November 1, 2022

Cashmerette Club: Meet the Rockwell Dress & Caroll Shrug!

Cashmerette Club members get TWO special patterns this month! Sew a vintage-inspired look with the Rockwell Dress and Caroll Shrug, created in collaboration with Julie Eilber and inspired by renowned fashion designer Claire McCardell’s designs from the late 1940s. Join the Club for as little as $9 USD to get these two patterns.

Many of us curvy sewists love vintage looks, but they can be hard to find in curvy-friendly sizing. So we’re excited to bring you two vintage patterns in your size that you can mix and match to create a variety of vintage and contemporary looks.

The Rockwell is a glamorous (yet surprisingly easy to sew) 1940s style gown that can look high fashion or everyday casual depending the fabric and styling. When we were developing this pattern, anyone who tried it on would immediately start swishing about the room—you can’t help but instantly feel fabulous. Plus, it’s ultra comfortable thanks to the fully adjustable ties, so however your body is feeling on any given day, you can get an instant custom fit.

And then there’s the Caroll. The Caroll Shrug is a single pattern piece with so many uses. It pairs great with the Rockwell (and creates instant sleeves) but also adds visual interest to any outfit.

The Rockwell Dress and Caroll Shrug are available exclusively to Cashmerette Club members. Not a member yet? Join today for as little as $9 (cancel anytime).

(Club members: remember to first log in to your Cashmerette account to access to the link above.)

Jenny is wearing a Rockwell Dress in View A in a size 4 and a Caroll Shrug in a size C. Her measurements are 44″ high bust, 49″ full bust, 42″ waist, and 46″ hips.

Julie is wearing a Rockwell Dress in View B in a size 2 and a Caroll Shrug in a size A. Her measurements are 38″ high bust, 41″ full bust, 37″ waist, and 45.5″ hips.

Rachel is wearing a Rockwell Dress in View A in a size 4. Her measurements are 43″ high bust, 47″ full bust,  36.5″ waist, and 51″ hips.

Jan Marie is wearing a Rockwell Dress in View C in a size 2 and a Caroll Shrug in a size A. Her measurements are 33.5″ high bust, 37″ full bust, 28″ waist, and 40″ hips.

Meet Julie Eilber, designer and fashion historian

Julie Eilber is a writer, fashion historian, and sewing expert known for her irreverent blog Jet Set Sewing, as well as her presentations for the Museum of Modern Art and the Balenciaga museum in Spain.

She learned to sew as a child, and in her teens and 20s sewed her way through patterns by designers like Betsey Johnson, Anne Klein, and Halston. After a career as a television writer/producer, she returned to sewing, blogging about her exploits as she attempted to sew vintage patterns by Chanel, Charles James, Schiaparelli, Madame Gres, and other famous designers. Her work caught the attention of Bernina of America, and as a Bernina ambassador she’s created tutorials and articles for their website.

Several years ago, Julie began researching the life and work of legendary American designer Claire McCardell, and then re-created several of her famous designs. The process of making and wearing McCardell’s garments was so illuminating that Julie sought a way to share the timeless designs with sewing enthusiasts around the world. Now, thanks to her collaboration with Cashmerette, her dream has become a reality.

Who was Claire McCardell?

Midcentury American designer Claire McCardell became a legend for creating what she called “clothes that move.” She’s known for pioneering easy, flowing dresses, wrap dresses (like her famous “Popover”), ballet flats, jersey mix-and-match separates, hoodies, denim jackets, and playful activewear—all radical designs in their time that are everywhere now!

Claire McCardell in her studio. Photo courtesy of Julie Eilber, all rights reserved.

Claire McCardell is considered one of the giants of American design, and her clothes are featured in many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum at FIT.

The Rockwell Dress is inspired by one of McCardell’s “Monastic” dresses: garments that are loose and belted like a monk’s robe, allowing a woman to be active, chic, and comfortable. And of course, the dress has McCardell’s famous large
pockets, which gave an independent woman a place for her lipstick, comb, and pocket money. A groundbreaking design in its time, it’s still a classic today!

Photos courtesy of Julie Eilber, all rights reserved.

Get to know the Rockwell Dress

The Rockwell is a woven dress with a tightly gathered neckline with front tie and slit and is gathered under the bust with a waist tie that wraps around the torso, and of course, pockets. The dress can be made in either a midi or maxi length.

View A is maxi length with a contrasting neckband and waist tie. View B is maxi length with color blocking. View C is midi length and made with a single fabric.

There are many different ways to the front and waist ties of the Rockwell. We show you two options in the pattern instructions, but you can get creative like our models!

The Rockwell is designed for lightweight drapey woven fabrics such as rayon, chiffon, cotton lawn, or gauze.

