Pattern Lore: From 7701 to Kimono to Pavlova Wrap Top!

Pavlova Envelope Front | Pavlova Circus

Thanks so much for your support of the Pavlova Wrap Top and Skirt!  She’s up for pre-sale in my Etsy shop.  You can find all the plain, straight-forward pattern information in the Etsy listing.

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The Pavlova Wrap Top has a rich backstory.  Those of you who have been reading 3 Hours Past for a while may well remember my white whale obsession with Advance 7701 last year.

Picture 8Click image for Handmade Jane’s Post

I noticed the vintage pattern when Handmade Jane in the UK made this smashing red version.  I couldn’t find a copy of 7701 in any of my “usual” online haunts, even over the course of several weeks.  I couldn’t even find a similar vintage pattern.  It was so frustrating- the pattern was obviously simple (sleeves all in one with the front) but just outside of the ordinary.  I didn’t think I could just draft it.

Picture 9Jane’s Jersey version made from the original 7701 pattern- click image for post

In desperation, I wrote to Jane and called “dibbsies” on her pattern if she ever decided to sell it.  Jane didn’t want to sell, but she did lend me the pattern!  That’s right- she trusted the fragile, hard-to-find old pattern to the tender mercies of the international postal system during the Christmas rush.  I took that trust seriously and was quite careful with the pattern when it arrived.

Picture 10“wingspan” of the ties on one of the earlier jersey versions of this top.  The back tucks into your clothes to keep your shirt in place and to cover up those muffins!  I love this feature and left it in the Pavlova Wrap Top Pattern!

As is my habit, once I had my mitts on 7701 I started “translating” it to use with knits.  I don’t have a thing against wovens, but at the time I was translating anything I could get my hands on, to see what would happen.  I have this idea that knits (in addition to being super comfy and easy to wash) read as “clothes” to most people who don’t sew.   Knits blend into the surroundings.  Don’t get me wrong- I like to stand out, but if I’m wearing a knit then I feel freer to play around with fun cuts and bright colors- especially for casual wear.

Picture 12

7701 translated to knits was so much fun to make and wear, I made a pdf downloadable pattern for Craftsy from my drafts.  It came in one size, and the linework and scaling was ugly ugly ugly.  I cringe now, thinking about it.  In fact, if you’re reading this and you bought the Kimono Wrap Top from Craftsy and you haven’t had an email from me let me know!

Picture 13

Despite its flaws, the Kimono Wrap Top was popular.  I pulled the pattern from my online shop once I decided to make the top into a proper multi-sized pattern.  From my obsession with the cut after reading a friend’s sewing blog to Cake Patterns second release, I thought it’d be interesting to compare the features of the three patterns:

Picture 7

7701- Vintage pattern.  Woven fabric.  Center back seam, back darts, darts in the front side seam.  Darted shoulder, sleeves cut all in one piece with the body.  Back “muffin cover,” neck facing piece with lapped seam.  One size.

Picture 12

Kimono Wrap Top- Modern downloadable pdf pattern.  Jersey fabric.  No darts- bust shaping provided through gentle easing in the side seam.  Back seam for chevron effect. One size.

Pavlova Wrap Top | Cake PatternsPavlova Wrap Top– Modern paper sewing pattern and digital download.  Jersey fabric.  Minimalist seaming for quick construction.  Gentle bust shaping through ease in the side seam.  Comes in sizes 30-50″ bust, ties come in lengths suitable for those with 25″-50″ waists.  Ends of sleeves are finished with Cake-standard knit binding.

You can see examples of other simple vintage wrap tops on my Pavlova Pinterest board.

Muffin Cover in action!

Muffin Cover in action!

The Pavlova Wrap Top retains the “muffin cover” and the lapped neck facing (because any other neck treatment is less pretty according to my experiments).  It also features “Shorter” and “Longer” sleeve lengths- length of sleeve from neck is printed clearly on the pattern piece in metric and imperial (2.54cm to 1″)!

