Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

Piqué Cambie Dress

I’m still alive* and sewing, I promise!

Most recently (aka last week), I made myself a Sewaholic Cambie Dress.

I know that anyone who has read sewing blogs for the past few years has probably seen one or fifty versions of this dress. Honestly, I’ve seen so many – and while I’ve always liked them – I just sort of filed the information away thinking that maybe someday I’d try the pattern for myself.

Well, that “someday” finally came and I ordered a couple of patterns from Sewaholic Patterns to see how they fit my body. Here’s my Cambie:


I made it in a brightly colored large-weave cotton with 2% spandex piqué fabric. I love textured fabrics, especially when they are a solid color!


Piqué fabric closeup.

The color of this fabric is incredibly hard to photograph! It really messes with the white balance on cameras. I’ve discovered that digital cameras want to read anything with a mix of green and blue as bright turquoise with all the green removed. (Must be that whole Orion slave girl makeup issue on film.) The fabric is definitely green but it has a drop of blue in it – a color somewhere in the zomp and Persian green range in this article about the color spring green on Wikipedia.

Anyway, I think I’ve come pretty close to color-correcting these photos to match real life.


Oops! I blinked.

I made a mockup of only the bodice to check the fit. (I knew both skirt options would fit just fine without adjustments.)


Bodice mockup.

The only changes I made to the pattern were so minimal they’re almost not worth mentioning. I scooped out the underarm a little (it was awfully high and straight), smoothed the neckline curves slightly, and shortened the front shoulder straps by a full inch (apparently a commonly needed alteration for this pattern), as you can see in the mockup photo above.

I also decided to make a neckline facing instead of fully lining the dress. I chose to do this because my fabric was rather thick & didn’t need one, and I didn’t want to lose the comfort of its slight stretch.


Neckline facing.

Speaking of hard to photograph colors, this fabric is also hard to color-match with thread! I never did find a perfect match. Good thing there’s no topstitching needed with this design! I ended up using emerald green (too green!) thread on my serger and a teal (too blue!) thread to stitch everything together.


Inside of dress. Seams serged and facing understitched. I may eventually hand-stitch the waistband seams together in the middle.

I made View A with the A-line skirt. I really like the full gathered skirt version too and will probably make one in View B at some point.


All the above photos show how I wore my new dress to church on Sunday. I went with neutral wedges and a simple necklace to make it all about the dress the first time. But I know I’m going to have lots of fun pairing it with other accessories later!


I particularly like it with the yellow shoes and narrow belt:


In the end, I was surprised how dressy this fabric actually is. (I probably shouldn’t be, considering piqué has long been associated with white tie.) I’ve always thought of piqué as somewhat casual because it’s cotton and usually used for summer dresses. But this larger weave has a shimmer to it as the light hits the texture.

You may have noticed that Wensley likes to photo bomb my blog pictures. So to conclude, here’s a goofy shot of me imitating him jumping at the back door during the shoot:


* After a bunch of costuming jobs, I came back to find that WordPress had messed with some of the settings for inserting photographs, making their newest “upgrade” more of a downgrade. Incredibly frustrating and un-motivating when it comes to blogging! So while I waited for them to get their act straightened out, I spent my time sewing a lot of things for myself. And now I have a backlog of things to blog.

53 responses to “Piqué Cambie Dress

  1. Tia Dia May 20, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    It’s beautiful! I love the colour and how you can dress it up or down with accessories.

  2. Bird and Bicycle May 20, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    What a lovely dress! Really quite sweet and pretty. I love the yellow belt but want to give you white sandals and a brimmed white sun hat to match too! Lovely work, as always.

  3. Chuleenan - C Sews May 20, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    I love it! It looks so lovely on you. The neckline is very nice on this dress. Such a nice texture on pique. So nice when you don’t need to make many adjusments on a pattern! This reminds me that in my stash I have some pique with a black-and-white print on it. Gotta make something with it!

    • Brooke May 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you! I really needed an easy project after working on a dress that required some rigging (I’ll be blogging that one soon).

      You do need to make something with your pique! =)

  4. agirlinwinter May 21, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Gorgeous dress, really suits you. I have that pattern filed away ‘to sew someday’ too. Wensley is adorable!

  5. sewbusylizzy May 21, 2014 at 3:44 am

    I love this pattern – and it looks gorgeous on you. I agree – looks fab with a yellow belt!

  6. sewlittletime May 21, 2014 at 4:17 am

    it’s lovely – i like the yellow belt! i have one of these in the pipeline as well for summer (but it’s got to wait behind a special occasion dress for mid-june first!)

  7. The Wyricks May 21, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Looks wonderful and fun!!

  8. All Patterns Heather (@KnitNBee) May 21, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Love it! It’s such a beautiful color and the texture. (Yes I said I like pique texture, what is happening!)

