Christmas Tiramisu (the dress)

Sorry, not the dessert.

There is a reason why I’m posing like that. The grin is just natural (if somewhat manic.)

Rather, the dress! A pattern by the lovely Stephanie of 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World, who lives in Brisbane.  I took the opportunity when I was in Brisbane recently to see if Steph wanted to meet.  She did! We happened to meet the day Steph, after myriad dramas, finally received her delivery of the pattern.  So I got mine personally delivered! Lucky me.  Thank you, Steph.

I think I’ve worked out how to pose for pictures in my sewn up clothes!

In addition to being possibly the first person in Australia to get their pattern, I think I am among the first few on the internet to make the dress. I am going to savour this, because it is so very, very rarely that I ever beat the internet. Take that, internet!

This pattern is fantastic, especially for newbies like me.  Even with the printing error on the bodice (first print run problems; you get a “patch” with the pattern and very clear instructions for how to use it), I actually understood how it all came together as I was tracing the pattern.  Now that’s a clear, cleverly designed pattern plus instructions especially as I am not a visual learner. (Woman of words, I am.)  I cannot recommend this pattern enough, and not just because I met Steph and she’s lovely.  Indeed, I’m super keen on the next pattern, Pavlova, despite knowing that skirt is not at all my style.

The skirt on the Tiramisu dress is not really my style either.  I don’t have “booty” so I end up lost in the folds.  I did not have the courage, however, to modify before sewing up.  I’m pretty happy to make my first item as a test piece and then work out what mods I might make in future.

Christmas Tiramisu! Generally, I prefer blue.

One of the great things about this pattern is that it is very easy to alter.  I probably could have made the bodice tighter (next time round I will cut a smaller cup; this time round I cut a D cup) but my knit was not super stretchy and I don’t wear things very form-fitting anyway.  As it was, I did end up taking the finished garment in at the waist about 2cm both sides, and I took in the back of the skirt from the centre seam.  I probably took out a good 20cms (grading it carefully so it kept the shape).  Next one, I will make more of an A-line skirt, and less of a circle skirt.

I also cut the skirt longer than the pattern – I added an inch.  The dress description says the dress hits at knee-length, but I prefer just below my knees.  I don’t know why I failed to remember that I am shorter than average and just trust something that says it will be knee-length will mostly likely be longer on me.  Foolish me! When I put on the finished dress, I practically disappeared in a swirl of red! I am, after all, a shorty pants. I took off a good 5 inches (12.5 cm).

I was really chuffed with how I did this, so I shall share with you, should you too foolishly think you are taller than you actually are and lengthen, when the one thing you have done most of in sewing is: raise hems.  Sometimes, I am a complete ning-nong.

  • Step One: Measure. I measured and tried to work out where the length sat best on me by some crazy pinning while wearing.  Because the skirt is a half-circle, it’s rather difficult to get a clean hem by pinning (and I’ve never been much good at this anyway…) but I got a rough idea.  Then I measured the distance from the waist on the dress (where the midriff part joins the skirt) to the length I liked.  21 inches, in case you’re wondering.
  • Step Two: Modify pattern piece.  I took my pattern piece and measured 21 inches on the centre line, and re-drew and cut the piece again.
  • Step Three: Cut your finished product.  I overlaid the pattern piece onto my finished garment – just the front skirt pieces – and cut.  For the centre back (which I had taken in) I matched the centre fold with my shortened pattern piece and then moved the piece side to side until the curve of the base matched with the curve of the bases of the front skirt pieces which I had already cut.  Then I cut it too.
  • Step Four: there is no step four! However, remember to leave an allowance for a hem, if you intend to hem.

I intend to leave the hem raw, but there’s enough there that I can hem it at a later date should I wish to.  Though heaven knows why I would wish to hem when I don’t have to!  Hurrah for knits!

This came together so quickly, I wanted to make another one straight away.  I have some deliriously boring grey fabric ($10 for 6m, obtained from the best op shop in all of Melbourne) that I think would make a great work Tiramisu.  I will, however, modify the skirt to be more of an A-line when I make it next.  I’ll let you know (just don’t hold your breath!).



  1. Yay! You beat the ‘net! 🙂 I’m hoping to make a Tiramisu this week too… but I’m afraid it might have to be a shirt length version, since I only have 1m of the fabric I want to use! 😛 I did a muslin of the bodice though, and I’m so impressed with how well it is drafted. Thanks goodness for indie patterns!
    Your version looks great – I think the skirt suits you!


    1. I know – that’s not going to happen very often. I look forward to seeing yours! The skirt is growing on me. I think it could be very bike-in-able…


  2. I can’t see the pictures (work blocks Flickr >_<) but still wanted to say yay!! And it's a bit special that you were the first person to get your mits on it 😛


    1. Yeah!!! I think we can have a Melbourne Tiramisu party!
      You should definitely take the opportunity to meet Steph next time you are in Vegas. She is thoroughly lovely and you two would properly geek out on sewing construction. I am not a clever enough sewer to really engage with Steph about it!


  3. Hi Oanh
    Congratulations! I think you have done such a great job! I am so impressed with the perfect hem – and full marks for being so patient! I hope to see you in more dresses from now on.
    Keep on sewin’ xx


  4. Nice red Tira! I made one in a boring navy blue but I’m liking it because I get to wear crazy tights and all the scarves I never wear because I don’t own many solid dresses.


    1. Thanks for visiting me, Leila! Yes, I’m tempted to make one in boring navy blue as well, but that is because I always wear boring solid colours 🙂 this lovely red is the most exciting I’ve done!


    1. I used to have two very hairy cats, so, I certainly also had clothes covered in cat hair 😀 Alas, not any longer as our lifestyle does not permit pets, who would be roundly neglected. So, I just envy everyone else’s kitties…


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