Introducing Cake Patterns!

I’m pleased to announce Cake, finally!   Some time ago, frustrated by my pattern-digitizing skills and the limitations of self-published pdf patterns, I decided to research putting together a paper pattern company.   I always put “start a pattern company” in my Too Hard Box along with “climb Mt. Kilimanjaro” and “tame a wild colt.”  Funny thing, the more I researched, the more I thought I could do it.  Make patterns, I mean.  The mountain will wait.  Once I gave myself permission to work on it, Cake progressed faster than I imagined possible.

So what’s Cake?  There’s been some chatter on sewing blogs about sewing “cake” vs. sewing “frosting.”  It’s a sweet way to describe the difference between sewing frothy, fun or “out there” statement pieces and sewing the basic underpinnings of a good wardrobe.  I love frosting, I sew plenty of frosting myself, and some Cake Patterns will totally feature a thick layer of frosting.

But frosting melts when it’s left on its own.

Cake is a pattern line devoted to having fun while sewing wearable basics suited to a busy woman’s lifestyle.

This is the first Cake Pattern in production- Tiramisu: a knit dress with a surplice front, underbust gathers and kimono sleeves, midriff section and half-circle skirt with side seam pockets.  Cake Patterns will always have pockets.  I’m delighted with the pattern work- choose the bodice by your high bust measurement (high bust 30″, 35″, 40″, 45″, 50″), choose the front bodice by cup size, and the rest by your waist measurement.  I have a team of happy testers in Brisbane of various shapes and sizes, I think y’all will like this.

I like stripes, so Tiramisu has handy stripe-matching guides printed on the pattern tissue.  Naturally, the pattern is also suited to plain fabrics and color-blocking!  Tiramisu will also work with knit fabrics of various weights- this one is a very lightweight cotton jersey, but it also works with heavier knits.  The cutting layout leaves very little wasted fabric.

It’s been very, very tough the past few weeks not blogging about Cake, but I just can’t keep it to myself anymore!  Not talking about it was giving me the Dreaded Blogger’s Block.  I have some great sewing series planned, as well as writing more Hacks, sharing progress on Cake, and re-organizing 3 Hours Past to include a pretty pattern store and downloadable supplements to Cake Patterns.  And giveaways!  I haven’t been able to do them for a while, but I do have some humdingers planned…

Tiramisu is currently in production, I’m aiming to release her by November 5th with two more separates ensembles hot on her heels.  I still have some details of The Process to iron out, but Cake Patterns will be a reality by November!  If you’d like to receive emails about Tiramisu and other pattern releases, click here.

Mikhaela at Polka Dot Overload (and her talented husband Masheka!) are working on the art, envelope design, and instructions for Cake.  It’s so exciting to be working on Cake with such a fantastic artistic team, and even MORE so since Mikhaela also sews and blogs.  We’ve been exchanging epic emails and documents, and last week we spent an hour and a half skyping about Cake.  It was midnight my time, but I was wide awake!  Next time, I’ll show you our *first* collaboration, and a closer look at the ideas we’re playing with.

There we are.  Cake.  What do you think?


  1. 30″ high bust? Yay! YAY! Cup sizes? Even better! Yay! I’m excited for you, and I’m looking forward to the patterns, and Mikhaela’s awesome art.

  2. Oh I’m in love with that dress! It’s the pattern I’ve always looked for and never been able to find!
    I love the way you’ve designed the sizing, the name of the patterns and the whole idea of sewing practical, comfortable clothes that are still interesting and cool! Plus my bday is November 6th so I know what I’ll be getting myself for my present this year!!

  3. Steph, I’m so thrilled for you. I have so much confidence in you as a pattern-maker. I just know your patterns will be totally wearable for ninja-moves, mama-duties and dressing up too. And always pockets? You rock.

    • Yah, the ninja-moves are a must… ;) I like to wear my muslins of new drafts, so I can do rad airkicks and reach for the head-rail on the bus… Always, always pockets.

