I sure am behind on photos and blog posts lately! But here I am! Back with my first non-pattern tester version of the Appleton wrap dress!
This is my friend Jenny’s first pattern from her new pattern company — Cashmerette Patterns! It’s so awesome and exciting to see her vision come to fruition and I can’t wait to see more! Cashmerette patterns are designed for curvy figures in sizes 12-28 and include cup sizes up to H, so if you’re in that realm of bust sizes, you don’t have to do an FBA. Wondrous, I say! And congratulations to Jenny on a successful launch!
As I mentioned previously, I was a pattern tester for the Appleton. Above is my tester version in cotton modal jersey. This dress was sewn before Jenny ironed out the pattern and made changes, so it’s not exactly like the Appleton pattern today. I also made a mistake with the front pieces of mine and cut them both to the smaller pattern line (one wrap side is larger than the other), so mine doesn’t wrap fully. I also wasn’t enamored with fabric choice for this dress as it’s a little too clingy, but I may wear it sometime with a nude slip.
My first version of the final pattern draft is made in this green cotton double knit that I picked up on the remnant floor at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco during the Columbus Day sale. The color is kind of an avocado and kind of like a Granny Smith apple, and also about the same color as my eyes. I just barely had enough fabric for this dress and had to do some little tricks to get all of the pattern pieces cut out. For instance, I cut one of the tie pieces in two and sewed them together, and I also had to cut a couple of pieces on the bias to get enough stretch to work for the pattern. My fabric does have a 50% stretch, but it’s not a 4-way stretch.
I cut a size 20 C/D for the bust, grading out to a size 24 for the waist/hips. My actual size following the size chart is a 20 C/D grading to a 21 on the waist and 22 on the hips, but after making the tester version, I felt that I needed some more room in the bum area, thus the reason I went up a size. However, the Appleton is designed for a light to mid-weight knit and jersey or ITY are recommended. My double knit is a bit more stable and not as drapey as the suggested fabrics, so when I sewed this in the larger size, the dress just kind of widened out at my hips and stood there. My fabric holds a shape, which is not really perfect for the Appleton. I chose the fabric as I wanted to disguise any lumps ‘n bumps, but it just does not drape enough for the pattern design. So I ended up taking in the side seams down a couple of sizes so the skirt draped better, which probably ended up being more like my size on the pattern’s size chart.
My only other alteration aside from the aforementioned was to add about 1 1/2″ length to this dress. I sewed it on my sewing machine and finished the seams on my serger. I used knit stay tape on my hem and zig zag stitches on my skirt and sleeve hems.
I love most everything about this dress. It feels chic and “grown-up” to me. I suppose I don’t feel that the styles that I usually gravitate towards can be described as such. I like the deep V-neck and it’s so very comfortable to wear. I’m also wearing a full coverage bra and it doesn’t peek out. There’s absolutely no gaping and when you sit down, the skirt doesn’t open up either. It makes you feel very covered, whilst being a little revealing. The one thing I’m not fond of is the back view. It clings a bit to my bum, which is why I prefer fuller skirts, especially with knits. I had hoped that a thicker knit would alleviate this, but it doesn’t. That’s the main reason why I went up in size. This is just my personal preference as I’m not a fan of bum clinging garments. This dress is a fall/winter dress for me, so I think I’ll feel better about the back view when I’m sporting tights or leggings with it.
When I make my next Appleton with the rayon bird print jersey from Jenny’s Appleton kit, I think I will still go up a size to see if it works better with a fabric that has more drape. If that doesn’t work, I’ll take it in again on the seams and make future versions in my stated size. Overall, I’m just really happy with this dress in spite of any misgivings about the back view, and I look forward to making it a staple in my fall/winter wardrobe.
Note: I received this pattern in return for testing this pattern in it’s initial stages.
- Dress: Cashmerette Appleton wrap dress in green cotton double knit, made by me
- Boots: Aerosoles
- Earrings: Bauble Bar