Creating Order: SewingCake.com

Have you missed me?  I missed you.  After the presale ended last week* I became a drafting-production-sewing-coding hermit.  It’s been an extremely productive week.

For example, now I can show you the real sewingcake site- the one that has been living in my head and on my hallway corkboard for quite a little while.  For some time, when I looked at the sewingcake site I saw this:

Chaos in Cake Central

a shot of my sewing room after a ransacking

But now, it’s more like this:

Another shot of my sewing space

Another shot of my sewing space

I knew I had to spend some time organizing and refining the site so you could find what you need more easily.  It’s still not completely finished, but this is much closer to the visual reference type site I envisioned…

New Homepage

Picture 1

The top of the main page on sewingcake.com still features the basics, and also a new contact page.  Below that is the slider.  I like the slider, it reminds me of the old 3 Hours Past header that I used to fill with pretty photos of the beach and fabric.  On sewingcake.com, the newest few posts will show in the slider so it’s easy to check in for the latest visual reference guide.

Picture 2

Below the slider, you’ll find the heart of sewingcake: Support, Community and Cake Samples.

Sewing & Fitting Support

Picture 3

This is the biggest section of sewingcake.com, devoted to sewing and fitting support for Cake Patterns.  Here you’ll find sizing and visual reference guides arranged by pattern.  It’s also possible to browse beginner topics, the sewalong archive, errata, or just dive right in to browse all support topics as a photographic index.

Community

Picture 4

The Community pages are all about you all and your sewing, and the variety of garments that come from a single pattern.  Y’all are amazing- dextrous fingers, big smiles, lovely fabric and so much enthusiasm.  (Can’t wait for the H-bird Sewalon!)  I played around for some time, trying to create community galleries to showcase your makes before finally completing the Pavlova Separates Community Gallery and the Tiramisu Dress Community Gallery.  I imported your photos from the sewalongs, and from blogs and social media.  Check it out.

If you are featured in the Community Galleries and wish to be removed, please contact me.  stephc at 3hourspast dot com.

If you are not in the galleries but you tagged your photo in the Flickr stream, try allowing sharing on your account.  I think that some accounts default to this setting, and that’s why some of the House Prize photos weren’t showing before.

If you have a blog post of a Cake Make and you’d like me to add it, email me the link please.

Cake Samples

Picture 5

One of my aims with Cake is to create patterns for clothes that are worn.  To that end, I wear them myself.  To rags, generally.   I always tweak my first draft for wearability or simplicity based on my experience wearing the garment over a couple of weeks.  Does it chafe?  Does it bind?  Where and why?  How can that be eliminated?

I like to wear my samples because it’s one thing to sew up a pretty sample garment to wear for photos (nothing wrong with that, it’s just not me), and quite another to create a garment that washes well and looks nice even when exposed to Real Life.

 Over the next few weeks I have several new releases to show you (ooooh yes!  we have RiFFs!).   I hope you’ll see through the galleries how I mix and match with my patterns for different looks over time.  I’m also pretty pleased that I can easily show “ironing board fresh” photos alongside “washed and worn for a long time” photos.  That’s what I’m doing with these galleries.

The gallery pages are not complete, I need to collect all my own scattered Tiramisu photos and make a gallery- maybe in time for the reprint next month….

I’ll be writing a few times a week until the Hummingbird Peplum Top & Skirt patterns ship.  Then we can have some Shipping Season fun with Hummingbird cutting and fabric variations.  I have a dress…!

What do you think?

Please be gentle.  I’m no coding wizard.  But I would like to maintain an easy to use site, so I’m interested in constructive criticism.  Enthusiasm is always appreciated, too.

*I have had many emails lately from those seeking to purchase a Hummingbird pattern even though the presale is closed.  I don’t know what to do, so I leave this to you.  Should I:

1- Make them wait until the patterns ship, as has been done before

2-Make the Hummingbird pattern available now through Etsy for RRP, with a shipping notification in the listing

3- ?


14 comments

  1. looks good – will take time to look through a bit more closely. i should also add my better pics into the flickr galleries! re hummingbird, i would say let them buy now for the RRP – why nopt? it’s not like htey’ll be getting it any earlier.

    • Thanks! And yes, you can update the photos at any time, I think that’s one of the strengths of having the galleries set up that way. So it’s easy for you to add/eliminate/link to your blog/etc. :)

  2. Welcome back! At first glance the new site looks great. I couldn’t code to save my life so I’m very impressed! And I agree with Sew Little Time. RRP with a shipping notification is a fair way to proceed, I think.

