Well, we made it! Tired and a bit drained and no doubt a little bit wiser, but we made it through the year that was 2020. Last week I was starting to work on our 2021 strategy, and was reviewing how we did against our 2020 goals, and that most definitely created a chuckle as I realized in January how little we knew about what the year would have in store.
However, I have to say that as rough a year it has been for so many of us, I’m really proud that my team was still able to bring you lots of awesome patterns and initiatives, and also work on a bunch of really exciting things to come in 2021. In the early summer, I moved back to the UK temporarily to be with my family, and Boston had waves of “stay at home” orders, so it’s fair to say that our working approach was very different than it has been in the past. But thanks to our amazing team – Carrie, Ayelet, Mallory, Betsy, T, Ken, Laura, and recently added superstars Julie and Esmeralda – we were able to keep going, and keep growing.
The patterns of 2020
We kicked off the year with the Fuller Cardigan, our very first raglan pattern, which is, thanks to some clever design features, also a great fit on big boobs! (no small feat, I have to admit). Most recently, I made a giant plaid coatigan version, and fell in love with it all over again.
Next up, our first ever woven pants pattern: the Calder Pants! These were a massive hit, and it’s no surprise why: they’re so easy to wear, have maximum swoosh factor, and they’re a cinch to sew up. I wore mine all summer, and I now even have a cord pair which I need to photograph for the blog.
In July, we launched a mini-collection that had been in the works for over a year: maternity and nursing patterns! We launched the new Brookline T-shirt (also great as a swing t-shirt for the non-pregnant!) together with a Nursing Expansion Pack to transform four of our patterns into easy-access garments for breastfeeding. Needless to say these have been mainstays of my wardrobe over the past 18 months 😀
At the end of the summer, along came the Saybrook Tank, finally, a knit tank that’s made for big boobs aka no stretching or gaping anywhere. Another Cashmerette classic, it’s great for summer but also layering.
Finally, we also launched the Belmont Leggings in print, and what better time than during a pandemic?
The size expansions of 2020
We had two major announcements in 2020. First up, we announced our expansion to a size 32, to include even more plus size sewists in our range and we managed to upgrade or launch a whopping 19 patterns by the end of the year! We expect the full collection to be completed by early 2022.
And then, in the summer, we announced our plans to expand even further to 0 – 32. You can read all about our original plans here, and an update on where we are at this point in December. It’s been a huge amount of work – and it’s still very much ongoing – but I’m delighted to be able to welcome more sewists into the Cashmerette family in 2021.
Launching our new sizing calculator
Another huge project (and when I say huge, you should see the spreadsheet behind it!) was our brand new sizing calculator: put in 4 measurements, and it’ll tell you what size to make in Cashmerette, including your cup size, whether you need to do an FBA or SBA (and if so, by how much), and if you need to grade between sizes. There’s also tons of great measuring tips and links to our tutorials. Safe to say, at Cashmerette we’ll do whatever we can to get you an amazing fit.
Phew! In addition to that, there were lots of hacks, new FBA tutorials, a behind-the-scenes series on our blazer development and tons more.
So, all in all, it’s been a pretty good year for Cashmerette, even if it’s nothing like what any of us imagined. We have some big (REALLY BIG!) new things coming in 2021, and I’m hoping for all our sakes that it’s a much much better one. Lots of love to you and yours, from me, and the whole Cashmerette team.