Tag Archives: Cake patterns

Tropical jungle explosion- scuba circle skirt!

I have already shown you this skirt… hanging on rather a run of the mill wooden coat hanger against a rather mundane white door.  But this, I think, is not a mundane skirt.  Absolutely not.

This wild scuba fabric  was a surprise gift from Josie at Fabric Godmother – she picked out something that she thought I would like.  Such great gift-picking- it is totally me!  It’s positively bursting with vibrant colours, lush tropical flowers with a very cheeky blend of leopard skin thown in!  I know of quite a few people who would be drawn to this fabric hahaha!

scuba circle skirt 1

So, this is scuba, and to be honest I had been a bit unsure of scuba.  What to use it for?  I did not really think I was a bodycon dress wearer.  Marie at A Stitching Odyssey made a scuba skater dress (in fabric that looks very similar too!)  But as it was coming into Spring, did I really want to make a dress out of something so “polyestery”?  And that’s where my imagination stopped.  Until that is I saw a post on the Fabric Godmother’s blog where she used black scuba to make a Hollyburn skirt.  That really opened my eyes – you mean scuba can be used for skirts….with pockets?  (I am wary of assuming  knits can handle pockets – side seam pockets & even the front pockets as on a Hollyburn- because I think you need a knit with some kind of a structure for the latter & am still uncertain about side seam pockets per se for most knits ….but that’s probably my own experience & not having cracked it yet).

scuba circle skirt 2

OK, sorry, back to scuba and skirts.  I googled ‘scuba skirt’ & then narrowed in on either a scuba circle skirt or a scuba skater skirts.  It became clear to me that I had enough fabric to make a circle skirt & that the scuba would give it structure, yet its weight should allow it to hang pretty well but with a sleek waist.  No more prevaricating.  The whole decision process possibly took longer than the making once I had decided.

scuba circle skirt 3

I used the Cake Pavlova skirt as I had previously made it in jersey (& linen here) & the jersey skirt has had a lot of wear & it is one of my faves.  It has two seams & a waistband.  The waistband is elasticated for the knit version.  I omitted the pocket this time as I thought it would mess up the already wild print  & would take extra time!  This skirt, people, took next to no time to make!  But this is just a circle skirt, people.  In a knit, perhaps one of the easiest skirts to make- seriously.  No fastenings.  Sew with a stretch stitch/ narrow zig zag or an overlocker & you’re away.


And guess what else saves time?  Following Josie’s example I have left the hem unsewn & unfinished.  [Gasp]  I let the skirt hang a few days before measuring up from the floor ….& I just cut the hem at the length I wanted.  It feels kind of naughty!

scuba circle skirt 4

Now wearing this skirt is like a breath of fresh air.  It really does hang beautifully & being a circle skirt is not too bulky around the waist.  I hate to say it but the elastic waist is also very comfortable (OMG I must be getting old!!!!! )  I would love to be wearing it as I am modelling it, wedges & bare legs- but I’ve had to layer up & stick leggings underneath it to stop the May chills.  In my view though this is one of those pieces that glams up causal wear! (even with leggings on!)  And being a circle skirt it is so much fun moving around in it, letting the wind catch it (encouraging the wind to catch it too!), swooping down the stairs.  Heaps of pleasure for those of us easily pleased 🙂

Now I understand if this fabric isn’t quite to your everyday wear, but there are quite a few scuba fabrics at Fabric Godmother – some more prints as well as some gorgeous solid colours with embossed details in them (so not “plain” at all but very practical !).

I am no longer fearful of scuba!  Hurrah!  I get it!

Another vintage inspired wrap top: Pavlova by Cake Patterns

There is something so cute about the Pavlova pattern – the circle skirt & the wrap top.  I’ve made both now & this is my second of the tops.

What do I need to say?  It’s a great pattern & has such a vintage feel to it when wearing it.  The kimono sleeves and the way it hugs your curves – incredibly comfy & flattering.

pavlova 5

As it’s my second version I knew to add even more to the length ( I think I have added about 5″ in total for this one) – & you can see that with the lower waistbands I prefer, there’s still a bit of gappage..erk!

pavlova top 4

I am not 100% comfy with that & when I was wearing this outfit I was forever adjusting the ties & trying to cover up my bare skin ….at the front.  The back, remember is fine as there is a cleverly designed “back flap” that is very tuckable in.

