#Sewingdare and a Cake Patterns Mash Up

While I have been sewing for a while now I have just started using social media to connect with other sewers, aka, sewcialists. I had “met” several people through participating in sewalongs, but missed much of the camaraderie due to the facts that, at the time,  I didn’t have a blog or a Twitter account.

One of the things I felt I was missing out on was Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow‘s #sewingdares. This is where you ask her for a dare and she dreams up something for you to do. It’s fun, it’s cool to see what she comes up with, and it gives you a project that you probably wanted to do, but needed some friendly encouragement to actually pursue. Gillian’s been handing out dares on Twitter for about 8 months now, so as soon as I joined Twitter I asked her to dare me!

Gillian is wicked smart at assessing your strengths and your weaknesses, sewing-wise. She took one look at my finished projects and dared me either to hack a Cake Pattern into a dress (I had never hacked any pattern, to date) or to sew with a print that wasn’t a stripe.

Totally busted! I have a very solid and stripey wardrobe. 🙂

Well, I said, how ’bout both?? Hack a Cake Pattern into a dress using a print fabric??

Technically*, the dare is to hack a Cake Pattern RiFF, which would mean using either the Cabarita Knit top or the Bonny Sailor Knit top (blogged about both here and here), but I had an idea already brewing about hacking the challenge Hummingbird top into a dress and had been eyeing some fabric from Girl Charlee that happened to be, wait for it, a print!

Green Mod Daisy Dot Cotton Jersey Knit Fabric(it comes in green and blue, I chose the green)

I love the dickey version of the Hummingbird top So MUCH!  It was the main reason why I bought the pattern. But, the pattern instructions have you using shirting fabric for the dickey and the cuffs and knit fabric for the rest. Well, shirting fabric wrinkles and I don’t like to iron.

So, I wondered if there was any compelling reason NOT to use knit fabric for the dickey and cuffs as well.

So, I did.

With a print fabric for the dress.

With a Cake Patterns Tiramisu skirt added.

And some self drafted pockets.


Boo-yah! My new most favoritest dress!

I am sooooooo in love with this dress. It has a nice vintage vibe to it, but it is made completely out of knit fabric, so it is wash and wear. And I have worn it already more times that I can count.

Here are a few changes I made to the patterns:

1) I used a lighter weight knit fabric from my stash (actually from a badly muslined Renfrew) for the dickey and arm cuffs than the dress fabric.


2) I interfaced the entire dickey to give it more structure. I also top-stitched the butterfly collar in place so it doesn’t flop around and I top-stitched the rest of the dickey in contrasting thread.


3) I left out the side seam pockets on the skirt and drafted my own patch pockets for the front.  I lined them with the same fabric  I used for the dickey and arm cuffs and folded them over at the top, adding a super cute button and matching bias tape for flat piping around the edge of the pocket.


If you are wondering, the pocket is attached in the side seams, but only top-stitched to the top of the skirt.

Here’s a close up of the pocket buttons, aren’t they darling?


4) I had a few issues attaching dickey on my first top, so when I cut this one out I made it about a 1/2″ wider around the exterior so I had more wiggle room to get it placed nicely in the neck. After top-stitching into place I cut off the excess with my serger while simultaneously joining the neck binding edge and the dickey edge together.

ImageHere’s an inside view of the dickey.


Here’s me trying to show you the neckline binding and the dickey edges serged together.

I don’t know what your preferred method of hemming a knit skirt is, but I like to finish the edge with my serger, then turn up 1/2″ and secure it with fusible webbing, then top-stitch with a twin needle.



Things  I love about this dress:


It has pockets


It swirls


It twirls


It shows off my calf muscle 🙂

The only thing I wish I had done was a forward shoulder adjustment. I forgot to do it and it wasn’t obvious it was needed until I attached the dickey ripping that thing out for a few back wrinkles. Here’s what I mean:


There’s some wrinkles around the underarm.

Look at where the shoulder seam is. It is a little behind where it should be. I usually do a 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment.


If I had done the adjustment then, the wrinkles would have mostly disappeared:


Left: dress “as is”   Right: me pulling the shoulder seam to the appropriate place

All in all, I am still very happy with this dress. I can live with a few wrinkles on the back, but if I make this dress again I will remember to do the forward shoulder adjustment.

Also, I am curious how well the interfaced dickey will hold up, but so far it has been washed several times with no issues. Hopefully there won’t be any. I took a risk, I hope it turns out OK.

If you haven’t already asked Gillian for a #sewingdare, you should! It is super fun!

Happy Sewing!

*If you want to get really technical,  I DID hack a Cake Pattern RiFF for my August #sewcialbee challenge, but not with a print. So, I accepted two dares and planned on combining them into one garment, but ended up making two, because, why make one fab dress when you can make two??

16 thoughts on “#Sewingdare and a Cake Patterns Mash Up

  1. Love your dress! The colors and the retro vibe are great! (I have some of those cute buttons in my stash but haven’t found the perfect thing to use them on yet.)

  2. Ooooooooh, you have hacked out some wonderful things there, my dear!!! The dickey, the pockets, the fabric print. AND, those fantastic buttons, so cute!! I love this dress, very nice job. Sewing Dare Success!

  3. What an AWESOME hack!! You’re rocking it. Oh and I totally found the same forward shoulder thing and the back arm wrinkles. Amazing what a small fix will do.

  4. This dress is adorable and I LOVE your buttons! Want! I had some problems with my dickie version too – didn’t quite lay down – in part b/c I forgot that the knit fabric I was using didn’t have as much give as the first one I made, which is the blue one here: http://wp.me/p1T8zO-ZQ

    I should have added a little more ease but now that I’ve seen your post, I think I’ll just hand stitch the dickie to the top instead of sewing the knit part all over again. I haven’t blogged about that version b/c I hadn’t decided what to do about it. So thanks for telling me about this hack of yours!

    • Chuleenan, can you believe I got those buttons at Jo-Ann’s?? As for the dickey, increasing the outside seam cured all my troubles from V1 to V2. I have a V3 planned – another dress, with an awesome cameo button 🙂

  5. Pingback: Top 5 of 2013, Part II: Inspirations and Goals | TheSeedsof3

  6. Pingback: Top 5 of 2013: Part III: Hits and Misses | TheSeedsof3

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