Are you a commitment phobe? I am. I’m not talking about relationships – but I’m a commitment phobe with books (over 300 pages? That’s a big commitment… think about how long it will take me to read that… the whole time I’m reading it I won’t be able to read anything else, hmm…) and I’m a commitment phobe with sewing projects that have a lot of detail (especially if they also take up a lot of fabric). I loved the look of the Cashmerette Upton dress and bought the pattern immediately – but I couldn’t quite settle to making it. The size chart looked such a faff… maybe it’s easier just to make a nice gathered skirt, I inevitably thought.
That is, until my lovely friends Jen and Tom invited me to their wedding and I needed to make a dress for it. What better motivation for putting some real time into a make than two of your close friends getting married? So I decided it was time for an Upton dress. I was going to toile it. I was going to line the bodice properly. I was definitely going to do the hem by hand, even though the hem looked to be very long indeed….
And then I promptly fell at the first hurdle. Which size did I need??? If you’ve seen the back of a Cashmerette pattern envelope, hopefully you might sympathise with me – there are a LOT of numbers. Don’t get me wrong, I am HERE for dresses with bigger cup sizes; I think the worst thing about sewing for me is having to faff about with an FBA before I can even cut any fabric (especially as I don’t believe that the majority of women wear a B cup bra anymore, which is what patterns and ready to wear clothes are drafted for – we have bigger boobs now we’re not keeping thin by spending 57 hours a week on housework and taking a load of tranquilisers for our creeping anxiety…).
I needn’t have feared – look how incredibly helpful this e-mail from Carrie at Cashmerette is:
And it didn’t stop there. I asked questions about darts. I sent photos of my muslin. Carrie was so patient and helpful – I don’t think I’ve ever been so impressed with customer service as I was with Cashmerette. It made the fitting part of my make sooo much easier and less stressful. I couldn’t have been happier!
So there we go. I made a toile. I lined the bodice. I pattern matched. And I hand stitched. And I have to say, it has turned out to be one of my proudest makes – worth all that extra time.
And the wonderful bride and groom… would you believe I introduced these two?
The fabric is a wax print from a shop in Brixton. I can’t remember the name, but it’s on Atlantic Road, on the same side as the covered market (but before you get to the market if you are walking from the station). I was drawn to the print straight away, and then I remembered I’d seen it before – Sew Vee’s Emerald Beetlejuice Colette Rue dress. I felt like a bit of a copycat and I did dither, I won’t lie – but I came to my senses and remembered that we don’t actually even know each other, so it wouldn’t matter if we had a similar dress! Plus, it was only £10 for six yards – can’t say fairer than that.
I have to say, I am soooo pleased with the fit of this dress – I lowered the darts and pinched a little out of the shoulder straps on the toile, but that’s all. It made such a huge difference using a pattern designed for someone with (.)(.) The bodice is lined (I just used a nice black cotton), and I finished the hem by hand.
I made the pleated skirt version of the pattern, as you can see. The instructions were good – very easy to follow. The pattern wasn’t that difficult – it just took a while to do everything neatly and do the hand stitching. I also really like the effect I got by having the stripes vertical on the bodice and horizontal on the skirt. My only regret? I couldn’t find a necklace to go with the dress!
I also have to make a confession – Jen and Tom’s wedding was last year. Happy anniversary guys…
I wore this dress again recently, to our school prom. As it happens, one of my fellow teachers was a professional photographer before she hung up her camera for the riches and fame of secondary education, and she very kindly agreed to take a few pictures so you can see the dress more clearly. So I will leave you with her fantastic photos and the promise that you will see another Upton from me some time in the future – although maybe not until I have another event to motivate me…