Tag Archives: cake patterns

Completed: Hummingbird Separates

8 Jul

I hope everyone had a good weekend – holiday or not! I celebrated by basically NOT leaving the house, except to get an oil change (for my truck) and donate blood (from my body). It was rainy and cold all weekend, which is really abnormal for July. No complaints here!

I didn’t get too much sewing done, surprisingly (rain makes me want to lay on the couch, which means that I knit!), but I did make myself a new outfit to wear over the weekend – using the new Hummingbird pattern.

Hummingbird Set

Every time I sew up one of this patterns, I am reminded of just how much I loooove Cake (not the food, the pattern company! Although, I’m not one to turn down the food, either…). These patterns are basically my dream patterns – easy to customize the fit, easy to adjust during sewing, easy to sew (but with just enough challenge to keep things interesting), basic & wearable for all occasions. Not to mention, Steph recently changed up the paper patterns to include sizing lines in different colors. It’s like a party in the envelope, guyzzz.

Hummingbird Set

This is the whole set – both the top and the skirt. This is my second top from this pattern (and no, you haven’t seen the first because I never blogged about it. It won’t be in this post either because it was in the wash while I was taking pictures! Soon!), and my first skirt. I wasn’t sure if I would even make the skirt, since a fitted/straight style isn’t really something I wear much of – I like to be able to mooooove… ride my bike, sit on the floor, crawl under tables, you know, the usual – but it’s surprisingly comfortable! These pictures were taken after a full day, so pardon my wrinkles.

Hummingbird Set

We can discuss the top first. I cut the size 30 bust/26 waist (Cake patterns are based off your measurements, not standard sizing) with a 17″ length (this ensures that the peplum hits the right place – I think it does! What do you think?). This is exactly how the pattern is written, with NO alterations. Can you believe how good it fits straight out of the envelope?!

Hummingbird Set

Unfortuately, I don’t think I’ll get much wear out of this top. As cute as this stripey fabric is, it’s kind of tragic – loosely woven, and stretches like a mother (it also unravels. A KNIT. I can’t even…). It’s the same fabric I used for my Stripey Tiramisu, and it just sags and bags after a couple hours. I don’t know why I bought sooo many yards of it, but ugh, I did. So I’ll just enjoy the top while I can, I guess.

Hummingbird Set

To make this work with my fabric, I had to drastically shorten the neck and arm bands to keep them from being floppy (this is super easy, since you sew those on while they’re flat, instead of in the round – you can just cut the excess off). Instead of using interfacing to stabilize the shoulder seams, I pulled out the big guns and used 1/4″ elastic. I also used the same elastic at the waistline; hopefully this will keep the weight of the peplum from pulling the shirt down too much.

Hummingbird Set

Ok, skirt’s turn! This is a 26 waist/35 hip (the measurements closest to my own, obviously). I actually ended up needing to take in quite a bit during the side seam fitting – about 1″ off each side of the waist. Fortunately, this pattern is made to allow for fitting during that stage of sewing, so it didn’t mess up my pocket placement or anything.

Hummingbird Set

Be warned that this skirt is a bit on the short side – I only hemmed mine 1/2″, and this is the length I got.

Hummingbird Set

I used the same denim leftover from my Peter & the Wolf Pants – I think the stretch is key to making this skirt super comfortable. And bonus, this skirt barely took any fabric – less than 7/8 yard!

Hummingbird Set
Hummingbird Set

Sooo these pictures were taken with my new camera, btw. I think they look pretty good, but it’s obvious that the close-ups need better focus. I also discovered that I do not like the self-timer on this camera; it takes the pictures rapidly with no time between. Good thing I ordered a remote last week!

Hummingbird Set
Hummingbird Set

Ok, I’ve officially run out of things to say about this set. Here’s some flat shots!

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

SURPRISE FANCY POCKET LINING, YEEEAHHH!!!

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

I took a close-up of the fabric so you could see how awful it is. It is literally a knitted fabric – that’s stockinette right there. Isn’t the macro feature on my camera delicious, though? Expect lots of close-up shots, I can’t get over it.

Hummingbird Set

I can’t wait to try the flouncy version of this sucker. Gonna shake my tailfeathers all over the place :D

Psst! I have a couple announcements, real quick!

