Tag Archives: Cake patterns

A Belated Bonny


I may have made this up a year ago. (No, I’m not miraculously un-pregnant and a lot smaller all of a sudden – these photos were taken a year ago, too.)

Belated Bonny Sailor tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(In fact, some of the photos were taken in Shanghai, and others in Tokyo, all when we went overseas on holiday last year. We went to Yu Yuan in Shanghai and wandered around – such a lovely place! And the Little Guy got a huge amount of attention there! The Tokyo ones are from Harajuku.)

Belated Bonny Sailor tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It’s the Bonny Sailor Tee, from Cake Patterns. I actually made this up twice at the same time – this one for me, and another one for my sister – traced and cut and sewed assembly-line styles, two different sizes at once.

(I must admit, though – I wish I’d made one in it’s entirety before I started the next one. As Lessons Were Learnt.)

Bonny Sailor tee from Cake

Bonny Sailor tee from Cake

This Bonny is made from a soft green cotton blend tshirting, with pale pink ribbon for trim. I quite like the green and pink combination – it may not sound great on paper, but I find it quite pretty. 🙂

Right, let’s talk about this pattern. Bonny is a princess-seamed knit tshirt pattern, with a square neckline, and optional sailor-style collar. I must admit that I was pretty unsure about the sailor style – I think it’s super cute, but questioned how much I’d wear it. But hey, I figured I may as well give it a go and find out! Push myself out of my style comfort zone, so to speak.

Belated Bonny Sailor tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Like other Cake patterns, the Bonny pattern is a connect-the-dots type affair. You figure out your measurements, find ’em on the pattern outline, and draw in the lines to connect them. Semi-custom-fit, yes indeed.

And like the other Cake patterns I’ve made, Bonny came out about a size too big on me. But then, that does come down to personal preference in these type of tops I think – I just happen to prefer less ease than Cake patterns are drafted with. No big deal – next time, I just make ’em one size smaller, and all is well. 🙂

Now, I did run into a problem when making up Bonny. And after doing a search online, it seems I’m not the only one. If you look at the line drawing, you’ll see a panel at the front neckline. However, while this pattern piece is included, you’re only instructed to cut it out once in fabric and once in interfacing, and attach it like a facing. Which means, that panel in the line drawing doesn’t actually appear on the final garment.

Belated Bonny Sailor tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Not that that’s a huge issue, but the other thing with this is that if you then match up the dots at the top of the centre front panel with those on the side panels (as per the instructions) you end up with the front panel being shorter than the side panels by, well, the same width as that panel at the neckline would have been if you were actually meant to cut it out and sew it on.

And this is where I wish I’d made one top fully before starting on the second one – by the time I figured out the issue the facings were already interfaced, attached, and understitched. Ain’t no way I was gonna be unpicking those on tshirting fabrics, so instead I just trimmed the length of the rest of the top to match that shorter front panel.

So, why am I posting this so late, you may ask? Well, I’ve been waiting to hear back from the designer about it. But I’ve somewhat given up on that now, so figured I’d post it for Amnesty Month over at The Monthly Stitch. (Which I then ended up being late for. Whoops! Being late to post for an amnesty posting month – fail! Ah well, whatever.)

Belated Bonny Sailor tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Here’s the final summary of my thoughts on this pattern:

Pattern: Bonny Sailor tee from Cake Patterns
What I liked: quick and easy to sew, innovative sizing, and I really like the princess seams on it
What I had issues with: the line drawing doesn’t match the final garment – I really do think a mistake has been made in the instrutions and that front facing piece should be cut out twice and stitched on to the top of the front panel as per in the line drawing. (I also have a feeling that if that section at the top of the front panel was done to match the line drawings, it wouldn’t gape forward as much as it does with the current construction method of the pattern.)
Will I make it again? Maybe, but I don’t think there’s a huge amount of space for another sailor tee in my wardrobe, so I’ll just be making up the basic neckline version instead 🙂

A spotty, stripy piece of Cake

So here’s one I made a few weeks back, sometime around mid-May, even. Since it was a spot of pattern testing, I went out and got photos (not knowing how much longer it would fit me for at the moment, gotta seize those photo opportunities when I can, haha!), and waited for the pattern to be released.

