Introducing the Cashmerette Lenox Dress

Edit: The Montgomery dress had to be renamed to the Lenox dress. The url reflects the old name, but I have updated my blog post for the new name.

Let’s get this out of the way… Yes, I tested this. Yes, I received the pattern for free. Yes, I am biased. But seriously, it’s a shirtdress and I was going to be biased toward the pattern anyway. And sure I am biased, because I am friends with Jenny and I’ve tested for Cashmerette for a while. I am biased because the fit with her patterns is usually really good and works for me. I am biased because I get the patterns for free. I dgaf. This dress rocks.

The Lenox shirtdress has so many great features: princess seams in the front and back, a back yoke, a waistband, full collar and collar stand option, gathered or pleated skirt option, banded sleeves, v-neck shaping on the button band, and pockets. My go-to shirtdress before now has been the M6696, which I have made several times before. To be honest, I’ve never quite achieved a great fit there. I’ve gotten a good fit, but not a great fit. There are some issues I have with the pattern overall. The side-seam pockets are really shallow and the one time I used them I almost replaced them afterwards because my phone fell out. The back of the dress is pretty puffy due to the gathers. I’ve always meant to go back and alter that part, but generally forget. I also don’t really love the shape of the button band with the collar. If you button it all the way, the collar chokes a bit. In comparison, M7084, which I used for my wedding dress, is a bit closer to what I want in a shirtdress, but my fit on that was still not great and again the collar was a bit high. The Lenox dress sort of hits all my wants in a shirtdress. I was sick at the time I tested it, but could not say no to doing it so I powered through.

The yoke is sewn on using a burrito method and there is an inside waistband for two really great finishes to make the insides pretty. A shirtdress with these details is a time-consuming creation, but completely worth every second you spend on it.

For my tester version, I used the full collar with the gathered skirt. I did french seams throughout except for the sleeves. I find that can be a bit difficult and wasn’t worth my trouble for the tester version. I finished the seams at the armholes with pinking sheers. I made the dress using a white cotton that I got from a friend purging her stash.

After I was done testing, I put the dress on a hanger and left it unhemmed for a bit. I didn’t really feel keen to wear a plain white shirtdress in spite of the fact that when I started I wanted just that. I decided it would need something for me, the colour nut, to wear it comfortably.

Then Ciara posted about the beading she added to her dress. Add to that, all the embroidery I was obsessing over through pinterest and instagram. I kept pinning designs of varying levels of difficultly. I decided to use a variegated embroidery floss in all the colours and do very simple lines of Xs along the collar, arm bands, waistband and hem, as well as using the floss to put the buttons on with an X as well. At first, I was going to do two lines of the Xs at the hem, but several hours later and a pair of sore arms, I just left it at one line. The embroidery details are subtle and lovely. It gives it enough of a pop of colour that I don’t feel like I am wearing a plain white dress.

I'm really excited about how this is turning out. #embroidery #sewing #sewcialists

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I’m really happy with how it turned out and want to make a few dozen more. I wish I had a crazy fabric budget right now since I want linen like crazy to make another version. I’m going through a linen fabric obsession right now. It’s just so lovely to work with and wear.

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirt dress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

I will say that the pictures here are showing weird fit issues that don’t actually exist. I had just cleaned a bunch and was all sore and red from that. I may not have buttoned it correctly since my fingers tend to have issues after cleaning.

This picture taken this morning reflects the bust fit better:

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There is some rippling along the princess seams, likely from doing french seams and not getting it flat enough.

Expect to see several more versions of this dress  on the blog. I’m getting through my large UFO piles right now, though. Some things in that pile have lingered for almost a year. I got through a bunch of things this weekend and am still working my way through it. Let’s just say the pile is deep…

I’m Alive!!

The tale I have to tell you.

