Canada Cups – Coming Unwired in a Bralette

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Canada Cups – Coming Unwired blog tour.

This tour is all about soft cupped bras in their many forms, whether it be bralettes, camisoles, or actual soft cupped bras – all designed by Canadian Designers. For my stop, I’m making a bralette from the Pin-up Girls Sweet Sixteen Bralette Collection.

The Pattern

Beverly Johnson is the designer of this pattern. Beverly owns Bra-Makers Supply here in Canada, and is one of our amazing sponsors! Beverly was willing to provide a pattern to a reviewer, but I’m such a pattern hound, I already had a copy of this pattern. Rachelle of That’s Sew Venice gladly accepted that offer though, so we are both making the Sweet Sixteen bralette pattern. You can read Rachelle’s post here.

A Few Details About the Pattern 

Beverly says, “Most would not say “support” and bralette in the same breath, but oddly enough, this one can be very supportive. With the options this pattern offers, this bralette could become your new breast friend! The typical ready-to-wear bralette is only available in smaller sizes..not ours!”

It’s because this pattern offers both support and a fuller range of sizes, that Rachelle and I both wanted to make this bralette. Just so you know, there are 72 sizes included in this pattern.

A little later in the post, I have some ideas to share with you about making this bralette more supportive.

Another Sponsor – Club Tissus

Another of our fabulous tour sponsors right here in Canada is new to me: Club Tissus. They very generously offered the tour bloggers a discount and free shipping to try their merchandise for this tour. Thank you, Club Tissus!

My thoughts were, ‘A deal on lingerie supplies?’ I went to their website right away.

My first impressions were, well, it was all in French. I do know some French, but am not familiar with French material names. Then I found the box in the upper left corner that allows us to switch from French to English. (Whew!) That was better. I had no trouble navigating their site after that.

I bought this gorgeous mesh to use for the cups.

I found everything I needed to make my bralette there except neckline trim elastic. I had some of that in my stash.

Living across the country, mine took four business days to arrive. That’s still really good. I did have one mistake with my order, and after emailing them, they had the right item in the mail within a day.

Set Backs

I had a couple of set backs with my plans for my first bralette (okay, there three all together) – which is not something you want to happen when a sponsor has donated your material!

My first was mistake with this material wasn’t a mistake, and I should have stuck with it. I simply cut out cups from the material – no matching, just random cut outs. But no, I decided I could do better and I tossed those cups out. (Remember this bit for later.)

Then I decided to use the colored part of the mesh. I didn’t like that once it was cut out and sewn. It was too multi-colored. Those went in the garbage.

Next, I was going to match the patterns. It turned out I wasn’t able to match the print exactly for each cup. No matter where I laid my pattern pieces on the remaining fabric, I could not get a match. Unfortunately, I had already cut out one half of the bra and matching pattern designs takes a lot more material than not matching.

I let that idea go, and just cut out another set of cups – I was right back to what I first did, except it’s three cuts into the material later. I was on my way.While sewing the cups, and then top-stitching them, my machine decided to eat my material and made a big knot! As I gently tried to unpick the knot… I made a hole. 

Sadly, there’s no repairing that, and by this time, I didn’t have enough of this mesh to make new cups. I had to start over.

Take Two

  Thankfully, I was able to make this beautiful bralette with a stretch lace cup, and power net for the band from materials in my stash.

Oh, I love these colors together. This is the Platinum duoplex, power net, and strap elastic from Bra-Makers Supply. The lace is some gorgeous lace I found at Fabricland in Ontario. I really love these together.

I couldn’t find a 4 x 3 hook and eye in Platinum and I didn’t like it in black, beige or ivory, which were all I could find. So I lowered the back where the straps attach to use a 3 x 3 hook and eye.

 Here’s the side view. So very pretty.

 How does it fit? It fit quite well after I shortened the back band.

Here’s the band I cut out based on what I thought were my correct measurements. After re-measuring, I was an inch smaller than I thought. However, I ended up shortening the band to that red broken line. That’s more than just the inch difference. So if you’re making this pattern, which is a great pattern, just know the band fits big.

Once I had the band shortened, it was perfect. I’ve worn this for full days, and it’s very comfortable.

PHDs

  There are always the Projects Half Done. This was one of them. A lovely camisole pattern.  I bought the material for it; a gorgeous cotton/silk blend, and this lacy material I thought went well with it. I received the High Neck Camisole pattern from one of our wonderful sponsors, Lingerie Secrets.

As it turns out, I’m actually glad I didn’t get this completed because just before the tour started, I found an even better lace in my stash!The lace is a cotton lace too. I like this so much better than the original material I bought for this.

