Hello ladies of CSC! I’m Meg, a long time CSC follower, but a first time contributor! I blog over at Cookin’ and Craftin’.
I’m here today with a pattern review of the brand new Appleton dress pattern from Cashmerette Patterns, a new venture from CSC founder Jenny. This classic knit wrap dress is specifically designed with for women with curves (!!), with pattern sizing ranging from 12 – 28, with cup sizes ranging from C – H. The Appleton has “an innovative neckband which hugs the body for zero gaping, a built-in waist tie, a longer under-layer for less flashing potential, and three sleeve lengths.”
Note: I was a pattern tester for the Appleton dress, but my opinions about the pattern are my own. I am reviewing the tester version of the dress, but only very minor changes were made to the pattern as a result of testing, namely straightening out the high hip curve slightly and making a change to allow the wrap part of the skirt to hang vertically.
- Pattern name:
- Pattern description:
The Appleton is a classic knit wrap dress, with three different sleeve lengths.
- Size range (with measurements):
- What size did you make?
14 C/D bodice graded to 16 at the hips, with ¾ length sleeves
- What fabric did you use?
I used a medium-weight jersey with spandex… it has excellent recovery, which I think is key for a wrap dress.
- What are your measurements, height, and body type?
Bust: 41-42” Waist: 34” Hip: 46” Height: 5’7.5” Body Type: Pear
- What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
No adjustments, this is the (tester version) of the pattern, as-is.
- What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
I think the construction was quite straight forward. I found the instructions to be thorough without being annoyingly hand-holdy. I had some headscratching over the instructions for attaching the waist ties to the neckband, but ultimately had an “ah ha!” moment and it worked out fine.
I did wonder if there was a cleaner way to finish the hole in the side of the bodice through which the waist tie is threaded. I used my serger to sew the major seams and I found it difficult to start/stop serging around the hole in order to have the seam allowances loose there to press them open. I’ve seen lined/clean finish holes on RTW wrap dresses, but all of those have separate, lined waistbands, so it’s a totally different construction technique. Jenny tells me that she inspected several designer wrap dresses to analyze their construction details and this is how their waist tie holes are finished, so maybe it’s just a question of improving my technique to get a cleaner finish!
- How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I am really happy with the fit! I was worried that the dress might not work for me since my curviness falls more on my lower half than my upper half; I’m more pear-shaped/bottom heavy than busty. I thought that perhaps the straighter skirt style might not work for my wide hips, but it worked out fine! It’s fitted without being too tight or clingy, and the amount of over-wrap on the skirt makes it so that it doesn’t easily pull apart, even when sitting. There was a bit of extra fabric in the hip area (like wee little saddle-bags), but Jenny has fixed this for the final pattern, as I described above.
I like how the bodice looks, too. The wide neckband that is stretched to fit the bodice keeps everything nice and snug, as advertised. No gaping for me! I think because I am more of a C cup than a D cup and the bodice is a combined C/D, the wrap comes up a bit higher on me and is pretty cleavage-free. Jenny instructs that you should go up a cup size if you want more coverage.
Finally, I am pleasantly with the Appleton pattern’s built-in sway-back solution. I didn’t end up with any bunching or pooling in the lower back, which is fairly a-typical for me.
- Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
Yes! I definitely plan to make the Appleton again. I’ve worn this version several times since making it, including to the office and to an important business meeting, and I felt great in it! I’m so pumped about it, so I’ll probably just make the same version, with no changes. I am a bit curious, though, about how this pattern might work with a more flared or A-line skirt.
- Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
I exclusively used the pattern instructions to sew this dress since I was testing, but I know that Jenny of Cashmerette has a whole series of wrap dress construction tips here at Wrap Dress Central that might be helpful!
Pattern Rating (1-5, 1 is the lowest, 5 is the highest)
Size Range: 5 – designed specifically for the curvy ladies!
Instructions: 5 – very straightforward and clear
Construction Process: 4- I wish there was a cleaner way to finish the waist-tie hole, but otherwise A+
Final Fit: 5 – so happy with this non-gaping neckline and flash-free skirt!
Overall Rating: 5 – I love the final result and can’t wait to make more!
Disclosure: As Meg mentioned, Cashmerette Patterns is the new pattern line of CSC editor Jenny Rushmore.