This is my complete Cake Patterns Tiramisu dress, with a knit print, just in case you haven’t seen enough Tira’s on the internet.
*Total disclaimer, I now sell this pattern at http://www.sewsquirrel.com.au as I was sewing it, and before finishing the side seams had jumped online to order from Cake Patterns. Very highly recommended*
Honestly, this pattern and I got off to a terrible start, and it’s remarkable how much my opinion of it has changed. So remarkable that here I am, remarking away for all to read on the interwebs. Initially the style and comfort of this design appealed to me, and when Steph offered the pre-sale to launch Cake Patterns, I immediately ordered my pattern.
On arrival, it came with a correction sheet (which was communicated to the buyer prior). The corrections, which incidentally have all been fixed very tiny, totally understandable but just slightly put me off. If there were these mistakes, would any more appear in the pattern/instructions as people started making them? Would I get halfway through and discover there was a crucial bit of info missing that meant I would have ruined my version? It didn’t deter me, so I laid out my grey fabric, laid out my pattern pieces, and THEN had an epiphany . This grey fabric (now my Kimono top), would look awful as a dress.
It was then I lost enthusiasm. Pale knits felt boring. The pattern errors grew larger in my mind. Lots of stripey versions appeared. I didn’t want to wear stripes, or solid colours, or some kind of space age synthetic to get a print going. This tira, if it was ever going to happen needed to be BOLD.
After much whining on twitter, I was planning on making a tessuti purchase of some boiled wool, and kind of threw this knit fabric in the basket. Luuuucky for that.
On wearing this to work, I cracked a total of 6 unsolicited compliments on my dress. That has Never Happened. Sewing my own wardrobe is actually making me unshabby myself.
The fit has to be my favourite part of this pattern. The way Cake Patterns marks up it’s patterns to sizing is based on your measurement at different points of your body, not one specific size. On the bodice, separate cup sizes are marked, and the waistband expects you to vary your size. It basically incorporates grading between sizes in an easy way, and all the changes are made on each corresponding pattern piece already. I think I cut a 35D in the bodice, went down to a 27.5 waist for a tighter fit. There has been a bit of commentary about how loose fitting it can be, so like mentioned on the Cake patterns website, if you like a tighter fit and you are between measurements, go to the smaller size measurement.
On doing the fit check, I ended up slicing about 2″ off the bottom of the bodice sides and it took 3 bouts of unpicking to be satisfying. As the sides are sewn up last, it made adjusting the tightness very easy, and with taking each side in between 1/2″ and 1″ it’s still a nice relaxed fit, but figure flattering.
The only change I would make of my own would be the pockets, they can drape to the back, so I’m considering extending them to the waistband, but keeping the pocket in the same place. Idk exactly what it will look like, I’m going to put it on the mental backburner as the last thing I want to do is interfere with the drape of the skirt.
Printed colours on knits often splits as the fabric stretches, so if you’re going to give this type of printed knit a try, better make it good quality. This is a printed cotton knit from Tessuti (purchased online here) with the most awesome name of Raining Petals.
After making this, I’m such a convert to using fusible interfacing for knit fabrics. Never again a wavy hem…The only mishap was sewing late at night and putting fusible interfacing on the wrong side of my skirt. Boooo.
This was whipped up on my serger, but would easily be sewn on a normal machine with a little practice if you’re new to knits. A little testing to get the thread tension right and it was very, very fast. I did do all the basting for the fit check steps on my sewing machine, as the serger is a little too permanent.
The only thing that was a stretch was the new style pattern instructions and sizing. It took a few read throughs, but let’s be honest here, it wouldn’t hurt to do that more on all the patterns I read. Love it though, it’s easy to glance over to the pattern quickly and figure out what’s next. (On a side note, I’ve started reading patterns sometimes as opposed to a book. Sad much? Who even carries sewing patterns in their handbag?)
Sewalongs are fun. I kinda was half following the 30 minute a day sewalong, and it was so much easier to break it into tiny little chunks of sewing. I might try and do tiny little chunks more often, as the naps around here are getting too short for big sew sessions.
All and all, despite my initial misgivings this is a really fun, simple to sew dress. It’s thoughtfully designed, the instructions are very clear, and it’s a damn practical and flattering dress. While the next pattern to be released (Pavlova) isn’t my usual style, it looks like it will find it’s way to my cutting table regardless.
I might try fitting my dresses in a similar way to the Tiramisu again, with trimming in the side seams as the last step, as it really was SO easy to get a nice fit. Now, excuse me, I’ve got Tira number 2 to sew.
Seriously guys, do you read patterns on the train? Now I’m thinking I’m a little odd.