Eat My Cake and Sew it Too

The lovely and beautiful Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network have officially declared today, July 28, 2013, Let Us Sew Cake Day.  This group is a wonderful and talented bunch of sewists that I have met through the blogosphere and they constantly have such great sewalongs, ideas and meet-ups.Let Us Sew CakeSo, in honour of this prestigious day, I have sewn Cake Patterns Cabarita Knit Top as well as eaten the better part of an entire sugar flower covered cake!  Wisely, I coordinated my cake with my Cabarita Top, because to not have done so, would have been rather gauche.  Cabarita Top Front and BackI love the collar piece as well as the v-neck back of this knit top.  It really elevates a T-shirt into dressed up wear, so simply and easily.  The back is also drafted to be cut on the bias and Steph recommends to keep it that way so that it hugs the curves of your back.  My fabric was on the thicker side and quite crisp, so I did not interface the cabarita front collar piece, but would have if I had used a softer and flowy fabric.

Prepping to Cut CakeThe only alteration I made was to narrow both the front and back sleeve by removing 5/8″ (1.5cm) from the bottom of each sleeve.  I had to then shorten the sleeve binding accordingly.  This way, the sleeve hugged my arm perfectly.  It’s easy to figure out a custom measurement for you, simply by measuring your bicep, around where the sleeve ends.

My Cabarita Knit TopThe only thing I would do differently next time, is to attach the sleeve binding after I had sewn the side seams.  The patterns calls for you to attach it first, but I find it more difficult to line up the cuff at the seams that way and also, any seam finishing you do, may be more visible since it extends down to the bottom of your cuff.

Floral Cabarita TopI like how the front rolled collar and V-neck back really bring the emphasis up to your face and upper half. If you used contrasting sleeve and neck bindings and collar piece or reversed the stripes in a striped fabric, this would play it up even more. The next one I make, I’d like to try contrasting pieces.
Cabarita BackThe V-neck back is very streamlining and I really enjoy the surprise of it and the symmetry it provides my back.Can't Wait to Eat That Cake

One of the unique aspects of this pattern is that you ‘draft’ your own size based on your bust, waist and hip measurement.  I chose to make mine with zero ease and using my exact measurements, but you can also choose to give it more ease by selecting a larger measurement for each area.Tea With Cake

And, you’ve seen him lurking around in the background of the above pics, but it’s likely no surprise that Kitty also enjoys Cake.Kitty Enjoying CakeI highly recommend to eat your cake and sew it too!!

I was also recently interviewed by Mel at A Curious Kiwi for Indie Pattern Month.  Check out her post, here.  Thanks Mel!

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You Spilled Blueberries and Batwings All Over my Knit Tops!

Still continuing on with the fun of sewing knits.  I made the T-shirt pattern from the Craftsy Sewing With Knits course.  It actually started out as stark white jersey fabric.  Whiter than white can be white. White fabricAnd I thought, “it’s too white”.  So, I decided to dye it.  In the interest of environmental and health safety, I wanted to use something natural.  I have dyed things with tea before, and they came out a lovely sepia tone.  But wanted this one to be more colourful.  Have you ever been to somebody’s house and everything is completely white?  I mean, everything, furniture, pillows, curtains, rugs.  Not only does being there make one REALLY nervous, but, what are the two things you pray they don’t serve you?  Blueberry juice and red wine!!  So, those were the winners for the dyeing process.dyeing with blueberry and wine  I sewed up the T-Shirt first, then let it soak for about half an hour in the offending-to-white liquids.  Et, voila!!  It came out a subtle purple-grey tone.  I made the XXS, as I did with the fleece hoodie, but this one was not as roomy.  I would make the XS next time.  Knit Tee For the next knit top, I drafted my own pattern with instructions from the book, Downtown DIY Sewing by Alice Chadwick.  It included a body, cuffs, waistband and interfaced neck facing.Pattern DraftingI used gridded pattern paper.  I could only find paper with the grid in inches and my rulers are in metric, but not a big problem.  The grid makes it so much easier to measure and draft, and I highly recommend it!  And this was the end result:Dolman  Sleeve Knit TopIt is a printed jersey and was my first time using a directional pattern, stripes and a geometric floral band, and it lined up out quite well.  The pattern is a dolman / batwing sleeve style, remember those?  Dolman  Sleeve Knit Top 3I was having a twitter conversation with Charlotte from Seamripped and she was working on her own project and asked if the batwing look will come back in style.  I said “yes!” and have since found a lot of sites with batwing / dolman sleeve fashions that look quite stylish.  I like this shirt as it is a dressed up version of casual.  A bit like a fancier, more interesting sweatshirt, with all the comfort maintained.  Dolman  Sleeve Knit Top 2Update:  I have since worn this top and the neck facing would periodically turn toward the outside.  So, I followed some advice to stitch along the shoulder seams, stitching in the ditch, and through the neck facing.  I did this using a triple stretch stitch and it is really helping to hold the neck facing inside the top.

Stretchy Fleecy Hoody? Oh Goody.

My first attempt at sewing with knits!  This one is made from a stretch knit microfleece.  Blue Fleece Hoodie3I’m afraid I was completely unable to shake the joy of animal prints ingrained in me by Jungle January, so I lined the hood with blue leopard print fabric.  Seemed the obvious choice.  I may have an animal print addiction; therapy might be necessary.

I am currently taking the Sewing With Knits class through Craftsy and this is the first project.  The pattern is from the class, except for the lining in the hood.  I added the lining, by constructing another hood out of the leopard print fabric, a thin knit jersey, and sewing it to the hood.Hood lining

hoodBecause I don’t have a serger / overlocker, I used the stretch stitch on my regular sewing machine (two stitches forward, one stitch back), it takes a long time and uses a lot of thread, but I think it looks better than a narrow zig-zag.  I also used an overlock stitch on the exposed seams on the hood and lining and a twin needle for the sleeve and bottom hems.  Fleece Hoodie showing hood lining