Corsets: a new/old fashion discovery

For a long time, I have wanted to make a corset. I bought the boning and tips 2 years or more ago. I do this with many things needed for specialty type projects. They then sit in their places in my sewing studio awaiting their turn in my work. I was not sure why I wanted to make a corset…would I actually wear it? I think corsets can be very beautiful and extremely flattering on any woman.  They just seemed really complicated…the stitching…the fit…the boning. Continue reading

Advertisements

Lovely Lingerie! Madalynne x Simplicity 8228

This weekend I’ve been on a lingerie sewing binge. Cloth Habit released 1003 Harriet bra and I was smitten. I’ve made so many Watsons, so I was sure to love the new underwire and you can see it here..  Madalynne x Simplicity 8228 has been in my lingerie notions drawer for quite a long time because I bought the PDF and had been dreading putting it together. After Harriet was finished and fitting well, I set out and suffered through cutting and taping about a third of the 8228 PDF before realizing each size was separate. Whew!, I quickly thumbed thru and found my size and had the pieces cut out. Continue reading

The Perfect EveryDay Bra! Harriet by ClothHabit

I’m on a roll with filling my undy drawer with freshness!  I guess one could say it is part of preparing for Spring :). As soon as the email announcing her new Bra pattern, Harriet, I hopped on over to Cloth Habit and made the purchase.  Something about this one had me hooked.  harriet-bra-pattern-cover_grande

The Harriet’s classic style features a lovely balconette neckline, supportive scoop-back straps, and a 3-piece cup seam design that lifts and centers.

Views A and B feature supportive, unlined cup fabrics and an optional lace upper cup. View C has a partially lined cup and fully lined cradle which gives you opportunities to play with lace on the front of the bra. from ClothHabit.com

I haven’t yet had terrific success with the other underwire bras I have made. That is not to say that they didn’t fit, they just weren’t exactly the right feel.  The girls didn’t stay happy for more than a few hours.  I set out to select my size using the instructions.  She explained that the sizing is not the same as with Watson, which makes sense I suppose considering this is an underwire and the Watson is a soft bra.  I came up as a 30DD!  Um yah…no way. So instead of making a tester bra with this size, I thought I would pin-fit it so to speak.  What I found is that the cup was way too big…projection-wise. Here is a picture showing what I mean.

harrietpatternpinned
3 different cup sizes…using sister sizes 30DD and 34C Plus 34B as my normal size
30DD projection...smooshed in after placing over my boob
30DD projection…smooshed in after placing over my boob

The 34C seemed to be the closest to a good fit, so I set out to make it up using a scrap of some duoplex. I didn’t have any black plush picot elastic, so I decided to use FOE to finish the neckline.  I removed the seam allowance in order to maintain the correct size.  The fit was darn near perfect except for a tiny amount of excess fabric in the upper cup at the apex. I really like the overall look of this bra and for left over materials/notions…I do like the finished bra!

sorry I am not wearing it...too sheer to post in public
sorry I am not wearing it…too sheer to post in public 🙂

harriet1stedback

I removed a total of 3/8″ from the apex; taking 1/8″ from the upper cup and 1/4″ from the lower cup pieces.  The other adjustment I felt it needed was to add 1/8″ the to bridge width.  As for design changes, I did not want to use picot elastic at the neckline, so I decided to self line the upper cup by placing the seam-line on the fold.  I then attached clear elastic to the inner layer to stabilize the neckline to be invisible.  It worked like a charm! harrietinsides harrietfront harrietbackclosed harriet2nded

I found the instructions to be written and illustrated very well, although I kind of went my own way.  I have no issue with the order of construction used, but just prefer my own quirky order of things. 😉  One thing I want to point others to, is the underwire.  I did not have the size wire suggested, so went through those I had and low and behold…the Plunge wire size 36 was a perfect fit for this bra.  You can get them at Emerald Studio on Etsy.  Unfortunately, I live in the US and the shop is in Canada, so I set out to find an equivalent if not the same.  I believe I found the same wire sold by ArteCrafts; she has a PDF with actual size wires of all types she sells.  I ordered them and should get them soon and am hopeful!

I just love this bra, it is so comfortable, easy to make and super versatile. I have a kit sitting on my cutting table ready to cut out…it will be the lace version. I am so excited!  Anyone else out there sewing up this beauty?

 

COMPLETED: Sophie Swimsuit

The blog has been veeerrry quiet over the last year…no excuses, but the creating has been nonstop.  I figured why not begin the new year with posting about a swimsuit, its been in the teens and 20’s here in the Pacific Northwest…makes sense right? 😉

Its not really swimsuit season, but I have finished this beauty finally.  Last summer, I was on a swimsuit binge in my studio.  I made three Bombshell suits and then Sophie came out.  HeatherLou is so talented with her pattern offerings and I had to partake.

Before last summer, I had never made a swimsuit before and frankly was a little intimidated.  Not sure why, because I have made a boat load of panties and several bras.  There really is no difference other than a few of the notions are different materials like rubber elastic, for instance.  Heather has produced an online course for the intimidated among us and I thought why not!  I enrolled in Sew Your Dream Swimsuit right away and never looked back.  I don’t know about any of you, but I am sort of an online sewing class junkie.  I can’t even count how many Craftsy classes I have and with YouTube, I am always tuned into some sort of video production about sewing and clothing design.  I love the internet!

sophiefront

I had a lot of fun making this suit, the drafting is perfection and the sizing is done similar to CCF other patterns, however the cup sizing is unique.  Heather does a fantastic job explaining how to select you size so there really isn’t any confusion.  I read through the printed instructions and took my measurements. Then I watched the videos and measured again.  I selected the closest size according to my commonly used underwire and measurements.  I chose the halter style with the high waist bottoms using foam for the cups.  The suit went together very easily and rather quickly too.  My machine was not cooperating at all with the top stitching and I kept getting skipped stitches.  So frustrating! I had just gotten my machine serviced and I think they messed up the timing because I have NEVER had any problem with skipped stitches. and Yes, I know…use the appropriate needle, thread….yadayadayada.  I checked, and changed and adjusted and nothing helped.  I still need to get her back to the shop and have them address it.  I mean really…I sew everything on this machine that you can imagine.  I got her done and it is good enough.

sophie
if you can zoom in, you can see the skipped stitching…everywhere..booh!

Sizing:  The suit is a tad snug and not really wearable for me.  The reason it is too small, I believe, is that the fabric being swimsuit material…the Lycra is extra strong.  I think grading out a half of a size in the hips should do the trick.  The top fits okay, but I could use a teeny bit more room in the cups as it sort of cuts into the boob-age along the top…everything else is perfect.  I wish I was brave enough to model this suit, but I am pasty white this time of year, lol!  I promise to make another suit with the adjustments and get a perfect fit so I can get photos this coming Summer.

sophieback
I really like how the print is placed here, but just look at those awful skipped stitches!

I am very satisfied with the pattern and instructions, especially the quality of the video instruction.  Heather is really second to none at responding to questions as well as explaining the how to’s and why’s for everything.  I had some short lived confusion about how to select my cup size and she gave me a very detailed answer, so much so that I saved it to my computer to use next time.  She has a terrific teaching ability.

The huge bonus with this swimsuit pattern, is that it doubles as a bra making exercise as well.  The top is basically a bra made out of swimsuit fabric and notions.  I highly recommend this suit to anyone who wants to make their own suit and if you are afraid of sewing with these fabrics or just want to have Heather hold your hand through the making of your suit, enroll in her companion online course…well worth the money and time (you will have it forever).

Glad to be back with my sewing community, its been way too long! Thanks for reading 🙂

btw:  all of the links in this post are NOT affiliate 🙂

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.

image

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?

image image image image image image

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.!

image

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

 

 

Bra Making…custom-fit!

As I said, although a bit later than promised, I’m back with some progress on my customized bra fit.

I thought I’d provide a proper review with my last post, I thought I’d include it here so that you can see the actual breakdown of adjustments.

Pattern Review: Bravo Bella Bra 2

Description: A full band, 4-piece cup seam designed for maximum support and a round shape, from website.


Sizing: Multi-sized master pattern includes sizes 32D-I, 34D-I, 36D-I, 38D-I, 40D-I, 42D-I, 44D-I, 46D-I, 48D-I.