2017 has been horrible so far, but things are finally feeling a bit better. Back in December, I got sick. I had a cold over Christmas. I didn’t think anything of it, but then January and February I got worse and worse until I couldn’t walk in February and was having such a difficult time with breathing and I was coughing so much. I wrote about it a bit in my last post back in February. Turns out I had pneumonia, but getting to that point of diagnosis was ridiculous. I didn’t have a fever at all, but I generally have a lower body temperature than the norm. I found out my dad has that as well. In February, I saw my GP several times and saw my respiralogist. Neither of them thought I needed a chest xray because the cough has been present for 9 months and I didn’t have a fever. I told them I was sweating and having chills, but I was checking out okay at a temp of 37.5 degrees celcius, which is high for me. I’m usually around 36 and rarely up at 37.

Eventually, I got diagnosed after going to the ER because my coughing was causing pain in my abdomen, a mild hernia. I got a CT scan and a chest xray and both showed pneumonia in my left lung.

I missed a month of work in total… Not good.

I got back to work and then ended up in the ER again after 2 days back because I sneezed and pulled a muscle in my back/dislocated a rib. It was terrible. I also got costochondritis, inflammation in the rib cartilage from coughing so much, and I still have that and a sore lower back. When you have a chronic illness, getting sick is so much worse and takes so much longer to recover…

I’ve been back to work for two full weeks. I had a migraine this morning, though, but I still feel like things are getting better.

I have little to no desire to sew. It was all I thought of while I was confined to my bed, but now that I am better….meh to sewing apparently!

Here is a recap of what I have sewn this year, though, since I won’t be writing individual posts on things (sorry, I need the spoons):

A blue Cashmerette Upton dress made with the same polyester fabric I used for the Star Trek uniform I made in the fall. I had 12 yards of this fabric so you’re going to see it pop up other places. 😉 I just love this pattern. I have many more plans for it. This version uses the gored skirt. I left the zipper off, because the fabric has some mechanical stretch to it. I’m also still perfecting the length of those waist darts and the width of the neckline, but overall I am pleased with how it looks on me and how I feel in it.

I made two bullet journal pen holders. The black and white bunny one is for my friend, Selina, who loves bunnies. Her holder has velcro on the back. I didn’t have white velcro handy for mine though so it ties around the journal. I’m going to switch that out eventually since it does not sit flat. These holders are great scrapbusters and took me a half hour to make both of them.

I made several of these Burda sweatshirts, which were part of my #2017makenine. I left the zipper off, because it’s not necessary and I didn’t want to struggle with it and the knit fabric. It’s a nice boxy sweater and comfortable. I made a size 52 and graded to a 48 at the shoulders. My first version was pretty large in the shoulders.

But the versions after worked out well.

I didn’t take final pictures of two of these, but you can see the colour combos below. All are made either with sweatshirt, terry, fleece, or cotton lycra with ribbing in various colours. The blue sweatshirt material with black brush strokes is the same material as my Golden Rippy Omega Angel jacket. The material is from 1986! I’m bringing the 80s back. 😉

I designed a couple of future dream projects using my curvy sketchbook:

Spent the day home feeling terrible but had fun sketching this design. #sewing #sewcialists #curvysketchbook

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Mostly, I’ve been making cards and enjoying that part of my creativity and the amazing team of people I am a part of with Stampin’ Up. Yep, I signed up as a demonstrator since I kept giving them my money. Hahah. It’s also been such a positive experience being part of a great team. It’s really helped getting cards from my team members while I was sick. ❤ It’s also a really great time to craft and be social.

I’ll be doing some small cardmaking classes in Toronto. I have one coming up on April 30th. If you live close by and just want a fun easy project to work on and want to be social, you are more than welcome. Feel free to contact me for more information.

I’m hoping my sewjo returns soon, but I’m glad that I’m feeling better every day. I do tend to sew more in the summer, because I want all the summer dresses.  I am still lacking in a lot of energy, but it’s getting better especially with the weather getting better and Spring in the city. I used some precious spoons this weekend to clean up my deck and prep for the flowers and herbs I will be putting back there. I’ve been enjoying my indoor plants and finding joy in the small things.

