Plans for 2013 Pt 1- 3 Hours Past and Cake and a Survey!

2012 was chaotic for me on the blogging and website-building front.  I was learning constantly, testing new ideas and mediums, and figuring out how to put everything together all at one time.  I think that shows in the blogging.

Emse on her Phone

That’s not right, not right at all.   Besides, I’m starting to understand more and more of the “computer work” involved and it’s easier for me now.   This post is to let you know what’s going on around here, and to give you a little look into The Future. I’ll start with where I see 3 Hours Past and going in 2013:

Sometime in the last few months I realized I’m not really a “social” sewing blogger anymore, but I’m not really a “pro” blogger either.  Where does that leave 3 Hours Past?

Well- I have many other interests I write about occasionally besides sewing- sustainability, fashion history and design inspiration among others.  Oh!  And Finished Object posts, I love those… That’s 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World, and I like being able to connect with you clever and interesting people on topics other than the sewing.  (I’ll write Cake posts here, too, but not as frequently as in the past few months..) will be the place I write tutorials, post videos, run sewalongs and other events, and showcase Cake Patterns.  The idea behind the sewingcake setup is that over time, as I fill in more tutorials and support for the patterns, the front page will become a “living” visual reference. (always wanted to do that with 3HoursPast…) I also want to make good use of the social media tools that many of us use to connect and share inspiration- primarily flickr and pinterest.

30 Minutes a Day Sewalong Tiramisu Headline | Cake PatternsIf you go take a look at the 30 Minutes a Day Tiramisu Sewalong page, you’ll see what I mean.  I used both types of galleries on that page, with the idea that the Flickr gallery will aid troubleshooting and the Pinterest gallery provides several options for following along with the action to make sure you don’t miss out.  (I’m also running a feed for the sewalong in the right sidebar here—->)

If you haven’t checked out the sewalong page lately then please do- I outlined how the galleries will work together and set a few “parameters” for the Sewalong.  I’ve taught far, far more classes than I have run sewalongs so for me it makes sense to run this as I would a class.  Check it out. (I’ve been writing up the posts for it this week, I’m SO excited about the Sewalong!)

Cake Patterns

Tiramisu is making wavelets through the blogs and PR as more of you get a chance to sit down and stitch with me through Cake Patterns. I love it!  Keep up the good work!

Pavlova Circus and Pre-Sale

Pavlova’s pre-sale and Circus came and went just before Xmas, and she should ship in February.  Words can not express how much easier and smoother the production process was compared to Tiramisu, and I’m really looking forward to you all having your Pavlovas.

Around shipping time, I’ll introduce you to a Cake concept that’s been brewing for a few months: “collabvertisements.”  I shipped a pretty winter wool set of Pavlova separates (the gray and ivory) to a certain historical shoe designer who has a beautiful T-strap style coming out shortly…  She’ll style and shoot the photos herself- her shoes with my samples.

I’ll also be rolling out my “5 Positions of the Pavlova Skirt” blitz- 5 distinctive skirts made from the same simple Pavlova Skirt pattern pieces.  Oh yes! 


Miniature Hummingbird Cake | 3 Hours PastHummingbird is named after my favorite layer cake, and it’s all about work clothes for professional women.

Picture 55

Like Pavlova, Hummingbird is a jersey top and a woven skirt- and of course, always with pockets.  Unlike Pavlova, Hummingbird is a “meatier” concept to create a more formal ensemble.   The top is the popular and flattering peplum cut, but don’t expect your garden variety peplum from this 1940’s obsessed pattern drafter!  The cut will work with lighter fabrics as a top and also for heavier sweater knits.

Picture 58

The skirt is slim cut with no gape pockets, a contour waistband and a circular cut back flounce with lapped seams.  I’m engineering the construction to be “semi-couture,” but left an escape hatch for beginners and impatient intermediates.  I’m drawing heavily on inspiration from European skirt designs from the 30’s.

hummingbirdcolorI can’t say a single word more about Hummingbird, I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

Lamington’s design happened a few months ago when my husband asked me to engineer him the ultimate Field Ecologist pants- serious cargo type pants he wears while working.  He had very particular specifications for pockets, function, and cut.