Support 

Using only stretch lace for the cups, I wasn’t expecting this to be the most supportive, but I would say it’s actually better support than any other bralette I own. It’s also very comfortable.

I thought of some options to make this pattern more supportive: Lining it with foam, which is an option mentioned in the pattern, but not my preference. Other options could be to line the lace cups with sheer cup lining, or some firm stretch mesh, or even duoplex. All of these would make this very supportive.

Thank You

I  want to express my gratitude to these wonderful sponsors for our tour! They’ve donated patterns, fabric, and findings to our bloggers, and have gone above and beyond and donated prizes for you – our readers.

Tour Discounts

  • Funky Monkey Fabrics is offering a 10% discount for the duration of the tour. Use code: CC10 for 10% off store wide until October 22nd. Not valid on already discounted full bolts.
  • 20% discount storewide at Fabric Please. Use code CANADACUPS.
  • 10% discount from Central Sewing Machines (email your order directly to Muriel@centralsewing.com to receive the discount)
  • 10% discount from Midnight Mountain Fabrics. Use CANADACUPS10 for the code
  • Free shipping from Club Tissus on all orders over $100. Use code: livraison100

 Come back here for our wrap up to enter into a draw for one of the prizes! Just look at these prizes!

Happy creating!


Tour Schedule

Hang with us as we reveal our inner secrets. 😉

 

 

 

 

// Please note that none of these post links are available before the scheduled date. If you click on one too early, you will get an Error 404: Page not found. You know about those, right? //

Sunday, October 15


Monday, October 16


Tuesday, October 17


Wednesday, October 18


Thursday, October 19


Friday, October 20


Saturday, October 21


Monday, October 23

  • Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:

Little Heart Threads, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle’s Creations, Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables, Gracious Threads, Élégantine!, That’s Sew Venice, Sprouting Jubejube, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, Filles à Maman


 

A Review of Sewing Panties Construction & Fit

Welcome to Michelle’s Creations for the Canada Cups – Cross Your Heart Relay blog tour, 2016.

banner-improvedI hope you’re enjoying all of our makes and reviews so far. This time around, I’m reviewing Beverly Johnson’s new Panty class and so is Deb, my booty buddy, from Sprouting JubeJube. Make sure after you read my post, you hop on over to read Deb’s thoughts on the class. If you started with Deb’s review, welcome here!  I do know Deb has been really busy with all her makes and has them all here in a separate write-up than her class review.

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Don’t you love Craftsy? It really is the best. They offer online classes that never expire, and in so many different categories (sewing, cooking, gardening, painting…); the instructors they get are the best and they answer your questions; Craftsy offers kits and supplies as well. They really are great!

You’ll see in my sidebar menu, I’m an affiliate with Craftsy. I decided to do this because I can do this without any compromise. I really do think they’re great. You won’t see me stand behind everything. But Craftsy, I do.

Back to Sewing Panties Construction & Fit. I started watching. I watched the class half way through the first night. Then got up the next morning and watched the rest of it. I felt ready and confident to draft my own panties which was something I’d wondered if I could really do before the class.

Beverly assures us that drafting our own panties isn’t hard. It’s just a few simple measurements. Then she proceeds to show us just how to do it. This photo is from Craftsy showing Beverly making her master panty pattern.

She was absolutely right! It’s not hard.

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The drafting of the panty is very reminiscent of Suzy Furrer’s Sloper classes. Once we’ve drafted our pattern, Beverly moves on to show us the three basic styles of panties – Brief, Hipster, and Bikini – and how to make each one from our own master pattern.

From those three styles, Beverly shows some more variations like making your own French cut panties. There is also a style with the seams in the front. I had just been looking at the Make Bra DL21 pattern. I’d read great reviews on them and how the seams didn’t show at all. I’m going to try my hand at drafting my own!

My big question is how will my class-drafted pattern compare to my favorite pattern?

Before I made a pair up, I wanted to compare my class-drafted pattern to my favorites: Kwik Sew 2286.

Here are both back pattern pieces – the black outline is the class-drafted pattern; the white pattern piece is my 2286 pattern:

back 2

The pencil wasn’t showing up very well in the photo, so I redrew the lines in black on my computer. The class-drafted Hipster hits the center back exactly the same as my 2286s. The hip sits a bit higher on the class-drafted pair. As well, the class-drafted back is a bit wider in the hip and gives a little more cheek coverage. I had no idea my 2286s were cheeky!

I was thinking about the size difference, and remembered Beverly does suggest in the class to start with a 20% reduction when drafting the pattern. Clearly, my 2286s have more than 20% reduction, which shows even more on the front piece.

