Cambria Duster

Oh hai!

Frivolous at Last - Friday Pattern Co. Cambria Duster

It’s been a while. You OK? I’m OK. I’m coming up for air after a year of online teaching, and waiting out this third wave and continued stay-at-home orders here in Toronto. The mental load is difficult these days, but this too shall pass. 

I was just on Bloglovin’ scrolling through my sewing feed for the first time in *forever* and it made me realize that I’ve missed you! It’s been almost a full year of not much sewing for me. So I’ve dusted off (ha! — see what I did there?) these photos from last Spring of my Cambria Duster and put together this post just to say hello and check in.

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I don’t remember much about sewing this, but I do remember it was a sewing kit I bought from Needle Sharp. And now that I’m looking at the pictures I’m sorry I didn’t sew that hem by hand — that stitching line just doesn’t look good. No matter; I’ve only worn this once or twice since I sewed it, because it actually makes me feel like I am wearing a bath robe. In fact, if I tie it closed in the front, I feel like I should be toddling off to the shower with a towel wrapped around my hair. (Sorry, I didn’t take any pics of it tied closed in front.)

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Which is such a drag because I really love this jacquard fabric! It’s grey with blue dots and tiny flecks of gold, and has a lovely sheen to it when you see it in person. And I’ve gone and made a bath robe out of it. This is almost as much of a disaster as when I thought I was sewing a dress but it turned out it was a bathrobe with storage compartments for groceries.

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I think it looks less bath-robe-ish when it’s tied up at the back. But it’s a really rare situation in which it’s cold enough to wear an outer layer but warm enough to not need it closed in the front, know what I mean? It’s kind of like the paradox of a down vest — I just don’t get why they exist. If it’s cold enough to be wearing goose down, how is it comfortable to have your arms just hanging out there in the breeze? These are the challenging mysteries of our time.

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Others who’ve sewn the Cambria Duster have pointed out how impractical the design of the pockets is…and of course I forgot to do anything about that before cutting out all my pattern pieces. You can see that the pocket opening scoops down very low, leaving not that much depth to the actual pocket itself. It was so shallow as drafted, in fact, that you can see I ended up flat-felling an extra couple of inches to the bottom of each pocket piece so that I could actually carry something in the pockets without worrying it would easily fall out.

Frivolous at Last - Friday Pattern Co. Cambria Duster

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I’m very pleased with the bias-bound seams on the inside.

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I’m hoping I’ll have more to report in the coming months — let’s see if I can get that sew-jo back!

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Thanks for stopping by for a read, and I hope you’re doing well!

— Lori

16 thoughts on “Cambria Duster

  1. Hi Lori, It IS gorgeous fabric that you’ve made your duster out of. I made a long knit cardigan once and it felt too much like a dressing gown for me too. Would you shorten it to a long jacket length , below those pockets ? I know this seems a travesty when you bound those long inside seams… Lovely to see and read your words again.
    Annie – Melbourne

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    1. Hi Annie! That’s a good idea. I will put it in the Time Out bin and come back to it later to see if I like it better or I’m ready to re-make it into something else. Nice to hear from you!

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  2. So glad you are back, Lori! I know exactly what you mean about open jackets and sleeveless vests. There are so many beautiful patterns of throw-on kind of jackets, they look stylish and easy to sew but wearing them in our weather is very difficult. And down vests have been a mystery to me since my first days in Canada 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your new makes and reading your witty reviews.

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    1. Thanks, Inna. It suddenly strikes me that maybe THIS IS THE ACTUAL MOMENT TO USE A DOWN VEST! lol. Down vest underneath, then I can saunter around with my coat open all I want. You’re a genius! 😀

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  3. I was thrilled to see a post come in from you! And you can’t imagine the JOY seeing you in that Cambria! Mine is on my cutting table languishing for months because I can’t see worth a darn. My cataracts went on the move last fall and my vision went with it ;( because of COVID of course the waiting list for surgery would have surrounded the globe until the BC gov’t opened up more OR time (they were probably daunted at the notion of all these old people in the capital blind as bats and driving as much as ever hahaha) Anyway my surgery is completed and I can see great for distance but my up-close vision is a disaster and I’ve had to wait for healing to get fitted for reading/SEWING glasses 🙂 Next Monday is the day to see my doc and then another week and I’ll be finally back to my Cambria. I made mine in an olive sateen which was rather beefy and I had no idea what else I might have made with it – maybe pants? I made it because I’d read it suits my Kibbe silhouette (have you learned about Kibbe and those body types – be warned it’s one rabbit hole that you fall into for months!) According to Kibbe – and I found myself immediately which I didn’t with the fruits – I’m a Soft Dramatic and the lines in a duster emphasis my vertical line. So there you go – THAT’s why I made the Cambria. I do like the look! I like it on you too. Those Hong Kong seams are the bomb!

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    1. Hi Kathleen! So great to hear from you! I’m sorry about your eyesight — that is very frustrating. Wishing you a very speedy recovery and a quick return to your sewing! I think the ‘beefy’ sateen will work really well for the cambria, but I do tend to like more structure in my outerwear garments than drape. Please do share when you finish it!

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  4. I got that box! It’s fun to see it in one of the other fabrics, too. I selected the tencel twill in stone blue. (Probably no pictures. Yet.) I agree, having something swirling around the legs takes some getting used to – mines usually a topper for leggings and a tee. Yours is beautiful!

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    1. Oooh, that sounds lovely! And isn’t it fun getting a box full of sewing in the mail?? Unfortunately for me the shipping from Needle Sharp to Canada is prohibitively expensive, so unless they have a shipping deal I probably won’t be ordering from them again. 😦

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  5. I don’t think it looks like a bathrobe. That dramatic collar makes it a cool duster.

    Maybe shorten it to about knee length? To just a couple of inches below the pockets. That beautiful fabric is a sort of blue jean color, so you can wear it with everything you own.

    Glad to see you posting again.
    🙂 Chris

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  6. One advantage of the bathrobe look is that you have big pieces to remake it into a blazer or something else you’ll love. Also, I’m a huge vest fan because I overheat easily, and when I sweat then I get cold. Vests help moderate my temp in late fall and early spring.

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