And now, it has!

Spotted Cake Tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It’s the new The Tee pattern from Cake. A nice,simple tee with cut-on sleeves, two neckline options, a wide hem band, and cute little micro pockets for details.

Spotted Cake Tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And not only that – it’s available as a free download from Craftsy!

Cake – The Tee pattern

It’s a nice top to stitch up, too. Just like other Cake patterns, it’s a connect-the-dots type pattern, where you customise it based on your own measurements. There’s a stripe guide to make it easier to match up any patterns you’ve got happening in your fabric. And there’s even a pattern piece to cut a template for pressing the hems of the micro pockets, making it far easier to get a clean edge on them.

Spotted Cake Tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I stitched this one up in a remnant of tshirting that’s been lurking in my stash for, oh, I hate to think how long, but several years at least. (Eek!) Quite an unusual fabric – it’s double-sized, with the two sides woven separately but with some of the pattern woven through both sides which sticks them together. (If that makes any sense?)

Anyway, as a result of how the fabric is, it means the edges kinda curl up and away from each other, which is a pain to sew on things like micro pockets, but whatever, it still worked out ok despite the fabric’s quirks, although it did make it nearly impossible to get the edges of the micro pockets sitting right. (Also turns out the fabric had less cotton content than I thought. I may have found this out the hard way, with the help of my iron. Oops!)

Spotted Cake Tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Plus, since it was striped on one side and spotted on the other, it meant I could do contrast bands and pockets and they’d be in the exact same colours as the main fabric. Super-easy fabric matching. Win!

I must admit to using a different way of doing the v-neck’s point than the mitered one in the pattern, not for any particular reason except that I was stitching all this up on my overlocker (serger) and couldn’t be bothered changing machines. Yes, I can be that lazy at times. Sorry not sorry. (Although I am hanging my head in shame a little at the admission….)

Spotted Cake Tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Not a lot else to say about this pattern, really. It’s cute, it’s a good fit (slightly loose but not too loose – I am wearing it over a singlet and a merino top in these photos, so it’s looking a bit of a tighter fit than it actually is), and a simple make. Plus, you know, it’s free. 😉

(It’s also a good way to try out a Cake pattern, if you haven’t used one before.)

Spotted Cake Tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

We took these photos out on a beach on Wellington’s south coast, directly before I stripped down to get photos of my Soma bikini. (Eek! Cooooold!).

Such a pretty beach. Crashing waves, rocks, and a doorway through a rock face. There’s just something about beaches in winter, don’t you think?


Channeling Dita

It was a public holiday here in New Zealand today – Waitangi Day. And I had a pre-arranged half-day of sewing time, all to myself. Exciting!! *bounce*

Guess what I was planning to do with it? Finish off a top I’ve been making, cut out some trousers, and trace a couple of patterns.

Guess what I actually did with it? Finish off a top I’ve been making, and get all inspired by the Fashion Icon challenge at Project Sewn this week and make a skirt to go with said top.

Yep, that’s right – even with my sewing queue being crazy-long right now, I ignored it all and made a Dita von Teese inspired outfit today instead.

Channeling Dita outfit | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I rather admire Ms von Teese. She’s not a classic beauty, but she knows what works for her, and she appreciates good style and good quality. (Plus, she’s got a throwback to vintage styles thing going on, and I do happen to be rather fond of that.) Wish I could wear red lippy as well as she does…. *sigh*

(Admittedly, it currently clashes with my hair, which may be part of why it doesn’t work so well on me…. Hmmm…)

Channeling Dita outfit | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

When I think of Dita, I think of things like woven fabrics, black, leopard, collars, wiggle skirts, and 1950’s pin-up style. (Plus that red lippy, of course.)


