The first ever Cashmerette pattern I saw and purchased was the Washington Dress. This combines a knit with a woven which is really unusual and I have never seen a pattern like it. The bodice is a knit and the skirt is a woven, so really it is the best of both worlds!
I worked on it a the first Cashmerette retreat I went to. Working with the combination of fabrics sounded a bit tricky so I thought making it with the designer Jenny who created the pattern whilst I had the chance would be my best option so I could pick up any tips and tricks. I was really surprised with myself I was smaller than I realised and was able to make the bodice a smaller size than I originally I thought I would need. We graded between 3 sizes for the bodice, yoke and the skirt so this is a mix of size 18, 24 and 22.
At the retreat I got it all finished except for the hems on the arms. I tried to finish it at home but my dear sewing machine who doesn’t like knit fabric ate the fabric on my first attempt… I was devastated. The dress looked good but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do the arm hems. The dress then lived on my lounge chair for about 6 months. I would pick it up every now and then but still unsure how to fix it back I placed it. After doing some of the patterns in A Beginner’s Guide To Sewing Knitted Fabrics I discovered a technique to do the hems where you use a three step zig zag stitch. I did it on a couple of patterns from the book and it worked on lightweight knitted fabrics which my machine normal ate the fabric on but using this stitch it didn’t. I bit the bullet and pulled out this dress and within 15 mins my dress was finished.
The knit fabric was something I got about 2 years ago but just lived in my stash waiting to be made into something. The woven I think I got from Pitt Trading, again it was living in my stash waiting to be made into something. The pattern suggests you use a scuba fabric for the yoke but all the scuba I can find is synthetic which I hate wearing so I used the same fabric I used for the rest of the skirt. The fabric has a slight stretch to it. I am really happy with my choice.
This dress ticks all my points when considering items to make
- Comfort √
- Classic √
- Creative / Quirky √
- Natural Fibres √
It is really comfortable and I have actually worn it heaps. Style wise it is a nice simple fitted dress. The combination of fabrics makes it a bit quirky and certainly is a creative way to use them. Both the fabrics used are cotton, the skirt is more a rigid cotton but it is cool to wear on the skin even on the waist which is slightly more fitted than I am used too wearing.
Now I will be honest when I first saw this pattern I wasn’t really taken by the fabrics used in the pictures for it. The models in it looked great in the dresses but the colour combinations used in them weren’t drawing me in to making it. The pattern sketch diagram was what made me really want to make this dress. Seeing this dress made in colours that were to my taste has just made me really fall in love with this dress. If I find colour combinations I like I will make this dress again.
I love my dress. It is a shame it took me most of the year to finish it but saying that I have learnt so much clothing making wise this year that I am proud that I was able to work out how to finish it after learning techniques from other projects.