What do you sew vs what do you wear?

Chatting with Mela on our V&A visit we talked a lot about about sewing “frosting” or “cake”. Those expressions quoted directly from Sewaholic post {Too Much Frosting, Not Enough Cake}, where Tasia said : Frosting is the fun, bright, pretty, exciting things we make! Frosting isn’t always sewn with cake in mind. It’s like making an awesome, shiny blouse but not having a single solid bottom that coordinates.  Cake are the basic everyday where pieces, mostly in solids colour.”

I’m very interested to know. Do you sew what you wear day to day or sew your dream wardrobe that actually is no where sensible for your daily routine? And Why?

I, for example always shopped ‘Frosting’, therefore was non brainer that my sewing direction was to sew ‘frosting’. But as life style changes, I find my wardrobe full of beautiful clothes that are not practical or functional. Yes, I can without shame say my wardrobe is all style but not substance. where are those luxurious basics? 

  • I’ve gained a bit of weight since moving abroad and sewing my own clothes was my answer to a new wardrobe. That new wardrobe had to be practical. I have yet to sew “frosting”. But I will now that I’m more comfortable with my sewing skills. I think everyone needs a good balance of both.

    • I think your wardrobe is very colourful, fun and full of personality… and really YOU.

    • Thank you! I try 🙂

  • I have such a practical personality that I only really sew cake. I long for more frosting, but rarely get round to it, maybe I should?!

    • only if you feel you want to try something different. I tried practical clothes and enjoy the change… but I’m my heart i am frosting girl x

  • I’ve been sewing a lot more practical items recently. When I was making a dress for a wedding last month, I spent so much time making it nice that I felt a little sad I wouldn’t be able to wear it more often. This cemented the idea that 80% cake 20% frosting (roughly!) was the way to go!

  • This has forever been and probably still is my big problem. Not even so much the things I sew, but mostly the fabric I buy- they are mostly “frosting” type, and they end up gathering in the boxes, never used, as they are often very difficult to combine, too dressy, or just for a warmer climate than Irish. I am now buying fabrics for particular projects in mind- which are mostly “cake”, but the piles of “frostings” are beginning to really annoy me, although getting rid of them is even more difficult. I ‘d love to do a swap with someone, but there is no-one nearby to do it. I might have to start fabric giveaways or smth

    • we would love for you to come one time to our get together… Im sure we can have a postal fabric swap too.

      about the warmer clement.. on I’m guilt of that.. i buy with my Brazilian brains.. very bright, colourful and cooling clothes.. not really suitable for UK weather

  • I` tend towards sewing frosting, but i do have some cake as well. mostly dresses that i wear for work.

    • nice that you can wear your cakes to work ! It gets very used and feels good to be wearing things we made.

  • Thankfully, I need both frosting and cake in my wardrobe. Really lucky as I enjoy making both.

    • thats really lucky.. and you make many creative items too which I love !

  • I buy the cake and sew the frosting. But I wear the frosting all the time. Once I stopped “saving” the clothing that I really like for some occasion and gave myself permission to wear clothing that makes me feel happy every day, my wardrobe – and my perspective – became much more fun.

    • Thats my philosophy too… its so nice to allow yourself to just dress nicely

  • I’m a bit like Clio I buy cake and frosting but it’s more of the frosting I actually sew, for example I have still to get the Renfrew pattern out of the envelope despite wearing t-shirts most of the time and being in desperate need to replenish my supply. My excuse is that I’ve had trouble finding suitable fabric but that’s just an excuse as I haven’t looked very hard!!!
    My frosting is not too overly frosting so does fit into my lifestyle quite well.

    I’ve just realized anyone seeing this comment out of context would have NO idea what I’m talking about!!!!!

    • LOL.. well the important is to be happy with what you sew..

      I know.. I’m loving reading the responses in sewing Code !

  • OH cake is so dullyitydulldulldull to sew. I get around it (when I do, which is not that often!) by making two or three pairs of boring trousers at a time. My frosting tends to be things like coats – no use without actual clothes to wear under them! I don’t particularly enjoy the idea of sewing knits, although really it’s fine when I do it, so I have a pile of cake ingredients (which I find are often more expensive than the frosting ones!) in my stash that I really ought to get on with!
    Lovely distinction, Rachel!

  • well I make a lot of cake and also some frosting for special occasions. I get a little frustrated when I make frosting that you sometimes put a lot of time and effort into it and only wear it once.

    I am concentrating on a 3 piece collection which I hope to finish before I leave for The Hague Tuesday – cake with overtones of frosting

  • As much as I know I should sew more practical items, I can’t help but be drawn to frosting. And, because I make them, I’m determined to wear them so, I can often be seen wearing a dress to the fabric store haha. I am planning to make a few casual pieces this summer though.

  • I’m more frosting than cake.
    personally frosting is more fun to sew but it takes up valuable wardrobe space especially since I don’t wear it too often!!! so now I’m trying to sew more cake.

  • You know Rachel.. I think I love cake and frosting.. I actually do a little bit of it all.. I tend to do a good bit of frosting for the kids.. and even myself.. I just love to sew, and have fun at it.. I find fabrics that catch my attention… and who knows …what it will turn up ??? could be frosting and could be cake.. What ever notion hits that day.lol
    Good question.

  • Anonymous

    I primarily sew cake, with a bit of frosting included. I like to plan and sew related separates–6 to 10 pieces–with one of them being on the “frosting” side to facilitate the change from office to evening. I used to sew quite a bit of frosting–my life included a lot of formal occasions at the time–and I do miss that occasionally. But I’ve learned to like the new balance of more cake with just a touch of frosting–exactly the way I like to eat it! *LOL*


  • As I am new seamstress I haven’t made so many garments yet but I notice that I tend to buy mostly fabric on the frosting side. However I would love to eventually create a wardrobe of me-made everyday clothes and that’s why I have started planning for more basic pieces in my sewing.

  • Wow this a brilliant analogy. I totally sew frosting and have a wardrobe full of exciting prints. I tend to buy fabrics that jump out at me, which leads to the full frosting wardrobe phenomenon! Recently I have decided to concentrate on sewing outfits rather than singles, and to spend time sewing simple basics. This means shopping for blacks, greys and beige : ) x

  • I’m calling my sewing “funfetti cake” because most of what I make is practical (I got tired of never wearing the clothes I made because they were too fancy or a crazy print) but my cake is still cute.