Jenny’s Rockwell Dress is made out of a black rayon with black and gold brocade waist ties. Julie is wearing a two-tone Rockwell with two shades of rayon crepe. Rachel is wearing a chiffon Rockwell, and Jan Marie is wearing a cotton gauze Rockwell.

Get to know the Caroll Shrug

The Caroll Shrug is a bias cut cover-up designed to pair with the Rockwell Dress, but it can look fabulous over any dress or top! The shrug can be made either as a single layer or it can be lined, and it can be be made from either light- to mid-weight woven or knit fabrics.

View A is made out of a single fabric, while View B is color-blocked. To coordinate with a color-blocked Rockwell, you can use the same fabrics on the same sides or swap them for an interesting visual affect.

Jenny is wearing a black and gold brocade Caroll. Julie is wearing a two-tone Caroll in rayon crepe and a stripey version in a wool blend, and Jan Marie is wearing a plaid Caroll in a cotton gauze.

Julie lined her striped Caroll Shrug with a special print she designed using photos she took in Paris, which she then printed on silk crepe de chine at My Fabric Designs.

Choosing your Rockwell & Caroll size

These unique designs come with unique sizing!

The Rockwell Dress comes in sizes 1-6 and includes bust sizes 33-62″ and hip sizes 35-62″. As you can see in the charts below, the Rockwell has quite a bit of ease and grading should not be necessary. If your measurements range between two sizes, make the size corresponding to your largest measurement.

The Caroll Shrug comes in sizes A-C. Use the Cashmerette Size Calculator to determine your regular Cashmerette size, then check to this table to find the corresponding Caroll size:

The Caroll pattern includes fitting instructions, such as how to adjust the width and length if needed.

Fabric Requirements

Here are the fabric requirements for the Rockwell:

And here are the fabric requirements for the Caroll:

10% off at Melanated Fabrics

Our friends at Melanated Fabrics want to help you create your dream Rockwell/Caroll look with 10% off a single order!

Melanated Fabrics Store & Creative Center is an Atlanta-based fabric shop offering a wide selection of gorgeous fabrics both online and in store, along with monthly workshops and classes ranging from sewing, fitting, pattern drafting, shoemaking and screen printing plus much more.

Members—you can head to the Club dashboard to get this Club-exclusive discount code. Not a member? Sign up today!

Also New in the Club this Month: Masterclass & Live Event

Club members in the Plus and All Access tiers get a new fitting masterclass every month! This month, Jenny is diving into full tummy adjustments. What are some signs that you need to do a full tummy adjustment, and how do you do one? Jenny demonstrates how to do a full tummy adjustment on pants and skirts, and shows her handy trick for adjusting tops.

Plus and All Access members also get access to this month’s live event. This month, we’re joined by fashion historian Julie Eilber of Jet Set Sewing to chat all about Claire McCardell and her groundbreaking designs. Learn about McCardell’s life and inspiration—and get inspired to sew the Rockwell and Caroll for yourself!

Head to the Club dashboard to learn more and register to attend. Can’t make it live? This event will be recorded and shared with members afterward.

We can’t wait to see what you make with these patterns! Join Cashmerette Club today to download the Rockwell Dress and Caroll Shrug and get started sewing instantly.

(Joining after November 2022? You’ll need to sign up at the All Access level to get the Rockwell Dress and Caroll Shrug.)

7 thoughts on “Cashmerette Club: Meet the Rockwell Dress & Caroll Shrug!

  1. knitmo says:

    I love this!
    Seeking insight on grading for this — considering the finished garment measurements: I fall into a size 3 for upper bust, and a 4 for everything else. Is this a pattern that you think should be graded. I have a slight concern for the volume of fabric between my bust and neck if I were to cut a straight size.

    I have a 39-40″ upper bust, 48-ish” inch full bust. I usually do a size 16 G/H with a 1-2 inch FBA on Cashmerette patterns.

    What is your recommendation?

    1. The proportions of this dress are extremely generous so there’s really no need to grade. You can make a straight 3, or a straight 4, and they’ll both be totally fine. For perspective, I (Jenny) fit in a size 4 “officially”, but actually even the size 2 fits me just fine!

  2. Syreeta says:

    So excited to sew these up! Since the weather is still unseasonably warm here, I may just get to wear this before spring arrives. Quick question – is it possible to add which View of the Rockwell dress each model is wearing. Thanks!

    1. Ayelet says:

      Just added above! Jenny and Rachel are wearing View A (contrast ties) in a maxi length, Julie is wearing View B (color blocked) in a maxi length, and Jan Marie is wearing view C (all one fabric) in a midi length.

  3. Patty Hitt says:

    Where is the fabric requirements? I am on a mission to use the fabric stash that I have.

    1. Ayelet says:

      Just added the fabric requirements above!

  4. Sandra says:

    You had me at McCardell…. stunning design!

Let me know what you think!