The happiest little corner ever. 😍😍😍 #plants #indoorplants

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I also really appreciate the notes I got and the well wishes. Friends sent me flowers, brought soup over, and I got a stuffed fox from one, too. It made being sick for that long easier knowing how much people cared. ❤ Thanks all for your emails, comments, and well-wishes.

 

Cashmerette Turner Dress for the Holidays

The Turner dress was the last garment I made in 2016 and the first refashion I did in 2017! Haha. I’ll get to why I refashioned it later in the post. All of the pictures in this post are mirror selfies fyi, because it’s cold outside and I am in hibernation mode so the fact that I am taking pictures at all is a huge thing. I never promised professional photography here people!

I tested the Turner dress in March before leaving for my honeymoon in April. I brought the tester version with me a wore it a bunch while in Holland and around Scandinavia. I don’t even have a picture of me in the dress there except covered by a coat, because I was too worried about accidentally posting it on instagram before the release.

Cashmerette Turner Dress

Cashmerette Turner Dress

Ignore the wool socks with flipflops. These pictures were taken in March last year and it was cold! The fabric I used for my tester version was a navy ponte with enough stretch for the pattern. I picked it up at the thrift store. I love finding good scores there.

I made size 22 E/F graded to a 24 at the waist. My friend’s version is the same size.

The pattern goes together really quickly. There’s clear elastic at the waist to stabilize it. Debbie of Stitches and Seams, however, didn’t use elastic at all and has a stable seam. I think with the right fabric you could definitely follow her method. I’m allergic to the clear elastic so I just used regular latex free elastic. Likely this ponte fabric as well as the ponte fabric I made my friend’s dress out of are totally fine without elastic.

Turner Dress

Both of these are lined bodices. I added pockets to my friend’s dress, because pockets are amazing.

The week before Christmas, I went to Fabricland at Honest Ed’s. It was having a closing sale so I picked up this pretty rayon poly knit:

I figured it was perfect for a Christmas dress that would look good beyond Christmas.

Sadly, there are no more Fabriclands within a good distance from me. The most accessible one for me, I believe, would be at Dupont and Dufferin, but that is an hour from my place by transit. I am still really close to Toronto’s Fashion District, but it is often difficult to find sales or even printed knit fabric that isn’t completely polyester. Hopefully a Fabricland will appear again in a more accessible location sometime soon.

It wasn’t until Christmas day that I was certain that I would be making this dress. I was sick most of the holidays and it’s irritated my breathing issues and made them worse again. So it wasn’t until around 1pm on Christmas Day that I decided to start making it when we were leaving for dinner at my husband’s sister’s house at 3pm. I got it done at 2pm! Before your jaw drops off, I already had it cut out. 😉 I also did a modified neckline and used the scoopneck from my concord t shirt pattern and the band. I also cut out a 22 G/H graded to a 24 at the waist since my size had changed slightly since the last time I made it.

Turner Dress

It worked out really well and we were out the door in time. But as the night went on, the dress stretched and stretched….. and the knit fabric had zero recovery… so it looked a bit like an off the shoulder dress after a while… I wore it one more time to work and then tossed it in a corner to be fixed.

Turner Dress with sad fabric recovery fail

Inspired by Gillian’s recent series Lazy tip for fixing knits, I had to make it work! The best way to fix it in my mind was to do two things: stabilize the shoulders with some elastic (probably should have done that in the first place! HAHA) and replace the neckband with a cowl to cover up an modesty issues that may arise with the recovery issue. I didn’t take off the neckband when I put the cowl on because I was worried about it stretching out further, but I did serge it off.

Turner dress with cowl neckline

Turner Dress

Turner Dress

I definitely like the refashion and might actually do this again for another Turner dress with a slightly different shape for the cowl. I love cowl necklines so I call this a win.

