A New Sewing Studio!

One week ago today I was finishing my coffee and new that I needed to do a thorough cleanup of my studio and NOT looking forward to it. It was as if a hurricane had run through there! I’m not kidding thread and fabric bits everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE. I wish I had taken a picture of it to show you. Some of you may be able to relate, sometimes when the creative juices are flowing you just can’t stop to cleanup.

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After!

My room used to be my son’s and I took it over when he moved out. The carpeting in there was the same as when we bought the house and probably the original from when the previous owners added on to the house. So we’re talking probably at least 20 years old….just gross!  Carpeting in a sewing space is not at all practical, everything sticks to it and the vacuum takes a huge beating having all that thread tangling around the brush roller. I’ve wanted to replace the floor for a long time, but we had other things more priority than my fun space.

Saturday, June 10, 2016 at approximately 10 am, I’d had it. Here is how it went:

Me: Honey (to my husband), What would you say if I told you I wanted to move everything out of my sewing room, rip out the carpet, go buy some laminate flooring and install it.

Husband: I’d say, how can I help?

Me: Really? Great, I’m in the shower right now!

We discussed the plan and decided that it was time to sort through my fabric and create a keep box and a get rid of box. I wanted to clean out all my patterns too, but will do that another day…it’s a huge undertaking.

I won’t bore you with the rest, but am going to share my work in progress pictures and the final reveal, let’s face it we all love to lurk 😉

Flooring: Harmonics, Mill Creek Maple $26/box…we used 8 boxes

Thanks so much for sharing in my joy!!

x G

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COMPLETED: Tommy’s Cargo Shorts SABOYO-style!

It was about time for some unselfish sewing! I was trying to get these shorts done for my wonderful husband to wear on Fathers Day, but I had to redraft the cargo details based on some UnionBay shorts he really likes.

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I’ve patronized Silhouette Patterns/Peggy Sagers for a number of years. Recently, I’ve feared away simply because I’ve gotten frustrated with the seemingly sloppy product.  By that I mean, there are frequently errors in the printed patterns and instructions. When brought to her attention, she has been unwilling to fix them. She just tells you how to fix them or says it really doesn’t make a difference [in the finished garment]. I don’t think a $15 pattern should contain errors so consistently. Enough with the rant…sorry😳. Anyhow, she popped up with a new pattern for our men folk AND the pattern photo was a really cool cargo short…roomy side pocket detail to be specific.  I completely disregarded the technical drawing which showed a rather dorky plain flat patch pocket. I was pissed! At SP and myself for not looking closely before clicking the buy button.

So I set out to make my husband some new shorts with the details he wanted.  The pocket drafting was not complicated, but took some time.

I used waxed paper over the pockets and fingernail traced each detail. Then I trued up the lines and added seam allowance directly on the wax paper. I used my window as a light box and traced over each piece onto paper. The only challenge was creating the darted corners in the back pocket. I scratched my head for a bit until I realized, it was just a dart…easy peasy!

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Here is my pattern review:

Pattern Description:  A basic cargo short with jeans styling front pocket and a yoke back. Side patch pockets with flaps.

Pattern Sizing:  Size 1 to 9 which equates to waist size 28″ to 44″

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Not the technical drawing, but the photo, yes. More about that on my blog.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I didn’t use them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  Simply that they were copied from RTW…the silhouette, not the cargo pocket.

Fabric Used:  100% cotton twill from FabricMart. I got it as a recent Sues pick for $2.99/yard! This is the real deal in twills.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I completely redrafted the side and back pockets.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Now that I have the styling details my husband wants, it is a TNT.

Conclusion:  I am really glad I stuck with this pattern and didn’t let my pissyness get the best of me. They are a wonderful fit.
I compared the fit/styling with the KwikSew cargo shorts I have made a couple of times and really like the amount of ease in this pattern. They are slimmer without being tight. I’d say great for the men in our lives without much backside flesh 😉

Thanks for visiting!

image image image image image image imageUntil next time!

