If you’ve read my blog in the past you know that I don’t like doing FBAs because I am too impatient to do all that tracing, cutting, taping. It seems like each Indie pattern designer has their own design sense, so while perusing patterns I finally took a serious look at Cashmerette and did some shopping.
My inspiration is a need for a quick summer top that will fit properly. That’s not asking too much, is it?
The Cashmerette Springfield top is offered in sizes 12-28, and it comes in cup sizes so it promises no FBA! Hooray! I made the 2nd version (above) with the yoke and seaming in the back (is it called Princess seams when it’s just in the back?). My thinking is that this version adds more shape to the back, and allows the front to hang and hide what I want hidden.
I picked up the pattern and fabric as a kit from Cashmerette. The pattern and 2 yards of fabric were marked on sale for $28. Given that the pattern alone is $14, this was a pretty good deal. The fabric included was a rayon. It stitched up really nicely and looks pristine when freshly pressed.
I tried to get really smart when I cut this out, and decided to preserve the full pattern sheets by neither tracing nor cutting the pattern sheets. My rationale was that I wouldn’t need to trace off my size then when I lose weight I’d have the smaller size pattern available to me.
When I was at the American Sewing Guild national conference a couple of weeks ago I visited the vendor fair and bought a variety of notions (and other stuff!), including a finely pointed tracing wheel and tracing paper, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try tracing onto the fabric, then cutting from the traced lines. Unfortunately blue tracing paper on fabric that is pink with blue flowers doesn’t exactly work so well. I got through the front bodice piece with this method then just decided it wasn’t worth the hassle so I cut the paper pattern pieces to my size.
If When I need a smaller size I’ll just buy another copy.
In addition to shopping at the national conference, I took several classes including one with Janet Pray, who is a proponent of using industry methods for home sewing. I had taken Janet’s Craftsy class some time ago and used some of her techniques, but after a 90-minute class, I felt more confident trying a few of her tricks.
Using Janet’s methods, I stitched up everything but the neck and arm bindings and hem in 65 minutes – starting at 6:45 am and finishing at 7:50 am. That’s right – I almost sewed an entire top in time to wear it for work the same day!
That evening I finished up the project in maybe another 90 minutes (bindings always seem to slow me down).
I did make two minor adjustments. When I tried on the top the right shoulder didn’t hang quite right, so I guess I must slope more on one side than the other (posture!), so I shaved off 1/4″ on just the right shoulder.
There is a yoke on the back of the top, and I topstitched the yoke seam in the middle of the back. Next time I make this, I’ll double up the yoke so that segment is lined. I just like that look, and it doesn’t add much fabric to the project.
This is probably the best fitting woven top I’ve made. It skims my figure and is neither too tight or too big. I feel comfortable and confident wearing it. One thing I noticed, the side seam isn’t straight – and that must be me because it hangs straight on the dress form. There’s plenty of ease, or at least it seems like there is the appropriate amount of ease.
Yes, the neckline is low, but when I wore it out socially I didn’t feel inappropriate. If I make this for work I will likely make it more modest maybe by an inch.
All in all, I’d say this is a winner and if you’re like me and alway need an FBA then I encourage you to try a Cashmerette pattern. I’m excited to try the dress pattern I purchased at the same time!