Cashmerette Belmont Leggings

Today I am sharing my Cashmerette Belmont leggings. Earlier this week, I shared my Cedar Dolman top. Both the Cedar set and the Belmont set were released together and tested together. I haven’t tried the Cedar tank or the Belmont yoga pants, but both are on my list to try. As with the Cedar top, I tested the Belmont leggings and received the final pattern for free. But my opinions are my own and definitely not from a robot or created by predictive text. HA!

The Belmont leggings have side seams and inner seams as well as a separate waistband. I thought I would hate all those seams, but I actually don’t and it makes it easier to squeeze them into a small amount of fabric. My TNT leggings pattern has just one pattern piece. I took apart Old Navy leggings to make it. However, the inner seams on the legs twist about no matter the fabric type and the rise is always a bit off depending on the fabric. I was coming to the conclusion that I either needed to tweak it or finally find a good pattern for leggings when Jenny messaged me about the testing on the Belmont leggings.

I have tried Cake Patterns Espresso leggings and Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs and hated both. They were very tight, very long (hello 5’3″ here!), and just didn’t work out for me.

I’ll be honest, my tester version weren’t as good. Which is why I am so never sharing them here! I do have pictures of me with the waistband pulled up really high that are funny, but I’d prefer to keep them for private laughs.

My final version of these is so close to perfect! I made a size 24. The only adjustment I made was to cut off about 5 inches in length, my standard for pants/leggings. I also added a cuff to the bottom since hemming knits is the WORST (#lazytips).

The fabric I used is a fleece-back poly from Water Tower Textiles in Heather Navy. The texture of the right side of the fabric is smooth and soft to the touch with a bit of a “wind proof” feel to it. The wrong side is a super soft fleece. The fabric is thinner than I expected. My experience of fleece-back poly is that it is pretty thick. I don’t find the warmth is lost by the thinner fabric, though. If anything, it makes them a bit more breathable, but still keep the heat in when walking around.

 

I love the leggings. I squeezed this pair into 1 metre of the fleece-back poly (shortened by 5 inches) which makes them a great project for small amounts of fabric.

There are literally no adjustments I would make for future versions of these. They fit perfectly.

Of note, the top I am wearing is a lovely bamboo/viscose Concord tank top. It’s so soft and comfy. I usually throw it on as pjs, because it is like being wrapped in a blanket.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Belmont Leggings
  • Pros: Everything! I adore this pattern!
  • Cons:  Um?
  • Make again?: Absolutely! I have fabric for 4 more pairs in more fleece-back poly from Water Tower Textiles (they should start sponsoring me….ha!).
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars
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Striped Cashmerette Cedar Dolman

Today I am sharing a post that I originally posted on the sewcialist blog for Striped month. 🙂 With a few extras for my blog. 😉

This post breaks all those silly rules that society makes up.

As a plus sized person, we are often told about what to wear to “flatter” our shape. To many people in the plus sized category, that means to disguise our shape or make us look skinnier. You can read Mary’s article on the Curvy Sewing Collective to hear more thoughts on the word flattering.

Stripes often make the list of patterns that plus size people should steer clear of and I definitely don’t agree. I think stripes are for all people of all shapes and sizes.

I love stripes and find they make me feel great. There is no hiding the fact that I am plus sized so I might as well wear what I love and find joy in what I make. Ultimately, the joy I get from making clothes I love translates to me strutting in confidence in the world. For many years, when I obeyed the dumb rules of flattering, I would not feel as good in my clothing or enjoy wearing them. When I let go of that, and lived confidently, I felt a lot better about my body.

20180127_114857

I made this top to throw all rules out the window. I think you can feel pretty empowered by letting go of all the rules.

The pattern is the Cedar Dolman top from Cashmerette patterns. I used Gillian’s hack to add sleeves to it and I added a cuff to the sleeve as well as a hem band and a neck band.

I tested the pattern. However, changes have been made since and I am not going to share my test version. I also tested the Belmont leggings at the same time. I will also not be sharing my tester version of those either. The changes made in the final patterns of both lead to a much better fit so it makes no sense to share the tester version.

The Cedar Dolman fits just as expected. It’s meant to fit loosely and drape over the bust. I really love it and it’s a great pattern to use as a base for all your hacking needs. I plan on making the pattern several times more. I really love the top. I want to try it in a drapey woven material soon.

The fabric I used is a super soft double brushed polyester knit in mustard with white stripes from Water Tower Textiles.

Yellow is a colour that I really really love but I avoided wearing it for years and years because of a comment when I was younger of how I looked in yellow… something along the line of pale disgusting zombie. I realized that I needed to let go of that. Yellow makes me happy and I wanted more of it in my life. I think I look and feel fabulous in this mustard colour.

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Breaking the rules again, I made no attempt to match stripes in any way. I find that as we sew, we get caught up in doing things the right way. We want to match those stripes perfectly. Often that prevents us from sewing and having fun with something that is supposed to be a hobby. For me, sewing is all about the fun. Everyone can absolutely have different standards, but I wanted to let go of it for this project. I have enough going on that I didn’t need to stress over stripes. I needed to feel empowered and confident. I definitely don’t think it is bad that someone takes the time to match stripes perfectly, but if that act is stopping you, don’t stress. Just sew!

20180127_114949

My top has the stripes strategically placed on the diagonal in order to further not care about matching the stripes. I also cut the top on the fold. The Cedar dolman is cut with two front pieces and two back pieces, but cutting on the fold meant I could avoid stripe matching again. Huzzah!

20180127_115111

Maybe this post should be titled lazy stripe tips. Ha!

20180127_115319

Want to avoid matching stripes? Have then all go in different directions! With the diagonal stripes on the front and back pieces, I made the sleeves and sleeve cuffs have horizontal stripes and the hem band with vertical stripes. I cut the neckband so the white stripe went all the way around.

20180127_115310

The whole project made me feel great, and I now have a lovely yellow top that I love wearing and brings me a lot of joy! Not only is it a super soft, warm, and comfortable top, but it also makes me feel great. What could be more ‘flattering’ than that?

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Cedar Dolman top
  • Pros: It’s a great pattern! I can’t wait to try the workout top.
  • Cons: I’m not sure there are cons. It’s a simple pattern with a great size range.
  • Make again?: Absolutely!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Patterns for Pirates Siren Swim Top and Sailor Swim Bottoms and Designer Stitch Willow Kimono

My last sewn items in 2018 were all for our trip to Cuba. I made two bathing suit sets using the Patterns for Pirates Siren Swim Top and Hello Sailor Swim Bottoms, Blank Slate Forsythe Trousers in a capri length (I’ll review this in February since I plan on making some more fit tweaks for a pant length version and do not have any pictures ready for the capris), Designer Stitch Willow Kimono, and a pair of Blank Slate Barton shorts in a hot pink nylon for wearing around on the beach (I have more of this material and want to make a couple more pairs of these in various lengths).

I first made the Siren Swim Top and Hello Sailor Swim Bottoms back in the summer before we went to Niagara Falls for a fun weekend. I made 2X in the top and 3X for the bottom.

 

The construction of both was not easy for me at the time. I actually dislocated my left thumb for the first time trying to sew on the elastic. That plus the fact that they didn’t fit great PLUS I cut the anchors upside down made me not want to wear them. We didn’t end up swimming during the vacation anyway. I wasn’t feeling confident about the construction and didn’t want to accidentally fall out of my suit. 😦 It’s a complete bummer when you have such cute fabric! The fabric is from Emerald Studio and very nice quality. I decided to buy more of it so that I could make it again. Erin doesn’t have any more of the matching hot pink fabric, but there was a suitable replacement at Water Tower Textiles along with a bunch of other ones! Both Canadian shops! 😀

I learned a lot during construction of the suit, but wasn’t motivated to make another until we booked our trip to Cuba. I knew the alterations I needed. I needed to add two inches to the top length to accommodate my bust and add two inches to the centre back of the bottoms since I have booty. I also needed to reduce the width of both the bottom band of the top and the waistband of the bottoms to really get a good fit. The pattern has cut lines based on the difference between your overbust and full bust which is an okay method, but not perfect. Even though, my difference is 7 inches, I still needed to add a bit more length. Of course, part of that has to do with using powermesh to line it and making it less stretchy, but the pattern doesn’t really accommodate for projection or underbust. For the anchor version, I added powermesh to the front and not the back of the top and then lined the whole thing with swimsuit lining. I lined the bottoms with swimsuit lining also from Emerald Studio.

