SusanK is our Red Velvet Muse today, be sure to check out her post on sewingcake.com for all the usual Muses specs! Susan has been working hard on the Red Velvet Collection behind the scenes as Cake’s editor. She challenged me at many stages of the development process, turns around edits quickly and I really enjoyed the work we did together.
One of Susan’s first challenges to me was over the “boxy” pleat. Pleats have the reputation of adding extra visual weight, but in the case of the Red Velvet Dress I wanted to create a smooth, sleek design feature. And it is! You can see above that the pleat lies flat and smooth, and the folding creates a really cool effect on Susan’s ombre stripe jersey. (Looks like the striped dress on the pattern envelope, it’s built into the pattern!) See more about Susan and the pleat in her writeup Nobel Pleat Prize.
The last clothing I bought retail (as far as I can recall) was a pair of black rayon leggings from Target a couple of years ago. I remember thinking I was holding more than $6 worth of fabric in my hands, which was the purchase price. I thought of the person who stitched them and wondered how much of that $6 went towards their wages. I don’t guess it was much, and I remember thinking I *should* make things like that myself because they’re so simple.
Years later, I finally got around to it. The Espressos were born a few weeks ago while I was fiddling with the Red Velvet Dress pleat and getting nowhere. I needed a palate cleanser, and my legs were cold. I googled leggings drafting for ease guidance and found this excellent tutorial on Etsy. My first pair of self-drafted leggings were made from this tutorial.
Then I realized I could plot the measurements and tweak the process to create a template as a shortcut for those seeking a simpler path to great fitting leggings. In testing, we refined some details but magically Espresso seemed to work on everyone I sent them to!
It’s very important to take good measurements for the Espresso Leggings, so I put together a measuring visual reference for you. Today I uploaded a mini visual reference about tagging, too. (more nitty-gritty fabric and technique posts from next week!) I like the tagging, it helps me put my leggings on the right way, and it’s pretty cute. The Espressos are quick to sew, even the first time when you make the template. They’re extraordinarily comfortable because they’re made for your own shape (no sizes)!
I’m really proud of the Espresso Leggings Template and I look forward to seeing your makes in the Espresso Flickr Sewcial Group. Like a shot of espresso with a slice of cake, the Espresso Leggings a great companion to all Cake Patterns– not only the Red Velvet Collection. Espressos in a printed jersey send a jolt of energy through your wardrobe, livening up plain dresses and skirts.
Sewing leggings I know will fit is so addictive, now every jersey I see with a hint of spandex in it is a potential pair of leggings!
Trendy, crazily printed leggings can retail for $80 (Black Milk is a thing here, have you heard of them?) and are often produced under questionable ethical circumstances.
I say we take back fast fashion, sewists, and make our OWN custom-crazy legs because we can.
Hear that, Fast Fashion? We can sew. We can do whatever we want. And it’s fun.
Some of the links in the Red Velvet Collection instructions are not yet live, I just wanted to say that they’re going live over the next week! It’s all in the schedule… As soon as I post new content on sewingcake, I tweet and link on Cake’s Facebook page, too.
Thank you so much for your support of the Red Velvet Collection, 51% of sales in the past 48 hours have been for the full collection of patterns! I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m terribly pleased you like the little dress-universe we made for you!