- My awesome sponsor, Sweet Little Chickadee, is moving to NY and closing shop for a month or so to handle the move – but in the meantime, she’s having a quick sale to empty out stock. Use the code MOVINGSALE to get 15% off your total purchase (this includes sale items!) through Tuesday, July 11. I know the blog post says Sunday 7/7, but Juli just informed me that she is extending the sale, soooo… shop your hearts out! But hurry! :)
– Speaking of shopping, I’ve started the mind-numbingly awful process of preparing some of my handmade and vintage clothes to be put up for sale on Etsy. I took tons of pictures and measurements over the weekend, and I’ve been slowly adding them to my shop. I thought it would be real awesome to have everything up and running by the time I wrote this blog post, but obviously that hasn’t happened yet. Check back at the LLADYBIRD shop if you are interested in buying a little piece of my history – I plan to have them all in the shop by the end of the week (and I’ll mention on the blog and/or Twitter when that’s said and done).

I hate the idea of selling my beautiful handmade clothing, but none of this stuff fits me anymore and it’s too much of a size change to take in. Rather than hoard it for no reason, I’d love to see this stuff go to a loving home where it will actually get worn. I’m not trying to make a huge profit here, so I’m pricing everything pretty low. Proceeds are going to fund some upcoming medical expenses I have, if you’re curious. Also, I am NOT trying to turn this into a big blog about how everyone should buy my shit, so don’t worry about that. Again, if you’re interested – check out my shop!

Hummingbird Set

Ok, I guess that’s it!

Completed: The Pavlova Wrap Top

25 Mar

Well, you guys. I done goofed. I put this outfit together in hopes of the emerging spring – and oh, it is indeed emerging… so much that Landon had to mow the freakin front yard a couple weekends ago because it was sooo lush and green and, like, springy – but today is heartbreakingly gray, freezing, and the windiest of windys. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before I left the house this morning, but a giant circle skirt is NOT appropriate for this kind of wind. I managed to learn this lesson immediately after I flashed everyone on West End Avenue. Hope someone out there was nurturing a stockings fetish! Ahhh!

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Anyway, I think this skirt fabric is a pretty amazing floral for the weird transitional months – it has those pretty, bright, springy flowers, but they’re smashed up against a black background so it’s still a little srs bsnss. And it looks great with black tights (I always get all weird about what color tights to wear with my spring dresses, ok!). I got it at the flea market last year and I’ve been hoarding it ever since.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I originally cut this skirt out a couple of months ago, during an afternoon sewing date with my boo Lauren W. My fabric was large enough for me to cut a full circle, but hers wasn’t, and I wanted to be a good friend (and also get an idea of wtf I was doing before ripping into her fabric), so we pieced the pattern out so it has 4 skirt pieces, and then added pockets. You can’t see my skirt seams because my fabric is so robust and floofy, but trust me, they’re there.
Anyway, the sewing-date ended with a fully seamed skirt with pockets, and then it sat in my sewing room for… well, until last Friday. Lauren has been making progress on her own skirt at home (aw yay!!) so I decided to finish mine up, so I could wear it with my new wrap top. Don’t they match so well?! Like it was ~meant to be.

You probably guessed that the skirt is not the Pavlova circle skirt – it’s just my standard, self-drafted circle skirt pattern. It’s like a sneaky Pavlova, since it was cut into 4 pieces. Also, it’s not hemmed with anything but a very simple narrow hem. The fabric has a lot of body, so it stands up pretty well on it’s own. Which is great, because I don’t have any horsehair braid right now :P

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Anyway, let’s talk about the top! This is the wrap from the Pavlova pattern. I’m not even going to lie, I was a liiiiiittle apprehensive about sewing this pattern – something about that lapped seam on the neckline, not to mention the shoulder darts, looked intimidating! I really shouldn’t have worried, though – Steph has an incredible way of relaying instructions that makes them sooo easy to understand. The only problems I had with making this top was my topstitching – and I fault that to my fabric and lack of fusible hem tape to keep shit in place. I sewed a size 30 and made no alterations to the pattern.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

My fabric is from NY – I bought it at Fabrics For Less. This was my very short, very solo return to the Garment District on Monday afternoon. Yes, after 2 full days in that madhouse, I WENT BACK. And I bought more fabric. Honestly, I was very upset about the lack of knits in my suitcase, so I got this mint cotton jersey as well as a matching red, and also the french terry for my Avocado hoodie. What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I don’t know if this jersey was the very *best* choice for this top – you can see everrrrrry single little lump under there (fyi, the line across my chest is actually from the hem of the wrap top, not my bra. Just so we’re clear ;)), as it’s super drapey and tissue thin. I just love the color though, and it goes with a huge chunk of my wardrobe! Word of warning – this is a short top. The front barely clears my waistband (which comes above my navel), and all my pants are too low to wear with it. The back is nice and long, though, which is sweet.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Also, this is one hell of a twirly skirt.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I forgot to mention – I added a thin line of mint piping between the waistband and the skirt, using a perfectly matching bias tape I had in my stash. Yes! I love it when these things work out!