The cowl is also long enough that I can hide in it. I think this will be useful for the winter hibernation.

Turner Dress Cowl Peekaboo

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Turner Dress
  • Pros: Super fast pattern. Great shape and style. Really good for large busts with the cup sizes.
  • Cons: The pattern itself doesn’t come with pockets, but it’s easy enough to add. Like most Cashmerette patterns, the neckline and shoulder are wide, but that is an easy fix.
  • Make again?: Definitely. It’s a great dress and a great base for some fun pattern hacks. 🙂
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars

Verity Dress Plus Sized Re-launch by Moxie Patterns

Disclaimer: Received the pattern for free. Opinions my own. Dragons were not harmed in the making of this dress.

My blog has a contact form and occasionally I get contacted by companies for weird promotional purposes. It’s pretty rare that happens and I usually actually ignore the emails. I know, terrible, but sometimes they have nothing at all to do with sewing so why would I even bother wasting my spoons on people that are clearly spamming anyone with a blog? I’ve been contacted about posting promo for men’s fashion, women’s fashion, ray bans, etc. Recently, Rebecca, the creator/owner of Moxie patterns, contacted me for a pattern testing opportunity about her increased size range for the Verity dress plus a new collar. I generally leap at free stuff and decided to go for this. I will say, though, I’m probably not going to leap at future pattern testing unless it is from Cashmerette or Muse Patterns. I’ve had a lot of spoons go toward it lately and I really need to focus on an accessible wardrobe instead of the next new and shiny new pattern. Of course, I am a magpie and generally have trouble saying no to the next new and shiny. If I go back on that, please remember I am a weak human creature.

verity-dress

The Verity pattern grabbed me because it reminded me of my favourite ModCloth pattern, the Coach Tour dress (fyi, none of these are affiliate links…I’m not making money from my blog at all). Back in the day, when I was buying clothes instead of making everything, the Coach Tour dress was my favourite ModCloth dress. I got a similar looking dress from eShakti later on, because the $60 US price tag was a big rich for my blood. eShakti dress was purchased on sale during a buy one get 2 free sale so it was afforadable. I also added sleeves to it. I still wear it to this day because it’s a gorgeous red. But every time I wear it, people ask me if I made it and I have to say no… I would buy ModCloth on sale and then take a hit with customs prices. I also loved the Windy City dress and actually had it in a bunch of colours and styles (okay…three). So if someone out there could make a knock off pattern for that or recommend one for 51 inch bust…that’d be great!

Back to the Verity dress. I had trouble saying “No, I can’t test this as I really need to make new bras and a swimsuit and costumes for the end of October and a crib set for a friend…” So I didn’t… I said YES and made grabby hands motions.

Although, I did make sure that Rebecca was okay with the fact that anything I post anywhere is accompanied by my honest opinion of the pattern. She was! So I hunted for fabric for it, because clearly I suck at stashbusting…

I found this lovely soft cotton/rayon knit at a local store.

It’s medium weight with a quilting texture and is super soft. It was a bit more that I was looking to spend for a pattern test, but it was definitely the right choice for the dress.

Rebecca has really made the instructions for the pattern great for beginners. A person of any level can sew this dress with all the detail in the instructions. She also includes alternative options and ways of constructing the dress so that if one way seems too complicated for a beginner, they can try another way. Or if you prefer one method over the other, it helps to see the two methods there. For experienced sewers, there are shorter instructions in the style of say…Burda or StyleArc where it tells you sew up side seams instead of taking you through how with pictures. Of course, all these details make for an incredibly long instruction booklet. I would recommend viewing it digitally if you want to save paper. The pdf pattern is 60 pages as well as the 42 page instruction booklet. That’s a lot of paper! The pattern includes three different sleeve lengths, as well as sleeveless options, shirt versions and a dress version. The sleeves are puffed and have bands. You can also make it with various neckline options: band, cowl, split cowl like the ModCloth dress, and the new peter pan collar version. There is gathering under the bust, a waistband, gathering at center back, and a circle skirt.

