Vote Now To Name The Tiramisu Lady (and Fabric Giveaway!)

Mikhaela is the artist

Last week, I solicited test subjects for my upcoming Tiramisu dress pattern release and asked for name suggestions for this lovely lady.  This is the not-quite-completely-finished drawing for the front of the pattern envelope- a lady in a vacuum.  No name, no backdrop, just sass and a red striped dress.

I had SUCH a great time reading and replying to your comments, stories, and suggestions- thank you so much!  Even more than that, I really appreciate your enthusiastic support of this project.  It means more to me than I can find words to express.

Last night, I spent the evening counting volunteers and name suggestions while assembling a crack team of international testers representing every size range I draft.   All told, 152 lovely ladies volunteered to test, and I chose 15.  It was agonizing, I wanted everyone but that’s not practical.  If you received an email from me today, you know what to do.  If not, keep an eye out for Pavlova testers- I’ll need you sooner rather than later!

And now to the fun part- names!  I had expected one or two names would become more popular than others, but the only clear favorite was Marie/Maria.  I’m more inclined to Marie, personally.  Please vote for your favorite name below- I’ll close voting in one week and our lady will have a name!

Penelope was another favorite, no doubt helped out by the amazing backstory written by 5 Currant Buns:

“Penelope” is a “cat who walks by herself”, she’s travelled the world (alone) and knows what’s out there, and after many many false starts and broken hearts found a man who thought like she did…

She walks barefoot as she likes to feel the ground beneath her feet, she loves the rain and the smell of the ground when it is raining, she likes dancing in the rain but misses rain in the southern hemisphere (because sometimes it is warm)…

She makes jam…and paper aeroplanes with her 7 year old son…she’s rocked out, done the festival thing…can bore you with memories of bands she has seen and the concerts she missed out on…

she cooks, she cleans, she does hard labour in the garden cos someone has to build the patio !

Can talk to you about literature, music, theatre, great art and food in fantastic restaurants…but can also talk about Dr Who, Power Rangers, star wars, Dino’s kitchen science and the beano…and knows how to make a water bomb !

She is ultra organised between 9-5 monday to friday but gloriously spontaneous the rest of the time…

She is you, she is me, she is what every one of us imagine we are…

I love the stories y’all spun of her life as a double agent, a spy, a bohemian!  It’s so much fun to share creativity this way, thanks for playing.

Click for Source

Do you read Dress a Day?  I was thinking of her pattern envelope stories last week when I asked for tragi-comic backstories.  Erin’s blog was the first blog I ever read, and many of her posts have had a dramatic effect on the way I think about clothing, sewing, style, and writing.  In fact, while we’re on a Dress a Day tangeant, go read this post:

Click for source

This post struck me like a bolt of lightning on a clear day the first time I read it.  It influenced me more than the stacks of style books I’ve read, makeover shows I’ve watched or fashion blogs I’ve skimmed.  Maybe I found “Plaid = Joy” just when I needed to read it, but I go back and refresh every now and then.  It’s one of those posts that stick in the mind.

Last week, I showed you a bit of the envelope front.  This week, a bit of the back!  This is the technical drawing for Tiramisu, complete with little pockets.  Woohoo!  I expect the pattern to go to print very soon.  When it does, we’ll have an awesome pre-sale week complete with posts on sewing knits without a serger, choosing knit fabric by weight, a behind the scenes look at the work I’ve been up to and details about Tiramisu’s sizing.  We’ll have a jolly circus around here that week, I can’t wait.

It’s been a while since I could run a giveaway, I miss sending bits of fabric out into the world!  I’ve had my eye on this navy polka dot jersey in my local fabric store for some time:

It’s 100% cotton printed with white polka dots, t-shirt weight and perfect for making up a dotted Tiramisu.  I’m offering 3m of this fabric in the giveaway- easily enough for your own Tira!  I’ll also throw in a pair of serrated scissors (great for cutting knits!) and a pack of ballpoint needles for your machine.  The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

If you vote and tell me in the comments, that’s one point.  If you tweet, pin, or “Like” this post, those are also one point each.  If you blog about this giveaway, that’s two points.   Please let me know in the comments, as well. The giveaway will close at 7pm Brisbane time, next Friday.

Also- if you haven’t already, do sign up for Cake updates.  I have some fun up my sleeve for a bit later on, I’d hate for you to miss it!


  1. I’m loving Inez as a name! I couldn’t go for Grazia – the UK has a gossip magazine of that name which is balls [for lack of a better word!], and I feel she shouldn’t have that attached to her name!

