Thank you all for your diplomatic comments to my last post, magoo you are so right that everyone has left very polite comments! And snarktastical what a good idea to cut the top off to level it and then flip it over - the reason I didn't cut the top off was because I didn't want the crumbs in the icing sugar, but now it just seems so obvious.....
In the end it didn't matter, because the cake tasted fantastic (how could it not with that much icing on it!) and my husband was very surprised and happy because it's the first time someone has made him a themed birthday cake! I cannot believe that he escaped childhood without a train birthday cake or some other creation from the Australian Womens Weekly birthday cookbook (the most famous book for cakes in Australia). Actually I find it a little sad, as I have lots of memories of my birthday cakes from when I was little, but perhaps the Chinese don't go over the top the way that some of us do!
We had a small party for about 50 people at a local restaurant for him and his best friend who was also 40 a few days earlier, so of course I needed something new to wear. I decided to make this sequin jacket from Burda 7/2011, model no 101.
This is also the first time I've sewed with sequined fabric too. I was a little wary of it because the fabric was $50/m, but it turns out that it was no harder to cut or sew than a thick denim - I just went slowly and carefully and there were no problems. I chose this bronze coloured teeny tiny little sequins, which even though it's on a stretch mesh background it's quite heavy fabric:
I made a minor change to the pattern cutting the back piece on the fold instead of having a centre back seam. I couldn't work out why there was a centre back seam at all because the pattern doesn't provide for any shaping along that seam, so I figured it was best to have as few seams as possible since I wouldn't just be able to overlock the edges as usual. I would have liked to have also eliminated the shoulder to cuff seam by cutting it out as one piece (therefore only having the side seam and underarm in one long seam), but my fabric wasn't quite big enough to do that. But surprisingly the sequin fabric pressed quite well so the seam sits flatly.
Here's my version:
It is quite shapeless, but it draped nicely almost like an itchy heavy cardigan because of the weight of the fabric. I left this unlined as per the pattern, but I might go back and line it because the fabric is a little scratchy against bare skin, and I found that without a solid foundation like interfacing or lining the neckline stretched out a little and the jacket kept sliding off my shoulders due to the weight of the fabric. Although a closure at the front might help keep it on too. We'll see, I'm usually quite bad at going back to fix something once it's made and worn, and who knows when I'll be wearing a sparkly jacket again!
On the inside I bound the seams with sheer grey organza strips which on the one hand turned out well because they are almost transparent, but on the other hand the organza is fraying a bit because I was too lazy to double fold the strips so that the raw edges were on the inside. Live and learn. I wasn't sure if this fabric would fray, but I was worried that the sequins might start falling off near the cut edge and plus they were a little sharp in places so it was good to enclose them.
For the neck facing I used strips of the selvage, and for the front facing I just cut the pattern pieces out with the front edge lined up against the selvage so I could just fold it under twice and hand stitch it down. This worked out well, because if the jacket flipped out a little the facing wasn't too noticeable because it was the same colour as the inside of the jacket anyway.
So for such a simple shapeless little jacket I actually rather like this. It's totally unlike anything else I own, and is by the far the sparkliest thing in my wardrobe but it's good to break out of your usual style sometimes and try something new I think (especially if your look is rather classic and somewhat sedate like mine). Plus I can see me wearing this with dark denim jeans and heels for a more casual look, so it may be versatile than I would expect from a sequined jacket.