x G

Tickled Pink! I’ve made a T-Shirt Bra

After my last make, the fail posted about here, I told myself that I was done for a while with bra making. When I woke up the next morning, I set about to find my next up project and was sucked back into these addictive little creatures…BRAs! I’m telling you they are addictive. I had been cleaning up the bits and pieces trying to put them away as reusable pieces and found a bra I had started a couple of months ago. It is the DL01 by MakeBra. It is a cut and sew foam cup number that has been reviewed and blogged several times that shows to be well fitting and flattering all the same. All that was left to do was to apply the neckline and underarm elastics and hardware. So I finished her. It fit! That is the the culprit that put me in the bra-maker’s vortex! 🙃

My zigzag is too tight, makes for wavy seams 😩


Another bra I had going was the Elan bra, a padded-horizontal seamed lace cup with front closure. I finished her as well…I had only gotten one cup finished before putting it away so it took a bit of time to get it done. Fit not so good, it was too small. I was frustrated at the lack of instruction for selecting my size and even tried emailing the pattern maker, I believe FabricDepot.com is the maker. I probably won’t make this bra again due to the fact that you use fusible fleece for the padding and it’s just too many steps to create a bra. Sorry no pic, I trashed it too fast.

Now for the crime-de-la-crime! My beautiful T-Shirt Bra.

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Isn’t she puurrty?!

Here is my review, it’s the same one I’ve posted at PatternReview.

Pattern Description:  from the website
Amanda and Alyssa Foam Cup Pattern , PB-1014
The first pattern of its kind in the world! Yes, you CAN make your own seamless cup t-shirt bras using our Angled Foam cups (MA series) or the Push-up Angled Foam cups (MP series). Two styles to choose from from in one envelope – either all fabric cups (Amanda) or lace cups (Alyssa). Both views have a fabric frame. Pattern is bilingual English and French.

We also sell a kit KM-33 with the fabrics pre-cut for the Amanda pattern. Please see the Kits & Bundles section of this website. To do the Alyssa, you would also need a piece of lace.
Pattern Sizing:
Complete size range from cup size 32 (32B) through to cup size 52 (42E) in one envelope.
Selecting your size is done a bit differently than her other patterns, but is well explained in the directions. As it turns out, I used a size 34 frame/cup and 30″ band.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yessss!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
This is subjective…if you have seen a few bras and have a solid understanding of how a bra is constructed, they are well written. I would not recommend you try it without the added support from Beverly’s Craftsy classes. I have all three of them, and I referred to all of them during making of this bra.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I am so proud of how RTW it looks as well as the terrific fit.

Fabric Used:  I have a rather good supply of bra/lingerie fabrics and bits. However, since this is my first go at a pre-formed foam cup bra I bought the kit available at Sweetcups online. In hindsight…it was a rather pricey decision.
Duoplex for the frame and straps
Power net for the band
Pre-formed angled foam cups, MA (regular, not push-up)
Underwire from The Emerald Studio, France 36
Various elastics and hardware from the small findings kit at Sweetcups

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn’t make any fit changes, but through my haste, I forgot to attaché the straps I made from the pattern and needed to make my own straight straps. They attach to the underarm elastic that is looped to hold a ring and was a technique in one of the classes.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will most definitely sew many more and I do recommend all who want to make their own bras to give this one a go!

Conclusion:
I love the smooth silhouette of a foam cup and will vow to never by another overpriced bra again.

Okay…here are some more pictures, I’ve tried to use some discretion since posting my boobs on the web feels a little weird 😳. I even asked my husband if he was okay with it…after all it’s not much different than galavanting around the beach in a bikini! Amiright?

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Thanks for reading!  Until next time,

x G

Bra-Making: an exercise in patience

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I’ve been exercising 😅. Making bras!

As you know, I’ve been on a quest to a well fitting bra. I’ve been a patron of the well known Victoria’s Secret for many years. Yes, I know that’s a taboo mention among many makers, but it’s the truth. They’ve fit me well enough or so I thought…until recently.

Back in February I attended a seminar presented by Monica O’Rourke of Bravo Bella on a well fitting bra. Here is a video snippet with an introduction to what she taught.  I learned how to conceptualize fit in terms of the physics of the breast and the engineering of support.  It’s the sort of science nerdy stuff that I really enjoy 🤓. With that information and her bra pattern, I believe I am very close to a next to perfect fit.

The apex is slightly off
The apex is slightly off

Now for some exercise and I don’t mean the kind that you sweat from physically strenuous activity.  This exercise does cause a bit of perspiration; an exercise in patience.

