adult's clothing · sewing

Cashmerette Turner dress

One of the dresses I sewed especially to take on our Thailand/Laos trip was a Cashmerette Tuner dress.  Shoulder coverage, knee coverage, so good for temples, yet comfortable in a knit.  That was the plan.  The plan worked!

Cashmerette Turner dress in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

I have had a fair bit of success with the cut of Cashmerette patterns.  I’m not a typical shape.  I am very thick through the midsection, with a pregnant-looking belly, and a very short back waist length.  My ribs are almost on top of my hip bones!  In comparison, my shoulders are fairly average, my hips are comparatively small, and I have a relatively flat bum and average size boobs.  Really, it’s a shape that is quite common in menopausal women – except I’m not quite menopausal (fast approaching though) and have always been this shape.  My size has varied quite a lot, but not my shape.  It makes for some fitting challenges, as most patterns are designed for a more defined waist.  Now, one of the reasons that I sew is because I can make what I like, but it’s still tedious have to make loads of alterations.  However, I’ve found that the smallest Cashmerette size (the 12 C/D) works pretty well as a starting point for me.

Cashmerette Turner dress in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

I did remove waist shaping by cutting the pattern a size larger through the waist. Otherwise, this is exactly as per the pattern. From the Cashmerette website:  Elegance meets comfort with the Turner Dress! This everyday favorite features a softly flared skirt and a feminine lined v-neck bodice. There are three sleeve lengths – short, three-quarter and long – and whether you make it in cozy merino jersey or lightweight rayon jersey, this pattern will carry you through every season with style! 


Now, there is nothing earth-shattering about this style in many ways.  There are heaps of patterns out there for knit dresses with a fitted bodice, sleeves, and a flared, circle or gathered skirt.  To me, the difference between this pattern and the rest of them is the drafting and the fit.  It’s for sizes 12 to 28, in three cup sizes (C/D, E/F, G/H), and from what I have seen around the internet, it WORKS.  I’ve seen some lovely versions in all sleeve lengths, sewn in fabrics from ultra casual to super formal.  Definitely a basic that is well appreciated by the size 12 and up dressmaker.

Cashmerette Turner dress in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

I always like a V neckline, and the bodice is lined. This provides a really lovely finish, and it’s easy to sew. It also reduces bra squish show-through, which I like too. The waistline is definitely raised a little. That is my preference, but keep it in mind if you’re sewing this dress and like your waistline right at your waistline.

Cashmerette Turner dress in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

Apparently there is a swayback alteration already drafted in to Cashmerette patterns, and I think that you can see that with the reduced amount of fabric pooling compared to many of my other garments. I really DO need to do a short back waist length alteration (done similarly to a sway back alteration) on all my garments! It clearly helps.

Cashmerette Turner dress in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

The skirt is nicely swishy. I had to cut the back piece with a centre back seam due to fabric restrictions. Speaking of fabric, isn’t this lovely? It’s cotton spandex jersey from Spoonflower. The print called Oriental Birds and is by Three Branches Design – who happens to be a friend of mine! The jury is still out a little for me regarding Spoonflower prints though. I’ve had three on their cotton spandex jersey base now. They’re comfortable to wear, and so far the colour retention has been pretty good too, but the print is definitely on the top – which you can see when you stretch the fabric – and the layers can sort of “stick” to one another if it is folded with the print touching print. I suspect that with Spoonflower you need to try different substrates to really see what you like best. There is no doubting that they have marvellous designs. I bought mine when they had a free international shipping offer, otherwise I find the cost prohibitive.

Cashmerette Turner dress in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

This dress really did work well for me when we were on holiday, yet in many ways it’s not quite “my” style. I definitely love the print, and the fit, but I’m not sure that the fitted bodice with fuller skirt silhouette is really me. Either way, this dress is staying in my wardrobe – and being worn!


25 thoughts on “Cashmerette Turner dress

  1. I was thinking how lovely this beautiful dress looks on you and was surprised to read you aren’t feeling the same. But you know your style and how you want to look.

  2. I have quite similar body shape as you are, and watching your preferences to more boxy and straight shapes made me also neglect the waist fitted garments, because lets face it when the middle section is not thin you look horrendous in it! But this dress on you caught me by surprise, I wasn’t impressed at all when it came, as you said there are many type like dresses out there, but I guess that all the right alterations are drafted in and it makes all the difference, I do like a lot the way you look in this dress is “shapes” you beautifully!!! I guess it’s a new shape you can get used to when its done right 😉

  3. Despite your feelings about this type of silhouette on you, it does really work. The high waist may be the secret or perhaps the swishy skirt. The fit of both the bodice and the skirt is spot on and I love the v neck. I think this pattern is a keeper. It is a lovely dress.

  4. I like the look of this dress on you. I’m a different shape from you and have been considering this pattern. I would definitely have to lower the waist. I don’t like a circle skirt – this skirt seems to have just the right amount of fullness. However, you have to feel comfortable in what you wear.

  5. The dress is lovely and looks good on you and I’m glad you will keep wearing it, although I understand what you mean about the pattern. I’ve made a Tunic and a dress and will probably make another but I always have to think about it!

  6. You look cool, as in temperature, and the other cool too, elegant, beautiful and ultra feminine. The pattern is definitely a winner. I can visualize this in many different fabrics and prints. I hope you will get used to the style and keep it in your wardrobe.
    Also very useful information about the printing from Spoonflower.

  7. lovely dress and great colors on you. As for the shape, and trying different looks, this one is a winner. You look fantastic. I like to see a more fitted style on you in addition to the other shapes you sew. I’ve been trying to sew different silhouettes and it is a challenge as I gravitate to the same ones over and over. But this really works on you.

    1. Yes, it is really easy to gravitate to similar silhouettes! But I do try to experiment a little every now and then – after all, if it doesn’t work out, it’s only fabric and I can sew something else!

  8. This is my favourite Turner that I’ve seen made up! I think it’s because the waist is hitting you at exactly the right spot, with the right amount of ease. I can definitely see what you mean about it not being ‘you’ though – I think it looks great on you but not your usual style. (I really like how it looks but that’s because it’s closer to my own style, so I am aware I have a bias! It would be a shame if we all had the same style, I think). There’s room in all our wardrobe for not-quite-fitting-in garments though, especially if they’re as practical and attractive as this one!

  9. Lovely! I have similar shape issues and I’m rather “short-waisted” so the high waistline would probably end up very close to my natural waistline without any alteration.

  10. You selected the perfect fabric for this dress and you look wonderful wearing it. I know what you mean about “your style” but it sounds like it worked perfectly for your trip. I must try these patterns. A friend was fitting the wrap dress at a sewing retreat and it had so many great elements.

  11. Oh I’m glad you reviewed this pattern. I’ve just determined that I’m very short waisted, and I’m also thick through the waist and am a bit of a rectangle. I’ve just done my first short bodice adjustment, but it would be great to not have to do the cut and paste thing. Thank you for this post!

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