Appleton Wrap Dress from Cashmerette

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I’ve been chomping at the bit for this pattern to be released! I tested it back in August, and I love it. In fact, I’m such a fan that I’m going to blog first about my dress, then come back with another post tomorrow about the pdf details, instructions, sizing, fit and all that jazz. With a new pattern company, I figure you guys will want the full run-down!

I’m sure you’ve seen Appleton all around the blogosphere already, but just in case, here’s the deal: Appleton is Jenny’s first pattern. It runs “sizes 12 – 28, and cup sizes from C to H, with a modern fit”. I made size 16 on the bottom, and size 14 on top, with the C/D cup size option. (I’ll talk more about sizing tomorrow!)

front back Collage

Do you recognise this fabric from my GlobeTex haul video? It’s a mid-weight rayon knit, and it worked perfectly with the pattern. Jenny nailed her “modern sizing” – With the 50% stretch in this fabric, it’s fitted but not tight. I cavalierly cut off 4″ from the hem, because everything is always long on me… and then had to add back all 4″ with a ham band! The print hides it completely though – I know where the seam is, but I really can’t see it in these pics!

Speaking of the pictures – would you believe I took these 20 minutes before as the Project The Cannot Be Photographed pictures, which sparked the Better Pictures Project? These ones turned out so well, which just made me more frustrated that the other shots bombed. I wanted to understand WHY!

business Collage

The dress is perfect for work, so I channelled “business lady” for my photoshoot: Business Lady looks for lost item in giant purse; Business Lady makes an important call;  Business Lady cannot believe you just tabled that proposal at our very important outdoor meeting.

Here’s what I like about the pattern:

  • Because of the built-in FBA, the wrap covers securely and the front is long enough
  • Also because of the FBA, the underarm/side bust area fits more more smoothly than most patterns I sew. No fabric desperately folding to become a dart!
  • The band around the neckline is wide and stays put.
  • The back of the neckline is actually a shaped piece, not a straight band, which really helps the front to sit smoothly.
  • The hem area of the sleeves flares out slightly, so that it perfectly aligns with the tapered sleeve once it’s folded. Such a simple detail but it makes a difference!

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I’ve already tested another pattern for Jenny, and based on both experiences, I feel confident that her sizing and design are right up my alley. I know this all sounds very fangirly, so let me just say now: I got the pattern for free, but Jenny has offered all her testers one of her fabric kits in return, which is a nice gesture in return for our work. She was responsive to feedback. I was not asked to blog, I’ve never met Jenny, and I’m not, I don’t know, blogging a new pattern for stats. I honestly would pay for this pattern, and I can’t wait to try sewing it for my sister. I think this size range is something that the sewing world desperately needs! I often sew the largest size on indies, and certain designers don’t even go up to my size. I’m not tiny, but I’m not big either. We all deserve sewing patterns!!!

Now, I’ll be back tomorrow with more of the sewing details, so let me know if you have any questions about the patterns that I could answer. In the mean time, I’ll leave you with this take on the classic Cashmerette pose of, “Who, me? I’m just casually leaning against a wall with my foot up, creating angles with my body!

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Of course, mine looks more like a Jesus-flamingo, but that’s why she is the master!πŸ˜‰

Are you in Cashmerette’s demographic of “curvy” – aka. busty and bigger? If not, what underserved demographic do you wish someone would design for? (Swayback’d with booty would be my ideal!πŸ˜‰


74 thoughts on “Appleton Wrap Dress from Cashmerette

  1. This dress is such a winner! It suits you and fits you perfectly. BTW, I’ve been thinking that you look nice in light colors, but I have to reconsider it, because you look absolutely pretty in this black (and white) dress. Great job!

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    1. Thank you, Yoshimi!! Black, grey andw hite are definitely not my best colours to wear, but i think with all the green leaves around me, it works out! I do wear a lot of black and grey anyway because they are just so practical and easy to coordinate.πŸ˜‰

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  2. I love, love, love your dress. As soon as I notice the pattern was out I bought it. Now, from your description I am sure this is a pattern we all wanted to sew with barely any adjustments!!! yay!!! PS I am tired of FBA’s

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  3. I am so glad you have mentioned there is no arm hole gape/dart fitting needed, whenever I do an FBA I have massive armhole gape. I haven’t sewn in jersey yet and cannot wait to push this up my sewing queue!

