February 22, 2021

Blazer Bound: Prepping Blazer Kits (and a Name!)


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!

21 thoughts on “Blazer Bound: Prepping Blazer Kits (and a Name!)

  1. Birgit Knutsen says:

    I’m really looking forward to the Auburn Blazer! And thank you for offering kits – makes the process easier! I went to college in western Massachusetts, so I think Northampton would be a great name for a sweater!

    1. Nichola Guy says:

      Northampton is brilliant and keeps the british link. I live in the UK in the county of Northamptonshire – Northampton being our county town! 😀

      1. Emma White says:

        I live in Northamptonshire, UK too 🙂

  2. Evelyn Smith Scally says:

    The black “tweed” knit in your blog photo looks like a great blazer fabric. I live in Lowell, MA and Andover Street is a grand street. I suggest “Andover” for a possible pattern name.

  3. Laura says:

    Love the name and I m definitely purchasing a kit this time!

  4. I love knowing the origins of pattern names! I live rurally so my road doesn’t have a name. I live between Usk and Abergavenny – both of which would be good names for patterns and I doubt either has been used before!

  5. Eleanor says:

    Could it be possible to order a sample of a fabric that you consider perfect for the blazer so that we can compare to local or stash fabrics? I notice that my preferred blazer colour of orange doesn’t even make the list… 😁

    1. CherylAnn says:

      I live in Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to be exact. We don’t have a shop to get really nice fabric anymore and when we did it was very basic and stock was limited. However, I was on a “fabric” journey many years ago and found some beautiful Italian Woolen fabric that I think you’d love, Eleanor. I purchased it because I was going to sew a suit for my thin daughter as she is a professional accountant needing “suits” for her job. To say the least she thought the fabric was “too loud” for a work suit, so the fabric still hangs in my closet, dry-cleaned and ready to sew. I have many pieces just like that one hanging in my closet waiting to get made into a beautiful garment.

      Having said all that, I’d be likely to order a kit anyway to compare it with what I already have. I NEED some new good clothes – I realize what a sight I must look every Sunday when I get dressed to go to church.

      I live on Willoughby Crescent – I think that has a nice sound to it for a pattern.

  6. I love all of this and can’t wait to order my first kit!!! Thank you all for the incredibly hard work that is going into providing us all with a fabulous blazer! <3

  7. Debbie Edwards says:

    Names…. Wenlock, Eden, Southampton, Buckingham

  8. Anna Marie says:

    Can’t wait to order a kit. I have been wanting a good fitting blazer for a LONG time so knowing this is coming is exciting! I already know I want a navy kit. Looking forward to the email stating we can order!

  9. Nothy says:

    I grew up on Lynbrook and I think that is a lovely street name.

  10. M M Lindwall says:

    I’ve ordered a kit from Cashmerette before. I wish there was a way to order a kit with more fabric than the “standard” cut. I am a tall woman and by the time I have finished my adjustments the amount of fabric included in the kit isn’t enough for me, I need at least an extra yard. I do enjoy the patterns, the frustration of not having enough fabric is irritating.

  11. Meg Charette says:

    Any idea what kits might cost, just a general idea.

  12. jean wiegand says:

    Looking forward to this kit. Although I am nervous that a blazer is a bit beyond my level of expertise. But willing to give it a go. I lived in Boston through college, and would like to suggest these names. Emerson(although may be overused at this point), Radcliffe, Rockport(imagining a lovely comfy knit cardigan)…

  13. Christina says:

    I am quite tickled to see what the hashtag for AuburnBlazer rustles up from the southern college crowd.

    I have waited for this pattern with such patience. I want to try it but I am so nervous but it’s got to be worth it to have a blazer I won’t have to struggle and tug over my mountain majesties.

  14. Mary says:

    I lived in Pennsylvania for a few years in Alleghany County. When we moved back to California the nearest street to us is Alleghany! So I vote for Alleghany something 😋

  15. Florida Farmwife says:

    I’m excited to see the final product. I live on Meridian road (in town it runs at the meridian marker), and that would make a good name I think.

  16. Marsha Lee Bernard says:

    I think this is wonderful! Will you offer an Auburn Blazer sewing class?

    1. Not any time soon, as I (Jenny) am still in the UK and don’t have the set up to do a class. But it’s possible in the future!

  17. Helen says:

    Can’t wait to see the Auburn Blazer. I’ve been looking for a good plus size pattern for a blazer for ages. Please tell me you will ship a kit to New Zealand!

Let me know what you think!