I’m Back and I Have Presents for You (Giveaway + Free Pattern)

It’s been a while since I wrote an actual blog post!  I write a lot these days.  I write sewing instructions.  Good instructions are hard work, I go through five or six rounds of re-writing-as-I-sew before we print.  It’s the only way to write well about the details- just write, write and re-write.  I write online content for upcoming sewingcake.com pages, I write emails to suppliers and testers and Cake’s production team and our distributors.   I write and write and write to bring you delightful and useful patterns I hope you love and wear.

Red Velvet Collection small

All of this writing has gone into making the Red Velvet Collection.  This is what I briefly abandoned blogging for!  I couldn’t even manage to keep writing about the Three Graces, I’m very sorry about that.  (I have a few more, I think I’ll mix them in over the next month.)  The Red Velvet Collection is a self contained dress-wardrobe, it’s like a balanced little universe of its own.

The fabrics are dependable, washable staple fabrics, and I have some fancies we can play with later.   The Red Velvet Dress builds on and refines the bodice cup proportionate sizing found in Tiramisu.  I think the Espresso Leggings are the most exciting- custom fit leggings!  I can’t wait to show you how that works, the testing has been pretty spectacular.  Check out Cake’s Facebook page to see envelope backs for the entire collection.

The Red Velvet Dress, the Red Velvet Clutch, and the Espresso Leggings are printing right now!  Next week marks the 1-year anniversary since Tiramisu’s pre-sale.  I thought it would be nice to introduce our new dress wardrobe patterns to mark the date.  We’ll have .pdfs and paper presales, with shipping expected within two weeks.   We’ll focus on these three first, and then Cocoa and Carmine will follow in October.  (And yes, we’ll have a sorting/houses/sewalong! )

In the meantime, I have a free pattern for you!  I sampled the cute pleat detail and the interfaced inner structure from the full size Red Velvet Clutch and shrank her to make a mini Clutch.   The mini Clutch offers a preview of the slick new RiFF formatting, and the Clutch page itself is a little sneak-peek at the sewingcake.com renovations going on behind the scenes.  All the pages will be in the same place, just easier to find and navigate.

I made these from fabric scraps I had lying around, they’re so quick and fun to stitch!  At 7X4″ (17.8X10cm), the mini is a handy iphone-friendly size, perfect for holding tools, makeup, money or devices.  This pattern went live on sewingcake.com earlier this week and we already have some lovely new mini Clutches in the Sewcial Flickr group!

I’m giving away these three mini clutches, one each to three randomly chosen commenters below.  If you’d like to play, just leave me a comment telling me which Red Velvet Collection pattern has you most excited.   Extra point for pinning, facebooking, or tweeting this post.  Just leave me a comment below so I know and you’ll be entered!

It’ll be really fun to send these little lovelies out into the world!  Giveaway ends this Tuesday, September 24 at five minutes to midnight in Anchorage.  (Whew!)

In the meantime, I’ll be working hard in the lead up to the Red Velvet Collection launch!


    • Well, the two elements that give a red velvet cake its color are cocoa and carmine(aka red dye but carmine sounds nicer, doesn’t it?). It seemed a nice way to name the little dress-layering-pieces. :)

  1. Nice to see you back. I Love Red Velvet. I badly need short sleeve dresses, now. I am also keen to try the expresso leggings, no more rubbing thighs this Spring/Summer we seem to be having in Brisbane. The Coco and Carmine shrug/light jackets are gorgeous and will be very usefull in this crazy weather.

    • I miss you, Ann! We have to get together soon.

      Yes, the weather’s been mad lately… And Espresso should make excellent under-a-dress-shorts. :) I’m making up Cocoas/Carmines in lightweight fabrics too, for summer layering. I’m trying out that thing of wearing multiple whisper light layers this summer, we’ll see how I go..

      • Just had a thought, still have some loverly cream merino knit left. Will probably make a fabulous Carmine.

      • That was what I was thinking! I made a batch of bike shorts for myself last summer and I am going to need a new batch soon – I’m switching from leggings to shorts under dresses and my stockpile is reduced and sad. But the last batch had a dodgy fit so I need to hammer that out. Except now I don’t!

  2. Happy to read you again. It’s soooo hard to choose only one pattern! Let’s say the espresso leggins AND the red velvet dress, that I’m planning to wear together this autumn/winter. I seriously need this kind of versatile garments that can be easily adapted to any season ;-)

    • It’s good to be back! :) The leggings weren’t a part of the original plan, they just kind of happened one night and when we tested it worked!

  3. I’m most excited for the dress! I still have a tutorial for that Hummingbird hack in the works, btw. Life has interrupted a lot of my “serious” sewing time, but it will still be made!