    • Oh no oh no! You’re right! How could I forget? I was thinking “Grazia” is kind of like “thank you” in Italian. Dear me.

      I do like Inez. I like all the names. Sigh.

    • That was my thought exactly about Grazia! I love Inez too and have cast my vote.
      That polka do fabric is to die for.
      Sad that I couldn’t volunteer as a tester this time round…but next time, when the exams are done…I’ll be throwing my hat in the ring.

      • The magazine was originally Italian, that’s why I used to think it was actually printed for my Mum as a child! You know the way kids “squeeze” reality through their perspective so it makes sense? That way :)

        Steph, thank you so much for posting that post from Erin’s blog! It articulates things that I feel all the time but I haven’t been able to make clear. Plaid = joy indeed! Closely followed by gingham and polka dots.

        • A girl after my own heart. Why am I craving gingham and polka dots so? And navy/white stripes?

  2. I voted for Marie , short and powerful;-) Pity I wasn’t selected to be a tester.. Maybe next time?! I do want to join the giveaway though! Thanks!

    • Yes, maybe next time! I really do hate it that I can’t have 152 testers, but I wouldn’t be able to handle the volume of emails. The next pattern will be up and ready to go before you know it. Really!

  3. So many cute names. Grazia makes me think of Grace Kelly, actually, and therefore does not quite fit your Tiramisu-Lady, in my opinion. I’m somewhat partial to Maria because it’s my middle name, but I voted for another ;-) Curious which name it will be, and fantasizing about the pretty fabric,

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  5. I voted, tweeted and liked… not just for the giveaway, but because I truly love the idea of you having your own pattern line, and I want to throw what meger support I can your way!

    The polka dot fabric is beautiful, but I’m really struck by the nice clean lines of the pattern front and back. It’s going to be a beautiful pattern.

    As tough as choosing may be, it seems to me that it’s far better for you to have a large testing pool than not. I’m the one splashing in the shallow end!

    • Thank you so much! :) I feel like I’ve found what it is I’m supposed to be doing with myself. We’ll see!

      Yes, I’m humbled by the number of people who have offered to help me out. Really. It makes me want to do my best work. :) And I’m really looking forward to the work with the testers. Should be fun.

  6. I’ve voted for Maria! Look forward to seeing the results from the lucky ladies that were picked to test the pattern!

    • I’ll feature all the testers here on the blog- at least, those who are happy to be featured! :D Thanks for playing, Lindsay.

  7. I shall vote for Marie! Love polka dots! I LOVE this pattern because it suits my shape so well,

  8. Penelope – the back story is awesome!
    I’ve made a blog post today about your blank canvas tee, and included a link to you and your giveaway. I’m excited for the pattern to come out.

    • I know, I love it too! I had thought I’d take bits and pieces of all the little stories and make them into one, but I don’t think I can top the Penelope story… :)

  9. I voted — for the same name that we almost named our new little daughter! Congratulations and your pattern looks absolutely lovely. I’m looking forward to the post about knits and weights.

    • Thanks, Kelley! I’m working on the knits & weights post… I think there’s a little scope for physical comedy in the post..

  10. Despite the Penelope back story (thank you for liking it :-) ) I voted for Zelda as Penelope has too many syllables (Zeeeel-da v. Pen-el-o-p) !

  11. I voted for Penelope…just like the name…not to mention you could get Penelope Cruz to wear it and it would instantly be a hit!
    Thank you in Italian is Grazie so pretty close. Funny in the UK Grazia ended up being a gossip magazine. In Italy it was more a fashion magazine, just like Elle or Vogue…so pretty glamorous.
    I will certainly try my luck again at pattern testing…I wasn’t lucky this time.
    Thanks for the giveaway…I’d love to make a polka dot dress.

    • Thanks, Princess. :) It was super hard to choose, but I have several more patterns up my sleeve… The first one, Tiramisu, has taken a long time to bring about but the others should be a little quicker… It’s like sewing a new pattern- the first time is slow, the next ones are quick quick quick… :)

    • Thanks, Kimber! I want one, too, now. Or maybe polka dot skirt and midriff with a solid bodice… I think that would be pretty.

  12. I voted for Marie, will be tweeting and liking later today :)
    Love that fabric for the giveaway and I just learned something new ~ should I be using serrated scissors to cut knits?! I didn’t know that so I don’t have them *gasp*. Now it’s on my list :)

    • Well- serrated scissors aren’t compulsory but they really help when cutting knits… They kind of “grip” a bit on the fabric, which makes it easy to slice cleanly through the fabric. It’s not the same effect on wovens, but it’s aaaaaaamazing for knits. :)

  13. I voted for Zelda because she looks sassy like a Zelda.
    I don’t blog or tweet & I’ve never pinned, but I have enjoyed reading your blog.