Front

Again, the front is bigger on my class-drafted pair. And the Hipster line sits a little lower. The leg opening on the front of my class-drafted pair (again, outlined in black) is definitely lower, and that would be something I’d want to change.

Gusset

The class-drafted gusset is shorter and although you can’t tell in the photo, it’s a touch narrower as well. I’d even narrowed the gusset pattern piece on my 2286s.

For my panties, I’m going to use my favorite 2286s like I often use my sloper – to help me get the fit I want. I will change the leg opening on the front, lengthen the gusset a tiny bit, and since I haven’t found my 2286s to be too small at all, I will narrow the class-drafted pattern.

It’s time for new panties! New, drafted-to-my-measurements, incorporating-all-the-aspects-of-my-favorite-pattern, and matching-my-new-bra new panties. These are not just any panties!

panties on table

Oh, I like these. I incorporated the lace application on the legs the same as my 2286s, and did a lace front panel to match my bra.

I wanted to show you a few more details. One of the things I’ve learned making my own panties is the side seam is a weak spot when you’re using lace on the front like this. So, for these panties, I used a 1/2″ strip of knit interfacing to reinforce the seam.

reinforement

As well, having a lace front isn’t quite the same without some elastic. It will often be too loose. So a little bit of lingerie elastic behind the lace is hardly visible, but makes a big difference when you’re wearing them.

Elastic behind the lace

I like everything to look as nice inside as out. I pin my lace out of the way and use my Pinking blade to trim away the excess fabric.

Pinking the edges

There’s only one more thing to add. This is one of the bows I made for my bra.

One more thing to add

Here’s my matching set.

Full set on table 2

 I love them both!

Set on Catherine 3

I loved making self-drafted panties, but that wasn’t all I made. As well as making these panties, I reviewed a pattern.

Did you see my teaser posts? I’ve had a few over the last week. They were all letting you know there was a tour coming up.

This photo is the cover of the pattern I made. Can you tell what pattern it is? I tried to make it hard.

pattern mix 2

 A little Photoshop and it’s hardly recognizable. Here’s what it really looks like:

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Yes, it’s the Pin-Up Girls Boy Short Collection.

Along with covering Beverly’s newest class, Deb from Sprouting JubeJube and I are both reviewing panty patterns, but not the same pattern. I’m reviewing the Pin-Up Girls Boy Short Collection. Although I know what pattern Deb is making, I’m not going to tell. You’ll have to go to Deb’s blog to see her pattern review and all her makes. She really did make some lovely panties, and we found out we love the same materials. Really. We have the same Cotton Lycra stash. That’s all I’m saying.

Let me show you the Boy Shorts I made.

Front of panty

 They look just like Boy Shorts, but they also looked bigger than what I usually wear.

comparison

And they are bigger. To be totally honest here, they looked HUGE to me!  It’s mostly the different shape. Boy shorts have material over the leg and what I usually wear doesn’t. Oh my! Here they are being compared to my favorite Kwik Sew 2286s. I know what size not to use so my next pair will fit.

The best part of these panties is the back. I made view 4. They really have a super cute back and I will use this feature in the future.

Back lace detail

Isn’t that a lovely detail?

I want to thank Bra-Makers Supply for providing me with the Pin-Up Girls Boy Short Collection, and Craftsy for providing me with the class Sewing Panties Construction & Fit.

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

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

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Saturday, September 17

bloggers

A big thank you to our wonderful bloggers. They’ve all done such a great job!

Happy creating!

Canada Cups Posts for Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

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Here are the tour posts for today. Don’t forget to enter the give-away!

Tuesday, September 13

A big thank you to all of our bloggers! You’ve done an incredible job.

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And I’m sure we’re all thankful for the sponsors! Thank you for making our tour so much better.

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A Sports Bra Muslin and a Few More Plans

I’m starting to work out with a Personal Fitness Trainer. You’d think if your son is a Trainer, you’d get free training, but no. He said part of his education was enforcing repeatedly that they are not to give their services away for free. I do understand that. It’s the same as people wanting me to sew for free. I rarely offer that. My boy is charging both me and his Dad. We do want to support him and we want to get in better shape, so it’s a win-win.

Working out brings a whole new set of challenges for me: sports bras. From my reading in the Bra-Makers Manuals, I need more support than a compression-type of sports bra will offer. Anyone over a C cup does as well, which I bet is a surprise to many women out there. I haven’t seen much in terms of sports bras that aren’t compression, and they never fit me very well, but that’s all I’ve seen in the stores and all I’ve ever been able to buy in the past.

