I have a love/hate relationship with the Cake Pattern Pavlova. I loved the wrap top on the pattern and decided that a cute circle skirt would not hurt either. I decided to start on the skirt as it should have been simple to whip and I am still a little wary of sewing knits for the top. I got a pretty wool blend from the Arthur Toye sale and I only just had enough to cut out my size 42.5.
I dutifully followed the pattern and started with the pockets, but with the heavier weight of my fabric my pin tucks looked awful, then when I was putting the bar on the top of the pocket I did a completely crap job. I sought advice online from the sew-alongs that have happened in the past and found the idea of flipping the pocket over so there is the shape but just seam lines. I took the top bar off and hemmed the top, put them on the skirt (cause I needed two i to be balanced) and it looked real pretty!
For the skirt pieces I overlocked all my edges as it is a loose weave and to try and stay stitch the bias aspect of the waist band. This was a massive failure – even though I barely moved the fabric it stretched a little…
I tried it on after putting in the perfect invisible zipper and it was HUGE… like a whole panel to big. I wailed at the other WSBN’ers on facebook and then looked to solve the problem. The internets told me that part of my problem could be extra seam allowance accidentally added to the pattern, this accounted for some, then I knew some of it was the fabric HAD stretched… but really how much else could account of a ridiculous size difference?
I decided to put two pleats into the front as I did not have a front seam to take anything out (I had removed the seam allowance when cutting out for this piece so it couldn’t be to blame). My cut out waistband fitted me so I carefully pinned it around – and it fit! I finished the waistband as per the instructions, and tried it on again… and HUH???? It was still too big!!!!
Did it stretch again?
Am I a complete numpty who cannot measure my own waist?
How can I fix this?
I unpicked my beautiful invisible zipper and took and inch out of each seam. Then I re-sewed my invisible zipper 3 times as the first 2 times I kept making my skirt into a mobius strip. I measured my waist again with elastic, made it a little tight and carefully fed it through the waistband which conveniently worked as a casing. Ta-dah! I thought – I have fixed it all, except I hadn’t.
For some crazy reason –it is still too big. Maybe my fabric is too heavy, did I actually cut out the next size? I don’t know – but it does look pretty hanging on my dress form. But I do love the pockets.
Then my thoughts moved to the pavlova top. If the skirt was a no-go right now then I still needed Cake to wear to the high tea. I had cut out the wrap top at the same time as the skirt on a size 40 but with longer tails for the wrap. The sleeves are halfway between the long and short lengths on the pattern as my fabric was not as wide as recommended, but I like how it worked out. My fabric choice was a lightweight knit that I got for $3 a metre from the Fabric Warehouse sale several years ago. I bought a bunch of knits at this sale but have been scared to sew them, but I am getting over this fear as I attempt it more.
I had no construction issues on the top. I got a bit hung up on the collar piece but the sew along pics helped immensely. I used a double sided interfacing for the hem binding that I just cut into thin long strips and it seamed to work quite well. The thing I noticed most is that there are some VERY LONG hems on this wrap – along the ties and right around the neck/front/ties. I did my first attempt at using a twin needle and it was a success, I only stopped as I realised I was going to run out of cotton and I didn’t think I had another matching one in my stash.
I love how the shoulder dart shapes the whole top and I am glad I followed the instructions as I could not see how this strange shaped piece became a wonderful wrap. I am now thinking of what other knit I have in the stash that I could make in one.