Elmwood Skirt

The Elmwood is the Pattern of the Month for Cashmerette Club*. I’ve always loved the classic look of the 1950s. The pencil skirt was such a staple in that era with the narrow, hip hugging silhouette with the hem just skimming the bottom of the knees. This version also has chic pockets which stay flat when sitting. 

I was lucky enough to receive a preview of this pattern as part of a collaboration with Cashmerette Patterns. I always start by making a toile of the pattern. This skirt is fully lined so it was easy to make a toile with lining fabric. Looking at the fitting chart, my waist measurement of 33 inches sits between the size 12 and size 14. My hip measurement of 38 inches sits more towards the size 10. So, I put my measurements into the Cashmerette size calculator which advised me that I could sew a size 12 waist and grade to a size 10 hip. My first toile with the graded hip felt too snug for me which I soon resolved when I re-read the instructions.

When I re-read the instructions, it tells you to measure your hip and waist in sitting. I’ve never considered this before, but I have been using some of the wonderful resources available to Cashmerette Club members regarding fitting. It seemed like a good idea as the skirt is so fitted and there isn’t much ease. I’m glad I remade these measurements in sitting because my hips were now at 40 inches. I found that sewing the straight size 12 was the best fit. So, in the future where there is only a small amount of ease in the fabric, I will continue to use this tip of measuring when sitting as well as the usual standing measurements.

The Elmwood skirt is for woven fabrics. I’ve used a wool/linen blend from Potter and Co. It’s beautifully soft in a grey/brown tone. It feels quite luxurious to wear as it’s fully lined. There’s the usual split in the back of the pencil skirt which makes it easy to move in. I’ve needed something a bit dressier for meetings and this skirt really fills a gap. I’m thinking of making a denim version for casual wear.

The instructions and illustrations are very comprehensive in Cashmerette Patterns. I found it easy to follow. One of the skills I’ve gained in sewing this pattern is learning how to do blind hems on my machine. I have hand sewn blind hems before especially with my kids’ school uniforms. Sewing the blind hem by machine works out easier and is a lot more even than my hand sewing!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

X Em

*Full Disclaimer: This pattern was sent to me for collaboration with Cashmerette. All opinions expressed are my own.

Carlyle T Shirt

Lately, I’ve been looking to sew more basic core items. I stopped shopping ready-to-wear when I took up sewing. It wasn’t a sudden stop but a natural progression as my sewing skills expanded. This year, part of my sewing plan has been to record my daily outfits in #memadeeveryday. I’m trying to account for what I sew and correlate it with what I wear. I’ve found that I have sewn more items for going out in but not many daily wear items.

The Carlyle T-Shirt from Cashmerette really caught my eye because tees are an essential core item, but the Carlyle tee is an “elevated” basic. It has the square neckline which I like and puffy sleeves. The pattern can also be sewn with straight sleeves, but I really love the puffy sleeved look which is such a trend at the moment. I’ve made the classic body length but there is also a cropped version. This pattern is from the Cashmerette Club* catalogue which is a subscription-based service. 

Cashmerette has very detailed information for sizing which is great as sizing can vary so much with pattern companies. I’m always cautious when I first make an item with a new pattern company. I find that Cashmerette sizing is quite equivalent to my ready-to-wear items. I’ve sewn the Size 10 with Cup C/D without alterations. Knitted fabric does have more flexibility with sizing because of the stretch in the fabric so I will still make a toile if I sew a woven item from them. For this shirt, I haven’t toiled which is a bit risky, but it did save me time and fabric!

I’m a really big fan of a square neckline. This one is finished with a neck band which is so neat, but I had to sew very carefully to match the mitred seams to the corners of the neckline. Luckily, I managed it on the first attempt otherwise the seam ripper would have made a dreaded appearance.

Puffy sleeves were never a feature in my wardrobe before but since taking up sewing they have a definite presence in my closet now. It puts a bit of a feminine twist to the basic tee. It was an option to sew this with long sleeves but it’s quite warm where I live so I prefer three quarter sleeves. I do love the look of the straight sleeves as well so perhaps that will be a future option. 

Knit fabrics have been something I’ve avoided sewing with. I’m not sure what the barrier has been. It might have been the multiple needles that I’ve broken whenever I’ve sewn knit fabrics. Happily, I didn’t break any needles sewing this tee. The pattern has very clear and specific instructions which made the construction go very smoothly. I’m finally over my fear of knit fabrics.

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

X Em

*Full Disclosure: Cashmerette Club Subscription has been gifted to me as part of an upcoming collaboration with Cahmerette however, I have no obligation to post or blog what I make. All opinions are my own.