Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pavlova Paradiso!

 Finally, after a long time cheerleading from the sidelines and looking guiltily at the pattern, I finally got into the Pavlova. I bought a length of exquisite bitter chocolate coloured cashmere wool jersey for it and day after Earthquake, I was ready to roll.

 Pavlova by Cake Patterns. I love this wrapover cardi!
When shopping I didn't have the pattern with me and figured 1.5m oughta do it. Hrmph, called for 3m. This stuff on sale was over $30m, so no way was I going back for more.
Second problem. Prewashed fabric shrank about 10%, meaning the pattern didn't fit EITHER way. And I needed to draft it up yet another size from the availables. Plus, I am not the shapeliest of shapes - refrigerators have been known to have more curves than I do. My bust and waist are in fact the same. Ahem. So, wrapping thick cashmere around my waist to tie at the front wasn't doing it for me anyway. What to do?
Answers: By introducing a shoulder seam, I could offset the front pattern piece and leave a wedge of fabric for the other major piece, the tail.I decided to make the tail a lot shorter, and replace the extra length with a tape.
'Scuse terrible annotations! Here is an image of the pattern overlaid with tissue, and me converting the shoulder dart into a seam. I drew in the dart sewing line with my french curve, added seam allowances (see parallel curvy lines running through the left dart dot and off the top of the photo. I traced off the rest of the front of the pattern, added another size including some much needed length, and did the same with the back.
Resulting in two pieces, seen here after cutting out my fabric, because I forgot to take a photo of it laid out on the fabric. Er. Blame the earthquake.
Close up of the front piece shows how the leftover triangle of fabric fitted perfectly as an extension to the wrap around. Yay!

Now, here I have to confess that this is not what ACTUALLY happened. What ACTUALLY happened was that on Monday, the Day After the Earthquake, when noone of us was really thinking straight, I tried to entirely redraft this pattern to try and get it to fit my odd shape. I spent all morning on it, cutting it out in the fab pattern tissue that is like fabric, held it up to myself and...
...it fitted about as well as... a thing that doesn't even remotely fit.  Erk. So, I took myself off to Kat's house. The Day After, the central city was closed and so many folk had an unscheduled day off. Kat's response was to make scones. This is one of the many reasons I love her. Another is she is smart and sensible and the perfect person to take my woes to and run them up her flagpole, while eating her scones. So, a few hours of her and Drake's company, and a bonus visit from Nicola, and the plan above was hatched. Thank you both for your calm, fun and sensible company! 
Finally, Sunday was Eat and Sew Cake meet up! So, I used our social sewing session beforehand to sew it together. Three hours of very interrupted sewing time (in a nice way) and it was all done. Normal sewing machine, twin needle for the edging and brown paris binding for the ties, done!
I must admit I don't love me in this as much as I love it on other people, refer previous comment about lack of curves. But, I wore it out and it was cold and windy, and I was cosy and warm the whole time. The fabric is AMAZEBALLS, almost like a boiled wool but with a finer texture and thickness.
It is my Brown Bear, to borrow Sandra's term. (Sandra is another fab member of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network).
I think I just created a garment that will wear out well before I tire of it.
A PHOTO, you ask?
 The Pavlova girls together. MaryLouise, Sandra, Me and Emma

 Holly in her Cabarita with Gemma and Joy, who ate cake but didn't wear it
 The Humming Birds, Zara wearing the top, Wendy the skirt, and Sandra both!
Tiramisus for four - Melissa, Nikki, Nicola and Jo. I love how this dress looks awesome on everyone who makes it, not matter what shape or size they come in!
 Mix and mingle. Me whipping cream in the far background. First attempt resulted in me getting cream on my wearable Pavlova s well! Erk!
 What a glamorous bunch we are!
The Spread. 
A million thanks to Sandra of Flossie FT for hosting us and being such a fun host too! I thoroughly enjoyed my wooden spoon meets sponge light sabre duel with little Lewis, Jedi in Training!


  1. Looks like a great event! Your brown bear looks really cosy.

  2. Dear Mrs. C.,

    I giggled my way through the post. Your descriptions are so apt. Nice cuddly brown bear, too. Now, what's this about an earthquake? My radio was off all weekend. Must go look it up. Glad everyone is okay. Makes me queasy thinking about it. Must go make scones to recover...

    Very best,


    1. Scones beat earthquakes in the famous hand game, Scones, Earthquakes, Teddy bears. Earthquakes beat teddy bears because they bounce onto the floor. Teddy bears beat scones because, well, teddy bears. ;-)
      Wellington NZ had a 6.5 earthquake that shook us up, caused a few buildings to be closed for repairs and shut down the posh end of the CBD for a day. We're a tough lot and can cope, except the spectre of Christchurch looms over us and the aftershocks re very ominous!

  3. What great pics - thanks for sharing. Everyone looks great in their cakes.

    1. Not bad eh! I mean, we really didn't look like a group all wearing the same patterns so they are very versatile :) Beaj you would really rock a Tiramisu!

  4. Sounds like a total win in getting your brown bear out of that awesome fabric, and looks like the perfect cosy snugly wrap top, the Pavlova can be. Thanks for sharing your thinking and how it turned out. And love seeing all the cake wearing cake eating pics!!

    1. I can imagine the idea of a thick cashmere wrap cardi is far from your heat baked person, Ms Winnie! :) The cakes were all delicious, worn and munched upon hehehe

  5. Awww...Brown Bear! Adorable!!

  6. Oh yes, that brown cashmere! I can attest that it is indeed gorgeously soft and luxurious and snuggly. And 'brown bear' is a very good name for a top made out of it! :-)

  7. An excellent choice of fabric, the brown is so rich and matches the snuggliness :-)

  8. I loved your pavlova, your choice of fabric was very snuggly indeed. I might try the ribbon wrap idea as i like reducing the bulk. I might alos need some advice on lengthening the pav top as i think i need my next one to be a nit longer.

  9. I've been teaching a friend with similar figure to you, to sew. I've been wondering how the cake patterns would go with her, and I'm sold. I'm gonna suggest she orders some!

    I adore that colour of brown. Mmmm! And I'm glad it's so snuggly. My experience of Wellington is that snuggly is very much needed!

  10. Wow how much fun and sad that I missed it. What lovely makes of all descriptions. Rock on the next meeting!