Here it is guys!  The final challenge of the Super Online Sewing Match – the Cambie Dress by Sewaholic.

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant when I found out what the final challenge was.  I have always admired Sewholic patterns, but have been reluctant because I have heard that they are patterned for a pear shaped body type.  I am kind of the opposite – more apple shaped.  I am a little self conscious of my broad upper body and boxy waist.  I didn’t feel any better either when I measured myself and my chest and waist put me in a size 10 and my hips in a size 0.  Luckily the skirt is full so it didn’t really matter what my hip size was, but I still wanted to do what I could to under-emphasize my shoulders and chest.

It’s such a cute and sweet dress and I have seen it made up many times to be absolutely adorable, but I just wasn’t sure it was going to look great on me unless I made a few customizations.  The first and biggest change was to change the sleeves a bit.  To do this I simply got rid of the gathers (the lining piece has no gathers so you can easily just use it as your top piece as well.)  I also raised the point of connection between the sleeves and bodice to make the sleeves appear a little more built in.

Another way that I tried to make the dress a little more flattering for my body type is through color blocking and fabric choice.  Both of my fabrics came from Mood and the colorful one is silk and the black is a crepe.  It was very important to me to find fabric that was flowy and not cotton because I wanted the full skirt to have a more body conscious silhouette instead of a 50′s style one.  I also wanted the dress to be a little more formal and I think the the silk really adds to that.  The slippery fabrics definitely gave me some fits during the construction, but in the end I think that the effort was worth it.  By putting the bright fabric in the center and the black on the outside I was trying to create the illusion of a thinner silhouette.

Another change that I made was to the back of the dress.  I wanted to create a dress that I could wear to a wedding or special event.  To add a bit more drama to the back I lowered the back neckline to about half way down my back.  It’s high enough that I can still wear a normal bra with it (a must in my book) but low enough to make it feel a little more formal.  Other than that the only changes that I made were for fit. I sewed up two muslins of the bodice before cutting into my silk and as a result took in the sides by about 1/2″ and the shoulders up by about the same.

The way that the instructions have you attach the lining to the dress is pretty awesome and a technique that I would definitely use again.  It makes for such a professional finish to both the inside and outside of the dress.  Another feature of this dress that I LOVE are the simple hidden pockets.  It just makes any dress so much more practical.

It was important for me to keep the seams nice and neat but as minimal as possible so as not to hinder the flow of the skirt.  In the end I decided that a simple serge was the best solution.

For the hem I made a 1/4″ machine stitched hem on the lining and a 1″ invisible hand stitched hem for the main dress.

And that’s it.  I just need someone to invite me to a wedding or surprise me with a cruise so that I have somewhere to wear this dress!

I must say that I have a huge sigh of relief as I post this final project.  It has been so much fun to be a part of this competition and I have learned a lot.  But it’s also been a lot of work.  I have some really well made garments to show for it and am pretty ecstatic about that no matter what.


  1. Wow Kelli, your dress is absolutely gorgeous! I love what you did with the contrasting panel. I know what you mean about breathing a big sigh of relief- I’m very glad to be done too! Good luck!

    -Melissa @Scavenger Hunt

  2. I’ve had the same hesitation with Sewaholic Patterns (I have two that I have yet to get the courage to try) – but this stunning version is swiftly giving me the courage to give it a go. This looks beautiful on you! x

  3. Spectacular! Barely recognizable from it’s former self as a Cambie. Really love what you’ve done with the colorblocking, definitely a flattering dress. And you look gorgeous!

  4. I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with this pattern. Usually Cambie is a bit too twee for me, but this is something I would wear! The way you’ve changed the straps into more of a raglan-style sleeve gives the whole thing a more modern look, along with your brilliant choice of fabric for the centre panels.

    Now, as for the cruise, I reckon your husband definitely owes you for his Negroni…. that’s a fair trade, isn’t it?!

  5. Kelli…your dress is amazing! I love everything about it…but I think the lowered back is my favorite part! I’m hoping you will win…you have done an awesome job!

  6. Wow – this dress really packs a punch (in the best possible way)! I’m with you all the way on your sentiment for Sewaholic patterns – definitely not a pear here either. But I absolutely love what you’ve done with the cambie here. And a seriously kick-ass fabric combo certainly doesn’t go astray. Looking AWESOME!!

  7. This dress is amazing, I love the patterns you chose and the colour-blocking! I’ve enjoyed seeing all your creations throughout this challenge, I hope you win!!

  8. Wow, this is a truly lovely take on the Cambie pattern! I hope you don’t mind, but this is getting pinned to my ‘Sewing Inspiration’ board as I type!

  9. Your fabric choice and color/pattern blocking is superb. Bravo Kelly!!! I think it’s tough to be given a pattern to sew that may or may not fit your body type and really make it work (you rocked it!)

  10. Wow, Kelli!! Just… wow. You really did a fantastic job on this. Like you, I’ve always been looking on eagerly from the sidelines with Sewaholic’s patterns because that’s just not my body type! So I really like how creatively you reimagined this dress, designed for a pear shaped body, to make it SO. INCREDIBLY. flattering for you! The pattern placement is just genius!

