Going Out Cake

I first posted this in the Monthly Stitch …way back in June… but for completeness wanted to have it here on my blog as well.

Ever since I made my first Pavlova top by Cake patterns last year I’ve had plans to make another and when deciding what to make for Indie Pattern month’s fangirl competition I decided to go for it as it was once of the few patterns that I had more than one piece by the one brand.

I used a grey light/lacy knit that I got for $3 a metre at the Fabric Warehouse sale last year. I wanted this top to be more versatile than my first version so I lengthened the bodice so it could wear with more of my skirts or jeans as I find it hits my waist and can leave a gap across my stomach with some clothes. I made the ties as long as I could fit on my fabric and I also lenthened the sleeves so they are wrist length instead of 3/4 length and put a cuff on them to finish it off.

The skirt is the Pavlova Skirt from Cake. I have made this before – most recently here  – and my lesson learnt on this pattern is that I have to cut two sizes smaller than my measurements for it to work for me. I don’t know why Cake patterns cannot do basic maths to make a circle work, but after making three I am adamant it is not correct.  You are better of using a circumference calculator and doing some simple maths yourself.

I used a fabulous brocade that I found on the sale table at spotlight for $8/m. I love the colour and the balance between the soft grey and the stiff brocade. A used a button from my stash for on the waistband.

This outfit came together exactly as I wanted and I feel very glamorous in it.  I have worn it out many times now and it is a firm favourite in my wardrobe


Pendrell and Pavlova

I want to show you my new Pendrell top.  It is the first time I have sewed a Sewaholic pattern and I got got it from Dresses and Me a few months ago…what do you mean you can’t see it….pendrellandpavlova1

How about now… No?

Pendrell and Pavlova 2

Okay…winter is definitely coming to Wellington and I am about to show off my new short sleeve blouse…

pendrell and pavlova 3

I used a quilting cotton from the sale table at Spotlight and the only intentional adjustment I made was to take 8cm off the length as this is a very long top.  I did make one other small change… I added a keyhole feature to the neckline which is held shut with an awesome brooch from Smash Palace who use old plates to make their jewelry.


I created this feature as I had an overlocking incident when finishing my inside seams and I accidentally cut a wedge out of the front neckline.  I just curved out the missing chunk and bound the edge before binding the rest of the neck.


I will definitely be making another one of these – hopefully without any extra alterations.  I also made another Pavlova skirt by Cake Patterns to go with this top.  After the first one not fitting I wanted to give it another go as I really want a circle skirt that fits.  I re-took my measurements, re-read the instructions and cut into some burgundy wool from the stash.  I sewed the side seams and tried it on.

PavlovaTake2The pin above shows where my side seam should be…8cms from where the current side seam is.  This means the skirt is 16cm too big for me.  The pattern states it has 2 inches of ease – which seems too much in my opinion – but 16cm = over 6 inches!   So I put all instructions aside, cut off the offending inches and made up the rest as I went along.

In my random making up  I didn’t leave a big enough gap for a zip so I went old-fashioned and put domes in and a hook closure with non-functioning button on top.

Pavlova Closure

Now I have a circle skirt that fits.Pavlova

A trio of skirts

I have made a few skirts in the last couple of weeks, so in no particular order I will start with the brightest – another Miss Chalmers. This time she is bright and sassy, made from cotton/poly blend from the remnants table at Arthur Toye.

I sewed the perfect zip, as I did it ‘properly’ and basted the seam and basted the zip in place. This five minute task made all the difference to a perfect zip.


Can you see my bright yellow zip in here?

This time I added an inch in length as I find the length on my previous version borderline for my comfort.
Nothing else to note except as I had already cut this out before I went on holiday it only took an hour to sew and finish.
And then a photobomber wanted to be in my shots but not recognised.

Next I made a black A-line for a friend, I haven’t sewn for my friends before…mostly cause I’m selfish. But my friend mentioned in passing that she couldn’t find a plain black A-line skirt anywhere. About a month later I asked if she had found one yet, so I offered to make one for her birthday present. From her Pinterest she gave me her inspiration, a Prada Skirt seen below.


I used Skirt-a-day sewing : create 28 skirts for a unique look every day to draft a skirt to her measurements. Except I stuffed up a little and I am glad I made a test version for her to try out. The skirt has 3 panels on the front and 3 on the back, using the dart line to make the panels. I wanted it to be a bit more interesting than an A-line skirt with just one front panel and a back.

A-Line skirt patternThe pattern pieces above show how it worked together.  This was my first time drafting a skirt for someone else and I was really happy with the result.  Again I did the zip ‘properly’ by basting the seam and basting the zip in place.  All of the insides were overlocked and the surprise inside was the waistband of kiwi cotton.


It is hard to photograph a plain black skirt…but here you go

The final skirt in my trio  was a modification from an op-shop buy. I found this “silk” skirt for $6 at Foxton Salvation Army. I’m not sure if it is really silk but it is light and comfortable and my size.

IMG_4600I cut 10 INCHES – not Centimetres – INCHES off the length, re-sewed the hem with a small turned hem and ta-dah – a light summer skirt – perfect for my Mum’s garden.


Copycat Miss Chalmers

Recently Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes posted her Miss Chalmers skirt, I was inspired to make my own so got a copy of Home Sewn from the library and traced out the pattern. It is four simple pieces and as I sit just at the edge of the largest size I easily graded it up one size.

This green fabric called to me at Arthur Toyes. Gemma of Sixty Six Stitches had made it up as a dress but for me it was definitely going to be a skirt. I was thinking a pegged pencil or inspired by a woman at work a knock off of this Annah Stretton skirt.

