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!
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.
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
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.
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
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!"