Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Snow White Set

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen that I unofficially declared January my "lingerie sewing month", after completing 3 sets in 3 weeks. This was the first of those sets - an Orange Lingerie Marlborough bra with the Merckwaerdigh Hipster briefs.

The details:
Pattern: The Orange Lingerie Marlborough bra and the Merckwaerdigh Hipster briefs.
Fabric: Tricot, powernet, non-stretch cup lining and lycra from Booby Traps, lace from MintFrog on Etsy
Notions: Elastics and strapping from Booby Traps; rings, sliders and G-hook from sewingcraftnotions on Etsy
Size: 34C in the Marlborough, medium in the Hipster briefs
Special touches and alterations: Took off around 0.9cm from upper cup volume in the Marlborough

I have mentioned before that I love dying my bra making supplies, and I have a good stash of nylon based lycra, mesh, powernet and elastics to use with my Dharma acid dyes. However, I've had a bit of difficulty finding a nylon based stable non-strech fabric to use for underwired bra cups and cradles, as fabrics like duoplex seem to be exclusively made of polyester (correct me if I'm wrong!). After a bit of searching I found this nylon based tricot from Booby Traps, and decided to order a bit to see if it would suit my needs. I always thought that tricot was quite sheer, but the pictures on the Booby Traps website seemed to be opaque enough, and I was happy enough with the opacity when it arrived.

Despite buying it specifically to dye it, I decided to use the tricot in this set leaving it in it's natural white colour. This was mainly because it was my first time making each of these patterns, so I was treating them as a test run only. Luckily for me they both fit me quite well! I used a burgundy lace from MintFrog on Etsy as a contrast (which unfortunately seems to be sold out as I can't find it in the store anymore).

I made the Marlborough in a size 34C after much indecisiveness. The measurement method listed put me in a different size, but it uses a high bust rather than an under bust measurement, which never seems to work for me (there is only a tiny difference between my full bust and my high bust, maybe because of my broad back and shoulders?). Instead I started with my RTW size (32D) and sized up the band as I had heard it ran small. I also preemptively took a bit of volume out of the cup, since I know I have a wide breast root but shallow projection. I think the fit is pretty much spot on for me, with only a small weird flat spot at the bottom along the wireline, which I'll try to correct next time. The Hipster panties were a lot less complicated. I cut a size M based on the size chart from lycra and my stretch lace and that was it! :) They fit well and are super comfortable.

And the tricot was a success! It probably isn't as supportive as I imagine a duoplex would be, but it's supportive enough for me. And now I have another bra making fabric in my arsenal! I will report back on how well it dyes when I eventually have the chance to have a play!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Shining, Shimmering, Splendid Dress

Happy Valentine's day, everyone! Whether or not you choose to actively celebrate Valentine's Day (my partner and I don't), I think it is a nice reminder to appreciate those we love, and maybe do something nice for ourselves, too :) And I have a somewhat appropriate make to share today - this little number that I made to wear to the wedding of two close friends of ours!

The details:
Pattern: Out of print Butterick 3735 (from the 1980's)
Fabric: A black glitter mesh with a navy lining
Size: 10
Special touches and alterations: Replaced skirt with a circle skirt and cut away lining to create a sheer panel.
This dress was made quite a while ago, more than a year, but I am slowly trying to catch up on unblogged items! (Am I the only one who feels like there is something incomplete if a piece of clothing hasn't been blogged?!) I recall that I decided only a couple of days before the wedding that I was actually going to make something, so I had a quick look through my stash of patterns and fabrics to find something suitable.
I settled on this retro/vintage Butterick pattern from the 1980's, which has simple but elegant lines. I had picked it up in an op-shop without really checking the size, and only on opening it up did I realise the copy I had was for sizes 6 to 10, while my measurements put me in a size 14! However, I decided to make a quick test version of the bodice out of an old sheet to check the size, and surprisingly it fit me just fine! It must have a bit of ease built in, but for the formal look I was going for a well-fitted bodice was just what I wanted. I did add 2.5cm to the bodice length though, to get the waist to sit at the correct level for my body.
For the fabric, I found this (hard to photograph) black mesh that I had originally purchased for my Black Swan costume from way back, and underlined it with a mystery navy fabric I think I had picked up from an op-shop a few years ago. I decided to try something a bit different for the skirt, and create a sheer panel along the circumference, which I've seen in a lot of skirts and dresses recently.
Instead of using the skirt pieces from the pattern, I cut a circle skirt from my lining and mesh, and stitched them together along two big circles at the length that I wanted the sheer panel to sit. I then carefully cut the lining fabric away to create the peek-a-boo sheer panel effect, leaving some of the lining along each edge which I folded back and stitched in place. I was worried halfway through that the fabrics wouldn't sit well together and would bag, but it seemed to work quite well!
I decided to make a quick belt to finish off the look, using this pretty buckle I found from (you guessed it!) an op-shop. Seems this is the ultimate op-shop dress! I didn't have any real belt making supplies on hand, so I just interfaced the lining fabric and sewed it into a tube, then attached the buckle pieces to each end. It doesn't adjust in size and it's not super stable, but as a decorative belt it does the job!
I've worn it twice now, from memory - once to the aforementioned wedding, and again to a different friend's hen's night. I think it is the perfect mix of elegant and subtly sparkly and slightly flirty :) I'll leave you with a pic of me and the bf all spiffed up at the wedding. May your Valentine's day be as lovely as I hope ours will be (we plan on cuddling up with our cats and binge watching Parks and Recreation :P)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The No Time Like The Peasant Top

I've been trying to get as much summer sewing as I can in the last few weeks, as I have felt my summer wardrobe lacking in simple warm weather tops and dresses.  This Loretta top from Seamwork was the first on my list, and I'm now working on a few more dresses - I hope to have them done before the weather gets cold again! :)

The details:
Pattern: The Loretta top from Seamwork in version 2
Fabric: A polyester crepe from Lincraft
Size: 6
Special touches and alterations: Lengthened by 4.5cm 
I cut version 2 of the top in a straight size 6, although my bust measurement put me between sizes 4 and 6. I didn't make my usual adjustment to the shoulder to bust length, as I'd heard that the underarms were already quite low on the pattern, and there were no bust darts to worry about.  I did lengthen the hem by 4.5cm. Having made it, I think it is quite large and baggy, and would definitely size down next time.  
The style is designed to be able to be worn on or off the shoulder, but there are some issues to consider if you plan on doing this.  I cut my elastic to allow for wearing off the shoulder, but find that this makes the neckline quite wide when wearing on the shoulder.  Also, if I pull it down to wear off the shoulder, the length changes and is a bit longer than I would like.  I have generally been wearing it on my shoulder, as in these pics, which I think creates a nice neckline shape. However, it does need regular adjustment while wearing, and tends to gape a lot if I lean over! Putting a jacket over it also changes the way it sits. If I were to make it again I would probably want to pick one way of wearing it and adjust the elastic and hem length for that style only. 
And that's it for me for this week. Hopefully soon I'll have a new summer dress to share with you too! Wish me luck!