Finished Object: Hummingmisu (Giveaways, Too!)

Franken cake Hummingmisu Feature

I have another dress + 23 Skidoos outfit to show you!  This is a Hummingmisu Dress, a mashup of the Tiramisu skirt with the Hummingbird top.  I’ve been wearing this one since last July and while she’s definitely one of my favorites I haven’t had a chance to share her with you.

Hummingmisu Dress

Since yesterday was Halloween and since mixing pattern pieces to make a new design is called “Franken-Patterning,” I thought I’d dress up as Franken Cake for the holiday.  I’m also wearing a rad pair of holographic snakeskin foil print leggings.  In keeping with the holiday theme, Stephen took me to a cemetery near his office for photos.   The cemetery is a bright, cheerful place and actually very interesting- not scary at all.  In fact, with all the happy plastic flowers and the generally well-kept atmosphere it feels like a vital part of the community.

Brisbane is a new world city crouching on the edge of what might be called civilization.   Sydney is the nearest large city, 920km (572 miles) south.  To the west is Perth, 4300km (2700 miles).  North is Jakarta, 5415km (3365 miles).  Wellington lies 2500km (1550 miles) east.

This region has been a destination for immigrants (voluntary and involuntary) from around the world since the mid 19th century.  Even in death, it seems to me like immigrants to Queensland cling steadfastly to their home culture rather than melting together to create a new one.  Ethnic/immigrant groups here seem to form their own tight-knit enclaves (as opposed to mixing it up) and this extends into the afterlife.  I’m an immigrant but I don’t have an enclave like that. I kind of float around being weird and mostly that works for me.

Brisbane Cemetery

There’s cemetery sections in Chinese, Cyrillic, Vietnamese, and Arabic languages (and so much more).  This seems to be by custom rather than by design.   One country follows another and eerily, the cemetery’s layout roughly mimics world geography in terms of who is neighbors with whom. Dirt or asphalt pathways mark the divides between major religions and languages.  It’s peaceful but noisy, filled with the chattering voices of native parrots and other squawking birds and the strong scent of Brisbane’s early summer blossoms.  I kept forgetting I was a just a couple miles from my house.

Brisbane Cemetery...

The graves are built up from the ground kinda like New Orleans, and each section has very distinctive headstones and styles.  Some people/families have nice little brick sheds to house their remains, and there’s several massive mausoleums larger than my house.

Some headstones had little cupboards in them with whiskey and food inside, I suppose for the afterlife.  I plan to go back and spend some time exploring when I’m dressed more like a nerdy local history buff and less like a B-grade movie monster.  The cemetery was empty, except for a couple of workmen we passed on the way out.  You can see my write-up on the dress over at


Merino LBD Giveaway Cake Patterns sm

I’m so excited to give away some gorgeous pieces of merino jersey fabric this week!  It’s my birthday, and I want to send out some gifts.  If you’d like a chance to win your own LBD Kit, head over to sewingcake and enter!  I’ll choose winners after the giveaway closes on the 7th, and then get the presents out the door- I hope in time for the sewalong!

EspressoGiveaway Feature small

That’s not all!  I’m also giving away three separate lengths of yummy merino blends that are perfect for Espresso Leggings.  As part of the giveaway, I ask you to leave me a link to an obnoxious leggings fabric.  It’s so fun, I made a pinboard of your picks and a special section on the page under “Source” to display them.  Go check it out and add your pick!

What do you think of my Hummingmisu?  Can I break out the Franken-wig every time I make a FrankenCake dress?  Pleeeeeeeease?  Have you ever visited your local cemetery, and if so, what’s it like?


  1. This is fabulous. Please continue to use the wig.

    I feel slightly guilty for entering the giveaways, as I’ve already won some merino from you in a previous giveaway, but as there are no viable sources of merino jersey where I live, my shame is very minimal. MOOOAAAAR MERINOOOOOO.

    Also, earlier this summer I visited my grandma’s grave with my dad at the family cemetery in Tennessee. She died before I was born, but I feel incredibly connected to her. I was named after her and she was also a talented seamstress and knitter. I felt a little happy shock last Christmas when my aunt showed me a gorgeous fair isle jacket my grandma had knitted for my grandpa with a little woven tag sewn into that said “Handmade by Mary”. Anyway, I’ve been to that graveyard quite a bit. I have family buried there going all the way back to the Revolutionary War, but it’s not nearly as pretty and diverse as the graveyard in your post.

    • Hehehe, I thought you’d like the wig… :) Spray-painted a marge simpson wig, worked well for the purpose…

      I keep trying to suggest to The Fabric Store that they’d *love* to setup online merino shopping for the US… They said you can order basics via mail / phone order…

      That’s really cool about the connection with your grandmother you have through threads and textiles. I get that, it’s nice, isn’t it? Your family graveyard sounds lovely, I can hardly imagine what it’d be like to go see my 200 years ago family but I bet it’s really pleasant…

  2. I’m not very fond of cemetaries since I’m terribly afraid of death and dead people. This will sound ridiculous, but to me every dead person is a potential zombie… (who’s been watching too many horror movies?!) Cemetaries are ok in daylight, but since I’m also afraid of the dark I wouldn’t go near one when it’s dark. In Sweden, cemetaries are very green, with a lot of grass, trees, bushes and plants, very pretty actually (but not enough to get me near one in the dark …:)).

    Love your wig btw! And your whole outfit! The frankenpatterning is a success!

    • In my long and bitter experience, it’s not the dead you need to worry about, it’s the living who can make yuour life hell.

      • Hey Johanna- I’m scared of penguins. Actually, seriously, and unreasonably.. I avoid them as best I can, too. Hehe, I wonder how this cemetery would be at night? I’ll have to double dare Stephen sometime to go… ;) And thanks about the wig, it’s so much fun! After I did my face, Stephen said the arms needed work, too..

        Fiona- I agree about the living making life hell. Then I thought… Hey, if other people have the potential to make my life hell and likewise I can make their life hell, then perhaps it is possible to try to make heaven instead…?

  3. Happy birthday Steph! :-)

    Love the photo shoot! Franken-cake, haha!

    I find cemeteries fascinating, if they’re old and it’s a sunny day. Sad on rainy days. And downright scary-as-heck when it’s dark. There’s a great one here in Wellington, from the 1800’s, it’s right next to the botanical gardens. Lots of personality, and little paths meandering all over the place amongst big old trees….

    • Thanks, Kat. :) hehe

      Oooh I’d love to see the cemetery in Wellington. I like to visit them when I travel if I can, they’re so revealing about a place and often beautiful and sad….

  4. Happy Birthday Steph! Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Thanks again for sharing all your wonderful merino with us. And all the knowledge you bring us to help us make quality sewn garments! I appreciate you.
    Our cemeteries are small bits of pastureland fenced off. Pretty regular looking. There are a couple spots with fancy metal fence around a very old grave from some of the first settlers randomly out here. Usually on top of a hill.

    • Thanks, Em! :)

      “Regular” is so relative, isn’t it? Stephen thinks the cemetery we went to the other day was pretty ordinary, too… Those early settlers had such interesting, hard lives… You’ve read Little House On The Prairie, right? The Long Winter was one of my favorite books in the series..

  5. I adore cemeteries! So much interesting art, so many stories, so many cool names! Whilst living in Mobile, Alabama, I spent a good bit of time in the various cemeteries. On one occasion, I asked a groundskeeper for directions to the national cemetery (where soldiers are buried in honor). He gave me a hairy eyeball and growled, “You’re standing in it.” Oops. I was in the Confederates’ Rest section of one of the older cemeteries. They are still a little touchy over the Civil War (in fact, Memorial Day wasn’t a holiday in Mobile until the 1990s. We celebrated Decoration Day, instead — where you decorate the graves of your deceased with grave blankets and flowers).

    • That’s really interesting! The feelings over that war run so deep, don’t they? At least Alabama can have Memorial Day now… I like having holidays that focus on looking after the dead/graves etc… It’s nice, death is a part of life as much as singing or dancing or eating, isn’t it?

    • Thank you! My birthday isn’t until next week but am planning to make a giant cupcake and have a picnic in the park or something… :)

    • Thank you! When I had the green makeup on, I didn’t really want to take it off… If I could change my skin to green I’d do it, it felt really normal… ;) But probably for the best that I can’t change it…

  6. Happy Birthday Step. I have been thinking about making a Hummingmisu but just haven’t gotten around to it. I thought that would be a nice easy to wear fun dress for summer. So it’s nice to see the Cake Designer actually to it :) I am definitely going to make mine now.

    • It’s such a fun dress! I made mine a mini, but if you check out the gallery you can see three others that are very different again on Cake Community sewists. Lovely work.. :) I look forward to more Franken-Cake photoshoots, I have a Velvimisu on the make right now and a Tiravet to follow.. Meanwhile I’m dreaming of a Red Cab in a plain fabric…

  7. For some reason I like the idea of the cupboard headstones, maybe it just appeals to my inner librarian! Hope you have a great birthday.

  8. I miss this website. I wish I could find one like it, where someone is sewing regular clothes from regular patterns and giving useful tips about what works and what doesn’t.

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