Pattern Review: Camisado Cami by Rad Patterns

A while back I had gelatinized some silk fabric to see if stiffening the satin would make it easier to sew. I'm going to be honest here, as usual. I think the fabric was somewhat stiffer to work with, but I don't think it made things any easier. Instead, the gelatinized fabric was "sticky", not like a lollipop a kid licked once and then set down is sticky, more like the fabric had a tendency to stick to itself when I did not want it to.

I hit a few speed bumps in the process of sewing my first Camisado. I am still not great at working with slippery, shifty fabrics. The pattern only allows for a 3/8" seam allowance, but because I was working with silk, I wanted to do a more secure seam, like a flat felled or French seam. I decided on a flat felled seam, as it required slightly less fabric than a French seam does. I went up one size to account for the extra fabric I would be removing in the seam allowance. (I swear I am going to get this right someday).

The camisole itself actually turned out pretty nicely. I did decide on the V-neck shape instead of the scoop. When it was time to add the straps, I realized I needed some findings that I luckily had impulse purchased a couple months ago for bras I have yet to make. But I was also completely missing the right width bias tape or elastic for the straps. So I had to set the camisole aside again until I could arrange for a shopping trip at the only fabric store for an hour in any direction that still allows in-store shopping. I don't mind online shopping when I just want to buy some stuff, but when I need something specific to finish a project, I really need to look at the options up close to make sure everything is matchy-matchy.

I brought home my multiple yardages of elastic and bias tape and cut the straps to the recommended length in the pattern (BTW, there is a typo on the pattern for the strap lengths in size 6/8. They suggest straps of 1.5. What does that even mean? Inches? cm? The size 3/4 suggests straps that are 14, and the 10/12 suggests straps that are 15, so I made the assumption that the pattern wanted the straps in inches and that my straps should be 14.5", so that's what I cut. I feel like they were not quite long enough for me. I adjusted them to the longest possible length once they were sewn into place in order to fit comfortable under my armpit with out pulling. I'll make future straps a couple insches longer so I have some wiggle room on the days when my chest is bustier than normal (bloated, I mean when I am bloated.)

I like the princess seams, they were fairly easy to piece together. The pattern offers two different lengths of the top, regular and tunic. A pet peeve of mine is when there is a photo of a model wearing a finished garment, but no information on what size or what options are part of that garment. The tank/camisole looks quite long in the photo, but there is nothing to describe what length she is wearing? Is it the tunic? I don't know. Also, the straps on her tops look cute and double, but there are no instructions on how to make that. After some digging, I found that the straps on that top were cut too long, so they were adjusted all the way to the front of the shirt, thereby giving it the "double strap" look. That would be good information to have if I wanted to duplicate that look, or if it's not an option, cut the damn straps shorter and make the sample garment look like the one I will make from the pattern. I want to know what size the model is wearing, how much ease is this pattern meant to have?

My finished top had a lot of extra fabric by the hem, way more than I wanted it. It felt like a maternity blouse, and I was not comfortable with that. I ended up taking two inches out of each seam at the bottom of the pattern, and want to make this again. I did like the racer back style, it was relatively easy to put together, I like the adjustable straps. I also like that the regular length (the model apparently has a regular length top on, I can't even fathom how long the tunic is) is long enough that I can tuck it in, and when I lift my arms it is not pulled out of my waist band.

Despite the things I found annoying about the pattern, I actually really liked the finished product and I am already in the process of making 3 more. Of course, when I made the green camisado, we were smack in the middle of our short Maine summer, and today is the first day of fall and we've already had 2 heavy frosts that killed the garden. Not sure I NEED 3 more silk camis right now, but they are cut out, so I 'll sew them up and set them aside for next year when it gets warm again.

Up next - footy pjs and halloween costumes for the kids. Someday soon I'll get into my stash of wool fabric and make something yummy for myself.

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