Pavlova top 3

Anyway, not much to say except how overlooked is the colour navy?  I am loving it, after perhaps shunning it for decades as a “school uniform” colour, or specifically for me, the colour of the dreaded P.E. knickers cleverly named “Navy Blues” which you had to wear for athletics & indoor games.  Eurgh!

Pavlova top 1

But navy.  It’s a flattering colour – softer than black, but certainly something that if I had the money for a complete wardrobe re-jig I would consider using as a staple solid.  However, I have far too many of my clothes based around black.  The shift to navy will have to be incremental & for now live alongside my blacks.   I also have the nagging doubt that black is the colour we all seem to go for as youngsters (especially if you were experiencing your teen years in the 80s) & navy becomes the colour we age into.  If that’s true I shall pretend I didn’t have that thought….what do you think though?  Is navy a colour that sits with the young (school uniform) & the olds?!?!

My right royal jersey Pavlova skirt

I’m back! I’ve been off line mostly – sorry! I had such a busy weekend and beginning of the week that kept me away from all the fun. I know it’s not even a week, but it feels like it. I missed you all and will enjoy catching up! So, to remedy my absence …here’s a recent make.

I declare that everyone needs a jersey full (or even better – circle ) skirt. I mean it’s easy to wash, super easy to wear & it just looks & feels a million dollars with all its wonderful drape & swooshy qualities. It makes me feel like a ballerina. You’ll have to bear with me on these photos – I was trying to capture the movement, the fluidity & jellyfish-like qualities it has when coming down the stairs….

Cake Pavlova skirtBut that’s the best I could do!

Mine is made from purple jersey acquired at the Rag market a while ago. It’s the most beautiful “royal” purple – would not look out of place alongside some ermine (if I ever let dead animals near me that is).

Cake Pavlova skirt

I took this deepest purple jersey & transformed it into a Pavlova circle skirt of Cake patterns. This is the first time I’ve made it after being intrigued by Steph’s different positions for the same pattern – one being jersey- her “nice and knit” position. I wasn’t sure whether I’d need a zip for the jersey variety of this skirt, but took a leap into the unknown, being reasonably confident that I could deal with it if I needed to.

Cake Pavlova skirt

I was able to cut the skirt out of two pieces. In theory this pattern allows for a circle skirt made out of four quarters. Or two halves, or if you are really clever, just one piece. I hope one day to graduate to the single piece, but this time around made mine out of two halves.

Cake Pavlova skirt

I love the shell-like pocket, but made a mistake about where I located it in relation to one of the two seams. Sadly, I followed the pattern markings , which requires zero thought if you are making the four quarter version – the pocket will always be close to a seam. However, in my skirt my placement resulted in there being a centre front & centre back seam, with no side seams. It’s a design detail of course!

Cake Pavlova skirt

I also stitched the cute pintucks but placed them on the inside of the pocket so that the “ridges” are hidden & the shell detail is seamed. I think this was laziness on my part. Maybe it had something to do with the way that I marked it (I used a tracing wheel & carbon paper- maybe I was hiding the markings!? ). Anyway, being a solid colour, the seams look lovely still on the pocket.

Cake Pavlova skirt

So, did I need to insert a zip? The answer is no! but this skirt has an elastic waistband. Shock? It looks neat I think. I followed Steph’s alternative quick knit waistband instructions & think it works out fine, & makes this skirt even easier to wear. In the pic below you can just about see that it involves attaching the right length elastic to the waistband with a triple stitch zig zag …

I want to emphasize that I don’t feel like a toddler or a granny wearing an elastic waisted skirt.

Cake pavlova skirt

All in all it was a fairly quick make- make & attach pocket, two seams and then the waistband.

 Hem marker

The hem was an interesting adventure. I let the skirt hang for a couple of days before working out how long I wanted it. I then looked at the expanse of hem that needed to be set. I gulped. I looked at it some more then the lightbulb appeared. Isn’t this just what a dummy with a hem marker is for? I scrabbled around looking for the strange gadget that I have never used in the 18 months that I have had this dummy (Oh Barbarella, I am so sorry I have neglected to use your full potential). I then had to locate the bag of chalk.

