Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog vacation

Van Burda 02 2013 106

This is the jacket I’ve sewn last week. It’s from BurdaStyle’s February issue.  A full review of it can be found on Pattern Review.

It’s also the last post on this blog for a (little?) while. After almost 6 year of blogging I find it difficult to write something new. Í don’t think it’s interesting to read about the way I construct a jacket for the third, fourth.. time, see yet another bra or t-shirt. Perhaps it’s winter-blues and am I in need of some sunshine and higher temperatures. We’ll see.

Edited to add: Thank you for all your kind words. I’ll be back. Just need a break.

For now happy Easter everyone and till next time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pattern Review contest

O dear, is she again saying she’s entering a contest and not meeting the deadline by weeks (or even months)?

No, this time I’m managing a contest. A first time for me. On April 1 a new contest "2013 Spring Pantone colors" will start. This week the discussion started about ideas and the interpretation of the rules. I’m sure it will be a fun contest. And though I can’t enter the contest for real, I will try to sew an outfit in one or more of these colors (hope to find them, I might have some Monaco blue but the others are not in my stash probably).

If you like the idea be inspired or join the fun!

These are the colors, numbers and names for the colors for women (the palet for men is a bit different).


Friday, March 8, 2013

Interfacing lycra

Sometimes I work with lycra that is thin and has a lot of stretch. Not a good fabric for my bra’s, as I need support both in the cups and the band. Often the nice lycra’s (and besides beautiful lace I do love a lycra with a beautiful print) are too thin to use as they are. The solution: interfacing. The downside of using an interfacing: risk of shifting layers with pleats as result. This is what happened in the center of this bra that I made a couple of years ago, look at the bottom of the bridge:

This is how I tackle this issue now (and I’m sure I’ve written about this before, can’t find the post however):

Depending on the result I want I use an interfacing which has no stretch at all or that has a little stretch (but less than the lycra). The bridge is always interfaced with an interfacing without stretch. I’ve used the lycra of this example for an all-lycra bra without lace which is not finished yet, and used an interfacing with a bit of stretch for both the cups and the band in a very light skin-tone color.

For demonstration purpose I used a black, non stretch interfacing in this post.

Cut the pattern pieces in both interfacing and lycra, with seam allowances of course.

I’ve pinned the two layers together to show both pieces are the same size.

Stretch and pin the lycra so that all seams are beyond the interfacing pieces. It depends on the amount of stretch how munch you do this. With this thin lycra it was 2 to 3 millimeters on all sides.

When you lay it on a flat surface, the lycra will pull on the interfacing and it will not lay flat.

Zigzag the layers together within the seams allowance!

Cut off the edge of the lycra.

The pattern piece has its original size again but looks a bit weird. It’s no problem at all to work with though.

When sewn together and worn, the lycra will lay smoothly over the interfacing without any pleats.

When I started making bra’s I used a fusible interfacing for the under cups. This was a special interfacing that I can’t find easily any more, so most of the time I use this method for the undercups.

Questions and answers

There were a few questions and comments on my last posts on bra making that I will try to answer here.

DaneMum asked whether the change to accomodate the cup circumference to the band/wire length for the cup is a large change. In this case it was only a matter of overlapping a centimeter of one cup piece. The other pieces were not changed. I always have a bit of extra space in the cup that I work into the band (like a sleeve head) because of the extra volume I need. I’ve always done it like that, and in Beverly Johnson’s book Bra making part two she confirmed that this is the right thing to do for my shape. The shape she calls an omega-shape (narrow chest, full cup).

Diana mentioned that it would be nice to have some of the lace in the back of the bra. I think she’s right and it would have been lovely. I like to do that on another bra, this one will remain as it is, but it’s a nice idea to have something attractive at the back too.

Amanda asked how the width of the band would refer to a longline bra. I must say that I don’t know. I’ve never owned or made a longline bra so can’t advise there.

Stuffandjunkorwhathever questioned the reason for the double topstitching of the wire channelling and observed that she had seen that mainly on lace bra’s, and only one row of topstitching on more functional bra’s. To me it'’s always been two rows of topstitching. The more luxurious bra’s indeed have that double topstitching and I think (but just an idea, not founded on any real information) that with two rows to enclose the wire it is more flat to you body. It’s a bit more difficult to make than one row of topstitching, but I do it all the time. Just love the look of it, but there’s no real reason against only one row of topstitching.

Bonny D remarked: “I wonder if the integrity of the garment would suffer at all if I could do the last under cup band zigzagging "after" I did the channelling top stitching, thereby allowing me to control where the zigzag goes. My purpose of this would be to avoid the zzzzz on the channeling. After all, it's not like that small bit needs to stretch. Previously, I would try just to avoid the channeling area with the zzzz.”
With the method I mentioned you topstitch the channelling last, but if you could do it differently. If the method suits you there is no “law” to say you have to do it otherwise. They way I describe is just one of the ways, and the way I prefer to do it.

