Cabarita In Reverse, Bias Knit Tops and Authenticity

May Shipping Season Headline

Hey everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend!  I was busy keeping the shipping orders for May tidy.  We have a shipment for mid-May that will include the Hummingbird Separates and the Cabarita RiFF.  In late May, we’ll be shipping the Bonny RiFF and the Second Edition Tiramisu Knit Dress.  We’re shipping from three distribution points in the US, the UK and Australia (not to mention the simultaneous electronic pdf releases!).  It’s my job to make sure everyone receives their pattern in the timeliest/most efficient way possible.  Good thing I love my spreadsheets! (And yes, we have some pretty colored envelopes for Hummingbird Sewalong House Sorting!)

Last week I introduced you to the RiFF range and told you a little about each pattern.  This week, I’ll go a little deeper so you can see the “re-make-ability” built into Cake patterns, even the lighter-weight RiFF Range.

Turn It Around!

Playground Cabarita

While Cake Tops are proportioned so the back is narrower than the front, at the end of the day we’re working in the realm of knit tops, not couture evening gowns.  Reversability isn’t applicable to every Cake Patterns release, but it definitely works for the Cabarita Knit Top.  I showed you this sample last week with the half roll collar in the front, but what do you think of it in the back?  It works, even for a bustier figure like mine.

Reversible Cabarita RiFF

Part of the reason this works is because the back is cut on the bias.  Some time ago, we talked about knit bias, what it means, and whether it’s a “thing.”  It’s definitely a thing.   Basically, I find that knit fabrics cut on the bias behave more or less the same way we’d expect bias wovens to behave but more so.  For knit fabrics, the bias effect is exaggerated.  I like this, bias is a great way to use a simple cut that will flatter and accentuate curves.  It also works well for those who are less curvy, and it means we can have fun with chevrons!

worn here with denim hummingbird skirt

worn here with denim hummingbird skirt

I like a knit top with a CF bias seam because it tends to mold to my figure more than a straight cut, while not revealing too much.  I find this is also true at the back- in my experience and observation bias backs are less likely to develop pooling and folds of fabric like a straight cut.

Reversible Cabarita RiFF

Last week, I mostly shared photos of me wandering around Cabarita Beach wearing my Cake Makes.  Cabarita is so pretty!  I wanted you to see the inspiration for the RiFF’s name.  We had called this design “Riviera” during production but at the last minute I changed my mind.  I’ve never been to the Riviera, and calling my favorite summer top by that name felt a little false.  Instead, I used the name of my favorite beach- the place I love to visit with my family to escape from the city in the summer.  I like to think of it as sharing a bit of my life with you.  Through the sewing.

Reversible Cabarita RiFF

This week, I thought I’d share a little of what my daily life looks like.  We took these photos when I went to pick up my tiny girl from school.

That’s Cake.  Cake is beaches and woods and buses and playgrounds and sidewalks and grocery stores and parties- I try to show you how I wear my clothes by sharing a little look at my life.  This walky-bridge-thing was harder to negotiate than it looked, I very nearly slipped off and landed on my bottom!  I suppose the cloud of tulle in my Pavlova skirt would soften the fall.  (Yep, I’m that lady who wears tulle in casual settings…)

Your Thoughts

What do you think about my reversed Cab?  What do you wear to pick up your kid(s) from school?  What about “authenticity” in blogging/fashion?  I try very hard to walk the tightrope between “reality” and “fantasy” with our photos, but I’m always wondering where to draw that line. (True story, for these photos I wore a touch more makeup than usual…)


Picture 6

Speaking of context for clothes, have you SEEN Me Made May this year?  I’m sitting it out because almost everything I wear is Cake/Future Cake and I thought it would be weird.  But wow- this year looks so polished and there’s tons of people!  How wonderful!  Go look, go look!  I always love seeing a pattern I’ve made myself (Cake or otherwise) on another person.


  1. I like the reverse Cabarita. I think I will make it this way. I have ordered both tops. Looking forward to the swatches for the Hummingbird.

  2. Oh dear, my pattern collection is going to grow again. I feel the need to purchase both riff patterns and the second edition of the Tiramisu as I still have the test version on polytrace as my regular one at the moment. Hopefully I might get a chance to participate in the Hummingbird sew along as my effort with the Pavlova failed. It was a crazy time for me!

    As you know, I don’t get to go to school and pick up children – I teach them! I see a lot of Lorna Jane lycra clad exercise bunnies at our school gate, some in shorts / jeans and t-shirts and many parents dressed in corporate wear as their coming from / heading to work.