  4. OH, boy! Oh, boy! Steph, this is amazing and I want to pre-order Tiramisu RIGHT NOW! I am so excited for you and cannot wait for Cake Patterns official debut. Lucky you to be working with Mikhaela – she is one talented lady!

  5. Congratulations! And, who in the world doesn’t like cake? Especially good old pound cake … mmmm. (Although I am, truthfully, more fond of pie, myself.) Good to know that you’ve been keeping yourself busy with something to make the world a better place.

    • I like cake, though I limit my intake… I can’t wait to share my Tiramisu recipe, making the cake and fine-tuning the recipe is part of the process… ;) Chocolate, booze, and coffee. My kinda cake… :) Working on it, Lin….

  6. ACK I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. Tiramisu is lovely – the kind of dress that works equally well for both warm & cold seasons (and office and not-office, haha!). And I *love* working with jersey knits, so this is totally up my alley. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for Cake (and the Mikhaela’s artwork!!) and I cannot WAIT to snatch up that first pattern whoop whoop!

  7. I’m so happy for you, for taking this leap! And I am thrilled that you are including high bust/cup size/waist size adaptability in your patterns. Brilliant.

  8. What a cute dress! I’m excited by the concept but how high in cup (I’m assuming you’re going by cup roughly equals an 1″ in added volume, more or less) is the pattern going to go? And in what sizing scheme are you going to list?

    • A-D, and yes, about an inch of volume, more or less.. Knits do allow a certain wiggle room, we’ll talk about it closer to the release date… :)

      Well… The bust sizes will fit with the various midriff sections, so I’m not sure I need a size. You just choose the pieces by your measurements.

      • Sorry, I meant cup sizing scheme but since you’re not going past D it doesn’t become a problem

        • And my “cup sizing” is more a guide than scientific fact, anyway… It just means it’s easier to fit a cut-on sleeve nicely on a range of figure shapes..

  9. Congratulations with your company Steph! you’ve chosen a lovely name, I’m curious what the names of the next patterns will be :) Tiramisu looks really good!

  10. What a fab dress! As others have said, so very versatile – will be eagerly waiting for the pre-sale.

  11. Cake, I love cake! Waiting until November is going to be tough. Tiramisu looks like a beautiful dress

    • Well, we’ll bake some cakes and test some design features and hack some tees and giveaway some patterns and fabric, and November will be here before we know it!

    • Yes! I wouldn’t have ever come down this path without blogging, so it makes me super happy to be working with another blogger!

  12. Very exciting – congratulations! I agree, it’s going to be hard to wait for November. :) I love the cover art that Mikhaela did for the Sisters of Edwardia Blouse too.

  13. I’m excited to see what you’ve come up with. While I think having the high bust measurement and cup sizes will be beneficial to a lot of people, I imagine I will still have to fuss with it a bit. My bust is very high on my torso and I am a 34HH UK size, which I imagine will not be one of the cup sizes offered! :)

    • Well… I’m doing A-D, which I know leaves a lot of people out but it’s what I can do well for now. There’s alteration lines printed on the pattern itself. Since I’m a teacher, I want my patterns to be like my classroom in an envelope, so I’ll have *plenty* of pdf supplements. And The Consulting Dressmaker is on call!

  14. Congratulations! How very cool. (And that’s a great dress pattern, featuring all my favorite features. I’m watching for it eagerly.)

  15. Oh, I saw your Tiramisu dress on Pinterest yesterday! Love it! Love it! And patterns chosen by high bust? With cup sizes? You’ll be the toast of the pattern world!

    • Thank you! It’s based off the Blank Canvas Tee sizing, and every pattern I do definitely won’t need a bit of cup sizing, but it makes sense for this dress. :)

  16. Congrats! I have been reading sewing blogs for months afraid to start sewing again due to my crazy measurements and fear of trying to adjust patterns for them. Your sizing sounds like just what I need! Brilliant! Best of wishes for a very smooth roll out!