The top is the Alma top from Sewaholic patterns. It’s the first time I’ve used a Sewaholic pattern – I have another one planned for this month, so I’ll hold off having a strong opinion on them until I’ve tried a second pattern. (I will say one thing though – the tissue paper they use is extremely flimsy and horrible to work with when tracing. Do not like.) (I do like the way the pattern envelopes are making a rainbow of colour though – very cute!)

Sewaholic Alma top

Sewaholic Alma top

My Alma is made of quilting cotton, with the contrast collar in a black cotton drill. (Which, as it turns out, shows up all sorts of fluff when photographed.)

Sewaholic Alma top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Originally, I made the Alma with sleeves, like so:

Sewaholic Alma top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

But unexpectedly, the sleeves were waaaay too tight on me under the arms. (Yeah – follow the line of my arm below and you may be able to spot the complete lack of any decent amount of ease at the underarm area there.) Not a problem I ever really have when sewing, so it came as quite a surprise!

Sewaholic Alma top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So, those puppies had to come off. (If you look at the photos of the sleeveless Alma, you’ll see there’s no gaping around the arm sythe – good for sleeveless, not so good with sleeves in.)

The other key change I made to the Alma was the fastening. The pattern calls for a side zipper, but I kinda have a habit of getting stuck in garments with side zips. (Seriously. I’ve had some horror moments in changing rooms in the past where I’ve been stuck half-in, half-out of a dress or similar, completely unable to get it past my shoulders while taking it off, and in fear of bursting seams.) These days, I just avoid anything with a side zip that has to go over my shoulders. I changed it to a centre-back zip instead, a very easy change to make. Instead of cutting the back on the fold, I cut it with a 1.5cm seam allowance (5/8″ for you Americans). Used a 60cm long invisible zip and inserted it from the bottom, making sure there was about 3.5cm left between the neckline and the base of the zipper, to allow enough room to fold over the seam allowance.

Channeling Dita outfit | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Deviating from the pattern a bit, I did a bias facing rather than a neck facing (it just seemed a bit odd to have a collar and a neck facing….). Believe it or not, it was the first time I’ve done a bias facing. Heck knows how I’ve made it this far without doing one! So easy that I used it again on the armholes. The hem is bound with a vintage cotton tape. (Bias and tape in green and brown – shades of the jungle coz, you know, that’s where leopards hang out.)

Sewaholic Alma top details | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The skirt is the “pink” Hummingbird skirt from Cake patterns. I’ve made this one before so it was nice and easy to put together (even without the instructions, as my copy of the pattern is away from home at the moment). I made it in the same cotton drill that the Alma’s collar is made from. And I completely forgot to take a photo, but the pockets are lined with the leopard print fabric I used in the top. Bringing the whole ensemble together, indeed.

Hummingbird skirt and top from Cake Patterns

Hummingbird skirt and top from Cake Patterns

I’ve changed size a bit since my last Hummingbird skirt, plus my last one sat lower than I’d like it to, so I cut one size smaller this time. (A bit of a mistake, as I haven’t lot weight around the hips – oops! Should have kept that piece the same size!) I ended up taking it in about one more size at the waist so it would sit on my actual waist (the pattern is drafted to sit about 1″ below the natural waist), and letting it out nearly a size around the hips.

Channeling Dita outfit | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oh, and this time? I put the tail flounce on the right way round. 😉

Cake Hummingbird skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Even though this is the longer of the two Hummingbird skirt variations, it ends up rather short on me when I sit down. Whenever I get around to making up the straight “orange” variation, I’ll have to length it by a good 10cm or it may not be all that ‘decent’ on me!

