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February 23, 2017

Sprouts are good for you! Sprout Patterns Turner Dress

One of the things I like most about sewing is the creative potential. If you can think of it, you can make it! Compare that to Ready to Wear clothing… ugh. I remember a particularly enlightening trip home to Scotland where I tried to find a black wrap top in a size 18. NOPE. Sewing has saved me/spoiled me.

However. There is one teensy issue, sometimes: finding your dream fabric. It’s all fair and well to have an amazing idea in your head, but sometimes you just can’t find the fabric. Or, it’s only available for an astronomical price. Or, they’ve run out of stock. When I started sewing (and especially before I discovered my fabric godmother, EmmaOneSock) I used to get SO FRUSTRATED at the lack of good fabric – and especially high quality printed jersey for my beloved wrap dresses.

That’s why Spoonflower and Sprout Patterns are basically genius. Can’t find the fabric you want? Then make it yourself, woman!

If you’re not familiar with Spoonflower, it’s a print-on-demand fabric company – and it also prints wallpaper and gift wrap. They print on a variety of fabrics, including – HUZZAH! – knits. Their quality in terms of dye fastness and brightness has improved over time, although their modern jersey still remains my #1 pick. That’s because it has all the poly benefits of strong colour, no-fade, and amazing resilience to being washed, without the nasty, cold poly feel. I don’t know how they’ve done it, but it really feels just like cotton.

Sprout Patterns Turner Dress

Sprout Patterns is a new wing of Spoonflower which also prints your *pattern pieces* directly onto the fabric. Read more how it works here. It’s a fantastic idea if you fit into a “straight” size of a pattern – and with Cashmerette Patterns having 3 cup sizes for each base size, your chance is much higher than with other brands. If you have to make major adjustments however, it likely won’t work for you for now (hopefully at some point they figure out how to make that happen).

Lucky me, I can fit into a straight Cashmerette size (20 G/H at the moment, sometimes the 18; I do need to take the sleeves in on this version a little), so when Sprout started listing the Cashmerette Turner Dress too, I couldn’t resist making my own. I found this beautiful large-scale abstract watercolour print in the Spoonflower shop (yep, you don’t have to be an artist – pick someone else’s design), and played around with the 3D model to get the pattern placement just so.

Sprout Patterns Turner Dress

I went with the modern jersey option, and as usual it’s gorgeous to feel and wear. Maybe I won’t wear it in the middle of summer, but 10 months of the year in Boston it’s definitely do-able!

Sprout Patterns Turner Dress

And then, we discovered this blue wall out the back of our AirBnB in LA, and it was kismet.

So, if you don’t mind, I’m going to get back to a-swirling.

Have you tried Spoonflower or Cashmerette Patterns on Sprout yet? What do you think? If you want to try them, you can get 20% off (until 11.59pm EST 2/26) using code CASHMERETTELOVE at checkout. If you know curvy folks who’d like to design their own dress but can’t sew, you should also get them to check out the White Glove Service – for a surprisingly small amount of money, they can have their Turner sewn up for them!


Cashmerette
February 6, 2017

Your Cashmerette Makes! January Roundup

You have all been making some amazing garments this month! I don’t know about you, but I find after the holidays I’m always excited for some selfish sewing time. Today, since the Turner Dress has been out in the wild for a couple of months, we’re sharing some of your great Turners from around the web and social media.

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Classic black and white prints make for versatile Turner Dresses, and we love these print choices!

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Because the Turner is such a classic shape, you can really have fun with the prints and fabrics you use. We love these statement prints!

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Warm colors can be the perfect antidote to the cold winter weather we’re having here in New England, or if you’re in the mood for a Valentine’s Dress, the Turner could be a comfy and fun option!

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And you really can’t go wrong with a classic navy backed floral! Love these chic Turners.

Keep sharing your makes! We love this creative community!


Cashmerette
January 16, 2017

A couple of Turner Dresses in the sun

It’s funny: product development takes so long, that I’m often wearing the next Cashmerette Pattern months and months before it’s launched! The main challenge is keeping them off Instagram (although the eagle-eyed among you may occasionally spot a future design…) but last year just after I developed the Turner Dress I went on a little trip to Palm Springs – and I couldn’t resist taking these pictures in amongst the amazing retro desert architecture.

I made both dresses from some gorgeous Art Gallery Fabrics jersey, designed by April Rhodes. This first dress is made from the Path Marker Slate design, which you can still get here. My one tip is to pre-wash the fabric – alas I didn’t (these were initially  meant as samples!) and it did shrink quite a bit after washing. The weight is beautiful – just heavy enough, and really soft to wear.

I dolled it up with a tan belt and shoes from Target which I ended up wearing constantly through the summer. Sometimes it’s my “throwaway” purchases that end up being my favourites. Funny how that works.

And here’s my second Turner Dress – which ended up making it onto the cover of the pattern! It’s another Art Gallery knit – the Painting Morale from the Bound collection, available here.

And who’d’ve thunk it, but I found another co-ordinating belt from Target.


I love the Turner Dress because it’s just so easy to wear – and though these were perfect alone for the warmth of Palm Springs, I’m still wearing them layered with tights or leggings and cardigans through the winter. Honestly, most days when I wake up I want to wear a stretchy dress with an elastic waist that still looks good – and the Turner is it!

Have you tried making a Turner Dress yet? What do you think?


Cashmerette
December 23, 2016

How to alter the Turner Dress neckline

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If you love the look of the Turner Dress, but have been thinking “hmm, I wish it was a scoop neck?” or “I wonder if i can make the neckline a bit narrower?” then fear not!  Because it’s really easy to alter the Turner Dress neckline.

In fact, it’s particularly easy because the Turner has a fully lined bodice – that means there’s no facing or neckband to alter. All you have to do is draw on the neckline of your dreams directly onto your pattern piece (you may need to add a bit of tissue paper).

The main tip I have is to keep it symmetrical – because there is negative ease through the bust, if you try to make it asymmetrical it will likely distort. I also recommend going with smooth lines – although if you want to put some crazy angles in there, make sure you interface the edges and it may just work!

Here are some Turner Dress neckline ideas for you:

Raise the V-neck

Does the V-neck dip a little too low for your comfort or workplace? Easy: draw a line from the shoulder to your desired bottom point.

alter Turner Dress neckline

Narrow the entire neckline

If you have narrow shoulders or like more coverage, you can keep the V-neck but add more coverage all around. With this alteration, because you’re changing the shoulders as well, you need to remember to do the same alteration to the back shoulder so that they match.

alter Turner Dress neckline

alter Turner Dress neckline
High V-neck

Like the V but would rather it much higher? Here’s how you draw it:
alter Turner Dress neckline

and here is how it will look!

alter Turner Dress neckline

Scoop neck

For a totally different look, try a scoop neck! Here’s how to draw a classic deep scoop (you’ll need to cut off the excess pattern piece at the neckline and add a little tissue at the center front).

 

alter Turner Dress neckline

alter Turner Dress neckline

High scoop neck

Fancy a scoop but also more coverage? Here’s another version:

alter Turner Dress neckline

alter Turner Dress neckline

Jewel neckline

If you’re looking for full coverage with a feminine dip (perfect for showing off those jewels!) then this jewel shape may work for you:
alter Turner Dress neckline

alter Turner Dress neckline

Deep dip neckline

And finally, for something different, here’s a deep dip neckline! It’s much narrower than the V but still fairly low cut:

alter Turner Dress neckline

Are you planning on playing with the neckline on your Turner Dress? Do you have any other fun ideas for different shapes? I’d love to see your modifications!


Cashmerette
December 12, 2016

Polka dot overlay Turner Dress: fancy AND comfortable!

You know how sometimes you try on a garment, and you think oh this is just so me?

THIS IS SO ME! (And if it’s so you, too, you can buy your own kit to make the dress here!)

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I’ve been a fan of dresses with sheer overlays for ages, but never quite managed to make one for myself. Partly because they’re typically woven – and I typically don’t wear many woven dresses. Love the idea, don’t like the sitting-down-in-them bit. However, I recently realised that the stretch polka dot mesh I bought last year would make an amazing overlay Turner Dress… and so it did!

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The Turner Dress really lends itself to having an overlay: the bodice is lined, so simply use the black jersey for the inner bodice and mesh for the outer bodice. Then, I cut the sleeves from the mesh, and for the skirt, simply cut one skirt in black jersey, one in mesh, basted them together at the waist, and then constructed as usual.

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I tried a couple of different hemming approaches – in the end, I machine zig-zagged the skirt hem, and hand-sewed the sleeve hems. Next time, I’ll use some rip-away tissue paper on the sleeve and machine-sew them, I think.

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What I love most about this dress is it looks really fancy… but it’s incredibly comfortable! I’ve decided it’s my Christmas Day dress – it’ll look great, but plenty of stretchy room for turkey seconds.

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If you want to make your own polka dot Turner Dress, I put together some kits so you can do just that! Check them out here – you can get one with or without the pattern.

What are your holiday sewing plans? Stay tuned over the next two weeks for some more Cashmerette Holiday versions!


Cashmerette
December 5, 2016

Turner Sewalong Day 5: Finishing Touches

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Today is the last day of our Turner Dress sewalong and all that’s left is the hemming and the twirling!

Let’s start by hemming the sleeves. Turn the hem under by 1” to the inside of the sleeve. If you have an especially shifty knit, this is a good time for trusty dusty Wonder Tape! Otherwise, pin from the outside.

Topstitch around the outside of the sleeve catching the hem that you folded under using a twin needle, a small zigzag stitch, or a coverstitch machine.

Repeat these steps for the other sleeve.

For the skirt, repeat the same hemming steps, but turn up the hem 1.5” on the skirt.

Give the hems and the rest of the dress a good press and you’re done!

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Now pop on your new Turner Dress and share it with us using #TurnerDress on social media! We can’t wait to see how you style this versatile dress!


Cashmerette
December 2, 2016

Turner Sewalong Day 4: Sewing and Attaching the Skirt

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Welcome back everyone! Our Turner Dresses are over halfway done and today we’ll assemble and attach the skirt.

Start by laying the skirt front on the skirt back, right sides together, and pin up both side seams.

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Sew the side seams, finish the seams if necessary, and press the seam allowances towards the skirt back.

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Turn the skirt inside out, place the right-side out bodice inside the skirt, and line up the waist.

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Pin the bodice and skirt together at the waist, matching the center fronts, center backs, and side seams.

We’re going to use a piece of clear elastic to stabilize this seam and support the weight of the skirt. Take a length of clear elastic and stretch it out several times. This ensures that the elastic won’t relax once it’s sewn. Cut a piece the same length as your waistline, not any shorter. Pin it to the skirt side of the waistline. Now sew through all four layers: elastic, skirt, bodice shell, and bodice lining.

Finish this seam if necessary and press the seam allowance down towards the skirt.

For our final installment, we’ll be hemming the sleeves and skirt and trying on our completed dresses!


Cashmerette

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