    Miss Lila looks so grown up in her uniform even if she is still tiny!

    • oh! I completely forgot that you don’t have the final Tira! My brain is like swiss cheese sometimes, Diane. Thanks so much for working with me on that pattern, btw. :) Hummingbird Sewalong should be great fun, I’m just starting to pull those files together.

      You do teach! I knew when I put that up there it was pretty much only aimed at school age mothery types, but I’m sure we have some around here… I was never in the LJ crowd, but I totally know the ones you mean… :)

      She’s SUCH a big girl. And I’m really impressed with the quality of the education. Two teachers, small class size, fully 21st century learning environment, music lessons, Japanese lessons, there’s really nothing I can complain of at all. Except that hideous uniform… I really can’t stand it so I mostly just focus on the lovely tiny person inside it…

  3. I ordered the Bonny Knit Sailor Top as well as the Cabarita Top pattern. I like the Cabarita in reverse. I always like a v-neck top in summer, and having an interesting back will be a nice change. I love the idea of having a knit top that I can wear two different ways, depending on my mood.
    The Bonny top i will be making without the Sailor collar. I love Princess seam dresses, so this top will fit into my wardrobe very well.
    At least Lila’s school uniform is nice and bright and i assume that it is very versatile.

    • Thanks, Ann! I think you’ll look great in them, I REALLY hope you decide later on to rock a sailor collar because it’d be so fun. :)

      Hmmm… Well.. The stitching on the uniform is terrible, but it’s constructed with seamlines that don’t allow me to alter it or improve the fit or appearance. It’s a polyester mesh that normally I wouldn’t put on her even to run around in the yard, and the fabric is already starting to look ratty. Honestly, I just don’t look at it and she changes into normal clothes as soon as she gets home… The uniform is still a rather sore point with me, I’m afraid!

  4. I prefer V necks anyway so I suspect I will try the Cabarita in reverse first! This is my first year participating in Me Made May but I am having a great time. I have only been sewing since the summer of 2011 so my sewing skills are still what I would consider advanced beginner. I am using the month to work out the fit issues on many of my first garments so that I will actually wear them.

    I learned to knit in the fall of 2011 and have included some knit garments in my daily MMM photos. In fact you even commented on my brown Shalom cardi!

    • MMM is such fun! I remember the year we did it like four or five times, and then Zo was all like “I can’t do this so often! Just May!” :) I always learned a lot and met heaps of new people during the MMM’s…

      Your Shalom cardi just leapt out at me from the stream and I was like “OOOOH! I have that too! We can be sweater friends!” :)

  5. I’m glad to know it works well on reverse! One of the reasons I ordered this RIFF was because I thought it would make a good nursing top after I have baby #3 in the fall if I turned it around.

  6. I like it both ways round, and I am also wondering whether there’s a way it could be made with two ‘fronts’, so that the roll collar goes all the way round? I think that would also look nice.
    Love the pics – Lila must be so proud to have a mummy who turns up at the school gate in pink tulle!

    • You know, my mom has been eyeballing this top every time I wear it when we Skype and she wants one like that, too. Collar all the way around. I bet it would be quite cool, and it could also work to have both a V-front and a V-back. So really it’s like… 8 different tops in one pattern if you count the sleeve length variations. I like that. :)

      Oh! Hehe. I don’t think she notices that mommy dresses like a fruitcake just yet, but she does love making me pick her up and twirl her around when I’m wearing big skirts. I hope she remembers dancing together in my big skirts and big hair when she’s older… :)

  7. Ooooooh, I think I may like the Cabarita this way with the collar on the back and the chevron at the front! It makes it look like a touch of a sailor style top. If you want it this way, do you still make it the same way as if you were to wear it the other way round and just wear it backwards? Can’t wait for mine to arrive!! :)

    • Yes, both of the first RiFFs are from tops I’ve been wearing and really like, and I think part of that is the little whiff of the sea they seem to carry, even though they’re easy wear knit tops..

      I’d not bother trying to re-proportion the front and back for this style to wear “backwards” though the side seams are a little bit closer to the front than is normal for side seams when it is worn backwards. You can see that a bit in the photos but I’m not sure it’s a big deal. :)

      It’ll come soon! She’s nearly finished.