  

In the next two versions, I used powermesh to line the top and lined the bottoms with swimsuit lining or black swim fabric depending on what I had left. I believe the black/mermaid scales are lined mostly with black swim fabric (except in the crotch area that has swimsuit lining) and the purple bottoms lined with swimsuit lining. I like the structure the black swim bottoms have in comparison to the purple bottoms. The purple fabric is also a bit thinner than the black fabric so there is less structure overall in that suit.

 

Both are constructed much better than the first pair and had no issues with dislocating my fingers during the construction process. I really love the backs of both suits. The criss-crossing straps are really lovely. The additional length changed it so that the 2-piece suit now looks like a 1-piece suit, which is more to my taste. I loved the original suit I made, but I definitely feel more comfortable in this look. The 2-piece is easier to get on that a 1-piece for me, but I didn’t want to be exposed in my mid section. Mostly due to having to apply more sunscreen and not wanting a burn there!

I did not like the suggested construction methods for a lot of things in the patterns. The bottoms have you sewing the elastic in and then turning the hem over leaving the crotch a lot smaller than I would prefer. I added bands to the legs and sewed the elastic on with one side of the band and then folded the other side of the band over to enclose the elastic in the band. It was much easier for me to do and meant I could wait to cut the elastic and had more of it to grip. I stretched the elastic as I sewed in order to get everything cinched in perfectly. I used this swim elastic from Emerald Studio. It’s seriously good quality and I highly recommend it. I used the same method of enclosing the elastic in the bands for the waistband and the bottom band on the top. The top has elastic at the neckline and under the arms. These are enclosed in the lining already.

I used the serger for all construction. The only alteration from these two versions would be to either cut the straps shorter or stabilize them somehow. I found that as I swam they stretched out. I also plan on making the bands a bit shorter still on the waistband and the bottom band for the top. I may actually line them with powernet. The powernet was from Emerald Studio again. Yes, the post is one long advertisement for Emerald Studio. Hah. I was not paid in any way for this. I just really love Emerald Studio.

 

The cover up I am wearing is the Designer Stitch Willow Kimono. I won it during the Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern month. I made it with a lovely cotton voile and it is soft and drapey for a cotton. I trimmed it using a fringe for the and pom-pom trim for the arms. Construction was fairly easy and the overall structure of the pattern is easy. It’s 5 pieces of fabric: 2 front pieces, 1 back piece, and 2 pieces for the band for around the neckline and sides. I would definitely make it again. I made size 10 based on my measurements. It fits large and makes a nice beach coverup. I would have been far far more sunburnt without it.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Patterns for Pirates Siren Swim Top and Hello Sailor Swim Bottoms
  • Pros: I love the result for the black and purple swimsuits.
  • Cons: The pattern without modifications isn’t perfect and the method for adjusting the bust isn’t solid. The instructions are in pictures, which I personally find difficult to see versus illustrations.
  • Make again?: Absolutely. I’d be interested to move on to more complicated swimsuits, but this is a great beginner pattern.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars
  • Pattern: Designer Stitch Willow Kimono
  • Pros: It’s a great pattern!
  • Cons: I’m not sure there are cons. It’s a simple pattern with a decent size range.
  • Make again?: Absolutely!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Decades Everyday Chore Skirt

I’m extremely pleased to announce that Decades of Style has expanded their size range for their Decades Everyday patterns! The Chore Skirt just released today and goes up to a size 26 or a 46″ waist. This means no more grading up for me! When Janet asked me to test the skirt, I jumped on the chance. I’ve been a big DOS fan for a while. The instructions and drafting are great. The vintage style is right up my alley.

The Chore Skirt is not your regular pleated skirt. It has a narrow waistband, side seam pockets with a side seam zipper, and beautifully placed pleats in the front and the back. In the front, there are less pleats than the back for a clean look. The back pleats really give the skirt a lovely look. There are also side pleats that make the pockets and zipper disappear. There is a bottom panel in the skirt that is perfect for contrasting fabric or for using bias tape or lace. The hem is weighted so that the skirt always draped beautifully. The skirt works beautifully in mid to lightweight fabrics that can handle the multiple pleats at the back.

I made my skirt in a hot pink cotton poplin with bias trim above the bottom panel. The skirt went together really quickly except that I originally forgot the side pleats and frantically messaged Janet saying the waistband didn’t fit. She was very wonderful about it, but my cheeks sure were red! With the side pleats, it of course fit perfectly into the waistband. D’oh.

