The blog you’re reading today has been around since 2010, but 2016 was the first full year for Cashmerette Patterns – and what a year it was! As seems to be the way as you get older, the year felt both longer and shorter than 12 months here at Cashmerette Towers. I thought I’d do a quick review of what went on – and give you a bit of a sneak peek into what’s coming next year.
Cashmerette Pattern launches
The focus at Cashmerette this year was getting as many high quality curve-friendly sewing patterns out to you, as quickly as possible – and we managed to launch 5, which I think is pretty good! We kicked off the year with the Concord T-Shirt, which turned out to be our #1 selling pattern of 2016. So many of you love the bust and shoulder fit, and it’s definitely one our favourites too. Then, on to the first woven pattern for Cashmerette: the Upton Dress.
We followed that up with the Springfield Top – and I’m loving seeing all the versions springing up now down under for the Australia/NZ summer. September saw the launch of the first shirt made for curves, the Harrison Shirt, and that was our largest launch to date – clearly a lot of you have been waiting a long time for a non-gaping shirt. And then we rounded off the year with the Turner Dress, a flattering everyday dress that’s a quick addictive sew.
In addition to these patterns, we also released a free download for a simple flat-front, elastic-back skirt that’s a super fast sew in any size. You can download your copy here.
Our mission at Cashmerette is all about helping curvy women feel fabulous through making fantastically fitting clothes, so it was natural to expand into workshops this year. I led the first in-person workshop at Stitch Sew Shop in Alexandria, VA, teaching a group of fabulous ladies how to make the Appleton Dress.
But because not everyone is located near an in-person workshop or has the time available, we also launched the first online workshop, Shirt Making For Curves, which teaches you how to make the Harrison Shirt. The class covers everything from choosing your fabric to sewing on the final button, and is full of advice, tips and techniques that go well beyond the pattern instruction booklet. You can watch the 15 part, 3.5 hour class from the comfort of your own home, and re-watch as much as you like.
Sewing great fitting clothes for curves starts with having an awesome pattern, but there’s still often more work to be done to get a great fit. In addition to having photographic step-by-step sewalongs for our 2016 patterns (except the Harrison, which has the video class), we also had tutorials to help you adjust and personalize your patterns.
To make a pattern your own, we showed you how to transform the Concord T-shirt into a tunic or dress, how to do fun hacks for t-shirts, alter the neckline of the Turner Dress, and hack the Appleton Dress into a top (with a free download!).
Behind the Scenes
Of course, a lot went on behind the scenes to make all this happen. A few highlights of the year were:
- Bringing on the first Cashmerette team-member, Carrie! Not only does she provide endless hours of studio entertainment, but Carrie also ships out all your orders super-pronto, runs the sewalongs and answers your emails.
- A great trip to Los Angeles to find new wholesale suppliers for our fabric – we are so pleased to now have relationships with some fantastic places that source designer roll ends that we’re able to pass on to you as kits.
- Moving into our new studio. Cashmerette Patterns may only be a year-and-a-bit old but it’s already had 3 homes. We started in the back room of the sadly departed Grey’s Fabrics, then moved into a super-tiny studio attached to the back of a moving truck company, and now we are in a slightly less tiny studio next door. It may not have A/C or natural light, but it’s ours 🙂
- Expanding the number of stores that carry our patterns – we now have over 70 stockists in 8 countries, from Canada to Japan. You can check out the full list here.
Work aside, there’s always still time for personal sewing. Some of my favorite makes for 2016 were the silk Springfield Top and Maxi Skirt outfit which kept me cool through the scorching summer, my Japanese jacquard knit Concord Dress and my sheer polka dot Turner Dress. The most crazy was definitely my hacked Upton dirndl – it was a rewarding challenge. And yes, I know that my personal sewing was mostly of Cashmerette Patterns – but I have to confess that now I have patterns that I don’t have to adjust, it’s really hard to convince myself to do endless adjustments or grade up anything else!
Coming up in 2017
Phew! I’m exhausted just writing this blog post! But there’s plenty more coming up in 2017.
Get ready for a bunch of new patterns – including the #2 and #3 most requested garments – expansion packs to transform your current patterns, more online and in-person workshops, and lots more help in achieving a perfect fit.
I hope you enjoyed coming on the journey with Cashmerette in 2016, and I’m excited to show you everything we have in store for 2017! If you could make one wish for the year in curvy sewing, what would it be?