How to Make a Simple Redwork Cake Band


This beautiful redwork cake band would make the perfect finishing touch to a Christmas or birthday cake. This band is 6cm (21?2in) high but the width is easy to alter.

This one fits a cake with a circumference of 60cm (24in). If you want to adapt the cake band to a larger cake size, cut your fabric and wadding (batting) strips to measure the circumference of your cake tin plus 5cm (2in) for an overlap. The cake band is washable so it can be used time and time again.

Redwork cake band

You will need

6.5 x 65cm (21?2 x 26in) white cotton main fabric

6.5 x 65cm (21?2 x 26in) backing fabric

6.5 x 65cm (21?2 x 26in) thin wadding (batting)

One skein of DMC 815 coton à broder no. 16

143cm (56in) of 18mm (11?16in) ready-made bias binding with lace edge

Finished size

6.5 x 65cm (21?2 x 26in)

To make the cake band

1. Transfer the polar bear motifs, or motifs of your choosing (see Templates and Motifs), onto the white cotton fabric strip using your preferred method – Mandy explains the transfer technique she uses here. You can place the polar bear motifs in a grouping of your own choice, here they are groups of three, with a front-facing bear being flanked by right-facing and left-facing bears to either side.

2. Take your piece of wadding (batting) and lightly spray it on one side with spray adhesive following the manufacturer’s instructions, then smooth it onto the back (unmarked side) of the white cotton fabric strip.

3. Embroider your design with the coton à broder. The snowballs and polar bears were stitched with backstitch and the polar bears’ eyes were worked with French knots; their freckles were worked with very small single stitches and their claws with slightly longer single stitches.

4. Once your embroidery is complete, lightly spray the back of the wadding (batting) with spray adhesive and smooth the backing fabric onto it, trimming if necessary.

5. Starting at one end of the cake band, open out the binding and place the cake band in between the fold; pin and tack (baste) in place. Machine stitch all the way along the edge to the end of the cake band (see diagram). Raising the needle, take the cake band away from the sewing machine, and open out the binding flat along the next edge so that the cake band is butting up against the fold and there is a 45 degree angle fold on the binding at the corner edge. Fold the binding back in along the edge to mitre the corner beautifully (see diagram). Lower the needle and continue to stitch along the next edge. Mitre each corner in the same way. When you reach your starting point, tuck under the raw edge of the binding to neaten before completing your stitching.

MS new diagrams 1

6. The cake band is secured in place with pins, which allows it to be adjusted to fit different-sized cakes. I recommend you use three pins with knobs on the end, so that they are decorative as well as being easy to see to remove.

Wrap the finished cake band around your cake and get ready to blow out the candles.


This pattern is excerpted from Mandy Shaw’s latest book Simply Redwork which includes lots of other redwork embroidery projects including the stunning heart quilt on the cover.

Simply Redwork

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