Friday, August 9, 2019

Hidden Gem - Cashmerette Cedar Dolman Top

First things first. Yes, I have been absent from the blog for a freakin' long time. With that out of the way, soon I'll be buying myself a new home computer, so that should get me posting more often instead of waiting until I can "sneak" in a post from work (it's not really sneaking, but finding time because my work days are usually very busy). I've missed having a home desk.

Speaking of home … that's the biggest reason I've been MIA. I have moved yet again. (That's the new house from the listing photo below.) But this time (and hopefully the last for a LONG time), to a home I own. Relatively speaking because the mortgage company would probably have a bit of a say in actual percentage of ownership at this point. But it's good to be a homeowner again and in control of my living situation. I'm still in the City of Tampa; just a tiny bit further north. Instead of 7 minutes to work, it's now around 12 because of 2 additional traffic lights to get through. The new house is great. Lots more room all around. I won't have a dedicated sewing room (gasp!) but my bedroom is big enough to accommodate all of my regular bedroom furniture AND all of my machines and still feel roomy. It will work great for me … that is, as soon as I can finish unpacking and organizing.


This is the view from the LR into the dining area and kitchen, just after moving day. It looks a little better in here now, but not much. I want to hang shelves on the walls for books and a few deco items (very few since dusting is not my priority these days), but I haven't found the right shelves yet. I also need shelves in my bedroom so I can deal with my sewing stuff. I'm highly motivated to get on with those shelves, even if I have to settle for temporary versions, because not having them is holding up so much unpacking. And sewing.


So, on to the last sewing I did before I embarked on months of house hunting, packing, buying, and moving.

It's the Cedar Dolman Top by Cashmerette. And, for me, it's a hidden gem for two reasons: Letting it sit too long and not immediately looking past the envelope styling suggestions. Oh, and a third — nice fit! I'll have to double-check when I unpack this pattern again, but I believe I blended from size 16E/F at shoulder/bust to a 20 at hip. Whatever my blend was, it was straightforward going by my measurements to pick pattern sizing. I never have to adjust this mostly unfitted style during the day. It stays in place and doesn't slide forward or back as would a RTW loose-fit dolman that doesn't really fit, because my custom Cedar fits at both my shoulders and my hips instead of fitting one area and hoping for the best in the other.

I was given this pattern in PDF form by Cashmerette months and months ago, with no strings to test, review, photograph, or anything. And it sat in my download folder gathering digital dust. I finally opened the file, printed it, and brought it home. Where it sat collecting actual dust for a while longer. I'm not sure exactly what prompted me to at last have a go at it, but I did. I think I chose it because it looked fast and easy (spoiler alert: It is!) and because I was seeing lots of hem-tied tops out and about and I wanted in on that.



Looking past the pattern meant concentrating on the line drawings and not the athletic-wear styling and fabrication. I wanted a knit top I could wear to the office and out on the weekend. I'm so glad I finally cracked open the Cedar Dolman using some ITY dottie b/w knit because I have worn this top at least once a week since I finished it. I love it! It's comfortable. It's even trendy. And when I can finally get back to my machines, a second version is going to be the first thing I make.

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I swapped out a "self-drafted" (using that term very loosely) vee neckline for the pattern's scoop neckline. I didn't find anything wrong with the pattern's scoop shape (except for my dislike of neckline facings in knits); I just prefer vees. I would show you the pattern piece with my changes, but it's still in a moving box somewhere. Below you can see the top on Zilly posing in a corner of my new bedroom.


Below is the inside view. I changed the order of construction a little bit by (1) sewing fronts to backs along the shoulder and overlocking, (2) turning and coverstitching the neckline, and (3) sewing the CF seam and pressing the unfinished seam allowances open. I then picked up where the pattern instructs to attach the tie and hem facing, which is a very nice finish for the ties and gives extra oomph to the hem, and well-drafted so it all fits together perfectly.


Here I am in a mirror selfie in the former house. Photobomb by Chili. It was still pre-summer temps because I'm wearing pants. It's now near 90°F every day. And so, so steamy. Ahhh. Florida.


And here I am last week in work bathroom selfies with matching skirt. Because if you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know about me and my 2-piece "dresses." Plus, I needed to use up the extra fabric instead of packing it. The skirt is actually the very last thing I sewed before packing up all my sewing tools and supplies. It's McCall's 7386, version too-many-to-count.




And OMG that bathroom lighting does me no favors. I can't wait to get set up for pics in my new back yard. It's going to be great — brick pavers, natural light, tripod, privacy! (None of the stuff in the photos below is mine; these are more listing photos.) If only I could get Gillian to come down and take the photos! :-)



So that's what I've been up to. Plus work. You can also catch me on the Curvy Sewing Collective doing Pattern Roundups! See you soon!

46 comments:

  1. So nice to hear from you again and I love the new house, it looks so welcoming from the front and the patio is gorgeous. I do like your 2 piece dresses this one is a winner too.

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  2. Everytime a post comes up from you in my feed I get stupidly happy! I really hope you get everything settled soon so we can experience more of your pattern reviews. Congratulations on the new house!