I will need to wear this version with a belt, but that is okay. My gold belt looks fabulous with it. 😉 I made a size 24, but likely should have made a size 22 instead. I was trying to be extra cautious because my waist can fluctuate due to inflammation. Next time, I will choose a size 22. I have visions of making this in chambray fabric or some lovely linen. Or copying this vintage version posted on the Decades of Style IG page:

Isn’t it beautiful? ❤

Here is my gorgeous version! Don’t I match my blog theme perfectly? ❤

Just a note, the belt is styled under the waistband here since I haven’t added carriers yet for the belt.

Decades Everyday Chore Skirt

Decades Everyday Chore Skirt

Decades Everyday Chore Skirt

Decades Everyday Chore Skirt

Decades Everyday Chore Skirt

Decades Everyday Chore Skirt

Look at that swish!

Needless to say I am totally biased because I was already a fan girl of DOS and I got the pattern for free. But in spite of that bias, I really love this skirt and I think it’s a great pattern.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Decades Everyday Chore Skirt
  • Pros: Well-drafted pattern and a great size range! The strategically placed pleats are really going to look awesome on a lot of people.
  • Cons: I’m not sure I have any cons!
  • Make again?: Already dreaming of the next one!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Swoon Patterns Scarf Neck Cardigan

I love a good flowy cardigan with a scarf neck. I’m a layering person and love having tons of options. I still love my Jenna Cardigans and wear them tons, but I was looking for a scarf neck cardigan for a different option. The big bonus: this pattern is free! The Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan wasn’t on my radar for a while and then someone (terrible memory…) made it on Instagram (EDIT: It was this post on the CSC that brought it on my radar. Boy do I have a bad memory!) and I realized it actually has a larger size range than I thought. It goes up to a 50 inch bust, but has a generous scarf front so it could likely fit higher than that. I can be as much as a 53 inch bust on a day where I am swelling and it fits great. If you are a bit larger than 50 bust, you could probably fit into it nicely.

Word of warning, the instructions are bare bones and similar to Style Arc with only a couple of pictures for guidance. It took me a couple of beats to understand how the scarf neck was installed, but overall it wasn’t difficult to put it together.

As per my usual methods, I didn’t hem the knit. I just serged the edges.

I made no alterations for my green and white rib knit version. For my second version, I used a sheer white knit of “mixed fibres” (all clearance fabrics in fabricland are marked with “mixed fibres” for some reason…). My guess is a rayon/polyester blend, but who knows? For the second one, I did a full bicep adjustment on the sleeve. It’s meant to have a bit of a dropped shoulder so I didn’t narrow the shoulder, but I found the bicep a bit tight to wear with sleeves underneath. My third version is using a sheer fluorescent orange striped knit. I have no idea what I will actually wear this over and regret not picking up a pink flourescent eyelet fabric that would have made a perfect dress for underneath (Andrea said I would regret not getting that fabric and she was right…lol).

I thought about shortening the sleeve length, but my hands get really cold in AC or in the winter so it is often nice to have the sleeves to cover them as needed. I can roll them up if they get in the way. I love how the cardigans work with pants/shorts or with a dress/skirt. My cropped Jenna cardigans are great for wearing with dresses and skirts, but do not work with shorts or pants. I wear 80% skirts and dresses, but it is nice to have options.

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan
  • Pros: The lovely princess seams really sell this cardigan for me. They give the cardigan a nice shape. I also love the hem of the cardigan. The side panel has a pointed hem and with the scarf neck it makes for a lovely flowy hem. Major pro is that the pattern is free.
  • Cons: Decent size range, but I am at the top. Minimal instructions, but an easy pattern.
  • Make again?: Absolutely! You can see I already made three. I often come across nice fabric that would work well for this kind of cardigan and will probably make a few more in solid colours for the fall. Oh fall…. I don’t want to stop sewing for summer, but I feel fall creep closer and closer….. At some point, I guess should switch gears…
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Cashmerette Dartmouth Top

I’ve been wanting to sew up a Cashmerette Dartmouth top since it was released early this year. It’s a style of top that I always loved in RTW but could never wear for fear of bust exposure. The Dartmouth top is perfect, though. The cup sizes make it wearable for bigger busts without the danger of exposure.

While my bust is nicely contained in the shirt, the bridge of my bra peeks out. This problem is due to the bridge being too high on my handmade bras; the bridge comes up about 2 inches higher than I think it should and pulls away from my body causing discomfort under my bust. My bra cup does need more room but I have a pronounced breastbone so if the bridge goes too high, it will not sit correctly anyway.  It’s an issue that I am remedying soon with some bra pattern changes and cutting my wires a bit shorter at the front. These changes are for comfort and accessibility. I haven’t made a new bra in a year and a half because of the issues. But it is long overdue. I’m down to just 3 handmade bras and really need to get a move on the alterations. Once those are altered, there will be no issue with my Dartmouth top.

I made my usual size 22 G/H graded to a 24 at the hips. The fabric I used is a slinky bamboo jersey in a coral monkey print. It’s a great fabric for the gathers at the side seam. By the end of a day of wear, the fabric is a bit stretched out, but it snaps back into place with washing. Poor recovery does tend to be an issue with rayon and bamboo knits in my experience. The weight of them also tends to pull the hem a bit lower. I shortened this top by 3.5 inches. I just serged the bottom, because lazy. The two top layers are sewn together, which leads to a bit of drape from the top layer due to the fabric. In the future, I might go for less lazy to get it to sit right at the hem.

The pattern went together well. The only change I made was to add sleeve bands, because lazy and I prefer sleeve bands. I find that the sleeves sit better in a knit with the bands. It helps that I hate hemming knits. To be fair, it’s my sewing machine that hates hemming knits. Jane Eyre is such a diva.

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Dartmouth Top
  • Pros: I love everything and the size range and cup sizes are perfect.
  • Cons: My bras don’t work with it. Just something to keep in mind. It’s not too low cut for me, but may be for some people.
  • Make again?: Just need to find the fabric. Wouldn’t this look fabulous in a leopard print?! ❤ ❤
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Tropical Appleton Dress

Edit: I won a prize with the Dresses competition for the Monthly Stitch! Thank you to everyone who voted!

I’ve been wanting to make the Cashmerette Appleton for quite a while now and seeing Gillian’s lovely maxi version made me want to make it a maxi dress. I love Cashmerette patterns. As a curvy plus sized person, having cup options is a freaking miracle! I also really wanted to make a maxi dress. After making my first one using the Upton dress last year, I knew that I would definitely be using another Cashmerette dress. Back in December, the Toronto Sewcialists had a holiday party (hosted by the lovely Hil) and we did a fabric exchange in which I procured 4 yards of this beautiful tropical fabric:

Next up a maxi length #appletondress for the #maxisewalong2017 #sewing #sewcialists

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I fell in love. All I was waiting for to make my Appleton maxi was the perfect fabric. I’m not sure of the content or type of fabric this is. It’s a 4 way stretch and has a lovely drape. It feels to me like crepe jersey or viscose.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The Appleton pattern is really lovely to make. The instructions are easy to follow and everything goes together really quick. I added about 9.5 inches to the length of the dress. There are lengthen/shorten lines in the pattern so it was a really simple alteration.

I usually make a 22 G/H graded to a 24 at the waist for Cashmerette patterns. My measurements are 51-46-56. However, for more ease in the hips and more bust coverage, I chose to make a 24 G/H graded to 28 at the hips. It fits perfectly and the extra ease in the hips works really beautifully with the drape of the fabric. The only addition I made to the pattern was to add sleeve bands since I hate hemming sleeves. I serged the skirt hem since I may have been better adding a couple more inches to the hem and to get the maxi length the hem couldn’t lose any length. Works for my lazy seamstress ways! 😉

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The entire dress was made using my serger except for the hem of the skirt fronts and finishing the tie opening at the side.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The verdict is that I adore the dress! It fits me so well and is such a great shape on me. I am not sure why I hesitated so long on making this dress! It just really needed the perfect fabric and I definitely found it. Now I need to go on a tropical cruise!

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The dress fits perfectly into two different challenges:

Maxi dress sewalong

Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month Dresses week

Although dresses week is ending today, there is still tons more fun with many more weekly challenges at Monthly Stitch for Indie Pattern Month. Next week, it’s new to me!

And good news, the maxi dress sewalong runs until July 27th! So you have 20 days to make and post your maxi dresses. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Appleton Dress
  • Pros: I love everything and the size range and cup sizes are perfect.
  • Cons: That I don’t have more fabric to make another right now! 😦
  • Make again?: Just need to find the fabric. 😀
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars