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March 21, 2016

Free Appleton Top Hack & Expansion Pack!

Since I launched the Appleton Dress I’ve had requests for an Appleton Top hack (and I’ve already seen some cropping up on Instagram!), so today I’m sharing how to transform your Appleton Dress into an Appleton Top. Wrap tops are so, so versatile when you’re putting together an outfit of separates and I think they always look a little more polished than a sweater or cardigan. Ever since I made this one I’ve been wearing it incessantly…

Cashmerette Appleton Top

I love wearing my Appleton top with jeans – the mid-hip level suits me, though obviously you can adjust the hem length to whatever works for your figure best (for reference, I”m 5’6″).

Cashmerette Appleton Top

Alternatively, if you tuck your top into a skirt or pants it gives the impression of a cropped length – without any accidental flashing of the tummy when you lean over! No bust flashing, no tummy flashing… Double bonus.

Cashmerette Appleton Top
To add a little bit of interest to the top, I also made four new pattern pieces, which you can download in the free expansion pack. First up, I added a set of cuffs. The mid-length cuff shown here takes it to a “true” three quarter length, halfway down the forearm. The expansion pack also has cuffs for the short and long sleeve length (top tip: you can use the cuffs on the Washington Dress too!).

The expansion pack also includes a brand new shaped waist tie, which flares out at the bottom for a cute look.

Appleton Top Hack

Appleton Top Kits

Finally, you can get a kit to make this exact top! It’s available as a bundle together with the Appleton Dress pattern here at $39.99 for a limited period of time, or if you already have the pattern you can buy the jersey by the yard here.

Cashmerette Appleton Top

Download the free Appleton Top Hack Expansion Pack

To get the Appleton Top Hack tutorial and free expansion pack (containing the three cuff lengths, and the new waist tie) simply sign up to my bi-weekly newsletter below! You’ll receive a downloadable PDF in your email, with the pattern pieces and tutorial. To use the expansion pack, you’ll need to already own a copy of the Appleton Dress pattern, which you can buy in paper format here and PDF here.

Already a newsletter subscriber? No problem, just re-enter your info, and you’ll get the download but we’ll make sure you only get the newsletter once.

I can’t wait to see your Appleton Tops – make sure to tag them with #AppletonTop and I’ll send you a virtual high five!

Are there any other hacks you’d like to see of Cashmerette Patterns? Let me know!


Cashmerette
February 2, 2015

Stripy, lacy, swooshy goodness! (aka yet another McCall’s 6931)

Last year I got quite the stash from Kashi at Metro Textiles in NYC, including Pendleton silk, wool for baby coats, aaaaaaannnnd
THIS STRIPY LACE.
McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top
Wargh! I don’t usually like lace but this very simple design called my name. Loudly.  It has sat in my stash ever since, being brought out frequently for petting and draping (my favourite thing to do with uncut yardage is to drape it over myself to make full length strapless ballgowns with a train….). I finally decided that it was time to Liberate the Lace, and plotting began.
McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top

As soon as I saw it at Kashi’s I thought a full, tea-length, skirt with an underskirt would be just the job. For the fullness a circle skirt would have been great, but I wanted to keep the stripes horizontal and you can’t do that with a circle skirt (or at least without tons of individual panels and just imagine the stripe matching on that).

Instead, I got out my old trusty TNT: the McCall’s M6931. It has both pleats and a slightly gathered waist (thanks to the elastic waistband), and actually comes with a suggestion to do a sheer/under layered version. The underskirt is black silk (also from Kashi!), hemmed slightly shorter than I usually do with this pattern. And then the overskirt is exactly the same, just longer.

McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top

I was pretty nervous about sewing with it, because it boggles the mind a little to figure out how a sewing machine can sew what is mostly air. But, surprisingly, it worked (yet another case of just giving things a try rather than freaking out). I used French seams at the side which worked fine although they’re slightly bulky because I was erring on the side of caution. For the hem, I just cut underneath one of the solid lines, and because of the way lace is woven, no finishing is required.

McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top
What can I say? I LOVE IT. It goes well with my black Christine Jonson wrap-dress top hack (believe it or not this is exactly the same combo of patterns as my flamingo outfit!) and my ever-trusty gold JCrew belt (top tip: they have plus sizes ones online).
McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top

Now I just have to engineer a bunch of opportunities to wear this gauzy lady out of the house. Either that, or I need to be super trendy and wear it with a turtle neck and some sneakers, JCrew style…

Have you ever worked with lace? What other modern ways have you found to use it?


