Hummingbird Presale Begins with a Naming!

$14.50 pre-sale price on Etsy!  Click for listing.

$14.50 pre-sale price on Etsy! Click for listing.

The time has come!  I am very pleased to introduce you to the next Cake Patterns installment: the Hummingbird Peplum Top & Skirt.  The pattern can be used to create four distinct garments suitable for women who work- from playground to grocery shopping to the office, Hummingbird will keep you looking smart and comfortable.  (Not to mention the pockets are calibrated to hold i-devices!)

Picture 14

From now until April 7, I’ll show you what I’ve sewn from the pattern, the vintage and modern couture inspiration for the cut, and the other Cake goodies I’ve been working on to simplify your sewing.  You can see my schedule of posts at  Just like the sewalongs, each day one or two more of those links will go live and I’ll tell you what you need/want to know.  I figure it’s a nice way to keep things tidy.

Speaking of keeping things tidy… Rather than hit you with all the views of all the samples of all the Hummingbirds I’ve stitched up in the past 6 weeks during production, I’m opting for a slower reveal over the next 10 days.  This outfit has rapidly become a favorite of mine, even though in this weather a cotton sweater knit is a bit silly.  I don’t care!   To see more details and read a bit more about the Hummingbird Blue top, do check out the Gallery Page on Sewingcake.  I like these gallery pages.  Later I can easily add “worn in” photos for you to see as well as subsequent makes from the cut for easy comparison.  Neat!


Maya | Cake Patterns

Mikhaela makes the cover art (ooooh la la, she outdid herself this time) and I model for it.  In the interests of body-diversity, we tweak my photos and play with colors and accessories.  I could not resist showing off my 23Skidoo shoes and red leather bag on the cover, they’re perfect with this outfit!

We both spend a lot of time creating these characters.  Because it’s fun and we can’t help ourselves. And because eventually we’ll have cast of characters to feature on Cake Covers.  In fact, I believe Penelope is planning a comeback for Red Velvet.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Because we spend a lot of time with these characters, they have histories and backstories and idiosyncrasies enough to fill a novella.

For example- Maya is a young law school grad working legal aid for textile outworkers.  She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where her parents moved back in the 70’s.  To pay the bills, they took in garment piecework.  This kind of work tends to completely consume households- everyone chips in to help assemble the coats/dresses/shirts in the shortest time possible.  This kind of work does not pay well, but it’s work and it pays the bills.  Her parents instilled in Maya a tough work ethic, but they also prioritized education and are extremely proud of the contribution their daughter makes to Australian society.    Maya is her own woman, “true blue” to her fingertips and though she’s sweet and shy she likes to make a splash by wearing bright colors.

Picture 15

And who is this mysterious background girl?  I know so much about her- she’s Penelope’s best friend despite a 15 year gap in their ages.  She’s a graphic designer living in NYC, she’s sharp-tongued and witty but also extremely kind when she thinks no one’s watching.  Her hair smells like Moroccan Argon Oil and she’s always extremely well-dressed and impeccably groomed.  She and Penelope met one day in the park when her German Shepherd chased Penelope’s little son up a tree, and they’ve enjoyed Friday nite wind-downs on Penelope’s back porch together ever since.

What is her name?  Since y’all did such a great job naming Penelope, I thought I’d leave this up to you.  Mikhaela and I have tossed around all kinds of names but nothing stuck.   Let’s hear some names, I’ll pick a few over the weekend and then we can vote next week.  Want to play?


    • I saw that in the news! Freddievon Fred on Twitter said y’all are in Narnia under the rule of the White Witch, and from what I saw on the news I think she might be on to something. Wow.

      It’ll warm up! Probably! :)

  1. Athena, she is the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.

  2. Eek! So excited about Hummingbird! Just waiting for the results of the sewalong before I buy. :) Name suggestion: Nora

  3. I’m so excited!!! I can’t wait to try the new paper this will be printed on as well. You are truly building an amazing business!

    I feel like mystery girl would have an older sounding name that she has rebelled against by being a strong business woman in NYC. Something like Deborah, which she’s shortened or Doris.

    Or lets be wild and call her Pearl! In this drawing she looks so cool and round, and I mean that in a good way!

    Now I’ll quit writing my own stories about your characters! :) Can’t wait to see what you decide!

    • That’s a really interesting angle, I like that… And Pearl is nice! :)

      Feel free to make up stories of your own.. Absolutely.

    • Why not? If you seriously want to help change that, then please email me. The only reason I don’t offer broader sizing is because I don’t have a muse.

  4. How about Simone? She is one daughter of a French Canadian family who used to travel down to NYC on family vacations to enjoy art, culture and fashion. She may have attended art school in the Big Apple. Simone exudes natural chic and self confidence!

