A Couple of Little Things to Show

In this post I have a couple of little things, so I thought I’d combine them and do a mid-week post. I already have something fun planned for my Saturday post.

Sis Boom Patterns.

I won something! I enter all kinds of contests, and I can count on one hand how many times I’ve won.

Sis Boom Patterns was having a holiday blog hop, and I entered to win a pair of their gorgeous pants. And I did! I won a digital copy of the Judy Fancy Pants for Women.

You can check out the blog tour here and their other patterns here.

As well, here a little reminder to keep checking out Craftsy for sales this week.

 Today is their top deals on Craftsy’s Top 20 supply kits!
Friday is Craftsy’s Top 100 classes for only $20!

Happy creating!

The 5th Day of Craftsy

Here‘s a sweet deal: Just in time for the holidays, impress your guests with the best breakfast and sweets classes for only $12.25! But hurry, prices this low will only last until midnight.

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I’m going to look and see if they have any gluten-free baking classes.

Happy creating!

A Navy Shelley

Fall/Winter Lingerie Wardrobe.

I’m finally working on my Fall/Winter lingerie Wardrobe. First up is a lovely navy Shelley.

Make sure you read to the end. There’s a link for a Buy 1 Get 1 class sale at Craftsy. Back to my new bra.

Here’s the lace.

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I saw this lace and fell in love right away. You can find it at Bra-Makers Supply (BMS) here.

Here’s my Shelley.

front

I really love how the mirrored lace has a bit of a butterfly effect because of  where the roses are.

Adjustments.

I’m so happy with this bra. It fits really well. However, I did have some changes in my size and needed to give my TNT pattern a major overhaul.

To make this fit me, I adjusted the pattern for my shape – a less pronounced Omega shape. As well I made adjustments for a flat spot, I lowered the bridge, used one size smaller cradle and adjusted the cup to fit into it. I also thinned the cradle area under the bust, and for comfort, I added a Gothic arch.

Gothic Arch.

In the past, I have nailed the Gothic arch and I’ve not quite nailed it. On this one, I was so careful, and I was checking and turning things to make sure it all looked perfect as I was going along, and it did! Then I finished the sewing and … it’s not quite perfect. Of course, no one will know but you and me. Do you see how nice and thin it is under the cups?

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Aesthetics.

I love this lace. However, I need to add sheer cup lining behind my lace to add support. I looked at it with black behind the lace and it lost a lot of the sheer look it has. I put white behind the lace too. Too white. I’m so thankful I have a little bit of this blush left from when I made my Heather bra. This looks perfect – like there’s nothing behind it, especially when it’s on. In this photo the cup has a black foam cup behind it, which doesn’t show up at all.

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A few more images.

Here’s the bra from the side.

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Here’s the bra from the back.

back

Something I will have to fix on this bra before I can wear it is a sharp spot on the hook and eye closure. When I tried it on, I got a scratch that went all along my side. Nasty. I’ll trim that off and do a satin stitch over the raw edge. No more scratches.

Next time.

The band is a touch loose on this bra. That’s odd though, because I used the band from my TNT pattern. It’s also not a big deal. I’ll just wear it on the second hook and eye setting rather than the first one. That’s something I can look at fixing for my next bra in my Winter Wardrobe.

Other colors I’m thinking about for my wardrobe are Black (a basic), Black Cherry, Brown, Red, and Fuchsia. I have a Brown kit all picked out and saved in my Wish List on BMS, but I’m thinking I should use a few of the kits I have already.

Pretty touches.

The kit I ordered from BMS only came with one bow. I never seem to remember to order more bows when I place an order. However, I love to cover the seams where the straps meet the cup too. I found this lovely navy ribbon and made a few bows for my bra. They turned out so nicely.

strap-bow

One other thing I did on this bra that I haven’t done before is leave the trim off the straps. I usually add neckline trim, but I decided to try the straps the way they’re outlined in the Shelley instructions. I like the change!

I’ve decided to treat myself and use the Jewelry Quality Metal Rings and Sliders – for this pretty navy bra I’m using Silver.

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Next up.

