Patterns

After working on drafting a bra from measurements, my work wasn’t done with the draft. The next step is to use that draft and make a pattern. Let me show you a little of the progression so far.

Drafting

Here’s the draft. It doesn’t look anything like the pieces I’ve seen in bra patterns.

Horizontal Seam

Then, a few more steps and things start to look more familiar. Beverly takes you through it all in her manual. Take a look at these pieces. These actually look like bra pattern pieces.

I’m not the biggest fan of a horizontal seams. I used one when I made my Heather bra.

Common Bra Seams

Here are some different seams shown in bras (photos are from Bra-Makers Supply and Sewy):

Vertical Seam

I’ve also tried the vertical seam when I made KS 3300. Once I started making my own patterns from the draft, I had to try each pattern. This part of the process was definitely fun for me. The photo of the vertical seam is from the Sewy website. It’s their Linda bra pattern.

Diagonal Seam

My favorite seam in bra-making so far has been the diagonal seam. That’s the bottom left in the photo collage above. A diagonal seam is what we find in the Classic pattern or the Shelley pattern from Pin-Up Girls patterns.

I also love the power bar and split lower cup on the Shelley. Here are a few of my favorites from that pattern.

I love this pattern, and know I will make it using my drafted pattern!

Curved Seam

The one I really wanted to try was the curved seam. All the gorgeous Cloth Habit Harriet bras I’m seeing were making me want to buy that pattern too. I had to be very strict with myself not to buy yet another pattern I have. The photo in the first collage is from Sewy again. It’s their Isabell pattern, which I have. I also have a clone of a Fantasie bra that is a curved seam too. I didn’t need one more pattern, but I was tempted! However, I did want to make one when I was making the patterns.

Patterns I Made 

Here are all my new patterns. I just need to add seam allowances to some of them, and make little changes like adjusting for a flat spot, thinning the band under the cradle, and lowering the bridge.

I also drafted my a new cradle and band.

Happy Creating!

P.S. You may also be interested in Sewing Bras: Foam Lace & Beyond.

Here’s some exciting news.

Merckwaerdigh

The news is from Merckwaerdigh’s Etsy shop. Here’s what Margreet said in her post on Facebook: “SPRING … a perfect time for a major change! As of today all listings in the Merckwaerdigh shop at Etsy are FREE SHIPPING!!!

She is raising her cost a bit, but what she is adding to the costs will still be lower than shipping costs! Yay!

A Review of Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Canada Cups – Cross Your Heart Relay blog tour, 2016.

banner-improvedYou’ll see in my sidebar menu, I’m an affiliate with Craftsy. I decided to do this because I can do it without any compromise. I really do think they’re great. In fact, I love the whole concept: You buy a class that never expires; you can watch it anytime; the instructors answer your questions. From sewing to cooking to gardening and more, they have classes. They really are great!

I’m reviewing Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Bras Foam, Lace & Beyond class and so is Rachelle from That’s Sew Venice. Have you seen Rachelle’s blog? She has some great posts on her blog, and I think you’ll love what she does. Any blogger who falls in love with making lingerie is my kind of blogger too.

Here’s my review: The first thing Beverly Johnson, suggests in this class is that you take Sewing Bras Construction & Fit, which is another great class. I have that first class, and go back to review my notes again and again. I still find it valuable.

So, once we have that foundation on making bras, Beverly now takes us into the gorgeous world of lace bras. Oh, so much lace! And oh so pretty. I love lace. But as the name of the class implies, it’s not just lace. It’s Foam, and Lace, and more.

Here is some of what Beverly covers:

What lace to use

Lace on the upper cup

Full lace bras

Lace partial-band bras, and lace full-band bras

Lace and foam

Making Demi cups

Making Balconettes

Preformed foam cups

Cut & Sew foam cups

And there’s more. This class really covers a lot.

Here’s a screen shot from the class of a beautiful lace-covered full-band bra.
lace covered full band

Isn’t that lovely?

Here’s another sample from the class:

partial band

Isn’t this gorgeous? Just wow. Beverly not only makes everything look amazing, she really instills confidence that we can do this too.

Here’s one more example from the class:

foam

The bras Beverly makes and teaches in this class rival any Ready-to-Wear bra – anytime. Every time.