The Pavlova Wrap Top is a refinement of a modernization of a vintage pattern.  If I could layer 7701 and Pavlova on top of one another, they would be two entirely different patterns.  I’ve refined and refined the patternwork to be suitable for jerseys- tweaking a line here, removed a dart there, simplified where I could.

Pavlova Envelope Back | Pavlova Circus

I think you’ll dig the end result.   If you have any any questions about the Pavlova Wrap Top pattern, ask below and I’ll be right here to answer!  If you’ve made a Kimono Wrap Top pattern or Advance 7701 and posted it to your blog or Pattern Review, don’t be shy!  Link below in the comments so we can share inspiration!

The Pavlova Circus was a little slow over the weekend-  I figure y’all are a bit busy, and it would be best to outline The Circus slowly and wait for us all to catch our breath.  Now that it’s the last work-week of the year (for many), look out!  If you’ve pre-ordered a Pavlova Wrap Top and Skirt pattern, keep your eye on your inbox for my link to a special gift:

She’s a paper play pattern- Esme, the Petit Four!

Earlier last week, I got the itch to make a rag doll for my little girl.  It’s been a while, and I’ve always adored making silly little dollies.  I started making them when I was not much older than Lila.  I sent an email to Cake’s cover artist, Mikhaela, asking her to make me an Esme dolly face template.  She sent me this back (which I later made into a jointed paper doll):

Esme Paper Doll

We kept happily and feverishly adding little details like fingernails and a bracelet- working like a pair of Xmas elves!  We couldn’t help ourselves and kept pinging ideas back and forth in realtime, I hadn’t realized what fun it would be to work with professional artists (duuuuuh).  This weekend, I sat down and formatted all our little pieces into a Paper Play template for you to print out and enjoy.  I will use this template for all the Petit Four Dolly play during the Circus and post my progress/construction shots to the sewingcake site.

Usually I start messing around with an idea here on the blog and then write about it and y’all let me know what you think.  This time, I’m going to play with this little dolly template during the Pavlova Circus and you can play right along.

I don’t know what will come out of it, but I’m desperate to play around with some soft-doll making.  I have piles of “hair” and beads and ooooh all the goodies I’ve been showing you the past several days… Stay tuned for “Esme Rag Doll” kit giveaways!

Esme Jointed Paper Doll with Pavlova Paper Clothes

The Esme Petit Four Paper Play template is only available as a download to those who have pre-purchased a Pavlova Wrap Top and Skirt.  I will send you an email with the link after your purchase.  It’s my little Xmas present to you!  After the Circus, the Petit Four Paper Play template will be available for purchase in its finalized version as a doll pattern on Craftsy.

The playtime will be found on, with updates and tutorials what what I get up to with my Esme Petit Four template linked to the Esme Petit Four page.  I’ll keep it light, keep it cute for a little holiday crafting with small (or big) people!


  1. I’m sure Miss Lila will love her dolly! I have all of the doll making things I need away to make my niece a doll, yet I still haven’t got there. I’m thinking one of my new years resolutions needs to be a project a month from my UFO or existing stash. Now that everything is much more organized, I need to work through these things to declutter a bit more.

    Oh – and I appreciate the rear muffin cover. I may investigate to see if I can add a front muffin cover too.

    • She does! she’s been carrying around the paper version and cackling madly and reading to her. It’s cute. :) Go print the download I just sent you.

  2. This is very interesting to me, and the timing is perfect, as I just acquired a copy of 7701 at the thrift store on Friday! I was searching for info on it, and I did see your and Handmade Jane’s posts. I may try to sew it up- I’ll come back and link if I do.

  3. I don’t understand what the “muffin cover” you keep talking about is, will you show more of that later?
    Also, I’m really excited to see your rag doll (I have a thing for dolls!)

    • Hey Molly- I call it a muffin cover because it keeps muffin tops from showing.. ;) If you look about halfway up the post here, I mention what it is. :)

      I have a thing for rag dolls, too. hehe. Lila and I are settling into an afternoon of crafting, and I’ll post our results on the sewingcake site. :)

  4. I’m way behind on reading your blog, and I’m excited to catch up while I wind down after long hours at work. :) I’m itching to sew up a tiramisu, and it will probably be the first project I do after moving and setting up my new sewing room.