To go with my lovely new bra, I’m going to make some matching panties. I have some indigo cotton Lycra and navy lace for the waistband and leg openings. As well, I’ve left things very late, but it’s time to work on some Christmas sewing.

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Today two Craftsy classes are better than one! Buy a class and get a second class of equal or lesser value for free! Use coupon code BOGOCRAFTSY at checkout.

Happy creating!

A Dress Form Cover

One of the many projects I plan to make is a dress form cover. I love Catherine, but we’re not the same size.

This is something I’ve looked into a bit, but haven’t found that perfect solution yet. I think a lot of the dress form tutorials and classes are all great for sewing, but not perfect for bra-making. From what I’ve seen, most dress form covers result in more of a uni-boob look, which would not work at all for bras.

Here is the first one I found, which I still think is so beautiful! Mary uses the sloper she made from Suzy Furrer’s Bodice Sloper class.

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This image is from Cloning Couture‘s blog post. Isn’t this professional looking? I do love this! If I decide to simply to cover my dress form for sewing clothes, I’ll do this too.

I had similar thoughts about the Craftsy class Customize Your Dress Form. This class takes you through exactly what to do, step by step. I watched this class when Craftsy had their October pass in 2015. I thought it was really great, but again, it wasn’t addressing my desire to have the bust defined. That definition is an important part of bra-fitting.

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So, I kept thinking about how I could adjust my sloper so I could have that bust definition I wanted.

Let me take a side road here and show you why I haven’t been 100% happy with any solution I’ve seen yet. This is the bra dress form Beverly uses in her Craftsy classes; Naomi, of Barely Beige also has one. This dress form is called Ashley. There’s no uni-boob happening here.

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How am I supposed to be satisfied with anything less than bust definition on my dress form after seeing this?

I recently came across a blog post by Sew Chic Pattern Company. They have a three-part post called Copy your Figure: A Dress Form Tutorial.

 Laura does do a dart to give bust definition, but I’m still thinking it won’t give me as much definition as I’m wanting.

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Here’s a photo from her blog. This is getting closer.

I know from making my own sloper that mine doesn’t give enough bust definition the way it is now.

moulage done

Here’s the one I made. There’s a small dart there on the sloper, but…

So what I’m thinking is do some draping with fabric to see what size of darts I’d need, where I’d need them, how many darts I’d need. I might need to play with it a bit, but I think it can be done.

Has anyone made a dress form cover with more bust definition? What did you do? How did it turn out?

Happy Thanksgiving & happy creating!

A Craftsy Review: Design & Sew an A-Line Skirt

I have a lot of Craftsy classes, and I know I’m not alone in that. In fact, I know two other bloggers who also have a lot of classes, and we’re teaming up to post monthly (we hope) reviews of the classes we’ve taken.

Reviewing along with me are Marsha of Flying by the Seam of my Pants and Naomi of Barely Beige. Marsha and I have done a few blog tours together now, so I think you’ll all recognize her. Naomi is just getting started. I hope you pop over and read both of their reviews, and please make Naomi feel welcome .

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Now, let me share with you our real motive behind our plan to do these monthly class reviews – it’s to really watch all of these wonderful classes we’ve bought, and really get the most from them; you know – do the projects, make the wonderful makes, and not just have a lovely Craftsy class collection (as wonderful as that would be on its own). Is there anyone else out there who has classes they haven’t watched yet? I’m so guilty, but don’t tell my hubby!

So, for our first review we’re covering Design & Sew an A-Line Skirt, which was one of my first Craftsy classes.

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Of all the classes I’ve taken on Craftsy, this will probably be the hardest one for me to review. The reason for that is I’d like to just say great things about this class, or any class. It’s a little harder for this class to do that. Here are my first thoughts on the class from a couple of years ago. And here are a few more thoughts from that time.

However, I like to focus on positives, so I’ll share some really good things about the class now. Let’s cover those first.

One thing I like about this class.

One of the things I really like about this class is it taught me to put in an invisible zipper for the first time. I’d avoided them until this point. A regular zipper was fine, but I had been too intimidated to even try an invisible one. Just the name itself had scared me off.

Deborah’s instructions were very clear on how to install the zipper and I had no trouble. Her instructions were great really.