 MG 4568

But all the best plans change and instead Miss Chalmers got spots.


I cut this out one night (quite late) after tracing the pattern and sewed it up the next night. It is a super easy skirt to make and I love it for work or casual.
I definitely see more of these in my pipeline.


FlossieFT’s Essential Floof

The other day Johanna stated that she needed a petticoat for essential floof, we all agreed and then we all agreed that WE needed floof too!


I have been thinking about making a tiered petticoat for a while but was not sure on what material to use. There are a bunch of tutorials out there but I couldn’t feel the fabric. So after much Facebook discussion, some googling and seeing Joy’s actual petticoat I was determined to make one. I took the last of the tricot off the role at Arthur Toyes and got sewing.

I made this in one night when the boys were all away, so I had no distractions and was feeling motivated. I mostly followed Maryannes tutorial I done some basic maths with googles assistance and done a rough calculation based on the 5m of fabric I had bought. I wanted a 3/4 circle for the yoke…bit sure why now but it seemed like the right idea at the time. I cut out the yoke and then cut two strips 30cm x 5m approx ( the length of my fabric. And one strip 40cm x 3m approx. These are approximates as I just cut big strips and they got slightly adjusted when I sewed it up.

Mel suggested using a gathering foot in our discussions and I had one from my box of feet purchase earlier in the year. I had no idea how it worked so youtube showed me how. I did a test run and was happy with how it work and I was off!

I decided to make a multi layered petticoat. So my yoke is one layer with the 40cm width gathered in the middle and attached to the yoke on the gather line. The bottom layers are the 30cm strips gathered in the middle and attached to the middle layers on the gather line. This pic may explain it a little.
I laid it out on the floor to make sure the layers were roughly close in length and got the ok from my facebook supporters that I was on the right track.


I added the lace before I built the layers together. It was off a big roll of lace I got from fabric-a-brac for $2. For the waistband I used a piece of wide elastic from my stash that a zig zagged onto the yoke.

Overall it was LOTS of straight lines and swearing at it taking forever… and I put the lace on upside down… and there are loose threads all over it… and don’t look too closely at one of the seams…. but I am happy with it.

More importantly… here it is in action…


Top right has no petticoat and bottom left does.

I also wore it with my pavlova.


And I even wore it to work the other day… but I forgot to take a photo.  I did feel extremely elegant all day though.

And thanks to the great suggestions for naming my lady in red dress form.

The winner by random is:

random numberWendy – so my dress forms name is now Tallulah.  Thanks Wendy i will kepp my word and find a fabric in my stash for you and maybe some chocolate.


More Skirts – a couple of cords.

At christmas when shopping in Palmerston North I picked up this cute green cord. It reminds me of the bad christmas sweaters that you see on American tv shows. I instantly pictured a simple straight skirt in a similar style to a jean skirt and it was only $8 a metre.

I used Simplicity 7142 that I used for my square skirt. This time I omitted the waistband and made an interfaced cotton facing. I remembered to insert pockets in the side seams using green cotton napkins that I have been saving for this kind of thing. When it came to putting in the zipper I had a bunch of skirt length zips but to be different I decided to go with an exposed black metal zip. I don’t really like the trend of exposed zips but I think it is growing on me especially as they are really easy to put in this way.


Pockets, waistband, zip

In my cutting out I carefully lined up the stripes in the pieces and to my relief when I sewed it up they matched. If I used this pattern again…and I’m sure I will… I need to remove about 5cms off the length of the skirt as I have had to remove it off both skirts made so far.


Since it is winter I also got another piece of cord from the Salvation Army for about $6. This has a wider wale than the green and I managed to eek out a skirt by making the pockets and waistband from different material. I chose a different skirt pattern – Simplicity 9104. I like the square pocket tops and the yoke at the back which I think gets a little lost on this fabric.
I shortened the skirt to knee length and did a cut and slash on the pattern to fit my measurements – which worked quite nicely.
I decided to have a little fun since this is a boring brown cord skirt so I made pockets and waistband facing from the red cotton with green mushrooms that I used on my obi.


Cheeky mushrooms

I also finished the insides with hong kong seams using ladybird bias binding from Made on Marion.


Cute seams

I managed to do a covered zip fly and another buttonhole to finished the waistband. Overall this is a very comfy skirt that I have worn to work and around about at weekends… and I have finally got around to taking a photo with me in it!

Square Skirt

I hardly ever wear pants, even in winter I’m in skirts and dresses, and skirts are so easy to whip up. On mega cut out day I cut out the Square Skirt. I used a basic skirt pattern I had picked up from the St Vinnies shop and for once as a second hand vintage pattern it was in my size.

Simplicity 7142 is a basic A-line skirt on a waistband. I cut the shortest view and it fell below my knees, so I had to cut several inches off it before I hemmed it. The only other modification I made was to insert pockets. I drafted up a pocket in a similar style to a jean pocket.. mostly I just winged it using a saucer for the curve.

I made the insert for the back of the pockets from a dark brown sheet that I picked up secondhand a few years ago. Since the pattern of my main fabric is so busy I thought this would help break it up a bit.

This skirt came together easily, I had to make a few adjustments to the darts to bring in the waist a little, but then it was all done. I did my first ever button hole using the whizzy foot and stitches on my new machine. I have always been a bit scared of buttonholes but I think I am over that fear now. image

I will definitely use this pattern again as it is really comfy to wear and so easy to make. In fact I have some awesome gnome fabric that is calling to be a simple skirt.