Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Deadlines met

No sewing deadlines, I do have three projects with deadlines this week for work. That's why I've been sewing so little the last two weeks, and in general are not commenting or reading reviews. The deadline for the first was met tonight, and I feel relieved, as the other two are almost finished too, and probably won't require working in the evenings too. TIme to sew again!

I received a few patterns yesterday. I don't know when I get to  make them, but let me share these: Vogue 1066 and 1087. The suit on the left I bought because of the pants pattern. I wondered about this pattern when it was released, as I liked the pants very much, but had my doubts about the jacket for me. Still doubting, but when I saw Tany's version of the pants, the pattern was high on my list. The dress will be an experiment, I like the style, and the only way to know how it will be on my is to try it. Ann just published her negative review of this dress, but I'll have to give it a try.

image image

The last few stitches on my bra were done.


You can find the review here. I'm very happy with the result. As I said in my review, I should have cut the lycra in the center front a bit smaller than the tule layer underneath, that would have prevented the pleat. But I'm surprised with this first time result for this pattern and new pattern supplier.

On the sew along: I'm still thinking about the number of participants. I've made the blog on blogger, as I've seen that most of you have a blogger account. I will open the blog to participants not before May! Then we can start discussing and sewing along.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sew along

Wow, there are 30 ladies now who wanting to join the sew along. For Jos, who asked what I would like to do in the sew along: a sew along is not a class, but a couple of ladies (usually) working on the same pattern or type of patterns. Joining the sew along does not mean that we all make the same, but that we all are sewing lingerie, and share the process, difficulties that we encounter in construction or fit (or possibly translation of instructions), and very important to me: help each other by sharing our knowledge. To set it up in a private blog gives everyone the opportunity to write posts and add picturres in that blog and give access only to the participants.

In this particular sew along I'll be the "administrator" of the blog and will try to help participants where I can, that's one of the reasons that I think a limited number of participants is good. Some of the participants will be fairly new to this type of sewing, others with more experience, will be able to help with fitting or technical questions and join more for fun but will learn from others too. I probably will add a few tutorials to the blog and write instructions to make a pattern for a panty to your own measurements and show different options using lace.

And where you are in the world is not important (Kelley wondered about that), that's the great fun of it, that we can share this with people all over the world as long as you have internet access, pattern and fabric and notions.

Let me say that I certainly don't know everything there is to know about lingerie making, which gave me a great excuse to finally buy the book "The bra makers manual" by Beverly Johnson. I ordered it today, it's been on my wishlist for a very, very long time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sew along

How nice to see so much interest in a lingerie sew along. Like I said, I'm thinking of May/June. As my blog is on blogger, that's what I thought of as platform for the sew-along. But it could be Wordpress too. Any preferences? Those of you who use/used both, what are the differences? Is Wordpress easier to work with? I set up a testblog there some time ago, but didn't have enough time to explore the possibilities fully.

ETA: I'd like to restrict the number of particpants to 30. That means that all of you who have showed an interest till now can join the sew along when it starts, and there are a few places left.
It's not a class, but somehow it feels better that the number of participants is not too large.

If you're interested in sources for fabric and notions, please read the comments on my previous post, some interesting links there, and a free bra pattern mentioned, for which this is the link: Burdastyle. I never downloaded a pattern, as I don't like the print and taping together part of it, but I will download this pattern and perhaps try it in May. It can't be too many pages for a bra.

At the moment I'm not sewing a stitch, only working very hard. Will last a week or two probably. I won't tell you all the great plans I had, publishing what I intend to make seems the surest way not to be doing it.

So, after too many hours at the computerscreen today, I'm going to close my laptop, take the May issue of BWOF to bed to check what's in it (unopened for two days!). Very unusual for me not to open it right away.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New fabrics

My new lycra fabrics and lace that I bought at Kantje boord last week. The grey on the right has silver threads through it whith a little shine, the lace is perfect with it, though the picture does not reflect that.


And this is the bra I'm making, still not completely finished. I gave my garden priority this weekend. And there were some other priorities too.


Not my usual fabric/lace combination, but I've seen something like that (really don't remember where and when) and just wanted to try. The plaid is lycra!