Here’s an old photo showing the zipper. (Sorry for these terrible photos – I was having camera trouble back then.)

invisible zipper

That zipper is about as perfect as a zipper can get. That’s a great aspect to the class.

I made a skirt that fit.

I did finish my skirt. That’s another positive for the class. Not only did I finish the skirt, but it fit as well. Here’s another (terrible) old photo.skirt

A personal dislike.

The skirt we make in this class sits a couple of inches below the natural waist, and I don’t love that. That’s simply a style preference.

Positive reviews with cautions.

This class is rated for beginners. It has reviews from 87 people and they have given it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. That’s pretty positive. However, there are comments in those reviews questioning whether this is really a class for beginners.

Maybe not for beginners.

The reason reviewers are saying this class isn’t for beginners is this instructor wasn’t answering questions. The fact that so many don’t receive answers makes me think this class might be better suited to someone with more sewing experience.

I had the experience of not having my questions answered when I ran into a bit of trouble. With this class, I made my first sloper. I’d had no previous experience with slopers.

square-up

Here’s a screen shot from the Craftsy class showing Deborah squaring up the pattern she’s making. This was the first area where I had trouble – ‘squaring up’.

My sloper was so curvy (like me) that squaring it was rather hard. I asked my question and didn’t receive an answer. I decided to simply move ahead even though my sloper wasn’t perfectly squared up. I did run into more trouble, and again didn’t have an answer to my question.

I contacted Craftsy about not getting answers.

Craftsy customer service.

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Have any of you had any experience in dealing with Craftsy when a problem comes up? Craftsy is great! They have phenomenal customer service, and they came through for me with my unanswered questions.

When I emailed Craftsy with my frustrations over not having my questions answered, Craftsy checked and confirmed I did in fact have unanswered questions. Then made things right for me. That made me a happier customer. I still didn’t have answers to my questions though, which left a bit of a negative feeling about the class. That’s why this class review is a bit of a struggle. I have some negative feelings about this class.

However, to be fair, there are a few really great aspects to this class. So again, let’s focus on these:

  • I drafted and made a skirt that fit me.
  • I installed my first invisible zipper (and it looks great)!
  • There are a lot of positive reviews for the class.
  • With this class you make a modern A-Line skirt.

I think if you’re a competent sewer, there would be a lot you could learn from this class. So despite a bit of a negative experience, I, along with many of the other class reviewers, will recommend this class with a caution – it’s not for beginners.

I will let you know, we decided to start with our reviews but are taking December off. We’ll pick this up again in January. So no review in December.

 

Happy creating!

The Ham and Sausage Challenge

I was recently reading through one of the many sewing forums on Facebook, and this post really piqued my interest. Here’s a screen shot:

ham-and-sausage

Hmm. I have a Tailor’s Ham, but I don’t have a Sleeve Roll. These are adorable. I love the fabrics! I decided I was going to make myself a pair and I knew the materials I wanted to use.

Originally, I bought this plaid wool skirt at a second-hand store (I love my deals.), and this coordinating material on sale at my local fabric store. I was thinking I’d make a bag. I still have lots of material left over to make a bag at some point.

materialsBack to the Ham and Sausage Challenge. Traditionally, Tailor’s Hams are wool on one side and cotton on the other. I may be using traditional materials, but it doesn’t look quite so traditional.

I have my materials. I have the pattern thanks to Elewa blog. The only thing I had to buy was wood shavings to stuff them.

 Here are my materials all cut out. This is a super quick project, and one I think I’m going to enjoy for a long time.

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I’m ready to stuff.

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It’s a messy job – the floor looked worse! As much as I stuffed, I didn’t quite stuff enough. I had tingles shooting through my hand, so had to leave them as they were.

They’re done and they’re pretty good. They could be stuffed a bit more (but not by me) so they’d be a bit firmer, but they are still firm.

fronts

I love the coordinating fabric I used on the backs.

ham-front-sausage-back

One last fun photo. Marsha of Flying by the Seam of my Pants suggested I have some pineapple with my ham and sausage. I thought that sounded delicious! 😉

pineapple

I really enjoyed making these. I have a lot of wood shavings left over, so I may just make another pair and have my hubby help with stuffing them, or one of my sons – they’re all stronger than me.

Next week I have a little something special – I’m joining with Marsha and new-to-the-blogging-scene, Naomi, for a Craftsy class review. Join us next week to see what we’re reviewing.

Happy creating!

Using My Sample Packs

Something I’ve had for a while now are the Sample Packs from Bra-Makers Supply. When I first ordered them, I was more excited about them than the rest of my order. I could see all the colors of Duoplex at one time, in one place. The same for the Power Net. Only a bra-making geek would be excited about this. There’s a link in the photo if you too want your own sample pack. (No affiliation with Bra-Makers Supply – just love.)

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That’s the photo from the BMS website. Here’s my own Duoplex Sample Pack.

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Here are all my samples:

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These are the Duoplex, the Regular Power Net, The Cotton Lycra and Tricot Samplers. They really are such fun and very useful. You can find a full listing of all the Sample Packs Bra-Makers Supply carries here.

In the past I’ve show you how I’ve used them. When I purchase a lace or other bra-related material, out come my samples right away to see what I can use to match my purchase.

Here’s a recent one. Merckwaerdigh’s Etsy shop had a gorgeous Devore Cotton knit bra kit. I’ve learned to not even think about these things. She only ever has one of these treasures, so scoop it up quickly.

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These two photos showing the Devore Cotton are both from Merckwaerdigh’s store.

devore-cotton

Isn’t that pretty? Devore Cotton is also more commonly known as Burnout Knit. Devore Cotton sounds so much more exotic.

However, I know from experience, I need a little more support than this kit will provide. That’s where my Sample Packs come in.

Here are a few of my Duoplex options.

Here’s the Devore Cotton and Light Beige:

dc-and-light-beige

In this photo that looks like a pretty good match, but in person the Duoplex is a little bit lighter than the beige in the cotton.

Here’s the DC with Dark Beige:

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Hmm. This still isn’t what I’m envisioning. But the beiges are a good match.

Here’s the DC and Platinum:

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This  was what I was thinking for the kit. I do like this one. The greys are not the same, the BMS one is a little lighter than the one in the DC, but I might be leaning towards this one. I’ve been wanting to make a Platinum bra.

And the DC and Black:

dc-and-black

I think the black makes the DC look washed out, which is definitely not a look I want!

I think I’m going to go with a platinum band and use Sheer Cup lining behind the DC.

Do you have any of the BMS Sample Packs? Do you love them too? Do you have a favorite? What would you use behind the Devore Cotton? Duoplex or Sheer Cup Lining?

Happy Creating!

Great Timing!

No tricks today, but hopefully a treat.

I have both of the Bra-Makers Manuals. I have Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction. I have Bare Essentials: Bras – Second Edition: Construction and Pattern Drafting in Lingerie Design. I’ve taken a few books out of the library as well – like Patternmaking for Underwear Design: 1st Edition.

bra-drafting

I’ve been reading about drafting my own pattern for a while and decided it was time to take the jump. I started with the instructions in the 2nd BMM. I’ve used part of this already to draft my own cradle and band to help fit my Omega shape and had no trouble with it. So, I thought it was time I tried drafting my own pattern.

I did run into a bump drafting and sent off an email to Bra-Makers Supply. It turns out, the information from the manual had been updated from 5 years ago, and that new information would take care of my question.

Now, with updated information in hand, I was ready to start again.

Just as I was about to start, there was another very timely post on Facebook. I love the sewing/bra-making forums on Facebook. They are a wealth of information!

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Perfect! Rather than muddling through this mostly on my own, I’d much rather walk through with someone else for a first go.

We’ve just done some measuring so far, so the actual drafting hasn’t started. If you’ve ever wanted to try this out, here’s a great opportunity.

Here’s the blog post if you want to follow along.

Happy creating!

A Visual Comparison of Two Patterns

Every since my hubby’s business trip to Germany when I placed an order with Sewy, I’ve been thinking about the Sewy Rebecca pattern.

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I’ve been wondering exactly how it differs from the Pin-up Girls Shelley because both patterns are very similar – power bar, lace upper cup, full band…

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When you have a question like this, it’s just the kind of question to ask your very own Fairy Bra Mother. So I did. I asked her, “What is the difference between a bra that fits more shallowly (from my experience) and one that doesn’t?”

Beverly Johnson, (aka The Fairy Bra Mother), said she thought it all came down to bottom cup depth. Hmm. That gives me something to check into.

Now, let’s take a look together to see how much of a difference there is between the two patterns. I’ve compared them by wearing them, but not pattern piece to pattern piece. Well, there was one day when I measured all kinds of things on both patterns… but I didn’t trace them both out and compare.

Anyway. I’ve had a cold, felt terrible and didn’t want to do anything, but still wanted to get something done… so I pulled out my patterns and traced them off.

Before I could even begin, I had to work on some sister sizing because the Rebecca doesn’t come in my size.

The Results

Here are the upper cups one on top of the other. The Shelley is traced onto  purple paper, and the Rebecca, yellow. Since the Sewy patterns don’t have a seam allowance, the Shelley has been trimmed of its seam allowances. I also made the split lower cup into one pattern piece.

no-really-upper-cups

The Shelley pattern piece barely peeks out from under the bottom of the Rebecca pattern piece, so to help us all out visually, I traced the Shelley onto the Rebecca with the dotted line. You can see the Rebecca is also straighter along the lower edge of the upper cup and is longer too.

You know how I said I had a cold? I had a little trouble naming these photos when I was saving them. I kept calling them all ‘Upper Cups’, so this one has the creative name of ‘No Really Upper Cups’.

Here are the lower cups of both (which were saved under the file name ‘Upper Cups’) Sigh.: upper-cupsThe Shelley definitely has more bottom cup depth. The Rebecca is longer along the lower edge. Again, The Shelley pattern is on the purple paper in behind.

Lastly, here are the power bars, which I caught before I saved and changed their file name from Upper Cups.:

power-bars

I am not as wise or experienced as The Fairy Bra Mother, or a professional bra-maker even, but there are some differences here. Hmm, now I’m wondering how much being an Omega shape has to do with how each bra fits…

I hope this helps anyone else wondering about the differences between the two patterns.

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Just to let you know, Craftsy is having a sale this weekend! Just click on the photo to go to Craftsy and get a few deals.

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All Craftsy Classes under $20.
Dates: Friday 10/28 12 AM MTMonday 10/31 11:59 PM MT

Happy creating!

Another Pair of Panties

When I’d made my recent matching bra and panty set, I only had enough beige cotton for one pair of panties. That was all I made.

Full set on table 2

However, this pair isn’t perfect. Wearable, and pretty, but not perfect. As well, I do like a second matching pair for my sets.

Do you remember I showed you the two gussets overlapped?

Gusset

I’m going to add length back to my gusset. I found that shorter gusset too short, and the longer one is more comfortable.

When it was time to re-draw my pattern, I pulled out the original KS 2286. Interestingly, I compared both pattern pieces (my drafted one, and my traced KS 2286) to the original pattern. My traced 2286 pattern is narrower and shorter than the original. My self-drafted one is narrower still. I’m going with the self-drafted pattern piece for the width and adding back some of the length.

 I had just enough lace left over from making my bra and the first pair of panties to make a second pair of panties. I forgot to mention, the gorgeous lace I used for this set came from Merckwaerdigh‘s former eBay store. You can still find her on Etsy. The cotton is from Bra-Makers Supply, and the lace trim is from Frog Feathers on Etsy. Three of my favorite vendors.

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Here are my new panties. I’ll include a few other photos so you can compare.

Here’s my first drafted pair.

panties on table

They look similar, but there are differences. The longer gusset makes my new pair look more French cut than my first pair. Although they’re both Hipsters.

Here are a few construction details:

Again, this time because I’m working with a lace front, I reinforced the sides of the lace with a knit interfacing, and add some lingerie elastic to the inside of the front waist.

interfaced-lace

I’ve also used my pinking rotary cutter to trim away the extra cotton Lycra for a nice neat look behind the lace.

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Lastly, these are done and just what I want. They are bow-worthy.

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The bow is from the same polka dot tulle I used to make my version of the Heather bra. It’s a pretty and very delicate touch.

Happy creating!