Cashmerette Club: Franconia Dress Review

I saw this dress on Instagram and was intrigued, so I went to the Cashmerette website and, to my surprise, it wasn't available to the general public. Hi Toity! I couldn't believe it!

I looked into something called the “Cashmerette Club” and was very pleased to see that not only was it very affordable – $10 for 1 model per month – but it also came with accessories sewing instructions for each model. This is not meant to be an advertisement, so I'll let you hop on and check it out for yourself. Cashmere Club

The dress is a V-neck sweater dress, with no buttonholes (just buttons). It has sleeves and a gathered waistband.

From the line drawings, this looks simple to make in an afternoon. This was not the case. There were several steps!

You will construct the front and back pieces separately and then connect them at the shoulders to sew the neckline.

Next, you bring the skirt pieces together to fit the waistbands (front and back). Then you gather the front and back waistbands individually.

Frown trick

Now, gathering settings vary by machine, but there was one universal tip I wanted to share. Make sure the elastic thread is seated correctly in your bobbin case! I use a Brother Project Runway overlocker, and I actually had to remove the bobbin case and hand thread the elastic to fit into the little slot, then put it back in place – a tricky business – then pass it on as usual.

This process takes time and I ended up loading the bobbin 4 times on each side.

Fabric handling

You'll end up putting most of the dress through your sewing machine and handling the fabric a bit, so if you're using a challis or something that frays easily, I recommend finishing the side seams before gathering.

Sizing

I used size 18 with C/D cup for the top. I first compared the C/D with the E/F pattern piece and there is about a half inch difference at the bottom. I didn't think it would matter much, so I erred on the smaller size and I'm glad I did. There's a lot of ease in the upper bust, but since it's a lightweight summer dress, I wasn't mad about it.

Be careful, the skirt is very loose because I went down to a size 16 at the waist and the fabric doesn't even touch me below the waist, which is wonderful!

Overall opinion

For me, this will be the perfect dress for doing household chores and for putting on when I've overheated from outdoor chores. I don't think I would wear this to go shopping. It’s definitely a festival, farmers’ market vibe.

But you know, if you sewed it into a pretty challis and elongated the skirt to make a maxi, it could be a whole different vibe!

Hmmm…

It's intriguing…


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