    • Kind of back. I still have a lot of hermiting work to do, and it’s amazing what I get done in a day when I don’t spend 2-5 hours working on blog posts… Know what I mean? But I do miss it, too. Sigh. Balance!

      Thanks, I went ahead and did that since y’all think it’s alright…:)

      • I know the feeling….I’ve had a super busy few weeks and am feeling decidedly swamped and incapable of making any headway or decisions. Good job I don’t run a business any more! Things will change in September when they are both in school. Till then, well, sometimes you’ve just got to cut yourself some slack… ;-)

  3. I think option 2 would benefit everyone best. They can place their order now but not get the benefit of those who got their orders in on time for the presale.

  4. screenshots look good, will have a proper look around at home. Teaching myself webdesign/code is on my list of things to do over the summer – I have a very complete mental image of a (totally non sewing related) website that I want to set up.
    Re hummingbird I’d list it on Etsy @ RRP with the anticipated shipping date clearly stated, preorder rather than presale.

    • Thanks, Louise. I mostly learned by making messes and then cleaning them up, checking the codex, manipulating shortcodes, etc. I’m most comfortable with plain html, but I never had a class or anything. If I had some time, I’d take the Standford online beginner computer languages class, and then take CSS and HTML if they offered it. But I don’t have the time….

      Isn’t it frustrating when you can see very clearly what you want to accomplish and it just doesn’t happen? Arrrrrgh. Now I’m wondering what your site would be… Hmmm…

  5. Hi Steph, Glad to see you back! :)I checked out the new sewingcake.com and found it really easy to navigate. I had a lot of fun perusing site. Also reminded me that I need to post a picture of my finished Pavlova skirt! :) I’ll chime in with the others to vote for option #2 – list Hummingbird on Etsy as a preorder at RRP with the anticipated ship date. Looking forward to seeing those RiFFs! Lastly, a couple of questions about Hummingbird. Will the green top with a pieced peplum have a lower fabric requirement? I’ll probably sew a 30 bust and am wondering if I’ll be able to squeeze it out of a yard of fabric. And would a medium weight linen work for either of the skirts? Thanks!

    • Half back! I have a couple of little posts about small things I’ve been working on, that kind of thing…

      Oh, I’m glad you like it! :) That’s the aim. If it were a house, I’d say I have the foundation and floor and the skeleton of the house in place to hold up the roof. Maybe a few outer walls built, but there’s still more to do. But- that will come over time as I add patterns, so it’s quite the way I want it for now. Such a relief.

      Yes- those fabric requirements are the maximums as far as I could calculated. Because the Hbird Top is adjustable for front length independent of “size,” I used the longest front length to find the amount of fabric to use. I have two user-friendly, simple yardage calculators based on front waist length. It’s not at all complicated, but I didn’t want to put it on the envelope, opting instead to go the safe route of max fabric. And yes, pieced peplums will use less fabric. We’ll talk about it, I promise. You are so tiny, I am sure you’ll get a top out of a yard. I can squeeze one for myself out of a meter, but again, I didn’t want to put that on the envelope because it’s a “harder” cutting layout. On the official releases I want to go for simplicity first… :)

  6. StephC, Can I just say how much I love your site and your patterns?! I just finished my second tira last week and my Pavolova pattern is all traced and waiting to be cut. I’ve also been singing your praises to my mom and anyone who will listen! I really like the new Cake site; it is much easier to navigate and I like that the galleries are right there for inspiration. And being someone who didn’t buy the Hummingbird yet (budget…sigh) but would like to I’d say option #2. That way people know they have to wait but you may get some extra business as people can order right now vs having to come back to the site.

  7. I’ve missed your postings too. I think the new site redesign looks great! I love how you really care about your patterns and the people who sew them. Thank you for the personal attention.
    I vote #2. If someone wants to buy now that’s ok. It’s not like they are going to get the pattern any sooner than those that pre-ordered.

  8. Hi Steph,
    i like your tidier site much better!
    Tiny glitch: the link to the Cake Sample Gallery on the left bar isn’t working.
    Constance

  9. It looks good to me, though I did not have time to look through it closely. It’s certainly less cluttered, although I miss some things now – namely, the 5% page.
    Also, there are still Piece of Cake links scattered throughout – I guess those should be removed now? http://sewingcake.com/stockists/
    I kind of miss the Pinterest galleries… maybe you should include a link somewhere, if you do not mind sharing, because they are a good inspiration for styling the Cake pieces.
    Still – great job, I have trouble just making my blog look the way I want it to, and I’m using a pre-made theme. :D


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