  8. I wear my Pavlova stuff to work a lot (I teach elementary school), but my Tiramisus have to sit that out because the neckline is too revealing for that kind of setting. And something you ought to appreciate, Steph- the last time I wore my Pavlova sewalong ensemble to work, one of my first graders told me that I looked like a princess. :D

    And I soooooo plan to wear the shit out of my Bonny Sailor separates. I’ll probably have to wear a cami beneath it to raise the neckline and make it work appropriate, but I totally plan on using that future outfit to entice awesome swing guys at swing dances. Mwahahaha…

    • Yes, one of my Tiras behaves that way, I know what you mean. But not the others.. It’s possible to simply sew the CF shut along the binding seamline, too…

      Awwww! I love that you wear your makes to school and the kids love them! :) Lila always offers unsolicited critiques of my new makes, mostly she likes them.. :)

      It’s fairly simple to raise the neckline on Bonny but I know what you mean. She doesn’t gape over my bust, but there’s also a reason I didn’t post a bent-over shot either. It’s flirting right at the lower edge of where I like my necklines to sit but still perfectly wearable. And I think the lower neckline helps it move from “kiddie style sailor suit” to “I’m a grown woman and I like sailor collars…” :) I can’t wait to see yours.

      • See, I walk this precarious line of needing “respectable” work clothes, but also wanting pin-up style clothing for when I go swing dancing. This sailor top is right up my alley for the kind of stuff I like to go dancing in, and I can’t wait to make a matching skirt. Like I said, I think it will be perfectly school appropriate when I wear a white lace cami beneath it, to raise the neckline a little. That probably wouldn’t work with middle or high school, but in teaching elementary school, I have a little more leeway there. For one, students staring down my top isn’t a problem. ‘Tis such a shame that I won’t have such a delightfully 40s-ish outfit done in time for the closing of the production of South Pacific that I’m in. It would be so thematically appropriate.

        Btw, do you use pattern testers?

  9. I love the Calabrita in reverse! Means I’ll get double wear out of it. :) I don’t have a school-age child yet, but I’ve been loving playing with her in my Cake clothes – pavlova and Tiramisu so far. My 17 month old loves it when I twirl.

    • I didn’t realize you had a little tiny kid! Lovely. :) They’re so sweet at that age. And I think both of those styles are great for moms, we spend so much time reaching and bending and sitting on the floor and etc, it’s so much easier not to have to worry about keeping everything covered decently…. I’ve seen many moms at the park and etc bending over their prams and basically exposing themselves. I always think “Let me dress you! Pleeeeease!”

  10. I love these new Riffs! The Bonny is adorable, although I don’t really wear much sailor-inspired garment, but I’ll bet I could make it more me and less sailor! I’m tempted to get one, but I’m severly lacking in knits right now, and I kind of want to see if my Hummingbird actually makes it to the Yukon before I order any more patterns. Sadly, the Pavlova never did. While I’ve received packages from Australia within 2 weeks of mailing, it might be better to send my copy of the Hummingbird from the US. Maybe? I really don’t know, because I’m pretty sure it’s Canada Post that’s dropping the ball. :(

      • Well, I was being hopeful that it’d arrive in it’s own good time, but after receiving another package from Australia last week, approximately 11 days after it was shipped, I finally accepted that it’s probably not going to arrive. I kept meaning to email you, but work has kept me busy and I kept forgetting until I finally had time to catch up on your posts. :) (Which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, even if you’re horribly distracting from current projects!)

  11. I was wondering about cutting knits on the bias. It always seemed like a no-no for whatever reason. I thought I’d have to get some chevron knit or something. I bought some striped knit a while ago and was wondering what to do with it. Thanks for writing about this!

    I’m unofficially participating I Me Made May. I didn’t know if I’d have enough things to wear everyday to work so I couldn’t commit to signing a pledge. ;)

  12. can’t wait for cabarita. i think i’ll mix it up and make a couple. i had visions of a contrast collar – maybe a red top with a white collar? i like the idea of the roll collar all the way around. i’m in me made may and my cake patterns are getting a fair amount of wear as expected! it’s my first time and it’s really fun!

    here’s the mums are very leggings and uggs in winter and skinny jeans/ ballet pumps in summer. i’m not normally going off to work so am usually the smartest one there! i feel for you re the school uniform. nimah has to wear bottle green which i hate. but at least she can wear gingham summer dresses just now. i never put her in that style of clothing and i know she would hate it!

    • i AM normally going off to work i mean! and her name is Niamh, not nimah! i also like MMM as you can see how people really wear the clothes they make ratherthan facied up for blog pics!

  13. I ordered this top! I think it is so cool! Since May is Knits Stashbusting month and it is shipping before the end of the month I couldn’t resist any longer! I was wondering if you could reverse the front and backs and am glad to see you can with no pattern changes. I definitely want to try one with the roll collar all the way around as well.
    Excited to hear we’re having a Hummingbird sewalong! I enjoyed the one for Tira.

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