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

 

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

For my test version, I chose to make the dress with elbow length sleeves and a split cowl neckline. You will notice in the pictures that the sleeves are not puff sleeves or elbow length (in the picture of my back, the sleeves are bunched up slightly to the elbow; they are readjusted for other pictures). The issue with puffed sleeves has been resolved in the final pattern, I am told, as well Rebecca said that she was going to deal with the length of the sleeves/skirt. I am also 5’4″ so on the short side with tyrannosaurus arms so take that into consideration. This is something I told Rebecca to take into consideration for the length. The pattern is drafted with a 5’6″ height in mind.

20161025_162748

I really enjoyed making the dress. I made it in one evening including cutting using my serger for the most part. I used my machine for stitching the collar with a lightening bolt stitch. I just serged the hem. I originally was going to do a proper hem, but the fabric isn’t flipping and the hem looks pretty good as is so I’ve decided to leave it as is.

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

In terms of fit, it’s pretty good. I actually am between a 5X and a 6X in this pattern. The extended sizes go up to 8X or a 57.5 inch bust. I settled on making a 6X. Looking at the fit of this, I’d definitely size down next time since I have no negative ease in the bust and have a bit of positive ease in certain places. I was very impressed with how the shoulder fit on the dress. I didn’t need to narrow the shoulder at all!!! I usually narrow the shoulder by about 1-2 inches on any pattern I use. The only adjustment I made was to cut the length for 3X instead of 6X, because I was pretty sure I would need to shorten it. Even with that, it ended up longer than the above the knee length of the pattern photos, but, like I said, that is something that was adjusted for the final pattern.

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

As I have stated in the past, I don’t do a star-rating system for test patterns, but when I make the pattern again, because I will make it again using the final released pattern, I will give it a star rating at that point. I have a brilliant idea of making it out of some gorgeous two-tone stretch velvet for a classy winter dress. There is some locally that I might splurge on for my birthday next month!

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

Anyone else get Western vibes from my dress? 😀 Do-si-do!

The increased size range with the peter pan collar is available in the Moxie Patterns Etsy store along with the straight size version or through Creative Notions, Rebecca’s blog.

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

Introducing Blank Slate Pattern’s Auberley dress

Disclaimer: I received the Auberley dress pattern in exchange for testing. All my opinions and cheese are my own. Stay away from my cheese.

I do pattern testing already for Muse Patterns and Cashmerette Patterns. Both are run by sewing friends who I adore. I was pretty sure for a while that I wouldn’t do any more testing. Recently, before the Rue Pattern was released, Colette Patterns put out a call for pattern testers. I almost filled out the form. I’m so glad I didn’t, because I don’t think the pattern would work for me (or possibly anyone…) and I am not certain that “testers” were used for much beyond promotional purposes.

When I test a pattern, I expect my feedback to be taken into consideration and help make the pattern better. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled with two wonderful companies that really respect the testing process and take time to make changes to the pattern before the pattern is released. I can confirm that Cashmerette and Muse do this and both really appreciate their testers. It never feels like work. Instead, it is an exciting process and I get patterns I love out of it. See examples of all my Muse Patterns and Cashmerette patterns garments for proof of how much I love testing for these two companies.

Recently, Susan from Blank Slate put up a call for testers in the Curvy Sewing Collective facebook group. They specifically needed testers at the higher range of their sizes. Susan described it as “babydoll dress/tunic pattern with a square neckline, princess seams, and bell sleeves” and my heart went “I fucking want that right fucking now.” My heart swears a lot…and so does my mouth…

The turn around time was pretty tight. The post was up on September 17th and then I provided my feedback by September 25th. Originally, the feedback was due by the 21st, but a pattern change happened right in the middle of testing along with a change in the neckline and it got us all a sweet extension.