Kat was very kind in her comments, suggesting that I should give a class. Well, that's not exactly on my mind, as I'm not a sewing teacher, and more important, I'm not a fit-expert. But it brought back an idea that I have since quite a while: how about a lingerie sew-along, for example in May/June? What I'm thinking of is the kind of sew along that Marji organized last year for a coat. In a separate blog, only to be viewed by participants? Making a panty and a bra? Perhaps draw the panty I showed in my post of last week to your own measurements? I think the number of participants must be limited, to keep the feeling of a sew-along and for me to be able to follow and help along the way.

A difficult point is that fabrics and notions are so difficult to get for a lot of you. There I could perhaps help too, but shipping costs for a package outside Europe is at least 11 Euro (for a standard, untrackable package).

What are your thoughts on this? Would you be interested in such a sew-along? What would you expect it to cover and do you have any other suggestions? 

Friday, March 20, 2009

On lingerie fabric and notions

Regularly I'm asked where I buy my fabrics and notions for lingerie sewing.I'll repeat the information that I wrote before.

Kantje-Boord in Amsterdam. Their site has recently been changed, and partly still under construction. Their pictures take a long time to show, which makes navigating a bit difficult. The site is in Dutch only. As I don't live too far away, I go there myself and find combinations of lace/lycra and notions that I like. I went today and bought some great stuff.

If you want to order from outside the Netherlands, best write an e-mail I think. They sell packages with lycra, lace and all notions (except underwires) you need for 1 bra and two panties. It's a small shop, but I've never seen so much lingerie fabrics and notions in one place.

Further I regularly buy at a local store in my hometown, from the lady who owns it I learned the basics of sewing lingerie. Beautiful stuff, but expensive. And no online shopping.

Real online stores:

Elingeria: a German store, I had good experience buying Sewy patterns from them, and some other bloggers (Melissa and LauraLo) have bought their fabrics and notions there and were positive about it.

Merckwaerdigh: an e-bay store of a Dutch lady who sells her own patterns and some fabrics/notions. She writes the description also in English. (Don't know her personally, but she is a reliable vendor)

Exclusive Stoffe, look for the heading "Alles für Dessous". It's been a while since I ordered there, but what I got was very nice.

Wien 2002: a new find in Austria, I have not yet ordered there, as the site shows relatively a lot that is not in stock any more/at the moment. But they do show nice things, and I might try it in the near future.

Danglez: a Dutch lady who started selling packages and her own patterns and will be adding English and German translations. I'm trying one of her patterns at the moment.

I've said it before, I don't have any information on stores outside Europe. With so many local and European possibilities, no reason to pay the high shipping costs. In the past I did look around, but never found any store with a good choice of fabrics/notions, combined with a clear presentation. If anyone of you knows good sources, please post in the comments.

New blog

After so many links one new blog to discover: Nancy K sews. Nancy is a regular commenter on my blog, and we have e-mailed each other regularly the past year. I regard her as one of the sewing friends I made on the internet, and are happy to see she's taken the plunge, as she said herself. I'll love to follow her projects.


Lena asked a question in German. I'll answer in English, as I find writing in German difficult. She asked why my bra's always fit so good. The real answer is that is the case because I made a lot of less good fitting bra's when I started. With each bra it became better, and now I know how to tweak my patterns. In that lingerie sewing is no different from any other type of garments: it takes time to reach good fit, the only difference is that you only know the fit after the bra is finished almost completely. And I know the frustration of a lot of work with the result something I can't wear!

Most of my bra's are variations on a self drafted pattern. But I've tried Sewy and Merckwaerdigh patterns too, but usual it takes at least two bra's to have good fit. I've no experience with the Marinique patterns, and didn't know them till my google search after your comment. One of the panty patterns looks very similar to my last one!

Vicky asked for the time I spent: it was only for the panty! My goodness, if I could sew a set within an hour I'd start a business :) It takes me about 3 hours to sew a bra. That is without cutting, which always takes some time to make it symmetrical.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


When you see the pictures below, you know I am.  For the bra I was inspired by a webalbum of another Dutch lady sewing lingerie. I can't link here, because she published the link to her album in a forum that is not open for everyone, but it's beautiful. When I saw how she had used the lace, I decided to try a bit different way of cutting the pieces. The scallop side of the lace is pointing down, instead of forming the top of the upper cup.