Channeling Dita outfit | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I’m pretty happy with this outfit. It’s not my usual style at all, but I think it has a definite ‘Dita’ flavour about it. And while I doubt I’ll wear the pieces together, I can see them getting a lot of wear individually. (In fact, I’m planning on wearing the top to work tomorrow with jeans. It’s a good, longer length for that.)

Channeling Dita outfit | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Right, better go and work on those trousers I was meant to be making today! 😉

My sister, the sailor

Waaaay back in late September, I made my lil’ sis’ a top for her birthday. It’s a bit of a late top, really. I was a couple of weeks late for her birthday in making it, and now I’m a couple of months late in posting it post-make. (Terribly enough, she’s kinda used to me being late with birthday presents. Best intentions, poor time management and easily distracted. Sad but true. Sorry, sis!)

Anyway, this one’s the Bonny Sailor top from Cake patterns.

Bonny Sailor Top from Cake patterns | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

First time I’d made this pattern, and I ended up making two at the same time – one for my sister, and one for me. (You’ll get to see the one I made for myself sometime soon, I promise!)

The pattern is quite interesting – a princess-seamed knit top with (or without) a sailor collar. It calls for having buttons down the front as well, but I kinda prefer it without. Easier to wear under cardigans, and less risk of them accidentally ending up in the wrong place on one’s chest. 😉

Bonny Sailor Top from Cake patterns | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

After a fair bit of rummaging through my stash, debating which my sister would like the most, I finally settled on this red-on-red-stripe semi-slinky-feeling medium weight knit I bought at the (amazing) Levana textile factory shop a while back. (Thanks Mum for helping with the decision!)

Bonny Sailor Top from Cake patterns | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

For contrast-colour fun, I used a narrow navy blue satin ribbon to edge the collar and the sleeves.

Bonny Sailor Top from Cake patterns | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern went together reasonably well. It has the Cake style sizing, with connect-the-dots markers for bust, waist, and length, so you can customise it to your actual measurements. For the main part, the instructions were reasonably easy to follow. I did have some issues with the neck binding, and with what appears to be an error with the pattern (although it may have been my mistake?), but I’ll go into those on the post about the one I made for myself.

Bonny Sailor Top from Cake patterns | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(For now, you can just admire my lovely sister and one of the cats at our parents house. 🙂 )

My sister seems to like it, and I hear reports that it’s been worn a few times now, so I’m gonna take that as a selfless-sewing win. Yeah!

Bonny Sailor Top from Cake patterns | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(PS My lil’ sis’ isn’t really a sailor.)

Caramel Tiramisu

Guess what?

Yeah, I made (another) Tiramisu, from Cake patterns.

Back when I made the Chocolate Tiramisu (they must all be named after imaginary Tiramisu flavours, after all) for my mother, she expressed an interest in getting another one in a more summery fabric. Turns out she’s been wearing her Tiramisu quite a bit, so I made her another one for her birthday.

This time, I used a heavy-ish weight knit. No idea what the fabric content is, it’s been hanging around in my stash for quite some time. It doesn’t have a huge amount of stretch to it though, it’s quite a stiff knit. So even though the Chocolate Tiramisu is a bit too big on my mum, I decided to make the Caramel one in the same size as I had a feeling that the different properties of this knit would result in a closer fit than the chocolate stretch lace I used for the first Tiramisu-for-my-mother.

Turns out that was a good idea, and this one fits her rather well. 🙂 I finished it just in time to give to her when she was up visiting us for a few days last week, as a slightly-belated birthday present.

(Although my photographer-guy only took three photos, all of which were from the front, and it was too late before I realised to get any more before my mum went back home to Dunedin. So, you only get one photo of it to prove it exists….)

Caramel Tiramisu | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This fabric has actually been in my stash for a few years, waiting to turn into a dress for my mother. Better late than never, right?! (Oops!) It’s a colour scheme she likes for dresses – autumn shades and florals.

