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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
It looks good with pants and can be dressed up, like with this silk polka dot skirt.
It’s a very nice staple to add to your wardrobe and very comfy to wear. I’m sure I’ll be making more!