Rather than buying, or even making, a costume for World Book Day, a while ago I started looking at book-themed fabrics. For a time I toyed with both the colourful Hungry Caterpillar and the adorable Red Riding Hood fabrics that I keep encountering online, but I eventually settled on Paddington as the design was new, plus I was reading the first of his books to my class. 

I sifted through my patterns (therapeutic in itself) and decided it was a good chance to try the Cambie dress, which I had come across on someone’s blog. I guess ideally I would have used a cheaper fabric for my first attempt (£12pm for Paddington) but I went for it anyway. I had an idea I would like the Cambie as Sewaholic are Canadian, and I love all things Canadian. 

I had to buy a few supplies, including lining (I opted for classic, slippery, polyester, white) interfacing as well as an invisible zip (pale grey). As normal, cutting out the pattern, fabric, lining and interfacing took forever. I was itching to get started on my first garment using my newly purchased Elna. 

I was happy with how the make came together, and spent the majority of Sunday beavering away. I didn’t even pause to take mid-make photos! I don’t think I encountered many/any problems, until it came to trying on. Struggling to zip it myself, a bit of the lining became caught and I was stuck. After I’d wriggled free, teasing the lining from the zipper teeth caused a little hole, which was a shame as the dress was otherwise fairly perfect. 

I like the sleeves, neckline and finish, but the make overall is a little snugger than I would normally wear. I attribute this to two things – I chose View A which is a more fitted style than I would usually go for, and also it’s probably time to think about reducing the stodgy comfort food that has seen me through the winter months. The dress fastens (just) but I would prefer it if there was just a little more ease. I’m planning to make another very soon, but with the alternative view which has a gathered skirt. Although the primary purpose of the dress was World Book Day, I will wear it as a normal dress because I’m happy with the style and finish, and as the season changes maybe the fit will even improve a little too…