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A Fall Catarina Camisole Hack

Do you feel it? The sweltering nights are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter… that must mean fall is coming!

Maybe fall is already here for you northern U.S. (or European or whatever other country you’re from!) folks, but down here in southern Arizona it comes gradually and hits us full-on in November. Wait, make that December. Sigh.

So whereas fall-appropriate clothing usually consists of cozy thick cardigans, knit beanies, and knee-high boots, I have to settle with fall-colored summer clothing.

This rust colored rayon challis cami will keep me cool but show that I am ready for fall!

Pictured with my Ginger Jeans 🙂

I hacked the Seamwork Catarina Dress to make this top. I’ve made the dress before (here) and liked the relaxed feel of it. I did make a couple of tweaks to the bodice, though…

I didn’t like how low the darts were on the original pattern, so I moved them up a smidge.

I had a different idea for this hack instead of just a basic cami. I really wanted to have the shell fabric and the lining fabric staggered. The lining fabric would be longer than the shell fabric and give the cami some visual interest.

You’ll see I traced the original end point of the bodice pattern, then added length for the shell fabric (next lowest line) and the lining fabric (bottom line). I intended to use the one pattern piece for both.

WEEELLLLLLL let’s just say things didn’t work out. I failed to take into account the curve of my hip, so that longer layer bunched up around my natural waist. ‘Doh! Also, while sewing the lining and shell fabrics together, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to have both right sides facing out so no inner seams would show. Sounds easy enough to figure out, right? I must have been having a rough day when I made this, LOL!

So needless to say, I ended up cropping the whole thing and it’s just a normal basic cami. Nothing wrong with basics, though! I’m also happy that I made high-waisted jeans because it’s definitely needed with this top.

I wrote a little about sewing with rayon challis in my Floral Arum post, so I won’t wax poetic again about it (although it IS an awesome fabric!). I will, however, share a tip for sewing with it!

Rayon challis has a tendency to fray, so you need to finish your seams or else your clothing will just fray apart after a few washes. I serged the seams in my rayon Arum dress, but I wanted something different for this cami. I decided French seams would do the trick. Ooh la la!

To make French seams, you’ll first sew your pieces wrong sides together. It feels so wrong, I know, but trust me!

There’s a little math needed to figure out the right increments to sew in order to get your intended seam allowance. Good thing Grainline Studios has a great breakdown on how to sew French seams with varying seam allowances! I had a 5/8 inch seam allowance, so my first seam is 3/8 inch.

You can see just how much rayon can fray! Anyway, after sewing the wrong sides together at 3/8 inch, you’ll need to trim the seam allowance down because that will be encased in the next seam. I recommend trimming it down more than what I did or else… well… you’ll see soon enough…

After the seam allowance is trimmed, fold the seam the other way so the right sides are facing together and pin. Then you’ll sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance (if your original was 5/8 inch) to encase the raw edges of that first seam.

Wrong side

The end result is a beautifully encased seam that is also darn sturdy! This is a good finish for lightweight fabrics and it will look just as beautiful inside as out…

…except in my case…

Right side

Now you see the need to trim that first seam allowance down really small! The frayed edges of the seam allowance are peeking through the right side! *Sigh* Learn from my mistakes, y’all.

But no need to worry, I have a comfortable, cute fall top and that requires celebration!YEAH! So get out those Halloween decorations and sip on your pumpkin flavored whatever. FALL IS HERE!


You can follow more of Rachel’s adventures in sewing, cat wrangling, and chicken wooing at!



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