Hummingbird Dress Ups

Blue with Pinkie Pants

It’s April 7 in Brisbane, the last day of the Hummingbird Peplum Top & Skirt presale.  I had a blast showing you the work that’s gone into this latest pattern, and y’all have ordered almost 200 Hummingbirds!  Thank you, I can’t wait to finalize the work and put it into your hands.

I’ve shown you the “photoshoot” pictures of my Hummingbird samples over the past few days: the Blue, Green, Pink, and Orange Hummingbirds.   These samples are my clothes, and also my work.  When I spend time living inside my drafts, I learn how the seams interact with the fabrics and with wear.  In the earlier stages of production, this helps me make design decisions.

So for the last post of the pre-sale, I thought I’d mix and match my Hummingbird samples with each other and some favorite pieces.  Beware: PINK!  Also,  I had a major case of weird-face while we took these photos, so cropped them out.

The Merino Top

I noticed while we took these shots that I sew quite a lot of pink!  Not just for Hummingbird, but all the way back to the Pinkie Pants I made last winter.  It’s slightly chilly outside lately, which means I can wear them again.  I’m not sure what all this pink means (does it mean anything?) but I think it’s safe to say I’ve broken my Black habit.  A few years ago, I wore and sewed black to the exclusion of other colors and made a No Black rule.  Now I have the opposite “problem”!

This merino is very light and textured, suitable for layering.  I didn’t layer here, and it shows a little the way it clings.  I can live with it.

Tulip Time

This Tulip version of the Hummingbird Top began life as an “ugly cheap” muslin, but the obnoxious print has grown on me.  It’s interesting, too, because you can see the effect the peplum cut has on a directional print.  See the version with my Pinkie Pants?  The tulips are on their side because the peplum is cut as a single seamless piece.   Ideally, I suppose the tulips would all “grow” upward.

This is called “nap”- or more accurately, a directional fabric would usually be cut using a “napped” layout.  The instructions sheet only holds so many cutting layouts, so I opted for the simplest and the seamless peplum.  After the pattern ships next month, I’ll share a few stripe and nap “challenge” layouts for us to play with.

Blue with Dickey & Cuffs of Shirting

This is another favorite.  This blue version is made with longer sleeves, sweater weight knit and woven accents.  It seems to wash and wear quite well, though the 100% cotton jersey has very little recovery.  When I first put it on, the top hugs my body closely.  Then it relaxes.  I think my perfect version of this top would be a heavier knit like this with just a touch of lycra to keep it from relaxing too much.

Hummingbird Green with my Tulle and Tencel Pavlova

Hummingbird Green with my Tulle and Tencel Pavlova

Speaking of PINK, I couldn’t help but show you my favorite Pavlova/Hummingbird combination.  The two sets of separates live very happily together in my wardrobe, by the way.  I wear this drapey tulle skirt with shaped Tencel lining and knit waistband all the time, it’s light and cool and fun to wear.

Overall, I think the most wearable Hummingbird is the denim one, though I have worn all of them multiple times.  I have some hemp-cotton denim heading my way, I’ll be sure to let you know how that fabric turns out.

Hummingbird Peplum Top & Skirt

Hummingbird Presale Ends at midnight April 7 in Anchorage, Alaska.  The pattern will not be available for this special price again, RRP $22 once printed.

The Stay Tape Giveaway and Naming Poll close at the same time, I’ll announce the winner and the girl’s name tomorrow!  Thanks for playing along!  (So far, Pearl is in the lead!)

What do you think about all my pinks?  Should I branch out into neutrals and blacks?  The problem, of course, is that black doesn’t photograph very well..

And also… What cut/technique variations would you like to see tutorials for while Hummingbird ships?


  1. I love your outfits and combinations of the Hummingbird. It’s so cool to see a pattern already made up in different variations and with different stylings before I “have to” get started on it. Now I can envision a lot more outfits for myself than with only the pattern envelope (and my brain) as an inspiration.

    Of course I also hope that your daughter had a magnificient Birthday! Happy Birthday to little Lila :)

    And I’d love to make a long-sleeved Hummingbird top. But I guess that’s pretty easy, because of the cut on sleeve.
    Other than that, I have no other wishes for tutorials but am looking forward to see what you come up with :)

    • Thanks! I like to make my drafts up in different weights and textures of fabric to see how they’ll behave, and aim to make patterns that are useful for a range of fabric types… So it seemed sensible to try them on together and show you how they look. I like that I wear my samples, even if that means they’re clothes and not really suited for display… :) I’m pleased it’s helpful to you to see them mixed up together.

      Lila had a lovely day, thank you! :)

      Yes, it’s pretty easy to extend the line of the sleeve for a longer version, or to create a separate sleeve piece as in this hack:

      The tutorial I’m most looking forward to is the Hummingbird Dress. I can’t stop thinking about her! :D

  2. All very pretty Steph! Think I like the blue one best.

    Tutorials? Set in Sleeves on wovens. Especially if you have small arms, such a small opening! Did some. All wrinkly and uneven sewing. Hard to maneuver in the machine. Unless you already have this tutorial as I’m a fairly new follower of your blog.

    • Thanks, GJ. I think I like the blue the best too, but probably due to the fabric and color. I’ve used this sweater knit in the past and just love it.

      Well… I don’t yet have a pattern out or in the works for a set in sleeve on a woven, but there is a definite fingertip knowledge that helps set in that kind of sleeve. I’ll think about it, I just looked through my archives and discovered I’ve never posted about that so it’s a good one… I like my technique, it’s quite smooth… :)

  3. Thanks for showing the tops with pants. They look great! I really appreciate seeing your mix and match outfits because I don’t have much of an imagination on my own. But give me some ideas and inspiration (like you have!) and then I’m raring to go!

