Dec 142013
 

I don’t really like tiramisu.  The dessert, that is.  People have told me I’m crazy for not liking tiramisu because it’s supposed to be so amazing and because I’m Italian, but I say no thank you!  Benjamin and I went to see Wicked on Thursday and went out to eat at an Italian restaurant beforehand.  When the waiter asked if we wanted to try the world’s best tiramisu, we laughed nervously and asked for cheesecake, hoping not to offend him.  Our cheesecake was delicious (and Wicked was a lot of fun)!  When it comes to the Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns, however, I’m a huge fan!

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I’m going to be honest – I hated it at first.  Surplice dresses are cute and all, but they always gap open on me, so I dismissed the Tiramisu as just another dress that wouldn’t work on my body type.  I also hated how tall the waist band was.  A lot of people seem to think it’s flattering, but I would haaaaate it on me.  I’m short-torsoed (and short-everythingelsed, for that matter!) for one thing, and for another, the proportion just looks off to me on pretty much everyone I’ve seen it on (sorry, fans of the tall waistband!).  As I read more reviews of the pattern, however, I discovered that the Tiramisu has a special neck binding that’s supposed to keep it from gapping.

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And holy crap, it worked, you guys!  Please forgive the brightness of that picture – it was taken before I started taking real pictures for the blog, so I wasn’t worried about standing in a spot where the sunlight didn’t wash everything out.  But you get the point – I’m leaning over and there’s no gap!  Woohoo!  I was pretty amazed by this and was so thrilled I decided to give the Tiramisu a chance.

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I even managed to line up my stripes perfectly thanks to the grain/stripe lines on the pattern pieces.  Genius!  As you can see, I did shorten up that waist band quite a bit, though.  I think it looks perfect now.  I think everyone pretty much knows the drill with Cake Patterns by now, but just in case, they don’t use regular sizing.  They have their own sizing system based off of your high bust measurement and then customized to work with the rest of your measurements.  I LOVED this idea, because my high bust (for those not in the know, this is the area above your actual breasts) is way smaller than anything else on my body, so tops always fit me wonky, especially cut-on sleeves like the Tiramisu has.  What you do is cut the top according to your high bust size, then the pattern has dots for waist and hip measurements, and you connect the dots to create a pattern piece that’s custom-fit to your body.  It’s not precisely perfect, but it’s pretty close, and we’re talking knits here, so it doesn’t have to be exact.  The only thing that I think needs to be changed is the bodice needs to be a smidgen longer on me because of my large bust size.  I tried to correct this in the second Tiramisu below, but the finished garment didn’t end up much different, so I think I wasn’t aggressive enough with adding more length.

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My kitty was wandering around while I was taking these, so I thought I’d let you all meet her.  She refused to look at the camera, though, because she’s like that.  She seems to know what cameras are and does her best to avoid them.  If we’re Skyping with friends or family and she walks in, it’s nearly impossible to get her to come into the frame so people can see her.  But I got her this time!  So, readers who haven’t met her in person already, meet Desdemona.red-stripe-cake-patterns-tiramisu-spinning

Yay, twirling!  Another pre-nice-blog-photos picture, but I love this one.  I won’t even tell you how many takes it took or how many injuries I sustained while trying to capture a picture of me spinning using just the camera timer.  This experience really made me wish I had a camera that would work with a remote, though I’m so clumsy it may not have mattered.red-stripe-cake-patterns-tiramisu-layout

I took this photo to show how you can lay out this pattern using just 2 yards of fabric rather than the 2.5 recommended for a size 35, which is what I made.  I wanted to remind myself as well because the fabric I wanted to make my second Tiramisu from was only 2 yards.  I never buy more than two yards  when I don’t have a specific plan because you can always at least make a sleeveless dress out of two yards, and I hate ending up with tons of extra fabric.  I don’t want two garments made of the same fabric, so I never know what to do with it, and I don’t want to waste it.

There’s an interesting story behind this fabric.  A friend of mine was home for the summer, cleaning out her grandmother’s old house because her grandmother had come to live with her family.  Her grandmother had a huge stash of sewing things, but wasn’t well enough to sew anymore.  My friend texted me to see if I’d like any of her old fabric.  She was really great about describing everything that was available, but in the end I took everything she wanted to give because I’m a greedy fabric monster.  As soon as I got the fabric package in the mail and saw these stripes, I knew I wanted to use this piece to make a wearable Tiramisu muslin since red striped fabric is what’s on the pattern envelope.  If it didn’t work out, at least the fabric was free.  Lucky me – it worked out great!  I’m lucky because I not only ended up with a dress, I ended up with the admiration of my friend’s grandmother.  She showed her a picture of me in the dress, and her grandmother apparently gushed about it and even mentioned me in her next letter to my friend.  I’ve always been popular with the grandmotherly set, but I was really flattered that this one liked me because of my sewing!

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And now for Tiramisu #2.  This one is made from a purple and black doubleknit made by Milly that I bought from Emma One Sock.  I LOVE this fabric!  I love the shade of purple and the abstract pattern.  Some of the swirls sort of look like skulls, but not quite, which is one of my favorite things about it.
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Still no gapping!  Yay!

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In addition to the tall waist band, one thing I changed when I made this is the way the arms are sewn.  The pattern tells you to put the arm binding on flat and then sew up the side seam.  I think this looks messy and have no problems sewing binding on in the round, so that’s what I did.  That way I didn’t end up with any messy seams.  I think most reviews and blog posts I’ve read about this dress have said they did the same thing.  I really don’t understand why the pattern would tell you to do things this way – it just ends up looking unprofessional (and “professional” is one of the complimentary words my friend’s grandma used about me, so I don’t want to disappoint her!).purple-cake-patterns-tiramisu-fabricFinally, a close-up of that fabric I love so very much.  Both of these dresses were so easy to sew up – I didn’t have to spend tons of time adjusting fit, and it’s just a few seams on the serger and you’re done.  I’m so glad I gave it a try!

I hope everyone is keeping warm!  It’s been in the single digits in Chicago this week, so I bought my first pair of fleece-lined leggings.  I’d love to make my own, but I don’t know where to find nice non-bulky fleece-lined lycra.  If you have suggestions, let me know.  Target only has black, which is kinda boring, plus they’re made for people who are like nine feet tall!

I hope to have more to say before Christmas, but we’ll see if I find the time.  Benjamin is having surgery next week, so I may need a distraction while I’m waiting in the hospital, or I may be too anxious to think about doing anything.  I never know which way I’ll go when stressful things happen.  If you want to send any good thoughts his way, I know he would appreciate it, and I would too!  🙂