Pattern testing with Blank Slate was pretty different from anything I’ve experienced before. It was actually such a great process and testers got to see results as we were testing in the pattern. I used up a lot more muslin (thrifted bed sheets) than I ever have during a testing process, but it was a great learning process. It prompted me to finally print off my Marigold dress/top/skirt pattern for a sweet flowy peplum top. I will need to make some adjustments, but I am pretty confident in the pattern drafting and that it will work out. I’ve already been in love with Michelle’s dress version for a while.

All of this is to say that I’m really pleased with the process and, as long as timing is right, I hope to do more testing with Blank Slate in the future.

Testing the pattern also came during a major slump in my sewing. I haven’t posted in a while and well…. I have so little to show for all the sewing I have done and I’ve done so much sewing…. I have four or five (lost count) unfinished objects (UFOs) and several pieces cut out. I have two pairs of shorts and one pair of cropped pants on the go that will likely not be worn out of the house until the summer and still nothing finished. I’m dying here. Some of it is fit issues, others are sewing issues (like my serger decided to drop stitches and I need to resew because all the stitches are popping but I have to change my thread back to the other colour first to finish it…), and others are cutting the god damn wrong size of waistband for three damn skirts when I have no more of the damn fabric left to cut it out again…. SMH! It’s just been a series of unfortunate events and Count Olaf is off laughing in a corner somewhere.

Testing this pattern has revitalized me thankfully. My final fit isn’t perfect, but I love the dress and really love the style so I can go forward with confidence now and finish those UFOs.

The construction of the Auberley dress is pretty straight forward. It doesn’t have any zippers and simply pulls over your head. For the tester version, I was asked to sew it up as is. Susan did ask if that was okay given my shoulder issues and I figured I could go back and add a zipper if I absolutely needed it. I have found pulling the tester over my head isn’t too difficult, but I will be putting a side zipper in my next versions. The bodice has princess seams and is lined giving the notched neckline a lovely finish. The skirt is an empire waisted gathered skirt and there are ties at the back. The sleeves have two options: long bell sleeves, which I used for my tester version, and elbow length straight sleeves. In the hack pack, there are two additional necklines: v-neck and scoop neck; and three sleeves: cold shoulder sleeve, and long or 3/4 length bishop sleeves with ties. Lots and lots of options there. Also pockets!

With my version, I did two muslins before sewing up this final version. I’m not 100% happy with the fit since there are some lines along the centre panel of the dress, which I think are a result of two things: 1) the front panel needs to be widened slightly so the princess seam is actually going through my apex and 2) the front panel needs to be shortened. I’m sure I will get many other helpful suggestions on how to fix the wrinkles, though.

Look at me play with the wrinkles:

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

What an hilarious outtake! My husband took these pictures before we went to the new Second City show Come What Mayhem. Great show btw! Definitely a must see if you are in Toronto!

I also need to widen the sleeve a little bit since the upper arm is a bit tight and shorten it (although, my hands are in a fist in some of these pictures… I was cold). I used a size 26 sleeve. For reference, my upper bicep is 21 inches. In addition, I will widen the front skirt to match the gathering on the back skirt.

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

I started with a size 20 to match my upper bust and did a 5 inch FBA. I also added 2 inches to the side seams in order to make it easier to get over my head as well as have the size 26 sleeve fit. I used the size 26 skirt and ties, as well.

The fabric I used is a hunter green poly crepe that I got at the thrift store. It was a dream to sew. I have a navy blue poly crepe that might also become a Auberley dress, but I have a million ideas in my head right now so that might change!

