Cashmerette – Washington Dress and Outsmarting myself

I have to say I love everything about Cashmerette. The founder, Jenny is a totally relate-able, interesting person and blogger. She has a passion for wrap dresses (which I’m getting closer to, but not totally there yet for me) and did my favorite thing which was, “Wait, I am tired of making a ton of FBA (Full Bust Adjustments) to my patterns and I want to sew clothes designed for the curvy sewer in mind. Hang on I SHOULD BE THE PERSON TO DO THAT” Which basically means she didn’t wait around for others, she solved that shit herself.

Most excellent.

I made two versions of her first pattern, the Appleton Dress, and well, I got cocky on the cutting and tried to cut everything on the fold, when I should have FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS and cut on the flat. And that was 2015, and I’m not blogging about the past. I’m going to try again, and perhaps work on the cleavage thang. It’s not the Appleton’s fault. It’s that I work in a high school, and just don’t want the cleavage being any sort of issue AT ALL.

And then came the Washington dress. It’s funny, I really didn’t take to the dress at first. I thought, yeah, I’ll buy it, but meh.

And then this funny thing happened. I kept daydreaming about what fabrics I should use. How I could actually shop my stash. Part of why I love sewing is that I go through my current sewing projects in my head and think through the next step as a kind of meditation before sleep. It gets work stuff out of my head and completely calms me down. I would go through my stash in my head and think about how to pair things for the Washington dress.

The Washington uses a knit for the bodice and the waist yoke, and a woven in the skirt. So Stretchy, stretchy, not stretchy.

This went on for a couple of months, and I realized I just needed to buy the damn thing. I just kept coming back to the dress.

But then that brain? The one that goes through sewing patterns? It said, “Well, Shoot. You’re long waisted, you should just add 2 inches to that there bodice. You’re so smart, it will work like a dream.”

My brain is a jerk.

Here’s what happened. I lengthened the bodice without really measuring. So then the NARROWEST part of the woven (non stretchy skirt) was pushed down to my hips, AKA “THE WIDEST PART” of my body.

No bueno. What was I to do? I didn’t want to make the skirt bigger and the longer bodice was hitting me now in weird places. AND most of all I had pwned (yes, I know what that means gamer types) the side seam matching. I had made that part my bitch.

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Yes, gaze upon the beauty of the ponte and the navy linen weave cotton seams. BOTH SIDES were this good. I knew I couldn’t touch the skirt.

So I undid the bodice from the yoke and re serged them together taking off 2 inches. I also took down the width of the yoke. In doing so, I forgot to sew back in the stabilizing elastic, but at that point, I was just happy that my solution worked.

Friends, I have been burned. BURNED by trying to right my wrongs. As I improve my skills I get better, but so many times, I have made it so much worse. Not this time.

SO MUCH BETTER.

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I ended up doing cuffs and the neckband out of the same brown ponte knit to tie it together. This was pretty easy after many Renfrews and honestly, my twin needle technique needs improving (I think I just need to make the hem wider – note to self – make hem wider). The ponte knit was left over from some Seamwork leggings and the skirt was from the same cotton linen weave I used for my brother in law’s Negroni.

But the bodice? Yeah, I got that awesome print from a little indie fabric store north of Indianapolis  – The French Seam. I bought it because I just couldn’t leave it alone. I made a stunning well fitting Winter Street Dress. I got compliments. I craftily used the selvage stripes as a design feature. I rocked that dress. I took it on a business trip. It must have been left behind. I have not seen it since. I called the hotel. Nothing!

I wept. I obsessively looked in the lining of my suitcase from the trip. But here it lives on.

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And so friends, here is the Cashmerette Appleton. I know, Mom, you can’t see my face. Well, I’m being artistic here. It’s a commentary on man’s inhumanity to man. And I took this when my husband was out and my son was asleep.

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Dude. I need to clean my mirror.

So – 3 things to say in closing-

What I love: I love that I can find a place for this lovely print. The bodice didn’t need much.

What I learned: DO NOT ASSUME that you are longwaisted/short waisted until you make a muslin or make a bunch from that pattern company. Do not let your brain be a jerk. Tell the brain to CTFD and do the measuring.

What I think of this pattern – Lovely. I enjoyed it, and followed the directions on the cutting this time. I adjusted to a slightly bottom heavy hourglass shape. I was so excited about this that the initial fit being off was completely distressing to me. Luckily I got over myself and solved it. I even rallied to a lovely blind hem stitch (I always feel like I’ve figured out a secret code when I do).

I will get back to making another one, but I have blogging about projects and 4 pairs of 4 year old boy pants to make.

Cheers, Heather

 

 

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