Camimade patterns

Earlier this year I met Camille of Camimade patterns.

‘Camimade is an independent sewing pattern company, designing minimalist and timeless sewing patterns, on the lookout for a more contemporary sewing.’

Clairesews had organised a fabric shopping day at Goldhawk Road while I was visiting London and that’s where I met Camille. Thank you Claire for a wonderful day/s as we did venture to the V&A Museum the following week.

Back to the Camimade story.

Cami was looking at gorgeous silks as we were fabric shopping and it was only after I started to follow her instagram account that I saw how lovely her designs were. Then there was the call out to pattern test so I agreed to pattern test.

Feuillage: shirt and shirt dress pattern:

This is a relaxed style pattern and it’s versatile – shirt or shirt dress option.


Here’s the shirt flat lay style.


What you can clearly see is the finishing details of the split sleeve. During testing Cami made some adjustments to the pattern and it now fits together easily.


I made both the feulliage shirt to go with the Ecorce pants. Go to Cami’s website to see her beautiful photos. She looks stunning in these pieces.


My photos are my usual look. Nothing special but super comfortable.

The front vents in the shirt version I made are best left closed. That’s my personal preference. When I wore this shirt with the front vents open I didn’t feel comfortable. Now I do with the front vents closed. I added a strip of black powermesh to sew these vents shut. Powermesh doesn’t fray so it was a good fabric choice.

Ecorce: Trousers and capri pants

This pattern is high waist and semi-fitted – perfect for humid Summer days in Sydney.


These are super easy to wear and a bit bigger than I should wear because I lost some weight at the time. The winter weight loss was intentional.


Oh my goodness the back vent at the hem is awesome. Maybe because it makes these super easy to wear from a practical point of view.


The fabric I’ve used is very stiff hence the bulges you can see on this side view photo. This was a test version and I wear these pants for housework. The wearable toiles do get used.

What I love about these trousers are the leg shaping. There is room for my cyclist thighs to I don’t have to make any further fit adjustments.


The usual pattern adjustments I did make was to lower the back crotch and shorten the front crotch. That’s just how I’m shaped and I’m so pleased I learnt how to make these changes.

Once I tried these on again after losing a few kilos, I unpicked the waistband and easily took out the fullness that I had gained during the Winter months. That’s what made me realise this is a good pants pattern to have when your weight fluctuates so much. The seamlines are great for sizing this pattern up or down.


Donna Karan jigsaw

These Donna Karan (vogue 1378) trousers were such a jigsaw to me. I made these last year but I’ve only been wearing them this Winter.

There are now some really good reviews on the trousers so here were my alterations.
My project challenges
I had to figure out where to shorten these without affecting each piece of this puzzle.
My shapely leg meant some shaping with these trouser pieces.

Not having enough fabric in the same colour to test the first version.

I used a dark purple at the back of the ankles.
What worked for me
This shows where I pinched the centre front seam to lower it without affecting the waistline shaping.

I used anther legging pattern to test the leg shaping.

Then I looked at where I wanted to shorted the pieces but I couldn’t figure out what pieces to shorten. So I numbered each piece to the line drawing.

For the length, well I let that one go because I have shortened the pants at mid thigh level but I knew the bottom pieces still needed to be shortened.

The body curves were adjusted the way I usually adjust trouser curve.  Drop the centre back curve. Lengthen the centre back curve for more room. Shorten the centre front seam.

There wasn’t enough grey ponte so I chose a dark purple ponte and placed that at the back of the calve and as the lower leg facings.

This pattern is pieced together by overlaying the pieces but I did normal seams at the top of the trousers with some topstitching. I kept the overlaying pieces for the lower leg.

Pattern piece changes

Once I’d sewn the leg pieces up, I compared it to my legging pattern and saw I needed to lop off another 3″ off the leg piece. So I’ll save that for another version. The pattern pieces have been adjusted.

And that’s how I made this puzzle work.

Minerva projects – ta dah

From Melbourne Cup day to Australia Day, it’s the ‘silly season.’ So my kit includes the first piece of my new summer ensemble and a great party dress. Yes. I made 2 items this month.


First up – the Party dress:
In the lead up to December, there are always get togethers before Christmas. I chose Vogue 8827 as my party season dress – the dream dress I mentioned last week. My original Minerva Crafts fabric choice went fast so I checked with Vicki on my next print choice and she thought this would be a great combination. This dress kit includes the ribbon for the tie used in this pattern dress.

The reviews of Vogue 8827 indicated the dress is big. Voluminous. Oversized. And I’m short so, in short, I had to test it. After making the 6 size as a top I got a very good idea on how the collar size would drown me to gnome size. But as a top, it gave me a good idea that this style would work with modifications.

My pattern drafting tutor agreed on how the collar could be sized down. But I wanted to keep the folds because the collar gives it a bit of 80s style. Almost ‘Dynasty’ like.
Oh the fabric. It’s colour fast, irons nicely, holds its shape well and doesn’t show creases. A great poplin print and its 112cm wide. And its colour was true to the photo on the Minerva website. Minerva Crafts does a great job representing the true colours on their website and on their ebay store. I did the ‘happy dance’ when my fabric arrived. This is a great print and the colours are great for summer and for parties. 

The dress itself has a smaller collar. The collar pieces are wide and large. I cut the collar pieces right back and straightened the collar width, so it still has beautiful folds.I love those folds. As this is a cotton woven, there’s no interfacing needed in the collar. This fabric has the right balance to hold its shape but folds over beautifully.

I’ve tamed the back gathers with an inverted pleat at the back yolk. After wearing my dream dress out to dinner, I stitched the inverted pleat at the waist too, so that it stays put. The pattern has a ribbon tie on the inside of the dress. I’ve also added two snaps – one at the waist and the other above the knee so the dress doesn’t fly open when the wind picks up. Safety first!
Everyone loves this dress, and I’ve worn it a few times already. I love it too.Thank you Vicki for helping me make this simple dress a stylish party dress.
Caught buying a late night gelato…Mmmm. 

Summer work trousers:
Most of my work clothes are corporate grey, black and blue – safe but yawn. Summer in Sydney is vibrant so I chose a linen-look purple fabric from Minerva. Purple is my favourite colour.

When I wore this outfit to work, everyone noticed the difference and smiled or commented. And we had some very hot Summer days in Spring so I know this fabric is going to be great when Summer really heats up. The blouse was made earlier this year. The trousers are McCalls 5397.

This fabric washes well, holds its colour and irons nicely. I love this colour and want to keep it that way. It’s cotton although it’s a linen look weave and is 145cm wide. Love wide fabric!

The photo below should look slimmer because it is. I tapered in the side seams and inner seams by 1cm because the first pics looked baggy.

My usual trouser adjustments are: the front rise is shortened at the centre front by 3cm and tapered to 0 at the side seam; the back crotch is deepened; and the inside thigh is extended.
Confession: I did move the zip from the centre back to the centre front, added a fly front with shield, and added a waistband and belt loops. I used the easy fly zip tutorial on Threads online by Sandra Betzina, to relearn how to sew in a fly front zipper.
After inserting fly zippers at least 3 times during testing, I was able to insert this zipper in less than 30 minutes with no stress. That’s equal to one episode of ‘Friends’. This eyelet blouse was also made earlier this year.
If you’re feeling the heat of summer and want to brighten up your wardrobe, hop over to Minerva Crafts and grab a kit before the summer heat gets to you.  

Order a bit extra of the linen look fabric for an office jacket. That’s what I did. I’ll show you my jacket in December. I still wear a jacket in the office in summer, because the aircon in Sydney is always chilly.

Not using calico

While drafting my first trouser pattern for ‘Make a Garment a Month’ I thought I should also test a close fitting paper pattern using McCalls 5397 for summer. While this pattern was printed in 2007, I can’t find the pics online so here’s my version. This pattern is one of my November Minerva Blogger Network projects.

These trousers have a fitted, darted waist with facing and the zip is in the back. So there’s no fly finish needed.

Calico does nothing for my motivation so I used cotton batik I bought in Arab St, Singapore last year. I made the 12 using their hip size calculations and they were big and baggy. So I’ve trimmed it back and raised the crotch so I now have summer weekend trousers. This pattern is ready to use now for my Minerva project.

Self drafted front view
Self drafted back view

This two unflattering pics above are the front and back view of the pair I drafted using flat pattern method from Winifred Aldrich Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s wear. There’s some fullness across the front at the tummy and the front rise was too high so that’s been adjusted. The back and leg fit work well. I’ve added a waistband and the zip is at the back.

So now I have two fitted print trousers to wear with a plain top for summer. The wrap top was made in 2009.

This eyelet fabric kept staring at me so I lined this in green poplin and used the self drafted trouser pattern with an added fly front and waistband. Aldrich was my guide. The top is Advance 8190.

This fabric has no give and it is very light so while these trousers are slim fitting, they still have wiggle room and airflow for summer.

There’s more testing going on behind the scenes that you’ll see soon. Thank you for your words of encouragement with my Minerva Blogger Network commitment.