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.

Forget-Me-Not Patterns Clementine Top

Disclaimer: I was sent the Forget-Me-Not Patterns Clementine pattern for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own, though.

Forget-Me-Not Patterns is a new pattern company created by Johanna Morris. Johanna also designed the Manuka dress and top with Muse Patterns. I really love my version of the top I created during testing. Johanna reached out to me when Clementine was released. The pattern does only go to a 48.5 inch bust so my instincts were to say no since I have a 52 inch bust. I let her know and she asked that I follow the tutorial she released on doing an FBA on the pattern and incorporate that into the review. I used that tutorial and an additional tutorial on increasing the depth of the cowl since I knew from personal experience that I like a deep cowl.

I used size 48 and did a 2 inch FBA and graded out at the waist a bit. I added an additional 2 inches to the cowl depth. I found both tutorials were really easy to follow.

The fabric I used is a super soft rayon knit with lots of drape. The tropical leaves pattern somewhat hides the style lines of the princess seams in the front and back, but it fits incredibly well and the cowl depth is perfect. I also did a full bicep adjustment and added bands to the sleeves as that is my preferred hem for a sleeve. The fit isn’t tight at all around my stomach, but my belly does show and it always will.

I also added length to the top. The FBA also added length, but I lengthened the top about 2 inches in addition to the FBA length. I actually would lengthen it about 2 inches more for future versions since I prefer longer tops. I’m wearing it here with pink ponte Style Arc Misty Jeans. It’s a cute outfit. 🙂

The instructions in both the tutorials and pattern are great. It could definitely have a better size range and I am hopeful that they will do that in the future. The alterations, however, gave me a great fit with this pattern. I am definitely making more of these tops. I am not as keen on making the dress version, but that is because I haven’t really been wearing knit dresses at all lately. I tend more toward tops and skirts/overalls/leggings than dresses these days even knit dresses.

I can’t wait to make another!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Forget-Me-Not Patterns Clementine top
  • Pros: Princess seams and cowl make for my perfect styled top. I really love the fit I got with the alterations.
  • Cons: The size range deducts a point for me.
  • Make again?: Yes, I have some sweater knit that will be great for a fall/winter version.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls

Hello Readers.

It’s been a while since I posted here. September was a tough month for me mentally and physically. At the end of August, I went to Victoria BC for their Fringe Festival, where my husband was showing his solo play, Personal Demon Hunter. We walked a lot in Victoria and I experienced a lot of pain and exhaustion on returning. Before that, my improv troupe was at FanExpo, our biggest local convention, and I was already low on energy. I spent the first part of September recovering from that and dealing with a lot of migraines and allergy-related hives. My mental health hasn’t been great since I became unemployed in April and money has been getting tighter and tighter to the point that I can’t cover some meds, which would help my migraines and allergies. I’ve been applying to jobs, though, so I am hopeful that the situation will change. In the meantime, though, everything is tough and the financial situation triggers a lot of anxiety and depression in me. I’m trying to focus on the positive and keep reminding myself the situation is temporary.

Before Victoria, I sewed up a bunch of garments, but I never got around to sharing them here. It took a while to take pictures and then I wasn’t sure what to say here. I have always been transparent about my health both mental and physical but I was having trouble speaking about it all. So there it is in all it’s messy glory. My situation sucks right now and that’s the reality of it all. I do have lots of support from family and friends and I am extremely grateful for that.

Let’s talk sewing now. ❤

I’ve been wanting to sew up the Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls since their release. Ever since making my first pair of overalls, I’ve been sort of obsessed with making more. I haven’t been able to wear most other types of pants due to compression issues. Even my stretch Misty Jeans became super uncomfortable. I can wear the ones I made with ponte still due to 4 way stretch but any made with denim are no longer wearable. My knees and waist don’t deal with the compression well. Compression actually triggers hives for me for fun chronic illness reasons. I tried altering them to make them bigger but they just don’t work for me anymore, which is okay since I have a lot of other options and ponte pants are super comfy. Overalls are next to leggings in my book for how comfortable they are, especially in short length since it allows my knees to be free to do their hypermobile thing.

I made these Yanta overalls with a non-stretch denim with red lurex in it. I got it locally earlier this year specifically for Yanta Overalls. I used the reverse side for the pockets. The sad part is that the pictures are not showing how awesome this fabric is with it’s sparkly redness all over. I used red for the topstitching too.

