Well, I wasn’t going to sew a new Ogden Cami this summer; I sewed already three versions (cami, maxi dress & dress) last summer. I even didn’t bring the pattern with me to our holiday house. Then I went home for four days to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday and—never not sewing—started sewing the presents for a sweet little girl that was just born. In my search through my fabric collection for suitable fabric for the baby, I stumbled on this piece of magenta leftover. I don’t know what its origin is, or its composition because I must have had it for more than 25 years. When I held the fabric in my hands it said: “I’m perfect for an Ogden Cami!” And so another Ogden Cami jumped to the pole position of my sewing queue. I grabbed the pattern and put it with the fabric in my luggage back to Italy. This was going to be a sew for maximum 3 hours, I thought. Man, was I wrong!
The magenta fabric
Like I said above: I don’t know the origin and the composition of this fabric. I found two pieces in my collection: one small part with cutouts from a small waistband and a bigger part of 65 cm on a width of 114cm. The fabric has a medium weight and some drape. Perfect for an Ogden Cami!
The sewing struggle
Struggle #1 Not enough fabric
When I decided to make the Ogden Cami I roughly put the pattern on the fabric and thought I could fit it. Alas, after trying several placements I had to admit that the piece wasn’t big enough.
But no worries! I had a good experience with the self-made striped lining for my Jill Coat so I could expand the fabric with some fabric straps. When I browsed my bags of fabric I saw the leftovers of my sheer Venus Kimono. The selvedge of this fabric has these strange stripes which I found perfect.
My work order to expand fabric
- Cut out the back piece as economical as possible.
- Cut the remaining piece of fabric in two.
- Assemble all the fabric pieces together to make one strap. Here I made a mistake to match the top of the first strap with the lowest point of the neckline. When I did a test placement of the pattern I noticed that because of that I had not enough fabric for the hem. I tried to unpick the strip but I used a small zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. Needless to say that trying to unpick was hopeless.
- Make a patchwork with small scraps so you have a perfect rectangle.
- Stitch the strap to both sides of the line you cut. Cut out the front bodice. Tadaa!
Struggle #2 The bias binding
As I squeezed the bodice out of the small amount of fabric I had, you can imagine there was absolutely nothing left for the lining. No worries! I’ll finish the neckline and armholes with self-made bias tape! That would be easy, because I had my bias tape maker with me. I succeeded in cutting out two squares of 14 cm of the magenta fabric and one square of 15 cm of the sheer fabric. Of course, I wanted the bias tape to match with the fabric of the bodice.
Although I’ve made continuous bias tape before, I struggled a lot with these small pieces and I just didn’t see how I had to make the loop. Also, due to their fluidity and devilish character both fabrics were very difficult to put marks on. So I made a sample in tissue paper and then the light went on.
Sewing the first line of the bias tape on the bodice went smoothly. For finishing the v-neck with bias binding I used the little dart technique that I learned sewing my Chari Dress.
The second part of the bias binding finish, the fold over, was hell! Because of the small squares of fabric I used there were a lot of tiny seams in the bias tape. And again, these fabrics—although starched— wouldn’t let themselves fold. So I basted the more tricky parts. This made it easier to sew the folded over bias tape.
Then finally I could hem the bodice. I couldn’t believe that this Ogden Cami was finished. It was a 4-days journey!
Am I happy with my Magenta Ogden Cami? You may think I am not but I am! Since I finished it I wore it non-stop and I love wearing it. Just like my other Ogdens, this is a perfect wear for these hot days. Will I sew more Ogden Camis? I guess the answer is no but you’ll never know when I find another piece of fabric that talks me into it!