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Soooo… what’s next? Do I need plead a special case to the Sun God or what??

Completed: A Stripey Tiramisu

8 Feb

It’s no secret that I love knits – I love sewing them and I love wearing them. Sometimes when life throws you a big shit sack full of bummer, the only way to get back on the horse is with a good ol’ TNT. All knits are TNT as far as I’m concerned (so. freaking. forgiving!), but I especially love my purple Tira, because it goes the extra step of actually looking pulled together. Which is nice, especially when you just wanna feel like you’re wearing comfy pajamas.

As much as I love purple, though, it’s pretty winter and no duh I need a stripey summer Tiramisu now, right? No shame, I totally ripped off both Steph AND Penelope, because I am shameless and awesome and secretly hoping we can be twins(triplets?). Ladies, pls.

Stripey Tiramisu
Anyway, who doesn’t love stripes?! It’s like wearing a circus ON MY BODY.

Stripey Tiramisu
This fabric is from the giant sale at my local fabric store, where I totally cleaned up last month. I actually have this stuff in black/white stripes too (and I think I bought some crazy amount, like 4 yards of it haha). It’s so stripey and soft and awesome. It’s also kind of not really suitable for this kind of dress; it’s VERY stretchy, 4 ways, and super drapey. I had to make a few changes to the pattern to get it to work – which ended up ok in the end, but please heed my warning: you need something more stable for this dress, unless you want to futz with the fit all night like I did.

Stripey Tiramisu
Still, it turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself! And it looks so good with my new shoes :D

Stripey Tiramisu
Anyway, let’s talk about the changes I made:
– I reduced the size of the bust to a C on the pattern tissue, but once I basted the top together to test the fit, it was still a bit low (as the fabric was pulling under it’s own weight. And this was before the skirt was attached!). I removed another 3/4″ from the underbust, although looking at these pictures, I could’ve stood to remove a little more.
– I reduced the waist by 3/4″ before sewing; once sewn up I had to take in the side seams another 1/2″ or so. I’m telling you – this fabric is soo stretchy!
– I shortened the neck and arm bands and stretched them to fit when I sewed them on; without stretching, they would have ended up floppy.
– I shortened the hem twice – first hacked about 3.5″ off the pattern tissue, then another 2″ when the dress was sewn up as the skirt had stretched under it’s own weight.
– I left out the pockets – I feel like they add a lot of bulk with fabric like this.

Stripey Tiramisu
I tried to match up the stripes, but I didn’t do the best job. They match up on this side…

Stripey Tiramisu
… but not the other side. This is partially because the fabric was a PAIN IN THE ASS to cut (so shifty!), and partially because I had to keep sucking in the side seams after the dress was finished, to get it to fit. Also, please note that the waistband is not cut straight. Again, shifty fuckin fabric.

Stripey Tiramisu
The shoulder seams also do not completely match up. Oh well!

Despite my problems with the fabric, the gape factor is pretty non-existent:
Stripey Tiramisu
Stripey Tiramisu
I think the key to this is shortening the bands and stretching them to fit the neckline. It kind of sucks everything in, and allows it to curve to your body.

Stripey Tiramisu
If you have your heart set on sewing this pattern with a very drapey fabric, make sure you are vigilant about pressing every seam. It really makes a huge difference, especially on the bands.

Stripey Tiramisu
Stripey Tiramisu
Sorry about all the loose threads; I had literally just finished the dress before I took the pictures :)

Stripey Tiramisu
Now then, let’s have a bit of Spring up in here, pls?

Completed: The Tiramisu!

13 Dec

WHOOOOOOOOOOO LOVES CAKE? I’m talking about the new pattern line, the brainchild of our beloved StephC (although the food is all kinds of delicious too, mmm). Tiramisu is her first offering – a knit dress with a mock-wrap front (in cup sizes A-D), short kimono sleeves, and pockets.

