My (belated) Appleton Dress Pattern review!
you must remember that…a wrap is still a wrap…
Hello everyone…it’s been a while. Life, especially a newly adopted puppy, has greatly cut into my sewing and blogging time. I’m back with a review of a project from a month ago…the Cashmerette Appleton Dress.
I feel that my review of this dress would not be complete without some background regarding Cashmerette and its founder, Jenny Rushmore.
Jenny, is also one of the founding bloggers of the Curvy Sewing Collective and the creator of the Cashmerette Curvy Sketchbook. Her positive attitude towards her body and her desire to see beautiful designs available for curvy women is a true inspiration for me.
I’ve seen the opinion online that many indie pattern designers in effect design for their own body types. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion, as it has given us sewists access to more diversity in pattern sizing and proportions.
It’s pretty clear to me that Jenny is designing for a body type similar to her own.
Jenny, on the right, appears to be short-to-medium height, with a shorter waist length and fairly long legs. Her shape, at least based on what I’ve seen, appears to be hourglass. Her shoulders are medium-to-large for her height and frame. Her arms and legs are nicely shaped.
Her body proportions are also reflected in the Sketchbook croquis.
I am considerably older than, and have a different body type than Jenny. I am a Spoon (or Figure 8, between an Hourglass and a Pear). My hips are larger than my chest, but my chest is a good size (as well as seemingly going from my neck to my waist). I have a long waist and shorter legs, and fairly narrow shoulders. And I can only dream that my arms and legs would be as nicely shaped as Jenny’s – even with consistent exercise they won’t be.
Bearing that in mind, this is what the Appleton looks like on my figure. I didn’t have on my foundation garment for close-fitting knit dresses, because it was in the wash. So…it would look a little better with that included.
The point is, I don’t have a wrap dress figure. Never had one even when I was considerably more slender. My shoulders are too narrow, for one thing. The wide V-neckline is flattering, but to create the illusion of an hourglass I would need to balance with a fuller skirt.
And, due to my generous chest, even with using the right size pattern (and that is one great thing about this pattern line — the multiple cup sizing), I still am showing too much cleavage. When I wear this dress, I usually wear it with a tank top underneath.
As far as overall fit, the pattern sizing fit me well. The narrow shoulder alteration has become fairly standard for me, but I didn’t need to lengthen the waist. I think I lengthened the hemline about an inch or so, because I don’t like skirts that hit me at the fullest part of the knee area. One good thing…this wrap overlaps a lot on the skirt, meaning that you’re less likely to be flashing a lot of leg. Still, you need to be a little cautious about sitting with it on…just not as much as many wrap styles.
The dress sewed up quickly, with the only slightly tricky areas being the neck band and where the waist ties join the neck band. One tip that I want to pass along…label the right front, left front, right neckband, left neckband, right tie and left tie, so that you can easily identify which pieces go where. I learned this the hard way when making BurdaStyle’s Knotted Top (04/14).
The fabric used here was the Gertie roses print rayon jersey from Joann Fabrics in the grey version. It was a cute print, but I think due to the amount of negative ease, this dress might e better in a heavier weight knit than most rayon jerseys.
I’d give this pattern a solid “B” – I should remember that wrap dresses don’t work well for me. I’d even venture to give the pattern sizing an “A-“, due to the multiple cup sizes and the line being clearly sized for a curvy figure.
I’m not a big fan of the style of the next pattern in the line – The Washington – but I do look forward to future designs from Cashmerette.