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Gemma’s Ogden Cami

Gemma had the Mini box in May and put her 1m of pink leopard print viscose to great use making the oh so popular True Bias Ogden Cami

What do you do when you have only one metre of viscose? This was my dilemma this month as I received the Mini Box, and let me tell you what you do – you make a True Bias Ogden Cami of course!

Firstly, let me start by saying Hayley has smashed it again with her fabric choice – this fabric is everything I love: Neon pink, leopard print AND viscose, oh my! It feels amazingly soft, and has such a lovely drape to it, I couldn’t wait to get started. Although I wish I had more fabric to play around with (perhaps I will pick some up in one of her outlet sales if there is any left?) I knew instantly what I could make with it – a tried and tested pattern!

I love the Ogden Cami, it is such a great pattern. I’ve made so many I can whip one up now in a couple of hours (perfect for a quick, satisfying make) and can usually get one out of a metre of fabric, although sometimes a little pattern Tetris is needed! I love the simplicity of it, it looks great worn dressed up or casual, and can be made in a range of fabrics – I even tried a jersey one once! It is also a really good base for a hack: I’ve used it to combine with trousers to make a jumpsuit (which I actually did for a previous SewHayleyJane project a year or so ago) and I’ve seen lots of versions of it being extended to make slip dresses. It has been a while since I sewed one, as it does tend to be a more summer friendly piece as it is a lightweight top, especially if you use a light material such as cotton lawn or viscose. If you are after a good wardrobe staple pattern then this is for you!

I did have to play a little pattern Tetris with my pieces: I prioritised cutting the front and back on the fold, and had to cut the facing pieces doubled, and then sew them together. Having a seam on these pieces doesn’t bother me as they are on the inside, so no one will know! If you do have to cut yours like this just remember to add a little extra 1cm or so where you would cut on the fold, to take into account the seam when you join them! I also recommend taking care when cutting out your pieces if using viscose, as it does tend to move around, so lots of pattern weights and pins are a must, as you don’t want pieces being too out of sync when it comes to sewing them together! I’ve started using a rotary cutter (bit late to the party I know!) when cutting fabric out like this, and it really does make a difference, as well as being a lot quicker!

The construction of an Ogden Cami is pretty straightforward, I think the trickiest part is making sure you haven’t twisted the straps when you insert them into the back piece – even after making so many I still occasionally do this! But having so many under my belt has given me a few tips that may find useful:

  • Sometimes I find it hard to know which is the front and which is the back once finished – I’m sure there may have been instances when I’ve worn it the wrong way round! So on the occasions when I do have to cut a facing piece not on the fold, I will cut the back piece and seam it, that way I know which way is the back!
  • If you do cut both your facings on the fold then adding a label onto the back facing is also another idea – or perhaps using one of the decorative stitches on your machine!. I’ve actually done that on this one: I used my heart stitch to sew a row of hearts onto my back facing before sewing it to my top – decorative and helpful at the same time!
  • Always press your straps, it really helps to not get them twisted when joining, especially with a more fluid fabric like viscose.
  • Lastly – I tend to topstitch my facing down on the outside of the garment once finished, a few centimetres from the edge. This helps to stop the facing from rolling up (even after pressing it can sometimes do this, especially with viscose), but I also like how it looks on the garment, giving it a neat finish.

I am already obsessed with this make and I know I will be wearing it time and time again once it is warm enough – it already pairs so well with so many other makes I have, and that is the sign of a true wardrobe staple!