  4. The idea of fitted legions puts me over the moon! Thanks for the free pattern! I love bags of all sizes, and this sounds like a good small project knitting bag – one skein of sock yarn?

  5. Missed you! You’ve been busy! I am very keen on red velvet, cannot wait to see how she looks on a model:)

  6. Can’t wait to make a Carmine or two, I think this is my favorite pattern. But while I wait for the pattern to be released I will enjoy making a red velvet dress or two and a billion of leggings :) I’ll need a Cocoa shrug to use with the dress, too, because in northern Italy winter is quite cold so please please please release it soon! :) Oh, by the way, I hate printing and assembling patterns but since it’s the most convenient way for me I’m over the moon about the printable envelope, my biggest problem is storing away all those ginormous patterns once they are all pieced together! :)

    • Ooooh Carmine is really re-make-able, lots of different ways to play with the collar and it’s pretty simple, too… The shrugs are really really close to completion, but we had to temporarily stop working on them to bring the other three patterns out. :)

      The printable envelope should be great! It can be printed on heavier paper or card, even… :) Depending on what you print it on it’d be sturdier than the paper pattern envelope…

  7. I’m really excited for the Carmine pattern. DH keeps saying I need some soft jackets if I’m in an office next year- and I think the Carmine pattern is cute enough to convince me.

    • She’s a bit like a classy sweatshirt, Carmine. Nothing too complex or overly “jacket-y” though I do have a couple of “taste of tailoring” posts planned… :)

  8. I’m torn between cocoa and carmine…both are really nice practical pieces. Since we are heading into fall here, if I had to choose one then, it would be carmine. Following this hemisphere’s seasonal theme, I think the clutch would be really cut in a woolen fabric (and I have lots of scraps!)

    • I’ve been wearing Cocoa for a while now, I have several and I thought “Well, if you like her so much and wear her all the time, just make a pattern already..!” :) The effect is great on the dreses (works well with Tira too), almost like a new bodice…

      Ooooh a woolen mini would be lovely! Upload her so we can all oooh and ahhh? :)

  9. We’ve missed you! And thank you for the free pattern – will definitely be making this. I’m a bit squeamish about leggings but mainly because they seem to slide down on me – so maybe making my own would remove the fear! Congratulations on your enterprise going from strength to strength :)

    • I missed you too!

      Making your own will give you greater say in the fit, and I’m really confident about the Espresso template. :)

  10. I’m so intrigued by the custom-fit leggings. I was planning to draft my own but now I’ll just wait for this pattern instead!

  11. Looks great! I still haven’t tried the Tiramisu dress, but this one looks tempting as well. The Carmine Shrug looks amazing, though possibly a bit beyond my skill level for now.

    • Heheh I thought your name was spam or something at first, but then I saw you have a blog by the same name! Nice.

      Carmine is pretty simple… Two underarm seams, an “edging” seam. That is all. She made me like polarfleece, actually… No mean feat… :)

  12. Aha! Our Steph is back! I’ve missed your sparkly posts……
    The whole freakin collection is fabulous and I will be getting everything except the leggings – I only wear stuff like that for yoga… my absolute favourite of the whole shebang is the Carmine jacket. So cute. Fabric might be tricky – I’m guessing this won’e need the only kind of knit I find here – lightish viscose with elastane, 4 way stretch. Ponti type? I really need to find a source online for that stuff. Ideally not in [polyester with lycra… I saw a ponti jacket by some designer which was made of mostly wool with some poly and lycra – dream on! Hey – I just remembered the merino knit I bought from NZ! that might work!
    Speed up the release, dude :D
    Steph – I have been pouring over the cake site as I am worrying my brain over why cuttin the Pavlova skirt seamlessly – or just with 2 seams – is a challenge…. isn’t it easier to have less seams to sew and press and finish? Please please please clarify!

    • I missed you too! You could use the viscose for carmine, for a really lovely and ruffly looking lightweight layering piece.. I have something like that in the works for summertime. :) Yes, the merino would work but ABSOLUTELY muslin it before cutting your nice merino. Ponti type works, sweatshirt material works, sweater knits work, polarfleece will work. :)

      I can’t speed up the release or the patterns will be inferior. Half baked Cake, something like that… :)

      http://sewingcake.com/knit-easy-pintucked-pavlova/ There we go! I’m really, really, super seriously working on something *amazing* to make sewingcake more navigable… It’s not exactly a challenge, it’s just a different way to cut. I think it’s faster, but it’s not always the best for fabric efficiency…

      • oh, cool! sweatshirt material and fleece, and sweater knits too! I was already eager and now Im too excited:).
        No no no don’t speed up, that was just an eagerness display:)…..
        thanks for the link. I apprecaite that the 4 piece cut saves fabric, but once I have a length which will work without seams, I thought I’d try it out. thanks so much for the explanation. you are always a honey.
        Oh – and did I say thank you for the pattern? It’s so adorable and I’d love a larger one too!
        Please ignore the mistakes – I am typing without seeing words on screen – darn pc.

