Another Watson for Em

There is nothing so comfortable as a comfortable bra! Or in this case, a comfortable bralette. When a bra is comfortable, there is no feeling of can’t-wait-to-take-it-off. You really forget you have it on. That’s how Em was feeling. She kept telling me how much she loved her Watson, and that she didn’t get home from work and want to take it off right away. I’m so glad.

Em’s last Watson.

This was all just bits of this and that I had in my stash. Despite that, I think it turned out quite lovely.

Hints 

As well as telling me how much she loved it, there were all the hints of what her favorite colors are, that she’d love another one, this was all she wanted to wear…

I got the hints. I dropped a few myself, like you have to buy some materials if you want me to sew you bralettes. Still, I really enjoyed making her something she loved. So… I’m making another one to get my sewjo back.

  Sales

 B,Wear has recently had a few sales. The first one I was aware of was a 35% off sale. I took advantage and I bought some elastics. I’ve found elastics were always what I was seemed to run out of first because I wasn’t willing to unpick it all, especially triple-zigzag stitches!

Along with my elastics, this lovely lace came from Bodil’s B,Wear shop. I used this for Em’s Watson. It’s gorgeous.

I’m matching it up with black to make a striking combination. White lace cups and cradle, black band, straps and findings. Em did say black and white were her favorite color combination.

Other Plans

Originally, I was going to use some more ‘bits’ that were left over in my stash for another bralette. However, once I was sewing with these ‘bits’ I realized the material was terrible! My machine hated it, and I didn’t want to sew with it anymore. After fighting with it and my machine for the better part of a morning, there was one more part that just wasn’t right; I couldn’t face unpicking it again. I turfed it and it felt great!

This is a really thin Lycra material. I still had some leftover after cutting this out, but it’s in a give-away bag now. Someone else might love it, but not me. Not anymore. Along with this, two other very similar Lycra materials are leaving my stash too.

Em’s Second Watson

    Here’s Em’s Watson. I really love how this one turned out as well.

Oh, it’s so pretty. The black and white is so classic.

Here’s the side view: There was a lot of switching thread for this bralette. I only made one little mistake on the first color change. I went over the seam by a couple of stitches.

Other than that, I was quite pleased with all my switching back and forth.

Here’s the back of the bralette.

Seeing as I know this size fits her, I sewed the bow on already. I took advantage of the black and white color scheme to put a black bow on the front.

 Here’s a little tip for keeping these bows in place while getting it all under the presser foot – use a little bit of double-sided tape. You hardly need any, and it will wash away in the laundry, but it keeps it right where you want it until you sew it in place.

There’s only one thing I don’t love about this lovely bralette. The rings and sliders are one size too big. I don’t have any 3/8″ ones. Well, I did have a few but they were plastic, and I know plastic won’t survive being stepped on. (I never asked. I didn’t want to know.) The smallest size I have are 1/2″ ones, and as you can see, they’re a bit too big. I did try moving them, and they seem to stay in place quite well.

The most fun I have sewing for Em is hearing the exclamations coming from the other room when she’s trying something on: “It’s so cute!” I just don’t yell like that over any of my makes for myself. I might have a little more sewjo if I did.

The lace for this bralette came from B,Wear, the elastics from Bra-Makers Supply, the straps from Merckwaerdigh, and the power net from a new supplier to me – Club Tissus.

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.

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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:

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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:

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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!

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 store. 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.

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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!

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:

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

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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        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!

Matching Panties for A Modern Floral Shelley and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

This week I have a couple of pair of panties I made to co-ordinate with my Modern Floral Shelley.

I love cotton, and this Indigo cotton spandex is from Bra-Makers Supply. The lace is from the Merckwaerdigh kit I used for the bra, and the elastics are from Frog Feathers on Etsy.

2 panties

On the first pair I made I used a bit of the lace I used from the bra and then some Ivory lace elastics – Ivory also being a color also in the Lycra. I’d wondered if maybe there was too much lace, but then decided there can never be too much lace. I love them. They’re so comfortable.

Too much lace

The second pair, which is my favorite style to make, uses the same lace from the kit for the whole front panel. On this pair I used Navy lace elastics.

Fav style of panties

Both pairs of panties are from my TNT panty pattern – Kwik Sew 2286, which I have fun with by changing the lines or style, but using the pattern as a base or starting point.

I also picked up a couple of pair of panties in some coordinating colors, not so much because I wanted or needed the panties, but to clone them for patterns. I really like the top pair – how the back part of the panty wraps right around the front in a little V across the hip, and the lace elastic in the design. Very pretty. The bottom pair is simply a high cut style, but still fun.

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Now our Bra-A-Week Challenge. We’re on week 26 of the Challenge! It is so very inspiring to see everyone’s submissions.

This week we have a beautiful bikini from Diana.

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That is so lovely. Diana wrote about this on her blog poetsie.blogspot.nl. If you don’t read Dutch, it helps to open it in Google Translate. You can read it that way in your own language. Check it out here for English.

This is so colorful and fun. It’s really lovely, Diana.

Our next submission comes from Maddy.

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Maddy made the Marlborough bra. This is her second time making the Marlborough; she made a few modification to the pattern and got an almost perfect fit. That perfect fit (or almost perfect) feels so good!

Maddy also mad a matching pair of Ohhh Lulu Grace panties.

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This was Maddy’s first time making the Grace panties, and she really loves the style and fit! That is so good to know because the Grace panties are on my to-buy list. Thanks for recommending them, Maddy!

You can read all about Maddy’s Marlborough and Grace panties, with more pictures and details about the alterations on her blog:  https://missmaddysews.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/something-wicked-this-way-comes/
Our next submission comes from Monserratt. Monserratt is a Pin-Up Girl like me, and made her bra from the Classic pattern.

stardust front

I love these colors! So gorgeous! You really need to see take a look at Monserratt’s blog: https://monserrattlopez.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/we-are-stardust-bra/ – she has a lot of information on there as to what she’s done in the way of alterations, but also a lot of photos. You can see her lovely makes, and her great photos!
stardust back
Love that blue and gold! So very pretty.
Our next submission comes from David.
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David’s bra features black lace across the front overlaid with the straps. This is something like a short corset, bandeau, sport bra and strappy.
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But there are two different laces used here. You can see the second lace on the back.
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Isn’t that stunning? Just gorgeous. David is a freelance lingerie designer, his label is: Bonnet Bleu
Our last submission is from Erin!
Erin made this is a bikini for her sister’s birthday.
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Erin’s sister picked out this fabric and wanted a cute itsy-bitsy bikini, but with a little more structure (underwires & foam). It’s a vertical seam cup, low cut with short wires. (Erin thinks she’s the equivalent of a 34C although she drafted this pattern off her measurements).
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The details are a cute tie in the front and on the sides of the bottoms and nice double stitching on the outer fabric for the cups, gold rings and G-hooks. Erin said it was lots of fun to make – and hopes it fits her sister perfectly!!
What a nice birthday gift! You can read more on Erin’s blog: http://emeralderin.blogspot.ca.
I’m loving summer hosting the challenge – it is so exciting and fun to see all the makes coming in!
Happy creating!

 

A Modern Floral Shelley and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

My most recent Shelley is a bit of an experiment for me. My experiment was in the materials I used. I usually use Duoplex for my bra cups. On this bra, I used the Lycra that came in the Merckwaerdigh kit and then lined it with Sheer Cup Lining. Seeing as there’s no stretch in the lining, I thought it would work.

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Isn’t that pretty? I loved it the moment I saw it. And I’ve learned, when I see something in Margreet’s Etsy store that I love, I buy it right away. I’ve found if I wait, it’s gone. My challenge with using kits from Merckwaerdigh is I need the support of Duoplex or something non-stretch. If I use Duoplex underneath the Lycra, it’s getting to be the cost of two bras. I wanted to try something different.

I had a little more trouble sewing Lycra than I do Duoplex. I’m not used to sewing stretch when sewing my cups. Here you can see where I made a little mistake in my sewing.

Mod Blue Shelley

Look at that wrinkle. I decided it was a small cosmetic error, I’m going to give it a cosmetic treatment – cover it up.

I love this material, but there was one big downside to it – all the shades of blue in it. I planned on using a Navy findings kit from Bra-Makers Supply, as well as Navy Power Net from them. So, I needed Navy thread. Fine. I got Navy thread. When I sewed the elastic on the back of the lace though, the Navy looked terrible. So, off to the store to match some thread to the lace. The thread that matches the lace, doesn’t look great on the Lycra. Sigh. I wasn’t going to buy a third spool of thread for the bra, so the Navy thread is now a design element on this bra.

front

Here’s the bra from the front. I love those three little bows at the front. And those little bows … they’re all me-made. The Merckwaerdigh kits don’t come with bows. The only bows I had really didn’t go with the colors of the bra, so I looked at my ribbon stash. This golden ribbon was the only one that went well. It’s really fun to make ribbons, and easy. I shared how in this post. I used the cardboard method, but the fork method looks like it produces a lovely bow as well.

three bows

Here are the bows all finished and sewn on with a blue bead in the center. It hides that little wrinkle pretty well.

back

Here’s the back of the bra. I did over-calculate how much I had to add to the band using the new, stronger elastics from Bra-Makers Supply. You can read about those elastics here. I had to cut a bit off both sides to make it perfect for me, and next I’ll adjust my band pattern.

So, how did my experiment go? The bra fits a touch looser than when I make it from Duoplex. The only place I noticed any wrinkles at all were under the arm where I already have to make an adjustment. Now, if I could only sew Lycra more neatly and without wrinkles!

Now onto the Bra-a Week Challenge submissions!

This is week 25 of the Bra-A-Week Challenge, and this week we have some very beautiful submissions along with my own.

The first bra is from Sofia. It is such a delicate work of art inspired by a one of her favorite lingerie brands.

Little-Black-Bra

Here’s Sofia’s Little Black Bra. Isn’t that gorgeous? Sofia used Eyelash lace backed with nude Power Net to achieve the look on the front of the bra.  As well, she took careful attention to match the lace on the cups. All that extra attention does show. She finished her bra with black Power Net for the band and a 3 Hook and Eye set. Stunning!

You can read more about Sofia’s inspiration and Black Lace Bra on her blog Silver Lining. So very lovely!

Our second bra this week is from France and it’s actually a set of bras, not just one.

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I can’t even imagine how wonderful it would be to have someone make custom-fitting bras for me. France is making them for her Mom. What a wonderful thing!

Look at all these beautiful bras! This is what you can do once you have that perfect pattern.

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This photo shows the back of the bra. Look at how perfectly the whole bra fits! And it looks really comfortable too with that full back. That’s just so great!

Our next submission is from David of Bonnet Bleu. It’s another lovely delicate looking bra. David made this bra using Black tulle and white lace for his triangle lace cup bra with nude bra cup foams.

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The black is more visible here from the side. The wings are black. So very lovely and delicate looking.

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David is a freelance lingerie designer, label: Bonnet Bleu.

Happy creating!

My BMS Chart

The idea for this week’s post comes from a reader and friend. I sent a chart I’d made to my friend, Naomi, and she said what a great idea it would be for a post. Okay. Here it is.

I really like things to match, and match well. I don’t think I’m excessive. When I think excessive, I remember a high school science teacher who wore everything in the same color – top, skirt or pants, pantyhose, shoes, purse. If she came to school wearing green, everything was green! I have distinct memories of a lot of green! I’m not that bad, but coordinating bra and panty sets is something I want to do.

A lot of my bra-making stash comes from Bra-Makers Supply. I like the quality and choice of materials, I’m in Canada, so it’s one of the best options for shipping for me, and Beverly Johnson is such a wonderful help. On the BMS web site, you can see the colors of their Duoplex, Power Nets, Finding Kits, and Cotton Spandex Double-knit – these are the ones I look at because these are the ones I want to co-ordinate. I’ve spent a lot of time going back and forth on their web site looking to see what colors are available in all of these categories.

They also offer sample packs of all of these materials so you can see and feel what you’re getting. I have a mini stash with a sample pack of each of these. When I got these with my order a while back, I was most excited about them when I opened the box! I couldn’t wait to see all the colors available.

Sample packs

However, even having those samples, I found myself flipping back and forth through them, checking and re-checking to see what was there and what matched with something from another pack.

So, in my desire to match materials for bra and panty sets, I put together a chart. It’s up on the wall beside my sewing desk for easy reference.

chart

Here’s my BMS Chart. It shows the colors of the Duoplex, the Power Nets, (both Regular and Double Knit), the Cotton Spandex Double-knit, and the Finding Kits. It’s even color-coded for ease. *Note: BMS has added more Finding kits since this chart was made.)

When I want to make a completely matching set – you know, be all matchy matchy – I look at the Pink highlighted rows. Those rows show where each of the categories has the same color. If you look at the red, it has Duoplex, Power Net (both), Cotton Spandex, and Finding Kits all in red.

The blue highlighted rows aren’t complete – it’s missing one of those matching components, but still pretty complete. The Ivory, Peach, Fuchsia, Turquoise and Navy Blue don’t have Cotton Spandex in those exact colors. However, I just ordered some Banana in the cotton which is close in color to the Ivory, and some Indigo which is close to Navy. By using the same lace on both the bra and panty, it will bring the set together well.

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Here’s an Ivory Trio from BMS on top of the Banana Cotton Spandex. The Banana is a bit deeper in color, but close enough that I’m happy with it.

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Here’s the Duoplex in Ivory and the Banana Cotton with an Ivory and Peach lace. I think this looks fabulous!

The Purple on the chart is the only one that has all matching categories except the Finding Kit. I think that would still be wonderful as a set with either a Black or Lilac Finding Kit to complete it. And of course, again, the lace can pull things together. If I used black lace with the black findings and purple for the rest of the bra and panties, it would be lovely. Or Lilac…

I used my chart to help me decide what findings to use with other lace finds I come across. If I find a lovely lace I just can pass on, now I can take a quick look at my chart to see what options are available for pairing that lace with the rest of the components I’ll need to make a bra and panty set. In fact, I have a bra kit I ordered from Merckwaerdigh‘s Etsy store. However, I need firmer support than Lycra can offer, and large findings, so I supplement the kit I bought. I checked and a few options that would go well with it were Ivory or Navy. You’ll be seeing a lovely set with Navy in the future.

Merck and ivory

Merck and navy

I hope my coordinating chart makes it up on some new walls and helps others to be all matchy matchy too.

Happy creating!

Finally… Some Sewing

After two sewing fails in the past two weeks, I felt like my sewjo had got up and left. So, this week I made myself cut out some panties to go with my bra. You’ve all seen the bra before. Here’s my latest matching bra and panty set.

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This is the Sewy-fied Shelley bra, and my TNT Kwik Sew 2286 panty pattern, which I’ve changed up a bit by adding the lace panel to the front.

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again – I’m spoiled now. I only want to wear matching sets of bras and panties. I had always color-coordinated everything before, but with RTW bras costing $150+, there was no way matching panties were going to happen.

Now that I have my bra fit worked out, matching sets are a must! I love sewing my own lingerie.

This time, cutting out the matching panty went without a hitch, but it wasn’t just smooth sailing from there.  I realized I didn’t have enough elastic to finish my panties the way I like, and the way the pattern says. I was wondering if it would be another no-sew week at that point.

My first thought was to tea-dye some stretch lace. I have lots of white I bought on sale. Nope, that didn’t work.

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The tea gave me a lovely deep beige, but it wasn’t the same as either of the other beiges I was using. I was already using two differently hued beiges. I really didn’t want to introduce a third beige. So, two bumps on the sewing road, but I realized I must be feeling better because I had my old I’m-not-giving-up attitude.

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I decided to finish the back waist band with the dark purple trim that came with the Merckwaerdigh kit. One problem solved. Although, I’m not loving the beige thread on the purple, I wasn’t up to picking it all out and starting over again.

The outlined sewing order for Kwik Sew pattern is: the gusset is sewn to the back and then the front using what is commonly called the ‘Burrito’ method, then the lace is applied to the leg openings, the sides are sewn up, and lastly the same lace is applied to the waistband. Altering the pattern, I have to change my order of sewing. The first thing I do now is attach the elastics to the waist bands. I sewed the purple trim to the back, and some nice plush black elastic behind the lace panel at the front.

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Here you can see the elastic already sewn onto the waist while I’m just in process of pinning the lace to the legs. I didn’t do this on the first pair I altered and learned the hard way.

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Another small change I made was to use my sewing machine’s Overcast stitch rather than a simple Zigzag stitch. That gave me a straight seam on the right side of the fabric rather than the not-perfectly-straight seam from a Zigzag stitch.

After pressing it on the right side to flatten the seam, I added one more change…

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I gave the seam a bit of reinforcement by Zigzagging over the just-sewn seam. Another quick press and it looks so nice and neat.

One last little change I made was thanks to a reader. Carmen mentioned how she sews down the seams on the gusset with a Zigzag stitch – a tip she picked up from Sigrid. I thought it was a great idea. Thank you, Carmen!

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In the photo above you can see a close up of the Zigzag stitching. It does two things: it reinforces that seam, and it flattens that seam much more than pressing it can.

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So here’s my first pair of panties to make a matching set with my bra. The next pair will have to wait until my stretch lace gets here.

The materials I’ve used here are a mix from Bra-Makers Supply, Merckwaerdigh, and Frog Feathers. The Duoplex, Power Net, Findings, and Cotton Spandex Doubleknit are from BMS. The lace, Lycra and trim are from Merckwaerdigh. The stretch elastic is from Frog Feathers.

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.

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Oh, that’s a lovely bra!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

A Beige Shelley Set

I’m pretty sure I’ve used that title before, and will likely use it again. I really like my basics and I like the Shelley pattern by Bra-Makers Supply. Here’s my most recent Shelley:

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I need to make some proper-fitting foam inserts for photos. I don’t like all the wrinkles! However, as a bra, this is my best yet. I love it. It’s kind of funny because I saw this lace on the Bra-Makers Supply (BMS) web site, and ordered it right away. When I got it, I was putting it with my other laces, and lo and behold, there was another order I’d placed before for the same lace. Yup. I know I like it when I do that. It wasn’t the first time, and I doubt it’ll be the last. I did that with a Merckwaerdigh lace as well.  It’s good to know I really like it.

For this Shelley, I did what I did for the last couple of bras I made. Rather than making alterations to the cup to make the larger cup fit into the smaller cradle (Omega shape), I went in-between the sizes. The cup corresponds to a 42 wire, the cradle I need is a 38. I used the 40 cradle. The wire still fits. In fact, BMS say with their patterns you can go up or down a wire size if you need. That makes it perfect for me. The fewer alterations, the better because one alteration leads to another and another.

I thinned the area under the cup even though I used the larger elastic. You can see that here:

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Beverly, The Fairy Bra Mother, did a very informative blog on how to do this and I’ve been doing it since. You can read her wonderful instructions here.

I also lowered the bridge, adjusted for a flat spot I have and added a vertical dart to the pattern to take out a little excess under the arm.

It’s so wonderful to have learned to do this, and from now on I can have perfectly fitting bras. That is tremendous!

Another sparkly idea that came from Beverly was to add some Swarovski crystals to the bra. Pure brilliance. So, I added a little bling to the bra too. This bra has bows and crystals.

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I attached these sparkling little delights on the bridge just above a ‘floating’ piece of lace. I say it’s floating because I only sewed the sides of it into the seams of the cup and cradle. I used the Swarovski Hotfix Crystal Tool to attach the crystals and love the result. The only change I’d make here is one that will make it a bit easier for me – attach the crystals before inserting the under wires. However, as much as the tool seemed to want to wobble a bit, the end result looks nice and straight.

The back is quite basic.

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There is a small pucker where the hooks and eyes meet the band, but it’s not the very large wrinkle showing in the photo. That was just me not catching that the band wasn’t on Catherine (my dress form) perfectly straight. I was fighting a cold and forgot to check to see if the band fit properly into the hooks and eyes. I think there’s a 1/16″ little tuck there because I  didn’t want any edges sticking out.

Now, for matching panties.

You’d never have known it by following my blog, but I do love matching bra and panty sets. For a long time I was on a quest to find cotton because I love my cotton panties. Once I found my source at BMS, I was working on getting my bra fit down. All the materials for my bras and panties come from BMS except the elastic lace I used on the waist bands – that came from Frog Feathers on Etsy.

Here’s the first pair of panties I did:

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I love these. Nice soft cotton and matching pretty lace. Who could ask for more? I used my favorite Kwik Sew 2286 pattern and altered it. I did go up a size because the cotton just didn’t have the same stretch as some other knits I’d used in the past. The alteration I made was a simple one. Rather than cutting the front on the fold, I traced the whole front out and then cut off the one side of the front. I added a seam allowance to both sides creating two new pattern parts.

I did run into a bit of a snag not having thought it all through enough. When I was adding the lace to the waist band, I realized I didn’t want to cut off the scalloped part at the top of the lace. So I just ended the elastic lace where the other lace started. Next time I will add the elastic lace to the band before sewing these two parts together.

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Having that little blip happen helped me with my second set of panties though. Here’s my second pair:

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Yup. I love these too. It’s the same base pattern, but on this one I traced the front out and laid my lace over it. I wanted the scalloped edge at the top. So with the lace on top of the pattern, I drew a line where the lace ended. Then I traced that part again and added a seam allowance. For this set, I added the back waist elastic first. That wasn’t going to work for the font though. For the front I added a bit of left over upper band elastic. It’s hidden behind the top of the scallops.

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Here it is from the inside. I didn’t want to leave the front without any elastic, even though the lace is a stretch lace.

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Here they are, my two new matching panties.

Happy creating!