Pattern Review – Crystal Cove Cami by Itch to Stitch

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It may seem odd to make a camisole in the fall, but it’s the perfect layering piece for the season.  At work, I wear it under a blazer. On the weekends, I layer it under a thin cardigan. I deliberately used Itch to Stitch’s Crystal Cove Cami pattern because I have a major girl crush on Kennis, the owner and designer.  She lives a life I covet. A former tech worker, Kennis ditched her corporate America job and lives in Costa Rica designing sewing patterns full time. Plus, I adore her aesthetic of classic patterns with a modern twist.

In this pattern review, I’ll go over what I liked and didn’t like about the Crystal Cove Cami.  Spoiler alert: I love it!

The Pattern

The Crystal Cove Cami has a relaxed fit bodice and overlapping back with curved hem.  The pattern includes 12 women’s sizes from 00 to 20 with A, B, C, D and DD cups. Delicate spaghetti straps give the cami a light, feminine flair.  I cut out size 4 for the bust and graded to size 6 for the waist. As usual, I shortened the bodice by 1”.

The Fabric

This cami started life as a $1 H&M skirt I scored from my neighborhood thrift store that has since closed (I’m so bummed).  It was in perfect condition, and I could have worn it as it, but I knew I would get more use out of it as a cami.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This was an easy sew with only 5 pattern pieces.  The ½” seam allowance threw me off a little as I didn’t have this marked on my sewing machine, so I sewed a smidge past the ⅜” mark instead.  The top of the cami was finished with a facing.

Given the large range of sizes and cups, the pdf pattern had 36 pages.  Luckily Kennis provided a page range for specific sizes, so I only had to print and tape 14 pages.  

For a deceptively simple cami, this project pushed me out of my comfort zone as it forced me to learn how to sew spaghetti straps and a narrow rolled hem.  The straps freaked me out as I have failed in other projects, but Kennis’ directions were crystal clear. The trick is to cut on the bias, stretch the life out of the straps and then sew and turn.  My past strap fails had directions to cut on the grain. Argh.  

Kennis offered several options for hemming.  I chose the narrow hem technique where you serge the edge and roll it twice before stitching in place.  Check out her narrow rolled hem tutorial she links to from the instructions.

I can’t get over how perfect the fit is.  As a small-busted, petite gal, I truly appreciated the A cup option. The Big 4 pattern companies mostly offer B and above, and the last thing I want to learn is a bust adjustment.

I’ve sewn strappy tops where the straps were so wide apart they would slip off my shoulders.  Not a problem here. This cami is super comfy thanks to the subtle flair from the bust to the hem that’s also effective at hiding my growing stomach pooch.   The fluid, flowy rayon fabric really accentuates the flare.

My favorite feature is the overlapping back.  I don’t fall for fashion trends, but I happily make an exception here.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

No sewing regrets with this cami.  This project came off the machine without a hitch, which is rare for me.

Final Thoughts

I’m already thinking about all the other camisoles I’ll be making with the Crystal Cove Cami pattern.  That’s how much I love sewing and wearing it. It’s easy to make and goes with everything. I’ll experiment with wider straps to make it bra-friendly. I expect this to be one of those basics I’ll reach for over and over again.

I’m also ready to take on other sewing projects with spaghetti straps and narrow hems.  I’ll never be intimidated by a spaghetti strap again!

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