Introducing the Cashmerette Alcott dress

I’ve been waiting to share this one with you since I tested it. I love the Cashmerette Alcott dress. Obviously, there are disclaimers aplenty in this post since I received the pattern for free in exchange for testing and I got fabric for free in exchange for promotion, but my enthusiasm and love of these two dresses is real. Also, my opinion can’t be bought with pattern and fabric. It helps, but I am too opinionated for that. LOL.

The Alcott has a fully lined wrap bodice, elastic waistband, and either a full skirt or an a-line skirt with ruffle options for hem and sleeves or flutter sleeves. The wrap bodice has elastic at the neckline so it stays put.

I made a mash up of the Dartmouth and Turner patterns, but this one is so much better.

This is my tester version made with cotton lycra. I made size 22 GH graded to size 28 at the waist. I reduced the height of the waistband in this version since I didn’t have 2 inch elastic available at the time.

The length of the bodice was a bit too short for this version. But being a tester, it was good enough to be worn all summer.

It’s a super cute dress. You can always tell how much I love one of my creations by the massive amount of pictures I take of them. I really love this dress.

I was excited enough just to share this version, but then Cashmerette reached out to me asking if I would like to be part of a promotion opportunity where they partner with a fabric business to send fabric out and then make up the final version of the pattern. I was stoked and then found out it was Imagine Gnats that would be sponsoring it! I’ve had my eye out on their Dakota rayon/spandex jersey in plum for a while. They sent me the end of their stock at the time so I got a little over 4 yards which is just shy of the fabric requirements for view B with the ruffle sleeves and ruffle hem. With some magic, I managed to squeeze it on that amount. Again, I made size 22 GH graded to size 28 at the waist with no other adjustments.

The result is an incredible fit and gorgeous dress that while it looks elegant is comfy af. That fabric is so soft and lovely to wear. It makes the ruffles really dance.

Again so many pictures that I don’t think I should post them all in one post. LOL.

You can see the other Alcott dresses here. I love the other versions. I want to make another right now.

 

All I need is a snifter of brandy and a cute date with my husband.

Helen’s Closet York Pinafore

Hot on the tail of my last post is my Helen’s Closet York Pinafore!

I made view B with the kangaroo pocket. I did some grading between sizes. 22 at the shoulders. 26 at the bust. 28 at the hips.

I’m wearing it with my Adrienne blouse.

The fabric I used was a poly twill I had in my stash from the thrift store. And yes, I have already stained the pocket with something. LOL.

The fit isn’t bad overall. There are some issues at the bust and I think that the sides could be graded out a bit better. It’s very curved and needs more of an A-line shape, I think. There also needs to be a bit more room at the centre back. Overall, though, this is the look I was going for and I think it’s pretty cute. I do think the fabric is a bit stiff for the pattern. Poly twills tend to be pretty stiff, in my opinion. The fabric calls for twill but specifies cotton twill, which does have a softer hand.

The York Pinafore probably won’t become a favourite of mine. I love this version. I just don’t see myself making a bunch more. I may try out some of the “hacks” posted on the Helen’s Closet blog, though. I really love the tiered gathered version. But that is likely not happening until the Spring.

In the meantime, it’s Autumn here in Toronto. Our back patio is filled with fallen leaves. There might be snow on Halloween night. More pinafores are not in my plans at all.

I recently used the latest MyBodyModel release to plan out a “Fall for Pastels” capsule wardrobe. There are more outfits planned than just these three, but this gives you an idea of what I plan to make. The first outfit is Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan in a pastel rainbow cotton lycra with soft blue corduroy Helen’s Closet Yanta overalls. I drew a white top on underneath since I have a Concord T already made that would work with the outfit. The second outfit is a Cashmerette Tobin Sweater in a coral striped ponte knit that I found at the thrift store with navy ponte contrasts and Muna & Broad Glebe pants in a seafoam suiting (also a thrift store purchase). The third outfit is the Blackwood cardigan from the first outfit with a Decades of Style Dorothy Lara dress in a lilac swiss dot. Paired with some fleece-lined leggings in white, it will work well for the Winter.