      • What fun – sweatshirt, knits, fleece – can’t wait!
        Oh, don’t worry, I would never encourage rushing – I was just expressing heavy duty eagerness:)
        Thanks for the link – you’re the best. I love that the skirt can be cut in a more economic way, but ~I have a piece that’s big enough for a whole skirt, and I wouldn’t have enough left from the fabric to make anything viable if I cut it in four….

  13. Welcome back! I love the Carmine jacket! Could definitely use an addition like that to my wardrobe. And I wouldn’t mind the leggings either. I have been thinking about making some for winter. ~Laurie

  14. Congrats! The mini-clutch is very cute! I have plenty of fabric scraps so this pattern will come in handy! I already pinned this to my Sewing Patterns board and will tweet shortly! I think I’m most excited about the leggings b/c I’ve never made any before. Love the hidden pocket detail in the dress, too!

  15. Oh, Steph, so glad to see you back here! I am just amazed at all the hard work you have been doing! And thank you, thank you, for the mini clutch pattern. I definitely need a small purse and I think I might make a matching one for my daughter, too. As for favorite pattern, I would have to say carmine. I was hoping it would come out next week, so I could make it before a trip to Dallas in October, but it looks like you have enough fun stuff to play with in the meantime. :) At any rate, I know it will be worth the wait! Oh, and I also think the leggings are fabulous…could see me wearing them everyday. :)

  16. I am quite excited by the dress and the leggings…. and the Carmine jacket, and clutch and shrug!!
    We (the Wellington Sewing Bloggers) have been having a discussion about the upcoming Cake patterns on Facebook, and saying how fun it might be to make your own custom fitted thermal leggings. Merino, of course!

    • link me! I’d like to see. I made some in a medium merino-lycra and they’re DIVINE even though the darn weather is turning warm… :)

  17. I think the entire collection is brilliant! Love the whole Riff idea of using your own measurements to complete the draft and looking forward to starting with Expresso, but with Red Velvet and Carmine close behind. What a great excuse to fabric shop while I’m out of town. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Cheryl! I like measurements-as-size, too, it’s so logical and kinda removes that “size baggage..” :) I love vacation fabric shopping!

  18. Ooh, wow, you *have* been hard at work! I’m amazed that you still find the time to answer fitting questions (and on non-cake patterns at that!). I can’t really tell you which pattern I’m most excited about – I love the look of that knit dress, especially the pleat! But custom-fit leggings sound amazing (I’m not quite happy with my one self-stitched pair, which I traced from RTW) and those shrug/cardi/jacket options look lovely, too!

    • Yes. :) And thank you! The leggings… they’re good.. I mean, I know I’m saying so myself but very shortly everyone else can have them too. They fit everyone..

  19. Thank God you’re back! I can’t wait to get my patterns, the dress looks great, and I also like the look of the little jacket. Leggings are what I wear instead of tights, because they are so comfy – and cosy in winter! I never thought of making my own though.

    • You’re so sweet, Fiona, way to make me feel loved! It’s nice to be back, my drafting cave was getting lonesome.. :) The great thing about making custom leggings is they don’t dig or pull or anything and they’re *quick*. And addictive… I keep eyeing all kinds of jerseys for leggings but have to remind myself we’re coming into summer!

  20. yaay! you’re back! i can’t wait for the dress and i love the carmine jacket. i’m thinking a teal or navy ponte knit for the dress (or maybe both!) and a navy and white striped doubleknit carmine.

    • Oooooooohhhhh doubleknit striped carmine… YUM! That sounds divine, I haven’t had a change to actually muslin it but with the grainlines it would be really lovely and striking… And you know I love stripes!

  21. Good to hear you again dear Steph . I have just about finished my Hummingbird top and skirt, made it for a wedding. As soon as I finish I will send you a photo. I love the carmine shrug and, of course, all your patterns. Thank you for the free clutch pattern. I go to a craft group so will make it, and I know the ladies will love it. They think I am very clever with the clothes I have made but I say not really I have had a lot of help. I am getting lots of clothes and not many places to wear them but it is fun and keeps my brain going.

    • I’m so glad to hear it, Lyn! :) I hope you and your ladies enjoy putting together the mini Clutch as much as I enjoyed putting together the pattern… I learned to edit vector files while I wasn’t blogging, imagine that!

