Happy birthday, Cashmerette patterns! Jenny posted today that it’s one year since her first pattern release (there’s a sale!) and it got me thinking about all the many things I’ve sewn from her patterns in the last 12 months.
What I like most about Jenny’s patterns (and no, this isn’t sponsored – it’s pure fangirl love) is that the fit is good straight from the package. I tend to sew a 14e/f at the bust and grade to a 16 at the waist and hips – that’s one cup size larger than the measurements suggest, but otherwise following the suggested size for my 42-37-47 figure.) Because the fit is good, Cashmerette has become my go-to as the base for hacks or adaptations, as you’ll see!
The first Cashmerette pattern was the Appleton Wrap Dress! The black and white one is my tester version in rayon jersey, and has been a favourite for meetings and look-professional-at-work days. The middle dress is my maxi/sleeveless hack sewn for my birthday… and the third version is a Japanese-inspired print I sewed last fall.
- Beautifully drafted pattern, and the skirt has never revealed too much!
- The pattern is somewhere between sex-on-a-stick and business-wear. It all depends on the fabric and your attitude that day! I have seen so many women look great in this dress.
- The skirt is quite a slim fit, so for me it takes a bit of confidence to feel comfortable.
- I need to go a cup-size up when I sew it in something more stable like ITY… if there isn’t enough fabric over the bust, then the neckline becomes more revealing… which would be fine except all my bras have quite a high bridge and it tends to show!
Next came the Washington dress. I’ve never found the right combination of fabrics for the yoked skirt as drafted… but this pattern is worth it for the snug bodice alone. In the blue dress I paired it with a 1/2 circle skirt and used clear elastic to ruche the neckline into a gentle V. The black and white version is cut with a free-handed higher neckline.
- For me, what sets the bodice apart from other similar t-shirt dress patterns is that there is significant extra length in the front to go over the bust, and the built-in FBA gives a great fit at the underarm.
- Consider going a size up for a looser fit like in the black-and-white dress… otherwise it’s quite formfitting!
Next is my all-time fav: the Concord tee! So basic but so good. The green one is my tester version, and convinced me that a high neckline might actually work on me. The stripe quickly became my most-worn shirt last winter. Both are sewn in rayon, so the fit is slightly loose, which I prefer.
More stripes! The coral version has little clear sequins in the red stripes, and the floral was sewn for Cali Fabrics blog this summer.
And finally my favourite variations: dresses! The greeney-blue sleeveless dress has a triangular wrap that gives nice definition over the bust and waist. The floral one is an extended version of the tunic pattern, sewn in textured ponte. Most worn of all, the coral and black version is just a t-shirt with a ruffle at the hem!
- The shaping at the side seams is SO GOOD.
- I taught this pattern in t-shirt classes this summer, and it was really easy for beginners and the sizing chart gave them a good fit every time.
- I find the shoulder ever-so-slightly wide on me, but I actually think that it visually balances my wider hips a bit.
- I’ve got a sweater-knit cardigan hack on the way…
- Even though the pattern has lots of variations, like a curved or cropped hem, sleeve tab, 3 necklines and 3 sleeve lengths, I’ve stuck almost exclusively to the high neck and 3/4 sleeve. I just love the proportions!
And… that’s it! Turns out that I didn’t sew the 3 other patterns for myself. I sewed two Springfield tanks for my sister, and it’s a solid pattern. I tested the Upton, and it would be my first choice if I was going to a wedding or something where I wanted to look elegant… but for my everyday wardrobe I like a more modern silhouette. Finally, I chicken-out of testing the new button up shirt, but I’ve got the pattern and the class now, and I plan to give shirt-making a try this winter!
(On a side note, looking through these old pics reminded me of all I learned through doing the Better Pictures Project – and I feel like that work paid off in the form of , well, better pictures! You can find all of last year’s posts about photography here.)
At this very minute, Jenny and her professional pattern drafter are drawing up the next 6 patterns… and I can’t wait to see what they are! If one day my wardrobe can be mostly Cashmerette, I’ll be a happy girl. In the mean time, this post has reminded me of some great fall clothes that I need to dig out of storage and start wearing again!
What are your favourite pattern companies? In addition to Cashmerette, I’d have to add Jalie and Closet Case Files. I could happily make a wardrobe with just those three!