I have a few other plans including some PJ plans and an epic Onesie, but some will have to wait until I start my new job. 🙂 I just signed my job agreement today and start November 18th! My job is a remote position so I am feeling pretty positive about it with my disability. I think it’s going to be a great fit. Mostly, I am just relieved as anything to have a job and over the moon that it works for my disability. It’s been really difficult the past couple of months especially and now I am feeling a lot of relief. I haven’t been on some meds due to lack of funds so I am hopeful once those resume that I will be doing a lot better.

I’m excited to share my Halloween costume with you. So keep an eye out this Thursday for the reveal! 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Helen’s Closet York Pinafore
  • Pros: Good size range up to 58 inch hip. Super simple sew. Only took about two hours to make them.
  • Cons: No cons, really.
  • Make again?: No plans right now for future versions since Winter is Coming and more pinafores aren’t part of my plan.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

 

Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown

The Friday Pattern Company Wilder gown is definitely a perfect gown for dramatic looks. I’ve been following the hashtag on IG for a while because people are creating such beautiful versions of it!

The Toronto Sewcialists had a fancy party a few weeks ago and I knew I had to make this dress. I had recently gotten this sheer poly chiffon with polkadots from Fabricville during a sale. The sheerness of the fabric makes all the fabric feel much lighter. This is 4 yards of fabric after all so it can definitely feel like the fabric is consuming you.

I think swishy pictures might be mandatory with this pattern!

I made a size 3XL without any modifications. There are definitely modifications that I would make for my next version, though. The seam for the arms is a bit low and large. It actually is slightly uncomfortable where it hits (observe how the seam pulls the arm in the first picture above) and makes wearing my backpack purse a bit difficult as well as pulling the waist seam up so for my next version I will be modifying where that seam hits. I know that the patterns are drafted for a smaller bust size (B cup, I believe) so the position of the raglan sleeves/seams may be better on someone with my measurements, but less boob. For me, it isn’t terrible fit but not a comfortable fit. I should have chosen a smaller size and done an FBA but I was in a time crunch and actually started the dress just a few days before the event. Everything else fits well. I will just modify where the seam hits instead and raise that armhole instead because not only would an FBA be required for a smaller size but also a full bicep adjustment and probably widening the back a bit or grading out at the waist. Far more work that just moving the seams and raising the armhole.

This was my first pattern from Friday Pattern Company and I really enjoyed it. The instructions are great. I had no issue with them.

The Wilder gown is such a dramatic and lovely pattern. I couldn’t resist making felt flower clips for my hair and walk around swishing my dress during the event. I got some requests to twirl, but that would have left me fallen over! As much as I would love to twirl in this dress, my disability means no twirling.

I did make one modification for the pattern. Instead of wasting fabric with the skirt panels, I cut them out of the width of the fabric so there is much more gathering in this skirt than the pattern calls for. I decided to start off with gathering the skirt panels and sewing them together. I thought maybe this might save my sanity by not gathering a bunch right at the end of sewing, but it turns out no matter when you gather, you will want to set things on fire at some point during that process. Hahha! I love a gathered skirt but damn… I hate gathering fabric no matter what method I use to gather it, even those tricks that make it easier.

In spite of all of that gathering frustration (haha), I adore this dress. It’s dramatic. It’s bright. It’s wonderful.

 

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: The Friday Pattern Company Wilder gown 
  • Pros: Good size range. Lovely design.
  • Cons: Having it drafted to a smaller cup makes it a bit tough for someone with my bust. However, I know that altering the pattern will not be difficult.
  • Make again?: Well of course! I think I will try out the top version after I do my modifications.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4.5/5 stars

 

 

Cashmerette Holyoke Dress

Disclaimer: I received this pattern for free in exchange for testing, but my opinions can’t be bought by patterns alone. I require cheese (preferably lactose free) and probably a good amount of tequila and cold hard cash. Feel free to send me that.

