I’m thrilled that Cashmerette Patterns are now available in an even wider size range, to help even more sewists banish the Full Bust Adjustment! Want to know why we decided to expand? Check out the blog post here.
Now the new size range is here, I’m sure you have lots of questions about how it all works, so let’s get into it.
New Size Range Basics
What are the new size ranges?
Cashmerette now has two size ranges: 0 – 16, and 12 – 32. They both have cup sizes C/D, E/F and G/H.
Do the size ranges have names?
They don’t! They will be called “0 – 16” and “12 – 32”. We’re unique (I think?!) in the sewing pattern world in being a brand that started in larger sizes and then expanded downwards to a 0 – so it would be pretty weird to suddenly call our existing range “plus” or “curve” etc. Why would our current customers suddenly be called something to suggest they’re not average bodied sewists?! (Let’s not forget that plus is average!).
We did consider naming the new 0 – 16 range something different, but the term commonly used in the industry, “straight size”, isn’t currently widely understood and it’s also potentially confusing. So, we’re just going to call them what they are!
What are the new measurement charts?
Here is the 0-16 size chart:
And the 12-32 size chart:
What format is the new size range available in?
We plan to have both size ranges available in both PDF and printed format.
Why are there two size ranges rather than having them all in one pattern?
The new 0 – 16 size range was developed separately to the 12 – 32 range (see more on that below!), which means that if you overlay the 12 – 16 sizes from both ranges they don’t match up. The result of this is that it’s not possible to nest the two sets of patterns, and in addition, they have different pattern inventories, cutting layouts, fabric charts, and so on. We have a substantial overlap between the size ranges which should cover *almost* everyone grading between sizes, so having the size ranges split should not cause an issue for the vast majority of sewists.
How to pick the right size range for you
How can I tell what size I am in Cashmerette?
How do I tell which size range is for me if I’m a size 12 – 16?
If you’re a size 12 – 16, that means that theoretically you could fit into either size range.
- If you find the existing 12 – 32 pattern fits you well, stick with that!
- If you find any of the following issues in the 12 – 32 patterns, you may be better off trying the 0 – 16 range (read more below on how to get a hold of the pattern for free):
- Your high bust measurement is below a 12, even if the rest of your measurements are 12+
- You’re aware that your frame is on the smaller size than a typical “plus size” block, or you’re petite.
- The waist and hip are generally a bit too big for you
- The darts are generally a bit too low for you
- The bodices tend to be too short-waisted for you
Which size range should I buy if I grade between sizes?
The overlap between the two size ranges means that most sewists should be fine, even if you grade between sizes. For instance, if you’re a 16 C/D bust to a 12 waist and hip, then you could buy either. If you’re a 12 G/H to an 18 waist and hip, you would want to buy the 12 – 32 range. If you’re a 12 G/H to a 10 waist and hip, you’d want to buy the 0 – 16 range.
If you have measurements that go across the 12 – 16 range – for instance, you’re a 10 G/H bust with an 18 hip, then we would recommend picking the size range that matches your bust, and then grading up (or down) appropriately. As the two size ranges were developed on different blocks, it’s not possible to grade between sizes across the two patterns.
Differences between the size ranges
How do the size ranges differ?
There will be some variation for each pattern, but broadly speaking, the 0 – 16 range differs from the 12 – 32 range in the following ways:
- The bust darts are slightly higher
- There is less ease at the waist and hip
- The waists are slightly lower (i.e. less short-waisted)
- The front lengths are slightly shorter
- In some cases, the side seams are slightly straighter.
How we developed the new size range
How did you develop & grade the new size ranges?
Unfortunately (because it would save a lot of time and money!) it’s not possible to simply grade down to develop a new size range. The further that a pattern is graded from its base size, the more distorted it becomes. You know the issue with low-quality plus size patterns that have huge shoulders and long arms? That’s what’s happening there! It’s inevitable that there will be *some* distortion as you move away from a block, but the best practice is to have one block for a larger size range and one block for a smaller size range, and go from there.
We decided to go with a size 8 base size for our new 0 – 16 size range. Luckily for us, one of our team is also this size, so it made the initial fitting much more convenient! We developed both woven and knit garments from our existing range in these sizes, and then tweaked them to make sure that the proportions worked well, while they continued to be recognisably the “same” garment as from our existing size range. This required a LOT of work! Although you may hear a lot from pattern designers that designing for plus sizes is So Hard, for us it was just the opposite – we are not used to drafting and fitting for smaller sizes! But, after many, many (many!) months, we got there.
How did you test the new size ranges?
We advertised last year for new testers in our full size range, and got lots of applicants. Testing of the first three existing patterns to be expanded was done in parallel, and in some cases (especially for the knit ones), we were able to get to a great fit quickly. In other cases (*ahem* wovens) it was much trickier – in fact, it took 4 (paid!) pattern testing rounds to finesse. But it’s well worth it for a great fitting pattern.
I already bought an existing pattern in 12 – 32 – can I get the 0 – 16 pattern too?
Yes! If you think that you would benefit from the smaller size range in a pattern you already bought in our 12 – 32 size range, email us with your order info or proof of purchase and we will send you the smaller size range in PDF for free. Please note, this only applies to existing patterns which are being expanded, and not new launches.
Are you going to update all your existing patterns to come in both size ranges?
We are planning to update and launch our most popular existing Cashmerette patterns in the new size range. Have a particular fave you want to see smaller? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
Will all new patterns be in both size ranges in the future?
Yes they will! We have one future pattern coming out in 12 – 32 only (the new blazer), but after that, all our new patterns will launch in the full 0 – 32 range.
I don’t want to see the smaller size range from Cashmerette – how can I make that happen?
We totally understand that not everyone in our existing size range wants to also see images of smaller models or sewists, or hear about new 0 – 16 launches. If that’s you, you have several options to opt-out:
- On our website, choose “12 – 32” patterns on the filters, and you’ll only see patterns in your size.
- If you’re a newsletter subscriber, let us know which size range you’d like to see by emailing us at email@example.com. If you’re just joining the newsletter list now, you’ll be asked to select when you get your first email.
- On Instagram, follow us at at @cashmerette_12to32 and you’ll only see images (models or sewists) of people in our 12 – 32 range.
- On Facebook, join our Cashmerette Patterns Community Group (Size 12 to 32).
If you have any other thoughts or questions about this new expansion, I’d love to hear!