  11. You bought your fabric at Mood. Still getting over that. Did you use your Go Bank card and take your hp tablet and drink fancy spring water while you were there? AMAZING dress. I’m so amazed at your projects for each challenge. I appreciate how you stayed true to your style – I think the items that you made are the most wearable.

  12. I literally gasped when I saw your dress, it’s unbelievably beautiful, classy and modern! I love how you used color blocking to create an hourglass shape,ingenious! I have a similar figure and I never thought the Cambie dress could be so flattering on a apple shape and you proved that it can. Well done! I hope you win!

  13. I love how you manipulate your fabrics in this dress! I’ve not seen anyone attempt a similar color/pattern blocking with this pattern. It works wonderfully! I’m excited to see the challenge results, and I’m glad I’m not a judge!

  14. Well done Kelli! Your dress says effortlessly chic, {even though I know how much work went into creating it.} The colour blocking is both creative, effective, and…well gosh…beautiful. Lucky you, shopping at Mood…I always enjoy watching the Project Runway contestants buzzing through in 30 minutes. It would take me 30 minutes just to say hi to Swatch. Best of luck!

  15. Truly a beautiful garment and I love the way you’ve created an hourglass shape in the contrasting material. Stunning! Makes your already model-esque figure look even more beautiful. Good luck on the grand prize!

  16. I just clicked over to follow your blog from sew mama sew. I love what you have done with this dress, unique, flattering and very clever indeed. Good luck! You totally deserve to win, not just on this round but your previous entries too. Great style.

  17. I haven’t been crazy about the Cambie pattern so far, but what you have done with it is awesome! I think you deserve to win for sure, I have loved everything you made (that bag, so cool!!). Good luck!!

  18. This looks incredible! The style is super flattering, the colours in the silk are amazing and I love the modifications. I only wish that I was as talented…

  19. It is a awesome dress. I love the changes to the bodice/sleeves. I do not like to have my arms show much, and this makes me want to buy the pattern. I own several of Sewaholic patterns anyhow, but wasn’t willing to give this one a try until now.

    Again awesome. Great job.

  20. Hi Kelli, I’ve just seen your entry on the sew mama sew blog and had to click on the link to your blog to tell you what a good job you made of this challenge.The colour blocking has worked brilliantly. You said you were conscious of making a pear style dress flattering for your body shape, well the dress is stunning and looks great on you so I would say that was success! Well done. It’s the best version of this dress that I’ve seen.

  21. A lot of the new independent pattern companies are putting out a very feminine but young (almost juvenile) look so I just love when someone creates a womanly rather than childlike look from them. This is a gorgeous, striking, and extremely flattering dress on you. Great job!

  22. I LOVE your dress. The changes you made are well thought out and awesome. Makes me want to try this pattern and I would not have before. Thanks for the detail on your blog and I’m going to add you to my Bloglovin to see what else you do!

  23. Oh, Kelli, this is so perfect! I love it so, so much! This pattern is a little too cute for me, but you’ve made me want a dress just like this one! It’s seriously inspired! I LOVE it. Great job, girl! Now put your heels up and relax after all this sewing!

  24. Just found your blog via Sew Mama Sew and I love your dress! I like the Cambie pattern anyway, but I love the way you’ve colour-blocked your version. It’s so different from the other versions of the pattern I’ve seen and it looks great!

  25. Congrats on winning!!!! I loved your projects–all of them. Most impressive was this one–taking into consideration the sizing challenge.

  26. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, Kelli!!! i have followed you for such a long time, so it’s so nice to see your hard work get recognized in this way. this dress is fantastic!

  27. Congratulations on your win! Personally I’m not particularly fond of the Cambrie Dress but you have interpreted in such a way that I would buy the pattern to make your version of the dress! You did an outstanding job and so deserve the win! BTW, you are going to love the Janome 8900! I bought mine in January 2013 and can’t believe how awesome it is to sew with!


  28. Beautiful dress, Kelli! Throughout the competition, you’ve done such great work so a big congratulations on the win! Enjoy that new machine!

  29. Congratulations, and we are so pleased Mood fabrics perhaps contributed in a small way to your success. Well done! Hope to meet you the next time you’re in our store. —Meg at Mood

  30. I have made 3 of Tasia’s patterns and love them all,but this dress never appealed to me. I just didn’t think I could pull it off, but I LOVE your version!

  31. I love your really individual take on this pattern. I really like Sewaholic patterns but am also the opposite shape for the shape they are aimed at. Just goes to show you can make anything work for you, with a little thought!

  32. What a fantastic take on the Cambie! It answers so many questions for me as well, since I am not a pear. I love the fabric choices, and your color blocking is inspired for the look you were trying to achieve. I am looking forward to working my way back through your blog. Both to get to know you and to see the work you did for the competition. I’ll enjoy New York vicariously through you – that’s my home town/city.

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