    • Thank you so much, Gaynor. :) Social media isn’t for everyone. I only got into facebook because it helps me keep track of my grandparents in AZ, then it sucked me in. Sigh.

  14. Penelope gets my vote. The story is just too hard to resist. I’m taking a knits class right now and I love the dots.

    • I know, right? Great story. :) Good luck on your knits class- there’s a few little knacks to pick up when working with knits, but once you’re used to them they’re just fab to sew… Quick and easy and wearable.

  15. The real Inez that I knew moved herself, a very young woman then, from a small town to New York City in the 1930s. The Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building would have been new at about that time. She worked in the garment business and years later, after a cross country move, had her own little business. She was a strong woman, to say the least, and during a difficult time, managed to support 4 kids. Even in her later years she had an eye on fashion and style–one day instructing me that my skirt (a 1980s mini) was not short enough (to the chagrin of my mother). She directed that it “has to be shortened from the waist” –a gentle but firm command followed by an impromptu fitting–but of course she was right. She was an expert at fitting and proportion, for sure. She also knitted some nice sweaters and made a cool poncho for me. Needless to say, I voted for Inez!

    • It’s ok, if Grazia wins we can sneaky-sneaky change it to Grazie. That’d be ok. :) I’m kicking myself for not remembering, too. Thanks so much for helping to spread the word!

    • Thank you, lovely! :)

      Penelope is also the name of a very clever-fingered, tricksy weaver who loved her husband, Odysseus. I like that, too.

  16. I voted for Penelope. She could be Penny for short. It’s cute and memorable. LOVE the navy jersey and the dress pattern. ~Kelly

  17. Oh no, I haven\’t had much time for reading blogs these last two weeks and totally missed your last post! The drawing screams \”Tamara\” to me, but I guess Maria is a good second. :)
    Also, pinned and tweeted. :)

  18. I’ve loved the name Penelope forever, so you can guess which one I jumped all over, even before I read that lovely little Penelope story! And I love Kelly’s suggestion that she could be Penny for short. :)

    Fingers crossed for the fabric. There is a major deficit of, well, garment fabric in general, but especially knit here in Yukon. And polkadots! Who doesn’t love polkadots?!

    • Thanks, Heather… I don’t know why it is that Brisbane seems to have a decent variety of knit fabrics, but there it is… Seems like Europe has a deficit of good knits, too.

  19. I voted for Marie – and now I’ve got the NOFX version of ‘Marie Marie’ stuck in my head…
    “There’s gas in my car, and I’ve got two weeks of back pay…”

  20. I voted for Inez, I thought she had a Latina look about her. Who wouldn’t love 3m of polka dot jersey?

  21. That is a great top 5 names to pick from – I went with Penelope, with the awesome backstory.
    While I didn’t put my name in to pattern test as I don’t sew fast enough to be useful to you, I would love the opportunity to be in your giveaway

  22. I thought Penelope was a perfect name, too! I call my cat Penelope, even though her name is Cleo. It just seems to fit sometimes. I voted!

  23. Well it was a tough decision but I decided the she looked more like an Inez than a Zelda. Really like the pattern and will add it to my queue.

  24. I cast my vote and i love a giveaway! The navy and white polka dots are great, and i think they would look fab on me, i’m just sayin… wink wink hint hint nudge nudge. hehehe

  25. Can’t waaaait for this pattern!!! I voted for Marie, because there’s something a little bit Frenchy about this pattern to me (my 10 year old style advisor agrees). The fabric is divine; it would have a loving home at my house!!

  26. I voted for Zelda–I’ve always thought it was a fun, classy name, video game or no. I am beyond excited about this pattern, and navy is totally my color.

  27. I voted Inez – it’s also the name of the amazing woman who cleans my house… She is a phenomenal person and I very much want to be like her. :)

  28. My original thought was she is a Maria, but I changed my mind at the last min. I am going to stick with Maria, even tho my Great Grandma was name Inez.

    • Oooh… Such a great-grandmother name.. I never new my great grandmothers, I always picture them as minxy young ladies like in their wedding photos… :)

  29. I voted for Penelope just because I like the way it rolls off your lips… rather playfully. Liked, pinned, and tweeted…. and LOVE the navy jersey in your give-away… I’m a “winter” and navy is one of my best colors. If I don’t win… I’m going to have to go hunting for a piece just like it!

