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Sewing with Threads Podcast

Jenny Rushmore and Sewing for an Expanded Size Range | Episode 41

Video: Threads Magazine

Jenny Rushmore is the founder and creative director of Cashmerette. Her business empowers curvy and plus-size women to feel confident through sewing a wardrobe of fabulously fitting clothes. Originally from Scotland, Jenny has lived in nine countries and is now proud to call Boston, Massachusetts, her home. Join Threads editors Sarah McFarland and Carol J. Fresia as they chat with Jenny about her sewing and her patterns.

Cashmerette.com began as Jenny’s personal blog in 2010, when she realized she didn’t have to change her body to fit clothes. Instead, she could make clothes to fit her body. The result was the launch of Cashmerette Patterns in 2015. It’s the first modern, body-positive, pattern line available in sizes 0 to 32 and cup sizes C to H (bust up to 62 inches, waist up to 52 inches, hips up to 62 inches).

Jenny’s journey

Find out how Jenny became captivated by the art and science of fitting and construction garments. Her realization that 68 percent of American women fall into the category of “plus size” encouraged her to start her company. She understood that a majority of women who sew wanted good-looking, versatile designs they could sew without having to make endless fit adjustments to the patterns. Jenny was tired of struggling with dull patterns with little shape and less style.

A wider size range

Cashmerette patterns began with a size range of 12 to 28, then expanded to size 32. More recently, she has further widened the range down to size 0. This decision was a response to market demands for her stylish designs. A bonus with this line: Patterns come with detailed, accurate, well-illustrated sewing instructions.

 

 

Jenny Rushmore's Cashmerette wrap dress
Jenny Rushmore decided to expand her patterns’ sizes up to 32 and down to 0 to make it easier for more women to make clothes that fit. The popular Appleton wrap dress is just one example.

Jenny explains how each pattern is drafted and graded in more than one size range. This is essential, as smaller sizes have different grading conventions than larger ones. The smaller sizes are especially good for women with a small frame, but a relatively large bust size. Most commercial patterns accommodate a B cup, but Cashmerette’s small sizes fit up to an H-cup bust.

To assist customers in choosing the correct size for their measurements, Jenny has built an online size calculator. Enter your measurements, and the software returns a suggested pattern size. The calculator even offers fitting recommendations if your body falls into more than one size. One editor tried the calculator and found that the result exactly matched her experience with ready-to-wear clothing sizes—a helpful and encouraging sign for achieving a good fit.

Welcoming the curvy sewer

At Cashmerette.com, you’ll find plenty of tutorials on refining the fit of your garments. The site now also hosts online sewing workshops, provides fabric kits for blazers, jeans, and other garments, and has a thriving online community. Jenny’s work on Cashmerette and body positivity has been featured in well-known publications including People magazine, The Guardian, and the Huffington Post.

 

Photos: courtesy of Cashmerette


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  1. user-6761018 | | #1

    Jenni thank you so much for the Cashmerette patterns! I love that you started with the basic style patterns. You can NEVER go wrong with classic styles. I do wish you'd do a biker jacket =) and please split the pattern where the left zipper goes, I don't want to see the zipper tape! I also love your newsletter that shared all the cool hacks or bold fabric choices that sewists share. The CURVY world is wonderful, finally a place without snarky remarks etc.

  2. VeraS | | #2

    Great interview with a woman who saw a need and shared it with us, who were tired of the gazillion adjustments we have to make when using patterns that aren’t quite made for the majority of us. Thank you!

  3. User avater
    maguertae | | #3

    One of the best interviews I've listened to. What a lovely person.

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