Hem marker in action

Strangely enough I found them both relatively easily despite my sewing room looking like a bomb has landed & sprayed thread shrapnel amongst all of the piles of projects in various stages of conception. Tell you what – this hem marker is awesome! Just attach it to the dummy’s stand at the desired height & every now & then puff chalk onto the hem as you turn the dummy around. Little lines of chalk markers are left behind to join up at the desired hem level. Works like a dream.

Cake Pavlova skirt

Once marked I could trim & press under the hem before sewing with my normal machine straight stitch. And then wear. But there is a lot to trim & a lot to hem – the circumference is massive. I kept the length I trimmed off to measure it. It’s a whole 4.5m long!

Cake Pavlova skirtNot a desired prop for the photos …

I have worn this quite a lot now – it is one of those skirts that is a transition piece – great for work or play! And soooo girly! I’d strongly recommend making it in jersey.

These pics show me wearing it with my Liberty top (Simplicity 2614) made earlier this summer.

Pavlova top and skirt

Here it is with my first  Pavlova top, I have also made another, but haven’t worn it yet as – (I am just loving writing this)- the weather has been too warm! How cool is that! Real summer in the UK!!

Cake Patterns Pavlova top revealed

So you saw in my last Me Made May post that I’ve made a wrap top.  A Cake Patterns Pavlova Wrap top no less.  I’d pre-ordered this in December was it?  It’s been gazing fondly at me for a number of months until I decided it was time to just get on & make it as I needed a red jersey top.  I had some fabric in my stash, a peachy red viscose mix & knew it would be a quick make.  (There are four pattern pieces with an extremely interesting combined front/back piece).

Pavlova top

And it was.  I’d read that it came up short, & always feeling cold & needing to feel “tucked in” around my waist I added a couple of inches to the length before cutting out.  I had enough fabric for the 3/4 length sleeves so opted to make those.

Although I also have the Tiramisu dress pattern from Cake, this is my first make.  The way that markings & instructions align is an interesting angle (eg the shoulder dart is marked on the pattern with a number 4 I think, & that relates to step 4).   It really feels to me as if the patterns, designs & just everything have been really thoroughly thought through – talk on the interwebs about Cake sizing has also been rated highly.  So, looking at the Cake strapline I love that it says “sewable wearable re-makeable basics always with pockets”.  It’s brilliant!  And where are the pockets on the Pavlova?  It comes with a skirt that has the pockets & I can’t wait to make (in purple jersey I’m thinking).

Anyway, the top- can I say how enamoured I am of it already?  While I was making it I was getting all excited as there seemed to be construction techniques (eg the wider neck facing/ collar) that was not a regular “knit” neck band or facing.  It was a little bit more challenging to sew, but did it create a wonderful finish (ahem, on the outside) that has a vintage essence to it.

Pavlova wrap topThere’s the shoulder dart & neck from the inside.  I regret that my interfacing square shows up so clumsily.  And I’m being hugely honest here – it’s not the straightest of seams – this is a straight stitch using a regular machine & I reckon it looks rather wiggle-some.  But never mind.  Joy at 21 Wale has just written her review of this as well if you fancy seeing some other pictures including a very neatly executed back neckline!)

Pavlova topIt’s got marvellous sleeves finished off with the neatest band.Pavlova topNow the way it wraps is interesting.  It has a longer back “flap” which the ties neatly tie around.  There are no holes in the side seams to thread the ties through.  I like the longer back as it can be tucked in to skirts/ trousers!  I was in between sizes for the ties in the pattern, so I cut the next size up.

Pavlova  topThis is the back flap above.  I used that wonder tape to set all of the hems with.  Luckily the instructions gave me a top tip – if using this type of tape, you can fix the hems as you go along, but save the sewing until the end & do the whole lot in one go.  Bong! Nice & neat again.

I do find that the style although intended to cut across quite high in the chest, for me tends to cut through lower with time & gravity.

Pavlova topSort of like this

may 18 13-001And until I make the Pavlova skirt I love the way it works with my Madeleine half circle skirt.  Why Oh why is there not more time in the day to be able to sew all of the things I’ve got fabric for?  I want to make more of these gorgeous Pavlovas.  And I also want to make a real pavlova.  With raspberries ideally.  Now there’s a thought ….