We caught up with founder of Cashmerette patterns, Jenny Rushmore to discover all about her new book and exciting plans for 2022!
Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette is our featured Sewing Designer of the Month for October 2021. We'll be bringing you inspiration and advice from Jenny throughout the month.
All CraftWorld members can claim a 15% discount on Cashmerette products throughout the month.
CraftWorld Premium members can download a FREE copy of the Cashemerette Appleton Dress in sizes 0-32.
Hi Jenny, how are you? What's keeping you busy this week?
I'm doing well, thank you! This week I'm working on our very exciting new project for 2022 (shhhh!), which I cannot wait to share with everyone.
Congratulations on your new book, Ahead of the Curve! What inspired you to write it?
Learning to fit clothes to my body was literally a life-changing experience for me - there's nothing like a wardrobe of clothes that fit to transform your confidence and make you challenge the idea that there's something wrong with your body. As I often say: you can change your clothes to fit your body, rather than feeling you have to change your body to fit your clothes. While I've been blogging about this for over 10 years (eek!) I wanted the opportunity to help even more sewists achieve this type of wardrobe and body liberation, so when the team at Quadrille got in touch about writing a book, I knew immediately what I wanted to focus on.
Learning to fit clothes to my body was literally a life-changing experience for me.
- Jenny Rushmore, Cashmerette founder
How did you choose what garments/styles to focus on inside?
Well, it was very different from how I usually decide on the designs for Cashmerette patterns! The focus of the book is on fitting, and there are a series of "Fit Clinics" which focus on different areas of the body, like the bust, shoulders, arms, tummy and so on. So I began with a list of all the adjustments I wanted to teach, and what type of pattern piece I'd need to do that - so say a darted bodice, or back trouser leg piece. Then, I figured out how I could have all those pieces in 5 garments, while also thinking about the requests we've had over the years from our customers. Complicated, eh?! We ended up with an awesome capsule of 5 pieces: a darted woven dress with a gathered skirt, slim-leg woven trousers, a raglan sleeve T-shirt, v-neck woven tank, and a princess seamed ponte dress.
What's your favourite pattern or technique in the book and why?
It's no secret that I love teaching people about Full Bust Adjustments. Most sewing patterns are designed for a sewing cup B size, but the average woman wears a DD bra, and is very unlikely to fit in that. Enter, the FBA (full bust adjustment), which changes just the front bodice pieces of your pattern to accommodate your bust. Some patterns, like Cashmerette, have this already built in (we have cup sizes C - H) but as an H-cup wearer myself, if I ever make a pattern from another brand, I almost always need to do an FBA. They can seem very intimidating, but they're fairly straightforward once you know how - and the book covers lots of different kinds of FBA, plus how to refine your darts, and what to do if you run into the most common FBA problems. And if you've got the opposite challenge in patterns, I've got you covered too! We have the same techniques for a Small Bust Adjustment, too.
We love how you've included real sewists inside, what made you decide to do this and how did you choose who to feature?
Cashmerette always features non-professional models, whether that's sewists I know, friends or even random people I ask in cafes (embarrassing, but it pays off!). So for the book I knew it would be no different, and as we were shooting in the UK (usually we're in the US) it was a fantastic opportunity to feature some stars of the UK sewing community. I picked inspirational curvy sewists who have an outstanding sense of style and an interesting story to tell when it comes to sewing and body image. Each of them is featured throughout the book, including in a double page spread all about their sewing journey. I was so thrilled that they all said yes!
Who is the book aimed at and what can people expect to learn?
The book is aimed at all sewists who want to learn how to fit their garments to their body. While the patterns are in sizes 16 - 36 (UK), the fitting content of the book applies equally to people of all sizes. If you're a beginner this is a fantastic place to start, especially if you don't know where to start with fitting, or you already know that they're unlikely to fit straight out of the envelope (and certainly don't stress about that - that's most of us). Or, if you've begun your fitting journey but you need more help, and perhaps can't quite figure out which changes you need to make, we've got you covered. One aspect of the book that I particularly love is that there are "before" and "after" photos of each fit issue, shown on one of our models - that means you can easily see what it looks like if you, say, need a swayback adjustment, and then you can see what it should look like afterwards. I think this will be super helpful for beginner and more advanced sewists alike.
Do you have any exciting plans for Cashmerette coming up that you'd like to share?
We are continuing to expand our sizing, with more patterns coming out in our full size range of 4 - 36 (UK) and cup sizes C - H. It's been so fun to welcome more curvy sewists into the Cashmerette community. Plus, as I mentioned at the start, a very exciting new thing coming in 2022...
With Christmas and party season around the corner do you have any sewing plans you'd like to share? (maybe some gifts you're making or a party dress you have in mind?)
It might be cheesy, but I'm all about twinning with my toddler daughter, so I'm hoping to whip up some matching Christmas dresses for her and me!