This was a jam-packed sewing experience! The Hampden dress is the newly released monthly pattern from Cashmerette Club*. I was so excited by the design because it would be my first princess-seam dress. It’s a lovely style of dress with the button placket which I soon found out was a faux placket so no gaping to worry about. It also has an elasticised back waistband which makes for the most comfortable sundress.
Using the Cashmerette sizing calculator, I needed to sew and grade from a size 10 bodice to size 14 waist to size 12 hips. This is for my measurements of 35-inch high bust, 37-inch full bust, 33-inch waist and 40-inch hips. I would also need to make a 1-inch small bust adjustment because the pattern is made for c-cup upwards which usually accommodates a 3-inch difference between high bust and full bust.
To begin with, I made a toile of the bodice but only adjusted the grading (size 10 bust to size 14 waist). I sewed this up and it did confirm that I needed to make a small bust adjustment (SBA) because there was excess fabric over the anterior portion of the bodice. This was where the fun began. I’ve never attempted an SBA before, so I looked at several tutorials. I found one that suited an adjustment for a princess seam which I will put in a different blog as it would take too long to describe here. I’ll be truthful and say that it did take me an afternoon to figure this part out, but it has been very rewarding to get the adjustment to the fit of the dress and now I’m able to transfer the knowledge to other patterns!
The pattern is for woven fabrics. I ended up making two dresses. I firstly made the straight out of the box version and then for a second version, I combined the Hampden Dress and the Holyoke Dress. For the first version, I used a coral pink lightweight linen fabric and for the second, a soft rayon fabric with a macrofloral pattern.
The pattern came together very fast once I had sorted out the fitting. It was a pleasure to sew which is another reason why I had decided to sew two versions. They are both beautiful dresses to wear and I feel so lucky that I was included in this collaboration and could sew this dress before anyone.
Upon reflection, there is one detail of the pattern that I could improve. If I were to make this dress again, I would lengthen the bodice by an inch. I had to take out that length when I made the SBA, and it didn’t occur to me to check the bodice length because everything matched up once I had done the SBA. This is an area that I could learn more in and hopefully with more experience, will be able to judge this better.
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
*Cashmerette Club membership was gifted as part of the collaboration.