When Cashmerette released the Webster top and dress pattern, it took me a day or two to warm up to it. I tend to be more interested in sewing things that fit closely and have lots of interesting seamlines, especially if I’m purchasing a pattern rather than drafting it myself. But then I remembered this floral rayon crepe in my stash, and how I had vowed that it needed to be a breezy summer dress, and I knew the Webster would be perfect. The thing is, I probably wouldn’t have purchased a similar pattern from any other company, but with Cashmerette I know the amount of alterations I’ll have to make will be minimal, alterations (like a FBA) that would usually make a “simple” pattern into a more complicated process.
With that in mind, I cut a straight sized 18 G/H. I’m just between a 16 and an 18 on top on their size chart, and take an 18 in the Harrison; however, in this dress I think I could safely do a 16 G/H on top graded to an 18 past the waist, which is what I’ll do next time. However, it still fits really well; while there is a little more width across the chest than I need, there’s still no gaping under the arms! The dress stays comfortably in place and doesn’t expose my bra at all! It floats and skims my body and generally is wonderful for summer days! I would probably be wearing it again today if there wasn’t a giant smear of dog drool on the hip now.
The back has this cute strappy detail, which adds a little extra pop. Mine aren’t perfect: inserting the tops, I initially put the layers in the wrong order, so when I unpicked and re-did it, I think I put them in at the wrong angle, leading to a bit of puckering. Same with the bottom – they’re a little uneven, as my stitching required a little unpicking and restitching to get them in place right. In the construction, you leave a gap in the stitching of the dress back to the back facing, which you then stitch up at the end once you’ve had a chance to perfectly place the straps. My suggestion, and what I’ll put into place next time, is to make sure that when understitching the facing you stop about 1/2″ before the beginning of your seam gap, so that when you go to sew it all up you have a longer start/end gap between the two (if that makes sense). Trying to stitch up the seam with the understitching in the way is what messed me up.
I also hate stay stitching and mostly never do it, but this fabric was delicate enough that I did get a little bit of stretching in my neckline. So I suppose I’ll stay stitch next time, like the instructions say (SIGH). The only alteration I did was to cut the dress pieces in one, rather than as a top plus hem band. This was partially because I didn’t love the look of the seam cutting across the hips and partially because I had just barely enough fabric to cut this, and the extra two inches you gain by removing those seam allowances helped. I think I’ll still do it that way in the future, because I like the uninterrupted look better.
I’m not sure I have other fabric in my stash currently that’s appropriate for this, but I am eyeing a sand-washed silk at my local shop, so that might get purchased! All in all, it’s a great summertime dress, and would also work well with layers in the autumn.