Sunday, February 19, 2012

A sewing weekend

I’ve spent this weekend together with my friends Valerie and Sheila from Brussels. A great sewing weekend with of course a lot of chatting about sewing as well. I only just returned this evening. I took a few things without knowing exactly what I fancied to do. And I took a piece of fabric to ask Valerie and Sheila advice on a pattern. I bought this fabric in January 2008 and published it on my blog. The colors are more subtle in real life. Never got round to sewing it then and so it remained in my closet for a long time.

On Saturday morning I went to the supermarket to buy some food and found the new March (!) Burda.  In it exactly a pattern I liked for the fabric.

ETA info to answer Debbie's comment: it's in the European sizes 34-42. I'm making the 42 with only a small adjustment in the length. And if you're buying the issue for this pattern be aware that it is a more fitted jacket, the sleeves are narrow. I'll add this to the review I'll do, but not ready for reviewing yet.
Screenshots from the Burda site here
So this is the pattern I traced yesterday and worked on  today. Of course I didn’t have a zipper with me, as I never planned on this, but I got a lot done. It’s ready for the zipper and the facing/lining. Both the zipper and lining are not in my fabric collection, so a trip to a notions store is necessary.
It’s been a very long time I took up a Burda and sewed something from it right away. I did buy the February issue as well, which has some interesting things in it. In this issue there are a few other patterns I like. Not that many, but enough to be more enthousiastic about Burda than I’ve been in a very long time.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Merckwaerdigh – BHS10 – Construction, part 4

The final part of the posts showing how I made the BHS10 pattern.
A small length of the shoulderstrap is attached tothe inner part of the band. I sew with the full length of the strap and cut off after stitching. This is much easier than trying to stitch with only a small part of the strap left to sew.

Stitch the rest of the shoulderstrap in the middle of the slider.

Pull the strap from back to front through the ring at the back, go through the slider as shown in the picture below.

Sew the other end to the top of the side cup. I’ve attached a ring at this end too, forgot to take a picture of that separately.

This is the front, detail of the cup and shoulderstrap.

Technically the bra is finished now. What remains is the little detail of the bow.
And I couldn’t help myself, I unpicked the hook/eye closure and sewed it again with matching thread. How obsessive is that?

Inside of the finished bra

Outside of the finished bra. The light was not very good when I took these pictures.
Thank you for your lovely comments on these posts. It’s so nice to read you like the bra or the way it’s constructed. Or even are inspired to try making a bra yourself. I hope these posts will help you a bit with that.
Amy asked if I changed the band for using stretch lace: no I didn’t. The important thing was to find an embroidered lace (which I often prefer for the look of it) with stretch. Most of those laces have no stretch at all, and these are unsuitable, as the band needs stretch. That’s why I combined lace and lycra in my red version of this bra.
Off to some other sewing and shorter blog posts ;)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Merckwaerdigh – BHS1- Construction, part 3

A very picture-heavy post. Difficult to break it in two posts in a logical way, so I’ll make it one long post.

First the cups are stitched in the band. I’ve used 1cm seam allowances. Be careful at the top of the bridt to match the cups at center of the bridge. I usually try to have the lowest point of the scallop of the upper cup to be at the top of the bridge.

The next step is to sew in the first step of the wire channelling. After this step the elastic is attached first.

As you can see in the picture the wire chanelling is sewn at the very edge, with a normal length straight stitch. It’s pinned on the side of cup. It will be folded down to the band.


Important: leave about 2 cm unstitched at the side of the cup. This is needed to sew the elastic in.

A picture where you can see clearly on which side the wire channel is attached.


Measure the length of elastic needed. I always use 20% less than the length of the pattern piece.

Check the width of your hook and eye closure. the picot edge of the elastic must be at the end of the closing.

Stitch the elastic with zigzag stitches tot the band and the side of the cup. The pluche side of the elastic is on top, the picot edge pointing to the lace.


Detail, and I agree if you think I should have used a better color thread ;)

Trim the seam allowance, turn the elastic and topstitch with a triple zigzag. Be careful not to sew the wire channel while topstitching (how I know this is a risk?)


Topstitching on the inside

And on the outside, hardly to be seen in the lace.

At the bottom of the band I used the elastic with the picot edge pointing to the inside. The scallop needs all attention, the picot edge shouldn’t be seen. (In other bra’s I do it the same as described above, it’s only this pattern with the straight scallop that calls for this).

