September 18, 2017

My ultimate “fancy” dress: navy overlay Turner Dress

When I was about 28, everyone got married. I mean, it felt like everyone at least. (OK fine, everyone I know, maybe not EVERYONE). So it’s been a while since I was on the wedding circuit, but this summer it perked back up again, and I had the pleasure of popping back to the UK for two nuptial celebrations (including my brother’s!). However, those of you know who know the UK will be aware of my dilemma: what to wear. It could be freezing! It could be boiling! Who knows! And, these days, I’m extremely intolerant of constricting or uncomfortable clothes, especially at epic 13 hour British weddings (I kid you not, 11am – 1am is standard; thankfully, most of them have a bacon sandwich break mid-evening).

Enter: my navy burnout velvet overlay Turner Dress!

Dears, this is THE SOLUTION for what ails you, “fancy” garments wise. It’s brought me boundless compliments, and yet, it’s a jersey dress. Meaning: super comfy, doesn’t crease in the suitcase, and for British purposes, it’s reasonably warm without being boiling. Perfect!

I wore it to both weddings (I KNOW, but I’m just not posh enough for “one time only” per dress, folks), and didn’t regret it for a second. I paired it with these amazing handmade-in-Italy M.Gemi nude-on-me block heels, which are the shoe equivalent of this very dress: totally comfortable, chic, but deceptively fancy (check M.Gemi out here and get $50 off your pair!). For those interested, my trusty gold belt is from J.Crew online, where they have plus/extended sizes that they don’t have in-store.

The navy burn-out stretch velvet was quite the find: I snagged some at Rimmon in LA (wholesale-only), but I know that Stitch Sew Shop in Alexandria had some for a while too, so it may be hidden away in fabric shops all over the land. It doesn’t fray, so I decided not to hem it, and let the hem and sleeves just show the pattern in all its glory.

Constructing an overlay Turner Dress is super easy, so long as you have a decently stretchy overlay fabric:

  • Cut the bodice (front & back) and skirt out of your jersey underlayer
  • Cut the entire dress out of your overlay
  • Sew the lined bodice using the overlay as the “main” fabric and jersey as the lining
  • Sew in the overlay-only sleeves
  • Make two skirts, one of jersey and one of overlay, then baste them together at the waist
  • Join to the bodice, and voila! Easy peasy.

You may also be thinking to yourself “my, Jenny, what an incredibly coordinated backdrop you found there!”. Well trust me, I did a little yelp when I saw it. My brother Tom took these great photos and was a little underwhelmed but I had to explain that in blogger land a door that matches your dress, and a complementary pastel coloured wooden stable door is what dreams are made of. I’ve always aspired to a somewhat “Boden” feel with Cashmerette (my #1 source of RTW clothes, pre-sewing) and when we were wandering around Chelsea it became totally apparent that this is in fact where they take all of their London pics. Watch out for this charming door in the future!

Of course, you always feel pretty stupid taking blog photos on the street, especially with various casual observers. But at least no-one answered the door…..

Have you made an overlay Turner? It’s rapidly becoming my default for when I need a new special-occasion dress (remember my polka dotted one?). I predict more in the future! Now I just need some more people to get married…

September 11, 2017

Introducing sleeves for the Cashmerette Upton Dress!

You asked… so we made it happen. Ever since we launched the Cashmerette Upton Dress, we’ve had a lot of questions about adding sleeves, so today I’m pleased to announce the Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves Expansion pack. There are three styles of sleeve included (cap, tie and flutter), and they all work well with the existing sleeveless armscye without re-drafting!

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

There are three ways to buy the Upton Dress Sleeve Expansion pack, which includes all the sleeve types in all sizes:

  • Already have the Upton Dress, and just want the sleeves? Get yours here.
  • Want to buy both the Upton Dress and the sleeves?
    • If you want a printed Upton Dress, and the sleeve PDF download, click here.
    • If you want a PDF Upton Dress and the sleeve PDF, click here.

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

Let’s take a closer look at the sleeves! Our first Upton Dress sleeve is a totally classic cap style which gives a really lovely silhouette and covers up your shoulders. And, it works for the Springfield Top too.

For this sample, we used a gorgeous chambray – and it’s available as a kit, including the sleeves. If you want to make this exact dress, you can get your kit here – and it’s 25% off this week (no coupon needed).

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

The next Upton Dress Sleeve is a fun tie-sleeve that’s a nod to the cold shoulder trend but with a bit more coverage. The sleeve is fully lined, so you can either use a contrast lining and get a peek of it at the ties, or you can use the same fabric for a sleek look.

SOLD OUT This dress is also available as a kit! We have very limited quantities of this one, so snap yours up at 25% off if you’re interested.

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

And the final Upton Dress Sleeve is a flutter! This is a full sleeve which is fantastic in drapey fabrics like silk, rayon or chiffon. It’s also easy to shorten or lengthen if you want a really dramatic sleeve look!

And, another kit 🙂 Get your pink and blue rayon Upton Dress kit here (again, 25% off).

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

I’m looking forward to seeing all your sleeved Uptons – don’t forget to tag us with #UptonDress when you post on social media!

Cashmerette Upton Dress Sleeves

August 25, 2017

Curvy Sewing Education Week: Sew a professional collar (video)

It’s the last day of Curvy Sewing Education Week and I saved the best for last: a video from our online workshop, Shirtmaking For Curves, where I teach you techniques that aren’t in the instruction booklet for how to get a really professional-looking collar on any shirt or shirtdress. And your final reminder that you can get 25% off ALL our online workshops using code EDUCATIONWEEK until Aug 31 – we won’t be doing another workshop sale this year, so now’s a great time to sign up!

