I’m going to start off this post by saying that my Tiramisu dress and I are friends now…we weren’t during the construction, there was some grumpy sewing…in fact I was grumpy at this dress before I even started it which probably didn’t help but we’ll get to that.
What is important is that we are friends now, I am even wearing it today, at work, here is your evidence:
As you can see I went with the black and white ($2.00/meter) flavoured fabric. It was a hard decision, you guys actually liked the Phony Missoni the most:
What began the grumpiness was the fact that the bodice sizing seems to be crazy. When I started tracing the patterns I loved the idea of grading between the circle and the triangle to combine different sizes for bodice and skirt and I initially liked the idea that the bodice was sized by cup size.
Great! I’ve done this before, with a Simplicity Project Runway pattern, it worked out perfectly.
However it turns out that the “cup” sizing for Cake patterns does not relate in any way to your bra “cup” size. So I was stumped on what size to cut and became even more confused when I heard how much trouble some of the other girls were having selecting their size.
Let’s talk about some measurements, I’m not embarrassed to share. My high bust is 97cm and my full bust is 103cm, I wear a 14D bra. Since the instructions suggest going down a size if you want a snug fit I decided to cut the 35 bodice and since everyone seemed to be finding the bodice cups oversized I cut the C cup. The size chart said this would suit a 95cm bust so I was hoping this would be correct and achieve a more fitted look. I also cut the 35 midriff and graded to the 32.5 sized skirt.
I had to be extra careful cutting this fabric out, the stripes are not symmetrical so I had to think really carefully for each skirt piece so I’d end up with correctly mirrored pieces! 🙂 To help with this I traced several of the stripes onto my butter paper to help line everything up.
Harri helped too, her new “thing” is burrowing.
I stitched the entire dress on my overlocker using 4-threads, AFTER I cleaned out all the Lady Grey fluff babies!
Everything went really quick and smooth. I didn’t have any fusible stay tape for the shoulder seams so I used my sew-in stay tape and caught it with the overlocker. The only problem I found at first was that my back midriff was larger that my back bodice by 1cm each side. There was a brief moment of panic when I check the paper pieces and wondered if was supposed to have added seam allowance instead of assuming it was included but a couple of quick messages with the WSBN and it was all ok. I decided I would just overlock that off when I joined the side seams.
When I got to try on my bodice it fitted great across the back but the cup area was HUGE! My girlies looked super saggy and non-existent and I definitely failed the bend-over-forwards-to-see-if-anything-falls-out test. The only way I could think to fix it was to unpick the midriff band and then I stood in the mirror with some pins and modified the overlap and the attachment to the band. I ended up pulling the front overlaps down below the band.
This photo above is of the band pinned in place, right sides together. You can see how much the bodice pieces stick out past the stitching line. Now that the dress is finished I think I should have overlapped them a little bit more and pulled them down at least another centimetre as the weight of the skirt didn’t help with any further fitting. My cleavage is just covered but for work I really need to wear this dress with a singlet.
Once I was happy with the bodice the rest of the dress went together so easily. I was careful to place a pin at each stripe intersection in the skirt, I really REALLY wanted perfect stripe placement. It was an intense few sewing minutes, I kept stopping to check the underside, to make sure it hadn’t slipped!
I needed a break after that and when I came back I found this:
I think Harri was trying to tell me something about this dress, she approves…or perhaps she was just making sure the white got some black fur on it…and it’s only fair that the black gets a little bit of white 😉
I made a few more final fitting adjustments. I took the waist in by a huge 4cm each side and lopped 7cm off the bottom, then I turned up 1.5cm and top stitched my hem down. Hem length is a personal choice but I wonder if some of the fitting issues are due to different amounts of stretch between fabrics, there is no stretch gauge with this pattern but taking it in was really easy, I just didn’t expect by that much.
The final result? I actually really like this dress now and I am contemplating another one. Excluding the bodice issues (who likes unpicking 4-thread overlocker stitch?!) and my extra careful cutting out it was a really fast make.
My only problem now is I have no idea what size I should have cut! I really don’t understand why the bodice is sized with something as universally known as a “cup” but then not be related to that familiar concept at all.
I think the 35 was the right bodice size so do I cut the A cup next time? Or do I go down to the 30 but still cut a C or a D?
I have no idea, when I work it out, I’ll let you know.
Ok, enough grumpiness, enough words, I’m past it, it’s all fixed now, let’s look at some cake and some Cake, there was a lot of both!
Prepare for a bombardment of photos:
If there is one thing the Wellington Sewing Bloggers know how to do (besides sew and blog) it’s make food!
Would you like to see some other Cake now?
Back row, left to right: Nicola, MaryLouise, Sandra M, Zara (new member, yay!), Myself, Emma, Johanna, Joy, Holly, MaryAnne and Sandra J (new member, yay!)
Front row, left to right: Nikki, Wendy and Gemma (new member, yay!)
And here are just the Tiramisu girls:
There will be lots of other group shots popping up on the other blogs in the next day or two so please take a look.
Here are a few more of my Tiramisu, thank you to Nikki and others for whealding my big-girls camera.
Now how about some Cake with cake? And what better cake than a delicious Tiramisu made by one of our new members Sandra J? This lady knows how to make friends!
As per usual we had an amazing afternoon chatting about sewing, eating cake in our Cake and laughing far too much. It was so nice to meet three new girls in our group.
So, did you attend a Cake Day or take the suggestion to sew and eat some C/cake? Please share your post with me and photos, we’d love to see your Cake with cake 😉
I’ll leave you with our “duck face” out-take: