Ok, so yesterday I gushed about the Appleton wrap dress pattern which I tested for Cashmerette. Today I wanted to talk more about the details: sizing, fit, instructions and the pdf.
Like any pattern, you choose a size based on your waist and hips. From there, though, you’ve got 3 bust sizes to choose from, which indicate your “cup size”. I measure 42-37-47, so I sewed a size 16 on bottom and 14 on top, with the C/D cup size. Now, I wear a F or FF bra… but I had a round middle section, so from bust to waist isn’t actually all that dramatic. Definitely go by the measurements and not your bra size! Basically the cup sizes just indicate “small FBA/medium FBA/large FBA”.
Having that FBA included in the pattern already is AWESOME. I usually skip FBAs, but this pattern made me think I really shouldn’t. The fit on me is much better than the average knit bodice!
The print on my fabric obscures all details, so here are the original tester photos I sent Jenny where I am wearing the dress inside out. Look how nice and flat the bodice wrap sits! As I said yesterday, I really like that the back of the neckbands is a shaped curve instead of a folded rectangle pulled snugly. It really improves the bodice fit compares to these faux-wrap dresses I made last summer.
On the flip side… this pattern was not designed for big-bottomed girls. Because… this:
See how the side seams are pulling back, and the back hem is several inches shorter than the front? (Remember, I’d cut of 4″ all around because I assumed it would all be too long, so yours won’t be THIS short.) Next time I’ll cut a larger size in the back skirt, and lengthen it a bit. That’s much easier to do than an FBA, so I really don’t mind.
Good! I rarely use instructions, but I read through these carefully many times, and they are solid. Good illustrations, and as detailed as you’d expect from an indie.
PDF: The PDF pattern has a faint grid printed on it, which makes it really easy to align. Once you’ve chosen your “cup size”, you print off the file for that cup size, and it’s easy to grade between nested sizes for the waist and hips like I have above.
Size Range: Boy, was it strange to cut out one of the smallest sizes on a pattern! Like, so very, very strange. A little part of me wishes that the pattern came right down to smaller sizes because I’d like to recommend it to smaller friends, but let’s face it: There are plenty of patterns I’m too fat to fit into, so it’s not going to hurt anyone to have just one pattern line that doesn’t cover their size. I’d rather have well-designed niche pattern companies like Sewaholic, SBCC, and now Cashmerette, than a whole wash of identical companies. I know Jenny has mentioned that there will be SBA tutorials for her patterns, so hopefully that works well for the big-but-not-busty demographic. (Because “curvy” doesn’t always mean the same curves, which is a bit of a bugbear with me!)
Speaking of “curvy”: I don’t know how many of you spend time at the Curvy Sewing Collective, but I’m a big fan. I think they’ve done such a good job at creating a positive and active plus-size sewing community. Almost everything applies to sewists of all sizes, and the forum is a great place to get help or ask questions. They’ve kept up a steady stream of quality posts since they started – and from my own experience organising the Sewcialist blog, I know that’s a lot more work than it seems! If you haven’t checked the CSC out in a while, you should go take a look!
I hope all that info was helpful! If you are curious about the pattern, I’d say go for it. It’s a good representation of the Cashmerette line, and you’ll know from Appleton if the other patterns will likely work for you too!
How do you feel about niche pattern companies with limited size ranges or a very particular fit model? Yea or nay?