    Or so I thought until I took a good look at the Pavlova and her skirty friend! Oh man, so glad I finally have a job, because I am SO buying all of your patterns I can get my mitts on! I’m going to consider every pattern you launch from now until the end of 2013 my reward for working through Christmas. I fall more and more in love with your patterns every time I look at them, and I can only imagine how useful they’d be in my wardrobe. :) Although more winter-friendly pieces would be even more useful since we have very long and cold winters… *hint hint* ;)

    Also, I think your cute paper doll would be adorable in my computer work station…in a mine office surrounded by men. :D I think it’d be fun to change her outfits if you make up garments based on your patterns!

    Okay, done chatting, time for bed. Keep up the awesome work, Steph!

    • Hahah! You’re so sweet, Heather. I’m glad you got a job, too… Not just so you get Cake, but I know it’s a really tough market if you’re a youngin… ;)

      Oh! She’d be SO cute in a manly office. Hehe.

      Yes, I can see there’s a LOT of possibility in the Petit Four idea. :) Already thinking about the next one, and shoot, we’ve got to get Penelope right?

      • YOU COULD MAKE ALL OF YOUR LOVELY MODELS INTO DOLLS! And make them the same shape so that they can trade clothes! The colours! The mixing and matching! The accessories!! Okay, this will need to be done. :D

  5. Steph I have just cut a slice of Pav on Etsy, so to speak. I think I will make a merino one. I really love wrap around tops and haven’t had one for years. Thank you for making it in such a range of sizes! :)

  6. I bought the tiramisu pattern as soon as I could because it looked as though it would be very flattering to my shape ( short and dumpy). The Pavlova pattern seems to just accenctuate short and dumpy so I won’t be buying. I noticed that in all the sketches the wrap goes over the right boob, but in photos it goes under. There are also two different sketches on the pattern envelope – one has the wrap going under the right arm and the other has it at the waist. I honestly have no idea of the shape of the top in this pattern.

    • Hey friend, it’s a wrap top… It wraps one way, it wraps the other. :) Wrap. It can go over the boob, it can go under the boob. Depends entirely on the wearer and what the fabric wants to do.

      I’m not really sure what’s so confusing… Hmm..

      • Maybe you should run a “how many ways can you wear your Pavlova?” contest once it’s out and get a gallery of all the different ways to tie it? ;) I bet a person could do some really funky things…

        I tend to have issues with stuff that wraps/adds layers at my waist, too… but they sure look great on the people they do work for. :D

  7. I LOVE the fact that my humble little vintage pattern has been across the world twice! Even better than that, it inspired the Kimono Wrap top pattern, which in turn led to the Pavlova Top! What a wonderful story!
    Very best of luck with your latest pattern Steph, I’m sure it will be another winner. I’ve got my Tiramisu pattern in my hot little paws, ready to sew up in the new year! xx

  8. I love a great back story, and I love paper dolls! How fun is that? What a great wrap top. Looking forward to seeing it in person!

  9. Looks fab Steph. I’ve just broken my rule of never buying a second pattern until I have made the previous purchase. After the Christmas madness subsides (it will, won’t it?????), then I shall dust off my machine and make a tiramisu. My plan, if the tira turns out as good as I hope, is to make at least three, possibly squillions more, of them and have perfect work dresses forevermore. After that, I expect I’ll be ready to make the pavlova.

    • Oh! Well- I’m sure we’ll have fun with Pavlova. :) Hehe.

      Yeah! I have a heap of Tiras from all the sample sewing and etc, but I wear them all the time… Love the cut, so I hope you do. :)

      • Eek…did I miss them. I’m thinking of making it cream and long sleeved with navy trousers and ballet pumps for the spring. Swoon. I may have just ordered the pattern…another one on the list! ;-)

  10. I love the back story (I always love to know how things come to be) an I love how this looks in a knit fabric (by the way do you know when knit fabric came about/became commonly used? The google has failed me [I keep getting knitting with needles rather that knit fabric and I can’t think of a good search term])

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