I learned how to think about bra sizing while attending a seminar by Monica O’Rourke…my size in this pattern is a 32D. My RTW size is 34B. Who knew!!

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes and no…I used my own experience along with her DVD and the pattern instruction just to keep on track. I will add that I have taken Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy classes and have learned quite a bit. I highly recommend all of the :).

Likes/Dislikes:

It actually feels like it truly fits. It does not give me weird, pointy or squished boobs. The support is amazing. I can jump up and down and don’t feel as if the girls are going to rip from my chest.  Another little nugget of goodness is that it doesn’t take any rings or sliders, so if you don’t want to source the little fiddly bits you don’t have to.  The strap attachment on the side cup is to short to allow for a nice match with the strap. But this is an easy fix with a little redrafting…which I love to do. 🤓

Fabric Used:  Nylon tricot and firm power net. All items were included in a kit purchased from Bravo Bella.  The underwires were also purchased from BB, they are Flexlite and are so much more comfortable than the very rigid punched steel that are widely available.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Bra #1, none.  I had a bit of boob-bulge on the left neckline, back fat and the band was way too tight.


Bra #2: 

Band: placed pattern with DOGS horizontal, added 1/2″ at 1″ from side seam. It should be noted that the pattern designer has you place the back band diagonally so that the DOGs provide much stronger support, however with small breasts it is not necessary.

Upper Cup: raised CF 1/4″

Side Cup/Strap Attachment: lowered 1 1/2″ and re-drafted the neckline and armhole curve blending to CF and SS.

I still felt like the band was too tight along the upper edge from the side seam around my back to where my shoulder-blade ends; back fat bulging. Just not attractive 😩.


Bra #3:

I kept the above and added another 1/2″ to the back band, it is still too snug for my taste. For comfort and movement I added elastic strap extenders.  The front strap attachment is re-drafted so that when the elastic is turned back and sewn to the strap it is the same width and looks prettier.😃


This one turned out the best so far.  I found that when I wore my bra for a day, the apex of the cup didn’t quite align with my breast apex (nipple). Everything that I’ve read says that they are to align, which is supposed to minimize show through when wearing closer fitting garments.  It’s funny how we can be happy with a make, but find imperfections with each.  My next bra will be tweaked slightly. I guess it’s considered fine tuning. And why not?

Notes for Bra #4:

Raise the depth of the band at the SS by 1/2″ and re-draft the armhole to cover more breast tissue in the upper cup. Still thinking about this one.

Re-draft the upper cup for a smooth finished edge without elastic.

Remove the strap extension from the upper cup and create a strap attachment point so that I can use a different type of decorative strap.

Create a partial band bra….once ALL fit changes are set in stone.

Try a lace application, all over or just the upper cup.  The sky is the limit!

Thanks for reading. What kind of bra making experience do you have? Few or many fitting adjustments? Do tell in the comments.

xo,

G

 

Bra Making Challenge 2016

Making my own bras has interested me for the past three years.  I’ve jumped on the Watson band wagon and really liked the two that I made.  It was a fairly easy bra to begin with and as such a confidence boost.  I’ve tried three others that were not the right shape for my girls…not that I have difficult to fit boobs or anything. LOL  I am used to those padded pre shaped VS bras and will never get used to pointy boobs, which is mostly what I ended up with.

I’ve been following Erin of EmeraldErin for some time now.  Her skill is beyond amazing and she is a terrific resource for bra making.  She does a challenge every year where she and anyone else can choose to make a bra each week, month, or as often as able. She takes submissions via email, Pinterest and Instagram and rounds up on the last Sunday of each month with a blog post.

I am a late joiner to this challenge…but hey better late than never, I amiright?

image

My committment is to make a wearable bra by the end May this year. To further my own challenge, I want to perfect the fit and duplicate my pattern onto card stock so that I can use it as a design block and make beautiful custom pretties that I will be proud to wear without spending a fortune in the process. So, no weekly bra makes for this gal!

I will be back tomorrow with a post about the bra that I’ve found…and made! So stayed tuned and in the meantime check out Erin’s blog if you haven’t already and don’t forget to tell me about your bra making, real or wis he’d for in the comments.

xo,

G