    • Your measurements are fine! :) Try to remind yourself that it’s just fabric… My patterns will have a lot of online support, I want to help fearful sewists get into it… Cause it’s so fun once you’re not afraid! :)

  17. Hurray! Your blog is so good and informative, and so I’m really looking forward to Cake. I’m sure the patterns will be terrific!

    • Yeah! I haven’t really had a chance to get excited yet, just figuring out all the details but y’all have me SUPER excited! :)

  18. Oh wow, that’s wonderful news, I’m so thrilled and excited for you! I love the way you’re planning to size your patterns too, I’ll definitely be buying and making that Tiramisu dress. X

  19. way to go Steph, this looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to try it out. Also love that you are waging a one woman assault on traditional pattern sizing methods
    all very inspiring :-)

  20. I’m so happy for you! It’s so awesome for you to be able to come out with your own set of real patterns–I hope it turns into a great business for you, and best of luck!

    • Sometimes I can hardly believe it… But then I look at the pile of emails to answer and patterns to correct and get to work.. ;) Thanks!

    • I love cake, too… I’ve had to step up my walking/jogging since I’ve been testing cake recipes to go with the patterns. :D So worth it.

  21. Congrats on your new pattern line! I love the name (having followed the “frosting vs. cake” discussion at Sewaholic for awhile) and the concept behind it. I’ll definitely be following this with interest–I’m probably more interested to see the separates, tbh, since I’m at the point where adding any more dresses to my wardrobe would just be frosting, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for those! (That being said, it is a great knit dress, and one I would definitely consider adding to my pattern collection should the need for one arise.)

    • Cool Becky, thanks! :) I’m super pleased with the details and construction on the jeans/trousers coming up, but I have to tinker with the sizing a little. Still not completely happy. And there’s a nice little a-line skirt with soft pleats coming, too.. ;)

  22. Fantastic!!! high bust, cupsizes, surplice neck, kimono sleeves – all of my fav features!!

    StephC, Can you share up to how many cup sizes are you planning for?

    Will there be a downloadable option for the Tiramisu pattern?

    • Well, I drafted A-D, and there’s some flexibility built into the shape of the pattern (and the nature of the fabric) as well. There’s alteration lines printed on the pattern and a corresponding alteration tutorial to be released for larger cup sizes. :)

      I would like to say YES, I’ll throw that pattern on Craftsy as a download, that’s just one of the tiny details I’m working out… Like… If it’s 50 sheets of paper or something, would anyone use that??

  23. Guess I’m going to have to graduate from making kids clothes to adult clothes a lot faster now that you are producing patterns along with colette and sewaholic ( I have 5 colette patterns and not made anything yet…gonna have to up my learning curve !)

    • Yaaaay! I haven’t worked much with Sewaholic (YET!) but I am a very big fan of Colette’s work. I’ll never forget the first Parfait I made- I didn’t have to alter it for fit and almost wept in relief…

      :) You can do it!

  24. Oh, Steph, you are on the reasons I have decided to return home and now I am even more glad! I will be attending as many of your classes as I can and now I will be buying your patterns!!! Thank you for being such an inspiration.

    • Ah, Carol, you’re making me blush! Are you moving back to Byron? Near the dolphins? Or to Bne? Please say Byron! I don’t get out there often enough, a friend in the Bay would mean I go more!

  25. This is so exciting for so many reasons! I think your patterns will really fill a lot of wardrobe gaps, and of course I am totally on board with choosing patterns based off of more than one measurement! A crossover front bodice based on cup size? Brilliant! And I love the chevrons and the knit and pockets and oh, everything else :) I guess it’s time to mark Nov. 15 on the calendar! Congratulations on realizing this dream!

  26. I am really excited for you – I hope this new venture is rewarding for you, both in the joy of creation and some financial recompense for your work. I give the “pockets in everything” a standing ovation.

    • Mary Nanna, you’re an inspiration to me. :) If I ever publish a cargo skirt with “dupion silk” listed as a fabric option, you’ll know why… ;)

    • :D I’m pleased you’re pleased! :) ….Will be needing a few testers soon…. But I’ll talk about that when it comes up… Shhh stephanie…

  27. Wonderful! The dress is beautiful, and will be flattering on an older, (much) fuller figure as well as on younger women. And larger sizes, with graduated cup sizes? Excellent!

