Howdy CSC! I’m here to talk about the newest pattern in Cashmerette’s line up, the Dartmouth Top!
When I got the email announcing Jenny’s newest pattern I immediately bought it as this style of top is so wonderful to wear, but hard to buy when you have a busty figure.* I’ve bought many commercially made fixed wrap tops in my life, but they always gap under the strain of a full bosom. Not the Dartmouth Top!
As with all of Cashmerette’s patterns the size range is pretty great for the curvy sewing crowd. The Dartmouth Top goes from a size 12 C/D cup (40/32/42) to a size 28 G/H cup (58/48/58). I made a size 14G/H at the bust and graded out to a size 18 at the hip based on my measurements (42/36/47). Besides grading between sizes the only other adjustment I made was to use the size 16 sleeve as my biceps are generally a size larger than my shoulders in most patterns. Blending sizes is one of the easiest ways you can customize your sewing and make clothing that fits so much better than ready to wear!
Overall I’m pretty happy with the fit I achieved on this first crack at the pattern. This knit is maybe a tad heavier than I should have used and made the front hem feel a bit bulky. In future versions I might trim one layer of the front hem so the machine only has to deal with 3 layers of knit instead of 4. My main complaint is the back hem rides up a tad while the front hem seems a little too roomy in the hip. I’m also never certain if I should tuck the wrap under my breasts or let it sit across. Ultimately I tucked it underneath, but my husband wasn’t so sure I was right. Either way that wrap did not budge all day and I never flashed anyone, so perhaps it is personal preference.
I was also able to cut the entire pattern out of a 46 inch length of fabric! It look some creative shifting of the pattern pieces and piecing together the neckband from the scraps, but I was thrilled to make it work when I realized my 1.5 yard cut of fabric has shrunk in the dryer!
I’m a little torn on the length of the Dartmouth Top. I am 5’6″, the height Cashmerette pattern’s are drafted to, but untucked the top feels really long. Probably because I wear a lot of skirts and it hits at an odd spot with a skirt. However the long length was perfect for wearing tucked in. If you have a booty, then you know my struggle to have tops stay tucked in all day. Usually they creep right up until I have a nice pool of extra fabric at the waist, but this shirt stayed put all day, even while moving around!
Like all of Cashmerette’s patterns the instructions were very easy to follow and the top came together very easily. If you’ve made her Concord or Appleton patterns you can tackle this too. In fact I pulled out my copy of the Appleton pattern to compare and while they are both wrap patterns, I found the Dartmouth Top to provide much better coverage of my chest. You can tell they came from the same or similar block, but there are enough differences for me to recommend owning them both!
Size Range (1-5) – 5, love the cup sizes!
Instructions (1-5) – 5, easy and clear
Construction Process (1-5) – 4, love the concept, but wish there was less bulk at the front hem
Final Fit (1-5), – 4, solid out of the envelope, but will tweak a bit in future versions
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation – 4.5, another wonderful pattern from Cashmerette and worth the purchase if you too love a fixed wrap top!
I already have a dress muslin in progress and my mind has been spinning with fun ways to play with the Dartmouth pattern!
*I bought the pattern on my own, but Cashmerette ultimately gave me a refund in exchange for my review. Really nice of her because I thought it was worth the purchase.