When I got the email about the Cashmerette Webster dress, I sent it to her immediately and she was extra enthusiastic. I bought the PDF (which I rarely do, but the printed pattern wasn't available here yet and I wanted to have plenty of time) and ended up making three versions more or less back to back: a toile top made in cotton which I could use to check the fit and drape on Mum and make sure it would work in the fabric, a dress version for my holiday which I could also try on Mum to check length and so forth, and another top for me because the fabric was there and it would match the lining of my new Lupin and that would be cool. I'm going to start at the end, as I so often do, with my top.
As drafted, the top is very long; completely covering the backside and not that much shorter in the front. I get why it's drafted that way because that's how a lot of women like to wear their tops, but I do not. I made it straight up to see how it looked, laughed for about five minutes, then hacked several inches off the hem. What you see here is my version of a "long top". I made a size 12 G/H, which fits very nicely. There's a lot of ease at the waist, but that's fine for a viscose summer top.
The back detail is cute, and it's nice to be able to have a bit of strap fun when all your tops need to provide adequate bra cover. I have a pretty narrow back, so I had to shorten the straps by about an inch and a half to get them to lie flat against my skin instead of drooping awkwardly.
(I find it almost impossible to smile naturally when I'm taking pictures of myself with the remote. I try every time and it almost always looks like someone's just out of shot threatening to kill a bunny. When Patrick takes the pictures it's much easier for me to smile, but also it's a trade-off: he knows almost nothing about photography, and when I'm in my natural state rather than my posey one I have to edit around my natural lumbering posture. Sigh.)
And now the dress:
While free and floaty and full of ease is fine for a summer top, it is not fine for me for a dress. I made the straight 12 where ordinarily I would size up in the hips, and sandwiched a couple of ties in the back seam. I didn't make any changes to the length and it sits a couple of inches above the knee on me, which is perfect.
You can see in the picture above that the way the top is made into a dress is by adding a thick band of fabric to the bottom. I do not like this. It basically cuts across the crotch at the front, which is a weird place to have a seam line and makes it look like a mistake rather than a cool detail. I don't think it'll be such a big deal for Mum because of the fabric she has, but it really bothers me on this one. Would it be possible to cut the hem bands onto the main bodice as one piece, or would that screw something else up?
Having said that, this was the perfect dress for sightseeing. Long enough to cover my longer shorts without being so long that it gets in the way while I'm walking, well-fitting at the top and otherwise nonrestrictive even with my ties, cool and breathable and just the right amount of coverage. Hem band or not, I will be taking this dress on every single holiday I go on. I was walking around on top of this mountain actively feeling grateful for it.
I just like this photo, really. Look at that view! Madeira is gorgeous.
I took both the dress and the cotton toile with me last time I visited my parents and tried them both on Mum. Overall, it was a success - she was happy with the way the cotton worked (though for a dress, I probably wouldn't go there) and really liked the style of the dress. Interestingly, the dress looks much better unbelted on her. For the final version I'll be making it an inch or two longer so it hits just below her knee like she asked for. I also won't be shortening the straps - they were straining a bit when I tried this version on her, and I think they'll work much better in the original length.
So, no more Madeira photos. Back to the palm tree next week!