Cashmerette
October 23, 2014

Flamingos and a blog hop: a classic combination

While I continue battling on with my coat, I thought I’d whip up an easy TNT outfit and make full use of those adorable flamingos, which I wisely over-bought when purchasing the lining for the aforementioned coat. Another McCalls 6931 if you please! 
Even though this pattern is pretty basic, the combo of pleats and elastic waistband and only taking 90 minutes to make is a winner in my book. It works best with swooshy fabrics, and these flamingos were most certainly swooshing around on the poly crepe de chine. I bought mine from EmmaOneSock, but it’s still available from Caroline Amanda’s new venture, Blackbird Fabrics.

Can you guess…..?

YES I AM A FLAMINGO LADY.

In addition, I have been mulling the possibility of making a wrap top with my dear Christine Jonson wrap dress pattern, and finally made it happen. I don’t know what I was waiting for – it took all of an hour and I totally love it. All I did was hack the pattern off just below the waist, and then add a 1 inch hem band. I didn’t bother making a hole for the ties to go through, and it seems to work fine just wrapping around my waist. I used an gorgeous merino wool sent all the way from New Zealand by the lovely pink-haired Sophie-Lee.

 

My other bit of news is that I was nominated by my dearest sewing friend Mary of Idle Fancy to participate in the seemingly never-ending blog hop that’s been going around. So if you’re interested, read on – and if not, scroll back up… look! flamingos!
Why do you write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, although for a long time it was mostly confined to schoolwork. However a while back I started up a blog about books, after telling someone that I read about a book a week during the year and then wondering if that was really true. Turns out it was! Then, there was a hiatus until Lauren and I learned how to sew, rapidly started learning almost everything from the sewing blogosphere, and then decided to join. Rediscovering the joy of writing has been just one of the many things blogging has brought me, and for that I am grateful. 
How do you write?
My blog posts usually start with pictures, and I’m lucky enough to have a sewing lady blog photo posse. I’m most often joined by Katy & Laney but also sometimes by Ping, Carrie and MacKenzie, and the day usually goes like this: rendezvous at my house. Get coffee. Wander the streets looking for a blank wall with good light. Two or three of us take photos of the other one, paparazzi style, hiding in bushes, up trees, and, a favourite, standing directly in the middle of the road. Repeat. Get the lint roller out. Adjust hair. Get another coffee. Well deserved brunch. As you can tell it is a most pleasurable approach to blog writing. 
Then it’s back home, and I usually edit and write my posts straight away. I’m generally a “fast” person  – I read fast, write fast, talk fast and so on. So blog post writing gets done fast – I don’t think it ever takes more than an hour from photo editing to finishing. Luckily (for me at least), my writing is pretty similar to how I think and talk so it tends to come easily, and I don’t worry much about how things come across – I figure if you like it, you like it, if you don’t, you’ll stop reading!
How does your blog differ from others of its genre?
I don’t think my blog is entirely unique (apart from the fact it’s the only one exclusively featuring me!) but I do think I’m in a small but growing group of curvier bloggers who don’t talk about trying to get smaller or look thinner, but rather just get on with looking good and making what we want to wear. When I started reading blogs it took a while before I found kindred spirits, but just in the past few years I’ve noticed so many more compatriots and that’s incredibly heartening. Of course there’s also the Curvy Sewing Collective, which has also hopefully helped encourage more curvy women to get sewing and blogging!
What are you working on next?
Well that’s that #*?!@ coat… But I also have some awesome laser cut neoprene that I’ll be making a pencil skirt from; some Prada (apparently!) silk to make a busty-lady Archer, and some pattern testing which hopefully will yield an incredible silk Christmas party dress! 

So, passing on the blog hop next.. it’s hard to choose! As I’ve mostly seen fairly well-known bloggers participate so far,  I thought I’d throw it to a newbie: Rosie from SparkleNeedles.

Rosie has only just started sewing and blogging but 1) she is hilarious. Like, really, really funny 2) she is already getting so good! 3) I love her style (it is, in her words “a 5 year old at a rave”)  4) it’s fun to revisit the beginner days and 5) did I mention she’s hilarious? Anyway, you should totally check out her site, and even though I know she’s only just started blogging I would love to hear her answers to the blog hop. Over to you, Rosie!


Cashmerette

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