Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Fresh as a Daisy Set

I've already mentioned that the Cloth Habit Watson set was the pattern that inspired me to give lingerie making a go. I guess it would make sense then that the release of the Harriet bra was also what pushed my butt into gear to try my first underwire bra!

The yellow elastic with white lace look was one I'd seen around a few times, including in the Watson samples as well as another Harriet bra made by Closet Case files. I debated a few other color combinations but when I showed some quick illustrations to my boyfriend he was adamant white and yellow was the way to go!
The details:
Fabric: White lace from MintFrog (sold out) and cotton jersey from Lincraft, cup lining and powernet from Booby Traps
Notions: Strapping elastic, band elastic, underwire casing and hook and eye from Booby Traps, piping elastic from kimthayer, underwires from Lincraft, rings and sliders from sewingcraftnotions
Pattern: Harriet bra from Cloth Habit, Claudia briefs from Ohhh Lulu
Size: 30DD in the Harriet and M in the Claudia 
Special touches and alterations: Made view B in the bra and view A in the briefs. Moved side seams in the Claudia briefs backwards to account for not enough lace.

I had a few white laces in my stash, and ended up going with this one from MintFrog on Etsy (my favorite shop for lace!). I dyed the elastics, underwire casing and hook and eye with the Brilliant Yellow acid reactive dye from Dharma.
I usually wear an Australian 10D in bras, which translates to a 32D in European sizing. However, based on my measurements, I went with the 30DD in the Harriet pattern (which is consistent with the size note saying this pattern is designed to have a tighter band, so you may be a band size down and cup size up from usual). For reference, I measured 28.7" underbust, and 33.4" at my full bust, giving me a 4.7" difference between full bust and underbust. I rounded up the 28.7" to a 30 band size, and the 4.7" to a DD cup size.
I had purchased a few different sizes of underwire from Lincraft, which are labeled by Australian bra size rather than wire size. The didn't have a full range so I went by sister sizing to get a few more options, and ended up feeling most comfortable in a 14C, which would translate to a 30E in sister sizing, or a 38 size wire. I had speculated that I have a broad but less projected shape than bras usually design for, so it made sense that I would feel comfortable in a larger wire size than usual for my measurements.

Given the 30DD is designed to take a 36 wire, which is just one size down from what I had, I decided to risk it without doing any further adjustments to the pattern. This seemed to work fine - the wire still fit into the wireline nicely, but just splayed a teeny bit more than a 36 wire would I think.
I cut the cups and bridge from lace with a beige cup lining, and used powermesh for the band. After sewing it all together, I was surprised to find the fit was great! The only problem was some excess fabric in the upper cups, which you can just see in some of these photos (although I also have pads in for modesty in the photos, which might help fill out the bra a tiny bit more than usual!). As you may have seen, I fixed this problem with my second Harriet bra by taking a wedge out of the cup to decrease the volume.

I decided to make a matching set of briefs using the Claudia pattern from Ohhh Lulu. I didn't have a lot of the lace left, so I shifted the side seams backwards so that there was a greater proportion of the solid fabric than the lace. Other than that I sewed them up as usual and have to say they are surprisingly comfortable! The cotton jersey I used on the front doesn't have great recovery, but I haven't found this to be too much of a problem as the stretch lace seems to make up for this and keep things tight and in place.

So that's my second Cloth Habit/Ohhh Lulu success story! And I can't wait to fill my lingerie drawer with many more :)

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Botanical Blues Dress

When I first started sewing, I was obsessed with trawling through op shops to find fabrics, patterns and other notions. In those early days I picked up a fair bit of rubbish which has since been re-donated, but this little piece of fabric has survived in my stash for almost 8 years, waiting for the perfect project. The large scale floral print really appealed to me and reminded me of a cover of a book I had as a kid.

After making my first Myrtle dress a little while ago, I thought I would like to attempt it again, since the fit on the first one wasn't quite right. This fabric popped into mind and I thought it was finally time to sew it up!
The details:
Fabric: Op-shop navy scuba-like knit with a large floral print
Pattern: Colette Myrtle
Size: S
Special touches and alterations: Added 1cm to bodice length above armhole and 3.5cm to length below armhole. Added 4cm to the hem. Had to add center back seam to bodice and take a small wedge out of the front of the skirt due to fabric restrictions.

The fabric is a thick knit, it has a spongy feel and is almost scuba-like. I didn't have a huge piece of it, so had to be careful with my cutting, and ended up adding a center back seam to the bodice and taking a bit of volume out of the front of the skirt piece so it would fit on my fabric! With the fabric limitations I wasn't able to do any pattern matching, but I probably wouldn't bother too much with this sort of print anyway. It worked out well and I particularly like the "wreath" effect that happened on the back of the bodice, which was completely unintentional! The insides were finished with my overlocker, and I used a twin needle on the hem (which did insist on "tunneling" - I think I need to try some wash-away stabiliser to fix this next time!).
After having made the pattern up the first time, I knew I needed to add some more length to the bodice both above and below the underarm. The first time I made this pattern I added 2.5cm to the bodice length (which I seem to have neglected to mention in my notes for that post, whoops!) so this time around I added an extra 1cm, plus 1cm above the underarm. Although I had found the waist a bit tight in my last version, given this time I was sewing with a knit I decided to risk not adding any more room there, and that seems to have worked out fine. If I were to make this in a woven again I would definitely add to the bodice side seams though!
I think I may have gone too far with this version and that the bodice is too long, although I don't mind the slightly blousey look. I would usually wear this with a belt but wanted to show the elastic waist here for your reference. The only other thing I would note with this pattern is to be careful when leaning over - I found when I did that the cowl draped down and provided a view all the way to my belly-button from a particular angle!!
I really like the end result and have been wearing it with tights while the weather here in Melbourne is still more winter than spring. While the fabric is on the thicker side, I think I'll be able to keep wearing it into spring with bare legs!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The Pocket Rocket Top

I have been a Seamwork subscriber since the very beginning, but have been pretty bad at actually making up any of the offered patterns. With the amount of credits I've acquired I should really cancel my subscription and just use credits to purchase any patterns I want... But something is stopping me. It's pretty cheap and I think it's a great idea, so maybe it's just doing my part in supporting the venture?

Despite not having made up many of the patterns, there have been a few that appealed to me recently, and so a few weeks ago I found myself cutting out the Gretta top in this Aztec print rayon (I think) that I picked up from the remnants table at Lincraft.
The details:
Fabric: Aztec print rayon from Lincraft
Pattern: Seamwork Gretta 
Size: S
Special touches and alterations: Added 1.5cm to length above underarm and 3cm to length of bodice at waist. Added contrast binding to pocket.
I performed my usual adjustments of adding 1.5cm to the bodice length above the underarm and 3cm at the waist, but the first of these may have been unnecessary, as I found the underarm quite low on the finished top. This might also be partly because the top in general is a bit loose on me. I tell myself I will go back and take in the side seams one day....

The one hiccup I had along the way was accidentally attaching the pocket on the back of the bodice instead of the front the first time around. Whoops!! A couple minutes with the unpicker and I managed to get it sewn on again, properly this time :)
With the busy print, I wanted the pocket to stand out. As well as cutting it on the cross grain so that the pattern ran perpendicular to the body, I added a small strip of pink bias binding along the top of the pocket, which almost matches the pink in the print of the fabric.

The result? A light breezy top all ready for when Spring and Summer eventually arrive!