    I love the bright colors. I’d also like to see some neutrals, just because it can make an outfit seem totally different.

    1. Lengthen/Shorten – I know I’m going to have to add a couple of inches to the H-bird skirt. I’m really tall and always have to add a lot of length, and sometimes I’m not sure if it’s a good thing to add it all in one place, but then I don’t know how to divvy it up. I hope that makes sense. (FYI – the visual guide for lengthening the Pavlova wrap top helped immensely!)
    2. Waistbands – Before Pavlova, I’d only ever done elastic casing waistbands, and I did have some trouble figuring out the bound waistband. I’d really appreciate your help for a regular waistband. Thanks!

    • Thanks! I like them with the pants, too. No imagination? That’s ok, I think I have enough for both of us… :)

      I think I may go on a “no new pink” rule for a while like I did with black. So. Much. Pink.

      Sure, shorten and lengthen is a good one, and I’ll add that to the Visual Reference guides.

      Yes- the double bound edge was a little trickier than intended, and I’ll be sure to make a nice clear step-by-step guide to creating a polished and simple straight waistband. :) For sure.

  4. oh, two more ideas for tutorials:

    1. any tips/techniques for a denim Hummingbird skirt , e.g. rivets, yoke, jeans-style waistband, topstitching, etc.
    2. working with stretch wovens for Hummingbird skirt


    • Yes and yes, those are on my list and I’m glad to know you’re interested! I have another one for pegging the longer version of the skirt, and for using drapey drapey fabrics with the long version, too. I made one up in a fine wool crepe to check that it looks nice, and it does! She just didn’t make it into the presale, I wanted to save that one for a little bit later… :) Very drapey, very 30’s.

  5. I have been looking at some hemp fabrics for a while now, so will be really interested in your experiences with it.
    I don’t have much need for really dressy clothes, so would be interested in some fabric ideas for making these playground (and winter) friendly.

    • Well, I’ve sewn with all kinds of hemp fabrics from heavy canvas types, to silk-blended satins to hemp rayons and it’s one of my favorite fibers for a raft of reasons… Mostly for durability and the beautiful way it ages. I’m looking forward to playing with this hemp-cotton denim, if it’s solid and does what I want it to I’ll most definitely publish the source… :)

      Winter-friendly…? Hmmm… How winter-friendly? :)

      • Wellington winter – fairly mild, no snow but big wind chill! :-) I guess I want to know if it will lend itself to lining/underlining so it doesn’t stick to my tights!

        • Oh, I see no reason not to line the skirt… or use a heavy fabric? That might not be preferable for the Pink view, though.. I can make a vis. ref for making the lining pieces, just cutting them from the same outer fabric won’t cut it. Hmm. Let me think about this one for a week or two, because I’m wondering if it’s worth it to line a skirt that hits above the knee? But then again, I don’t live in a cold climate… Hmmm..

  6. I’m excited to see you will be showing a dress variation.
    Have you thought about a variation that takes the fullness out of the peplum and thus gives a smooth line?

    • You know, the thought hadn’t occurred to me, but as soon as I read that I had a simple idea of how to do it so yes, yes I will make a supplement for that. :)

  7. You have already answered my biggest wish, the hummingbird dress. Can’t wait for that. With winter coming up I can see the straight skirt in a corduroy fabric so I guess you will cover that also with the napped placement you mentioned earlier.

    As for colour, yes I do wear black a lot also but do agree its hard to follow in photos. Perhaps a grey is a good alternative, as it still fits in the colour palette but perhaps photographs better?

    • Well, the skirt layout is already suited for nap, so that’ll be helpful for you. :) I really want to make a Hbird from cord, too!

      Gray might be a nice alternative. I haven’t worn much gray for years, but I do like it…

  8. Haha, I remember when you talked about banning black. Was that during the PR wardrobe contest? I don’t think you sewed anything black in it. But yeah, I think you’ve thoroughly stomped that habit. Might be time to give a couple black basics a try. You know, it could be fun to include some piping or lace along seamlines of a black Hummingbird skirt to show off the lines and define the black a bit more! :D

    Also, I love all the pinks! ALL THE PINKS.

    AND ALSO, I think that I might have to make a warm sweater-weight Hummingbird top for next winter! I live in layers, but I’ve been wanting to find more warm tops I can wear alone without freezing and putting on bulky sweaters.

    AAAAAND I’m done. :)

    • Yes! It might have been all the way back at that first wardrobe collection that I decided to ban black. I made a black pencil skirt that time, and a black and white blouse…

      oooooh I like your thinking about the piping/lace. I also found a super cute Hello Kitty embellished skirt, I might be tempted to do a similar thing: Ooooh maybe with glow in the dark fabric? Oooh, or a skull… I’m not too old for glow in the dark fabric yet, surely!

      Oh good, I’m glad you like the sweater Hbird…. I was thinking her through while everyone was asking me for Tiramisu sleeves and I was kicking myself for not including them… :)

  9. i kind of like the sideways tulips – they make the peplum look even more flowy.
    i suppose any colour can become a wardrobe basic. maybe pink is your new black ;)

    • I kind of like them, too. :)

      Pink is my new black, hmm? It certainly looks so, and I don’t mind particularly. It just wasn’t completely intentional and made me laugh when I realized how much pink I have…

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