I’d heard people raving about wrap dresses and had a go with Butterick 5030. It was terrible! I made a test of the bodice and it just did not work. The pattern and remainder fabric went to a friend who kindly took it before I burnt it. That was 2014.
2017 comes around and I look up from my books and laptop. Enter the Appleton dress from Cashmerette. I’d purchased the pattern while finishing that thesis in 2016. As I dislike the printing/taping dance, I had it printed at the copy shop in 2017.
It took a little while to find just the right fabric for the test garment – one that I would actually wear and not so expensive that I would be distressed if it didn’t work. This fabric has a small geometric print that swirls, no pattern matching concerns and interesting enough to mask any mistakes.
This came from super cheap fabrics. It was about $5.00 a metre and I got enough to make mistakes and a top from the leftovers.
I picked the size 16 E/F cup and decided to just wing it with the straight sizing. That lasted about three minutes! I added some width to the hips and hem by blending out to size 18 then 20. I measured the pattern and increased the bicep width by 1 cm, then cut the elbow length. Finally, knee length hems don’t work on me, so I added 12cm to the length.
The neck band should lie flat across the back and the bodice band is stretched onto the bodice. This ensures it stays closed.
This certainly was the case for me, but the crossover was rather low for me. In this photo the ties are rather loose.
The design places the ties under the breasts, on the ribcage. I am short-waisted, but not that short! I pushed the ties down so that they sit on my waist and it looks good.
Costs & details:
Pattern – $15.00 for the PDF
Printing – $8.00 – two AO sheets
Dress fabric – $20.oo – Four metres of 100% poly with spandex, I used 2.4m.
Total = $35.00
Thoughts: I wore it all day to a family lunch at a lovely restaurant. The bodice stayed closed, but the crossover point was a bit low for me. The skirt has enough ease for walking. Wearing a dress is something I rarely do, so sitting was interesting. The skirt stayed closed, mostly! I had to remember scoop the skirt and hold the flap, as I sat down. I fidgeted all day with the ties and adjusting where they sat. Eventually I got it right.
Make it again? Very likely, but I will make some more adjustments. Adding the waistband tie to the skirt front rather than the bodice bands will lower the ties enough for them to sit on my waist. I also need to go up a cup size for a bit of extra coverage. The sleeves were close fitting even after adding extra width. I will add yet more width as I like my sleeves loose.
I am slightly staggered that I spent $15.00 on a single garment pattern, from a company I’ve never tried before. It was a big leap of faith for me. It worked out well this time, I will probably buy more Cashmerette patterns in the future. I’ll also use the AO printing wherever possible.
The family liked me in the new look, I had comments like “that’s really pretty!” from them. The dog was unmoved.