PATTERN REVIEW: Cabarita Knit Top by Cake Patterns RiFFs

I know,  I know, I am a Cake Patterns – aholic! But, hey, if it ain’t broke, right?

The Cabarita Knit Top is actually the first RiFF release from Cake Patterns, even though I already wrote a post about the Bonny Knit Sailor Top. So far these are the only two releases in the RiFF line (if you want more info on what a RiFF is click here. If you missed my review on Bonny and my explanation of Cake Pattern sizing, click here).

Here’s the line drawing for Cabarita:

Cake Patterns RiFF Cabarita Knit Top 30"-55" (76.2- 139.7cm) Full Bust Paper Patternand the official description:

The Cabarita knit top has cap or elbow length sleeves ending in a wide banded cuff. The front roll collar is based on a 1930’s knitting pattern and fits very well into a modern wardrobe. Optional v-shaped “dessert stripe” bias cut back for extra effect and a more flattering fit. The pattern includes a cutting line variation for a plain cut back neck as well as stripe guides for a designer effect!

Now here’s my version:


Front View


Back View

I am not gonna lie, that unexpected V in the back makes me feel saucy! Rwah!

I love this top. Even though it is a knit top, this is not a boring t-shirt. The roll collar gives the front visual interest and the back V gives a little moment of “Oh! Hello, I didn’t expect to find you here.”

For those of you interested in pattern pieces and alterations ( I know I always am), here’s a shot of my traced pattern piece on top of the Cabarita:


I traced a size 35, my usual for Cake Patterns, and moved the underarm curve about a 1/2 inch towards the size 40 to give myself a little more room there so the top doesn’t pull under my arm when I move my arm forward (full range of motion is very important :-)).

I also connected the following dots to draw my side seam:  waist at 17″ line measurement 36″; bottom of top/waist line at 23″ measurement 47″. I used the  long sleeve for 35 size, but took it up 1.25″ to get an elbow length sleeve.

If you look closely you will see I redrew the side seam a little bigger.


When I tried the top on to check the fit it was a teeny snug, so I made the appropriate changes on my pattern piece.

If you are curious about  the fabric, it is  from Mood. It is navy and cream (it really looks black and white) medium weight cotton jersey – 96% cotton, 4% polyester. It is double sided: one side being much larger stripes than the other. This fabric is so soft and dreamy and may order more to make something else.  I used the larger stripes for the bodice and the smaller stripes for the bindings and collar.

Things I like about this pattern:

1) It is a knit top with pizazz! So not boring or run of the mill. It feels and looks special.

2) The sizing guide allows you to get a great fit by taking a few measurements and  connecting a few dots

3) The sleeve length are all nestled inside one another making it really easy to choose a  sleeve length from any size to get a truly custom fit.

4) Look how the back binding and the front collar meet up at the shoulder “just so.”


Things I don’t like about this pattern:

1) nothing

2) nada

3) zilch

Haha! Seriously, I adore this top. I will say that the paper version (you can also get a pdf version) was missing the back binding piece (OOPS!), but I contacted Cake Patterns and was sent almost immediately a pdf of the missing piece. You can get it on the Cake website here. Make sure you print at 100%, because I didn’t at first by mistake and my piece was too short.

I will also say that even though the directions are minimal and the RiFFS are intended for intermediate sewists I cannot imagine a beginner sewist having too much difficulty with this top, as long as they are not a visual learner.

Since I love this top so much, I immediately wanted to make a second one. So, I did.


Tee hee!

I wanted to make a solid version since my other has stripes, stripes and more stripes. But, that roll collar is screaming for embellishment. I had a tired, ill fitting, RTW top in my closet that had some nice crochet around the neckline.


So, I unpicked it and put it on the collar before assembling it.


I shortened the sleeves a little bit on this version and I decided to do a swayback adjustment, as I found that my first version bunches a little when I move around. Here’s my modified pattern piece:


And here’ a back view of top #2 with no pooling or bunching or fabric:


Here’s a better front view:


And a close up of the finished collar:


The collar is a little floppy, as compared to my first since this fabric is much thinner than the first. Maybe if you are using a lightweight knit and you think a little floppiness will bother you you might want to put some interfacing or something inside the collar. It doesn’t bother me, so I didn’t.

The fabric is an organic cotton jersey knit I picked up from it is really soft and lightweight, perfect for a summer top. The edges were a bit curly after I cut out the pattern, so  I used my best friend of sewing tools, fusible webbing, to stabilize and stick all of the seams together before sewing. No rippling, no curling, no puckering, and no pinning :-). This top went together FAST!

A special bonus about this top is it is described as “reversible.” You can have the v neck in the front and the collar in the back. Since I usually do a swayback mine don’t fit as nicely reversed as some others I have seen. But, it does make me want to try another version with the swayback adjustment on the other pattern piece.

That’s all folks!

Happy Sewing!

11 thoughts on “PATTERN REVIEW: Cabarita Knit Top by Cake Patterns RiFFs

  1. Very nice Cabarita tops! I wonder if I need a swayback adjustment as mine seems to ride up a little. How do you know if you have a swayback? I like the crochet on the collar. I was too nervous to do stripes on my first one but will likely do a striped one, maybe with a contrasting collar.

    • mmmm, good question. I have a very short torso and an ample behind, so RTW shirts always pool and bunch right in the small of my back quite unflatteringly. I am constantly pulling them back down.the swayback adjustment removes the extra length in the back so I don’t have to worry about it.

      • Intereresting, ok. I don’t think I have that problem, but I do find that trousers and skirts especially gape at the small of my back.

  2. Just received my knit fabric in the mail today, pre washed it and tomorrow will begin my first (of 2, I hope) Cabaritas! Love this design and the way it takes advantage of the stripes. I like your re-purposed use of the trim…perfect 🙂

  3. Pingback: Two Cabaritas! | Seams and Finishes

  4. Pingback: Sewing Saturday – Cake’s Bonny Sailor Top | musings and motion

  5. Pingback: #Sewingdare and a Cake Patterns Mash Up | TheSeedsof3

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