Jenny Rushmore aka Cashmerette has just release her first book and although I’m cutting down on the sewing books I buy I had to pre-order myself a copy as soon as she announced it and I’m glad I did.
If you are not familiar with Cashmerette it is pattern company which originally started as having plus size patterns that came with multiple bust size options C-G as a lot of other brands with plus size options still only draft on a B cup. In recent times they have released some of their patterns in smaller sizes but still with the different bust sizes options. The target audience for this book is for those who have curves as the patterns included (I will get to those later) are from size US 12-32 however I think anyone who does dressmaking could benefit from this book. This book is more than just plus size patterns.
The book is set out in 3 sections
Preparation – In this section Jenny demonstrates how to measure yourself accurately on your own. Some people are lucky enough to meet with friends who can help take their measurements but others like myself often have to do it on our own so it is important to see how to do it right. Once you have your measurements Jenny shows you how to pick your size/s from any pattern including how to grade between pattern sizes if your measurements fall between multiple sizes. Jenny mentions that you may automatically pick a larger size if you are so used to patterns being small which is something I have a habit of doing but it is important to look at the finished size measurements of the garment as you might not need the larger size. I’m very guilty of I’m plus size therefore I needed the biggest size available.
Fitting – This part of the book has an overview of fitting and then is divided up into 5 fit clinics
- Shoulders and Neck
- Lower Half
Each clinic is very comprehensive covering common fitting problems for that area including showing before and after photos on how to fix each problem. The bust clinic demonstrates how to do FBA’s (Full Bust Adjustments) on both woven and knit garments that don’t have darts. Knit garments is an area not often covered in terms of FBA’s. You may need to a do Small Bust Adjustments so that is also covered. Both FBA’s and SBA’s are demonstrated on princess seams too. Princess seams are a little more involved in doing the adjustments but the book steps you through it.
What I thought was a nice touch was there is a page which mentions fitting for those who use a mobility aid like myself. It discusses things to take into consideration. If you use a mobility aid it might be common sense to think of things such as you need no restrictions around your arms but if you are making a garment for someone else who uses an aid you might forget that small detail.
Patterns – The last sections is the patterns. The book has 5 new Cashmerette patterns.
- Kersoe Top
- Magna Pants
- Stanway T-shirt
- Honeybourne Dress
- Foxhill Dress
The patterns are basic which gives you experience is making and fitting the different styles as each one is demonstrated in the fit clinics. The patterns are for a mixture of knits and wovens. I think they are all a classic style. Once you are familiar with making them and have your fitting for your body you could expand on them. You could add pockets or lengthen/shorten them. The patterns are a nice starting point.
In 2018 I did 2 sewing reatreats with Jenny when she was in Australia which I loved. She really kicked off my desire to make my own clothes. I have made a lot of clothes in the last 3 years however fitting hasn’t been my strong point. I learnt a lot when Jenny was here but I haven’t necessarily put it into practice or the fit issues I found once the garment was made wasn’t necessarily covered during the retreats. I love this book as it covers a lot of the fit issues I have. From seeing my clothes on I can see what issues I had but I didn’t know what they were called or I didn’t know the difference between the different fitting adjustments you see online. In this book I can identify through the photos my issues such as having too much fabric at the back of my neck and needing a rounded upper back adjustment. It is also shows you how to calculate how much you need to adjust the pattern. It is all very well to watch a tutorial online on how to do an adjustment but how do I know how much to do it by? This book covers it and that’s why I love this book so much. This book isn’t just for plus size sewists it is for anyone who has fit issues and finds other pattern fitting books a bit confusing or confronting.