We’re in the midst of a sew-along of the fabulous Roseclair dress from Cashmerette, so I thought it mighty appropriate to have a chat with Jenny, the designer behind the Roseclair and other Cashmerette patterns! I’m really excited about this, because as much as we love to talk about body diversity and inclusivity at Sew Busty, Jenny literally wrote the book on it. (Seriously, pre-order yours today!)
Q: What is your name?
A: Jenny Rushmore
Q: What is your pattern company’s name and how did you come up with it?
A: Cashmerette! Way back when I set it up as a joint blog with a friend, we thought it had a nice ring to it, but it is essentially meaningless when it comes to the business, ha.
Q: How long has your company existed?
A:I’ve been blogging as Cashmerette since 2010, and started designing and selling patterns in 2015.
Q: When and how did you decide to become a pattern designer? And why did you decide to initially focus on sizes 12 – 32 and cups C – H?
A: When I learned to sew, it was a truly profound experience. As a plus size woman with an H cup bust, I could never find clothes that fit me and that I liked – everything had to be oversized or stretchy. Suddenly the idea that I could change clothes to fit my body rather than changing my body to fit clothes was totally mind-shattering! But I quickly realized, back in 2015, that very few pattern companies went up to my clothes size, and none at all catered to my bust.
Not only that, but the majority (over 70%) of American women are plus size, and the average bra size is a DD, so I realized it wasn’t only me who wasn’t being catered to – it was actually MOST sewists. While I learned how to do a Full Bust Adjustment, it was often frustrating and made sewing so much more complicated for me, and I couldn’t understand why there weren’t simply cup sized patterns that catered to the average sewist.
So, I decided to be the change I wanted to see in the world, and thus Cashmerette began: initially, sewing patterns in sizes 12 – 28 and cup sizes C – H, and over the years we’ve expanded to be 0 – 32 and cup sizes C – H!
Q: What challenges, if any, did you face in offering cup options on your patterns?
A: It is definitely challenging to draft certain styles for large cup sizes, but we’re experts at it now! We worked for almost a year to develop our underlying blocks, which would fully cover a bra and not gape or pull, in both sleeved and sleeveless versions, for wovens and knits. At this stage, we know our stuff so it’s actually pretty straightforward – which is I think why so many people love our patterns!
Q: Are you #teamrotarycutter or #teamshears?
A: Rotary cutter all the way! I even use a rotary cutter to cut my paper pattern pieces…
Q: When is your favorite thing to sew for yourself?
A: I really love sewing coats – I don’t often get time to do it, but when I do, I love the slow sewing, thought, and the end product. My me-made coats are definitely my most worn and loved garments.
Q: You’ve recently expanded your size range to cover sizes 0-10, as well as your original 12-32. Tell me about your decision to expand to smaller sizes.
A: After a couple of years in business I was reviewing the state of the industry and was delighted to realize that there are now over 100 pattern brands that cater to plus sizes (check out the Curvy Pattern Database for more) – what an enormous change in a matter of years!
However, ever since we first launched, we’d had requests from sewists who were smaller than our size 12 but who had big boobs, begging us to expand our sizes. It isn’t only plus size sewists who have to do endless FBAs – there are plenty of straight size sewists too. So, we decided to expand down, and right now we have four patterns: three of our best-sellers, the Concord T-Shirt, Montrose Top and Appleton Dress, and our latest launch, the Roseclair Dress. We’ve had some truly amazing feedback from our new audience, so it’s confirmed to me that it was the right thing to do!
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Using the affiliate links in Sew Busty posts is a great way to support the costs of running Sew Busty, as when you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me pay for the hosting, domain, design, and other costs associated with administering this site. All opinions remain my own.