It’s a slim leg pant, but not so slim as to inhibit movement.  I included such functional details as exposed zippered pockets, adjustable waistband buckles, back pocket detailing and front pockets just deep enough for an iphone but not too deep.  I have a huge bag of rivets, buckles, zippers and all the other hardware I could locate because we’re going to be sewing with hammers!  I love that, it’s so much fun!

Picture 57

That’s right- Cake is branching out into men’s patterns!  The best part about the Lamington pants is that all that optional fun stuff can be stripped away to leave a very simple but cool men’s pants/shorts pattern.  And since it’s me, and it’s Cake, we’ll draw you a simple map to sort out the design details so you can customize to your heart’s content.

I don’t know about you, but I often steal my husband’s pants.  Rest assured, I’m stealing his pants pattern too and will show you how I “girly-fy” the Lamington pants.

I’ll pair them with a solidly simple baseball tee pattern we can play with to create other kinds of specialty activewear.  Dear me, I’m excited about sewing Hummingbirds and Lamingtons together…


Last year, I asked you all to go dig out your tape measures and contribute to my Hips-to-Waist Ratio survey.  I’ve played with the data a few different ways since then as I work out the Holy Grail of pattern drafting: a women’s pants grade.  Recently Braless In Brasil asked me to dig around and answer a question for her from my data.  I will soon, I love “new” questions.  If you missed that survey before then feel free to join in.  I’m still adding numbers as they come in.

While I prepare my equations for the Lamington Pants, I’d like a “Male” data set for waist to hip ratios.  My research and experiments show me that men are much less variable in that area than women, but I would like to build my own data set to work with.  To the male sewists out there and those of you with access to a man or men- do you think you could contribute to my Male Waist to Hip Ratio survey?  I’d really appreciate it, and I’m sure it will help me build a fantastic men’s pants pattern:

As happens, I sat down to write a single post and discovered I had material for two.   In the next post, I’ll tell you what’s going on with some other Cake projects- namely the Petit Four projects and the Cake Riffs, as well as my teaching/events line-up in Brisbane for the next few months.

What do you think about all of that?  Tiramisu and Pavlova and Hummingbird and Lamington!  I’m still twiddling and refining the last two patterns, so if you have a workwear or cargo-pants “wish list” do let me know…!


  1. Oh Steph! It all sounds like its going great guns and Hummingbird sounds divine, I can t wait to see what you’ve come up with! I’ll attack Husband with a tape measure when he come home…

    • Hahah! Thank you! :) Great guns, indeed… :) It’s because I know how to get things printed and put into your hands now, less learning on my side, more drafting. :)

  2. OMH! The Hummingbird top makes me weak in the knees! I’ve been trying to cobble together a knit peplum top pattern for nearly a year, with poor results. I can’t wait for her to come home with me.

    • I’m wondering what OMH stands for… Oh my Hair? Old Mother Hen? Orangutans, Meet Hogs? I know it’s probably a typo but the imagination will do what it does… ;)

      Weak in the knees! That’s just what I like to hear.. ;) I have a few that are cut precisely like that 40’s image above and when I was working in an office I wore them All. The. Time. I wouldn’t mind a few new ones in knit… :)

  3. It all sounds very exciting! (And now I kind of wish my fiance was the type who is willing to let me sew clothes for him.)

  4. I love the look of Hummingbird! and Pants!!!! Can’t wait, especially if you are doing a post on how to girlify them.
    PS – please, please, please consider doing a pattern based on your Strawberry alarm clock pants, I have been lusting after them since you first posted a pic of them!