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    1. I’m seriously impressed with the armscye/bodice fit of this dress. It’s making me feel like my other dresses are a terribly fitting mess!
      If you need any help with sewing jersey, don’t be shy to ask! It’s my favourite, obviously. If you look in my sidebar on the left, I’ve got a series of “Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits” which might be helpful!

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  4. This pattern sounds fantastic – like you I am often at the upper end of indie patterns and in some cases they don’t get to men’t there at all (I’m looking at you, Wiksten Tova!) The cup sizes beyond a D are what really sold me, though – I feel like people flip out when patterns offer cup sizes, but they are never offered above a D and really, there are tons of people who have bigger bbs than that.

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    1. I just realised the other day that i’m too big for Named patterns – ugh! I totally agree about the cup sizes – like, yay Colette designs for a C, and Blue Ginger Doll for a C, but I’m an F and I’m not even all that busty. Take it further, people!

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  5. This looks fabulous on you! I’m not in the size range for this pattern, but it looks so good I almost wish I was! I’ve already seen so many gorgeous versions on Instagram. I am pear shaped more than curvy, although my bust isn’t small. Sewaholic design for my pear shaped bottom half, but most of their styles don’t really float my boat.

    Anyway, great dress, I’m sure you’ll make more!

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    1. Thank you! I’m in the same boat with Sewaholic – love her technical skills and mandate, but don’t want to wear her business casual designs. Oh well – plenty of patterns out there for us all!πŸ™‚

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  6. I’m not usually into wrap dresses because they feel too elegant to me for everyday wear, and I’m not really elegant at all. But the Appleton made me excited because it seems like it will be great for the quarterly board meetings I have to attend for my organization, plus no FBA! Also I bet it could be easily shortened into a wrap top, and that would be more my style with skinny jeans.

    Yours is the first I’ve seen (besides Jenny’s samples), and it looks great! Love your business lady photoshoot, haha. For some reason it reminded me of when my brother got married, and hearing one of my new sister-in-law’s friends say that her new married name sounded like a businesswoman. We all cracked up and sometimes tease her with random things we think businesspeople say like, “BUY! SELL! BUY! SELL!”

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    1. Have you ever seen Romy and Michelle’s Highschool Reunion? It was one of my favourite films in the 90’s, and there is this hilarious scene where they put on “business women’s” suits and try to order a “business women’s special” at a diner… Always cracks me up!πŸ˜‰ Now I’ll add “Buy! Sell!” to that mental image!

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  7. This dress looks fantastic on you. It’s destined to be an indie-sew classic! I’ve loved seeing all the Appletons pop up on the internet the last day or so. I think Cashmerette has nailed it. Love the photos, by the way!!

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    1. Thanks!!!! I think she’s nailed it too – all those sewists who have been grading up the indie patterns just to have something to wear are going to LOVE her patterns!

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  8. Wow! The last picture of your business lady photo series is so gorgeous! I like smiling and funny shoots better usually, maybe because I feel like it gives a glimpse into a blogger personality… But that mad business lady photo is awesome!

    I love that pattern and I was thinking about sewing a wrap dress this year… I think I might be a size 12 for it (40-33-40 with 34G bra) so I might try it… I guess my demographic would be busty, swayback, hourglass but with thicker waist… I am usually 3 different sizes for a big4 pattern : 14 at bust (or 12 +FBA), 16 at waist and 12 at hips.

    The swayback and waist are easy to modify, it is the FBA that gives me trouble usually! I really think patterns company that offer the different pattern pieces for different bust cups are the best!!πŸ˜€

    I was happy when I found the Simplicity amazing fit patterns ; but now they do not sell them anymore in Fabricville😦

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    1. OOoh, sounds like this pattern will be perfect for you!!! I’m glad I went with a really stretchy rayon knit the first time, because it’s very forgiving.. my next one is going to be a more stable knit, but now I have a good idea of my size that should be fine!

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  9. Wear the business lady every day! You look gorgeous and this takes you into that professional zone you’ve been moving towards (also good for bending with kids!). It’s fantastic – fit is great.

