Don’t look now Jessie, she’s gone full lobster!

Ah ah ah this dress!


This, my lovely readers, is the Sewaholic Cambie in full on LOBSTER PRINT. I’ve been wanting this fabric ever since I saw the lady who owns Swonderful Boutique (highly recommended for Wellingtonians – excellent quality and made in store) wearing it in the white colourway, and she told me about Michael Miller fabrics.

I’ve actually had the fabric in my etsy card several times only to see it sell out again when I dithered. When I decided to try buying from*, I snapped it up instantly. And I was not disappointed – the colours look even better in real life than in the shops photos.

Even though this is my fourth version of the Cambie bodice, I actually made a muslin! My last version I found to fit a bit oddly, and the bust darts were too high on previous versions (here and here), so I thought I’d make one so I never have to worry again. Which I think I have now – it’s a bit loose (because of the give in the cotton vs muslin) but the darts are in the right place and I now have the sleeves at the right length.

But I’ve got no idea how I made the sleeves two difference widths:

You’ll notice that I didn’t do the gathers on the sleees which… wasn’t totally on purpose, but I’m glad because it would potentially make this a bit too squee. Like my ships dress, the skirt is just a gathered a-line skirt. For construction the bodice seams are just pinked, the skirt seams are overlocked, and the waistband is (dodgily) stitched down using my stitch-in-the-ditch foot. Hem is turned and sewn so the overlocked edge is hidden. The lining is, of course, totally different to the shell:

I did a lapped zip (again, using scruffy badgers technique. I think I’m just going to print these pictures out and stick them on my wall!), which I put in then had to pull out completely because the waistband didn’t match up. I actually considered leaving it, but it was pretty obvious, so I sucked it up and did it again (this time using the same technique that I use when doing invisible zippers – start sewing from the waistband down, turn around and sew from the waistband up – you just need to make sure the tops line up when you sew down the lining/facing).

I didn’t really make any effore to pattern match which was supid, but I accidentally got this:

They’re only off by 1-2cm! So from far away it’s not that noticible at all, woot. I did have a heck of a time getting the lapped part to sit nicely at the neckline after I sewed the lining down. Looks kiind of okay, but really I need to remember it’s not a good idea in a lined dress – unless anyone has any tips??).

And, of course, it has pockets

I love love love this dress, and I already got two compliments when I wore it to Whangarei – and some very odd looks.

This, you might have guessed, is also my third entry for the Sew Dolly Clackett sewalong. I might squeeze one or two more into the competition, we’ll see how we go – I still have The Monthly Stitch’s challenge for the month, and I was hoping to take part in Sew For Victory 2.0, but my pattern hasn’t arrived yet and it will need muslining and things. There’s some long weekends coming up though so I should have time!

I’m also on the look out for a red belt… you may have noticed that I always wear this scummy brown one that I think I bought from the $2 op-shop in Christchurch. I don’t like shopping though, okay?


Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie

Fabric: Lobster quilting cotton by Michael Miller, about $35 after shipping

Notions: zip and interfacing, stash. Thread $3

Total: $38




20 thoughts on “Don’t look now Jessie, she’s gone full lobster!

  1. It looks great! I so get the not liking shopping. I also need to get a new belt, I’ve got one and it’s not even very pretty, but shopping….

    • I used to like shopping, even though it could be hard to find clothes that fit and/or looked good. But now… ugh, I hate it, there’s so much crap and everything’s so expensive!

  2. OMG!!! I love that print! I have been looking for a lining for a jacket to take scuba diving, and that print is sooooo perfect. I have been known to end a dive with the odd lobster (or crayfish as we call them in NZ(, in my possession, so I can hardly imagine a fabric more fitting!

    • I’m from NZ too and usually call them crayfish, but for some reason have to call this fabric lobsters! I used to go out on the boat when younger while the adults went diving for crayfish in the Marlborough Sounds. The shipping from isn’t too terrible to NZ!

  3. Just love it! Red and blue always look so perfect together. I too am a devotee of Michael Miller’s prints … they are always so graphic and fun. And yes, you must treat yourself to that red belt! πŸ˜‰

    • I just need to find a belt to treat myself too – we drove to The Big City (actually just a big town) on Wednesday for me to do an exam and I completely forgot to even look. I did manage to pick up 3 bits of fabric, some elastic and a heap of buttons though. Keeping my priorities right, I guess

  4. Great Cambie! The print is super funny. You look like something I would eat… But how on earth did you manage those sleeves ;-)? I actually like the narrower sleeve. I have noticed on my Cambie that a gathered sleeve in combination with a gathered skirt and a busy print can be a bit too much, so these look really great!

  5. My first look at your blog and it’s great. You are amazing to have made ALL those clothes. I used to make all mine when I was young because that’s just what we did, and I made lots for the kids too. You are very clever and look so gorgeous in these pics. Well done my clever neice!

    • AH-ha, I knew they were different but couldn’t tell how – and most of the definitions of “crayfish” I can find online obviously aren’t the definitions we use, because it says they’re freshwater lobsters

  6. Love this crustacean Cambie, Sophie-Lee!!!! Looks great on you. And I must say that’s some awesome accidental pattern matching! Hope you find a nice red belt, although it looks good with the scummy brown one. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks Shelley! And yeah I was quite surprised when I was folding over the lap for the zip – imagine how terrible it would have looked if it had been off-set by even a centimetre!

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