Both my Eastern partner, Rachelle, and I both made a bra to go along with what we were learning from the class. Rachelle used the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern to make a Demi cup bra. I’m starting with the same pattern, but just wait until you see how different our makes are!

The bra I chose to make is from this class and Beverly’s first class (Construction & Fit): the Heather bra.

In Beverly’s first class, her model, Heather, was wearing a RTW bra that became a Craftsy hit! Everyone wanted to learn how to make this bra, and naturally attributed this beauty to Beverly.

Heather

Here’s another screen shot of Beverly measuring Heather wearing her lovely bra. I was going along with the crowd on this one – I loved that bra too.

In this class, Beverly takes us through the steps to make our own Heather bra.

Heather on Ashley smaller

Here’s Beverly’s Heather bra. It’s gorgeous!

The first thing Beverly shows us is how to change the seams on our bra pattern. She takes about a minute and a half to show this, and she draws it all out and cuts it. It took me… longer than that… and a break for lunch, and two cups of tea to do mine.

IMG_0665Once the pattern was done, it was time to cut the bra out. I’m always amazed at how little fabric goes into a bra. This little pile is about to become something very pretty.

Do you remember my teaser post? Now you’ll see just what I made with this lovely tulle.

Polka Dots

Here’s my Heather bra:

Front

A few of the alterations I made to my Heather to make her fit me are: I lower my bridge, so my bra has more of a plunge look to it. (All my bras do.) I also used a smaller cradle and wire (Omega shape), and shortened the underarm of the bra. Those are my personal fitting alterations.

The last change I made was to  use polka dot tulle and sheer cup lining under my lace. The Heather bra usually only uses sheer cup lining.

Here’s where it all starts. Remember, go see what Rachelle from That’s Sew Venice is making – we’re both starting with this pattern. The Classic Pattern or ‘Linda’.

il_570xN.435957751_6jhv

You can see by comparing the photo of my bra front to the pattern, the cross cup seams are different. Where the straps join is different as well. Beverly shows how to change both of these in the class. There are also some pattern pieces included in the Materials of the class, so you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

Now for a few more features of my bra.

Front bow

On this close-up of the front you can see I made my bows out of the polka dot tulle. Just peeking out from behind that bow you can see a Gothic arch. Those are so comfortable.

Bow

Here’s another little bow. Both straps have bows covering the seams where the upper cup and strap are sewn together. Another change I made was to have the trim that’s along the upper cup go all the way up the strap.

The polka dot tulle continues up the straps as well. And around the bra band for a delicate polka dot look to the whole bra.

Band

I love polka dots.

This class was really something I’d wanted for a long time. Since I first saw the Heather bra, I knew I wanted to make one too. There is so much more in this class as well. Don’t forget to pop over to Rachelle’s post to see what she made using the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern, and read her review.

Do you have a favorite bra from one of Beverly’s Bra-making classes on Craftsy? I’d love to hear which one it is.

I want to thank Craftsy for donating this class to me to review.

14339952_10210984887124239_819227118_o

Tour Schedule Itinerary

Follow the magical tour to see what we all have under our clothes

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Wednesday, September 14

Every day I’m posting the day’s links. Want to see the whole blog tour schedule? The complete schedule will be available at the end of the tour.

We have such a wonderful group of bloggers on this tour! They’ve all done an incredible job. Thank you.

bloggers

 Happy creating!

Inspiration – Power Bars

No sewing this week; I’ve been sick with a cold. It’s a good thing Craftsy had that all-month access pass. I’ve been making good use of it.

Even though I haven’t been sewing, I wanted to share some fun inspiration I’ve found.

As I’ve mentioned before there are times I’ll see a skirt, top, bra, a pair of panties, jacket, pretty much anything that can sewn, and just love it. Then I want to make something similar.

Remember I shared how I paused a movie to take photos of the lingerie coming out of the dresser at the beginning of the movie?

This was the inspiration:

IMG_0113

I loved that organza trim on the upper cup of the bra. So I made this:

bridge-bow-and-crystal

Well, I still have files of inspiration. Let’s take a look at a few more ideas I have just waiting to happen.

Here’s an example. I saw this bra and loved it. The external power bar looks so pretty, and it’s unique.

beige

Unfortunately, I didn’t write down the name or brand for this bra, or where I found it. I just loved the lines of it, thinking it would be easy enough to alter a classic pattern to make this work. Make it a longer lined bra… Although this original bra does look like a darted cup, I’d probably change that.

I also came across this one on Amazon:

yoga

This is so pretty and delicate-looking. I’m noticing a trend – I’m loving the longer lines. This one is a soft bra, that really won’t be the best for me, but again, I’m looking at the external power bar. What a pretty way to add lace to a bra.

There’s also this gorgeous pattern from Booby Traps.

blue

Oh, this is so pretty! And I do like to start with a pattern… When I start with a pattern I can get a feel for how something is put together. However, this one is not in my size range or even close to it. It’s for B & C cups. I’ve heard some rumors that this is going to be graded up a few sizes, so I’m hopeful.

The external power bar on the Booby Traps bra did remind me of a pattern I do have in my size: Merckwaerdigh’s CUPL16.

merck

That’s pretty similar. I could always change up the cup by adding some soft layered material over the top if I wanted the same look as the Booby Traps bra…

Margreet has a couple of other patterns that have similar detail on the power bar.

merck 2

merck 3

        These are Mix30 and BHS10. BHS10 could be made into a long line bra that would closely resemble the first bra in this blog. So much inspiration, so little time.

Happy creating!

How to Grade Up a Size in Bra Patterns

I was asked how to grade up a size in bra patterns. I’ve done this with a few patterns now, so I’ll share with you what I do.

First off, I simply pulled out the nearest pattern I had. It’s the Pin-Up Girls Classic, but any multi-sized pattern will work. I also gather any other supplies I’m going to need: a pencil, an eraser, paper, a seam gauge.

I put my pattern piece under whatever paper I’m using to make my new pattern piece – I use medical exam paper. I love it. It’s a little firmer than tissue paper, and I can see through it easily.

CCS-front

This pattern piece is the lower cup. I get out my seam gauge and measure the distance between the two sizes shown right here. For interest sake, I won’t be changing the gauge while I take photos – just to show you how the distances change throughout the pattern.

For this part of the pattern, you can see it’s 1/8″. As I move up towards the apex of the lower cup, I watch to see where that distance between the two sizes changes.

cross-cup-seam

You can see here the distance has increased from the 1/8″. It’s not quite 1/4″ yet, but a little more than it was. As I go around measuring, I make little dots that I’m going to join together to form my new graded-up pattern. I keep checking (every two or three dots) to see if the distance is getting bigger or smaller. If I think it’s changed, I re-measure and if needed, re-set my gauge to make my dots at this part of the pattern.

underarm

In this photo, you can see a big change in the difference here at the underarm. Again, just to illustrate that point, I didn’t change my gauge in the photos. Obviously, to make the pattern fit properly, I’d change the gauge here and draw my dots accordingly.

apex-mark

Here at the bottom of the cup, it does get narrower, but I’ll show that in the next photo. What I want to make mention of here, is see all these little B markings? Take note of the distance between these too, and mark your new pattern piece. You’ll want to do the same at the apex mark and any other markings the designer has put on the pattern – they’re all there to help you and you’ll want them on your pattern piece.

bridge

In this last photo, you can see there is hardly any distance at all between the pattern sizes – maybe 1 mm. The gauge doesn’t actually go that small, so for that part I eyeball it. All the way along the bottom of the cup, the distance between the sizes got smaller and smaller. Just keep measuring and marking accurately.

The next thing I did was to actually go around and draw dots all around the cup using the measurements I’d talked about above. Those dots would not show up for a photo though, so here are a few of them joined together. You can join these dots freehand or have fun with your sewing tools and pull out your curved ruler. I like things to be nice and neat, so usually use my ruler to get the same shape as the original pattern piece.

Drawing-the-lines

I have only needed to grade up one size, and then only in the cup. So, for me, I’ve done this for the upper cup, lower cup and power bar. Then I use the custom cradle and bridge I’d made and insert the cups from different patterns into those.

You might need to grade up for each pattern piece. If you’re thinking of grading up, you may need to think about your cradle and bridge too. Just take your time, and measure the distances between every size on every part! Any multi-sized pattern will show you the difference between two sizes.

If you need to grade up more than one size, I’ve read in a couple of places, it’s best to simply buy a new pattern. I think that would mainly be for accuracy reasons.

Happy creating!

Movie Inspiration and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

Where do you get your inspiration? I get mine pretty much anywhere I see something pretty. I remember going through a mall with a friend, and I stopped to take photos of lingerie. My friend was so surprised. I asked her why she was surprised, and she said she just thought I’d make plain things. I remember thinking why would I make something plain if I could make something pretty?

Inspiration struck one night when I was watching The Devil Wears Prada. Have you seen the opening scene? There’s lacy lingerie coming out of dresser drawers; I paused the movie to grab my phone and take pictures. They were all so pretty.

This one inspired me the most.

IMG_0112

There’s an overly large generously-covered crystal bow on the front of this bra that doesn’t thrill me so much, but the rest of the bra? It’s lovely. That organza trim against basic black? Love.

This bra was my inspiration for this week. To complete my camisole and panty set, I used a little more of the mesh to make my own trim and made a not-so-basic black bra.

front-2

I’m using the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern, with the lower cup split and all my modifications added to make it fit me.

The bridge has some more of the leopard mesh – I couldn’t just leave it black. There’s also a pretty crystal and bow on the bridge.

bridge-bow-and-crystal

Lastly, I’m still deciding if I’ll add bows to cover the strap seam or not. I’m leaning towards bows. I didn’t want anything to distract from the mesh trim, but I don’t think the bows do. Below you can see one strap unbowed, and one strap with a pinned bow.

unbowed

 I was really wondering as the week went on if I’d get this bra done. I’ve hurt my hand somehow and everything hurt. Putting pins in hurt. Taking pins out hurt. Holding the fabric hurt. Seriously. I’ll warn you now, next week will be a light sewing week for me while I let my hand heal up a bit.

Some good news though, is there is enough mesh left after this bra to make one more thing – another pair of my TNT panties. I’m thrilled with my set and although I can’t say I’m looking forward to cooler weather, I am looking forward to wearing my whole set come fall.

Now onto the Bra-A-Week Challenge. This week we’re on week 31.

First off, let me say, we did have a submission last week. But technology got in the way. David sent his submission in time for the challenge, but it took over a day for it to get to me! It was in my in-box on Sunday night.

So, here’s David’s lovely submission from last week:

Aabracup

This is stunning and so very delicate. I love how the elastic is threaded through the lace on the inner cup. David is a free-lance lingerie designer.

Our next submission comes from Emma. Emma made a Longline Watson Bra.

long-line-watson

Emma says, this is her first Watson, her first actual bra.  Emma also made a pair of high-waisted knickers.  You can read more about her beautiful set on her blog, A Hand-Stitched Life.

watson-set

What a gorgeous set. Well done, Emma!

Our next submission comes from Amber. Amber made a nursing bra. Amber used the Pin-Up Girls pattern for this and added a few alterations – a split lower cup, a nursing sling, and nursing clips. Pattern, fabrics, (duoplex & power net) and findings for Amber’s bra came from Bra-Makers Supply and BWear.

nursing-bra

Amber used power net for the nursing sling, and says it has worked very well; she also used power net with lace on the upper cups – which worked well for nursing as size needs can change throughout the day.

nb-open

What a great idea, Amber! It’s so pretty and really functional.

Our next submission comes from Lois. Lois knew as soon as she saw this fabric, it would be perfect for the scalloped border on the bottom of a corset.

Red-Corset-15-8-12-(06)-fro

This border-embroidered organza is from Fabricland. The pattern is Vogue 8393 – an oldie from 2007. Lois used the plain Organza as the lining for the cups and then partially lined the back and side front. She also moved the separating zipper to the side, and used red bias tape for the boning casing.

Red-Corset-15-8-12-(09)-bac

How very beautiful, Lois!

Such beautiful submissions this week! Thanks everyone! And Happy creating!

A Pin-Up Girls Shelley with a Sewy Rebecca Twist

I’m still trying to decide which bra pattern I like better. It’s a very close match between Beverly Johnson’s Pin-Up Girls (PUG) Shelley pattern and Sewy’s Rebecca pattern. They’re quite similar – both feature a lace upper cup and a power bar. Shelley has a split lower cup as well where the Rebecca doesn’t.

Here’s the Sewy Rebecca photo from their web site. I’ve been to their site a number of times and am getting used to where things are even though I don’t speak any German. However, if you open their site in Google Translate, everything is much easier. You just can’t place an order on their site using Google Translate.

krprebecca_rosakopie_z1

Oh, that’s a lovely bra!

And here’s Beverly’s Shelley pattern from the Bra-Makers Supply web site.

Four%20piece%20cup%20Shelley%20Bra

Absolutely gorgeous!

One difference I’ve noticed is when the patterns are both flat, the upper cup along the cross cup seam is straighter on the Sewy Rebecca than the PUG Shelley. The Rebecca is on the bottom, Shelley is on top. See how much more curved the Shelley is? But they are both the exact same length.

100_2964

According to Beverly in the Bra-Makers Manuals, a straighter bottom edge on the upper cup will give more lift. Who doesn’t want more lift? However, to be honest, when I’m wearing the Rebecca, I don’t notice any difference.

So, which bra wins out? I’m still undecided. I do know one aspect of the Rebecca that does win hands down – the enclosed seams on the inside of the bra! I love that! It does take a fair amount of work, but is so worth it.

Due to my immense fondness for those enclosed seams, I Sewy-fied my Shelley this week. I added lining and followed the instructions for sewing the Rebecca to completely enclose my seams. I even upped it a bit and added a lower cup lining, so the whole inside of the cup is now lined with no seams showing. The only fault with the inside is I forgot to change thread colors and there is beige thread from top-stitching very evident on my black lining. I noticed it too late to change it.

Here’s a photo of the bra’s inside.

100_2962

Oh, those enclosed seams. That is so pretty and, I think, more professional. On one Prima Donna bra that I owned, wore, and then took apart, all the seams were enclosed. I’m still trying to figure out how they did the strap and made it enclosed too. But they did.

100_2971

Here’s my Shelley from the outside. I think I’ve figure out the best way to stuff the bras for Catherine. I use the cut and sew foam cups I made that are the same size and shape as the bra cups, AND the pre-shaped foam cups, which are sturdier. Finally, a mostly wrinkle free photo.

This is a fabric kit from Merckwaerdigh‘s Etsy shop. I really do love her laces. I’ve backed everything up here with sheer cup lining, Duoplex, Power Net, and elastics from Bra-Makers Supply.

100_2972

Here’s my Shelley from the side. Again, I added another touch from the Sewy Rebecca and used lace on the power bar. The lace here looks so different from the same lace with the black sheer lining behind it on the upper cup.

100_2961

A very basic back.

For alterations on this bra, I made a smaller cradle, narrowed and lowered the bridge, adjusted for a flat spot on the bridge and cups, made the underarm area smaller, I shortened the wire line seam (with gathers again), added linings to the cup, and used a flexible wire.

Happy creating!

Basic Black Butterfly

This week started with me drawing, re-drawing, and re-drawing vertically seamed cups. I think I have a good pattern to cut out, but after all that work, I wanted to sew something that I was sure would fit – back to my Pin-Up Girls Classic Full Band pattern. So once I test the vertical cups, my next bra just might be my Prima Donna Milady copy. I don’t have the bra, so can’t make a clone, but will just make something similar based on their lovely bra.

I went back to basics colors this week, but wanted a little something special, so I added a Butterfly Effect. It’s really a lovely effect, and doesn’t take a lot of lace.

100_2942

The lower cup on this bra has been split, which I’m told is always helpful to someone with an Omega shape. I also made a few fitting alterations to the pattern. On this bra, I took in the lower part of the cup along the wire line so it fits into a smaller cradle – no gathers this time. I put darts in along the wire line to take out the excess. The cups really do look a lot smoother in the bra. Those tiny gathers aren’t anything that would be visible under clothing, but I like that little extra of the cup fitting perfectly in the cradle.  I also made the underarm area smaller by putting a dart in the pattern there. I used my custom bridge, which is altered for a flat spot and also lowered 1/2″, and I thinned the elastic under the cup.

100_2942 b

Here’s a close up of the Butterfly Effect. It really does look quite a lot like a butterfly. I think the lace I used, which has a clear border, helps to outline that effect nicely. The upper cup is trimmed with loopy elastic, but it’s not showing very well. It seems to want to curl inward on Catherine.

100_2940

Here you can see how smoothly the cups go into the smaller band. (Here I go again.) I do really like that. The gathers, however, are an easier option, and really hardly show at all. If anyone reading this is making that adjustment for an Omega shape, do yourself a favor and do the gathers initially.

100_2941

I did change one part of the back. I made the back strap elastic join the bra with a slider attached to elastic on the band rather than attach directly to the band, so the back strap elastic is done in two parts rather than just one. This method seems flatter on the back.

From the comments I’ve been hearing this week from my dear hubby, this is the prettiest bra I’ve ever made! He really likes it. Then, I think he doesn’t want to upset me and says all the other bras I’ve made are pretty too, but this one is really pretty. He’s so cute.

I do want to do this effect again and cut away the Duoplex from behind the lace. That gives a sheerer look to the butterfly effect. I think that would be really lovely too.

I have some of the leaves from the lace cut out and ready to be sewn onto some matching panties, but didn’t have as much time this week to sew as I might have wanted. That will have to wait until next week.

A friend of mine came over yesterday to take some photos. She’d made a lovely shawl and wanted to use Catherine to display her shawl. I was happy to let her and took a few photos too.

100_2932

I watched as this shawl took shape, week after week, while we had a ladies’ night and watched Downton Abbey.

100_2934

Here’s a close up of the two fibers. I like the sheerness the one yarn has.

100_2935

This is my favorite part though – the little details are what always win me over. Julia unraveled some of the yarn on the fringe and beaded it. It’s just lovely.

Happy creating!

Size Chart Woes

I had two experiences this week that I want to share with you. Both were basically the same thing – and both dealt with size charts. I have a question to ask you: Do size charts actually work?

My first experience was when I ordered the Rhonda Shear 3-Pack Pin Up Lace Leisure Bra. I heard on the video how Rhonda said to ‘order your top size.’ Well, great, but when I’d looked at the size chart that didn’t make sense. There was no way my top size, usually a Medium, was going to work, or at least that was what I was thinking. My bust and their size chart put me in the XL range. I was too hesitant to order my top size, so followed their size chart.

Rhonda-Shear-Size-Chart-REVISED-1

Here’s their size chart. The photo is from The Shopping Chanel.

The bras arrived yesterday, and they’re lovely leisure bras. And they’re too big. Not a lot too big. The Medium would not have been a better fit. I think, judging by how the bras fit me, the Large would be my best fit. However, they are for leisure, so a little loose will be okay. I’ll know for next time.

Here’s one of the bras on Catherine.

100_2915

For on Catherine, I’ve added foam cups, so the bra is filled out the same as when I wear it. It’s really lovely and very comfortable. I was thinking when I bought the bras that I just might be interested in cloning them at some point.

100_2917

Here’s the back. It’s super smooth on, and again, very comfortable.

My other experience this week with size charts was with Style Arc. Style Arc’s Ann T-Top on Etsy. Again, I looked at the size charts and saw where I fell by my measurements. And I ordered that size for the top.

Nope. Again. Too big.

Style Arc chart

Here’s a screen shot from the Style Arc Web site showing the size chart.

This time the size was off, not just by one size, but by two. This time the charts put me in a 16, but when I printed it off and laid my sloper over it, it was way too big. So I contacted them and ‘exchanged’ the pattern I’d bought for a smaller size. I made up the 12, and it looked close when I laid my sloper over it.

100_2918

Here’s my Ann T-Top. This top has some elasticized gathering at the waist. I think that little detail is very attractive.

100_2919

Here it is from the side. I have the same Rhonda Shear bra under the top to give it a more realistic fit.

100_2920

And from the back.

Here’s me, (finally getting a photo) in both my denim Flirt Skirt, and my Ann T-Top.

100_2928

And a tired me (it’s almost midnight), in my Ann T-top. It’s too big.

The highlight of my week was ‘a little lingerie surprise parcel’ that came in the mail for me. Thank you, Ginny! What a treat!

100_2929

After watching Beverly’s newest bra class on Craftsy, I have lots of ideas for how to use this lovely lingerie fabric!

Happy creating!

Thoughts on 2014 And A Pretty Camisole

At the beginning of 2014, I decided I was going to set a goal for myself – I was going to make at least one project each month. That way when the year was done, I’d have 12 things to show for it. Thanks in part to having a blog and feeling that little nudge to keep posting something, I reached my goal, and I feel I exceeded it by making more than one thing each month. Looking back, I made multiple things each month. That’s feels like a good year.

In 2014 I made a pareo, cloned two different Prima Donna bras, crocheted a scarf, made a few felt brooches, six plunge bras, knit hand-warmers, made a bodice moulage and two bodice slopers (one for wovens, one for knits), a scrunchie, two aprons, a Kwik Sew bra, a summer skirt, cloned two Fantasie bras, three cardigans, panties, pants, two lace tank tops, AND finally perfected my bra pattern for a perfect fit – that’s 36 different projects completed. Looking back and actually counting what I did felt great!

So, what did I make last week?

Well, this was actually the week before Christmas because things just got too busy last week. So, that week, I completed something that had been on my sewing list for a while now. I’d picked up some beautiful stretch lace planning to make a couple of camisoles and finally finished one for me. It’s from my TNT panty pattern, Kwik Sew 2286. It’s the Tank Top option. I made this once before for my Mum back in September. However, it was a bit snug on her, so my great-niece is now wearing it ‘all the time’. At least that is what I hear and that’s a nice thing to hear.

100_2715

I have a bra on underneath on Catherine to show the shaping better. It’s a shaped Tank, and just didn’t look right without the proper filling out under it.

100_2716

And from the side. You can see the bra and foam cup peeking out at the armhole.

Before I cut this out, I laid the knit sloper I made from Suzy Furrer’s class on Craftsy: Patternmaking Basics, The Bodice Sloper. That helped me to see exactly how this pattern would fit me. White on white isn’t the easiest to see, so I outlined the side of the sloper with black. You can see I hit all the sizes on that pattern – I’m small, medium and more. One difference is my knit sloper is shorter in the underarm than the pattern. You can also see I’m crazy curvier than the already shaped pattern.

Knit sloper on pattern

After seeing just where I fit on the pattern, the only change I decided to make was to make the armhole one size smaller. I know from experience that most armholes gape on me, so this one is much better. It could be smaller still, but I’m not used to anything fitting closely there, so this feels just fine.

100_2719

The above picture shows the lace detail better than on Catherine. It also shows just how delicate this stretch lace is.

100_2720

This last photo is to show the lace at the neckline and arms a little better. Against the cream background it almost looks like a different top. I also bought this material in a red black and white floral. That’s next.

And one last photo of me wearing my new camisole/tank top. I doubt I’ll ever wear it on its own, so wore it as I would normally wear it – with another camisole under it and a cardigan over it. You can see by the photo I’m no longer trying to cover up my ‘stripe’.

100_2754

Happy creating and a very Happy and creative New Year!

Making Your Own Bows

It was a while ago now, someone asked me if I made my own bows. At the time I didn’t think too much about it. I usually bought kits from Bra Makers Supply, and they always come with a bow. So I didn’t think I needed to make my own.

Then I had a weekend with a professional Bra Maker, Jane, and I took a few things away from that weekend. One of them was how I attach my straps – it’s forever changed since Jane showed me a slightly different way. You can read about that here.

The second thing I took away from that weekend, is when Jane said to attach bows to the center front and also over the seams where the straps join the cups. I LOVE that look. So, I’ve been doing that since then.

Well, that means that one little bow isn’t enough for me now. I do have a small stash of bows, and I do mean small. I probably have a dozen or so. And not many of them are the fancier bows – the ones with little pearls on them. You know that moment when you see someone’s stash and envy it? I experienced that when Jane pulled out a large plastic bag of bows. Oh my!

Since then I’ve been looking for bows. I’ve been looking on eBay, and haven’t been able to find the mini bows with pearls, or in colors I’d like. So I kept looking.

A site I came across, which was what I was looking for, was from Hip Girl Clips’ site.  She takes you from what you start with:

bow 1

To the finished bow:

bow 2

She also suggests wrapping ribbon around the elastic or sewing a pearl on.

These were the exact style I was wanting. I went to the fabric store to buy ribbon to start, and the fabric store is not the place to buy ribbon. Michaels was much more economical. They had three out of the four colors I wanted.  I’ve also been looking at some pretty, and probably more-expensive-than-I-need Swarovski pearls to attach to the bows. I haven’t bought those yet, but they’re saved in my ‘want to buy’ folder.

So now I have an option for making my bows. And just in time for making bows, a very generous gift of ribbon and some lovely lace. I’d mentioned to a friend how I couldn’t find one color, and look what she sent me. I don’t think I’ll run out of ribbon any time soon. Thank you, Naomi.

100_2578

Happy creating!