Cake Carmine: Help!

You all know I love a knit basic, and I’m a big fan of Sewing Cake – I’ve made easily 10 pairs of Espresso leggings, and at least 10 Tiramisu dresses! 

So when Carmine was finally released, I bought it right away! I haven’t seen any finished versions of the pattern anywhere online yet, but I love the line drawing – it looks flattering and trim, and perfect for layering! 

3334 Front

Unfortunately, my first and second version didn’t turn out that way! I sewed both versions up in one morning – it’s such a fast pattern to make. Maybe even faster than a t-shirt!? 

Here’s my first version, in cotton lyrca knit:

Carmine attempts...

Eeeek! I think I might have stretched out the circle when I inserted the pique elastic as trim… which is such a shame, because I was sure it was going to look so cute! As it is, when the collar lays flat (like in the top row of photos) then I get a very unattractive tent in the back flounce. If I pull the flounce snug in the back (as in the bottom row), then the collar is massive and won’t lay flat!

I tried pinning it shut in different ways, and thought maybe I could save it wit two button holes… but oh no…

Carmine attempts...

AGHHHHH! It’s technically wearable, I guess, but I’d never feel chic or put together when everything is pulling and flopping around like that. 

Undaunted, i made another version, this time without the piping and with a single layer collar in hopes that it would drape better. Well… It kind of does? 

Carmine attempts...

This version is sewn in a Rayon Poly Spandex ponte. When the collar is open, I still feel like drapes a bit awkwardly. I like the look more when it’s held closed like in the line drawing, but then it pulls oddly through the kimono sleeve. 

You’d never know it, I but I actually added an inch and a half in length to the centre back to try to get the flounce seam closer to my waist. Right now I feel like a linebacker from behind – look how broad and massive it makes my upper back look! 

I love the *idea* of this pattern, but it’s just not working for my body right now. How can I get the effect I want? 

  • Part of the problem, I think, is that the gusset isn’t sitting in my armpit, but way forward onto my bust. That doesn’t seem right, does it? Maybe I could move it backward somehow?
  • Take a few wedges out of the circular collar/flounce piece so that it drapes more smoothly?
  • Add 3” more length to the centre back so that the seam hits in the small of my back?
  • Or, the nuclear option: use my TNT raglan pattern with the circular flounce to make something that fits my shoulders properly? Right now the back, front shoulders, and sleeve are all one pattern piece, which makes it a challenge to alter. 

I’m completely open to advice on this one, so please, help me out! 

Update: I cut apart my pink version, did some draping on the manequin, and attached it to a raglan top. It much closer to what I envisioned, and maybe even wearable… but it would take a few more versions to really get it right! Thanks for the help, everyone!

Second Update: 

Here’s how I changed it… cut apart the flounce and bodice, and put them on my manequin to see what fabric I’d need to add to get the flounce sitting in the small of the back and draped smoothly across the front. I also tried draping it the same way over top of a Jalie raglan tee – and as I hoped the front seamlines matched up nicely!


Since I was short on fabric, I managed to recut the Carmine kimono sleeve into the Jalie Raglan sleeve. I cut out a back piece, and some crescent moon shapes for the front… and got this! The back ended up an inch too long, and I had to ease the shirt part into the flounce.. but at least I’ve got something sort of wearable, right? If I try this pattern again, it’ll probably be another hacked version like this – I just think it suits my body shape better than the cropped jacket which it’s designed to be! 

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