(And as per usual when I make something for someone else, I am now beset by doubt that she likes it and will wear it. Does anyone else get that? A semi-conviction after you give someone something you made that they only said they liked it to humour you? Or is it just me? Ah well, more reason to keep sewing selfishly, right? 😉 )

This is the fifth Tiramisu I’ve made now (and the third for someone else – turns out they make good gifts!), and it took me a grand total of 1.5 hours from start to finish. Including cutting out fabric. Yeah, turns out it’s a pretty fast make when you’ve got your fit sorted out! As with the others, I did it all up on my overlocker. Although my overlocker decided not to play ball completely and rather than doing a cover stitch as topstitching on the neck and sleeve bindings, I ended up having to do two rows of plain sewing machine stitching instead since the overlocker threads kept skipping. *sigh* But hey, it happens – overlockers can be temperamental little beasties at times!

Wish I could figure out how to stop the fabric from pulling a bit under the bust, where each of the neck binding ends gets caught in the midriff piece – anyone know how to do that? I think it’s just part of this pattern, where less-stretchy bits get attached to more-stretchy bits. *shrug*

Anyway, there we have it – another Tiramisu! Something tells me it won’t be the last….

Blackcurrant Tiramisu

Yikes! Somehow it got to the second week of November, and I still haven’t posted about the third dress I made at the start of October! Gah.

Anyway, here ’tis. Along with some more glimpses of our holiday. 🙂

Blackcurrant Tireamisu dress

Yep, it’s another Tiramisu! Going along with the ‘flavours’ theme of naming them, I figure this one must be Blackcurrant. (Coz grape flavoured Tiramisu? Um, no. I don’t think so.) I did toy with the idea of licquorice flavour, due to the black-and-white contrast fabric, but decided they can just be thought of as chocolate sprinkles on top instead. (Excuse me while I go and eat some chocolate now… Power of suggestion, and all that.)

Blackcurrant Tireamisu dress

Since last time I made myself a Tiramisu I ended up having to take it in by pretty much a full size, this time I cut one size down – a 30 B. Which fits a heck of a lot better! Pretty much perfectly actually, except for one small issue – I didn’t realise it when I was making it up, but the bodice on the size 30 is shorter than the size 35 bodice. Which is a bit annoying, since the size 35 midriff was hitting at the right place on me, and now the size 30 midriff is too high, and as a result does nothing flattering to my bust…. *sigh*

Blackcurrant Tireamisu dress

Aside from that annoyance (which, once made, I can’t really do anything about!), I quite like this dress. I spent ages deciding which fabric combination to use – I was thinking of making one entirely out of the black-with-white-dots knit, with red-with-white-dots for contrast. But it made my eyes go funny looking at it, so I decided to have a bit of sympathy for the rest of the world. Heh.

And I have to say – the Tiramisu is great for travelling in! I took both my Tiramisu dresses on our trip, and wore them soooo much. Every long-haul flight we did, I was wearing a Tiramisu. They’re perfect for flights, and even more perfect for flights-with-a-toddler-who-is-still-breastfed. Comfy, practical, generally rather awesome. Seriously – if you’re flying long distance, make yourself one. You’ll be glad you did.

Blackcurrant Tireamisu dress

Since we were going to Milan for a couple of days, I figured I’d better save this Tiramisu for photos there. Tiramisu, Italy – yeah, bit of a no-brainer, right? 😉 The lovely Mel did suggest I get photos while eating tiramisu in Italy. And I wanted to, I really did. But when it came down to it, well, I actually don’t like tiramisu-the-dessert. So I ordered something else instead. 😉

Blackcurrant Tireamisu dress

Dress details:
Pattern: Tiramisu by Cake
Fabric: purple cotton-blend tshirting (had in stash for years and I can’t remember where I got it from), black-and-white cotton tshirting for contrast (also been in my stash for years, think it was about $6 per metre, can’t remember where from?
Size made: 30 B
Adjustments made: none, but next time I’ll lengthen the bodice by an inch or two. (Oh, I did omit the pocket. Again. I’m just not loving the pocket on knit fabric, really.)
Construction notes: made entirely on my overlocker! Gotta love that thing. 4-thread knit stitch for all seams. Cover stitch to top-stitch down the arm and neck bindings. I left the hem raw, as I like it better that way. Oh, and since the neckband of my last Tiramisu is too loose at the back of the neck, I stretched the neck binding a lot tighter when sewing this one, and just cut off the extra inch that I no longer needed at one end.

