This was my first time making a Cashmerette pattern; they’re not usually my style, if I am being honest. I prefer my clothes to have a more vintage-inspired twist (saying that, the Upton dress is on my make list as it has a really classic silhouette). However, I purchased a gold jersey fabric from New Craft House and needed a really simple pattern to go with it.
When it comes to a jersey, my go-to pattern is usually Colette Patterns’ Moneta Dress. However, I wanted something with a faux wrap just to elevate the style slightly rather than using the Moneta round-neck bodice.
The Alcott dress is a simple pattern with a clean silhouette; it has a fully-lined empire-line wrap bodice (which was perfect for my fabric which was quite transparent), elastic waistband, and a choice between a full skirt or an a-line skirt with ruffle and an option of full sleeves with ruffle or two lengths of flutter sleeves. With a technique I had never seen before, the wrap bodice has elastic at the neckline so it stays put and stops the fabric from stretching out over time. And, as a pattern that comes with a maternity skirt hack, I can see how other elements of this pattern works alongside this.
Size and Fit:
The Cashmerette calculator would put me at a size 16 E/F as a starting point; however, from reading the size chart and finished measurements I knew that a 14 C/D would be sufficient. I did make a quick toile of the bodice pieces to ensure this was the case with a fabric that had a similar stretch percentage. I was happy with the fit of the dress but it is such a cleverly simple design that there would not be many adjustments needed, not only given that it is designed for stretch fabrics but also that it is not a fitted, figure-hugging skirt and I opted for the flared sleeves as I felt as if they worked best with the fluid drape of my fabric.
The only adjustment I would feel essential to make to the pattern is to make the skirt fuller as that is what I am used to, given my penchant for vintage fashion.
I would also be curious to change the dress from being empire line to sit on my natural waist and I absolutely will make it again in the future so I can try this. It would suit a fuller skirt if I managed to change this.
The actual construction of this dress was incredibly simple. As this was my first time sewing a Cashmerette pattern, I did not know what to expect.
I’ve followed Cashmerette for almost as long as I have been sewing (during the initial lockdown) and I’ve always been impressed at the way in which Jenny Rushmore presents and promotes her designs (especially her new book, Ahead of the Curve, which I did buy and have to work through this year) so I was not surprised at the clarity of the instructions or ease of sewing. At the heart of Cashmerette, there is a focus on accessibility; no matter what your experience or ability, you should feel confident taking on this pattern.
There is nothing tricky about this pattern – the instructions are incredible so, even if you are a beginner and haven’t sewn with knits before, you’ll get on fine. There are only 5 pattern pieces (in the version I have made without the added frills) so this sews up in no time at all. I’d say you could sew it up easily within half an hour (for me, it’s the cutting that takes time but that’s because I suffer from a touch of vertigo so cutting can sometimes be a headache – often literally).
I really like this pattern; the version I have made is for new year’s eve. As simple as the style may well be, combined with this gold glitter jersey from New Craft House, I think this is an elegant and romantic style of dress. I absolutely will make it again but I think it has spurred me on to try the Upton dress soon.