Artwork by Mikhaela Reid
I’m so excited to introduce you to the covergirl for Cake Pattern’s first release- Tiramisu! Tiramisu is a knit knee-length dress with front surplice (mock wrap) neckline and a midriff section. The skirt features in-seam pockets and falls in the soft folds of a half-circle skirt. Included are cut-on sleeves, optional stripes placement guide and cup sizing A-D.
I completed the drafting and grading for this pattern just before I announced Cake Patterns. A lot more work goes into a pattern than just the drafting- writing, re-writing, and re-writing the instructions; taking technical photos, setting up retail options, testing the pattern over and over again, pestering other pattern makers with detail questions, budgeting/accounting, and of course finding the “feel” of the patterns.
It’s important to me to get that right- the “feel.” Working on a project like this means making a thousand little decisions for which there is not necessarily a right or a wrong answer. Each decision leads to another, and then one day Cake Patterns came to life, with a strong personality. My main focus is on the user-experience- how The Sewist interacts with the pattern, the sewing, and the garment. I’m heavily leaning on ideas, concepts and inspiration I’ve written about before:
Japanese Craft and Sewing Instructions- Because they’re clean, clear and friendly.
Vintage Comic Books/ Sewing Pattern Envelopes- Because they’re fun! Lively! Informative! Sometimes hilarious!
De-Grading Sizes- I work with ratios. From what I can tell with my guinea pigs, it works pretty well. This is not how things are “done.” Also, the pattern pieces are “sized” according to your measurements. There’s not a “size” as such. Is this terrifying or awesome?
The Pitfalls of Plus Sizing- This is why I work with my weird crazy drafting lady ratio-grading numbers system.
…..and, the pattern tissue itself looks rather like a vintage pattern. It has to do with the process I used, but more on that later. All of that is to say, Cake Patterns are a bit different from other patterns. I want to see how different- too much? In a good way?
Edited to Add: All pattern pieces also feature stripes placement guides (because I love stripes) and height and circumference measurements. All measurements used throughout are in both imperial and metric systems. I was also a bit scroogy with the cutting layouts to reduce waste, but the fabric meterages are generous enough to account for off-grain knits (cut from a tube). I check these all myself.
These were my old “kvetches” when working with patterns as a sewist so I wanted to include them. Before I go to print, tell me what are your kvetches?
I’m also looking for testers for the Tiramisu pattern.
Soooo- let’s name her! (Complicated tragi-comic back stories are also encouraged and very much appreciated.) In the comments section, let me know what you’d name this lady.
If you would like to be a tester- please say so and if you’re comfortable with it, your high bust measurement. I’m looking for 30″-50″ high bust testers. It would be helpful if you’ve sewn a t-shirt before, but vast experience isn’t necessary. In fact, I’d like to have a newb or two testing to see what you think. If this sounds like you, please sign up! I will choose my testers next Thursday and then email you with more details.
I’ll choose ten percent (or ten, whichever is highest) of those who respond here to test the Tiramisu proofs, so spread the word because I’d like a nice big testing crew! I’d also like to send patterns to both bloggers and non-bloggers, anyone who is interested in working with me on this project. Beware- sometimes I ask odd questions…
If you don’t want to test, do still throw out a name. I’ll choose the top two, then one or two I just like and we can vote on it next week. Because it’s fun. And do sign up for the Cake Patterns update email list if you haven’t already- pre-sale and fabric/pattern giveaway time is coming…!
I’ll be back with some wardrobe planning in a few days. Fabricabrac is on this weekend! If you live in Brisbane, DO come and check it out. The state of my inbox and the facebook pages tell me it will be a nice big event- 25 vendors, many of them work in local theatre or arts, or one of our lovely fabric shops. I can’t imagine the great stuff up for offer… And say hey to me, even if I’m running around like a headless chicken!
Edited to add: I have chosen a lovely crop of testers for this pattern, thank you SO much for volunteering! I’ll need a new batch of test sewists/reviewers for the next pattern, so keep your eyes open! Thanks again.