sewaholic cambie: thanks to clio, i am a pretty pretty princess

ok, so three things happened to me this summer worth mentioning.  (for the purposes of this garment, anyway…)

1 – i had dinner with the awesome clio of clio & phineas. clio, it turns out, lives about five miles from where i work, and we share an affinity for the insanely high-end shopping mall across the street from my office. match made in heaven, obviously. clio, in addition to being awesome, offered me a gift: three yards of a pale, meshy, kind of odd pseudo-lace knit that she hated and i, predictably, loved.

2 – end of the summer nostalgia hit. hard. does that ever happen to you? i feel like it is some kind of vestige of the mixture of excitement and apprehension that always came at the end of a summer, when september meant going back to school and seeing people and meeting people and potentially having some really crazy drama. it gets me every year but this year was particularly bad, as i spent evenings in my car listening to old mixes i’d made in high school and college, the kind of soundtrack where every song reminds you of something and it gets kind of sad, even while you are rocking out to NSYNC on the southbound NY Thruway and your favorite friend from junior high is texting you to remind you that you’re crazy, and not just for listening to NSYNC. (true story.)


3 – because of my end-of-the-summer nostalgia, i found myself indulging in a purchase of a set of the re-released pretty guardian sailor moon manga. sailor moon was pretty much my favorite mythology, ever, and i discovered it in middle school thanks to a few friends and then roped everyone else onto the crazy train with me. after a few weeks of re-reading manga, i was kind of harboring fantasies that i, too, could be a magical girl princess from a kingdom in the sky.


obviously this necessitated a new wardrobe.


enter the cambie and my clio lace.
i could have gone full-on cosplay, but that’s not really my thing, and i’m not hitting up NYCC this weekend or anything. i’ve found that my crazy-train inspirations work best when i find a way to channel them into a garment that is actually wearable in real life, or at least close enough to wearable that i’ll go for it anyway.


SO. on to the dress. since the lacey-stuff was a knit, i started by re-drafting the cambie bodice to my moulage, taking out all wearing ease so that it would start off with a nice, close fit. i also re-drew the neckline to a straight neckline instead of the sweetheart, because that did come straight from my inspiration photo. i re-drew the back neckline into a V, not as deep as i wanted to go, but i wanted the point of the V to hit where my underdress back neckline fell.



on the skirt, i shortened the front pieces and lengthened the back pieces, because i love an asymmetrical hem. i used both skirt patterns, the A-line and the gathered, to create a gathered overskirt with a cutaway (again, straight from my inspiration photo). i hemmed the overskirt with cream-colored lace and just turned over all of the other hem edges.



one of the main reasons i went for the cambie, though, was the sleeve. i didn’t want a pouf sleeve like in my inspiration photo, but i wanted to suggest something similar and that cambie sleeve was the standout choice for me on that angle. on all of those raw edges, i used bias binding in a hong-kong style finish, so the binding was part of the garment.

and, best of all, i still had leftover fabric.  guess what i did with it?


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8 Responses to sewaholic cambie: thanks to clio, i am a pretty pretty princess

  1. nettie says:

    Music always takes me down memory lane!! I’m not sure what kind of dress 90s hip hop would inspire so I’ll have to live through you, pretty princess!!!

    • puu says:

      thanks, nettie! i know people always say that smell is the strongest memory trigger, but for me, i live my life in remembered soundtracks…

  2. Clio says:

    LOVE! You are such a pretty pretty princess!!!!! This fabric is SO much better for you than it would have been for me. (Can we just pause and take a moment to appreciate that after we had dinner, I was inspired by you to sew a snakeskin print silk top, and you’ve made a floaty lace dress. That’s some seriously bizarre creative cross pollenation.)

    PS – You realize that right now Comicon is taking place just steps from where you live… just sayin.

  3. sewexhausted says:

    I love what you did to the Cambie- and how you made it in to your own “pretty pretty princess dress…” Music does it for me too… A song can take me way back to sitting in my bedroom with my friends playing record albums! Haha… 🙂 ~Laurie

  4. megthegrand says:

    You are the prettiest princess EVER. I love how this turned out – it looks marvelous with all of the lace!!

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