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Made by a Fabricista: Janine Sews

This is my first post as a member of Fabric Mart's Fabricista team! I'm excited to be partnering with Fabric Mart Fabrics because it’s my go-to store for fabrics and other sewing supplies. I’ve ordered from the online shop for about 3 years but I now live about an hour from the store so I hope to share some online and in-person purchases with you in the coming months.  

I'm not one of those people who has a sewing plan. I sew on impulse! I'd never do a "make nine" challenge because I am like a bird - I'm attracted to shiny things. The shiny thing this month was yellow and grey fabric. That’s a favorite color combo in my wardrobe. It's bright and sunny and reminds me of a yellow trench coat that has been a fixture on many vacations. Making this dress filled me with the anticipation of warmer days and trips to restaurants, patios and maybe even soaking up the sun on the balcony of some vacation villa.  

Fabric 

The fabric was purchased online from Fabric Mart Fabrics The description is "Caution Yellow/Graphite Gray Blouseweight Woven" (Found HERE, if in stock.) This is a completely opaque polyester fabric that would make a nice blouse, but it is just right for a dress.


Pattern

As this will be a sit-around with a drink or hang out on vacation dress, I wanted something comfortable so selected the Cashmerette Webster (available at Fabric Mart!). I liked this pattern for the fitted bust, loose body and interesting straps on the back. It's also perfect for a fabric that drapes well and floats in the wind. 

Cashmerette patterns are designed for people with curves. The size charts are slightly different from Big 4 patterns, however, they offer a handy size calculator which was very helpful because I definitely would have cut the wrong bust cup size. The only adjustment I made when cutting the dress was adding 2” to the length. 

Details 

The weave on this fabric is very dense and a bit slippery which meant care was needed when laying out the fabric. I was concerned about pins possibly leaving marks so used very few fine pins to secure the pattern pieces then added weights (and a cat) to secure everything while I cut with scissors. I didn’t use a rotary cutter this time because I was concerned about the fabric shifting. 


Note - It is important to carefully mark the placement lines for the upper straps so they are angled correctly on your back. 


When I did my test seam on scrap fabric the fabric puckered slightly so I switched over to a Schmetz Microtex needle (size 70/10) and slightly loosened the needle tension. I used Wonder Clips instead of pins when sewing.  

To tidy up the inside I ran a second row of stitches in the seam allowance and then used pinking shears.


This is quite a simple pattern and the instructions are good. Amazingly, there was only one unpicking session and that was when attaching the lower edge of the back straps. I did not take the advice to have someone help me place the straps and they wound up being placed way too low and that led to a bunch of unpicking of both seams and understitching. After some thought I realized that I needed to have the straps higher to accommodate the shape of my back. The pattern leaves an opening for the lower edge of the straps but that was way too low for my round back. I wound up moving the lower edge of the straps almost 2” higher. If you have a rounded or broad back like mine, consider leaving an extended opening so you don't need to unpick. 

The instructions for the hem are to fold under 1/4” and then again 1/2”. I'm absolute rubbish at finicky folds - I have a really bad habit of just eyeballing hems but I'm trying to be more careful so I followed some advice posted in various places and ran a row of long stitches (5mm) at the point of the first fold (I used 1/3") and pressed using that line as a guide. Then I stitched ran another row of stitches up 1/2" and pressed again. Finally, I topstitched. This process worked well and I didn't dread hemming the long edge!

The last bit was hand stitching the side and back neck facings in place and the dress was done!


I like the tidy neck and arm facing finishes. Also, the straps are wide enough that you can wear a bra and there is zero gaping at the front armscye! No pins or fashion tape anywhere! 

This fabric is just the right weight for this dress. And it doesn't crease so that makes it a perfect dress to throw in the suitcase for a weekend away, whenever that may be!

It's still a bit chilly to wear this dress today so I've paired it with another brand new make, Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan (I've made a few of these over the years link to my blog post here). The cardigan fabric is something special that I've been hanging on to for a couple of years. It’s a lovely, luscious St John knit that I purchased from Fabric Mart a couple of years ago. The sweater matches the dress perfect. Some things are meant to be! 


Now waiting impatiently ‘til this duo can go out somewhere and be seen!

Take care and I’ll see you again soon!

JANINE  | @janineerm


Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following category, SHIRTING & BLOUSEWEIGHTS.

You can also shop our stock of  Cashmerette Patterns HERE.

Comments

  1. It lovely. Where did you find that large cutting sheet?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I bought that cutting mat at JoAnn a couple of years ago. It works great on a bed!

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  2. Love your new dress (and cardi)! And I am chuckling at how you nonchalantly added "and a cat" into your cutting description.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! The ever present cat! I don't ever remember dogs being quite so interested in sewing projects.

      Delete
  3. 2 nice makes in which you look lovely! ... thx for sharing tips on working w/fine fabric, finishing raw edges, and cashmerette patterns ... i love shopping at fabric mart fabrics, too, and hope to visit them some day ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad the detail was helpful. I try to keep track of particular tools and techniques because I seem to forget myself :)

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  4. you have a gift for styling. i'd never have thought to pair the two pieces but they actually enhance each other rather than detracting; a happy springtime outfit for sure!--anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anne! That's very kind :) Sometimes things just seem to go together.

      Delete

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