My Sew Red October Project

Fitted tee using part of Sewing Cake Hummingbird pattern - photo by Chuleenan Svetvilas -

OK – my Sew Red October project seems a bit lazy (and lame) in comparison to the oh-so-pretty Red Roses Dress that Heather of Handmade by Heather B made or this red polka dot beauty by Roisin of the Dolly Clackett blog. But I wanted to do something super easy after spending many, many hours on my Fall for Cotton blouse, which involved delicate 60-something-year old vintage swiss dot fabric, hand embroidery, and an invisible side zipper (see pix here My Fall for Cotton 1940s Girl Friday Blouse Is Finished!).

I made a fitted tee using the front and back pattern pieces of the Sewing Cake Hummingbird top and drafting a piece to extend the bottom, which you can see in my my post Hashtag Sew Red October. (I made my first Hummingbird peplum top during the Hummingbird Sewalong.)

This my first Sewing Cake pattern hack – and I’m sure I’ll do plenty more. Melanie of The Seeds of 3 has done a quite a few Sewing Cake hacks – see the links in her comment in my Hashtag Sew Red October post.

Thanks to Lady Katza for coming up with the initial hashtag and to Gillian for creating the very cool button below. Love it!

Sew Red October

Now I’ll subject you to a bunch of photos (or what my husband calls narcissism). As I mentioned in the earlier post on this top, I was just guessing about the width of the hip area. I did want a snug tee but this seems a tad too fitted. Actually I prefer not wearing it all smoothed out because then it makes my waist look slightly less pudgy than it currently is. Hehheh. (I need to get back to the gym!)

One thing I forgot about this knit fabric is that it’s a heavyweight cotton knit (with 5 percent lycra) and doesn’t have a lot of give in it. Sure it stretches but it’s got a tight weave so you don’t have much ease.  The red Hummingbird peplum top I made was snug. So for a tee, I should have traced another Hummingbird top at the next size up. Oh well, next time. (You can see my three Sewing Cake peplum tops in the post More Sewing Cake Hummingbird Tops!)

Thanks sewcialists for this sewalong idea! It was a good way for me to

Tee using part of Sewing Cake Hummingbird pattern - photo by Chuleenan Svetvilas -

Tee using part of Sewing Cake Hummingbird top pattern - photo by Chuleenan Svetvilas

Tee using part of Sewing Cake Hummingbird top pattern - photo by Chuleenan Svetvilas

Tee using part of Sewing Cake Hummingbird pattern - photo by Chuleenan Svetvilas

Tee using Sewing Cake Hummingbird top pattern - photo by Chuleenan Svetvilas


60″ wide heavyweight cotton knit with 5 percent lycra $9.99/yard
[I had two yards and much of it had stains (from a prewash disaster), which I cut around. I think you could make this top with about a yard of fabric.]
Schmetz jersey needle
Matching thread

Accessories: I’m wearing a cheap hat made in China from paper fiber but I like it a lot and wear it often. In my hair is a strip of the knit fabric with the ends knotted together – a great way to use up scraps and make headbands or hair ties! The vintage bracelet was a gift from one of my sisters. Jeans are RTW – trouser cut by Tahari that I’ve had for a few years.

Photos: The top photo was shot when a beam of late afternoon sun was hitting the shed I was standing in front of – thus the sun glasses. But then that bit of sun disappeared so I shot the rest against the back of the apartment building. By then the area was all in the shade, which gives the photos a bluish cast.

Thanks for reading! What have you made or are in the process of making for Sew Red October? Please let me know and include links so I can check out your project. I’d love to see what you’ve made!

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Hashtag Sew Red October

Sew Red October

I’m participating in Sew Red October (#sewredoctober) – initially called #redoctober but then it was changed when folks realized that it was a hashtag being used for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. The idea is simple –  sew something in red in October.

I first heard about it from Leila of Three Dresses Project in her September post The Sewcialists do it again with Red October. Then you post your photos to the Sewcialists Flickr page. There are some great finished projects up already so check it out!

The great logo was designed by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow. I love the periscope, which oh so cleverly evokes the entertaining film (and book) The Hunt for Red October. Thank you Gillian!

Red is one of my favorite colors so I wanted to participate as soon as I heard about it. But first I had to complete my Fall for Cotton project and my Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank. (You can see photos here: My Fall for Cotton 1940s Girl Friday Blouse Is Finished! I haven’t posted about the tank yet.)

We were going through a couple of heat waves in the Bay Area but I knew that wasn’t going to last so I had to get the tank done.

Meanwhile I thought about what I would make for Red October. I had a couple yards of red knit fabric that was ruined in June when I prewashed it with three other knits – black, brown, and blue. For some reason the red was the only fabric that got these blotchy stains on it from the black! I was so disgusted I just put it away. Here’s one splotchy area. Grrrrr!

Stain on my red knit fabric from prewashing

When I heard about Red October I decided to take another look at the fabric. A couple areas didn’t have random dark areas on it so I thought why not see if I could make something from it? So I decided to do my first Sewing Cake Hummingbird pattern hack and make a red tee shirt. (You can buy the Hummingbird pattern in Sewing Cake’s Etsy shop as a printed paper pattern or a PDF.)

I’ve already made three Hummingbird peplum tops and I like the binding on the neckline and armhole so why not make a tee? (Photos of my blue, striped, and red ones are here: More Hummingbird Tops!)

I used the front and back pieces of the Green top and then I drafted a bottom piece 9 inches (22.9 cm) long to attach to the existing Hummingbird top pieces. I really wasn’t sure how much to add to the hip width to accommodate the stretch. Also I wanted it to be a fitted tee, not a loose one. I used my hip curve to draw a line from the waist to the widest hip point. I decided to add about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) – it may not enough but hey, this is essentially a muslin, right?

Cutting around stains

Here’s a closer shot of the bottom piece I drafted and just placed beneath my pattern piece for the Hummingbird front top piece. I drafted another bottom piece (also 9 inches long) for the back.

New bottom piece for Hummingbird hack

My pieces are cut and ready to sew! (Yeah, they’re wrinkly because I folded up the fabric to cut elsewhere and didn’t have an iron on hand.)

Hummingbird hack - cut pieces

Have you hacked any Cake Patterns? What did you do? And if you’re making something for Red October, please share your link in the comments below. I’d love to see what you’re working on!

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