Charming Cami Dress

Ugh, my blog post titles are far from poetic!  However, it is high time I shared with you my version of Pauline Alice’s Cami Dress.  It’s been in my wardrobe quite a while now (since September!) as I made it pretty much as soon as the pattern was released – I’ve only just photographed it though hence why you only get to see her several months down the line!

I made it in some Tula Pink fabric from her ‘Prince Charming’ range.  There are turtles, butterflies, girls in swings, waves and all sorts going on in the print.  I love the turtles the most though!

Cami Dress 1

Me being me, I had to mess with the pattern.  Sometimes I do this because I have a certain idea in mind, sometimes because I don’t like certain details.  In this case it was a mix of the two!

The two changes I made were to the finishing of the sleeves at the cuff and the shape of the skirt.  For the sleeves I used the cuff pattern piece from By Hand London’s Victoria blazer as I love the way it finishes the seam edge so neatly, but also provides some interest as well; particularly in the contrasting fabric.  The second change was to ditch the gathered skirt for a flared A-Line version.

I drafted the skirt myself using the technique in the Craftsy class ‘Design and Sew an A Line Skirt’ and then slashed and spread from the hem to the waist to get the biggest flare I could at the hem.

To match the contrast of the cuffs, I also used the navy contrast on the inside of the collar.  This is actually the second collar I made as I screwed the first one up completely.  Thankfully Four Square Walls published her collar tutorial just as I decided to rip off the first version and saved my sanity.

Cami Dress 2

Other, minor tweaks, I made were to put more buttons on the bodice as the FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) adds length and the number specified in the pattern didn’t look quite right.  I’ve got one of those amazing simplex guides that makes easy spacing of things like buttons an absolute walk in the park.  I also added a button at the cuff because I liked the way it looked!

Finally, I inserted the side seam invisible zipper in upside down.  This means the tab is at my hip rather than up under my armpit when I’m wearing the dress.  I find that the tag and inflexibility of the slider really irritates me if I insert it the ‘normal’ way up and inserting it so it closes by zipping downwards is an easy fix!

Next time (and there will be a next time) the only change I intend to make is to ditch the pockets.  Yep, ditch them.  Because of the side zipper it makes the placement of the pockets a little awkward as they’re an inch or so too low for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I generally love pockets, but because these aren’t quite in the right place for me I don’t use them.  I know there are other pocket treatments that could work, but frankly I pretty much always have some sort of bag with me so leaving them off isn’t a massive issue!

Phew, I had more to say about this dress than I thought!  I hope you’ve all had a good week.  I’ll be glad when this one is done.  Work has been busy and exhausting and I got my exam results today and now I know that all the work I put in paid off!


I’m also pattern testing (So. Much. Fun!) at the moment and have a full on weekend planned which included catching up with friends and their little people, swimming, more friends and helping Husband put together three enormous (for us) tenders.  Safe to say life is exciting and challenging at the moment.  One thing it isn’t is boring!


45 thoughts on “Charming Cami Dress

  1. Beautiful dress and like the changes you made. I prefer an aline skirt on me and never think of drafting one for all the pleated and gathered dresses. Best of luck with your results & enjoy your weekend.

  2. Oh my goodness, I love love love this dress on you! What a stunner!

    Also, that fabric is freaking awesome! I think I’m going to have to get this pattern now! (Good job it’s my birthday next month! I’m going to be buying tons of patterns with my birthday money I think!)

  3. Great dress and I am immediately borrowing your sleeve detail for something I’m planning. I’ll have to check out that Craftsy class as I am always happier in an A line skirt than gathered. Hope you get a wee break over the weekend to celebrate your results.

  4. Please say you wear this dress all the time! This is a fabulous color on you, and your modifications (especially this sleeve cuff) really make this dress stand out. Love the whimsy in the fabric too, it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t come across as childish – but you need a fun personality to pull it off (which you do).

    1. Yes, I do! I never really liked green but a blue-green really works for me! I have to admit, the flying turtles is what drew me to this fabric in the first place. I love it!

  5. This is PERFECT! It’s so absolutely gorgeous! And the fabric, oh, the fabric! So lovely! I love the addition of the cuffs (aren’t they SO cute?! Those BHL girls…), and the skirt looks perfect! Love love love love love!

    1. Aw, thanks Sonja! Sleeves need cuffs IMO and the Victoria cuffs are just plain fabulous, so on they went! I like the skirt too, still lots of movement without the potential downsides of a circle skirt when its windy!

  6. Congratulations on your results. You must be delighted!
    And with the dress. What a beauty…and I love your details. Gorgeous shoes too. I wish I could do heels!
    Have a fabulous weekend.

    1. Delighted didn’t cover it! I really really thought I would have to retake at least one of them – must have been your positive input when I was in Preston!!

  7. I’m so glad you finally posted about this as I learned a few new tricks. It’s a simple change, but inserting the zipper upside is genius! I hate unzipped from the armhole down and half the time, I can’t do it!

  8. That fabric is so gorgeous, and I love the fit on you. Can you wear this dress to our little meetup next month. I MUST touch this fabric. lol. And congrats again on passing your exams.

    1. Thank you! It’s one of those prints that the more you look at it the more you see! I sometimes wonder how prints like this would actually work if they were cut up into little squares…

  9. This dress is beautiful! I love the fabric, and shall be googling it as soon as I’ve finishing typing. I also love the cuffs you’ve made, they’re gorgeous. I’m so glad I’m not the only person who messes with a pattern!

    1. Phew, me too! I think that’s one of the reasons I love sewing – you can take a pattern and make it your own. Sometimes by changing bits or by splicing other bits on. I hope you could track some of the fabric down!!

  10. A beautiful dress, I really like your changes. The cuffs look lovely and I also prefer A-line/half circle skirts over gathered ones. Also, that fabric print is gorgeous!

    1. Phew, not just me who has issues with gathered skirts! I’d never really considered using a flared A-line skirt before that Craftsy class and I can see myself returning to it in the future!

  11. Love the dress – I think the adjustments you made were very thoughtful and suit the final project very nicely 🙂 VERY good point on adding more buttons for an FBA! Thank you for mentioning that! I’m planning on doing a shirt dress in the spring and will definitely keep that in mind, as it may have been something I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise ^__^

    1. Thank you! I wish I could say that the button thing was because I’m a genius. It’s not! The number specified just didn’t look right (although centring one at the fullest point was deliberate).

      1. Well… you are very modest, but I do think that noticing when something doesn’t look right (before you sew every single button on and call it done LOL) and then deliberately centering a button on the fullest point does, in fact, qualify you to take full credit for it!! ^__^

  12. I think I am head over heels in love with your fabric. IT IS SO DREAMY. I love the contrast navy, and the sleeve finishes are super stylish. I completely understand leaving off the pockets. If I have to stretch to get into them, not worth it. It’s a beautiful make! So well done!

  13. This is such a beautiful dress (the fabric is amazing!) and the changes you made are absolutely perfect! And I’ll copy the zipper thing, that’s genius! Congrats on your beautiful Camí dress!

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