Blackcurrant Tireamisu dress

These photos were all taken in Milan, wandering around near the main shopping centre.

And just because I can, here are some more photos from the Milan part of our trip. Enjoy!

Playground in Milan

Checking out the playground across the road from our hotel

Sforza castle

Sforza castle

Peace Arch

Peace Arch (with Steve standing directly under it)

Fountain in Milan centre

Awesome fountain in the centre of Milan

Strawberry Tiramisu

Everyone, I’d like you to meet my amazing, lovely, talented and gorgeous friend-who’s-like-a-sister: Agi.

Strawberry Tiramisu dress

Agi and her family are the reason we head over to Hungary every few years. I stayed with her family as an AFS exchange student, back when I was 18. Such an amazing year – I met lots of lovely people, made great friends, experienced another culture, and saw a totally different part of the world. Agi and her family are fantastic, and even though I only get to see them every few years, they’re such an important part of my life. Agi and I are the same age, so I kind of think of her as another sister.

So our recent big trip was all about going over to see them and introduce our little guy to them. (All the other places we went were just opportunity visits, since we were around those places anyway. 😉 )

Strawberry Tiramisu dress

Since I’ve been enjoying wearing my Raspberry Tiramisu dress a lot, I thought I’d make one for Agi as well. She lives on a farm and has a young daughter, so I figure easy-wash/easy-wear things are a good choice. (I know they are for me these days, with our young lad!)

Strawberry Tiramisu dress

After going on a huge hunt through my stash, I pulled out this gorgeous dark pink mid-weight tshirting, which I thought would look lovely with Agi’s skin tone.

Just like the last two, this Tiramisu was nice and easy to whip up. I did the entire lot using my overlocker – four-thread stretch stitch for the seams, cover stitch for stitching the neck and sleeve bindings flat. And I left it unhemmed, because for some reason I prefer the look of that on tshirting Tiramisus, and this fabric won’t fray.

Strawberry Tiramisu dress

Unfortunately though, even though I made it to Agi’s measurements, it’s ended up a bit too big. Boo! 😦 (Has anyone else noticed that with the Tiramisu pattern? I found the same when I made one for myself and ended up having to take it in by a full size….) Luckily, it’s an easy pattern to take in, and Agi has a sewing machine….

Strawberry Tiramisu dress

Aren’t the dog and cat cute? Agi and her husband live on a small farm, and they have all sorts of lovely and friendly pets. 🙂

And just because these photos were taken in Hungary, here’s a few more photos from our visit to Hungary…. (Coz, you know, I can.)

Agi and her husband took us on a day trip to Eger. We spent a few hours wandering around the town, visiting one of the biggest churches, the Turkish minaret, and Eger castle.


Walking through the streets of Eger

Church in Eger

Church in Eger

Painted church ceiling, Eger

Painted church ceiling, Eger

Eger from the minaret

Looking down on Eger from the top of the minaret

The following day, we went to Csongrad to visit Agi’s parents (who are also super lovely, and who were kind enough to have me live with them for a year). Imre (Agi’s father) took us for a ride on his river boat, along the Tisza river. So incredibly pretty, with all the trees changing colour.

Summer bridge over the Tisza river

Summer bridge over the Tisza river. It’s a floating bridge, and is only out for summer and early autumn, when there is low risk of floods.