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  3. Missed seeing your cheerful face. So glad you finally have your own place again, too. Stay cool and enjoy your new house.

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    1. Thanks Riesie, I'm settling in slowly but surely.

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  4. I bought a RTW top similar to this pattern this spring and was pleasantly surprised as to how flattering it is on me. My RTW hem is "unfinished" (--gasp!) and curved. Love your humongous private back yard.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! Yes, I was definitely surprised at how much I like this top!

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  5. I hope your new house brings you lots of joy. I have such deja view looking at it, my military family spent 1968 in the Ballast Point area while my Dad was in Nam. Our house looked a lot like yours, except we had a huge Florida room attached with 2 trees growing out of the roof and we would roller skate and ride our bikes in the rain back there. There were probably 50% less houses and we played in some snakey what was my mom thinking woods, and my brother set fire to a big field once. No air conditioning then, we went to the causeway or St Pete’s to swim every day because Tampa Bay was too polluted to swim in. Memories.
    I love the top and think it’s very flattering on you. I love the top/ skirt dress method!

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  6. Your home looks wonderful! I hope you'll have time in between unpacking to enjoy that lovely garden. The Cedar Dolman top never made it to my list. Too sporty, which I am not. I really like your version though!

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    1. Marianne, Thanks! I'm in the yard every day with the dogs. ๐Ÿ˜

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  7. Fit is perfect and the house is lovely

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  8. I love your house! And I love your top and “dress”. I’d like to try that myself—both the pattern and the 2 piece dress.

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    1. Thanks Sally. Two-piece dresses are more versatile for me, so I tend to stick with them since they work.

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  9. So good to see you blogging again. Love that top and how versatile it is. A little longer than most others out there but not too long--just right. Love the new house--hope you get settled in soon.

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  10. congrats on the house, and cute top and it makes a great combo, so smart to make the skirt too so you can have the dress look with versatility.

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    1. Thanks Beth! I feel more comfortable in skirts/tops and like the better mix and match options.

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  11. I like your new top! And great news on the house, even if it doesn't have a spot for dedicated sewing room. I hope you get back to posting a bit more when things are settled in.

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    1. Thanks Gail. I'm working on it. I just need a bit more patience. Lol

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  12. Congratulations! How exciting to have your own place again. It looks really cute. Your top is perfect for you too. The ITY hangs really nicely.

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    1. Thanks Vicki! Glad to know you're still out there. ๐Ÿ˜

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  13. Welcome back!Funny how life has a way of stepping in! Your new home is precious and looks just perfect for you. Love that back yard!

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  14. Congratulations on being a home owner! It looks lovely and it's so much nicer to be able to do what you want with your home. The top is lovely too. I may buy this since I trust your judgement on patterns.

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    1. Thanks Nancy! It is definitely a good top. Nicer than regular Tee shirts with the right fabric but just as comfy.

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  15. I also did not look past the pattern photo for this one. I really love your version - especially styled with the pants. But I think it's the shape of the neckline that I like the most, which isn't part of the pattern.

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    1. Thanks Masha! Changing the neckline was very straightforward. It really should have been a pattern option.

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  16. Congratulations on your new home, Debbie! It's going to be great. That dolman top looks amazing on you -- and I had overlooked it, too, for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I love the V-neck and I do hope you make another version of this top once you get settled. Can you please show us how you changed the neckline? V-necks are a lot more flattering for me, too. :-)

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    1. Thank you Rebecca! I will definitely make another and take pics of the neckline changes, but it's going to be a while yet before I get back to my machines.

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  17. Oh wow! Just followed here from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic!

    The two piece dresses idea just blew my mind. I am really hard to fit through the midsection so while I love dresses, I don't often WEAR dresses. I am totally stealing that idea!

    Love the top, initially I wasn't sure about the tie front but, I love it. Really great outfit altogether, thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. This is why I love my 2-piece dresses - easier to fit/wear and bonus mix and match in options. Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. Welcome back and congratulations on your forever home! I like this newest top of yours a lot!

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  19. Your house is lovely . Good on you fro taking control I hope it will be a great and peaceful home for you . i will look forward to hearing from you more often .

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  20. YAY! Congrats on the new house and your backyard is AWESOME!

    Cute top and I keep meaning to "copy" you and make some 2-piece 'dresses' and 'jumpsuits'!

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  21. So glad to "see" you again-- you have been missed!

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  22. What fun to be moving into your own house. Congrats! Though moving the fabric and pattern stash can be quite eye opeing, especually if you have ones the size of mine. I love your two piece dresses. They are cute and versitile. Now that I have a new job where I can wear dresses I may be a big copycat.

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  23. Congrats on the new house! I'm glad you've finally been able to settle into a place of your own. Looking forward to seeing more sewing from you.

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  24. I just found you from CSC and decided to check you out. Wow I love the house, and the top and skirt. Both are really nice. Great blog. I will be looking at it more often.

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  25. Now that looks like a great new house, many congratulations Debbie - I hope that you and yours are all well and happy. Lovely makes as always looking forward to seeing more.

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  26. Congrats on your new home ! I'm really glad to see you posting again.

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  27. That top is way cuter made up in your print than the athletic stripe. I would have never given it a second glance.

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Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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