September 30, 2013

Country Cutie

Having not tried any of Steph's Cake patterns as yet, several months ago there was a call for pattern testers and so I signed up. I thought it would be a good chance to try one of her pattern offerings and see what I thought. Having seen so many amazing versions of her patterns out there, they seemed really accessible. And I feel that knitwear is definitely something that needs to be beefed up in the pattern industry. The Big 4 have completely wacky knitwear patterns and I don't mean the designs either. The drafting is basically the same as their woven patterns and I know this because every single time I use one of their patterns designed for knitwear, I have to go down 2 sizes to get even close to the right fit. So weird. So, I feel there is a serious hole in this branch of sewing and something that I definitely support.

This is the latest, Red Velvet, put out by Cake. The versions I've seen are really lovely and they really flatter many people. The sizing process is easy to grasp and wonderfully customizable. Its truly genius. This dress will work in many different knit fabrics and its really versatile not being too overly dressy or too casual. Very much like the Tiramisu, it has a wonderful shape.


Right out of the envelope or should I say printer (if you get the PDF version), this pattern has a few things that you should be aware of. Starting from the top, the bodice pieces are a tad on the short side. They cut off right in the middle of my breast. This was something that I actually checked before making up my first muslin and had to add 2 inches! Not really a huge deal, but something you should definitely check before you make it up. Additionally, after my first mock up, I ended up adding another two inches to the bodice piece - resulting in four inches total. The original styling, with the midriff seam right under the bust is something I always have problems with. I really do feel that it makes me look pregnant and so I usually always lengthen things like this. Definitely a personal preference and something I don't feel confident that I pull off very well. Having that midriff more around my natural waist area feels much more....me. To make up for the fact that I added 4 inches to the bodice, I took out an inch at the midriff. Proportionally, I think it does my figure much more justice.



Surprisingly enough, after adding so much length to the bodice, I didn't have to add anything to the skirt section. Well except pockets! ha! The pattern itself comes with a train ticket pocket with invisible zipper. Though I'm sure those pocket styles have their place, I definitely wanted something different. So I drafted on my own using Casey's pocket tutorial. Note that my pockets aren't shaped with scallops like the ones in her tutorial, but instead just curved side pockets. These are my favorite types of pockets and I do, usually, add them to any dress or skirt that make. Sorry, not sorry!


Since I was technically testing this pattern, and the pattern line, I did make a muslin in a solid blue double knit. I had hoped that I could possibly still wear the blue knit but found that I had too many problems with it so sacked it and started afresh. I was planning to use another solid double knit, but realized that the muslin - double knit - ended up being too bulky and stable for this style. Instead, I went and grabbed up some yardage of this floral knit jersey. People, I rarely buy floral prints like this, but for some reason, this one really really appealed to me. For those of you living here in SLC, Utah, this fabric is from Nutall's (the one in Murray) and if you don't know, this store has like a billion bolts of knits. Seriously. Its the most amazing knit collection I have ever seen. So if you dig the knit - get over to Nuttall's and get some before its all gone. Ha! This fabric is definitely not something that I usually go for, but the colorway really struck me as something from my 80s childhood and I just knew I would love it. It's a poly/cotton/nylon blend, not my favorite, but it works great for this dress. Its lighter weight than a double knit, falling into the light to medium weight knit category. The colorway will go perfect into fall I think, with oxblood tights, boots and a cardi.



Overall, I'm pleased with how the dress turned out. Really not a hard make. You can click on over to the Cake site to see what other alterations I made and such. And I think that's it! Have you tried any of Steph's patterns? Thoughts? They are rather brilliant and I'm digging this dress. And.... what do y'all think of this floral print?
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28 comments

  1. So darn adorable! the print is great with your hair. Nicely done!

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  2. I love the floral print for this dress. I haven't tried this pattern brand. My recent foray into self drafting has made me think about any commercial pattern purchases. Your post has also reminded me of a similar printed knit in my stash.