    • Penelope is a super cool name… I’ll have a little look around and see if I can find any navy blue spotted jersey online, too. Let me know if you track any down. :)

  30. I had originally thought she was a Jayne until I saw someone suggested Odette. Of the finalists I lean to Zelda but I’m pleased to see Inez in the lead at the moment. All the names work, really. Funny, just this morning I was thinking that Tiramisu in a spot would be perfect!

  31. I voted for Penelope. Before I read that story. My vote is solidified.

    Marie would seem closer to my original suggestion of Marica, except Marie’s my sister and she’s not my sister… at least not the one named Marie.

    • I’m so tempted to run some kind of printed jersey fabric buying online service if I weren’t already doing several other things! No idea why Brisbane seems to have more variety of knits than a lot of other places (maybe I just shop around a lot and know a lot of fabric store managers??) but it seems to me that it’d be a good thing to have a great online resource for high quality printed and interesting knits. Hmmm!

  32. Oh, boy!! I pink puffy heart the navy dotted jersey! It is nearly impossible to find dotty knits here (Canada) and I would love, love to make a Tira from that :) I tweeted about your fab giveaway and also about naming Ms. Tiramisu. You know I love Zelda!

    • Bwahahaha! That’s so cute! Why doesn’t Canada have any good knits? Tanit-Isis talks about the good knits deficit sometimes, too…

  33. I voted and liked! Penelope is a lovely name, and I really enjoyed the back story. Love, love, love the navy dotted knit! It would make a beautiful dress.

  34. Voted and liked! I can’t wait to get my hands on this pattern. It’s going to be so refreshing to make something from an independent without having to do 5 million (slight exaggeration!) adjustments right off the bat.

    • Well- Probably. :) I can’t promise no alterations, but I figure if I build in a few easy customizations it might make the fitting process simpler on the other end when the sewist is working with my pattern. That’s the hope, anyway.

  35. I voted for Zelda, because one of the most powerful and vibrant women I know is named Zelda, and Tiramisu looks like a dress for a powerhouse of a woman.

    Also, I want to say that I SO enjoy and appreciate your conscientious and creative contributions to our community. Though I still have yet to sew up my pants block, I’ve already learned so much from you! Thanks Steph!

    • Mmm, vibrant and powerful, that’s something to aspire to! :)

      Thanks, Rebecca, that’s so awesome for you to say. I do try, I’ve learned so much from others’ blogging over the years, it’s really nice to try to “give back” a bit. You can stitch up the block and we’ll work on it when you’re ready. :)

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  37. I voted for penelope :) I love the polka dot! I’ve been searching for polkadot fabric but apparently my local fabric store doesn’t believe in polka dots!

  38. I voted for ‘Marie’, my middle name. I also pinned it. And I am really interested in the bras. That’s something that I have wanted to try for quite a while. I am looking forward to seeing more of your adventures.

    • Yeah for sure, Robyn… I’ll write about the process of working on the bras- good, bad, indifferent and then we’ll all know… :)

  39. I vote for Penelope, too. After all, I have one of my own and she’s my elephant’s child with ‘satiable curiosity! I liked you, too. And like some of the others, I’m rabidly curious about your bra experimentation.

    • oh how lovely! I haven’t heard that term before (elephant’s child, I dunno, I live under a rock?) but I like it! :) I’ll be posting full documentation of the bra process… Haven’t decided if I’ll post photos wearing it, I may and then lock the page or something… Hmm… Tricky.

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  41. I’ve always loved the name Zelda. I think it stems from my love of the 1920’s and F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Though Zelda Fitzgerald was insane…it is still a great name.) I used to have a navy blue dotted dress that I sadly outgrew years ago. Perhaps I’ll be able to sew myself a new one. :)

  42. I’m definitely sewing this when it comes out! It’s great. I voted for her to be Maria, cos she looks like a Maria to me, but Zelda could work. To me Penelope is tall and aloof…

  43. Oh Steph, this question is too hard. I voted for Zelda because it’s retro/nerdy/historical and also a little bit future power (um, it’s late here) ANYWAY, I just wanted to say that fabric in a tiramisu would be perfect! I just told @Sunni that all I am trying to make this fall is a fabulous flattering dress – and your inspiration here would do it. love it. xo bex

    • Thanks, Bex! I’m sooo excited the pattern is nearly to print, can’t wait til she’s out there! :)

      And I know… I keep going back and forth about the names, too…

  44. Pingback: Conversant In Color: Buying Fabric Part 2 « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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