My sewing of the Cashmerette Springfield Top has, for the first time ever, been serendipitous. This week the weather in the UK has finally changed from the dreary grey and rainy days of these photos to glorious sunshine. We’ve even needed to break out the SPF!
In my quest to a) sew up all the damned fabric in the stash and b) move my wardrobe to more handmade, I needed some basic tops. The Springfield Top fits the bill perfectly. It was also one of the patterns on my TNT pattern wish list spreadsheet that I drew up last autumn. So it ticks another sewing plan box, too. I get to put a ‘Y’ in the TNT column!
The pattern was already in my stash so it’s a double win for using both fabric and a pattern that had been languishing. I’d printed the pattern off a while back, so happily taped it up, did the FBA that I knew I’d need, and cut a toile.
This is what happens when you don’t check your measurements and you add the total amount of the FBA to the pattern piece rather than just the required half!
Such a rookie error. So it was back to the drawing board.
The second toile was better but it was pulling up weirdly at the front. After reaching out to both Cashmerette and the Insta community, I turned out that I needed to move the shoulder forwards. Quite a bit.
Can I just add at this point that the Cashmerette customer service was exemplary. And the Insta community is so kind and helpful, even when you’re a very small voice, as I am. You guys are the absolute best. It’s very reassuring when some of the bigger players (cough Charm Patterns cough) are getting it so very wrong at the moment.
Back to the toile. I also needed to:
- adjust the slope of the shoulder
- raise the front neckline about an inch
- pinch out some gapping around the front neckline
- pinched out some gapping around the back neckline
- change the dart from a straight one to a shaped one
- pinch a little excess out of the back neckline to accommodate my rounded upper back
- lower the back neckline about 1/2″ or thereabouts. This was necessary as it had raised up as a result of the forward shoulder adjustment
- lower the dart by about 1/4″
- straighten the side seam a little to remove waist shaping as I have no waist, and remove excess flare at the hip.
That was a lot of fitting adjustments! It just goes to show that even a pattern already drafted for a fuller figure will still need the work to make it perfectly yours. To test the adjustments I made 4 toiles in total before cutting into the ‘real’ fabric. And having worn all the iterations of this top, I’m tempted to shorten the dart just a smidge before making the next version.
I really don’t mind doing this stuff. And I don’t mind if you clearly say that the larger or smaller sizes aren’t your target market. I’m totally get that you might not want to serve every consumer. That’s ok.
It’s when you’re totally disingenuous about it, claim it’s too hard, then you, and/or your followers, start fat/skinny shaming others. I’m small fat so the majority of the offerings out there will fit me. I’ll have to do adjustments even if it’s a specialist plus sized pattern as this Springfield top clearly shows. But I’m not going to support any business who is dishonest. I know withholding my small sewing budget isn’t going to make a difference. But a hundred people raising their voices, or a thousand. That’s when we allies can make a difference.
Just a thought.
So I started with some gorgeous European Washed Linen from Ray Stitch in the colour Natural. This has been in stash for over a year and whilst I love the colour, it’s not as lovely for my skin tone as I’d thought, especially without a tan. So I was willing to sacrifice it to the sewing goddess in the name of fit!
I hand-stitched the bindings and hem with teeny tiny stitches for a clean, and virtually invisible, finish. I’m pleased with how it looks.
The back yoke was cut in two pieces as I was struggling for fabric. This back yoke also allowed me to pinch out excess around the neckline for a lovely fit, and, cut on the fold if I’ve enough fabric. It’s a nifty addition to your fitting arsenal.
I made a second one in ponte scraps to go with the orphaned Alabama Chanin cardigan. Having worn that one for the photo shoot I need to take it in at the side seams before it goes into rotation.
This version I finished on the coverstitch machine. It gives a nice ready to wear look to this Springfield Top. I also just turned the seam allowance to the inside at the neck and armholes before stitching.
It’s also a remarkably cosy layering piece, so I can highly recommend making a ponte Springfield Top as we head into the autumn.
Next up is some poly mix lace from deep, deep stash. This was originally from Guthrie and Ghani on a birthday expedition yonks ago. I love the Guthrie and Ghani shop and this is the last piece of fabric from that visit.
This fabric is lovely, but obviously very see-through. For modesty, I fully lined it with a matching cotton lawn. This also meant that, as with the natural version, I could hand stitch the bindings and have a lovely clean finish at the neckline, armhole and hem.
I don’t mind admitting that this is my favourite of the three tops. I’m reaching for it constantly. It’s worn, washed, hung and worn the next day. It doesn’t even need ironing….thank you polyester. But the cotton lawn lining and the lace make it cool even on the hottest days. I love it!
Needless to say, the Springfield Top is an absolute hit. It’s the first time I’ve sewn a Cashmerette Pattern, but I do have the Concord T-Shirt also in the pattern stash and I wouldn’t mind giving that a go too.
As an aside I’ve just watched Jenny’s FBA class on Craftsy and found it super useful. It’s where I got the notion to shorten the dart a wee bit. I find Craftsy totally abysmal at the moment and am glad I only paid $7 for the annual subscription. But that’s a topic for another post, perhaps.
I do have one more Springfield Top just about finished. It’ll be the last one for the time being. I’m working hard to sew up the stash and have a clear plan for every piece left in the cupboard. But this lovely blue is the last piece that’s the perfect size for this pattern. All other pieces are bigger, so better for blouses and dresses. But who knows…..I might be able to sneak one out of any larger leftover scraps.
I’ve also another pair of Style Arc woven pants on the table. They’re navy so will be lovely with this last Springfield Top. More secret pyjamas for the summer!