shell fabric.

Since this is a much nicer dress than some of my previous ones, I really took the time to match the darts and side seams. They came out perfectly! *does happy dance*

I also took the time to hand stitch the waistbands! Such a pretty finish. I have a horrible time making stitch in the ditch look nice, and this was perfect for making the stitch invisible from the front.

Cambie side

Other thoughts: OH EM GEE I HATE CHIFFON. If there is one reason I wish I had another week or two to make this dress, it’s the chiffon. That crap is a slippery, fray-happy bastard. I wound up just serging it to the charmeuse and treating the chiffon and charmeuse as one layer. Not the best idea, but it’s the only thing I could get to work with me with the time crunch. Do you guys know of any good chiffon resources or tutorials?

I’m also not happy with the hem. I wish I’d kept the skirt layers separate and done a rolled hem. Live and learn.

cambie back

Unfortunately, the bride didn’t get to wear the dress. The chiffon layer got damaged in transport (oil stain *cries*). There’s still leftover chiffon, so I may try to repair it when she gets back from her honeymoon. If she still wants it, that is. I was a bit bummed when she told me, but at least neither of us put any extra money into it. Plus, it was a great learning experience.

Now that this is finished, I’m back to cosplay prep! Dallas Comic Con and A-Kon will be here soon and I’ve got 4 costumes to make! Hopefully I’ll get 1 or 2 finished this weekend 🙂

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