Tiramisu Instruction Sheet and Introduction to the “Piece of Cake” Game!

Thanks for dropping by!

Masheka, the illustrator behind Cake Patterns, and I put our heads together to come up with a sewing experience that will leave you with a pretty, comfy dress as painlessly as possible.  We drew heavily on inspiration from Japanese craft instructions as well as my own experience and notes from teaching people to sew.

Last week in the Tiramisu Circus, I showed you a bit of the front pattern sheet, the Construction Overview:

Now, Cake Patterns Updates subscribers can take a sneak peek at the full front page!  (feel free to share the link/pin/tweet/facebook if you like what you see, though!)  I know this is all a little “new” and different so I’m hoping to hear what you think as we continue to work on the next two patterns due out at the beginning of the year. (Pavlova, Hummingbird)

So take a look, and leave a comment!  I left the sheet as a large file, so you can click and zoom and take a look.

I’m especially pleased with the symbols- they indicate the process involved in each step of the instructions:

Each construction step indicated on the “Construction Overview” corresponds to an individually numbered construction step “cell” on the back, and the symbols show the process in each step “at a glance.”

What do you think?

The Pieces of Cake Game

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I like games, puzzles, and treasure hunts.  I like whimsy.  I like giving things away and free stuff.  It’s fun.

Next month, I’m launching the Sewing Cake website, and to encourage exploration of the reference site I’m hiding 7 “pieces of Cake” around the pages and posts.  Collect all 8 during the months of November and December for a free Cake pattern!  Some pieces will be obvious, some less so and one is very much hidden.  You can print the pieces and tape them together like a pdf pattern, or assemble them digitally and upload them to the gallery to redeem the offer when the time comes!

Everyone who assembles 8 “pieces of cake” will receive a free Cake pattern of their choice, and one extremely lucky entrant will “go” fabric shopping with me!  Not in person- I will be their personal shopper to purchase the fabrics and all notions for their Cake pattern choice!  I have access to a wide variety of beautiful knits, delicious suitings, and interesting eco-fabrics.  I’ll also consult with you about your color preferences and environmental needs so your finished Cake ensemble will feel like a second skin!  Estimated value: $150.

For now, I give you the first Piece of Cake!  Click to download.


    • Yay! :D Do you like the symbols? A little reminder about when to finish, when to press, when to clip… Little details often missing from instructions, but so useful when first “learning the ropes…”

      • I think the symbols are great!! I’m pretty new to sewing. So all these extra little helpful bits are great! I can’t wait to try my hand at this dress. It’s so cute!

      • But very much worth the wait I think by the looks of all the teasers so far!
        I’m going to treat myself to something new and lovely for this pattern. It deserves it!
        I know I’ve said it before but you really should be proud of yourself about this pattern. It’s so obvious that an enormous amount of thought and work has gone into it…which is why we’re all looking forward to receiving the pattern. I think there will be a whole patisserie of Tiramisu’s once the pattern is shipped.
        I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  1. I love the look of the instruction sheet and the symbols of the type of stitches to use are an excellent idea for beginners in particular and to remind those who have been sewing for a while. I also love your sense of humor in the comment about using fusible stay tape with the words……’at your peril…..’. Can’t wait for the pattern to come out next month…….great work!

    • Hahah! Sometimes a little humor will drive a point home… Every now and then I find I’m writing to myself as a beginner sewist (started working with patterns around 10), I was a headstrong little brat and thought that interfacings and sewing markings were for chumps…. ;) But I learned that those things actually make the sewing better… :)

  2. Ooooh Steph — You and Masheka have created the most aesthetic page of sewing instructions I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been sewing forever)! Exceedingly well done you two! Love the symbols, as well as the actual human woman proportions of the line drawing of Tira :D.

    Excitedly awaiting the pattern. I have two lengths of cotton knit prewashed and ready to go — one charcoal & black stripe to make myself a Tira, and a mustard & ivory stripe to make another for my niece :D

    • Oh good! I’m so pleased you think so. :)

      (the drawing is me…)

      I’m sure they’ll be gorgeous. I’m super super excited to see all the Tiras-to-be!

  3. I’m so excited about this dress I can hardly think straight. The pattern looks like it will be gorgeous and easy to follow, and I am beside myself that I can mix and match sizes.

  4. Very exciting!

    Hope you don’t mind a couple of proof-reading comments (I can’t help myself!): Take a second (or second hundredth) look at the Press description text. There’s an “and” where I think you really want an “an”. Also, in the same paragraph, the bit about not dragging the iron is repeated. If you meant to do this for emphasis, you might think about changing the punctuation. Right now, it reads as if it got accidentally copied and repeated.

    Looking forward to the pattern and to getting better with knit sewing!

    • Good eye! Looks like I grabbed the pre-final version rather than the final, thanks! :) It is correct on the final copy.

      :D Thanks so much!

  5. Love this! Your symbols are spot on & will steer even a novice sewist down the path to a successful end! I wish I had had something like this when I was starting to sew, and you can be sure I’ll be using your patterns now and loving them! Thanks Steph.
    (I’m waiting to see Tiramisu on a skinny mini like me before I commit fabric.)

    • Yes! Me too! That’s why I’m doing it. :) Excellent!

      Yeah, I’m in no danger of starvation for sure… hehe. I have a few nice examples on various friends of mine that I’ll share around the time Tira ships, different body shapes. It should help.

  6. I love this little taste of cake! The instructions look like the best I’ve seen, particularly for people fairly new to sewing. I can’t wait to get my little piece in the post!! Thanks so much for your amazing posts over the last few weeks, I’ve been learning so much. I can’t wait for your next patterns now!

  7. I think the symbols for the instructions are a great idea and I also like how you’ve written that ‘wordy’ instructions bullet point style to make them easier to follow than normal instructions. Everything is looking like you’ve really thought hard about how to improve on the standard pattern and instruction style instead of just following what’s been done before. I’m so impressed with the effort you’ve put into this and I’m excited to receive the first pattern :)

    • I hope they’re a bit easier to follow. Really can’t know until everyone’s stitching them up! :)

      Thanks so much! You’re so kind. It’s… a bit hard to communicate these concepts via email to a non-sewing illustrator on the other side of the world but we got there in the end I think. :)

  8. Brilliant, Steph! The symbols are clear examples of what I need to remember to do, the flow of the instructions is easy to follow and simple, and the drawings are terrific for visual learners. All in all, it looks like making this one would be a “piece of cake”. (It had to be said, sorry!).

    • Thanks, Deanna… It *is* hard! I think tech writing is way harder than writing blog posts or fairytales…. Mikhaela is quite good at correcting my mongrel grammar, too. :)

  9. The instructions look great. Logical, succinct and a pleasure to read. I love the little symbols. Also love the idea of the treasure hunt. I love games especially jigsaws and treasure hunts. My kids and I spend lots of time playing games. I might rope them in to this one!

    • Ah ha! I would have loved that as a kid. :) I promise the piece #8 is very difficult to find…. ;) I hope I drive a few people slightly crazy. hehe.

      And thanks! :)

  10. I love the way you present the instructions: so thoughtful!! It’s a great idea to use little symbols! Can’t wait to see the first pattern…

  11. So excited to get this pattern in my hands… I bought some of the most delicious deep purple bamboo knit while in Chicago :) READY AND WAITING. The instruction sheet looks super intriguing; I especially love the numbered construction map & all the little symbols.

  12. I’m really excited about this too! just to jump in the chorus. I can’t wait to get it into my hot little hands!

    I’m a bit confused as to sizing for the bodice, though. I suspect I’ll have to do an FBA. My high bust is 33inches and my bust is 35 inches. I guess it depends on how stretchy my knit is! What would you recommend?

  13. Hi Steph.
    Congratulations again. I can see that you really love contributing to others who sew and learn.
    I’ve sewn for ages/years and have made errors along the way for no logical reason at all. I like the thought that you’ve put into the instructions and I can see they are goiong to keep me on the straight and narrow when I make my first Cake pattern.
    Can you put the pattern number on the pieces in the diagrams as well as in the instructions? You have #1 in the written instructions. Can you include #1 on the pattern diagram for instruction 3 as well? It’s just another guide for sewers who don’t read properly or a sewing at all hours on the morning and are sleep deprived.

    • Thanks for that! :) I do, I really do.

      Yes, we all make errors… When I’m teaching a class, I tend to circle the table and watch the work very carefully to eliminate as many errors as possible in the sewing. I don’t catch all of them, but I like it that my students leave my classes (usually) with nice finished projects.

      HA! Great minds think alike! Mikhaela went through the final instructions the other day and did just that, I was so impressed by her cleverness. :D

  14. I can’t help myself by repeating what everybody has already said, but I’m SOOO excited for you. This is such a marvelous new venture, and by all counts is will be fabulous.

    The instructions sheet is really, really great. I’m a visual learner too, and I love how it’s so easy to find what you’re looking for on it. The symbols are a fantastic idea!

    (Oh, it only just “clicked” today about the pattern names! *head-smack*!! Of course, it’s all Cake! Nice!)

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