Red Velvet Shipping, Brisbane Show and Sewing Along!

No matter what I do, I just can’t seem to find the time to blog here the way I used to. I hope you don’t think I’m either lazy or uncaring, because it’s completely the opposite!  As much as I don’t want to quit writing here, it’s become much more important to work on pattern development (cake kids!  beginners!  woven RiFFs!) and to create sewing references at than to post regularly here.  I need to focus my online time at and on customer service for my Etsy shop.

Red Velvet Dress Hub

I’ve been building these lovely tabbed pages on sewingcake (Red Velvet Dress hub shown) to help make it easier to find inspiration, tutorials, fit help and sewcial groups related to each pattern.  I’m excited about this  because the site is finally beginning to match the sewing reference I had in my head all this time!  It’s a relief.  I’ll be working on pattern pages for the other releases, including RiFFs, over the next few weeks and soon we’ll be very organized indeed.

I also have plenty of “pre-sewalong” references to release, most of them focusing on the fabrics I used to sew my samples.  I haven’t really shown you everything that I’ve sewn from Red Velvet Collection yet, because I’m working on things like building this super-flash Red Velvet Sewalong and Sorting page:

Red Velvet Sewalong Header 3

We’ll have three Houses for this sewalong: Esme, Pearl and Penelope.  When you receive your Red Velvet Dress pattern in the mail, it will be in an oversized pink, red, or creamy envelope.  The colors are inspired by the colors of a red velvet cake!  Once you register and confirm via email, you’ll see the page for your House with the points and rules.  The prize is a $15 off prize code for everyone who is registered in the winning house.  The Red Velvet Dress, the Espresso Leggings, and the Red Velvet Clutch (mini too) will be included as acceptable “Finished Objects” with points awarded for finished objects!

I’m really passionate about getting everyone sewing and sharing the sewing experience.  That’s why I work to create a digital sewing space on Flickr during the sewalong.  Last sewalong, I added a couple of “progress” shots for extra points and I think it was a great way to show that there’s many ways to do the same thing well.  This time, I have a daily progress shot which will be worth a point each day.  I hope this takes some of the pressure off beginners to make a pile of completed garments and lets us catch a glimpse into someone else’s sewing!

Intro Prices for one last day!

The Red Velvet Dress, the Red Velvet Clutch and the Espresso Leggings are shipping to you this week!   As soon as the paper patterns ship, the prices will rise to $20, $10 and $10 respectively.  We’ll keep sending out Red Velvet Dresses in colored envelopes for the House Sorting until we run out.

I received the Australian box of patterns today and immediately processed them so I can send them off in short order.  I love the colors, it’s like I’m sending masses of valentines to you!  We’re coordinating the shipping so that the US, UK and AU orders fly away to your sewing rooms at the same time- right now it looks like Tuesday is the Drop Day!

Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair

Cake for Voodoo Rabbit at the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair

Last Friday, I was asked to demonstrate at the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair.  The Fair starts this Wednesday, so I had very short notice…!  It’s a five day event, a great time to network and see what’s new and have fun with other crafty and sewy people.

I’ll be demonstrating Cake with Voodoo Rabbit (that’s the place where I teach)!  This is an excellent opportunity to get out and de-mystify knits for sewy and quilty Brisbane and I’m really excited!!  Each day I’ll be demonstrating apparel sewing techniques for 5-30 minutes on the hour.   I’ll cover topics such as the basics of knit fabrics and cutting, through self-fabric binding and stabilizing to knit hems and topics relating to woven fabrics as well, like my bulletproof invisible zipper lesson and “Parts of Fabric.”  I’ll be around between demonstrations to answer questions and chat, too!

It’s very, very likely I’ll be tweeting and Facebooking to an obnoxious extent during the fair, you’ve been warned!  If you’re planning to go to the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair, do come by and say hello!  I’ll be the American wearing Riley Blake striped Cake.

Red Velvet Fabric Choices

I’ve had some fabric questions lately about prewashing and weights that are appropriate for the RV dress/Espresso Leggings.  I’ll work through tips and tricks about particular types of fabrics and etc over the next few weeks but I wanted to address my philosophy towards pre-washing and washing in general:

If I can’t cram it into my washing machine with like colors on warm and then throw it on the washline/in the dryer, I will almost never wear the garment.  If I am not going to wear the garment, then the time I spent sewing it was wasted.  This is pretty much the bedrock of Cake’s design philosophy- making clothes to wear while living life.

If I buy a knit (say, linen) that says dry clean only, I throw it in the wash.  If it doesn’t survive, then I wouldn’t wear it anyway.  I have yet to ruin a knit fabric doing this.  If you’re very worried about shrinkage or changing the nature of the fabric, then wash a 4″ (10cm) square of the fabric and dry it to see what happens.