I made a size 28 with no modifications except for adding length to the straps so that I could use overall hardware. The fit is meant to be loose (for maximum overall comfort). I find the back crotch depth to be a bit low and the back pockets are a bit big and sit low on my seat. I actually would eliminate them entirely for my next pair as I find back pockets annoying. I kept them in because I was doing a Same Pattern, Different Bodies post for the Curvy Sewing Collective. Check out Michelle’s and Megan’s versions here. I think that the front pockets could also have a bit better placement, but I was following the pattern placement. I’m not a huge fan of patch pockets in general, though. I do like it on the bib but not the others. I will be narrowing the bib a bit as the straps fall off my shoulders a bit and the bib folds in when I sit. The waist is a bit large, but for comfort reasons I won’t be changing that.

Looking at the pictures, I could also lengthen the front crotch depth a bit.

Overall (harhar), though, I love them and have been wearing them a ton since I made them!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls
  • Pros: Good size range up to 58 inch hip, but can likely fit larger since they are such a loose fit. Without any zipper on the sides, they are easy overalls to make and fit.
  • Cons: Patch pockets aren’t really my favourite look. I like it on the bib, but not the lower ones or back ones. That’s more personal preference, though.
  • Make again?: YES. I have a bunch more planned so I will definitely be making ALL the overalls.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Seamwork Loretta top

I’ve been wanting to make a Seamwork Loretta top since it was released but for whatever reason just kept getting pushed out of my sewing queue. I’ve had it printed and put together for a while now but finally decided to take the plunge a few weeks ago.

The Loretta is a pull over woven top with raglan flutter sleeves and an elasticated neckline. It also features a rounded front hem and a straight back hem.

I made my usual size 28 with Seamwork patterns. I did no alterations. I actually find that it fits pretty well for the style. The fabric I chose for it, a yellow cotton gingham, is a bit stiff. I do think it would benefit from a much more drapey fabric. I am also not a huge fan of how high that neckline is on me.

In the top version, it’s also pretty short. I’ve been mostly wearing it with skirts rather than with pants like in these pictures. I think the tunic version with the tie would be super cute and help define my waist a bit more. I am getting major… um….”all boob” feels from these pictures. Not that there is anything wrong with that! But it’s not all I want to show off.

 

I think that the pattern is really cute, though, and already have another version cut out in a white gauze. I’m going to add some fringe trim to the hem and the arms for that one. I can’t wait. All in all, it’s a great pattern and looks especially cute with skirts. I’ll have to show that when I take pictures of my next version. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Loretta top
  • Pros: Good size range…although only to a 54 inch bust so it could be improved… Love those flutter sleeves.
  • Cons: A bit short in the top version and a pretty high neck, but these are preferences not major pattern issues.
  • Make again?: Already have another cut out.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Ellie & Mac South Shore Romper

Since making my Seamwork Sky Jumpsuit, I  have been thinking about making another in a knit fabric. In all honesty, I wanted the Paper Theory Zadie jumpsuit since seeing so many incredible versions on Instagram, but it was out of my price range so it will have to wait until I have more money coming in since I am unemployed. I got the Ellie & Mac South Shore Romper on sale instead. I love the faux wrap bodice and figured the knit fabric would make it comfortable.

I made size 3XL with no alterations in shorts length with short sleeves. It’s not a perfect fit. Both back and front crotch need some work, but it is comfortable. It kind of reminds me of the onesies I’ve made in terms of comfort.

I think the bodice fit is pretty good. The sleeves could use a slight full bicep adjustment as I find them difficult to get off for the bathroom.

My main issue with the romper are the pockets. 1) They are drafted far too small! Readers, you know how this irks me. So you also know how I sized them up before sewing. Of course! 2) They don’t really sit nicely. So if I make this again, I will change the pockets so that the tops of the pocket bags are sewn into the waist seam to give them a bit more stability in a knit fabric. I have some other minor issues with the drafting. Sleeves are cut on the fold. I know personally this type of sleeve doesn’t tend to fit me well and always causes a bit of excess fabric in the front since I have a big bust. It can work for some people to have sleeves cut on the fold, but not me. Not being a pattern drafter, I think I will just somehow graft the sleeve of another knit shirt that fits the way I want on to this one and change the shape of the armsyce to fit better.

All in all, though, I really like the romper. It was exactly what I wanted for this pineapple cotton lycra and for a warm weather comfort wear. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Ellie & Mac South Shore Romper
  • Pros: Great size range. Many options for sleeves and lengths with an optional tie.
  • Cons: Pockets too small and don’t sit right so they would benefit from a redraft so that the top of the pockets are caught in the waist seam. Sleeve cut on fold doesn’t work for me.
  • Make again?: Yes. I’ve been wearing it non-stop since making it.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md 3.5/5 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