Saturday, February 3, 2018

Cashmerettte Rivermont Review

I know, it's crazy. Two blog posts from me within days ;-)

Here I am in my Cashmerette Rivermont dress. In the bathroom at work. So classy. My face says it all, no?


Obligatory pattern cover.


And line drawings.


And size chart.


Since I don't fit into any one size on the size chart, I do the morph-o-roo between a few sizes. Following the Cashmerette instructions to choose by my bust size doesn't work for me. I end up with a too-wide neckline and a bodice that falls off my shoulders. So, I pick for my bust size but ALSO for my upper chest/shoulder size by blending smaller for those areas. For Rivermont, that meant between 14-16 (C/D cup) at neck/upper chest and underarm, outward to the 20 at waist/hip. Kind of like my "cheater FBA" but in this instance it's my "cheater NSA" (narrow shoulder adjustment). (And OMG, now that I've typed NSA twice, should I be worried? Hah.) You can see what I did looking at the yellow highlighting below.


This gives me a pretty good fit throughout shoulders, underarm, and bust, no?


Overall, I like the pattern and think it's drafted well, and I do recommend it. But I do have a couple of mostly minor complaints. First up, is the pocket. While I love pockets, especially in my work clothes, the Rivermont pocket is HUGE. Immediately below looking at the pattern pieces, you may be able to get the general idea of how deep this pocket is. Look how close the bottom of the pocket is relative to the back vent.


Or, if that doesn't tell you the story, look at this photo, where, with my hand to the bottom of the pocket bag, half of my forearm is in the pocket too. That is a deep pocket! It's easily shortened for next time, though, so not a deal breaker by any means.


While I'm talking about the pockets, I'll point out that I used a black tech knit for the pocket facing. The main fabric is fairly lofty and textured and I thought a smoother fabric would be a better choice. It is. I really like how the pockets feel with my hands in them - the techno knit (same as I used for my black Hudson pants) is so nice. The main fabric is also awesome! I used exactly zero creative imagination for it, since it was part of a Rivermont kit offered by Cashmerette. I just fell in love with it when I saw it. It was a little pricier than I usually go for, but very worth it. It's definitely quality stuff.



The other nit I want to pick about the pattern is the neckline facings. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you'll know my feelings on facings for knits. Hint: Not a favorite. At all. The front facing is kind of wimpy. It's nice that it's sewn into the shoulder and armhole seams, but that wasn't enough to tame it.


I understitched it. I pressed the heck out of it. Sat the clapper on it. And even left it pinned on Zillie for days. It wasn't enough.


So I brought out the big guns ... my elastic thread. Which I pulled through the channel created by the understitching, just enough to make it taut. Similar to my Gaping Neckline Fix, here.


And I added Steam-A-Seam under the facing edges to "glue" them down so they wouldn't move. The neckline now lays flat and the facing remains in place. I still hate facings though. (You can also clearly see how deep the pockets are.)


The back lays better, because it's a bit deeper and is going over a more convex curve of my upper back which holds it in place better than the more concave curve of a typical female upper chest. Also, pattern matching like a BOSS. Hehehe...


Here's my finished dress on Zillie (sans hem). Front neckline flat? Check. Not too wide? Check.


And another wonderful bathroom selfie. (I know I'm getting ancient, but that lighting really does me no favors. Ugh.) This will be a great multi-seasonal addition to my wardrobe. And so comfy too!


And during the colder months, I've got a matching unstructured jacket to wear over it. (Or, with jeans or the navy skirt that's in my sewing queue.)


I used Simplicity 1945, which I've made a few times before. I omitted the center back seam to avoid pattern matching and fabric waste.


Zillie models the ensemble, complete with serger thread tails before hemming:


Parting shot: This wonderful fabric is impossible to mark on the wrong side with my preferred washaway markers. I actually tailor-tacked for the first time ever. I felt so faaaannncy. :-)

53 comments:

  1. Debbie, I think this dress (and jacket) look fabulous on you! I was a bit meh about the Rivermont dress, but seeing it on you has me thinking that it might work on me too. Like you, I do the 'cheats' grading between sizes to keep the neck/shoulders/upper chest the right size then out a few sizes for my waist. Nice for me to see it working so well on someone else - now I feel it's even more legitimate to do it!
    The jacket is great too - I have that pattern and you've reminded me of how good such a simple pattern can look. Overall you've created a winning work ensemble.

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    1. Thanks Lara! Grading between sizes is definitely the thing to do, or else we'd wind up with RTW. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    2. I love the dress! I also was not so inspired by the pattern but you look amazing in it! (And I love the jacket...) Although I promised myself I must not order any new patterns...I'm feeling the urge come all over me! Well done!!

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  2. What a great outfit. The fabric is lovely and suits you so well.

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  3. You look great in the dress and the dress and jacket, the fabric is lovely. Beautiful work Debbie and SO good to have you posting!

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    1. Thanks Heather! It feels good to post. I always have good intentions, but you know what they say about those ... lol

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  4. Fabulous outfit! You just made me change my mind about the Rivermont dress. In the right fabric it's definitely a winner!

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    1. Thank you Marianne. Yes, fabric can make a big difference.

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  5. Great make! I love this outfit and the fit is just right.

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  6. I really appreciate your review. I have made both the Harrison and Springfield and was puzzled by the fit. Your picture of bodice piece highlighted makes sense!!

