Many of you may have heard of the cake patterns and their legendary tiramisu dress. (what? you have not? Have a look here quick!). I have sewn a couple of knit dresses and one Tshirt and It was an easy project for me with a few challenges. If you choose a stripy fabric then you definitely will need more time and patience when cutting and sewing to ensure the stripes matching (give yourself one evening just for the cutting.)
There have been a sew-along on the Cake Pattern website which I read but not religiously followed when I saw the dress. It was rather useful especially if you are relatively new to sewing knit materials. The instruction itself is very clear and concise, with clear diagrams ( i love the clever symbols in each diagram showing the steps that involves such as pressing, pinning, and basting etc).
I chose a red and white stripe viscose jersey (not the most original idea I know), cos I think this fabric and the pattern are a match made in heaven. The fabric is on the thin side and quite stretchy (at least 50%) on both directions and recovers well. Tip: if you want to match your stripes and your knit is very shifty then I will say you’d better cut it one single layer at a time – I cut mine on a single layer using the handy stripe guide came with the pattern. it would also save your fabric – after I cut the first layer I manage to cut another bodice front and back from the scrapes hence saved a larger piece on the 2nd layer. I think I can make a stripy Tshirt out of it – who doesn’t love a stripy tshirt!
The pattern has its own sizing system which is based on high bust size, and it comes with cup sizing A-D and a bust alteration line – I was rather baffled at first but quickly understood what that was meant for after reading the pattern instruction and the sew-along posts. I am on the larger side of 35 so I went for that; I normally wear a cup C bra (blush) but decided to go for size B for a more snug fit. It fits really well and no gaping at the neck line at all.
If your fabric is stripy and you are using an overlocker I strongly recommend first to baste the side seams together and go slowly at your sewing machine. if you mismatched it’d be a pain in the butt to rip the overlocked seam, and you lost quite a bit seam allowances on the cutting knife too. Also when attaching the bodice to the waist band, I used a zigzag stitch instead of overlocking as there’re too many layers for my overlocker to chew, and it gives me better control as well. With careful cutting and sewing I managed to match the stripes. As the dress was cut on the bias the long seams seemed a bit wavy but once I put it on the dress just stretch to conform my body really smoothly.
Look, I made it just on time for the Campbeltown weekend. Look, a fun fair, could not be a more perfect occasion for the dress. I have been wearing the dress a few times now with the raw hem, as the pattern instruction recommends that to allow the bias cut to settle. I have decided to chop 2 inches off so it is just above the knees.
It is fun, it is comfy and it is sexy. When wearing it I feel dressed up but not trying too hard. It is also very easy to find me in the crowd, if I got lost in a big festival or something.
Bottom line: love