    • Oh yes, we will girlyfy… I’m not going to edit out the “man” cut to them, but- well, we’ll get there and you’ll see.. :)

      Did you know Strawberry Alarm Clock Pants are built from the Wearing History Smooth Sailing Trousers? I just knocked off the straight waistband for a contour one. When I was attaching the pants to the waistband, I lapped the waistband over the top edge of the pants. Then I put it on and adjusted the pins on the lapped seam until I liked the drape. A bit fiddly, but worth it I thought. :)

      And also slapped on front patch pockets cut from the pattern pieces in the Oliver + S Ice Cream Social Dress. :)

  5. My, my aren’t you the busiest and most ambitious designer around? I am thrilled for your new projects. The Hummingbird looks so chic! Some time ago I made a similar top, it was a Vogue I think, in a dreamy rayon fabric with the peplum but on the bias. I wore it until it fell apart! Happy New Year to you and yours, may happiness, great health and prosperity be yours.

    • Aw hahah. I think I just don’t keep as quiet about things as others do… :)

      Thanks so much, Corrine. A Happy 2013 to you and yours. :)

    • If you’re serious about that, please email me. I have a very very hard time finding testers and “models” of a certain size, y’all are so shy except to tell me I don’t carry your size. ;)

  6. Candy bar! I simply cannot wait for Hummingbird – this sounds like the perfect skirt – you know how obsessed I am about 30s skirts :)…. no access to any particular guy at the moment, sorry – can’t supply any measurements there.

    I also read your post about your birthday which i had missed – I was in the throes of awful flu back then and missed a lot of stuff for around a month altogether – and it is a lovely lovely post. I also found what you said about baking there very interesting and told my sis about it – she’s a cake person, literally – makes all these wild cakes with stuff in sugar paste – it’s her creative outlet… And the way the Southern hemisphere affects people who are new to it impressed me too. kind of freaky.

    I look forward to more of your patterns shooting out – can’t wait for them actually! Happy new year Steph – to your family – and to everyone else who reads this.

    • Candy Bar? Love it.

      Whew… That birthday post was a bit long but sometimes I just gotta go there… And it was a lovely lovely weekend… :) I don’t think everyone who relocates here has the same issues I have, but I’ve heard about it from enough people that it seems pretty common…

      Shooting out? hahah. :) We’ll see! I’m thinking we’ll get through them in the next few months, anyway. But I want everything “just so” too. :)

  7. Oh good grief woman…I’m supposed to not be buying any more patterns until I’ve sewn up the ones I got. I’m rather suspecting Lamingtons will be winging its way to this little corner of the Northern Hemisphere at the earliest opportunity!
    And Hummingbird almost makes me wish I was back in the work environment!

    • Hehehe. Then I probably shouldn’t mention that the “escape hatch” version of the Hummingbird skirt is a casual fingertip length skirt with mother-depth pockets and optional piping trim? Hmm? ;) Mine is blue pinwale cord… Just saying!

  8. Huh, I’m intriqued about the men’s pants. Looking forward to seeing them (and also the hummingbird, of course). Once my boyfriend get’s home, I’ll see if I can take his measurements for you. He’s been a little self conscious about his winter weight gain though (not that I’ve noticed, but he has and I trust him to know his own body just like how I know mine), so no promises.

    • Yes… I know I’m being a bit coy not showing the sample work… But I have to keep *something* for a surprise, right? :)

      Tackle him anyway and tell him he’s helping countless other mens get a good fit. ;) That good fit transcends weight. Etc.

    • *whisper in Ginger’s ear*: I may or may not have started a “grownup” wardrobe ensemble concept for my husby recently as per his request. And the designs may or may not be at least partially inspired by the Fantastic Mr. Fox…. ;)

  9. Fantastic! I am feeling all menswearish right now and just got two gorgeous fabrics to make husband shirts. I have access to heap plenty men, many of whome sew, so I will start wielding the tape in the shop, explain why, and drum up some trade in advance!

    • I just laughed into my morning coffee over the line “I have access to heap plenty men…” hehehe. Love you, MrsC, and thanks!

