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Cabarita RIFF Pattern Review

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My vacation resulted in many completed garments but the Cabarita  is by far my favorite. The blouse is designed by Cake Patterns and was a quick sew. I had intentions of sewing this a week ago but ended up starting it just a few hours before I needed to wear it to the ballpark with family for the holiday fireworks and still had plenty of time to eat and socialize with the family.
Cabarita Collar

Highlights of this pattern include:

  • Thick pattern paper instead of tissue. Steph designs her patterns for tracing so they can be used over and over.
  • Minimal instructions. The RIFF line of patterns are intended for more advanced sewists and do NOT include pattern layout grids or much in the way of assembly illustrations and directions. However, the patterns are typically very straightforward so even a relatively new sewist like me had no problems getting this one completed in a few hours.
  • Large range of sizing and tracing lines that easily accommodate significant waist to hip ratios like mine (nearly 12 inches)
  • Reversible styling for stripes. This to me was the coolest feature of the pattern and though the collar version is actually the one Steph initially designed to wear in the front, I preferred the chevrons so wore this way instead. In addition to chevrons being a slimming look, they also showcased my latest vintage pin quite well!

Cabarita Chevron

Overall I am super pleased with this pattern and will definitely make it again. The one thing I will change for next time is to make the upper arms with more ease. I made the pattern in 47 bust but need probably another 1-2 inches of ease in the upper arm to prevent pulling at the shoulders. Upper arm tightness is often a problem for me so I should have automatically made this alteration. Even so, this version is still definitely wearable due to the thin knit fabric but would be uncomfortable in anything thicker. Other than that, the Cabarita pattern is perfect and coordinates wonderfully with my red Hummingbird skirt!

Patriotic Flower

Hummingbird Sewalong Wrap Up and Pattern Review

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The Sewing Cake Hummingbird Sewalong ends tonight so I finally got around to taking photos of my completed skirts. The Hummingbird was the first time I used a Sewing Cake pattern and I really liked it.  Steph’s patterns are not traditional but I really like her approach to garment sewing. The pattern is printed on thick waxy paper and intended to be traced instead of cut out. This method allows multiple sizes to be sewn over time without damaging the pattern.

Denim Hbird Front

 

I made one skirt in 7oz denim and another in red cotton twill. Both were part of the sewalong, so I cut and stitched them at the same time. The pattern allows for a high level of customization while tracing and cutting the pattern which was super helpful. Since there is a nearly 12 inch differential between my waist and hips, skirts usually require a ton of fitting which always bogs down my sewing mojo and leads to many half finished garments. This was not the case with the Hummingbird pattern. There is a “mid-construction” fit check to allow for some tweaking but I found that other than deeper waist darts in the back, there were no modifications required.

Red Hbird Front

 

Things I need to work on from a sewing/experience perspective for the next time are:

  1. Back dart apex on the red skirt does NOT lay flat. Steph had a good tutorial on the sewing cake website that I used for the denim skirt with no issuesRed Hbird Back
  2. Peg the side seams so they are not as “flowy” at the bottom. Since my booty protrudes, I think the skirt would look better a bit tighter at the kneeDenim Hbird Back
  3. Do a better job lining up the waistbands. I didn’t take a photo of this but had to realign the waistband at the zipper multiple times to get it right!

Now it’s time to finish my Bombshell Swimsuit designed by Heather Lou before July 4th!

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top

I finally finished my Hummingbird peplum top two days late which is pretty good for me! This was the first time I had used a Cake pattern but it won’t be my last. I truly love the way Steph has developed the patterns…sheer genius!!!

Hbird Peplum Top

The patterns are printed on a thick coated paper which makes them easy to fold and the printing is color coded and clear. I purchased some tracing paper from Amazon and used that instead of cutting my pattern. Due to the large range of sizes and quality of the pattern, I should be able to make multiple garments over an extended period of time by simply tracing.

Hbird Pattern

I used my  late 1960s/early 1970s Kenmore with no problems. This machine does not have dozens of fancy stitches or the specific lightning bolt stitch Steph recommends but after reading the manual, I did find the stretch stitch which is used when sewing knits and had no issues. I also finished the seams with my serger for a sturdier garment.

Hbird Sewalong Stitches

The only issue I encountered while sewing this top was due to inexperience and not the pattern. I initially sewed the peplum with the notches in the wrong spot which made the peplum hang awkwardly. After spending a good half hour trying to rip the seams, I finally took my rotary cutter and sliced right along the seam and started over. The second attempt looks much better!

Hbird 2nd Attempt

The rest of the sewalong is devoted to the Hummingbird skirt which I am making in both red cotton twill and a 7oz denim. Hope to finish them both by Thursday so the garments will count as part of the Anna’s House total.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Sewalong

As if I didn’t already have a lot going on, I have joined StephC’s Hummingbird 30 Minutes a Day Sewalong. It starts today and will run for the next two weeks. The patterns were shipped in colored envelopes and the color indicates which “House” you are in. The houses are named after specific types of hummingbirds and I am in the pink Anna house. To make it more fun, there is a contest to see which house produces and photographs the most garments. The winning house gets a $10 gift certificate to spend at Cake Patterns. I plan to do my part to insure the Anna house wins!


SewingCake

The first week is devoted to the peplum top, green view. I plan to make one top using this knit I bought from Fabric.com:

HBird Top

The second week is devoted to the straight skirt, orange view. I plan to make two versions of this skirt using fabrics I bought at Joann:

HBird Skirts

This is my first foray into Cake Patterns but based on the reviews it won’t be my last. In fact I already have StephC’s new Cabarita RIFF pattern and I will be trying that out over my July 4th vacation. I also have the Tiramisu dress and Bonny top patterns on order so I fully expect my summer to be filled with sewing Cake Patterns!

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