We’re kicking off this year’s Indie Pattern Month designer interviews with a new sponsor – Cashmerette Patterns! Cashmerette burst onto the indie pattern scene in October last year, with a range of patterns designed for curvy women, in sizes 12-28 and bust sizes C-H. Kat caught up with Jenny from Cashmerette Patterns to find out more…
Hi Jenny! First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
My goal with Cashmerette Patterns is to create patterns that you can wear every day, that are chic and well-fitting for curvy women. That means sleek lines, fitted waistlines and great necklines. I’m basically designing my own dream wardrobe – a huge perk of having your own pattern company!
We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create and sell patterns? How did it all start?
I started sewing about 6 years ago, and I was immediately entranced by the possibility of sewing exactly the clothes I wanted, in my size. I’ve always struggled with clothes shopping because I’m just outside the range of straight sizes, and have a really big bust. However I was disappointed when I realised that most sewing patterns weren’t much better – I was at the very edge or bigger than the size charts, and most were drafted for a B or C bust at most – no good for me as a HH! Of course, I learned to adjust patterns quickly but I yearned for patterns that would come in my size already, and would flatter my figure. That’s what i came up with Cashmerette Patterns, because I knew that there were so many other women out there like me – the average US woman is a size 14 RTW with a DD chest! I partnered with a very experienced industrial pattern maker… and a year later, the Appleton Dress was launched. It’s been a whirlwind, a huge change from my previous corporate job, but very rewarding.
And looking forwards, where would you like your business to be in five years time?
I’m hoping to launch a whole wardrobe of patterns so that curvy women can have tons of options – just because we’re not straight size doesn’t mean we all want to dress the same! I’ll also be expanding beyond patterns in 2016, so watch this space!
Where do you do all your work?
For the first 9 months of my business, I worked in the back room of Grey’s Fabrics (which has since closed and re-opened as Mercer’s Fabrics), which was fantastic, but I didn’t have much room. Since January, I’ve had my own dedicated studio space – it’s pretty small but it’s wonderful to have my own place! We have a really large high cutting table which must surely be every sewist’s dream, along with the sewing machines, dress form, and lots of storage space to keep the patterns for shipping.
What’s your favourite part of releasing a new design?
Seeing what people have made! While all my patterns are already tested by a range of women, there’s nothing like seeing the first garments made up and shared on social media – it’s really what makes it all worthwhile!
Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what’s your favourite of all your designs so far, and why?
I’ll always have a soft spot for the Appleton Dress because that’s why I first started sewing: to make myself wrap dresses. If you’d told me 6 years ago I would have released my own dream pattern I never would have believed you!
Who or what inspires you, either with your designs or with your business? (Or both!)
I’m inspired by the amazing community of sewists around me, whether those I know in Boston and NYC, or elsewhere in the US and world. I’m not really a fashion junkie – you won’t find me spending a huge amount of time perusing fashion shows – I’m much more interested in what women are wearing on a daily basis, and I love following plus size fashion bloggers in particular. From a business standpoint, I’m inspired by the women who’ve blazed the trail for indie pattern companies, like Jen Beeman at Grainline, Sarai Mitnick at Colette Patterns and Heather Lewenza at Closet Case Files, and by other women kicking ass in the world of craft, like Abby Glassenberg at While She Naps, Emily McDowell (of stationery fame), and Grace Bonney at Design*Sponge
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us Jenny! It’s great seeing more diversity in the indie pattern market, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what Cashmerette Patterns does in the future! 🙂