More Sewing Cake Hummingbird Tops!

So far I’ve finished three Sewing Cake Hummingbird tops, green version! My first two were knit jersey fabrics with 5 percent lycra in solid colors, which I got at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley: a blue lightweight cotton knit and a red heavyweight cotton knit; and my third a striped black-and-white cotton knit with lycra (percentage unknown because I got it from San Francisco’s Discount Fabrics, which doesn’t list much fabric info on the bolts).

Blue Hummingbird-mural1

This pattern is so flattering (love the peplum!) and it’s easy to fit to your figure because you customize the pattern based on your own measurements. All you need are three numbers: your full bust, front waist (measurement from your shoulder to your waist), and waist. I stood in front of a mirror to make sure I got the correct front waist measurement – in my case 17 inches. Then you pick the size closest to your bust measurement. My bust is 37.5 inches but I went with size 35 for a closer fit. I figured that the knit would stretch enough so it would still be comfortable. For a looser fit, I could have picked size 40.

For more on my blue top, see my earlier post “My First Sewalong – Hummingbird 30 Minutes a Day.” You can buy the pattern on Etsy at Cake Patterns by SewingCake.

Hummingbird top pattern

The pattern paper has a nice weight to it. It’s not the tissue-thin paper that some patterns are printed on. The patterns lines are easy to trace, which is great. I drew a line from the “dot” for size 35 to my waist measurement marking (triangle).

Once you’ve traced and cut out the pattern, it doesn’t take very long to put it together. There are only six pattern pieces (front, back, peplum, neck and arm binding. But you do need to do some pressing in between certain steps.

Striped Hummingbird pieces2

In case you’re wondering, the peplum is one piece (cut on the fold), which looks really cool when you use a striped fabric. (As you can see from the photo above, I cut my sleeve and neck binding for my striped top on the bias.) You can also opt to cut a four-seamed peplum on the bias, which would look quite striking.

I used bias fusible stay tape on the hem. I wasn’t sure how it would fare in the washing maching but the blue and red versions have been through one wash and look fine.

My Materials

1 3/8 yards of jersey fabric for each top

All-purpose polyester thread (Gutterman 430 for the red top, Coats and Clark blue thread for the blue top, and Coats and Clark white thread for the striped top)

Fusible stay tape (I used 3/8 inch Design Plus bias fusible stay tape for knit shoulders)

Schmetz 70/10 jersey needle

Fabric cost: The red and blue knits were between $9 and $10/yard. I can’t remember what I paid for the striped knit. It’s been sitting in my stash for a while. My guess is less than $10/yard. It has a nice weight to it. So I’d say it’s about $15 a top.

The Hummingbird top is versatile.

Striped Hummingbird - standing2

It looks good with pants and can be dressed up, like with this silk polka dot skirt.

Red Hummingbird peplum

It’s a very nice staple to add to your wardrobe and very comfy to wear. I’m sure I’ll be making more!

Striped h-bird - handStriped h-bird-window

Blue h-bird-benchBlue h-bird - akimbo

Striped h-bird-adjustingStriped h-bird - red rail

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Author:Chuleenan

Chuleenan Svetvilas is a writer who sews and collects hats and shoes. She is a fabric addict and loves classic films and vintage clothes.

2 Responses to “More Sewing Cake Hummingbird Tops!”

  1. September 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    I love your beautiful hummingbirds, C! That stripey one is especially eye-catching, I have such a soft spot for beautiful stripes. :) Glad the pattern works so well for you, posts like this are great motivators!

    • September 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      Thank you! I could have been more careful in matching the stripes in the side seams. Regardless I love the stripes on the peplum. I have a plum knit that’s just waiting to be made into another Hummingbird top. And I’m nearly done with the blue version with a dickie – had to tweak it b/c it was a little too fitted. ;)

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