Think these were the questions, if I’ve forgotten one let me know.

To finish a few photo’s from the panties I made to complete the set. Though not a very sexy model I do think these are different. I especially like the first one, with the triangular detail in the back.


Next post a tip for working with very stretchy lycra. Then I will be sewing a few other garments.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sewing the elastic to the band

In the lingerie sew-along I orgnized a few years ago I’ve published this post on how I sew the elastic to the band. I’m re-posting it here for general information. I’ll try to gather a bit of those posts as a conclusion to my lingerie sewing month.

One of the most common problems in bra making is the rolling/flipping of the elastic to the inside. This is often caused because the elastic is sewn too low on the band. In one of the classes I took it was told that the maximum height of the band under the cup is 1.25 cm (0,5 inch). It was said that in a lingerie sewing contest  this was one of the things that got extra attention.
This is the way in which I sew the underband. It’s specially made as a tutorial, so only a partial bra is shown and non-matching colors are used for all parts.

Sew cups in the underband.
Sew the elastic to the  underband, pluche side up and picots pointing to the cup.
On the inside, sew the chanelling to the cup, on the very edge, almost onto the seam where you sewed the cup to the underband.
Turn the elastic and topstitch it with a triple zigzag.
The elastic attached.
The inside at this point.
Now topstitch the chanelling twice. Once close to the seam, once on the outer edge of the chanelling. After many bra's, this is still the most difficult part for me, sometimes I have to take it out because it shifts on the inside, and I won't get the wire through.
Finished on the inside.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Line drawing Knip Mode

Tonight I have traced a pattern from the March issue of Knip mode. But while tracing it and comparing the line drawing and drawing for the cutting layout, I got confused. Is there a gathering at the back too? The drawing on the cutting layout shows an a-symmetrical pattern piece. The line drawing is not clear, as it hides the back for the most part. I’m almost sure I’ve written on this before and I simply don’t get why Knip Mode always makes line drawings like this. I want to see the back completely too. Is there something special or not in the back. I started reading the instructions for the top and there was nothing on gathering the back, just “sew the side seams”.

Then I looked at the dress which is basically the same pattern. The wrap on the front is also on the back. Not or hardly visible in the line drawing. Also no photos of the back in the magazine. In the instructions for the dress there is the instruction to gather the back on the side. They forgot to copy that text in the instructions for the top. As a relatively experienced seamstress I can work it out, but if you haven’t been sewing that long, this is quite confusing.

In any case I defnitely would prefer clear line drawings of the back.

Connecting cup and shoulderstrap

Thank you ladies for all your very kind comments on my last bra.

Lauriana asked how the shoulderstrap and cup were connected. Good question and it was not visible in my photos.

Here two close-up photo’s that had too much light from the flash, but with the advantage of showing the details of the black fabric. When sewing the elastic to the side of the cups I carefully check and mark the width of the shoulderstrap and make sure that the picot edge of the elastic is in line with the shoulderstrap when the elastic is turned. The shoulderstrap is sewn to the cup and topstitched to flatten the seam. 

This is one of the ways I use regularly. Another way is putting a ring between the shoulderstrap and the cup. image

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Latest lingerie item

February is a short month and the past week there were family matters to take care of, so again I did less than I hoped to do. But I’m pretty pleased with this bra, which has the cups of Merckwaerdigh BHST2 and the band of my tnt pattern. After making many, many bra’s I know that this band gives me good support, is comfortable and doesn’t ride up. What I did is making sure the cups fitted into the band. It meant taking in the lower cup a tiny bit but I didn’t make any other changes. Through experience I know which cupsize I have in in the Merckwaerdigh line of patterns.

As I’ve said before the trouble with bra making is that you can’t judge the fit untill it’s almost finished and I’m happy the fit is very good. The cups have good breast coverage and center front is on my rib cage.

My dressform is even a bit too wide and closing there is quite a bit of tension on the back. The reason why the shoulderstraps are not straight up.

Tonight I will be making the accompanying panties, there is one bra still unfinished because I didn’t like the color of the shoulderstrap I had after all.

I found out that the technical issue I had last week with links to my photos were not a technical issue after all: in some strange way I had a Google + account (don’t remember signing on for that, I’m not one for that kind of social media (yet)) and apparently the developers of that service think/assume that you only want to share photos with people in you “circles”, so there was no “link to this picture” any more, only a “share” option which was not wat I want. After a lot of browsing I found out that this might be the cause and after I abandoned my google+ account  I was able to link to my photos as I was used to. Hope they will keep it that way, you never know what “improvement” they have in mind next.