  10. Hey Steph, I’ve been absent from commenting but still reading – what a year you’ve had, here’s to a great one ahead of you… Can’t wait to see more of hummingbird – I noticed the peplum & slim skirt interest on pinterest :-)
    I’m off to finish sewing the trousers I’ve been making Keith since we were last chatting, I wandered off instead of waistband&hemming, all done otherwise – no hammers though, just plain this time!
    and while I’m at it I’ll root out his measurements too…

    • My own commenting has been down, woefully… And I keep meaning to continue our conversation about the pants, it’s just Tira and Pavvy jumped in and that work has been paused for a little while… :) And thank you for the measurements. :)

  11. The hummingbird skirt sounds right up my street. And the lamingtons sound right up boyfriend’s street, if I can tear myself away from sewing for myself. Can’t wait to see them.

    • Yes! I’m all kinds of excited about both projects… Well ok, I’m pretty much excited about everything lately, I’m sure I come off like an excitable chihuahua at times.. ;)

      :D Soon. Soon.

  12. A men’s pattern? Yay! Although, I would probably have more luck with my hard work being actually worn if it went down to small enough sizes to accommodate tween/teen boys. Just a suggestion!
    If your survey is still up in a week when my husband gets back from OS I will contribute his sizing.

    • I can do that. Email me their ages and measurements, I was on the fence about whether to include xxs for tweenies anyway. :) Like I said, men’s hips are much easier to predict than women’s….

  13. Ok. That’s it. You are officially my favourite designer. Love. Love. Love. It’s like you are reading my mind and have analysed my body shape and producing the perfect patterns for both my taste and my shape. I’m so excited about hummingbird and the pavlova I was trying to resist until I’ve worked through some of my stash, but it’s no good, I’m going to get it right now. Thanks Steph. And I’m so chuffed you are from our little corner of the world. Congratulations and a huge well done. I feel very proud of your accomplishments and I’m very excited about what is coming in 2013.

    • Oh, you! Thanks… :) I’m chuffed you’re chuffed. So much chuff around here! ;) In the interests of being straightforward, I should say I’m a transplanted Texan… But thank you! I’m all for celebrating a bit of Aussie-ness with pattern names and that certain laid back casual thing y’all do like no place else… :)

  14. Really excited to hear your plans, Steph! I’m too much a selfish stitcher to make male trousers, but looking forward to seeing the Hummingbird! x

  15. Ahhhhh! Excited x1000! It just keeps getting better! I can’t wait to get one of patterns in my hands and start sewing. In totally regretting not getting a pattern in time for the Tira sewalong. I’ll have to catch up. But from the sounds of it, I won’t ever be able to catch you!

  16. I’m very pleased to hear about your Lamington line! (Although, I imagine thinking both men’s and women’s is very brain stretching). Men’s patterns are so rare, as you know, and I like the idea of a rugged pant.

  17. Hummingbird sounds and the inspiration pics look fantastic! The combo of a knit top and woven skirt will work so well for my workplace. Must bust out the measuring tape for the two men in my household tonight and add them to the survey. Although that probably means they’ll pester me for trousers :-)

  18. I’m terribly excited about this Lamington development! I have been working on a pants draft for Mr. Scramble for over a year now, and we still haven’t got it quite right. There are some specific challenges that come with drafting for a fuller-figured fellow-will your Lamington pants pattern/sewalong be addressing that?

  19. I’m looking forward to seeing Lamington and learning all sorts of things about men’s pants. I especially want to see how a slim leg works with mobility – that’s been my biggest challenge so far.

  20. Oh my goodness, I can’t wait for Lamingtons! I easily wear cargo pants 14 days out of 15, and my husband is down to two sturdy pairs of work shorts. Neither of us can function without at least five pockets.

  21. Oh my goodness, I can’t wait for Lamingtons! I wear cargo pants at least 14 days out of 15, and my husband is down to two sturdy pairs of “formal shorts”. Neither of us can function without at least five pockets.

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