I can’t believe it’s finally time to start talking about the Red Velvet collection… I’ll tell y’all, I really didn’t know what I was headed into when I started working with Steph a few months ago. This process was a BLAST. Watching her do her thing with designing and drafting and taking ultimate care with little details, then getting to participate in refining instructions, rounds of polishing, sewing tests and samples – I’m hooked. I’m so excited to see the garments that sewists start making from all the patterns…
The hub of the collection is the Red Velvet Knit Dress, and this is my second make from it. I used a medium-weight cotton/spandex jersey (no longer available) from Girl Charlee. It’s lovely stuff, so soft and comfy, excellent recovery. Using a fabric like this does come with its risks though, because of the lengthwise stretch. My bust length is about 2.5″ longer than bodice front, so the pattern directed me to lengthen it, but I didn’t… I thought the lengthwise stretch would be sufficient, and I didn’t want that underbust seamline to stretch too low as I wore my dress. This thinking turned out to be partly correct and partly not. I’m asking a LOT from that stretch, and it’s causing some draglines. Next time I’ll add about 1.5″ in length, and just trim some out during fitting if it’s too much.
Like the Cake Patterns for knits that have come before, this one has kimono sleeves, which I have to say I’ve gotten quite addicted to. While I don’t mind setting in sleeves sometimes, it’s awfully nice not to *have to* in order to get a good fit. It took me a make or two to get them tweaked to my liking, because I realized I needed a little more room at my upper arms. I didn’t want to lower the top of the side seam because I like a closer fit there, for mobility and just because I find it more comfortable. So what I finally figured out is that I could widen the angle at the shoulder point so that it was cut straighter out, and that worked brilliantly.
The directions specify to staystitch the circular neckline, and no kidding on that, it’s important. I did it right away with my first make and it did the trick. But in a couple of these pics, you can see the center front of this one is ever-so-slightly stretched out. This is because I didn’t do my staystitching right away — I handled the bodice piece quite a bit before remembering to do it. D’oh.
The pattern comes with this cool little ticket pocket thing, that’s hidden in the waist seam using an invisible zipper. I made it on my first test, and it came together perfectly (even though it was my first time to put a zipper into a knit). However, I adore the pockets in the Tiramisu, and I wanted to use them with this version. I know it messes with the profile of the dress a little bit, but this is an everyday wear for me, not a formal thing. And I love to have pockets for my hands! I just made the marks for the pockets at the same placement as they are on my Tira pattern.
But no question, my favorite feature of this dress is that pleat. It gives the dress lots of room to move while still maintaining a straighter silhouette. It can be made scissor-style or boxy, like I’ve done here. It does really cool things with stripes — kinda chevrony with the scissor, this split-level thing with the boxy. When I saw one of Steph’s early prototypes of this pattern, I adored that pleat, but I told her right away that I was worried it wouldn’t work on my body. I thought it was a box pleat, the kind that don’t lie flat unless they’re lying on something that’s also really flat! But she assured me that this was different, it wasn’t constructed that way… so I tried to withhold my skepticism until I tried it. :) But she was so right (don’t tell her I said that) — check it out, even when I try to *pull it apart*, it keeps its cool:
I’ve said before that when it comes to Cake, I’m not objective; take everything I say with a grain of salt. I post reveals, not reviews. And I’m staying with that. But I’ve completed my “obligation” regarding my makes from the Red Velvet pattern, and yet, I’m not done by a mile — I intend to try mixing fabrics, using a print bodice and skirt with a solid midriff, hacking it into tunic length, and more. So hopefully those plans are the most unbiased rating that I can convey… :D
ETA UPDATE: The Muses that tested the pattern shared lots of fitting, styling, and sewing experiences here!
Soon, I’ll talk about this little piece too…
OH and, always one to be an early adopter, I’ve put moonthirty on Facebook. I’ll holler there when I have a new post up, or if I have anything possibly-interesting and arguably-relevant to share… ;)