Welcome back to our behind-the-scenes series where we give you an inside look at our blazer pattern development process. Today, we’re talking all about prepping our fabric kits that we’ll be releasing at the launch of our new curve-friendly blazer sewing pattern—now officially known as the Auburn Blazer!
For months now, we’ve been documenting our process of developing this blazer, and we’re thrilled to say that we’re in the final stages of development. It hasn’t been easy—if you’re busty, you know the challenge of getting a blazer to fit well—but after several rounds of testing, we love the end result.
One of the most exciting points of a pattern development process is when we decide on a name as a team. It suddenly makes the pattern seem way more real, and gets us all re-energized for the upcoming launch. We often get asked how we come up with names for patterns, so let’s chat about that first, and then we’ll dive into our blazer kits.
Choosing a Name for the Blazer
It’s official—this pattern is now known as the Auburn Blazer! It has a nice sound to it, right? It reminds us of fall, when you can strut down the streets of the South End of Boston in your super-chic handmade blazer, as trees shower you with their golden leaves. (Can’t you just picture it?)
We’re often asked how we come up with names for our patterns. Many of our patterns are named after streets near our studio, such as the Harrison Shirt, Upton Dress, Dartmouth Top, Appleton Dress, and many others.
By now we’ve used up our favorites from our immediate surroundings, so we’ve branched further out into downtown Boston, Cambridge, Brookline (hence the Brookline Maternity T-Shirt) and other nearby towns. We keep a running list of street names we like, and Auburn has been on that list for a bit of time, waiting for the perfect pattern to pair it with.
Before we finalize a name for a pattern, we check to make sure there isn’t another similar sewing pattern by that name, and that the hashtag isn’t being used heavily on Instagram. Once we commit to a name and start printing patterns, we don’t want to have to change the name, so we like to do our homework ahead of time.
Got a street name that you think would be perfect for an upcoming Cashmerette pattern? We’re always on the lookout for names to add to our list, so drop your suggestions in the comments below!
Why Fabric Kits?
Many sewists don’t have easy access to a fabric store, especially in pandemic times. If they do, their fabric store may not have much of a selection of high quality garment fabrics. Many of us have switched to shopping for fabric online, but it can be hard to tell from a product description whether it will be suitable for the particular pattern you have in mind.
For all these reasons, we like to offer our customers fabric kits when we release a new pattern. Our kits take all the hassle and guesswork out of sourcing fabric and notions, because we’ve done all that work on our end! We stick to high-quality materials that you can trust will go perfectly with the pattern, and we include the amount you need to sew the garment in any size.
It can be really fun to order samples from different wholesalers to see what will work best for the kits, but it can also be a bit frustrating. That’s what happened with these Auburn kits, and we almost decided not to do them at all! It was a classic Goldilocks issue: the different fabrics we ordered and tried out were either too thick or too thin, too heavy or too light, too structured or not structured enough. (You can see some of the options we auditioned in the photos above.)
But at last, we found the ideal fabric! The next thing we needed to sort out was the color. We talked about going out there with color choices, but quickly decided to ask some of our Facebook community members for their opinions. After all, you’ll be the ones sewing and wearing these blazers!
Here’s where the chips fell in that poll:
Next comes the question of lining. Blazer linings can be a fun opportunity to add a bold print, but some people prefer a coordinating lining. After considering a number of linings options, we decided to offer a mix of solid and prints, and you’ll be able to choose your lining when you order your kit.
While we sorted out our lining options, we also looked at interfacing. Interfacing gives additional structure to a blazer, and having the right kind of interfacing is very important. Interfacing sample cards like this one help us choose the best option for this pattern:
Finally come the notions! This pattern requires a handful of additional bits and bobs, like shoulder pads, buttons, stabilizing tape and bias tape. Sourcing these supplies at wholesale prices can be a bit time consuming, but all the work we put towards finding the best materials for the best prices means we can keep our costs and the overall kit price lower.
In addition to complete Auburn kits with all the trimmings, we’ll also be offering the outer fabric by the yard for those folks who don’t need all the additional bits. And conversely, if you have the fabric in your stash already but you just need the notions, we’ll be offering a notions kit option as well.
Phew, it’s a lot, but it’s a lot of fun! If you’re not already excited for the blazer pattern launch, we hope this talk of fabric kits gets you even more amped up. Hooray for the Auburn Blazer!