    I was just thinking the other day that I would like a high-waisted dress with a flared, rather than gathered, skirt. And you’ve done a beautiful job with the stripes; I can’t wait to see the pattern and instructions! I’m in the northern hemisphere, so a sweater will be necessary to go with my first version, but that’s fine. I have lots of those. November. Four months. I can make it…

    • Yes… Making my patterns available to larger sizes is really important to me… I may not hit the mark every time, but I’m sure I’ll learn and adjust as we go to make patterns that are really useful for larger sizes…

      Thanks! I’m pretty stoked about the instructions and what we have planned for that, I think y’all will love it.

  28. Pockets in everything, stripe matching guides on the pattern and very little fabric waste. Count me in! Looking forward to the trouser pattern already.

    Congratulations! I am so excited for you.

    • Yes… It’s my laundry list of things that bug me in other patterns… :) I just need to get the legs right on the trousers, and I had to set them aside to finalize the dress patterns.. :) Thanks!

    • Oh! Thanks, Mom. Gail tells me about the things you all used to make in the 60’s… :) Everyone, this is my grandmother and she’s an amazing woman! :)

    • Thanks! My husband designed it… I spent a few evenings doodling without getting much for my time, then the smart-a$$ sits down and sketches that in two minutes. Sigh. ;)

    • Me neither! It’ll be so fun to hold one of these babies… I guess it is a little like waiting for a baby… Just a little…

  29. Wow! Congratulations on the new venture. I love the first pattern.

    It might be a bit “old school” but I do love a good paper pattern (as opposed to a PDF) so I was so happy to read that you are doing those.

  30. I’d totally make this dress, Can’t wait to see more of the line. I’m always happy to see more small pattern companies out there. Helps raise the standards for all. So glad you went for the too hard.

    • Yaaaay! :) I’m glad you like it, and I’m really looking forward to showing the others… This blog has been my “notebook” and journal for nearly three years, it still is… There’s heaps of references to the next few patterns in my design inspiration posts lately… ;) And I’ll undoubtedly show the muslins and the process behind making the pattern, cause I can’t help it..

  31. This dress is awesome!
    Do you plan to release it as a printable e-pattern too? Would be perfect really perfect….. although it is not compareable to the pleasure of unwrapping a pinted pattern, but to save shipping I’m always tempted.
    Cheers from Austria

    • I might. It depends on the logistics, it depends on how easily I can make pdfs of the different “sizes” to save paper, it depends on heaps of things! But I definitely will if it’s possible/logical. :)

      And there will definitely be downloads for various design details… Hacks probably… We’re going to have a lot of fun with Cake…

  32. Brilliant news! I am so glad you are taking the plunge into production – whoohoo – and i am excited – for you and for us LOL… I love this dress, I love the cup size / high bust etc etc – and I LOVE that it will be paper not PDF! I also really like the sound of the other things you ahve coming up – and I really hope maybe one day you’ll make a version of Minerve – I have the hugest crush on that skirt…..

    • There is a version of Minerve on my planning board…. She’s such a fantastically wearable basic skirt… Probably paired with a gently fluttering top… Ack! One pattern at a time!

      • oh goooooood! I made myself a 30s skirt with a 3 panel flared front but minerve is so much more gorgeous – I can’t wait to see what you do with her! And the gently fluttering top – and papre patterns – oh, it’s all too much, I have to go smoke!

    • Thanks, Marie… :) I’m trying really really hard not to do anything too weird, to focus on the best basics possible… But… I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to help sticking some weirdness in here and there…

  33. Yep…all the details on the pattern that a girl needs to make life simpler, plus a super fabulous dress that can be taken from school run to dinner with a change of fabric and styling.
    I’m earmarking this for red jersey with snazzy boots for the winter school run.
    And blue.
    And definitely black! You’ve nailed it.
    I’m so thrilled for you that you’ve brought your ideas to fruition. Congratulations. Kilimanjaro here you come.