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

I will reserve a full review for when I actually use the final pattern and try out the hack pack. I don’t assign a star rating to the test versions of patterns. I’m excited for more versions. One of the testers used a black lace in the front panel and sleeves and I really want to try something similar. I’d also like to lengthen the waist ties, too, so they wrap around the front. I see so many possibilities with the dress once the fit is completely tweaked. It will be a great winter dress to wear with some lovely leggings or knee high socks. I think I’m going to get some double guaze and some chambray and try out some fabrics I’ve never used before. Should be fun! I also am in love with the bishop sleeves so those are definitely going to be used like crazy.

 

 

Upton Maxi dress

Back on my honeymoon, I was 3 weeks away from my sewing machine and I started dreaming of what I would make when I returned. The fabric haul I brought back helped, of course, but I also dreamed about the fabric I already had, including this lovely bright print:

wpid-wp-1427156469871.jpeg

It’s definitely reminiscent of African wax prints, but I am not 100% sure if it is one. I forgot to ask and, quite frankly, at $5/metre, I doubt it is a wax print. Every wax print I saw while I was in the Netherlands was around 15 euros a metre or more and looking briefly online I see similar prices. I saw so many gorgeous wax prints in the Netherlands:

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I wanted to buy them all. As a result, my mind wandered back to this fabric I already had. I bought 5 metres of it without a clear idea in my head of what I would make, but it was only $25 so I just did it. I was 100% after my trip that it was screaming to become a maxi dress. Then Cashmerette released the Upton dress and Ashley announced the Maxi dress sewalong and I knew: an Upton maxi dress.

I’ve never worn or even tried a maxi dress on before in my life. I had a strange notion that because I was short and fat, it would make me look even shorter and fatter. Now I don’t give a flying beep about that. I just want to try new styles and stretch my fashion wings. So a maxi dress is perfect for getting over that fashion fear.

Usual disclaimer: I didn’t test the Upton pattern, because the timing was off for me, but I did receive it for free.

I’ll go into a more extensive review when I actually sew the entire dress, but for my maxi dress, I only used the bodice, didn’t even line it, completely ignored the instructions, and can only speak to how that worked out. I made two muslins for the bodice. One I tried the 24C/D graded to the 26 at the waist.

Another I made the 22G/H graded to the 24 at the waist (that one wasn’t even IG worthy!). Then I measured myself again and chose to make the 24G/H graded to the 26 at the waist and it was perfect:

Next version, I will narrow the shoulders and maybe do a forward shoulder adjustment, too.

I made extra darts at the armholes to get a good fit. I had this opinion that armhole darts are not ideal for some reason and should be avoided, but unless I am working with princess seams I really need them to get a good fit everywhere. My high bust to full bust to underbust ratio is extreme and my shoulders are narrow. With princess seams, I’m always shaving off a bit where the armhole meets the princess seam. It works well without a dart there for princess seams, but in a darted bodice, that extra dart at the armhole works so much better for me. Any flat pattern adjustments won’t quite get the right shape, because we are 3D beings. In patterns with sleeves, it’s a bit different as the sleeve generally pulls that extra fabric in, but in a sleeveless bodice with darts, I’m all for that armhole dart. It just looks better on me.

Again I had a horrible time with my zipper. I need more practice, but also my machine just does not want to work with zippers. It won’t feed them through for whatever reason. It’s not bulky and there is no thread in the way. It just hates zippers. I’ll figure out what the issue is eventually or get a new machine, but in the meantime I am trying to figure out how to perfect my lapped zippers. I’ve looked up many a tutorial and am ready to get better at it. I changed the zipper from a back zipper to a side lapped zipper. My mobility in my shoulder is pretty limited and I definitely have an easier time with the side zipper.

I’m slightly ashamed of my sewing on this dress. Neither of the waistband seams meet in the right place and the zipper is a bit of a mess. But there is no way I am ripping it out to make it perfect. The print hides everything so I will just wear it as is. I didn’t take any pictures of the mistakes either because they don’t really matter. If you zoom in on some of the pictures, you’ll probably see them anyway. If you really want to be like that.