The other type of sports bra mentioned in the manual is the encapsulated style of sports bra. Bra-Makers Supply just happens to have a pattern for one too. The Pin-Up Girls Kerri Sports bra.

Kerri%20Sport%20Bra (2)

BMS advertises this as a ‘no bounce’ bra. That sounds great! They say the design is based on an Indian sari blouse – using darts to give the shape. It’s all sounding good… until I consider my shape and alterations needs.

I bought the pattern and some gorgeous fabrics to make the bra. But before I’m cutting that gorgeous fabric, I made a muslin. Actually, I made two. I made the first one in my normal cup size, but then after re-reading the sizing information again, I realized I could fit into a smaller size and (hopefully) have fewer or less drastic adjustments to make. So I made a second muslin right away after making the first one and made it two sizes smaller.

Front-Size-look-right

I have this tried on over one of my bras that fits, with foam in it to fill it out. Looking at this, the strap looks the right length, the front center looks good, the cup depth looks good.

Slight-Gap-underarm

You can see here there’s a little pucker at the underarm, but I usually need a dart there. Remember, this is as is – no adjustments yet – just so I can see what I’m going to have to change or adjust.

Gap-Under-Bust-from-front

The next thing to do was to try it on me. I tried it on over my bra so I had something to pin it to. The shoulder strap could be shortened 1/4″, and I’ve pinned out the excess on me under the bust, which isn’t quite as drastic as on Catherine my dress form. I’m pretty much straight from my underbust to my waist, but she keeps going in. I was out of material to make another muslin, so a trip to the fabric store was in order.

I won’t buy regular muslin material. It’s $15/meter and never on sale. That’s just too expensive. I look for any non-stretch material, so if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve seen many patterned muslins on my posts. This time it was just some basic black cotton. I got a great deal – buy one get two for free. They actually gave me a choice – the material was 60% off, so I could chose to pay for three meters at that price, or pay full price for one meter and get two meters for free. The first way it would have been $28.80 for the 3 meters, the second way I paid $16. I love deals! Guess which one I chose?

While I was there, I also picked up material for my next sewing project (after I get my sports bra done) – The Conference Tote Bag. There’s a sew-along that’s happened already, but all the information is still on the web site right now. The video on the web page shows many of the beautiful bags people have made. I heard so many great things about it and I’ve wanted to make a bag for a long time now. It became my next project.

Here’s the material I chose for my Conference Tote Bag.

material for conference tote

I knew I wanted black and gold, and I looked at a lot of options for my second color. Then I saw the material on top. Everything is outlined in gold as well. I love them together. They look better in person than the photo shows even. Going into fall, I didn’t want anything bright. I’ll save that for spring. The rest of what I need for my bag isn’t on sale for another few weeks, so I’ll have to be patient. It will give me lots of time to finish my sports bra and establish my exercise routine.

One last mention, the Bra-A-Week Challenge is back in the hands of the ever-talented Erin. Pop over to Erin’s blog to see all the incredible makes this week!

Happy creating!

Booby Traps’ Dart Pattern and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

Recently I saw a Booby Traps pattern for sale and thought it was quite nice. There are some similarities to the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern from what I could see – a lace upper cup and an one-piece lower cup.

btd

Seeing as I have a bit of a pattern addiction, I was thinking of picking one up. This one was a private sale, and not my size, so I went to visit their web site. After looking at the patterns, I checked to see if they shipped internationally. On the FAQ page it says:

Where do you ship to?

We ship within Australia and to New Zealand. 

Shipping outside these Countries is currently not available. 

Hmm. I’m never one to be deterred when I want something, so I sent them an email and asked if they mailed their patterns to Canada. The answer I got was: ‘Yes’. Great!

When I was sending off my initial email, I thought I’d throw out a hopeful idea just in case they didn’t post to Canada – I asked if they were going to introduce PDF patterns. Another yes! In fact, it was only weeks away at the time. That’s even better than shipping to Canada! For almost the same price I’d spend to buy a pattern and have it shipped, I could buy two PDF patterns.

I know. I said I don’t like PDF patterns, but a bra pattern is different. I’m not dealing with large pattern pieces, and there’s not usually much taping involved. I’m okay with a PDF bra pattern. However, I did just see a brilliant post by Sigrid on how to use a PDF pattern and not have to deal with a bunch of taping. You can read about it on her blog here. It’s really brilliant. I just may love PDF patterns again.

Back to bra patterns. The B003 wasn’t the pattern I chose to try. I chose the Dart bra.

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Isn’t that a beautiful bra? I love that lace in the second photo. It’s just incredible.

So, the first thing I had to do with my Dart bra pattern was grade it up. I’ve graded other patterns up, so that wasn’t too hard. The next thing was to make adjustments to the pattern to fit an Omega shape. Sigh. That’s harder. The good news there is I have lots of experience! A few years of it, in fact.

take-two-lots-of-pining

There are a lot of darts that aren’t part of the original pattern in this photo. The good thing about trying a test cup on over an existing bra is the wire line is there and the correct shape for me. That really helps me know where to take a little more away from the outside of the pattern.

After the third set of alterations, I was beginning to wonder if this bra will work for me. Then some inspiration hit. I’d make a pattern from my Shelley pattern that fits; I’d make it out of cut-and-sew foam and then just put a dart in it.

Comparison

Well, that didn’t work either.

I’m not one to give up easily, so, I even-more-carefully-than-the-first-time re-drew the graded-up pattern. That’s when I took a few minutes to play with my pup and got bit. Yup. Same hand I’ve been trying to get better now has one more hurting spot.  Did I sigh already?

I sewed up the cup (at this point, I think I was on tester cup six), and it looked good. I was ready to cut into my good lace.

looks-pretty-good

always-too-big-under-the-ar

I’m also hoping that the extra material there under the arm will be taken away with the elastic and gathering that is done there. That’s one area that’s always too big for me on patterns. I’d already put a dart in the pattern there, so didn’t want to shorten it anymore.

So, how is my Dart bra doing? Well, I’ll show you how far I got.

lace-not-long-enough

I tried three different non-stretch laces. This is my widest non-stretch lace. I don’t have a lace that will work for this pattern… in my size. I thought about aligning the upper edge of the cup with the top scallop of the lace rather than the bottom, but this cup was already going to sit low on me. Still not quite ready to give up, I checked Bra-Makers Supply and they only carry 5″ or 6″ non-stretch lace. I checked Etsy, but not much there – I found two. I didn’t love either of them.  I have to admit defeat – at least for now.

I think I’ll pack this pattern away. The only sewing accomplishment I’ve had this week was to put some flexible wires into some bras I’d made before, and now they’ll go from my to-be-repaired pile back into my lingerie drawer.

bras-with-new-wires

Let’s put my sewing week behind us and move onto the Bra-A-Week challenge! This is my last week hosting the challenge. I’ve had so much fun seeing all the incredible bras and lingerie being made by such talented creative people. Next week the challenge will be back in the hands of the ever-so-talented and capable Emerald Erin!

Our first submission comes from Amber. Amber made a Pin-Up-Girls with a downward hike, and the front made to look like a demi bra following instructions in Bra Makers Manual. She also added a nursing sling made from 15 denier- which she said she would not do again!

Amber-bra-and-panty

And the upper cup is white duoplex, that has been printed with a rubber stamp and fabric markers. What a great idea! It’s so pretty.

Amber-bra

Isn’t that lovely? That makes me want to go out and buy fabric markers and stamps, Amber. Amber’s panties are drafted from Beverly Johnson’s Make and Fit Panties. What a lovely set, Amber.

Our next submission comes from Maddy. Maddy made a yellow lace Marlborough for her sister for her birthday. She says it fits her so well and she was super happy with it! Maddy was also pleased with the finish – she covered the side seams with left over underwire channeling to make everything clean and tidy. I know how that feels. There’s just something to making it as pretty on the inside as it can possibly be. That is so pretty, Maddy.

yellow-bra

Next from Maddy still is a pair of Ohhh Lulu Alice tap pants. Maddy bought a gorgeous torsolette a while ago, and although she loves it, couldn’t  justify buying the matching underwear. So she made my own! The colour match is almost perfect, and they’re actually super practical for wearing over the suspender straps.

tap-pants

Gorgeous, Maddy! You’ll have to subscribe to read about these on Maddy’s blog, Miss Maddy Sews, as she hasn’t posted about them yet. If you go right away, you might still be able to enter her give-away!

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.

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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!

Butterick 6031 and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

Have you seen any of the Patterns by Gertie? She has some lovely patterns, and her Butterick 6031 is one of my favorites in my lingerie pattern stash… and it was time to pull it out.

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It is so pretty! I love that slip – black and white – such a classic!

Another admission I must make is I love watching The Shopping Channel. There are many Today’s Showstopper items in my house. This camisole was something I found on their website and was an inspiration for me. This, as well as some gorgeous material a friend sent me. The photo is the Rhonda Shear Leopard Lace Cami.

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I saw this and loved it, but I wanted something a little looser. I have a favorite camisole, and it’s not a snug fit, so I wanted one more like the one I have. That leopard lace? Love! Yes, it was time to pull out the leopard mesh I have in my stash and make something with it. Adding lace just makes it perfect.

Here’s my B6031 camisole.

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Love, love, love. However, I did have a bump along the way. I’m still trying to figure out what happened. Somehow, after cutting the mesh material for the cups, I ended up with two right cups. Excuse me? I’m completely baffled by this. I really have no idea how I cut out two the same, but I did.

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That was upsetting. I didn’t want to waste any of the material. I will be able to use the material to make a Shelley though, so I’ll save it for future right and left cup pieces. I wasn’t alone this week though, I was reading on another blog how the blogger cut out two left sides of her top.

To make the camisole I also had to do a Full Bust Adjustment. I’ve done one before when I made my moulage from Suzy Furer‘s class on Craftsy: Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper.

However, this time I used the information on the sew-along from Gertie herself to adjust my pattern following her instructions. I’m glad I did. The instructions I have would have had me add 3/4″ more than I added. The 1″ Gertie suggested was perfect.

I decided I’d follow along on the sew-along, and the funny thing about following along is once I got started sewing, I forgot about following. I was 3/4s done and remembered. I went back and read through it just to see what it said. The sew-along is for a slip, but all but the hem treatment is exactly the same as for the camisole. I’m thinking of trying the panties from this pattern too. They look really cute and are similar to my favorite TNT Kwik Sew 2286.

I also had some fun making my own bows again. I often like to find some way to do something different or unique. I did that with my bows. The first bow shown here has some mesh with the ribbon, and they’re both tied into the bow, the second bow is ribbon tied with the mess, and the mesh tails hanging down. Both were so fun to make.

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The materials I used came from BMS (power net), Frog Feathers (lace), and a dear friend, who just happens to be in our Challenge this week, (leopard mesh). Thank you, Ginny! I love how beautiful my camisole is, and will treasure it even more because the material was a gift.

Now onto the Bra-A-Week Challenge. This week we’re on week 29 and we have a great week!

Our first submission comes from Karin of Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables.

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This is the Marrakech bikini. It’s based on the Rebecca bikini from the 3 Sisters pattern, a Bra-Makers Supply pattern. Karin altered it to make the cups a little more flattering. The back detail is gorgeous and the fabric amazing!

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That is gorgeous! You can read more about this beautiful bikini on Mrs. Weaver’s blog.

Our next submission comes from Amber. Amber made this beautiful bra for her friend, Helena. She started a while ago, but got interrupted in her sewing by having a son. Congratulations on your son, Amber!

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Amber started out planning to make a basic bra, but then saw this lace and wanted to try a couple of different techniques.

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Look at that starburst. So very pretty! This is the Pin-Up Girls Amanda foam cup pattern. The pattern, fabric and notions – except for the lace are from Bra Makers Supply or BWear. It’s beautiful, Amber!

Next we have a beautiful bra from Maddy.

Maddy made her third Marlborough with matching Ohhh Lulu tap pants, in coral lace.

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Maddy says, ‘I love this set so much! The fit is lovely and comfortable, and I’m so in love with the lace (and its remnant price tag!)’

I agree with Maddy on that – it’s lovely! And beautiful remnant always feels better than full price. It’s gorgeous! You can read more about Maddy’s Marlborough on her blog, Miss Maddy Sews.

Next we have a beautiful bra by Sofia.

Sofia made a very lacy bra. Is there anything more delicate looking than an all lace bra? She also made a few alterations to her pattern. You can read about that on her blog, Silver Lining.

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Beautiful. That bow really looks awesome, Sofia! Sofia made her own bow for this bra. It really pops with that deep color.

Our next submission comes from Ginny. Ginny made the Boylston Bra, the newest pattern from Orange Lingerie, and she made it for her niece.

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Oh, that is pretty. Ginny describes the Boylston as ‘a sleek balconette style with self fabric straps’.

Ginny also made some matching panties for her niece. Here is Ginny’s first set featuring Make Bra’s DL21 panties.

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That is lovely. Ginny, your niece will love it! Here’s Ginny’s second set now featuring Ohhh Lulu’s ‘super comfy’ Grace panty.

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I love that floral lace on the sides! You can read Ginny’s guest post on Sewcialists‘ blog.

Our final submission for the week is from David.

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David made this bra with pink cups with black lace. The upper part of bra cups are made with black embroidery on tulle.

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This bra has a double strapy back and a neck strap.

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David is a free-lance lingerie designer. This is really beautiful.

Happy creating!

Long Line Watson and Some Bling

I had such hopes my Watson was going to be perfect this time. The good news is my hopes aren’t completely dashed. My Watson isn’t perfect, but it’s not that far off.

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Here it was beginning to take shape. I’d made two changes. The last time I’d made it, I made the largest size, but it was a bit small in the cup, so on this one I graded the cup up and then put some gathering stitches along the seam line and aligned those gathers at the bottom of the cup where it crosses the cup seam. Those little gathers are hardly noticeable and then I didn’t have to change the cradle at all.

The other change I made was to ‘beef’ it up a bit. I lined the cups with power net. It does offer a fair amount more support than the last one.

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I have no idea why the front looks off-center like that with the foam cups in, but it doesn’t look like that without them. However, it does look a lot more deflated.

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There, all deflated with wrinkles and puckers. However, the center front isn’t off. It now looks fine.

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Here in the side view, you can see it gapes open a bit where the cup meets the cradle. It does that when it’s on me too, so I may need to shorten the underarm length on the pattern there. However, the more exciting part of this photo, which I don’t know that you can see there is really is more support to the cups with the power net added. It does give them more of a firm shape.

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I didn’t do anything different on the back. In fact, I was a bit lazy. I often do the elastic along the band separate from the straps, but they’re all one this time. I also used band elastic again. I have it on hand, so used what I had. Especially as this bra was still a test.

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On this side of the bra you can see where I put a pin. I didn’t have any sewing pins with me in my bedroom, so just used a safety-pin to know how much I’ll want to remove from the pattern. That’s an three-quarters of an inch fold there, so a fair bit to remove from the pattern, but I also have to remove from my Pin-Up Girls patterns there too.

So, will I make the Watson again? Well, if I do, I won’t use the power net for the cup next time. I may try a mesh instead as it’s a bit lighter, or I’ll double up on the Lycra. The single layer of Lycra just isn’t supportive enough for my size. An inside power bar is another option I’ve thought about to add more support to the Watson.

Lastly, a dear friend had her 50th birthday this week. She wears a Medical Alert bracelet but only has the one bracelet. I asked her if she’d like a second bracelet that can inter-change with her ID tag. She loved that idea – something with bling she said. Out came the Swarovski crystals and some lovely small hematite beads. She was so happy to get some more bling. What girl doesn’t love some bling?

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Happy creating!

Fits Like A Dream

My newest bra fits like a dream, but she isn’t peaches and cream.

For the better part of the last two years I’ve only worn my own bras. I did purchase a couple of bras too, but to be honest, the ones I made fit better – and they weren’t fitting perfectly. Because I was so used to wearing what I’d made, I thought I’d still wear my not-perfectly-fitting bras, but oh no. Once I had one that fit so well, I found the others just weren’t as comfortable. I have a list of things to sew, but one bra just wasn’t enough. So sewing another bra went to the top of my sewing list.

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Here’s my latest (and perfectly fitting) Pin Up Girls Shelley. And she fits like a dream.

I love that little pop of color on the power bar and bridge. That’s just fun. And I’m all about lace. So this bra is bringing together lace and a bit of fun and I’m thrilled.

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Here’s a better view of the power bar. Oh, I love that. This is such a beautiful pattern. There are so many fun things to do with it. Although the power bar looks like Lycra, it has the support of duoplex under it. I did the same on the bridge. The Lycra and lace are from an older fabric set I bought from Merckwaerdigh‘s eBay store a few years ago. Everything else is from Bra Makers Supply.

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Here you can see the Sewy Rebecca I’d done with this material. You can also see I made the wrong size. I still have this bra in the bra drawer – it’s too pretty to throw away or cut up. Back to the material,  I don’t have a lot left, so I got creative in the placement of what I did use on the bra. I wanted to save some for panties. Yup, now that I have my bra fit down, I’m going to start making matching bra and panty sets.

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And the back of my bra. I did the 3 x 3 hook and eye closure again. I’m getting better at getting it done up and undone, and it really does make it more comfortable. Who knew?

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Here’s part of my stash for panties. That’s some gorgeous cotton/spandex from Bra Makers Supply, and my bit of Lycra left over from the kit from Merckwaerdigh, and some black lace for trim. I also found some pictures online for inspiration. I’m thinking of changing up my panties from the basic pattern I have now. I really love things that are asymmetrical, and love that I found some fun panties with just that look.

One of the best aspects of this journey I’ve been on with trying to find the perfect fit for my bras is the freedom I now feel in altering patterns. I used to feel they were somehow beyond my grasp and I wouldn’t think of altering them. I have no such fear now!

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And lastly, I’m trying to decide what color bows I want on my new bra. I’m leaning towards the red, or maybe red and black together …

I still have some fitting issues to plan for when starting out, but I did the same thing on this bra – I went up a cradle size from my wire size. This takes care of most of my cup alterations as it’s only one size different than the cup size I’m using. Is that clear?

Let me explain that a bit more. The Omega shape needs a larger cup size than wire. Let’s say I need a 38 wire, but my cup corresponds to a 42 wire. I’m meeting the two half way in between. By using the 40 cradle, the 38 wire will still fit, and so will the 42 cup. This one change eliminated a lot of alterations.

However, I still made a few. I thinned the bra under the cup  little more this time, so I ended up trimming my elastic under the channeling. I lowered the bridge 1/2″ again, and on this bra I adjusted for a flat spot I have. And I put in a vertical dart in the underarm area. I don’t think there are any other alterations I would even want to make on this bra.

Ah… a perfectly fitting bra feels so good.

Happy creating!

And This Time With Seam Allowances?

I enjoy reading news online, and usually check what’s new before I read my emails in the morning. One morning there was a video saying what NOT to buy your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. That got my attention, and I figured it was going to be something to do with lingerie.

And it did have to do with lingerie. Basically, men were being told not to buy bras for their girlfriends because bras were hard to fit. I had no problem with that – that is very true. However, it was the next part that really surprised me and stayed with me.

After telling men not to buy bras for their girlfriends, the video went on to offer help in bra sizing. Here’s their help: The Fruit Rule. If she’s the size of a couple of lemons, then she’s an A cup; the size of a couple of oranges, she’s a B cup; two grapefruits? she’s a C cup. And to finish it off nicely, if she’s the size of two cantaloupes she’s a D cup. Isn’t that nice and neat? I can’t speak for all women, but I don’t fit into that fruit salad.

Enough about fruit comparisons, I’m going to share a little more of my progress with my ‘adjusted’ Shelley pattern.

I’ve been mulling over my Shelley without seam allowances for a while now. I did add seam allowances and then got thinking about whether that was what I needed or not.

I made a tester bra to see how it fit with seem allowances and it just wasn’t giving me the fit I wanted. My dh says I’m trying to get a perfect fit, and I say,  ‘Yes, I do want a perfect fit.’

Without the seam allowances added, it fit perfectly into the cradle size I need. Without seam allowances the lower cup fit like a dream – something I’m struggling to achieve. However, without seam allowances, the upper cup was too small. I need more depth to get the bridge to sit against the chest wall, and a little more coverage up top too. I was torn between adding seam allowances and/or redrafting the upper cup somehow.

I decided to add a seam where there isn’t one – I added the amount of a seam allowance to the top of the upper cup, and also changed the pattern so I had the depth I need to bring the bridge back. It all worked. This one got a bow even, or as another blogger put it – it was bow-worthy.

Shelley front view

Here’s my latest Shelley from the front. I used the black forms I’d made and shown a few posts ago. They don’t fill the cups out completely, but I think they fit better than the foam cups did.

I love the lace and duoplex combination on this. The lace was from Merckwaerdigh’s store on eBay. The duoplex and findings are from Bra Makers Supply.

To help the upper cups fit a little better, I didn’t line them this time. On my first Shelley I did line the upper cups. Since I need a little more give there, no lining this time around. And that helped too.

Shelley side view

I have to say, I LOVE how neatly the cups are fitting into the cradle. I am so very pleased with how this has turned out. I didn’t like the look of the ‘easing’. I had to do so much easing along the lower cup, it looked more like gathering to me. And it gave the cups a balloon-like shape. This is much better.

Shelley back view

And a basic back. Looking at it, the straps seem a bit far apart, but I didn’t notice that when I put it on. Something to think about tweaking for my next time.

I got my ‘real’ Shelley pattern in the mail today. Tomorrow I’ll have some time to pull it out and compare all the pieces to what I’ve made from the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern and CD Designer Bras by YOU! I have to say, I loved learning how to make this, but it will be a treat to have the pattern too.

My next project may be to help out a friend. She recently went to a specialty store and was fitted only to find out they don’t carry anything in her size – too small around the rib cage. After dealing with the fitting challenges of the Omega shape, a small band almost sounds simple. I’ll post what we do, and how it turns out.

Oh, and my dh is also requesting matching panties, so that may be in the near future too. Two other bloggers have just offered free patterns, and I’m planning on trying both of their patterns.

http://www.madalynne.com/

http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/676/free-lacey-thong-panty-pattern

Happy creating!