I tested the Cashmerette Holyoke dress ages ago and then left it unhemmed for ages after that. What can I say….I am a procrastinator.

As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew that I wanted to test the dress. I had been looking for something similar and the Holyoke fit the bill. However, when we tested it, it was something like March or February and not time for a sundress. Probably why I procrastinated on sewing the hem for so long.

Let’s chat a bit about the features of this pattern: princess seams, straps that cover bra straps, a long full swishy skirt, a waistband, elastic back for cheese room, and no buttonholes for a faux button placket. It’s pretty fantastic.

My tester version was made using a cheer patterned poly chiffon. The fabric has a crinkly texture. It was a bitch to sew with. It stretched out a bit when sewing the front neckline; although, steam from my iron worked at getting it back in shape every time. For my tester, I made a size 24 GH graded to a 26 at the waist. It fit pretty well except for being a bit wide at the shoulders and the neckline. Underneath, I styled it with that lovely white tank dress that I made with the Concord t-shirt pattern for a lovely 90s look. Look at me being trendy af.

I did a wicked job of almost making the pattern match at the front on the skirt completely unintentionally; luckily, the busy pattern doesn’t really make pattern matching an issue since I didn’t have enough fabric to deal with pattern matching across that many seams. Because of the sheerness of the fabric, I didn’t interface the pieces since it would show through. I took about 6 inches off the hem of the skirt, if not more in some areas due to the fabric stretching out. I made the dress a bit shorter than a maxi since maxi dresses are notoriously bad for making me trip.

I have made another version using the final pattern. However, that is reserved for the Minerva Crafts blog in August so I will just share a preview picture with you:

This version I shortened to knee length. I made the same size as the tester with no modifications. All the issues with the neckline and shoulders are very much improved in this version as well as the the armsyce being raised a bit more. I did move the straps in about a 1/2 when sewing due to my narrow shoulders.

The fit is great. The only change I will make is to shorten the centre front bodice a little bit as there is folding in that area due to my belly sending it up a bit. Yay for bellies.

I have plans for a ton more of these dresses. I really love the style and the fit. It’s a great sundress!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Holyoke dress
  • Pros: Good size range. Lovely fit. Cup size choices are wonderful as usual. Covers bra straps! Cheese room comfort level with the elastic back waistband!
  • Cons: I mean… I guess the maxi only length, but like…. I can shorten shit in my sleep so not really a con to me.
  • Make again?: Well of course! I WANT ALL THE HOLYOKE DRESSES.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Introducing the CocoWawa Crafts Maple Dress

After the size inclusivity chat on Instagram, I was contacted by several pattern designers that pledged more sizes. CocoWawa was one of them. While the dress they were doing pattern testing for was just slightly outside my size, the ease in it would work. Ana and I chatted about it and she really wanted to see how it would look. Spoiler alert: amazing.

Usual disclaimer about getting the pattern for free but not my opinion blah blah blah.

Generally, with pattern tests, I don’t like to simply cut into precious fabric and I do a muslin first. But I grabbed some seersucker gingham locally for around $10/ yard and got 3 yards. I already had a ton of navy bias tape in my stash.

Some details about the Maple dress:

Maple Dress, a beautiful and feminine design featuring a slightly loose shape, tailor or double breasted collar, flattering midi or shorter quarter circle skirt and three types of sleeves. Long with the option of an exposed elastic, 3/4 sleeves with cuffs and short sleeves with a keyhole and bow detail. Another personalized detail of Maple is the optional ruffle that runs along the collar, which can be also exchanged for some contrasting piping. Last but not least, Maple comes, of course, with inseam pockets!

I made the double breasted collar with shorter quarter circle skirt and short sleeves with a keyhole and bow detail. I could not resist that sleeve. It’s gorgeous and I love bows. I did make some adjustments ahead of time. I did a full bicep adjustment and graded the waist out a bit. Those were my only adjustments. The dress is meant to pull over the head. I could probably do another inch for a full bicep adjustment to really make that easier for myself, but it works for this version.