The panty is a pattern that I didn't use for quite a while, just forgot about this one I guess, because it's really a nice pattern, self drafted after instructions in a workshop. It can be sewn very quickly, I took me only an hour for the construction. Just what I needed. I had a lot of sewing plans, including a mini wardrobe, but work is coming in between. Not complaining, just a fact. And this is the reason too I'm not commenting or reading reviews a lot at the moment, just too busy (I have over 80 unread items in my blog reader, which is the count since this weekend). But I do try to keep up a bit, and need my sewing for taking away the stress.

If you're interested in lingerie patterns, stay tuned. I'm trying a new pattern from an independent pattern company, which publishes the patterns with both English and German instructions.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A white blouse

These were the only reasonable pictures from the series DH made.  But you'll get the idea. There seems to be a little extra space in the right collar, which I didn't see in the mirror. Perhaps a few handstitches to take out and do again. For the rest it's OK, though I think that next time I'll start with 38 for the back, it still has a bit too much space?

The skirt is a Knip mode pattern that I made a year ago.

I did not make pictures for the construction of the rest of the collar. Next time. This time I was just busy finishing the blouse and the white is difficult to make pictures of anyway.

Basically I follow the method that is described by Claire B. Shaeffer in her book "High fashion sewing secrets". For the upper collar I sewed the upper and under collar (cut on the bias) together till the point where it meets the lower part of the collar. Then the under collar is sewn to the front and back, the upper collar to the facing. A little handstitches to keep the two layers neetly together is what I did for the upper part of the notched collar.

The full review is on Pattern Review.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A little progress

Not going as fast as I had hoped, but making progress. As you can see in the picture on the left the collar is constructed different from a usual notched collar (not pressed yet). In most notched collars there is no seamline from the center front and the facing is a separate pattern piece.

This is not the case in this pattern. The facing is cut with the front pattern part, and the lower part of the notched collar is a separate pattern piece. BWOF instructions are different from the way I constructed this, as I wanted to make the notched collar in the same way as I did in the red jacket.





The 2,5 dot that is given as level of difficulty is a bit optimistic.

This is what I did:

Stitched exactly from bottom corner to point wherer upper collar will be attached (this point is marked on the pattern)
Clip the foldline of the front facing to the seamline.
In the picture you can see the markings of the tracing paper I used to mark the fabric.
Pin the lower part of the collar to the front and facing. Stitch from the upper notch on the pattern on the front, pivot at the clipped corner and stitch to the upper notch on the facing.
Corner after stitching.
Trim and turn. I did not yet press the collar
Ready to insert the upper part of the collar.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sleeve plackets done

I'm going to make blouse #104 from the BWOF February issue. After a week of many working hours I felt like making the t-shirt of the last post first, as an instant gratification project. Now it's time for the blouse.  I long debated with myself whether or not to make the "blind flap" as it is described, which is also in the back with a pleat, and in the end decided to make it as designed with flap.

And of course I "had to" do something different then the instructions tell you.Tonight I made the plackets and cuffs of the sleeves (strange working order, I know). I used the drawing from David P. Coffin's book for the placket, but used the instructions from Mary Beth, which are very helpful. I do like Coffin's book for all the information that's in it, but find his instructions and drawings difficult to follow.

Some of you shared my views on the low neckline of the BWOF patterns. And Kat, you made me laugh with your comment, I must make an appointment with the hairdresser soon ;)

Saturday, March 7, 2009



I don't know what to think of this print on me, but it will certainly be ok with a black cardigan. I was in the mood for something simple this afternoon, and thought I might as well make this top, of which the neckline is the appealing part. But, as you can see, it's the problem right away, as it slides a bit to my left in the picture.

Reading the reviews I saw that the neckline gave problems, and the sleeves are set-in sleeves, with a higher cap. I changed the top of the sleeve and the armholes using the Jalie 2449 pattern, which is perfect for me.

For the neckline I made a facing like this:

In this way there is no extra bulk at the shoulder seams, as the seam of the facing is on center back. I understitched the facing.  There is no stretch left this way, but with the width of the neckline, that's no big deal.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sisterhood award


Lori (Girls in the garden) gave me this award. She said this about the award: "I feel it is so appropriate for blogland, many other sewers and crafters with blogs and are always so willing to help."

And I can only agree, I love the name of this award.

The rules of this award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

The difficult part: how to choose from a list of more than 140 blogfeeds? But this time I won't break the rules like I did last time, and share a couple of favorites and inspiring blogs. Some of them will have been mentioned, I'm not taking time to check.

  1. Tany - Couture et tricot, always the most inspiring high end garments, and sharing with us with so many pictures also of the details of construction.
  2. Melissa - Fehr trade, going through a difficult time, but cheerful blog posts and a lot of great garments.
  3. Lindsay T sews, sewing the most gorgeous jackets and coats lately, that I immediately want to steal from her!
  4. Allison C Sewing gallery - one of the BWOF addicts (?) making great garments with a lot of style
  5. Brigitte - Bubblegum for breakfast - on the couture road, very inspiring and I'm still in awe of the Chanel-style jacket she made a few months ago.
  6. Deepika - not writing too often on her blog, but she deserves this award for starting Pattern Review and maintaining this wonderful site
  7. Carolyn - Diary of a Sewing fanatic - one of the ladies with a clear opinion and not shy to share it with us. I like her style of writing and the way she works with tnt patterns and coordinating wardrobe pieces
  8. Summerset - Pins and needles - sewing the most wonderful art garments and beautiful clothes for herself and her family, sharing the process of all she does with so much detail
    and finally two Dutch sewing sisters, at least as addicted to sewing lingerie as I am:
  9. SimoneAnnemore - initiator of a Dutch lingerie-forum
  10. Jos - creaBH, inspiring lingerie too and taking the lead in a sew-along here "The red camisole" which will start end of March.

and .... and .... and ...

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My hair is too short (or how to hide a too low neckline)

My next project (part of a mini wardrobe, more on that later, still planning) is a white blouse, no. 104 of the February BWOF issue. I have traced the pattern two weeks ago, did a FBA. But I had not checked the depth of the neckline. Before cutting the fabric, and based on my experience with the jacket I did check. Guess what: it's too low.

I could have known, based on the pictures in the magazine. Now I checked, and see what they did to the pictures. The red dot on the white version marks the top button, which is not so clear in the screenshot. The collar is folded higher than the roll line, which in this pattern is actually a seam. I don't often wear a scarf in that way, but it would help to cover up.

In pattern 103, which is basically the same pattern, the models hair covers the neckline! Conclusion: my hair is too short!

Though I love BWOF very, very much, I would like it if they made their necklines a tiny bit higher. If even their photographer needs to cover up, we (= the actual women who wear the garments that are made from the patterns) mostly will have to adapt the pattern, which is what I'm going to do (my hair won't grow fast enough :).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bagging a lining, where the front facing meets the lining

For the jacket I used the "bagging the lining" technique I used before. This time I changed the way of working in the corner where the front facing meets the lining. I used the book Jackets for real people for this, but have seen it described somewhere else too. Because I wanted to do it once again to remember the steps I did it again tonight and made pictures to share it with you. It's not the full description of bagging a lining, just this corner, illustrated with pictures and in my own words.


Step 1: Mark the corner where front and facing meet. In my example it's easy to see on the facing part, as I in general don't interface the seam allowances. the hem allowance is 5 cm (2 inch). As this is only a sample, the "front" is not completely marked for seam lines.

Sew the front facing  to the front exactly till the marked point.


Step 2: The lining is exactly the length of the jacket, no hem allowance needed with the 5 cm hem allowance at the front.

Sew the lining to the front facing untill approximately 5 cm above the hem (marked point)


Step 3: sew the lining to the hem with a 1 cm seam (3/8 inch), the stitchline starts a little after the vertical stitchline and stops little before that on the other side.(the book suggests a longer length to be left open, but this is enough). The picture shows the hem at the top!


Step 4: Clip to the marked point ONLY on the front of the jacket.


Step 5: Fold up the hem of the jacket, right sides together.


The lining is folded in between the layers.


Step 6: Sew from the marked point to the first stitching of front facing to lining (as described in step 2)


This is how it looks  now.

Step 7: Trim the facing/hem where needed, when turned the inside looks like this, the lining has a "jumped hem", which means there is a bit of lining hanging down, which provides extra ease. I know there is another method for this, which does not have a jumped hem, but that's an experiment for another time.


Finished front.