Cake has taken over every bit of my sewing room- new office equipment, production boxes (like the project boxes we used in the sewalong) and the kind of organizational system I could only dream about 6 months ago.
I’m cooling my heels while the Pavlova Wrap Top & Skirt production work is out of my hands (shipping and retail availability next month!), so I had the chance to work on Cake Batch Kits during the sewalong.
I learned the art of “kitting up” while working as a junior teacher under many talented senior quilting teachers these past few years. It was part of my job- cutting quilt kits to precise specifications. Kitting starts with a prototype, then sourcing the materials, then costings, writing instructions, cutting, and packaging the kits.
I am not the best or quickest kitter I know. Lucky for me, my good buddy P will contract the work to help me make Cake Kits! He cuts the kits to my specifications, packs to my lists and delivers the goods with astonishing speed. I never saw such a quick and accurate kitter, and I’m very pleased he’s happy to handle Cake Batch Kits.
These kits venture into “merchandizing” territory for this sewing teacher / pattern drafter. Cake is not a large corporation, and does not use credit or debt to purchase goods. It’s sensible for us to cut a small, set number of kits for you all and to have them here at Cake Central ready to go when you order them. It is not sensible to try to recreate the same batch twice due to unreliable fabric availability.
For now, this means that the “accent” fabric for Cake Kits is a cute little kawaii animals-and-cake fabric I found and couldn’t resist picking up. I’m a sucker for cute quilting cotton like anyone else!
Kits come with some assembly required, which keeps down production costs. We all sew, anyway, and the projects are simple enough for a beginner to tackle. Besides, I know that sewing people like to put things together their own way, or go off book entirely to make something completely original. Do it!
I find myself dissatisfied with the Tiramisu Knit Dress envelope paper. It seems to tear easily, especially with my rough and constant handling. We’re reviewing paper choices for future Cake releases. I’m not interested in reinventing pattern packaging, our final envelopes will still be envelopes, but tougher. In the meantime, I needed a sturdy place to store my master pattern, some tracings, and maybe a few fabric swatches during the sewalong.
I used Tiramisu’s envelope art to create a fabric panel printed on Spoonflower organic cotton sateen. Once my panel fabric arrived, I made up a little envelope cover and put the rest of the panels up on Etsy in kit form. They promptly disappeared so I gently revised the panel, created a Pavlova one, and ordered more panels.
The Tiramisu Fabric envelope kit comes with everything you see here- magnetic button, interfacing scraps, and a cute fabric facing for the flap.
My second sewalong brainwave came when several of you asked me for detailed information about how to buy fabrics. Words only convey so much information, and while I do what I can no words can replace the knowledge you gain through your fingertips while handling fabrics. Fingertip Knowledge is extremely difficult to convey without, well, using one’s fingertips.
In several of my local classes, I provide simple swatches as fabric shopping aids. I much prefer the sewing to be stress free and rewarding for those who attend my classes, and I find that swatch kits help alleviate many fabric choice issues. (uhm, sparkly pink lycra for woven pajamas? Yes, apparently…)
I made up a cute Fingertip Knowledge Swatch Book cover (so it’s pretty for you!) and had P chop my Pavlova remnants into nice little rectangles for us. I labeled the fabrics with weight in metric and imperial as well as with fiber type and weave indicators- these are records I keep for myself, why not share? I can provide distributor info to retailers upon request- email me.
I did this to help you choose fabrics with more confidence, and to sample out my remnants to clear a little space in Cake Central. Everybody wins. The Fingertip Knowledge books are extremely simple- little labeled pieces of fabric securely basted into an organic cotton interlock cover. It’s easy to baste in your own swatches for personal reference as you sew!
Pavlova went first because I had many of the fabrics still in my possession. I don’t have all of my exact Tiramisu fabrics on hand, but I do have some of them still and other fabrics in similar weights. I thought I’d ask y’all if that’s helpful or useful before I set P to kitting. I thought I’d include a nice polyester, too. What do you think?
Click here to view the Pavlova Fingertip Knowledge Swatch Kit on Etsy. (Tiramisu will follow shortly if you all authorize the use of non-sample fabrics.)
Cake Rolls are sweet little Steph-approved tool and swatch kits housed in a light and sturdy bamboo mat backing. The bamboo is easy to sew (no special needles or feet, just stitch it up!) and incredibly durable.
I included a nice sharp seam ripper($aud 8.95 rrp), quality glass headed pins ($aud 5.95 rrp), and a crayola washable marker. I have a “scientific” test of the marker and fabrics to post later this week, stay tuned. Crayolas serve me well.
Remember how I use corkboards as pincushions? The Cake Rolls feature little strips of cork for pins-in-action. The Cake Rolls are great little carrying cases for sewing essentials to take to classes, toss into your project box, or leave next to the sewing machine so you always have your essential tools at your fingertips.
In the future, I’d like to tailor the Cake Rolls for each new pattern release to include light and potentially difficult to source notions. For example, when we sew Lamington Pants with hammers, the Cake Roll kit will include rivets and buckles and etc- the same ones I use in my sample sewing.
This time, I included 1m samples each of fusible stay tape and fusible webbing- try it out before you buy a whole roll! (future rolls will also have the option to purchase only the tool and sample contents, for those who want the goodies but have a roll already.)
For an extra charge, I am happy to assemble your Cake Roll before shipping.
Click here to view Etsy listing for Cake Rolls.
Ah, postage, the bane of our existences. All Cake Kits are carefully weighed during the kitting process to keep the shipping costs as low as possible. Current kits can be shipped with other Cake kits to save on shipping! The maximum shipping cost for any two Cake Kits is $6.20- that’s to the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealanders will pay $4.50 and Australians a measly $1.20.
If your kit does not show up in a reasonable amount of time, I will do what I can to track it down or simply refund your purchase price. Lately this has come up very seldom, which does inspire confidence in the Australian postal service.
As always, don’t hesitate to let me know what you think about my projects. These are ready to go at the beginning of next week, which means the Pavlova fabric books and envelope will be in your hands before the pattern ships next month.
Do you have any questions? Did I leave out any details? I’ve been dropping hints around the social media and the Cake Updates email list for ages, it’s really nice to show you exactly what’s been happening around here while I wait for Pavlova.
(Pieces of Cake certificates and the grand prize winner to be announced tomorrow. Everyone will be notified. :))