One of the tools I have been using are ALL of the Craftsy classes by Beverly Johnson, they are TOL in my opinion. I thought I’d get creative and try using this pattern to make a partial band bra. This is one of the techniques in her second class. However, brave set in and I decided to make a dropped bridge too. The instructions were easy to follow, having to redraft from my well-fitting bra…should have worked. This bra however was an epic F.A.I.L.!

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I tried so hard on this one, using stretch satin with an overlay of mesh. I used shear bra cup lining to maintain fit. What I didn’t recall hearing was that in a partial band bra, the cup is made bigger by the width of the channeling. This shouldn’t create a huge bra, but for me it did. I was so dissapointed 😩. I learned one very important thing…I am not experienced enough to start redrafting bra patterns. First I must “do my time” and make several more bras of different styles in order to better understand bra design and fit. This was not only an exercise in patience, but an “Ah-Ha!” moment for me.

Until next time!

G

 

 

COMPLETED: Almada, Silk Robe

 

I am in love…

I subscribe to Seamwork Magazine and have since it’s inception.  If you don’t know, it’s an e-magazine (aka ezine) put out by Collete Patterns monthly.  As a subscriber, you get credits to use towards patterns published with the magazine.  A few months ago they featured lingerie and one of the patterns was Almada.  She is a very loose and airy robe, perfect for the up and coming Summer!  I have wanted to make this up, but was waiting for the perfect fabric pairing.

I think I’ve found it.  I have an out of control stash, and finding that it overwhelms me at times.  I bought this silk panel (5yards/panels) a couple of years ago on a huge sale.  I think I paid $5 per yard/panel.  I thought I would be using it for lining a jacket.  That of course never materialized…pun!  AlmadaFront (2)

As of late, my sewing has been flopping…not going well at all.  Of course, it is primarily with bra-making.  So I needed a success darn-it!!

Even with a slippery fiddly fabric like silk, I set out to make this a success and think I hit the mark.  I sort-of experimented with finishing techniques throughout because I just didn’t want to waist any time and wanted a completed garment.  I did however read through the instructions twice to make sure I was not going to miss any special notes.  The construction is very basic and will allow the beginner sewist to learn a technique or two, so is a good easy pattern for a newer sewist to grow in her techniques.

On with my robe.  A couple of considerations I needed to sort out before I began cutting, were how to handle the panels with regard to placement of the pattern pieces.  Silk is not friendly with handling so I wanted to make sure much of the seams appeared intentional as far as placement even if I couldn’t pattern match everywhere.

As it turned out, the back piece (original has a CB seam) could fit nicely over the whole medallion so I omitted the CB seam and centered the motif.  For the front pieces, I tried to place them so that the shoulder seam could match somewhat.  The border around the medallion matches quite nicely although the rest of it not so much.  The coloring of the print makes it not so noticeable so I am very happy with the finish.  When I layed it out flat to mark the tie placement, I noticed the the medallion on the front is an exact match to the back ….wooohooo!! I didn’t even think about that and was a very happy accident 🙂  For the hem, I chose to forgoe the baby hem and used the 3-thread rolled hem on my serger…she does very well with this stitch.  The only thing I am not super pleased with is the side/underarm and shoulder seam finishes.  These were the first seams I did and used a combo of finishes to decide what I wanted.  The first was straight stitch with 3-thread narrow overlock…my serger would not cooperate and it is quite messy (thus no pictures of the inside).  The second was the overcast stitch on my standard sewing machine which I trimmed close.  It is not bad, just not as professional as I like.

After I was done, I remembered a tutorial done by Gail Yellen (YouTube) where she demonstrated how to make a tidy narrow seam finish similar to a french seam with your serger.  Darn-it, I should have done this but it was too late at that point…next time, right?

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I have never had a Summer robe, and certainly not one made of 100% silk, but now I do and feel my sewing mojo coming back :)!  This robe makes me feel so feminine and pretty.  I say, every woman needs a beautiful silk robe to remind her that she is beautiful and worthy of luxury.  Go forth and make yourself something luscious and pretty.  Thanks for reading 🙂

x G

p.s. I am sharing this post on Gray All Day: Sew it Chic June…go on over to see the other posts.  Helena brings together some of our community of bloggers who are showcasing their latest makes :).  Lets see if we can inspire or get inspired!