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Emmy Couture is an indie dyed yarn company, craft blog, and Youtube podcast. We provide bright, colorful, variegated, speckled, and tonal yarns perfect for all of your knitting needs. Check out the blog or podcast for a healthy dose of sewing, knitting, and general crafting inspiration.


Gingham Square Dance Dress: Sewaholic Cambie

Gingham Square Dance Dress: Sewaholic Cambie

I have often seen pictures of vintage style, square dancing dresses on google, or Pinterest. Their twirly delightfulness captures my interest every time!

(The sources are as follows: 1. Source 2. Source 3. Source 4. Source )

How gorgeous are those! I loved watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Oklahoma, and various other Rogers and Hammerstein movies and seeing all the amazing twirly dresses.

Confession time: I've never been to a square dance, but if I did, I'd wear this dress:

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Oh the tiers! And the ruffles! This dress makes the little girl in me squeal with glee. Childhood dreams coming true here, y'all. Gingham and twirliness = perfection!

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This is the Sewaholic Cambie Dress with a few modifications. I saw this dress when it came out, and, to be honest, I wasn't very thrilled with it. I don't know if it was the fabric choices on the samples, or my newness to sewing, but I didn't think I would want to sew it up. Then I started seeing absolutely gorgeous versions popping up everywhere. The dress grew on me. And grew on my. And-. . . You get the idea.

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I bought the paper pattern over the black Friday weekend last year when there was a really good sale. (That was also when I discovered that I had been reading the prices in Canadian currency, which translated to significantly cheaper in USD. Needless to say, I was thrilled!) I deliberated on sewing it for a very, very long time. I was worried that I would need to make several adjustments in order for it to fit correctly. I have a horrible habit of procrastinating about sewing up a pattern if I think there will be a list of adjustments necessary.

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As it turns out, the only adjustment I made was to add a 1/4" FBA. Other than that, I went with a straight size 10. For my second version, and I have already made one, I added half an inch of length to the bodice, and I may add just a smidge more.

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I omitted the included skirt patterns, and replaced it with this simple tiered variation. Each tier is twice the length of the one above. The bottom tier was a little more than 240 inches, or, over six yards long! I used yarn and a wide zig-zag stitch to do all the gathering. Although a little more of a hassle to start with, when I didn't have to deal with breaking threads, or doing two rows of wide stitches it was absolutely worth it.

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Other than that, I followed the pattern instructions precisely. I lined the bodice with some cotton fabric, and lined the sleeves in the same gingham material. I didn't even end up hemming the bottom tier. I just serged the edge and it is practically invisible. Although it might not be a couture finish, I didn't want to take any more length off the dress, and this doesn't weigh down the hem. In all reality, I only did it because I was lazy and I needed to finish the dress in time to wear it the next day!

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I am very pleased overall with the Cambie dress pattern and instructions. It is excellently done! I quite liked the illustrations. Overall, the pattern and instructions had a "homey" feel to them. It also helped that Tasia had a sew along that she ran a while back on her blog. Before I started the dress, I read the post about how to attach the sleeve to the bodice front after you've applied the lining, so that made it even easier.

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Jolly day to you!

~Emily

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