I’m happy to say that I have now finally joined the ranks of the many, many members of the sewing community who have made and loved the True Bias Ogden camisole pattern! In fact, I made 3 different ‘practice’ versions over the course of 3 days, all of which turned out nicely enough to be added to my wardrobe!
If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember seeing my New Year’s Day post that included a picture of a couple of beautiful silks that I bought from The Fabric Store. My plan for those silks was to make a fully-lined Ogden cami, but since I’ve never made an Ogden before, I decided to make a few toiles with remnants from my stash to make sure I really got the fit and the techniques down before I cut into all that lovely silk. Each of my three camisoles are a little bit different, and I’ve set out each variation below!
Version 1 was made with some lightweight organic cotton lawn from Spotlight, which I’d had sitting in my stash since I made my Mimi blouse. Since the fabric was a little sheer, I decided to do a full lining in some plain white cotton lawn. I ended up shortening the lining pieces from the bottom by about 2 inches, as that was all that I could squeeze out of my fabric! I cut a size 0 with no alterations for fit, and used French seams throughout – even for the neckline. I got a bit lazy at the end so I skipped understitching the lining to the cami, and ended up stitching in the ditch for a couple of inches at the side seams to tack the lining to the main cami. It works, but definitely isn’t as neat a finish as doing all the understitching and tacking properly! Overall, this version fit pretty well, but I found the straps were a bit too skinny for my liking, and the cami was maybe just a tiny bit tighter across my bust than I wanted. Overall, though, it’s a nice casual top!
Version 2 was made with floral cotton/linen from Spotlight, leftover from making my first Peppermint everyday dress. This time, given that the pattern is drafted for a person who is 5’5″ tall and I am only 5’1″, I removed 2 inches at the lengthen/shorten line to see how I’d like a shortened cami. I cut a size 0 again, but widened the straps by 1/4″ (and made corresponding adjustments to the shoulders of the bodice pieces), and again did French seams throughout. This time, I made the partial lining as per the pattern, and took the time to do all the understitching and tacking properly. While the cropped length of the cami is nice with skinny pants, I decided I preferred the original length of the pattern as that way I could tuck the cami into my high-waisted skirts. I also found that the partial lining was just a touch too short. I do like the wider straps though – better at disguising bra straps (though they can’t seem to be completely hidden). As with the first version, I found that this linen version was a touch tighter across my bust than I wanted… so it was time to make some adjustments for my final toile!
For my last toile, I used some beautiful silk/cotton jacquard purchased from The Fabric Store in Auckland, which you might recognise from my little black Bettine dress! I did the partial lining again, though this time I lengthened the lining pieces by 1 inch, and made the wider straps again. To fix the fit at the bust, I adjusted the pattern by drawing in a new line between sizes 0 and 2 at the top of the camisole, grading down to size 0 at the waist. I French seamed the side seams, but constructed the neckline and attached the lining mostly per the pattern instructions, taking the time to do a zigzag finish on the seam allowances to make sure the fabric won’t fray. This version fit much better across the bust, and was pretty much perfect in terms of fit, so I’m glad I took the time to make all those adjustments. I love that the Ogden can look and feel totally different depending on what fabric you use. The cotton and linen versions are pretty casual, but this silk/cotton version is definitely more formal – perfect for work or a date night!
The instructions say to add a label or ribbon to the back lining piece so it’s easy to tell which side is the back and which is the front – something that’s hard to work out when the cami is just hanging up in the closet! I ended up hand-embroidering my initials onto the back lining pieces for the cotton and linen versions, and stitched in a cute Kylie and the Machine label for the more fancy silk/cotton version!
I really enjoyed the process of making all of these camisoles! Even with all the adjustments and French seams, each make was fairly quick to put together, and I definitely got better at the construction process each time. I love that I was able to make each version a little different to the last one, and the process of making all these variations helped me figure out what could be improved and what worked. Making these three very wearable toiles definitely gave me the confidence I needed to make my 100% silk version – stay tuned for a blog post all about that one!