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    1. Yes – this is totally a “oh, I have a meeting today” sort of dress! And as long as I wear a long coat for yard duty, it’s all good to go. (Who am I kidding, I’m always wearing a slip underneath, so even if the skirt flaps open, I’m all covered anyway!πŸ˜‰

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  10. Yes sway back with booty patterns are needed! And this dress looks smashing on you!

    I got fed up with testing patterns because so many designers were the opposite of what it sounds like your experience was! How fabulous!

    Can you tell me if the pattern gives finished measurements and/or the ease built into the garment? I am curious! Thank you!

    MaLora Ann

    >

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    1. I’m sorry you’ve had bad experiences with testing! I’ve only had one pattern where I felt like I had totally wasted my fabric and my time, because the fit was just so off and the pattern wasn’t something I was interested in. I do find it awkward to email people and list all the problems I’ve found – like, “Hi, I love the pattern, but how about changing these 10 things?” Everyone i’ve worked with has been responsive though! (Now I’m dying to know who you didn’t like testing for!)

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      1. To be fair, i have only tested for Thread Theory and Imagine Gnats for adult sized patterns (or maybe others but I forget if I did.) I tested for children’s patterns for a few years and found that very unrewarding. I shouldn’t be such a complainer! I volunteered repeatedly so who can I blame but myself?

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  11. Pssst, yours is my favorite so far. Pics are great too.

    I’m like you, at the top end of indie patterns. It’s my chest that puts me over the edge. I’m not huge (DD), but just busty enough that FBAs lead to their own set of fit challenges as you mentioned in your post.

    I’m thrilled that Jenny is addressing these issues in her drafting and am looking forward to her next release. I adore the Appleton, but don’t have a need for a dress at this time.

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    1. Thanks Beth! I just used p the leftover of this fabric to make a Jalie dolman top yesterday – wonder when people at work are going to start noticing all the fabric repeats!?

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  12. I really like this dress. You look great in it and what a fab use for that lovely fabric. I am exactly the demographic that Jenni is designing for big (haha!) and very busty. I am excited to try out this pattern but I will still have to do a small FBA (I think). I am just a bit worried that with my massive chest it will be too low for work as my office is quite conservative. I do love the pattern size range for this and to have a dress that needs very little in the way of fitting is a bit like finding the Holy Grail to me. Great stuff!

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  13. This is the CUTEST DRESS! I’ve been bitten by the wrap dress bug, but I’m always so paranoid about them fitting well (i.e., not gaping – I don’t want to have to wear a camisole all the time). I’m JUST in the size range, but rarely do I see patterns where the body measurements for one size perfectly align with mine… I might need to give it a go!

    (And it’s so funny that this is from the same day as the dress that launched the Better Photos Project – this whole shoot looks amazing!)

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    1. I literally took these pics, changed in the car (Picture taking off a wrap dress in a car, if you can!) then when and took those crap shots for the other dress! So strange.
      If you are in the size range, then you should definitely try this dress! I”m super paranoid about necklines at work, and this stayed put all day.

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  14. Love love love this dress, and your photos are fabulous!!! I’m right on the lower end of Jenny’s size range and am really interested in reading about the sizing/fit – my full bust measurement is *just* big enough for her size 12 C/D cup and I’m wondering whether this means it’d be too big across the shoulders (my proportionately narrowest point – waist and hips will not be a problem!) So any thoughts you have on the fit in that area would be most welcome – and I’m really looking forward to your next post about it anyway!

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    1. I found the shoulders nice and trim – you can see in my inside-out pics in teh next post that they sit just in the right spot. It’s definitely way snugger than what you’ve been rocking over the past year though – but it’s a great pattern!

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  15. Love this on you! The proportions look perfect, and you fabric is also perfect! I’ve been on the hunt for good wrap dress fabrics and grrrr… not having luck!

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    1. What kind of fabric are you looking for? Solid? Print? I think mid-weight rayon spandex like this works well – drapes nicely, doesn’t cling too much…

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  16. Looks great, Gillian! I can’t believe we both sewed up C/D cup sizing and it worked because you are much bustier than me (I think), I guess that’s the magic of jersey! I really like your idea for a pattern company, though at least jenny does have the built in sway back so we just have to alter for the big booty. haha.

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  17. This looks great on you! It’s really a nice style. Unfortunately I’m not in Jenny’s demographic (I’m more likely classified in the Waiting to Hit Puberty demographic) but this seems like it will address a sorely-neglected crowd of people!