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  3. I just ordered this over the weekend and now I am super anxious to get my hands on the pattern! Your version is so beautiful, the pattern and fabric compliment each other perfectly.

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  4. That dress is gorgeous! It's the first version I've seen that makes me want to buy the Red Velvet pattern - I love the print, the way it fits you - everything!

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  5. I really love this! I'll have to think about that pattern. I'm still a bit afraid of knits being too clingy as dresses, but I think it might be all in my head. Your version looks really fantastic!

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  6. I really like this fabric! Good to know about the pattern changes you made. I like things at my natural waistline so it's good to know what to expect.

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  7. Very cute, looks like the kind of comfy dress you can throw on and be set for the day. I was at the American Sewing Expo over the weekend and participated in a focus group for the McCalls/Butterick/Vogue/Kwik Sew group. It was interesting to hear all the comments related to pattern sizing. They have a new president who is much more interested in hearing from their customers.

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  8. Cute! Looks really easy to wear. I've never used a Cake pattern before, but I should try one!

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  9. very cute! loving that floral knit. it is nice to see more patterns for knits, and big 4 sizing in that arena absolutely defies reason. definitely an opening for the indie pattern makers!

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  10. I have yet to try any of the patterns, but they're high on my holiday wishlist!

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  11. Love the print, and I am right with you on dropping those empire lines to at least rib cage bottom for a more flattering line. I for one would love to see this in a solid, maybe with 3/4 sleeves for cooler weather?
    I haven't sewn knit dresses in a long time, but I remember struggling with a surplice wrap one of Vogue's that I ended up re cutting and patching out of scraps when I couldn't get the thing to fit and still be able to slide over my shoulders! of the big four I find Vogue gives you the most consistent fit. But then I haven't bought a new pattern of theirs since 2001, so they may be wackier.
    Love the blog!
    Nancy N

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  12. The dress is just as cute as you are! Keep on keeping on!!!

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  13. […] used a floral jersey fabric and inserted pockets into the side seams, you can read about it on her blog.  If you have Tiramisu, it’s easy to use the pocket from Tira for this!   Sunni opted to […]

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  14. That is an amazing looking outfit! :)

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  15. I'm not much of a floral print person but this one looks amazing on you. The colors are wonderful.

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  16. Great dress! I love the fabric an the style is very flattering on you. I can't wait to try this pattern!

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  17. Love it! The floral purple is really pretty, and it looks awesome with your hair ;)

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  18. The fabric is beautiful and the dress looks perfect on you!

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  19. Great look, gorgeous fabric! I must agree about the Big 4 -- they do not know how to draft patterns for knits. In addition to the wacky sizing, I have noticed: sleeves eased into armholes (totally unnecessary and usually ugly on knit tops), as well as edges finished with woven bias tape or bulky knit facings. We need to support pattern makers who can do better!

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  20. I love your version Sunni. Fabric is gorgeous and I like how the extra length changes it from a midrif band to a waistband, it really works. And those pockets are a great idea too. Okey dokey, I'm now off to your shop to order some lovely things that I can't seem to find for love or money over her in Oz.

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  21. The colours in the print are perfect for the cooling weather. They attracted me too!

    I have the Tiramisu pattern but haven't as yet made it. It will be added to my list of projects as the weather warms up here.

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  22. Your dress so so pretty! Your blog is one of my favorite. I wouldn't have picked the fabric in the store, but now, seeing how good it looks on you, I might just change my likes...and wild!

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  23. This is so, so pretty! I love it on you!

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  24. I love this print! Your dress is much cuter than the picture on the envelope! I might have to try this one!

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  25. This fabric is gorgeous!I wish I could get my hands on some of it!

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  26. I love this fabric, after seeing many plain, striped, polkadots versions which I loved btw, this one is really different! I'm making a printed one very soon, let's see how it goes!

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