Please, please ask me questions here you may have about the Red Velvet Collection, it will help me prioritize the release of visual references on


  1. Yahoo! Excellent news. If you drop on Tuesday, then I will probably get my loverly patterns by Wednesday. Allready have my dress fabrics, Navy cotton lycra and a very loverly dance fabric for Red velvet dresses. Finding good quality lycra in Brissie is a different matter. Will have to go hunting.

    • Surprisingly, I have sourced quite a few very decent leggings fabrics from the dance wear section of Spotlight. Are you going to the Fair, Ann?

      • I will have to look harder at spotlight. No, I am not going to the fair, too many appointments and not enough money.

  2. I have your same philosophy about fabric , I need ti to go in the washing machine and in the dryer, I don’t have time to hand wash nor I want to spend money to have it dry cleaned!
    I can’t wait to see Cake Kids and really looking forward to receive Cocoa and Carmine patterns! :)
    Have a nice day Steph, we know you work really hard, I’d never think of you as “lazy”

    • I do like to make a few special things here and there that need special care but it’s satisfying to sew things I can wash like regular clothes and just wear…

      Hahahaha thanks. :) soon, the first kids set has wear tested well and the artwork is in development. I figure y’all would like me to work on patterns instead of trying to blog. I read and respond to comments on sewing too…

  3. woohoo Cake Kids! perfect :)
    Haven’t commented here for a while – been super busy – but I might manage to sneak into the city for the fair – you never know….

  4. Hopefully not a silly question, but if we bought the pdf versions via PatternReview are we able to participate in the sew-a-long for points? If so how do we register? Ohhh a Tira for little people would be awesome:)

    • Great question actually, I’m sorry I didn’t mention in the post! Just go to either the sew along tab at or to the sew along page above and you’ll see the .pdf sorting, for all .pdf and non etsy purchases. You’ll get an email for your house and go from there. :)

  5. You are doing a stellar job over at, your hard work shows. Thanks for the info on prewashing, makes total sense but sometimes I just need to hear these things from an expert. I was always the one too scared to put fabric in the dryer in case I ruined it, but as you say I generally wouldn’t buy RTW garments that I can’t tumble since I don’t have time to iron. If I have to iron something I generally don’t wear it much!

    • Thank you so much! I get frustrated because it seems like i work work work and don’t get too far but slow n steady wins the race I suppose. :)

      I get that about the fabric! That’s why my own process is relatively straight-forward… I don’t want the sewing to complicate your life, so I keep my own sewing pretty simple. Yes- I realized that about ironing when I found I was always wearing vintage-cut, rumpled woven shirts… :)

  6. Bless you and your work! I agree with your practical philosophy, tho I have discovered that clothes last longer if I air dry them rather than tumble in the dryer. I’m looking forward to lots of sewing this fall.

    • Ah yes, I do both. Husband gives me a seeeerious side-eye if I use the dryer too often. :) I have to say though that I hear that about air drying all the time but have found the clothes I consistently hang out to dry degrade quicker. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong, but the UV exposure seems to speed up the pilling process too. :) When in doubt, I just hang things in the shade under my house, that seems to be the best of both worlds.

      • In the hot Qld sun you are best to dry in the shade especially in mid summer… we have a little canopy thing over the clothes line, Also in mid summer when it is still hot at night, I hang out in the late afternoon / evening and clothes are dye at first light or shortly thereafter.

    • RiFFs are the “smaller” Cake Patterns releases, with thoughtfully written instructions. They’re aimed more at intermediate and advanced sewists who don’t need so much hand-holding through the process, though right now most of the RiFFs we have out are simple enough that an adventurous beginner could tackle them. :) I’m working on making some great vis refs for constructing the RiFFs, once I get the website sorted I can really get going with that. :)

  7. Woot! I’m so ready for this sewalong. I’ve got some kind of poly blend red plaid for my wearable muslin (it’s hard to beat the $3 a yard sale price), some cotton jersey for a red and white version, and some rich green dancewear velvet for a fancy version. I think this is the largest number of versions of a Cake pattern that I have ready to go out the gate. :D

    • Yaaaaay! You’re so much fun to sew along with, Merry. Hahahah, I love all your versions, and can’t wait to see what you make! I’m *still* having fun playing with all the possible RV variations myself. :)

  8. YEa!!!!! I’ve been dying to get my hands on these!! This random cold snap has me dreaming of leggings!!!
    Last night I got all excited about some fabric in my stash that I think would make a nice Red Velvet… So EXCITED!

    • Wooohoo!! :) Very excited, can’t wait for you to have the patterns! And just wait, it’s SUCH a rush to make leggings, who would have thought? Something about it is just really really satisfying…

  9. I’m trying to upscale my wardrobe a bit from my usual jeans and t-shirts. To further this, I’ve taken the plunge and purchased the Red Velvet and Espresso patterns. A nice knit dress and leggings should be just as comfy and much prettier, right?

    • Yes! That’s so cool, thanks Kathy! When I’m wear-testing a muslin that I’m working up for a design, my goal is to make it as comfortable as being naked, but more so because you’re not exposed. :) I think it was Chanel who said that luxury can’t be luxury without comfort, which means that to her comfort was the ultimate luxurious thing to do with one’s clothes… That’s so interesting, coming from someone who founded an iconic designer brand… But back in the day, Chanel was all about comfort and practicality.. And here I go wittering on about Chanel!