Imre and I on his boat

Imre and I on his boat

Pigeon skirt

It’s a Hummingbird, but it’s grey.

Which therefore makes it a pigeon.

(Because I can’t think of any other grey birds.)

Hummingbird skirt

Either way, I made a Hummingbird skirt! Woo hoo!!! 😀

Hummingbird skirt

I’ve loved the idea of this pattern ever since I saw the teasers on Sewing Cake. 1930’s inspired! Flounce! What’s not to love?!?

And here, now, finally, is my first (note: first, but not the last) Hummingbird skirt.

(I made the version with the tail flounce, naturally. 😉 )

Hummingbird skirt

The verdict? I likes it!

(Although there are a couple of things I’d do differently next time. Like raise the waist so it sits at my natural waist, which I think it a bit more flattering for me, especially post-baby-belly. And lower both the hem and where the tail starts at the back, since I think the tail starts a bit high on me. (Plus, the tail starts higher than most of the zips in my invisible zipper stash end.))

I may have kinda changed a couple of things for this make. One was intentional. The other was accidental.

The intentional change – I lined it! This grey fabric is lovely, but it’s quite a loose weave, and I have a feeling it would stretch out of shape over time. (Plus it would cling to tights horribly and I’d be forever pulling it down again.) So, I drafted up a lining, and lined it in burgundy. (And then forgot to take a photo of said lining, but I promise you it’s there.) I have plans to do a post on how to draft a lining for the Hummingbird skirt sometime soon, in case anyone else is interested.

The accidental change – I attached the tail flounce upside down. Oops. (Remember one of my key ‘learnings’ from last year, to read instructions? Yeah, well, turns out I didn’t learn that one too well.) Since the fabric is quite a loose weave, and it was a lapped seam, I decided it looked fine upside down and just went with it. (I’ll make sure to attach it the right way up next time though, just to compare the effect.)

Hummingbird skirt

I love the way the pockets are done on this style – so clever, with the pocket lining folding over, and so neat and tidy! (And it must be admitted, the pockets are the main reason I see another couple of versions of this skirt in my future. They are too awesome not to make again.)

Hummingbird skirt

For the heck of it, I used some fabric I got in a swap for the pocket lining. It’s a cute white cotton with red zips and other sewing things all over it. And it makes me smile whenever I peek into the pockets and see it. Win!

Hummingbird skirt

We were down in Dunedin weekend before last, for a big family get-together. My lovely mother looked after the little guy so I could finish off this skirt on her sewing machine. (Thanks, mum!) Felt good to finally get some sewing in – it’s been a struggle to find time recently! And then on our way to the airport, we detoured through the Botanic Gardens, stopped off in the greenhouse to get some pics. After all, hummingbirds are tropical, and so were the plants in here – it seemed fitting, dontcha think?

My thoughts on the Hummingbird skirt pattern? I like it – the pockets are a clever piece of work, and the flounce combined with the pegged side seams is pretty and dressy yet also easy to wear. (I must admit that the seam allowance bugs me though – 1.2cm?!? Rather frustrating, since it’s non-standard and my machine doesn’t have 1.2cm guides on it. But hey, it’s easy enough to work around that and just a small frustration really.) So yeah, I’m gonna make it again. Both a longer version with a tail flounce, and the straight skirt version.

Hummingbird skirt

Chocolate Tiramisu

Way back at the start of the year, I decided I was going to make something for someone every month.

And it’s taken until August for that to happen.

Yeah. Life gets a bit like that sometimes. Best laid plans, and all that.

Anyway, check it out – I made a dress for my mum!

Tiramisu dress

A Chocolate Tiramisu dress, in fact.

Tiramisu dress

Nice and fast and fun to make up – it fit her straight out of the pattern envelope, and no stripes to match either (unlike my Raspberry Tiramisu), so it was super quick.

Made out of a pretty textured chocolate coloured lace that she chose from my (crazy-large) stash.