Enjoy this video – and let me know if you have any questions!


August 24, 2017

Curvy Sewing Education Week: Sew a tulip-back tank (video)

Next up on Curvy Sewing Education Week, I’m sharing a video from my online workshop Pattern Hacking for Curves: 1 Top, 10 Ways (you can get 25% off the workshop price until Aug 31 by using code EDUCATIONWEEK).

I absolutely love pattern hacking, especially once I have a base pattern that fits me well. Instead of having to do alterations 10 times for 10 garments, I just do it on one, and then use that pattern to create 10 garments I know will fit. In this online workshop, I teach you tons of tips and techniques to hack the Springfield Top, and in this video that I’m sharing today, you’ll learn how to make a super cute tulip back top pattern hack.

Let me know if you have any questions about the video, or if you’ve had success with this alteration!

August 23, 2017

Curvy Sewing Education Week: Bust Fitting Roundup

Today we’re going tackle one of the most common fitting challenges: the bust! Plus size women are disproportionately likely to have a large bust, and yet… most patterns are drafted for a B or C at best. Of course, you can always use Cashmerette Patterns – they go up to an H cup! – but what should you do when you really want to make another pattern that doesn’t go up so far?

Online fitting workshop

The first resource I’d recommend is our Fitting for Curves online workshop – and you can get 25% off with code EDUCATIONWEEK until Aug 31st. If you’re a visual learner, and like more explanation of the “whys” in alterations, this is for you! The workshop includes 7 lessons just about bust adjustments (along with lessons on other body areas):

  • How to figure out if you need bust adjustments and how to measure yourself
  • Full Bust Adjustments on a 2 dart and 1 dart bodice
  • Full Bust Adjustments on a dartless bodice
  • Full Bust Adjustments on a princess seamed bodice
  • Full Bust Adjustments on a knit bodice
  • How to raise or lower darts
  • How to split and rotate darts


In addition, here is a round up of tutorials from Cashmerette and the Curvy Sewing Collective which are a good introduction to the world of bust adjustments:

Are there any other bust fitting tips or techniques you’d like to learn? We’re always looking for new opportunities to teach on the blog!

August 22, 2017

Curvy Sewing Education Week: Learn how to fix a gaping neckline

Hi everyone! First up today, I’m sharing a video from our Fitting for Curves online workshop – remember you can get 25% off the full workshop if you enroll by 31 August using code EDUCATIONWEEK!

Gaping necklines are a pretty common problem, and often one that’s hard to anticipate before you have a muslin. Sometimes, it just indicates that the garment is too big for you – check to see if the shoulders are falling off your shoulders, or the whole thing seems baggy, in which case you should start by going down a size.

However, sometimes, even if the rest of a garment fits, the neckline doesn’t. That can happen for a number of reasons: for instance, you might have a lower bust than the pattern is designed for, or the angle of your shoulder to bust is slightly different. But not to worry: fixing a gaping neckline is actually pretty easy. In this video from the Fitting for Curves online workshop I show you how to diagnose a gaping neckline, how to fix it, and what it will look like after the alteration.

I hope you found that helpful! Do you have any other questions about fixing a gaping neckline?

August 21, 2017

It’s Curvy Sewing Education Week – and get 25% off workshops!

Welcome to Curvy Sewing Education Week on Cashmerette! I don’t know about you, but this time of year always gives me that “back to school” feeling, and I feel a hankering to buy new lined notebooks and 5 packs of tights. So I thought it was a great time to run the first ever Curvy Sewing Education Week here.

So, what does education week mean exactly?

  • We will be sharing three FREE video lessons that are part of our online workshop series, so you’ll be able to learn about how to fix a gaping neckline, great tailor tips for sewing a beautiful collar, and a really fun and fashionable Springfield Top hack. It’s a great way to get a sneak peek of how the online workshops work, and see if they’re for you.
  • There will be tutorial round ups, from Cashmerette and beyond to help you tackle specific curvy sewing challenges
  • And, we are also running a workshop sale: you can get 25% off ANY of our online workshops, using code EDUCATIONWEEK (until 11.59pm EST 31 August)! All our of classes can be watched from the comfort of your sofa or sewing room, and you have unlimited access to the videos, and can even ask me questions! Choose from:

Shirtmaking for Curves

In this course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of shirt making in order to end up with a professional looking, well-fitting shirt. Button-down shirts are a classic wardrobe staple but are notoriously tricky to fit at the bust. That’s why the Cashmerette Harrison Shirt has been designed with curves in mind, with cup sizes from C to H – and this course will take you step-by-step through the shirt-making process so you will have a beautifully sewn shirt that fits! The workshop price even includes a free copy of the Harrison Shirt, so you can sew along.

Fitting for Curves

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to do pattern alterations for a curvy body, which is much easier than you might imagine! I take you step-by-step through how to figure out which alterations you need, measure your muslin for adjustments, and then how to alter your pattern pieces. The online workshop includes 21 easy-to-follow videos including “before” and “after” muslins to help you figure out when and where to adjust, and a downloadable eBook which has step-by-step illustrations for each adjustment taught in the class.

Pattern Hacking for Curves

In this course, you’ll learn the secrets of how pattern designers adapt a simple pattern to create lots of different styles. Endlessly altering patterns to fit your curves can be frustrating, but using this technique you only have to make your base pattern fit once – and then every variation you create will fit you! It includes a 30% discount on any Cashmerette Pattern, too.

I hope you’re excited about Curvy Sewing Education Week, and if you have any questions now or as we go through all the tutorials and videos, just let me know!


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