Hot! The “Muddy Waters” Dress

The Facts 
Fabric: Blue and brown chambray from Sew L.A.; Navy blue Bemberg lining from Les Fabriques
Pattern: Cambie Dress, View A, Sewaholic Patterns
Year: 2012
Notions: Invisible zipper
Time to complete:  Multiple hours, I’m slow!
First worn: July 1st, 2012 – these photos
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost:

Wow, I wore this dress on July 1st, which means it took me halfway through the year to post something on the Sew Weekly after my Intro post! Challenge fail. Oh well, there was a move, a new job, an apartment search, and a mix of other things so let’s chalk it up to that! Anyway, I’m glad to be here.

I live in New York, and these photos are taken in one of my favorite historic neighborhoods: Greenwich Village! How neat that I was able to find a scene with a white bike and a red car to complement my blue dress for this week’s red, white & blue theme (though I have to say I didn’t even notice that until looking at the photos later!). It was really hot that day – in the 90s – but I managed to stay cool with this dress. I’m at the intersection of West 4th and Bank Streets, if you’re curious!

The fabric is a pretty chambray that I picked up at Sew L.A. in Los Angeles two years ago. When you look at it very closely you can see interwoven blue and brown threads, which creates a cool textured effect! Because of this, I figured “Muddy Waters” was a perfect name to call the dress. The singer of the same name also sang the blues and this dress looks blue overall, so… :)

I loved this dress when it was first released, even though I’m not a pear shape (the pattern line is designed for pears, in case you didn’t know!). To make up for this, I cut a size 6 at the bust/waist and a 0 at the hips, which are the same proportions I used for the Sewaholic Patterns Lonsdale Dress. It worked everywhere except at the neckline and back armscye, where unfortunate gaping occurred! The dress fits nicely at the bust (minus some needed dart adjustments), so I think in future versions I will just transition down to a 4 for the neckline/shoulders. My high bust measurement puts me at a 4 anyway.

To work around the gaping, I shortened the shoulder straps an inch and this fixed the neckline and armscye, more or less. Not perfect, but there you have it! Oh, and I also shortened the bodice 1 1/2″ so the waistband hit my natural waist.

The thing with solid prints is that you can really see the fitting issues, but I’m trying to forgive myself. Actually, I don’t think it looks so apparent in real life. I do need to play with the darts on my next version. The points of the bust darts are particularly troublesome to me – I take pride in the fact that I can press a dart so there’s no “point” issues! These darts were giving me trouble, though. I really should have adjusted them to better reflect my shape.

And I’ll leave you with a shot of me in front of the Corner Bistro in the Village where I had just finished eating a grilled cheese, french fries and coke. That’s definitely in the Americana spirit of July 4th, if you ask me!


Sewin' in the Rain

Amanda started sewing in the fall of 2009 and is a New York City gal who loves mid-century styles and historic architecture. Though a lover of dresses first and foremost, she tries hard to pay more attention to sewing separates.


Comments are closed.

  1. Hi Amanda, beautiful dress. Nice to see a fellow NYC posting, we had great fireworks tonight! Happy 4th.

  2. Very nice. Great style and color.

  3. Understated elegance – just lovely.

  4. Great to see you again, Amanda! Very, very nice dress. These Sewaholic patterns are popping up lots here. Your Cambie came out great…great choice of blue fabric. And, the fit looks just right…only YOU can see the flaws (just as it should be).

    • Aw, thanks Najah! I am pretty much a master of spotting the flaws in my sewing, but I guess we all have that tendency so I shouldn’t blame myself too much. :)

  5. Such a sweet dress! I think it fits you fabulously. That is a very nice shot of the bike and the car. At first, I wondered how you managed to ride it in that dress and then look so fresh for pics. Hope we see more of you.

    • Thanks, Barbara! I’m glad I appear to look fresh in these photos, it was so hot that day and the dress got a little wrinkly on the subway. And thank you, I hope to post here a little more often!

  6. So pretty.. Love it. Happy seiwng.

  7. I love this dress in a solid. And you’ve got the fit of that bodice so right. I would never have guessed that was New York, I thought the first pic was from France…I love the cobblestones, very pretty area – I might have to make sure I visit it if I’m ever in the city again. Thank you for opening my eyes.

    • Thanks, tempest! Greenwich Village does have a very European feel to it, which is one of its charms. Definitely give it a visit, so very worth it! I plan on featuring more unique New York spots in the future. :)

  8. I love this dress! It looks great on you!

  9. The dress turned out so nice and looks great on you. Love your hair!!