I was actually part of the crew of ladiez who were initially chosen to test the pattern before it went to print. There was a small snafu with the tester printing (so it goes), which is why you see my dress at the same time you are (hopefully!)holding your own copy of the pattern. I’m still treating this like a test pattern, which is why I actually paid attention to the instructions and made notes as I sewed. I also made a muslin. I never make a muslin for knits – are you proud of me? ARE YOU?

Despite treating this like a test, I’m sorry to report that my pictures are still total shit. You know, winter, lack of light, I’m not getting up early, blah blah. Also, my hair looked REALLY good last night and I need to take advantage of that. Them’s the breaks!

Anyway, check out my new dress!

Purple Tiramisu
~So in love!

Purple Tiramisu
It looks totally different in a solid color, yes?

Purple Tiramisu
For this lil guy, I used a gorgeous purple bamboo knit that I bought at Vogue Fabrics while I was in Chicago. I actually bought it specifically to make this pattern; I’ve been holding it for a few months haha. I wish I had a big enough piece to send every single one of you a little swatch – it is the softest thing I have ever put on my body ahhhh!! And the color… none of these photos (mine or the ones from Vogue) do it justice. It is the most beautiful eggplant purple in the world.

Purple Tiramisu
Basically, I never want to buy another knit that isn’t bamboo again. Ever.

Purple Tiramisu
So let’s talk about the pattern! The sizing is pretty brilliant, and in fact my favorite part – you pick based on your high bust measurement, and then corresponding cup measurement (which is more of a measurement of proportion rather than the actual size bra that you would normally wear). The waist band is chosen based on your actual measurement (rather than the usual, “Well, if your bust is x, then your waist is y.”). It sounded confusing at first read, but once I actually got the pattern in my hands and looked over the sizing information, it was pretty easy to determine what size I should cut.

The size I ended up with was 30D, based on my measurements, and the waistband was cut for a 25″ measurement. I had to make a couple small changes to get my preferred fit, but even straight out of the envelope it was looking pretty good!

Purple Tiramisu
The changes I made were actually pretty mundane:
– I took about 1/2 off the bottom of the front bodice, as it stretched a little too low in the muslin (PROTIP: When making a muslin for this dress, you only mock-up the bodice & midriff. Since the skirt weighs down the whole top and thus affects the fit, it is pretty important to pull down the band to mimic this if your fabric is on the heavy side. Otherwise, you may end up with a longer bodice once you sew the skirt on!)
– I took at least 1″ off the side seams, for a much more snug fit
– I took 3.5″ off the hem, as below-the-knee doesn’t look so hot on me. The skirt is 20.5″ now.
Ok, looking back, I realize that those bust changes mean I actually ended up with a 30C. WHATEVA.

Things I love about this dress:
Purple Tiramisu
DAT SKIRT.

Purple Tiramisu
SOFT POCKETS.

dancin
NO GAPE.
Seriously, the bodice engineering on this thing is a thing of beauty and wonder.

Purple Tiramisu
One thing I did note with this particular dress is that the pockets do add a bit of bulk at the hips. I think this is unique to my particular fabric (it’s quite clingy due to the 4 way stretch), as it’s not apparent on Steph’s version (or the bonus version), but I think it bears mention if you are concerned about that kind of thing. I’m not, personally, so the pockets will stay.

Oh, here are some pictures without the belt, btw:
Purple Tiramisu

Purple Tiramisu
It’s still pretty! I just like to belt, well, everything :)

Purple Tiramisu
The only thing I would change next time I make this is to sew the sleeve binding on after the side seams are sewn. It’s a personal preference – I know why the pattern has you sew the binding on before (so you can test and tweak the fit – and yes, it comes in handy!), but I just like the way it looks as an, er, uninterrupted tube. It also may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I sewed the sleeve binding to the bottom of the midriff on my first go (and no, I’m not bitter or anything, why do you ask?).
Another thing I’ll mention is that the fabric estimates are generous. I only used 1.5 yards of my 60″ fabric. Even at $15 a yard, that’s a pretty cheap dress!

Purple Tiramisu
I know my threads look as white as I am, but I promise they are purple! Also, this picture is boring as hell.

Purple Tiramisu
Anyway, super happy with this one! I can see this in lots of different fabrics – it’s so comfortable, especially since you don’t have to worry about THE GAPE.

With that being said, if you haven’t already done so – you really need to pick up a copy! And OMG so excited about the upcoming Pavlova!!

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