It’s only sewn with a triple zigzag stitch.

Now it’s time to finish the wire channel: trim the seam allowances and grade them so that it’s not one thick layer.

Pin and topstitch from the right side. I do this once as an edgestitch very close to the cup, and once at the outside of the wire channel.

The wire channel is on top of the elastic at the bottom of the cup.

I need a very narrow bridge, the wire channel is crossing here. At this point the second row of topstitching stops at the point where the channels meet. This way the wires can go to the top of the channeld. Whether this is necessary depends comletely on your shape.

Here you can see the wire channel going over the elastic on top of the band. Both ends of the channel are closed with a small, narrow zigzag stitch (the second side after putting the wire in!). I always cut my wire channels a bit too long and trim later.

The hook and eye closing is attached with the eyes on the left and the hooks on the right.

And now the bra is almost finished, Pictures in the next post.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Merckwaerdigh – BHS10 – Construction part 2

After constructing the band as in previous post, the next thing to do is making the cups. The cup-pattern consist of 3 parts. I’ve made 2-part cups in the past with good results, but the bra’s with 3 part cups have my preference. This one is different from the Rebecca Sewy bra that I’ve often made.

The parts cut in lace. This time I will not interface the lace. It’s stable enough to use on its own. This really depends on the amount of stretch the lace has. For me most stretch lace is not strong/stable enough for the cups.
If you look closely you can see that my pattern piece on the right is not as long as the paper pattern. I’m a bit short on lace and wanted to keep a bit for a panty, so I’ll make the lace part of the strap shorter.

With this pattern, carefully mark the notches, I made mistakes there in my red version. Cut the parts on the scallop with the lowest part of the scallop at the actual stitching line for the side cup and at the edge of the upper cup.
At the top of the upper cup narrow elastic is sewn with a small zigzag stitch. While stitching the elastic is stretched a little bit. This will ensure the cup will  lay smoothly to your skin. 

Then the upper and under cup are sewn together, followed by topstitching. For this I use the edge stitch foot. Very accurate for this kind of topstitching.
Upper and under cup sewn together. I haven’t cut the seam allowance very narrow. With this kind of embroidery the embroidery will come loose if there’s a very narrow seam allowance only.

Next step is sewing the side cup to the upper and under cup. The side cup is on top, stitched with a zigzag stitch.

On the side cup I’ve used the narrow elastic again on the part for the shoulder strap. It might not be very necessary for this bra, as the strap part of the cup is shorter. When you use the length of the pattern this is more important.

Next post: sewing the cups in the band / wire channelling / elastic

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Merckwaerdigh – BHS10 – Construction, part 1

A post I haven’t done for a long time: showing how I make a bra. In this case, the pattern I’m using is the Merckwaerdigh BHS 10. It’s the one completely made of lace, as shown in the drawing at the bottom right. Another vairiation I made you can see in this post, there I combined lace and lycra. This time I want to make the all-lace variation.

Let me say that this is my interpretation of construction, I didn’t even look at the instructions provided with the pattern, just using my experience. I have no affiliation with the company, just like a few of their patterns.
This lace variation calls for a stretch lace, as the band will need stretch. I often use non-stretch lace for the cups and most stretch laces are not firm enough for me without an extra interfacing in the cups (obviously depending on your cup size). There are a few tule laces available though, that have some stretch and are firm enough for the cups to use without interfacing.
Only then: I like a bit firmness in the band, so I’m using an extra interfacing layer for the band. In the picture below you can see the inner structure for the band. The center front is a tule without any stretch, the bridge mustn’t stretch at all. The sides are a kind of powernet. Firm but with stretch. These two are sewn together.

The pattern has a center front seam, the band is straight at the bottom to be able to completely use the scallop of the lace. (I’ve made a straight center front this time, the pattern has – v-shape, nice but more complex to sew).

Attaching the inner layer sew at the center with the inner layer at the right side of the lace. Trim and turn. Edgestich the top of the bridge.

To hold everything together, I’ve used a zigzag stitch to the edges of the cup and top of the band.
Inside of the construction (center part is cut a bit small at the lower edge, but will be covered later).

The outside
Completed band. These two layers will now be treated as one.

Next post: the cups.