The Maple dress can be made in a variety of fabrics for different looks. Obviously, drapey fabrics give a softer look and heavier weight fabrics give a more structured look. I like the idea of both. How cute would it look in a navy wool suiting with red bias tape details? Or in a drapey double gauze with cotton lace? I also could see this pattern looking incredible with a short gathered skirt and working as a top in a lovely drapey fabric like a rayon or even a bit more structure with linen. I actually really want to do that asap. It would be so cute for the Spring! (All I can think about is Spring!)

I added in a tie using the navy bias tape.

The buttons I added are from a stash of buttons given to me last year.

I also added a ruffle to the hem with a strip of flat bias tape.

I really like this dress. It’s adorable and Spring-y and I love the colour. The fabric is soft and lovely.

It looks best with the tie. In general, I prefer when I cinch in the waist on dresses. I’m not entirely pleased with how the pockets sit on it. They are slightly low and effect the drape of the skirt. I made that part of my feedback so it might be changed in the final version. I’ll let you know since I have the final pattern. 🙂

What more to say? I love it!

Seamwork Tacara

I recently took part in DH Fabrics’ Sewing is for Everyone and Every Body blog series. As part of it, DH Fabrics offered to send us fabric. I opted for this gorgeous berry wool blend jersey.

A bunch of us at the CSC wanted to do a Same Pattern Different Bodies for the Seamwork Tacara pattern. I knew the fabric would be perfect for it since it has lovely drape with the vicose content.

I made a size 24 and then tried it on. The cocoon shape was less cocoon and more….sack chic. I took the side seams in by about 2.5 inches each side (5 inches overall) and shortened it. It did end up a bit shorter than I would have liked, but I would typically wear this with leggings anyway.

I think the style is nice for relaxed days. The fabric is the real star of this garment. It’s so soft and lovely to wear.

I’ve been using a cane for a while now. I’ve been slowly acquiring more and more braces as well. But I realized since I don’t tend to wear them around the house or use my cane around the house, none of my blog pictures were really reflecting my disability. So here I am. This is how I look most days when I am out of the house except that I would be wearing leggings (because it’s freezing in Toronto).

The bonus is that my cane has a spike on the end for ice and snow, but also maybe for bad ass reasons. Hahah.

Thanks again to DH Fabrics for the fabric. I love it. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Tacara
  • Pros: Super comfy.
  • Cons: It runs very large.
  • Make again?: I’m not sure that I will make it again to be honest. I think it might be cute shortened to a shirt, but I’m not sure how many shirts I would need like this.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

 

Burda Tie Sleeve Dress

 

I love this dress from Burda issue 02/2018. The dress is made for woven fabric but I knew it was destined for this crepe knit fabric. I adapted the pattern for knit fabric but not doing my usual FBA, omitting the zipper, and relying on negative ease by only adding a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance. I think it worked very well.

 

Because the knit fabric has a white backing, I needed to make a facing for the ties so that the wrong side didn’t show. Due to fabric constraints, I couldn’t make the facings extend to the split or hem. Instead, they are just facings for the ties.

 

The fit is not perfect. The fabric was bizarrely difficult to cut so some seams are not as straight as they could be (see the centre back seam above). The side seams are pulling back so I definitely need a full butt adjustment back there.

The upper sleeve could also use slightly more room.

I shortened the skirt by about 5 inches (in a super accurate way of folding out the length until it fit on the fabric) and added massive pockets that are sewn into the waist so they sit nicely.

 

In spite of those minor issues, which are mostly hidden by the busy pattern of the fabric, I adore this dress and feel amazing in it.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Dress from Burda issue 02/2018
  • Pros: I love the final result! I think it looks great on me.
  • Cons: The usual cons with Burda patterns. Really long. Bad instructions. But it was an easy creation and overall really nice.
  • Make again?: I will definitely make it again. I would like to make it in a woven fabric, too.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars