She wore Red Velvet – FO 19/2013 – pattern review

You may have had a version of this post pop up in your reader yesterday.  Ooops!  I had a WordPress Meltdown Moment, for which I apologise.  This is the post I meant to publish.

Ok…I finally get to spill the beans.  I, dear reader, am having my Cake and eating it.

I’m a Cake Patterns Red Velvet Muse.

RV cover

I can hardly believe it.  You know I love Red Velvet. It was our wedding cake, for goodness sake!

But here am I wearing my red Red Velvet dress…so it must be true!


I’ve had so much fun making this dress.  Obviously I made mine from the PDF version. I know many folks don’t like PDFs, but, Steph has spent so much time working on the fine details of this that I think even the most die-hard PDF-phobes could be persuaded to use them.

This pattern is as close to perfection as a PDF is going to get because you don’t have to print off 732 pages just to get the ones you need.  Steph has done all the work and tells you which page ranges you need to print for the size you want to make.

It’s genius.  And time/paper/ink saving too.

And the tiling on this pattern is fabulous.  It goes together perfectly and therefore quickly, meaning you can get on with cutting out and sewing your dress, rather than swearing at piles of paper and setting fire to your sewing room in frustration.

Secondly, the drafting and sizing are amazing.  Below is a little table that shows a comparison between my sizes and the pattern sizes:

measurement on my body on Red Velvet
high bust 42” 45D
full bust 47”
waist 43 45
bust length 15¾ 14 3/8
height 5’ 7”

Because all the information is there for you, printed on the pattern, it’s so easy to work out what, if any, alterations you need to make.

Now, this is where it gets interesting.  My original alterations were 1″ added to the bust length because I have, ahem, a bosom, and 1″ removed from the waistband depth because I’m very short waisted.

This is Red V1.0.  Almost straight out of the “envelope”.  Almost perfect apart from a little bunching around the underarm.


I have pattern tested before and am used to working exactly to the pattern with only minimal, or even no, alterations.  My job is usually to check out how the PDF goes together and how the pattern itself sews up.  Steph takes a more collaborative approach, and with her guidance and blessing, I cured that bunching at the side of the bust very quickly and easily.

I removed the 1″ from the back bodice that I’d added to the original length.  I carried this around to the front bodice at the side seam, and then tapered out to the seam at the pleats.

Its called a Deep Bust Alteration and Steph explains is far more elegantly than I do over on her new, and fabulously detailed Red Velvet Measurement and Size Guide.

This is what the alteration looked like on my front bodice: IMG_9192 So simple.

So effective.

This is how my dress looks now. Red V2.0.


Morning photos…this is the most smile I can conjure before coffee! 😉


And because the drafting is superb, the dress comes together quickly and easily. If you’re used to battling the wonky drafting that we often encounter in the Big 4 pattern offerings, this will come as a delightful surprise.


Also, Steph has written excellent instructions that, if you’re a beginner sewist, will walk you through the process from start to finish.  However if, like me, you’ve been around the sewing block once or twice, her tips and techniques are a wonderful reminder of things you may have forgotten, such as block fusing and under-stitching a neckline.

Either way, you’re not alone in the sewing room.

My fabric is a red ponte from my local sewing shop, The Buttonhole in Chorley. Without a cardigan to break up the lines, and because I’m not skinny, it’s a whole lot of red! But, for me this isn’t a bad thing.  The world in my neck of the woods gets awfully grey at this time of the year, as you can see from the morning photos above. A boldly coloured dress is the perfect antidote to that. And, with a cardigan, it’s just to adorable for words!


Yeah I’m happy. I love this dress. The Husband loves this dress.  I can see it getting lots of wear this autumn because it’s as comfortable as pyjamas.

But pyjamas you can do the school run in:

Please excuse the fuzzy background.  I didn't feel it was appropriate for the kid's friends to feature here without parental approval.

Please excuse the fuzzy background. I didn’t feel it was appropriate for the kid’s friends to feature here without parental approval.

And if that wasn’t enough….

rv collection

There’s a whole Red Velvet Collection.

I know…so cool.

I’ve already got fabric on order for the Cocoa Shrug and cannot wait to give the innovative Espresso Leggings pattern a whirl.

espresso chart

I love leggings (and would probably live in them given the chance) but have trouble getting them long enough or in a fabric that doesn’t show your pants every time you move.

No more.

I also quite fancy making these as funky training leggings for CrossFit.

So much Cake, so little time. And not a calorie in sight!

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this pattern in return for my opinions and photos. All opinions, of course, are entirely my own.  I should also tell you that going forwards I’ll be the UK/EU distributor for Cake Patterns.  So exciting!

33 Responses to She wore Red Velvet – FO 19/2013 – pattern review

  1. Hmmm cake. Carrot is my flavor of preference. I’m making a pavlova at the moment! You look lovely in red and very co-ordinated with school uniform.

  2. Truly a lovely dress that brings out a happy radiant glow in you 🙂
    A winner 🙂

  3. Jane G says:

    a good pattern makes all the difference. You all look perfectly matched on the school run

  4. Great dress, and you can never have too much red at this time of year.

  5. fabulous dress and what a colour on you! love too your black accessories – penny loafers ….swoon and those kids are straight out of central casting- did you hire them for the shoot….super cute. 🙂

  6. Shar says:

    Red is definitely your color – I love this on you! Steph’s patterns are great – I’ve participated in each of her sewalongs and learned so much. I bought Red Velvet and the Espresso leggings. I can’t wait to get started!

    • Thank you. I do love red. It’s a happy colour.
      You won’t have to wait long now…and I’m sure you’ll love this dress. I can’t wait to make another and need to go fabric shopping for something for leggings too. But first I really must clear up the sewing loft…sigh!

  7. Susan says:

    Oh I sooooo want to kick my RSS feed in the a$$ right now! I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see your RV and just now decided to check your blog in case it wasn’t appearing in my feed for some reason, and here it is, posted more than a day ago! I can’t believe what a dramatic difference that alteration made. Your dress is so lovely — I just adore how the structure of the double knit looks. And in case I haven’t mentioned it before (like a gazimillion times), red is SO your color….

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you!
      I love how different this dress looks in different fabrics. But surely that’s the point! Or the ponte! 😉 #groan
      The alteration was so easy and makes such a difference. It’s insane.

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  9. Solange says:

    This is gorgeous! I used the same red ponte knit to make a dress last winter, it was a dream to sew with it and I’m considering to buy some in purple because I really like the structure it gives to the dress. I’m making my first RV very soon, I meant to cut it this afternoon but the weather is so miserable that I don’t feel like doing anything. Also I bought some fabric to make 2 cocoa shrugs, one is a hunter green fleece, one is a sweater knit in a lovely petrol color, can’t wait for the patterns to be released! 🙂
    You’ll love leggings, I made my first pair a couple of days ago!

    • Thank you. This is my first ponte dress and it won’t be my last, for sure. It’s wonderful. And so cosy.
      The weather is miserable here too…so grey! It’s hard to motivate yourself.
      The shrug looks like an amazing pattern. I want it in every colour! Your fabrics sound gorgeous.
      I’ve just had a tiny peep at your blog and LOVE your Tiramisu. Gorgeous!

  10. Thank you. This is my first ponte dress and it won’t be my last, for sure. It’s wonderful. And so cosy.
    The weather is miserable here too…so grey! It’s hard to motivate yourself.
    The shrug looks like an amazing pattern. I want it in every colour! Your fabrics sound gorgeous.
    I’ve just had a tiny peep at your blog and LOVE your Tiramisu. Gorgeous!

  11. Solange says:

    Oh thank you for popping over! I just started blogging, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it in English or Italian or both and I wanted good pictures and a nice header and… oh, come on, just do it! And I did 🙂

    • I love that it’s in Italian and English. My Italian is almost non-existent (shockingly) and I love comparing the two!
      😉 Good luck with the blog…I’m sure you don’t need it!

  12. Andrea says:

    Evie this is a GREAT dress!!! It popped up on my Bloglovin a few days ago but when I went to read the whole article it said “File not Found”. I kept thinking about the teaser I saw so decided to go directly to your blog right now and voilá, here it is! Read looks amazing on you and this dress makes you look so chic and glamorous. You must be the best dressed mom at your kids school. I must confess I loathe PDF patterns but have ordered the print copy of this dress and now I can’t wait to receive it. I have a royal blue double knit with Red Velvet written all over it. Let’s just hope mine turns out half as good as yours.

    • Hahaha!!! I pressed the publish button before I should have. I’m such a tease!
      Thank you. I LOVE this dress. It shows that you can be comfy without looking schleppy. I know your version will be fabulous. Not long to wait now. 😉

  13. Liara says:

    What a beautiful dress!! It looks fantastic on you!! And what a difference a simple adjustment like the Deep Bust Adjustment makes. I need to start working on learning how to do different adjustments.

  14. Fiona M says:

    Fantastic! I can’t wait to get my pattern – I’m waiting for the paper one.
    I love how that little DBA makes such a difference to the fit.
    Gorgeous colour on you too!

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  16. Anne W says:

    Gorgeous, you should wear more red!

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