December 27, 2016

What a year! Cashmerette’s 2016 in review

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.

Cashmerette Patterns 2016

Concord T-ShirtUpton DressSpringfield TopHarrison ShirtTurner Dress

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.


Cashmerette Workshops

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.

Cashmerette Workshop

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.

On the fitting front, we showed you how to make your sleeves larger, change the height of a bust dart, fix a gaping neckline, and narrow the shoulders and neckline of a pattern.

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!).

Cashmerette Patterns 2016

Concord T-shirt hack, and Appleton Dress top hack

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.

Cashmerette studio

Our makes

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!


Springfield Top and Maxi SkirtTurner DressUpton dirndl

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?


11 thoughts on “What a year! Cashmerette’s 2016 in review

  1. Kat says:

    I would wish for Cashmerette Patterns to be available in size 10. I can wear my Concord as a jumper but it is too large to fit as a t-shirt. So I am hesitant to get other patterns. l understand that this is wishful thinking but since you asked… 😀 Keep up the great work and a very happy new year!

  2. Micki Belcher says:

    Will you have more workshops this year? I just found your blog and the Appleton pattern. It’s been years since I’ve seen clothes and would appreciate guidance.

    1. Jenny says:

      Yes, I will have at least two online workshops and two in-person workshops in the Washington DC area although I may well add more as the year goes on

  3. Bridgette says:

    Any sneak peaks of new patterns? Please!

  4. Jessica says:

    I would echo Kat. I love your patterns, made Appleton in a 12 graded to 14 at the hip, but have lost some weight and really need a 10 with an E/F cup on top and a 12-14 on the bottom. I am trying grading Turner down now, because I love the bust fit so much in your patterns. I totally understand why you wouldn’t though, and am willing to out in the work for it.

    1. If you take a look at the finished garment measurements, you may well find you fit in the size 12 in knits given the negative ease involved. But if not, check out this small bust adjustment:

      1. Jessica says:

        The shoulders of the 12 are too big, the bust its fine. Concord was falling off in a 12. My grading down Turner to a 10 E/F looks like it will fit perfectly based on my test.

  5. Ellen says:

    Love your patterns and the blog, and looking forward to more good stuff in 2017! I am terrible about posting (I work full time and am raising three rowdy boys–most of my sewing time doubles as supervision while they goof off in the adjacent space) but here’s what I’ve made from your patterns:
    – 5 or 6 concord T shirts in a variety of solids and prints
    – 2 or 3 concept dresses, which are staples!
    – an upton dress that wasn’t that flattering but which got me making a different dress pattern as my go to TnT for dresses
    – a red linen Harrison shirt with fun patterned under collar and inner cuffs which is am wearing this very minute. I like the pattern and fit was perfect out of the envelope (ok, I was being too lazy to make a muslin but it worked out beautifully!). Do wish you had a nice shirt with darts as the seam lines on the Harrison are visually distracting. Oh, and must remember to add .75 in length to sleeves next time!
    – have the Springfield pattern but got too cold to make it. Envisioning it in some metallic linen….

    I think I’ll splurge on your Turner kit just because hen I’ll have a complete set… So cute!! Hoping you create patterns for a mini skirt, a basic darted shirt, and some jeans. Would also love a decent Moto jacket with a full collar and a longer body (hit at low hip). There is not a good one out there! Shocking.

    I’m going to try to not buy any clothes in 2017, and instead make everything I need. You’re definitely a key part of the plan!

    Finally, I’m a Natuve Bostonian transplanted to the luscious Pacifoc Northwest. Fun seeing my home town in tor photos. Maybe you’ll teach a class out here this summer?

    Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017!

  6. Meri says:

    I mostly just want to say thank you for including sizes down to 12; I am at the very bottom of your sizing. I’m too hourglassy to use big 4 patterns without a bunch of alterations.

    It’d be cool if there was an option to buy paper + PDF patterns on the website. I know that I would be willing to pay more to have a backup copy in case I mess it up.

  7. Addie says:

    I have yet to try Cashmerette patterns. But the Appleton dress is on my wish list! While I have been sewing for many years, I am only starting to try sewing with knits and get a handle on muslins and fitting adjustments. I live in Rhode Island so I would be interested in a workshop in the Boston area! Especially for the Appleton dress or Harrison shirt… I also want to tackle pants sewing this year, maybe jeans, if I can get a good fit on other pants first.

  8. Rosie says:

    Personally I’m 2917 I’d love a coat pattern with a video tutorial. At this point I don’t even mind what type of coat. I’d just like to have one that fits around the bust and making the necessary FBA etc to other patterns I’d just really daunting.

Let me know what you think!