  9. Barbara May 21, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Since I’ve seen you wearing this dress (was I the first one, after Russ?), I can affirm that the green is very close to the real thing. It’s a great dress and a great color, and I liked it with your orange purse last Sunday. I noticed that it has pockets. I’ve always liked pockets in a dress–a nice feature.

    • Brooke May 21, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Yes, you were one of the first to see my dress on Sunday. If I had orange heels, I would have worn them because I like my bright purse with the dress color too! =)

  10. Chuck May 21, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Cool shoulder gathers in front. Is that how you say it? Also, is that based on a retro look? Looks like something your grandmother would wear in the fifties.

  11. fabrickated May 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Welcome back, and nice work. This is a lovely shade and works well with your colouring. I think narrow coloured belts will really work beautifully – pink, yellow, white, dark brown – with this stunning dress.

  12. witness2fashion May 21, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Another “Oh, yes!” for the yellow belt. What a versatile dress!

  13. ladanu May 21, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I just got a Cambie too, my first Sewaholic. As it’s designed for a pear shape I assume that means it is drafted for B cup rather than a C…. I have never had to do an FBA but this may the first. We will see. I will do a mint green version to wear with red accessories, bold colours on green are so good.

    • Brooke May 21, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      According to the Sewaholic sizing info, they draft for an A/B cup. If you haven’t read about Leila’s Cambie you should – she often does FBA’s but she was able to skip it on this dress. Mint green sounds lovely too!

  14. Fifty Dresses May 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Oh, I really like this one, Brooke! The fabric is just beautiful and perfectly suited for the pattern. You are so right – that color can coordinate with so many contrasting colors – you are definitely going to have fun with it. (It was so nice to see Custom Style in my in-box!)

    • Brooke May 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      Thank you so much, Karen! (Glad WordPress fixed the problems while I took a break – they always do in the end but it’s annoying when they start messing with settings.)

  15. Aleksandra @ Liveaboard Takes the Suburbs May 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Love this! The yellow belt really provides a cute pop to that lovely fabric.

  16. Cation Designs May 21, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Yay, you’re back! I love that blue-green with the yellow accessories!

  17. Laurie May 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Fantastic color on you!! And look how high Wensley is jumping! WOW… Love the Cambie… some day. 😀

  18. thevintagetraveler May 22, 2014 at 8:44 am

    How lovely! Your fit is excellent, as always!

  19. CGCouture May 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    So pretty!! Love the color, the pattern, and the texture! 🙂

  20. Athene May 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I like this dress a lot! This looks like something I would pick out – color and all. 🙂

    • Brooke May 24, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks! I had a feeling you’d really like this one. The style would look good on you too! =)

      I had trouble choosing which color of pique to buy (there are 12!) and it came down to this green and a bright blue. In the end, I decided on the green because it just looked better near my face.

  21. laurahoj June 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I love this color. It is such a fabulous dress, and those yellow shoes are so great!!

  22. nickyschram June 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    What a wonderful dress! I made the version with the gathered skirt in cotton and want to make version A now as well. The fabric works so well for version A! Could I ask where you bought it or where I could buy similar online?

    • Brooke June 7, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Thank you! I bought the pique fabric I used from the little store where I work part-time. Not sure if it’s on the website, but we currently have it in stock in 12 colors. You can call or email the store with any questions.

  23. nickyschram June 9, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Thanks! One more question: how wide do you cut the piece of lining on the top piece?

    • Brooke June 9, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      I cut my facings at about 2-5/8″ wide so they finish at about 2 inches. Just trace the front and back bodice pattern pieces around the top edge and measure down from there. You can curve the back facing from the center back around to the side seam like I did (pictured above) to include the shoulder – it doesn’t need to be exact as long as you have about 2 inches in the shortest places.

      I saw that we shipped your pique fabric when I was at work today! I love that coral color (I have a different fabric in the same color for another dress I’ll make in the future). Send me a link when you make your dress – I’d love to see it! =)

  24. nickyschram June 11, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Thanks! Looking forward to receive the fabric and I will let you know when the dress is done 😉

  25. JayBell June 21, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I have been thinking about making this dress in a cotton pique and came across your post. It looks fabulous! I love the color! Now I can’t wait to try it.

  26. Brooke Newton May 17, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Do you remember the name of this color?

    • SewBrooke May 17, 2021 at 4:17 pm

      The fabric store where I bought it no longer exists and the staff subjectively named the colors of everything when stock was added to inventory. It’s definitely a teal that leans a little to more toward green than blue, but I can’t tell you anything beyond that.

      • Brooke June 17, 2021 at 3:39 pm

        Ok when your ready to sale that’s dress. I’ll buy it and use the material haha. I have a small swatch from when fabrique was open but can’t find a yard or 2 anywhere 😦

      • Brooke Newton June 17, 2021 at 4:02 pm

        Ok! Let me know when your done with the dress and I’ll buy the dress from you for the material haha! I have a small piece but can’t find anymore anywhere 😦 we used to go to fabrique all the time!

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