Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Sewing for science: planning a conference cambie

Each year I attend a few of conferences (although this is likely to become fewer as my funding runs out, eek). If I am presenting at the conference then I love to purchase a special 'conference dress/outfit'. Who am I kidding, I like to buy something new regardless!

A conference dress, for me, is usually vibeing something between feminine, fun, conservative and 'this means business'. The sought of dress that can go from work to drinks reception in a moments notice. For example I wore this Karen Walker wrap-around cherry dress to a conference last year.

In my conference dress

Sewing bloggers often post about making clothes for work, and there are quite a few sewing/blogging/academics out there. There are also lots of "what to wear" posts in academic focused blogs. For example the thesis whisperer has a two part post about conference outfits and finding the perfect 'meet the people skirt' and 'keynote presentation dress' (part 1, part 2). It's probably out there, but I am yet to locate a 'sewing for a conference' or 'creating the perfect conference dress' post.

In December I have a week long conference symposium combo. I will be presenting on one day and a few other days will involve dinners, drinks receptions and other excuses to wear a dress. There will also be a number of Christmas parties to attend around the same time. I would love to buy a new dress. I've had my eye on this little number from marcs. (UPDATE: Bought the dress, it's as amazing to wear as it looks!)

beautiful marcs dress

But perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to whip out my Sewaholic Cambie pattern, which I haven't made up yet (I think I'm the only one!). This is one hell of a versatile dress. I've seen bridesmaid dresses, wedding dresses, works dresses, day dresses. So, why not a conference dress? I think Four Square Walls version is pretty close to how I envisage a conference Cambie.

Sewaholic cambie pattern

I've been holding onto some beautiful grey/blue wool for a winter version, but that wouldn't suit a December day in Australia. So the hunt is now on to find the perfect 'conference fabric' which is fun, feminine and 'this means business' all in one. Let's see how I get on. The Marcs dress can always be a backup, or something for one of the other six conference days!

If anyone has blogged about sewing for a conference, or an any sought of important presentation,  I would love to read it. 


  1. Good luck with your fabric search Elizabeth, it sounds like a challenge to meet all your criteria but that's one of the most fun parts (for me anyway) with any new project :)