Mini-Wardrobe for the Windy City

My daughter lives in Chicago, about 3 hours away from me, and sewing for her long distance has been a challenge because I've really needed her to be present for fitting.  Of course, everyone dreams of finding a pattern that will fit perfectly right out of the envelope, but that becomes even more important when you are making something for someone when that person can't be there in person!


In my quest to find such a pattern, I decided to try out Cashmerette patterns.  These patterns are designed for sizes 12-28 and have three cup size options for C/D, E/F, and G/H- one of the only companies that caters to larger sizes and includes variations for cup sizes!  I was very excited to see if this could be the "one" that I've been searching for!


I started out with The Upton Dress- a fit and flare dress with neckline and skirt variations.  We decided to go with a black and white color scheme, and I had this fantastic graphic cotton print with big black and white circles and a single flower per panel.  I've probably had this fabric for 10 years, and could never figure out what to do with it, but it's time had come!  I could envision it in this dress!  I decided on the pleated skirt version,  and I only had enough fabric for the skirt portion. But I did have a black and white floral stretch twill that I thought could be a nice pairing. Because I was using a stretch fabric for the bodice, I cut the dress size one size smaller than indicated, and it fit perfectly!  Here's the back- you can see that it fits so nicely!


I was able to eliminate the back zipper.  Otherwise, I made no changes. The directions are very thorough, but since I wasn't using a zipper, I used these instructions for lining a sleeveless dress with no zipper .  They are very clever, and make adding a lining quick and easy.

So, the next pattern to try was the Concord T-Shirt.  This is a real workhorse of a pattern with sleeve, neckline and length variations.  This really could be the one and only t-shirt pattern that she would ever need!  However, this one tends to be very close fitting, so I chose the size larger than recommended for her full bust/cup measurement, and I'm glad that I did.  Here is the longest length of the shirt with the 3/4 sleeves.  The bottom is finished with separate hem facing pieces which make it easier to get the curved hem to lay smoothly.


This fabric was one of Fabric Mart's pre-cut specials, so you might recognize it!  You can see that the fit on the bust is good, but the sleeves are a little snug.  This is the scoop neck version.   How great is the fit in the bust, neck and shoulders?!?  If you are full busted and have used commercial patterns, you have probably found that if you make the size that corresponds with your bust measurement, the shoulders and neck tend to be way too big.  Therefore, you either need to adjust the bust, or adjust the neck/shoulders, and getting that right can be tricky.  This is not so with the Cashmerette patterns!  They have done the work for you.


I tried it again with a larger size on the sleeves, and that was a much more comfortable fit. This version was made with the high neck, middle length and short sleeves, using an ITY knit from Fabric Mart.  The background is at Ipsento 606 in Chicago.  In fact all of the photos are around the 606- a public park made from a reclaimed rail line above the city streets that offers Chicagoans a place to stroll, jog, walk the dogs, and enjoy art! 



Lastly, I thought she could use a nice basic tank top, so I tried the Springfield Top.  This is designed for woven fabrics, and the finished garment measurements only included 1-1/4" of ease, which sounded a little dubious to me.  But, I made a muslin first, using the size recommended based on her full bust/cup size measurements, and it was too small.  But oddly enough, it was only too small in the back.  The front fit beautifully.  So, I did a broad upper back adjustment using this tutorial.  I've never done one of these before, but it was definitely the right fix.  It added about 2", but only in the back.



Here's a view of the 606 from the ground below.  The access points from the street level are all beautifully landscaped as well.  This tank top is made from a polyester peachskin that was also in the pre-cut selections.  The original pattern includes a band across the bottom and separate pieces in the back, so that you could do pattern mixing or color blocking.  But I just joined those pieces together to have a one piece front and back. 




So, she now has a mini wardrobe for summer life in Chicago in black and white!  She also likes to sew, so I'm going to give her these patterns pre-tested, so that she can confidently sew them up without fitting worries!  Of course, fabrics all have differing properties, so she'll still have to make decisions based on the stretch of each fabric she chooses, but having a baseline for each pattern style will make life a lot simpler.

If you have a full bust, I highly recommend trying the Cashmerette pattern line!  You may still have to do some tweaking, like I did, but not much.  And if you are in Chicago, look for my daughter on the 606 and say "Hi!"

Happy Sewing!
Ann

My Sewing Staycation


I had 10 days off of work in March, and instead of taking a fabulous vacation, I took a sewing staycation, and I got a  Spring mini-wardrobe done!  Here's probably my favorite of the bunch:


There are so many new trends that I was itching to try, and I'd been collecting some patterns for them.  Flounces, cropped pants, and asymmetrical hemlines are all trends that I wanted to try out this Spring. I had two woven prints in four yard cuts- one in white and grey, and one in blue and black- all from FabricMart Fabrics precut fabric selections.  So, these formed the basis for my tops and then I added in some solids for the bottoms to go with them