I was on the fence about purchasing the brand new Appleton dress pattern from the new pattern designer but not new blogger. Cashmerette. I’m not really one for wearing a lot of wrap dresses, but that’s partially because of gaping issues. However, this pattern is supposed to solve the gaping and Jenny and I have similar body shapes being top heavy and slim hipped, so if it works for her it might work for me. Also, no FBA? Hell yes!
I decided to order the print pattern and missed out on the first print run, but mine still came very quickly. I traced off my size and the E/H front piece. I searched through my stash and found this cotton jersey I had purchased at Joann last year. I thought it was 100% cotton, but the noxious smells it let of when I ironed it on the cotton setting leads me to believe it’s actually a cotton/poly blend. I was definitely short of the fabric requirements, but since I was going for the 3/4 length sleeve I figured I had some room to fudge. I pretty easily fit this on my fabric.
Sewing this up was a breeze. The only thing in the directions that slightly confused me was whether or not I needed to reinforce belt holes on both sides. I did it on both, which was wrong but not an issue. The other thing I could have done a better job on was aligning my neckline bands to the bodice fabric. They are just slightly off and that’s Because I wasn’t totally sure how they should meet up. On the next version I will know better and so they will be perfectly aligned.
Have I mentioned to you that I love my coverstitch machine? It’s definitely a non-essential machine, but it makes hemming knits so fast and easy! This machine easily contributed an extra 25% to the joy I have of sewing knits. I chose not to do any of the extra stitching to tack down the seam allowances around the neckline.
After I sewed up the sleeves and side of the dress I tried it on over my yoga pants…and I was like “Whoa! This dress was looks awesome!” I did absolutely no changes to this pattern…I even hemmed exactly at 1.5″ and it was perfect. I will definitely be sewing this up in a nicer fabric (wool jersey?) than my crappy Joann poly blend.
The only problem I have with this pattern is that the hem of left side of the dress (the under wrapped side) tends to hang down. I can pull it up higher on my chest to pull the hem up, but I might taper the hemline on that edge up a bit so it’s not an issue.
I wonder what pattern Cashmerette will release next?
Summer is finally here which means it’s sundress time! When True Bias released the pattern for the Southport dress a few weeks ago I snatched it right up! I love the blouson silhouette and the tank style works so much better for me than thin straps.
I happened to have the perfect fabric for this – a geometric rayon challis I picked up from the “designer” section of Joann for $5/yd. Despite possibly inducing vertigo in observers, I had intended to make the maxi length until I realized it was only 44″ wide. Oops! I actually really like the short version so I’m not too disappointed.
Although my bust is bigger than the pattern should make, I looked at the finished measurements and made a straight size 18. No FBA needed. The other adjustment I made was to not make the front plackets. There’s never going to be a need to unbutton this so I did a faux placket with topstitching and just sewed the buttons on. Look Ma! No button gaping! My neckline gapes slightly so next time I make it will take a wedge out of the neckline so it lays flat.
This is a very comfortable dress to wear! It’s been in the 90’s the past few days in Portland and I’ve been keeping nice and cool. The shape really works for me and I don’t have to worry about wearing any shapewear to smooth out my lumps and bumps. I also love that it has pockets. Yay for pockets!
I can definitely see myself making more of these in a maxi version and maybe in a knit too!
I don’t often post about unfinished garments but I don’t think this one will ever be finished. I ordered Colette Patterns new dress Dahlia during the prelaunch sale, because I loved the plaid version. But I wasn’t quite sure it would look that good on me.
I normally do an FBA on everything, but looking at the sizing and the gathers in the bodice I decided to cut a straight size and see how it went. I had 3 yards of a poly suiting in my stash and I picked up the zipper and bias tape at Joann. I also got some piping because I thought it might look cool in the raglan seams.
My hope here was to make a wearable muslin that was more wearable than muslin. That’t didn’t happen, mainly because that fabric frays like crazy! In the end I didn’t feel it was worth redoing seams that will probably just unravel again. I do think the style actually looks pretty good so it wasn’t a wasted effort.
Here’s what I learned for when I make a real version.
- Shorten the waistband by 1/2
- Hand stitch the waistband lining
- Lengthen the skirt by about 2″
- Convert back skirt gathers to darts
- Check the back bodice length. (It looks wonky in the photos but I may not have had the front pulled down enough)
I don’t really love the piping in the raglan seams, but I did learn something from that too. Next time I’ll use wash away Wonder Tape. The first seam I pinned and it came out wonky and then I had the brilliant idea to use Wonder Tape! So the second (and third and fourth) piped seams came out great.
So now I am on the hunt to find a nice weight wool plaid. I think a red/black buffalo check would be perfect. If anyone spots that in Portland – let me know!