Thursday, July 11, 2019

Ogden Cami Dress

I may have been one of the last people in the world to make the Ogden Cami, but I am trying to make up for lost time. Basically every lightweight, drapey woven fabric is now begging me to become an Ogden. I've had my eye on some rayon gauze prints at Jo-Ann's, and I finally had to say yes to one.

This is a leaf print and pretty far out of my comfort zone. I tend to stick with neutrals and have a hard time with prints. Somehow, this one works, probably because the colors really are pretty neutral. It's also a perfect summer print paired with a summery pattern, so win win there too.

To make an Ogden Dress, I relied heavily on the recent tutorial from IndieSew. Mine isn't exactly like that one, I did not change the back shape and I did not make it as long. But the idea is the same. 

My previous Ogden tops are a size 2 in the bust, graded to an 8 in the hips, with 1" added in length. The more I wear those tops, the more I think I added too much volume. For the dress, I started with a 2 in the bust and basically took the side seams out as far as I needed to encircle my hips, plus 2" of ease. 

There were a LOT of make it work moments. I ended up just barely squeaking the front and back dress from 1 1/2 yards. The fabric wasn't super wide and it did shrink in the wash. I first attempted to make the facing into a shelf bra with cups from a knit fabric. Total fail. So I rifled through my stash for a proper facing fabric and landed on this Bemberg rayon, leftover from my Yuzu Coat. I had just enough left that I decided to make a full lining instead of facings. 

Both of these fabrics were an absolute terror to cut. It was so bad. So shifty. Just bad. I'm positive my cutting was super uneven and it's kind of a miracle I was able to sew the lining and outer along the neckline as needed. I topstitched them together rather than trying to understitch the Bemberg.

I didn't have enough fabric for the straps and so again I turned to my stash and scrap bin. I settled on this ocean blue Tencel twill leftover from my vintage romper. It's kind of different and unexpected and I like it. I did use a recent tip I read in the Threads magazine newsletter, to use drapery cord inside of spaghetti straps for stability. I had some in my stash that I think came from a garage sale or thrifting.

After assembly, I ended up taking in the waist a ton. My hips are 38" but the top half of me loses all shape if I properly fit my hips. I don't want tugging and pulling and riding up though. It's a delicate balance and I'm still learning how to best flatter a pear-shaped figured, given that it's only been a few years that my hips have grown this way (thanks kids!). 

The other fun thing I did is to create a bubble hem. I did this by gathering the bottom of the outer dress (which was bigger than the lining) and sewing it to the lining. To make sure my seams were enclosed, I had to open the side seam, pull the lining and outer through, sew them, and then stuff them back into the hole I had opened. I hand-sewed the lining closed again. Because the outer skirt was gathered to fit the lining, it creates volume at the bottom. The lining is also shorter, so it pulls the outer fabric under. I hope that makes sense! I used to have a RTW skirt just like this, and always wanted to recreate it.

In the end, I eeeked out a belt so I could also define the waist a bit, and I think that helps with the silhouette. I wore this dress out to dinner with my husband and even though it was 90 degrees, I felt very comfortable. The whole dress is rayon and I can only imagine how hot and sweaty it would have been if it had been RTW and polyester. I also rock it with no bra. Quite honestly, I want to burn all my bras during this hott summer we're having. I've also stopped wearing makeup most of the time. I'm either having a mid-life crisis or welcoming the freedom to please myself instead of others. Maybe both!

So there you have it, my Ogden Cami dress hack! I'm not sure if I'll make another as I'm not much of a dress wearer, but this is a great one to have hanging in the closet.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! I love the bubble hem too (and the bra comment; it's hot here and I go without as long as possible!)


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