Tiramisu dress

I really like how it looks on her. 🙂

And there isn’t a lot more to say about this, really. The pattern is good, and after you get your head around how the measurements work, it’s easy to make up. So saying though, the gathers on the bust weren’t needed – heck knows how those actually work, as this version was with a D cup and even then there wasn’t enough fabric for gathers. Oh well, it fits fine without them anyway!

And it’s nice and swirly, too. For added fun.

Tiramisu dress

Like the massive wood pile in the background? We were down visiting my parents (and the rest of my family) last weekend and I (finally) finished off the dress down there on my mother’s sewing machine. My parent’s live kinda in the country, and have a woodburner in their lounge, and a bunch of huge big pine trees on their property, so there tends to be large rounds of wood stored for winter. Something about piles of firewood gives me warm fuzzies.

Tiramisu dress

I actually cut this out and stitched up most of it at the same time as when I made my Raspberry Tiramisu – I figured that since I was making one dress, I may as well make two! My mother was up visiting me at the time, so we both choose our fabric and I went crazy cutting and sewing. And this dress has been hanging in my wardrobe so the bias could settle (coz, you know, it takes a good month to do that. *cough cough*) ever since.

Tiramisu dress

Photos by my super awesome sister-in-law Krysha.

I’m quite liking that I made this for someone else. 🙂 Must do that again sometime….

Raspberry Tiramisu

I’ve finally done it. I’ve gone and jumped on the Tiramisu bandwagon.

In case you haven’t encountered it before, the Tiramisu was the first pattern released by Australian-based Cake Patterns. It’s a knit dress, with a surplice bodice, short cut-on sleeves, and a flowing skirt. And it’s been getting rave reviews all around the blogosphere.

Normally, I’m not one for knit dresses, but what the heck – may as well give it a go and see what everyone’s talking about!

Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns

One thing that really impressed me about this pattern was the stripe placement guide. Steph (the designer) has put a lot of thought into the effects you can create with this pattern using stripes, and how to give guidelines to people so the stripes match up perfectly at every seam. All of the pattern pieces have stripe guidelines – if you use them correctly, you get chevron effects on the back bodice, and front and back skirt centre seams. You also have nice diagonal stripes across the bust, which perfectly meet the back bodice stripes at the shoulders. And the skirt front and back stripes match down the skirt side seams. And the midriff front and back also match at the side seams. (Unless you’re me and make a mistake cutting out which you don’t realise until it’s far too late. So, you know, don’t look too closely at those midriff side seams, ok?)

Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns

Admittedly, it took me aaaaages to cut this out, as my pink-and-navy stripe fabric not only has reasonably narrow stripes, it’s also a soft stretchy knit, so I had to painstakingly cut out every single piece individually, being supercareful not to stretch the fabric out of shape.

It was worth it, though. Check out those chevrons, yeah!

Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns

The sizing for this confused me a bit. I’m right between sizes, so could either make up the 30D or the 35A. Since there is no way (ever!) that I’m a D cup, I went with the 35A. And then had to take it in at the side seams to about where the 30 would have been. As a result, it’s not sitting quite right at the neckline, but hey, it’ll do. And I like the result of this pattern enough that I’m gonna try making it up again, with a 30 instead of a 35 bodice. (Still not sure what cup size to go with though… D just sounds wrong for my shape. Maybe I’ll go for a B and see how that works out….)

I also decided not to put the pockets in, as if I then went to put anything in the pockets while wearing the dress, you’d be able to see the shape of whatever was in them. So yeah, nah, not this time anyway.

I was worried about the cling factor of the skirt – since it’s a knit fabric dress and I. I needn’t have worried – the fullness of the skirt means it hangs nicely, no VPL or anything. Win!

Sadly the fit isn’t quite right on me, but I’ll try the size down next time and see how that goes. 🙂 And I can attest that this is a super-comfy dress, and there will be a next time with making it up!

Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns