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!

Pretty in Pinks Panties and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

A pretty new bra deserves some matching panties. I went back to my TNT panty pattern, Kwik Sew 2286, and made a few modifications to the original pattern to make my panties.

horizontal lace on panties

Making these panties with the horizontal lace is really easy. Here’s what I do.

1. Re-draw the front pattern piece because you’re going to cut it up.

2. Lay your lace over the new front pattern piece. My pink lace was packed away, so I used the lace I had out for this photo. Your laces may be different heights, 5″ or 6″ or less even.

lace front

3. Because they can be different heights, do this step for each lace you use. Draw a line where the lace ends. Cut your lace the width of the front pattern.

4. Re-draw the lower front piece now – adding 1/4″ seam allowance.

new front pattern

Here it is. This is now your new front pattern.

I fold the lace to find the center front, and fold the bottom front material as well. Mark them both with a pin and match them up overlapping by that 1/4″. You can see at the top of my pattern in the photo above, I use a Zigzag stitch to attach them together. It’s not hard at all to hack your favorite panties and made new styles and still get your favorite fit.

I put these new pattern pieces in a new envelope just for themselves, so I can pull them out and re-use them when I want to make that style again, being careful to make sure the lace is the same height.

One last bit from me before we move onto the Bra-A-Week Challenge. Remember my bridge from last week, and how I felt it needed some bling?

Bling on Bridge

I added a few crystals with my Hotfix tool. They may not cover up that little pucker, but they do make the bridge look much prettier. I didn’t stop there though.

bow on strap

I added a crystal to each strap. Can there ever be too much bling or lace?

Now onto the challenge. We’re on week 28 of the Bra-A-Week Challenge.

Our first submission comes from Andie.

Andie made a beautiful bra she’s called her Sailor Mercury bra.

dsc_1275-e1437657666589

Isn’t that lovely? It’s made from teal duoplex, white findings kit, white power net, and white power mesh lining the lace from Bra-Maker’s Supply. The white lace is re-purposed from a nightgown Andie had used for a cosplay project last year.

I love re-purposing things. It’s so creative and it’s also so very pretty.

Andie also embroidered Sailor Mercury’s symbol on the right back strap to really make it her Sailor Mercury bra.

dsc_1280 (1)

I love that! I hadn’t thought of using embroidery stitches on my bra to make it even more unique. What a great idea, Andie!

You can read more about Andie Sailor Mercury bra on her blog: Sew Pretty In Pink.

Our next submission comes from Erin.

IMG_2716

This is a full band bra, full coverage with extra long wires. It has horizontal seaming, with a split lower cup. Erin made it using a lightweight stable knit,  power net for the back band and 15 denier to line the bridge for stability.
Erin, that looks like such a fabulous fit and it looks so soft and comfortable.
IMG_2713
I love the bow. You can read more about Erin’s bra on her blog: The Sewing and Life Adventures of Emerald Erin.
Our next submission is from David. Here David made a foam cup bra.
Zdjęcie0488
Wow. That is really beautiful. It definitely has the Va-Va-Voom factor.
Zdjęcie0486
It’s so beautiful. David is a freelance lingerie designer.
Zdjęcie0490
What wonderful submissions this week! If you haven’t looked at the Pinterest board for the Bra-A-Week Challenge, you can see many of the past weeks’ submissions all at once and get lots of inspiration.

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.

RTW

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.

WK26Diana

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.

img_1570

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.

img_1581-e1435650089567

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.
Zdj cie0475
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.
Zdj cie0477
But there are two different laces used here. You can see the second lace on the back.
Zdj cie0480
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.
IMG_2400
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).
IMG_2389
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 Few Thoughts From Other Blogs

This week I want to share a few thoughts I’ve had from reading other blogs.

The first one is from Erin. Do you follow The Sewing and Life Adventures of Emerald Erin? On her June 11th post Erin made an announcement:

“A Special Summer for the Bra-A-Week Challenge!

Hi All! I said earlier this week that I would announce the summer host for the Bra-A-Week Challenge – and here is the announcement!
f8898-braaweekbutton

I am delighted to announce that the Bra-A-Week Challenge will be hosted by the lovely….

Michelle!
 
 
“Michelle is such a wonderful fellow bra-maker, and I’m sure you’ve all admired her work over the last 21 weeks like I have, and she most generously offered to host the challenge for the months of July and August for me!!”
Thanks, Erin! I’m pretty excited about hosting the challenge, and hoping some of my bra-making friends will join me and sew up a bra or two (or more) along with all the other wonderfully creative sewists who have contributed.  There’s more information on Erin’s blog if you’ve been participating in the challenge already and want to continue. You’ll still send your submissions to Erin. I’ll just be doing the write-up and posting it.
It’s great that the challenge will continue over the summer months!
This next blog comment I want to make really has nothing whatsoever to do with sewing – or does it? My good friend, Valerie over at Intricate Knits has been blogging about and telling me about her favorite author for years now. She just recently posted some scarves she designed that were inspired by Susanna Kearsley’s novel A Desperate Fortune. You can see Valerie’s designs here. After seeing the scarves, and having heard so much about Susanna, I decided I’d get A Desperate Fortune and read it myself.
This photo is from Valerie’s blog and shows a couple of the designs Susanna’s book has inspired. Valerie does such beautiful work. Check out her blog, and if you see something you love, she sells her beautiful creations on Etsy.
adesperatefortune-susanna-short-2
Aren’t these lovely?  This morning as I came into my sewing room, I didn’t even want to sew! I wanted to get back into A Desperate Fortune. So far, I have to say, I can recommend Valerie’s favorite author as well.
Happy creating!

A Red Rebecca

I knew when Erin from The Sewing and Life Adventures of Emerald Erin put out her Bra-a-Week Challenge, I wouldn’t be making a bra each week, but I have been trying to keep up with a submission every other week. And this week I have one.

My Red Sewy Rebecca.

100_2901

I can’t say enough how much I love sewing this bra. As the seams are coming together, they’re turned and then hidden between the lace and lining on the upper cup, or the duoplex and lining on the power bar. And the inside looks so very neat and tidy. It’s really a delight to sew.

100_2895

You can see here the inside of the upper and lower cup but there are no visible seams. Oh, that is such a nice touch.

The bra came together fairly easily, but I honestly think that’s because I have experience sewing bras. The instructions I have are the English instructions from ELingeriA and they’re not my favorite. I find I’m often looking at what they’re saying to do, and then ignoring it and following instructions from Beverly’s Craftsy class, or one of my Pin-Up Girls patterns.

100_2910

There are a couple of things I like about this pattern. One is the lower edge of the upper cup is quite straight. A straight bottom edge to the upper cup gives more lift. I do like that. Another thing I like is the underarm area is smaller and I don’t need to adjust it. The fewer adjustments, the better.

Again, on this bra, I gathered the cup to fit into the cradle. I had intended to adjust the pattern, but my week was going by quickly and I wanted to get sewing and forgot. Next time I’ll make some adjustments and show you what I do for that.

100_2911

The back of the bra is pretty basic. I do like the black findings kit with the red, and the red and black lace. All the materials came from Bra Makers Supply. I already plan to order more of that lace. It is so pretty. When I’d ordered the kit, I put it away for a little while and when I pulled it out again this week, I thought it was just black lace. So when I unpacked it, it was a treat to see those red flowers.

This photo is the inside of the bra. Look how neat that is! Here’s a close up:

100_2913

Love, love, love this!

Enclosing the cup seams would be quite easy to do on any bra, just use some lining material and ‘sandwich’ it when sewing. Let’s talk about that using the upper cup and lower cup. Place the two cup parts right sides together as you normally would. Then the lining material, which was cut from the upper cup pattern goes on the wrong side of its non-matching part – the lower cup. You make a sandwich of the cup pieces with the upper cup material and lining as the bread, and the lower cup as the filling. Sew, trim, and turn the matching upper cups pieces so they are now together. Press, top stitch and enjoy seeing those enclosed seams hidden neatly inside your upper cup.

100_2897

You can see here the seam is exposed still, but has been trimmed. The lining will fold over the seam to meet its matching upper cup and then press and top stitch. It is so neat and lovely.

It’s the same for the power bar. Place the power bar with the cup right sides together – just the same as when you’re sewing it without lining it. Place the power bar’s lining on the wrong side of the cup; sew, trim, press with the power bar and lining together, and top stitch and now your whole cup is so neat and enclosed!

Happy creating!

Panties To Match

Here are my panties to match my Sewy Rebecca bra.

100_2872

Did you know Sewy actually has panties to match their bra pattern?

rebeccaslip_3kopie_p1

Here they are. This is from the Sewy website. And here’s the line drawing of the pattern from their website.

tzrebeccaslipgr_p3

Aren’t they lovely?

And on a side note, I’ve found being an English-speaking person, who does not read or speak German, the best way to navigate the Sewy website is on Google Translate. You can read everything translated into English, but you can’t place an order when using Google Translate. Ask me how I know. You can see the Sewy website translated here.

Back to my sewing. The panties I made are from my TNT Kwik Sew 2286, but I altered the front. This time, since I was adding the lace panel and wanted to keep the scallop at the top of the lace, I remembered to add the lace elastic to the waistband before sewing the lace panel on. I love them.

And here is the matching set.

100_2875

My intent is to make two pair of panties for each bra I make. So after my Rebecca was done and I got out my cotton spandex, I realized I only had enough cotton for one pair of panties. I already have the lace cut out for the second pair of panties, but it looks like I have to wait for them.

I told my hubby I needed to order more cotton material, and, well, we had a discussion and he suggested that since I’ve bought all this other material with plans to sew other things, I needed to sew something other than bras and panties to match. Sigh. He just doesn’t understand how addictive bra making is. And for a garment I have to wear every day – it’s just such a delight to put my own on rather than anything RTW.

We came to a compromise – I ordered more material and I’ll sew something else before I sew another bra or panty. But… there was the Watson Sew-along, and there’s Erin’s Bra-a-Week Challenge going on right now, and there are patterns to perfect now that I have my size and fit all figured out. I’m having a very hard time choosing another project when I want to sew bras and panties.

So, I told myself, while my supplies are on the way, get something else sewn and then I’ll have both time and resources to sew another pretty matching set.

So, a Flirt Skirt it is.

100_2881

This is in a stretch denim. Look at that flare at the back. Such fun. It really is flirty. My skirt’s not quite done. I still have the waistband to finish, but that won’t take long at all. The ‘top’ is simply material I draped over my dress form. I’d bought some of material to make a cowl neck top, so that will be next… after my second pair of panties.

100_2879

Happy creating!

My First Watson

The Watson bra pattern from Cloth Habit is showing up all over the place on blogs. And it is an adorable pattern. I also seem to have an addiction to bras and bra patterns, so I had to try it. I also think Amy (of Cloth Habit) is wonderful. I admire her sewing, and participated in her bra sew along two years ago (can it really be two years ago already?). So when Amy said she was releasing a pattern, I wanted to try it.

The Watson bra pattern isn’t something I’d tend to think about for me. I need support, and this isn’t a support bra. However, it was too adorable for me not to try, and I do wear leisure bras around the home from time to time. The other aspect that was making me hesitant was the material used for the Watson. I usually use duoplex and power net. When I do use Lycra, it over those other very supportive materials.

An interesting aside to this is last year I’d read about a French lingerie company and how they didn’t make structured bras, only soft cupped bras. Their philosophy was a woman’s natural shape was the most attractive shape. I dismissed it at the time thinking that definitely wasn’t for me, but I notice more and more soft cupped bras are appearing in both RTW and patterns. Amy may be right on trend with this.

Here’s my Watson:

100_2764

I really love this. but it’s not perfect. This was one of those projects where I had to fight over ever step.

I chose some fabric I had left over from a Merckwaerdigh kit I bought a few years ago. I made a bra from this too, but it just seemed too much of something. I don’t know if it was too much pink, or what, but I didn’t wear it. You can see it here. The Watson in this material? I love it.

100_2765

Here’s the side view. I put my oft-used foam cups in to fill the bra out. I really do love this material for the Watson.

100_2766

And the back view.

It really is an adorable bra. I do think I’ll try the longline version next.

There’s a little fabric left after making this, and a fair amount of the bright pink lace. I’m thinking of making Merckwaerdigh’s E-SH20 panties, View A.

merck
100_2767

I think that will make a really cute set.

Do any of you follow Erin from The Sewing and Life Adventures of Emerald Erin? Erin has set a sewing challenge for herself – a bra a week! She said for a year, but then amended that the first three month of 2015. She is also open to having others bra makers send their photos to her and she’ll post them along with her own. That just sounds fun! You can check out her blog for all the information, and here’s the email to send your own bras to her: bra.a.week@gmail.com

One last comment; I had a phone call from my Mum. She wants another cardigan. She saw something on the Shopping Channel that looked the same, but cost $150. So now she wants one in black. She also wants a size bigger, which I question, but I’ll make it for her. I was planning another McCalls 6844 for me, so I guess two more are on my sewing list.

Happy creating!