  5. When I first saw her a few posts back, my first throught was Clara. :)

    Wow, I can’t believe how quickly you’re releasing these patterns. I haven’t even received my Pavlova yet and you’re on presales for the Hummingbird! :D Way to go! Are you going to keep up this rate? If so, I might have to be more choosy over which patterns to buy (although that looks like it’ll be really hard). lol

    Also, I only just now realized why you chose to call this top the Hummingbird. Haha didn’t even click until you showed the picture of the hummingbirds beside the pattern!

    • Ah, well, Pavlova’s presale was way back in December, and this is late March… I’ve been thinking I want to streamline the process to make more patterns… The next “big” release is the Lamington Pants, it’s a men’s pattern. And a raft of Riffs, they’re driving me crazy so I need to put them on paper and send them out into the world. Riffs are “stripped down” for int/adv sewists and the price reflects that.

      I called it Hummingbird after my favorite Cake? Also there’s a few birdlike aspects of the design. Suggestions, subtleties. Like the little tailfeather flounce… Oh I love her.. :) And at some point, I started thinking of driven youngish working women as “Hummingbirds” and then a little while ago I heard this piece on NPR: And I was like… Get out of my head!

      • Oh yeah, I forgot it was back in December! lol It just seemed super recent, but then, I can’t quite accept that it’s March, never mind nearly the end of it. Year is flying by!

        lol oh that’s funny! Sounds like Hummingbird was just meant to be. I’m excited about the top (and the skirt, it’s more “my style” than a circle skirt (although I’m excited to finally try out a circle)), although considering that I only have 2 more pieces of knit in my stash, I’m going to have to either buy online or see if anything on the one lone shelf for knits at our local and only fabric shop has anything decent. It’s more miss than hit, but I did find that lovely denim knit there, so I can’t count them out yet!

  6. Edith or Edna – for obvious reasons. :) (The hair / the impeccably groomed / style sense / etc / etc they remind me so much of Edna mode – a character in Incredibles who was created after Edith Head)

    Never look back, darling! It distract from the now. – Edna mode.

    Totally sounds like what the kady dressed in green and pink would say..

  7. I like Nadia too.
    I love, love, love the pictures of you modelling. Disney’s Snow White did pop to mind because of the red/yellow/blue combo and your dark hair. I mean this in the nicest possible way; she is a strong image for a reason. The artist who drew her knew what they were doing.

  8. My first thought was to name her Elizabeth, maybe shortened to Beth. But on a second thought I would prefer the name Rebecca. It doesn’t sound too cute but is shorter than Elizabeth. I don’t know with what the name Rebecca is associated in English-speaking countries but for my German tongue it sounds a bit sharp and sophisticated still nice and ‘clear’.
    By the way I love your new pattern and the stories behind the covergirls!

  9. If she is in her late 30’s or 40’s her name needs to resonate with that era. So, I say Jo. It’s my sister’s name, short for Joanne, which she associates with being told off by Mum, so she is always Jo. My Jo is a lot like your Jo – different back story but sleek and shapely and sassy. :)

  10. I’d say she’s a Rebecca. To my German tongue this name sounds a bit stern and maybe even sophisticated while still being warm and clear.

  11. Ruby

    (or in the words of the song Ruby Ruby, Ruby RUBY… sorry can’t help myself my son loves that song and shouts it in the car…)

    Looking forward to Hummingbird

  12. My suggestion is Anna after Anna’s Hummingbird native to North America. I also like Ruby which was suggested above and made me think of the Ruby Throated hummingbird.

  13. Olive! Although I have to admit Pearl is a good one, too…Man, I love your patterns! I finished my Tira although I never got around to posting it and I LOVE that dress! Have already worn in a million times and it’s so freaking comfy. I may have gotten salad dressing on it which stained a bit but I am still wearing it all the time. Now I need to make like 5 more. e

  14. Is it too late to throw Kim in the pot? Kimberly completed her retirement savings at the age of 20 dealing blackjack, has turned down more eligible suitors than she cares to count, and finishes her best work in the small confines of her antique claw-foot tub.

    Her hairdresser’s name is Jean-Louis.

  15. Iris is the name that I hear in my head when I look at her. So much so that Iris will probably be what I call her, even if you name her something else!

  16. What about Ruby? Every Ruby I’ve ever met has a very awesome and distinct personality. I also have to put my .02 in for Dawn. It’s my name but that’s not the reason I’m submitting it. It’s different, was only slightly popular during the late 60’s and early 70’s, and is artsy.

  17. I am love, Love, LOVING your Cake patterns, Steph! When I first saw the pic of the unnamed friend Penelope, the name Joyce just popped in my head. After reading through some of the comments, I do like Magda and Ruby. Those 3 just seem to fit. Of course ‘Judi’ or Judith wouldn’t be bad either. ;)

  18. I first thought Joyce when I saw her. She just looks like a Joyce I do like the suggestions of Magda and Ruby also. :) Of course, Judi or Judith isn’t a bad choice either. ;)

  19. Pingback: Name That Girl Poll, Tins and A Giveaway! « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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