      Yes. Must. Keep. Brain. Going. Definitely.

    • I hope I don’t sound inappropriate but I would suggest you to use all your clothes every day, even if you stay home. I work mainly from home and I used to wear tracksuit bottoms, yoga pants and t-shirts all the time. Since I started sewing for me, I wear my handmade clothes all the time, I use a lot of knit fabric to make my clothes as comfortable as possible (this is why I love Steph’s patterns so much!) and wearable in any situation and I feel always (well, often eheh) like a million dollar! :) I don’t use many dresses during winter though because it’s too cold in here and I can only find cotton with spandex black leggings in my size (so both boring and not warm enough), now that I can make them I’ll wear dresses and warm leggings all the time, isn’t it great?

  22. Oh! if I add a long sleeved T, this is pretty much my winter uniform: leggings and toppers in basic colors, and then a whole lot of multicolored dresses to dress up in! So simple, so chic, and so comfortable. Will you be selling these only individually or as a collection as well?

    • Oh neat! In a way, this is my response to the emails I got last January that were like “I have a Tiramisu, what do I wear with it?”

      I will be selling the patterns as either a .pdf or paper full collection for 20% off the full price, with the shrugs to follow next month when they are available. That will be $48 for the set of five paper patterns and $35.60 for the set of five .pdfs. The individual paper patterns will also be available for an intro price since I don’t have them to ship immediately (if only! we were so close!!).

  23. You are queen of the cake!! Seriously, I could build an entire wardrobe out of your patterns. As we’re hoping to get preggor’s in the next couple of months, the leggings are most exciting to me (with the shrugs a close second!) With my first kiddo I found that leggings help me extend my closet, they let me wear my knit dresses as tunics. I really appreciate that I don’t have to spend time grading up your patterns to fit for my size. Can’t wait!!

  24. Welcome back! Your blog has been missed.

    I’m most excited about the Carmine jacket, I think– I do love a good jacket, and I’ve never made a knit one! But I’m also rather curious to try the leggings. I’ve resisted those for years since I always thought they looked like the 80s, but I think they could be a good answer to my inability to wear wool tights.

  25. It is so wonderful to see you back with all of these new beauties. I love them all and can’t wait to make them. It would be great if you could offer the entire collection at a package price! That way folks on a budget might not have to choose only one or a couple of them, and then miss out on others. :)

  26. So glad to see you back around the blog! I’ve been missing your posts but Wow! I am SO SO excited to see what you have been working on. Carmine looks SO beautiful and I can’t wait to stitch it and Cocoa up. I’m always cold so these light sweaters are going to be fantastic additions to my wardrobe!!!
    And the LEGGINGS!! It’s like you read my mind before I knew it!!! I kept putting off this addition to my handmade wardrobe and I cannot wait to get my hands on the well drafted pattern I know that will be! You know how to put an irresistible collection together…
    So glad to have you back!

  27. Pingback: Finished Objects: Cake Patterns Red Velvet Mini Clutch | TheSeedsof3

  28. I can’t decide if I’m more excited for Red Velvet or Expresso, but I’m buying both as soon as they’re available! :)

  29. Very interested in the dress. It looks lovely! (And I can’t wait to hear more about the Three Graces when you have the time!)

  30. Gosh, so hard to choose only one as I am excited about them all! I will pick Carmine, why? Well, I have never sewn a jacket of any description before but feel if anyone can make it a painless process, you can Steph! Thanks again for the mini clutch. I printed it off the day before flying to Italy, fully intending to make it and take it with me, ha! Sadly I am not a superhero and could not squeeze a bit of sewing into my schedule but I’m looking forward to sewing it up this week.

  31. Gosh, so hard to choose only one as I am excited about them all! I will pick Carmine, why? Well, I have never sewn a jacket of any description before but feel if anyone can make it a painless process, you can Steph! Thanks again for the mini clutch. I printed it off the day before flying to Italy, fully intending to make it and take it with me, ha! Sadly I am not a superhero and could not squeeze a bit of sewing into my schedule but I’m looking forward to sewing it up this week. Sorry had trouble posting so hope this only comes up once.

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  34. Yayyy, the new patterns are beautiful. I’ve missed your blogging but the wait has been absolutely worth it.

    I am going to buy the complete set but think I will do the leggings first. Would you be able to do a tutorial/s for us that shows how to modify the bottom of the leggings into ruching and how to put some metal zippers into the bottom to make them extra cool and hip (pretty please).

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  37. Pingback: She wore Red Velvet – FO 19/2013 – pattern review | Pendle Stitches

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