Today I woke up and had one of those #winningatlife moments. I remembered that tucked away on a shelf in my closet was a oatmeal colored linen ogden cami that I made in Hawaii last year. Not only was I winning because all my other clothes are piled in a laundry basket, but it quickly escalated to the top of my favorite garments once I put it on as ogdens often do. Apologies, the pictures are a little dark on this post.
It might seem silly to have a #winningatlife moment about a camisole, but I am really just trying to focus on the tiny good things that happen each day. When you do that, they tend to snowball into great overall days.
I had all of these questions for myself as I really committed to a change in careers. I came from a career that moved people, a career where I had the ability to really provide an entertaining emotional escape for a listener. It felt important and meaningful. I want to spend my time doing something where I feel as complete. I am still not sure that sewing is the solution, but I’m still drawn to it. To learn the ropes of garment construction I started to train and work as a seamstress as well as go to school. Let’s just say when you alter other people’s clothes for 8 hours a day, the LAST thing you want to do is sew more when you get home. But this crash course in garments and body types has given me way more direction than I thought and I think my interest may lean more towards textiles, still thinking though.
So these are the questions I asked myself…
What do you like about sewing?
Why did you start sewing?
Long term, how can this be a sustainable solution, both financially and creatively?
How is this contributing to society?
I’ll probably get to these answers in following blog posts. I’m still formulating them.
But, back to what this post is actually about.
True Bias’s Ogden Cami, one those classic patterns that looks good on everyone, is easy and satisfying to make and endlessly versatile. It’s been blogged about many many times, for good reason. I actually don’t buy many patterns because I do keep a fairly small wardrobe, however I own four patterns from True Bias, (Lodo, Roscoe, Ogden and Hudson) and they are all worn each laundry cycle. multiple times.
If you are new to hacking patterns, as I was when I did my first version, this might be a good place to start. It’s an incredibly forgiving pattern and easy to make look good.
The first one is the above mentioned linen version. It’s nothing special, other than I love it. Followed the directions, cut the pattern as directed and it came out beautifully. I *believe* the fabric is a Robert Kaufman linen, but I can’t say that confidently.
For my second and third versions, I wanted to turn the pattern into my summer uniform, a slip dress. The first being a short black slip dress made out of crepe from The Fabric Store to wear under other dresses or perhaps over shorts and the other a roomy tencel (yes, my love affair with tencel is still hot and heavy) midi dress that breathes well in the summer and looked stylish without looking like I was wearing a sheet with straps.
I started out by just making a short slip dress muslin using the original pattern and just following the lines of the pattern down a little longer. For me this ended up with more of a trapeze look than what I wanted. The way you hack this pattern is all down to personal preference, for both of my versions I wanted a dress that was loose but not too loose if that isn’t vague enough. I measured the widest part of my body, which are my hips and added 4 inches to the overall measurement, that was how wide I wanted the dress to be at my hip point. For me that number was a little smaller than the way the original pattern would be if you continued the lines.
On my second muslin, I just grade out to my hip measurement starting from 11 inches below the armscye. I made sure that that new widest point hit where my hips would be in the dress. Then I just straightened out the lines to my desired length. You do this for both the from and back pieces. Don’t forget to add the seam allowance in. I’m sure I may have lost a little of the beautiful drape that Kelly has created but this worked for me both times I did it. If you want a more detailed explanation of how I divided and conquered my hip measurement, let me know.
I’m preaching to the choir, but I can’t say how important it is to know your measurements and use them. Disregard size numbers, as they are arbitrary anyway. Focus on the measurements that the designer has provided. In a tech design class I took, we focused a lot on tons of body measurements and this revolutionized the way I sew for myself. Everything that I have made since then fits me better and I have to go through less muslining. It takes a lot the guess work out of sewing. I actually measure pattern pieces before I even start sewing. It’s not a sure bet on fit, but it can give you a lot of direction. I graded between 2 sizes for my lodo dress, just carefully using measurements and it worked on the first try.
On the midi tencel dress I added side slits as well.
A helpful tip for those of you that avoid facings like I do. I can never seem to get them to be completely hidden, they always roll open. For the tencel version I stitched in the ditch along the side seam to connect the facing and the dress. That’s a little trick I picked up from my claudia dress. Super fast and easy and the dress lays a lot better. I’ll probably do it on the other two when I am not lazy.
Let me know if you have any questions!
PS I never iron.
Designer: True Bias