    • Thanks, Evie! I can’t wait to see what you do with it… :)

      I do have every intention of at least trying to climb kili one day. I just have to raise my fitness level dramatically and get to Africa. See? Too Hard. Patterns are easier.

      • I’m not entirely convinced…I find IT befuzzling! I may have mentioned it before, but I’m in awe of your skills!

  34. So exciting! I can’t wait to get my hands on your patterns! Stripe lines drawn right on? You’re a genius.

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  36. Oh my word, this is so amazing. I can’t wait for this first pattern, and the things to come. Dresses with pockets? STYLISH dresses with pockets??? You had me at…the first picture :)

  37. I love this, I can’t wait to get that first pattern, and see the things to come. Stylish dresses with pockets? don’t mind if I buy ALL THE PATTERNS!

  38. This is simply awesome. Now if only I had the money to spend on your Cake… I LOVE your sizing system. Or at least the idea of it. ;-) BTW, any way to make that dress in wovens, too?

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  40. I found your pattern via Pinterest, and I love it! I hope that maybe it’ll make its way over to the States for sale… :)

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  42. I’m very excited for you. And I’m glad to hear you’ve outsourced or, uh, collaborated on, the artwork. For DIYers, it’s easy to try to tackle everything just because you know you “could” do it. I’m looking forward to seeing the new dress pattern. ‘Sisters of Edwardia’ is waiting in the wings for me as soon as I’m done with some obligatory sewing.

  43. I’m in love with this dress – it’s absolutely stunning and I love the thought that you’ve put into the design! I’m a very new sewer and matching stripes terrifies me, I haven’t even tried to attempt matching patterns yet, so I love this detail in your pattern. I can’t wait to get my hands on this!

  44. I’m soooo excited about your pattern line. The word “cup size” made me scream with joy. I’m a G cup, so you can imagine how easily I fit into a standard B cup pattern = not at all! I have tried sewing with McCall’s pattern with cup sizes before and even though their biggest D cup doesn’t quite do the job, the alteration I need is minimal and the pattern still retains its intended shape in some way. So any above B cup patterns you can offer will be much appreciated! Also, I don’t know if you are planning to release only paper patterns, or PDFs, but I’m hoping for PDFs. I know many people don’t enjoy piecing together A4 sheets, but I like that I don’t have to pay for shipping, can print it out as many times as I wish, can store it on my computer, and can start sewing straight away.

    Thanks for starting this very promising pattern line!!! I wish you all the best!

    • Well… The “D Cup” of one size is just about the same circumference of the A cup of the next size up…. But the pattern pieces are very differently shaped. I’m just working out how to best express the “sizing” information, but I’m really excited looking at the work. I think it’ll work well for a variety of shapes. :)

  45. Congratulations, Steph! This is so exciting and really makes sense. I know that sometimes it’s tempting to try to figure out how to do it all on your own–I do this all the time because I like to learn–but when you find a good collaborator as you have, you can really turn out wonderful things! I really, really love the illustrations and the concept! I cannot wait to have one of my very own. Blessings on this new venture!

  46. Have been looking for a kimono sleeve, wrap front dress! Was searching for a pattern and came across your website. Can’t wait until November! :)

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  48. Wow….how exciting….just wanted to say congratulations !! You are clearly so talented its wonderful and inspiring to hear how you’re developing it! And collaborating too…fantastic. Enjoy the adventure

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  54. I am so excited!!! Exactly what I need with a 36H bustline! The dress looks perfect for my figure type – I hope you have many more in the works. I would love to see some nice knit tops suitable to make exercise wear, as RTW is woefully inadequate for large busted women.

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  57. Wow, so many comments here. Have you launched Cake and Tiramisu pattern? Also, one question if your high bust measurement falls in between (32) do you just go up a size? Or since it is a knit the 30 might work. And a pattern based on cup size??? Holy Armscye! (I’m a “Barely A”) Anyhoo, I can’t wait to test this dress!!!

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