For the skirt, I just gathered two panels of the fabric from selvage to selvage and attached them. I also added pockets because why wouldn’t you add pockets. I should have checked the skirt pieces on the pattern for pocket placement because they sit just slightly too low. I can still get my hands in, but for getting anything out of the bottom of the pocket, it’s a bit tricky. Trickier when you have mobility issues with your shoulder.

I also made a Muse Patterns Jenna cardi. My many versions of these are worn all the time. I got this pink knit content unknown from the thrift store. It’s a perfect addition to my wardrobe since I have many dresses that would work with it. Pink is totally a neutral for me. I don’t have buttons on it yet and am definitely wearing it around until I find the right ones. The cardigan fits with the stashbusting sewalong theme for the month of seasonal change and will help transition my dresses into the fall nicely. I can’t believe I am actually thinking about fall. I’ve pulled out a bunch more patterns for seasonal change so I am hoping to do some more fabric stashbusting. I’ve got one shelf in my stash almost half gone! It feels great! Almost all the fabric from my honeymoon is sewn up. Knits get sewn really fast for me. I’m trying to focus on wovens more lately, though, so I can stashbust those.

Prepare for a bunch of pictures of my maxi dress!!!

Jenna Cardi and Upton Maxi Dress

Jenna cardi and Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Excuse the picture dump, but I am stoked about the dress. I made it with v-neck back and front and finished the armholes and neckline with bias tape.

I’ll review the Upton dress properly when I actually make it in full.

 

 

 

Cashmerette Springfield Top (and some Concords)

Earlier this week, Cashmerette released the Springfield top. I was a tester for the pattern. It came at the exact time I needed it. I was on the look out for a tank top pattern for wovens. My issue with most woven tank top patterns is that they don’t go up to my size. The Springfield top goes up to 58″ bust and 58″ hip. It also has a version with really nice back yoke and princess seams. I really love the way the back adds shape. The front has bust darts and can have a bottom band for some interesting colourblocking. It’s also a great way of using a small amount of expensive fabric for a project. Recommended fabric requirements are under 2 yards for 60″ fabric and a little over 2 yards for 45″ fabric. However, if you use bias tape, you can reduce the amount by quite a bit. I was able to use 1.3 yards for the final top and 1 yard for the tester top (both were 60″ wide fabric) with bias tape instead of self-fabric bias tape.

My tester version is made with a colour palette fabric that was the first to make it into my stash with no project in mind. I got it in a swap and have been hoarding it since. It’s a rayon fabric and is quite lovely.

Springfield Top

Springfield Top

Springfield Top

Springfield Top

I really love the top. The tester version was a bit short for my taste, but I also like much longer tops.

We received the final version and I immediately made it up in a green leopard print rayon. It’s even drapier than the above and has an extremely soft texture to it. I’ll be posting a full review of the top over on the CSC in the next little bit. I’ll let you know when, but here is a preview of the final version. You can see the longer length.

Springfield Top

The wonderful thing about have a good fit in a woven tank top is being about to hack the pattern as well. I hacked the pattern into a tent dress and made a mock-up in cream linen with yellow birds stamped on it. Check it out:

Springfield Tent Dress

Springfield Tent Dress

Springfield Tent Dress

Springfield Tent Dress

Springfield Tent Dress

I love it. I used the tester version on this. I will be using the final version for future version because the darts fit me much better in that version. I’m not too happy with how the back fits so I will be making tweaks for my next version. I need more room back there for my butt. Ha!

I also made a few things from the Concord t-shirt pattern:

Concord tank dress in feathers fabric!

Concord Tank Dress

Concord Tank Dress

Concord Tank Dress

A 3/4 sleeve Concord tshirt in bunny fabric!

Concord T-Shirt

 

Concord T-Shirt

Concord T-Shirt

I also made a tank top using kitten fabric, but I need to redo the arm bands:

It’s nice to have my sewjo back. I also got a bunch of other things cut out:

Can’t wait to get those done! 😀