      I find my soft dresses and leggings are more comfortable than jeans and i like that I’m wearing a dress but because it’s t-shirt fabric no one thinks I’m overdressed. After years of being the crazy lady sticking out because I wear woven 40’s-50’s dresses, it’s nice. Like I can still sew for myself and my clothes are more “clothes” than costumes…

  10. While I miss your regular posts, I would rather read a great post from you once a month than little dribs and drabs. I recently changed my blog format and it took forever and it’s still not done right, but I know that laying the correct foundation is important and that is what you are doing. Right now you are creating everything from scratch, once you have the systems in place it will all go much faster and easier.

    • Thanks, Teresa. I’d rather write a good/decent post once every so often than try to hold myself to a daily post schedule or something… Thank you for understanding. :)

      Yes! I have been building templates templates templates lately for the site, and now it’s to the point where I just have to tweak the templates and fill them in and publish. It’s good to be at that point, definitely. :) Thank you for your encouragement, I appreciate it.

  11. Steph, all the work you’ve been doing on is so great. It’s much easier to navigate and I love the tabbed posts. And I appreciate all of the tips for wash and wear clothes. Like anyone with a toddler, I don’t have time to hand wash clothes. Thanks to you, I discovered that two sets of “dry clean only” wool fabrics came out just fine in the wash. :) And I also appreciate that you design clothes to be comfortable and wearable. It’s stuff I can wear in real life and still look put together. By the way, I have been wearing my Espresso pants nonstop. :)

    • Thanks, tanya, I’m kinda antsy about sewingcake because there’s so much to do and so little time, but I know if I work on it steadily it’ll get where I want it to be in no time. :)

      Really, that’s interesting about the wools. :) I wouldn’t ever give advice I don’t take repeatedly myself, so I’m glad it worked out as well for you as it does for me.

      Yes! Clothes for living real life, yes. I’m so glad you like your Espressos, thanks for trying them out.

  12. I am so excited about joining the Red Velvet sew-along! I liked the Espresso Leggings so much that I bought the dress pattern, too!

  13. I’ve only ever been a sewalong lurker, but your patterns in this collection have me super jazzed to actually participate in the open :-)
    Thanks so much for the Espresso pattern (a snap!) and I can’t wait for the dress pattern to ship!

    • Thanks, Jana, the most important thing to get us sewing and sharing… That’s what I think anyway so I’m pleased to hear you’re inspired. Don’t be shy in the sewalong, the more the merrier. :) The dresses are going out on Tuesday, worldwide.

  14. The RV dress looks like the perfect style for me and I can’t wait to m,ake one. Got the fabric already! I like the look of iot it even more than Tiramisu, so I’m hoping it will become my TNT ‘go to’ pattern for dresses and tunics.

    • Thanks, Fiona! She’s a pretty versatile little dress, good cut and mixes with Tira… I have some things to show y’all once you have the pattern and I’m finished with this Craft & Quilt Fair. :)

  15. Hey, congrats on demo’ing at the quilt fair. The Red Velvet sewalong looks like fun. I just noted that you are on Facebook, so left a message for you there.

    • Thanks! It’s a lot of fun, I feel like a duck in water. It’s good to get out of the house and interact with customers irl a bit. :) Ok, thanks!

  16. I won’t be able to join the sewalong this time, since I’m in camp from Nov 7-21, and I don’t really want to rush. I’ve slowed my sewing down a lot, making sure garments fit the way I want and just plain enjoying the projects. I do miss the quick and dirty sewing I used to do, where I’d pop out a top in a day or a jacket in 3, but I’m enjoying this slowed process down more as well.

    Plus I don’t think I need another dress until spring, so I’m putting off the RV until then. Warm layers are what my closet desperately needs as we head into another Yukon winter – HELLO LEGGINGS AND JACKETS! :D

    I hope the quilt fair is going well! I’ll checkout twitter this evening to see if you’ve been spamming us with updates! (Am in camp right now, and I don’t go on twitter much while here – seems too much like I’m missing out on stuff when I do. lol)

    • Aw! We’ll miss you! :) I get that about slowing down.

      Great! I’m sure you’ll love Espresso and the shrugs… For sure.

      I haven’t had a sliver of time to do much about it, but I want you to know that the Debbie Cook “errata” doesn’t exist on the Red Velvet pattern. I looked. I checked. If it was real, I would have made a post. But it’s imaginary. The place where I’m accused of being off by 1/2″ is more like 4mm, if that. The place where I’m accused of having midriffs that don’t match at the side seams is *only* on the largest few measurements, and is off by maybe the width of a line, if that. Ms. Cook is mistaken, and while I don’t have time at the moment to post all the photos showing this, I want you to know that your RV is not riddled with inaccuracies.

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