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    1. You’ll just have to console yourself about not fitting Cashmerette by sewing all the adorable European designs that don’t fit me!πŸ˜› But seriously, it’s great that there are so many companies to chose from and we can all find something good for us!

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  18. This looks absolutely gorgeous! I wonder if the combo of black and white helped the camera meter the light properly? Anyway, beautiful dress and photos.πŸ™‚

    I don’t think anyone’s ever going to design for my body type—stubby torso and long limbs.πŸ˜‰ but I won’t whine too much as I don’t have to fuss with FBAs.πŸ˜‰

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  19. Ha ha ha ha- Jesus flamingo business lady! I love it!

    Your dress looks great and this is one of your best photo shoots!

    Not only did we pick similar fabrics, but we also cut the same size. TWINSIES!

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  20. I love the fabric on your dress. You look really great in it. I would love to see someone design for apple shaped people regardless of bust size. Personally I have a flat chest so I am fine with commercial patterns or may have to do a slight small bust adjustment. I do not see a pattern company’s address thicker waists even though getting menopot as it sometimes called, is quite common as we age. Vogues little square symbol seems to be the rarest.

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    1. Ahh, what a great idea for a pattern company! It’s true, so many patterns are for a)slender rectangular figures or b)hourglass/pear. Hmmm… Are you listening, designers???

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  21. What a great dress, it suits you perfectly and I love the photos!
    I’m having a huge, fangirly urge to buy this pattern, even though I’m right at the edge of sizing. I have this fabric that really wants to be a wrap dress, and I’ve been procrastinating on it, because my Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress pattern really doesn’t fit all that nicely. It gapes. And Jenny’s size 12 is almost exactly to my measurements. Which is batteling against my sensible, “but you already have a wrap dress pattern, you only need to get the fit right” voice…πŸ˜‰

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    1. Come on, buy it! Getting the fit right is never all that simple, and I think you and I are similarly proportioned enough that this would be great on you too!

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  22. I cannot believe I am actually considering sewing a knit dress. I mean, I even laundered the fabric!

    As for missing demographic – how about 9 year old girls who are tall enough to fit junior’s sizes, but there is no way in hell I’m dressing her like a teenage girl patterns?

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  23. Maybe it’s the blogs I read, but yours is the first one I’ve seen! I’m definitely on the bustier end of whatever my size is now (I don’t even know anymore), and for all the time I’ve been sewing, I’ve never quite been able to get the hang of FBAs. I may have to pick this one up, since it looks like a great match for one of the fabrics I brought back from Paris last year. And great for nursing!

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  24. Holy super model! Gillian, you look great in this dress, it looks very expensive. Jenny did a fabulous job of fit…What a knockout! Seriously… I think it is absolutely wonderful that there are niche patterns out.. This pattern may not work for me but I think I will look closer at the sizing chart for my sister… It would be so nice to be able to sew her a gorgeous dress like this that wouldn’t gape on her. I think she will have a new dress for her bir

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    1. birthday. Not sure why that went to publish before I finished…anyways. I can’t say enough how great this dress is on you. And your pictures are stunning.

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  25. Your dress is so pretty!! I love the fabric you used–it adds another very modern and high-end dimension to the dress. And it fits so beautifully, too!

    I am really loving the tester versions I’ve seen of this pattern. It’s wonderful to see a stylish offering for a curvy demographic that is inclusive of the FBA pattern work as standard for so many cup sizes. (FBAs may be an oft-needed adjustment, but they are still work that a sewer has to put into the pattern and, once you get into bigger cup sizes, can be so unwieldy when it comes to managing dart uptake, etc.) And the drafting details that Jenny has shared–three different blocks!!–are indicative of a thoughtful design process, which is very exciting (and appeals to my inner patternmaking nerd).πŸ˜‰ I’m not the demographic, but I seriously can’t wait to see what Cashmerette comes out with next!

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  26. This looks fantastic on you Gillian, and I love love love your photos!! The business woman doing things kills me! You could totally be in a J.Peterman catalogue! Also I don’t think you need to defend yourself in anyway, this pattern totally looks like something you would buy/wear anyway, and I also know you are great at being honest with your reviews.

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    1. Thanks hon. I never know quite what people will think about pattern testing posts – like, yes, it’s biased, but only because I really like the pattern!

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