children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Mini Ogden Cami – as dress

There are plenty of “pattern hacks” out there involving the Ogden and Mini Ogden Cami patterns.  I was not immune to the appeal – it is a nice basic that lends itself to transformations and alterations.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

For this dress I chopped the cami pattern off at belly button level, then added a gathered skirt. I retained the subtle shaping at the bottom of the cami front and back pattern pieces to reflect the original hemline curve, and used the same shortened front pattern piece to cut a full lining for the front from a toning cotton.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

The fabric is a beautiful embroidered cotton that I bought in Chiang Mai on our first trip there back in 2014. It took me a while to use it! I really wanted to show off the beautifully shaped and scalloped border, so cut a length of the fabric, sewed one seam up the centre back, gathered the straight edge and then, ta-da!

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

It’s very fast to sew a dress when there is no hemming required! Actually, this was fast to sew overall. Do make sure that you check finished pattern measurements before deciding on what size to sew – I had to take this in quite a bit to fit Stella because I chose size based on her height rather than chest measurement of the finished garment.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

I’ve seen variations on this cami done by just extending it to dress length, by adding a skirt to make a dress with a dropped waist, by cutting it off higher then adding a skirt to make an empire line dress, by putting the lining on the outside to make an overlay, and the list goes on! It’s a great basic for tweaking – and of course is lovely sewn exactly as per the pattern.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

I really dislike the term “pattern hack”. To me, hacking something means cutting into it in a random and careless way. And that’s definitely not what I’m seeing most of the time when people talk about “pattern hacks”! They are talking about taking a pattern and changing or tweaking it, generally in ways that do require skill, thought and care. Then again, I don’t like the term “sewist” either….maybe I’m just a bit grumpy and perimenopausal! And don’t get me started on what I think about the use of the word “flattering” nowadays….surely it isn’t just me!


14 thoughts on “Mini Ogden Cami – as dress

  1. In the US, the term “hack” has come to mean improvement…I’m with you, I don’t like the term either but trying not to let it get under my skin. And if that’s what you call the making of this dress, hack on! This is just lovely!

  2. I see the term “life hacks” all the time, as in shortcuts or great ideas to make life easier. I don’t care for the word used that way either. Actually, hack sounds rather “coarse”, as my late grandmother would say. I prefer seamstress to sewist, as well. Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to say, that’s a beautiful dress and your daughter looks angelic! I miss sewing for my daughter. She loved wearing the dresses that I made for her. I always look forward to your posts.

  3. “Flattering” = looks slim = the only goal of women should be *thinness* and anything else is just ugly and gross. Heaven forbid a woman thinks she looks good as she is! Or doesn’t try to conceal her body shape! Or – horror of horrors – that she doesn’t care that she has fat on her body!

    Seriously, if you’re using the word “flattering” to backhand insult someone, just come out and say what you really mean – that you find bodies that aren’t thin to be unappealing, and are trying to body police / shame people into feeling the same way.

    Gah, maybe I’m the grumpy one! (But I can’t use being perimenopausal as an excuse 😉 )

  4. The hack word is overused. Hack when I was growing up was something gross from the back of your throat.

    I have always changed my patterns. I only ever use them as a base for what I really want. Frankernpattern was a term used about 5 years ago.

    I don’t mind the word flattering. To me it just means you look fantastic no matter what your size. It could mean that the colour looks great with your skin tone or the cut is great .

    In any case , Stella looks happy in her gorgeous dress.
    A smile is always flattering 😀

  5. Lovely dress, the fabric is absolutely fantastic. Sure, it took a while to use it, but it is perfect here. That’s divine timing imo. And your sweet daughter does look absolutely angelic in this dress, so that fits.
    Totally with you on “hacking” – I never hack patterns. I modify them or combine. Hacking sounds rather coarse. Flattering otoh I have no problems with. Might be because I live in Norway, maybe native English speakers feel differently. To me something that flatters enhances your natural good looks, regardless of body size. Brings out your inner light. 😊

    1. I think that flattering did always used to mean bringing out your best! Unfortunately I think that in common usage (maybe in English speaking countries) nowadays it tends to be used to mean “thinner” or that it hides your body flaws.
      Personally, I love the idea of things bringing out your inner light!

      1. What’s wrong with hiding your flaws? I also think of “flatter” as meaning enhancing your natural good looks. Why do some clothes get worn a lot and others get rarely, if ever, worn? Because we want to look and feel good and some clothes just don’t do that. Imho that’s because they don’t flatter. Like many English words, one word can have many different meanings. It’s like me wearing a ‘tent’ dress – I look like I’m wearing the whole enormous pavilion! I’d much rather wear something a bit more fitted. It still shows my size but doesn’t exaggerate it! I don’t see anything wrong with using the ‘flatter’.

  6. Very sweet dress, love the edge trim! ( and the metallic pink shoes too!). I am with you- I do not like the term ” hack” or ” life hack” the way it is used these days – I always thought “hack” was used to denote a second rate, not very good / fairly ordinary eg descriptions in novels like “he was just a hack reporter”; or to ” hack into” something either refers to illegally accessing computer; or to roughly/ carelessly cut/ chop into something ..yet somehow now ” life hacks” – the new name for what used to be called ” handy hints” or “tips” – are now good, positive things – which to me is a complete turn around on the original meaning if the term!!!

  7. I have three different coloured pieces of cotton broderie style with lovely border like this that I got in Chiang Mai or Sampeng Lane from our trip in 2013 – must start using them! I like this idea ;o)

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