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    1. Only guessing, but I think Cashmerette patterns are drafted for wider shoulders. Mine aren't especially narrow, but starting with a narrower size than what the directions would have me pick is what works for me.

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  7. Wow! I think this is a real winner. This dress is fantastic on you, and I love it with the jacket. I am a big fan of steam a seam for "tacking" things down.

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    1. Thank you Jenny! Yay for Steam-a-Seam!

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  8. Your version of this dress really sings! The jacket is a great addition as well.

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  9. I have this pattern - like you I was a bit meh? about it at first but I always achieve such a fabulous fit with Cashmerette. As I've seen more and more made (like yours) I'm getting excited about making one! I was wearing my Harrison in dupioni silk yesterday and it looked so NICE on me I was thinking I should just make more of them and get to that Rivermont too...

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    1. Hmmm ... I wasn't ever meh. LOL I knew I wanted to make it in this fabric as soon as I saw it. It's a really nice pattern. :-)

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  10. Nice fit! Your elastic-thread fix is ingenious. I have been interested in this pattern and the Concord, but I have really narrow shoulders for my bust size and I've noticed how wide all the necklines are. Thanks for the diagram showing how you altered for your size; it's very helpful.

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    1. Thank you Masha. The beauty of sewing is the custom fit.

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  11. great version of this pattern, looks perfect on you.

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  12. Well your morph-o-rooing worked - because it fits so well now! I'm a fan of facings (even on knits), but binding often drives me crazy!

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    1. Thank you Sheryll. It's great there are so many techniques for making clothes so we can each have our preferences.

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  13. Great approach to getting the for you need. I love the resulting dress and cardigan combination!

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    1. Thank you Ruthie! I've been watching your 6-packs come together and really enjoying the results!

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  14. Love this on you. I have no need for this kind of ensemble but if I did I'd certainly try it after seeing your version. I like the large scale print and the texture. Is it black or blue? Doesn't matter, it's a fabulous and flattering look.

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    1. Thank you Nancy! It's a dark navy blue. I seem to be adding a lot of navy to my wardrobe the last year or so.

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  15. I love the look of this dress and want to do something similar. I am lousy at altering patterns so thanks for the pictures and description of what you do. I have a terrible time altering the fit through the shoulders on knits I am trying to make.

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    1. Thank you Jane! Knits are forgiving so it's relatively painless to just morph between sizes as needed. This is fairly simply shape so there's not a whole lot of thinking for what to do, like if it had more unique pattern shapes, so just jump right in!

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  16. I would never have thought of a matching jacket, but it's such a sharp look! You are surely the best dressed woman in your office! ;) I've got plans to make this pattern for my sister again, so I appreciated reading your thoughts - it reminded me of what I liked and didn't like about the pattern!

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    1. Thanks Gillian! I always like an overlayer, mostly for freezing office A/C temps, but also just to feel more "put together" in a formal office environment. What's extra great about this jacket is that it can easily go casual with jeans.

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  17. Love the dress, but when the jacket popped up unexpectedly, I turned green! Black is my favorite color and this ensemble is super sharp, Debbie.

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    1. Thank you! Hee hee ... it's actually navy, but I can see how it reads as black.

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  18. Whyyyyyyyyyy are there facings in knit tops?? I do not understand. DO. NOT.

    You nailed the fit and fabric-pattern pairing. I looove the knit!

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    1. Thank you!! I don't understand either. Sigh.

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  19. Lovely dress and I love your fabric choice!

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  20. Beautiful job, I would love to get into your sewing brain to see what other great tips are lurking there! Going to pay special attention to your posts from know on, thanks so much for sharing

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  21. Perfect fit and fabric pic. Lovely!

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  22. wow you write great posts. What method do you prefer for finishing necklines on knit dresses?
    thanks

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    1. Thank you Terry! I usually prefer linings or bindings, which can be on the inside and not visible. Facings just tend to not lay flat, which is why I don't like them.

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  23. I'm chiming in to add to the chorus -- the dress is lovely and fits so well. You did a super job. I really appreciate hearing your feedback and learning more about your process and the tweaks you made to make this dress work for you. Thanks for such a detailed post.

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  24. Hi from Canada! I've just finished the Rivermont also. For my personal fit, I've learned to do the same as you, smaller size for neck, shoulders, armholes, and then out at the sides to a bigger size. I find the necklines are still too wide for me, so I've changed that up,along with a few other tweaks, and cut out a second dress. But the first one got me rave reviews, even though it's just plain black ponte. It's a great pattern! Yours looks so lovely in the print, and the matching jacket is fabulous.

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  25. Great dress and jacket. Love the fit and yes, the neckline is perfect after your fixes.

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  26. This dress (& jacket) look great on you, really love the fabric which goes perfectly with the necklace. Great tip on using elastic to tame a neckline and I think the term "morph-o-roo" needs to be a thing!!

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  27. Your dress and jacket look fantastic on you! Much better than the pattern picture from Cashmerette. Also you crack me up with your "fancy" tailor tacks and calling your body double Zillie. Mine's name is Headless Helena, like that weirdo Boxing Helena movie...

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  28. Great dress on you, Debbie. I love the contrast of the jacket innards.

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  29. I think I'm about to make this dress for a friend. Your review was very helpful.

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