Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cups with padding and lace

In the past months I’ve done a few workshops at Kantje Boord, working with cups with padding. My initial thought was that I didn’t want a padded bra, thinking a bra like this would make me look even more full. I do have enough fullness of my own ;) I found out though, that the preformed or cups with padding didn’t necessarily make me look more busty, they provided good support and nice shaping without adding to the fullness. A new area of bra making to be explored…
Below the description of how I constructed the cups for my last bra. I have gone up one size in this pattern. Instead of 75DD I now made a 75F. I had to take away a bit under the arm (bottom right of picture below), which in my case was just comparing with bra’s that I like and have sewn before.
Because I wanted to use the scallop of the lace, I had to straighten the cup pattern pieces. In the picture you can see the (pink) lines I used.

The bra strap is too long for my liking, I changed it like this and added a seam allowance. The MakeBra instructions use foldover elastic everywhere and I wanted to use ‘normal’ lingerie elastic on most of the bra. Thus I needed a seam allowance here.

A rectangular piece of padding is cut, enought for all the cup pieces. Remember you have to cut a mirror image as well!

The padding is covered with lycra (you could also use cotton, but I wanted the same color as for the side/back part because of the mesh lace that covers all. If you have padding in a matching color, you can omit this step, though it also gives more stability to the padding, which I like).
To cover the padding with lycra I used Vliesofix (or bondaweb). This has an adhesive layer on both sides and you iron it to the padding (think steam-a-seam but then on a roll)
In this picture the vliesofix is on the bottom of the padding, but it should be on top of the padding when ironing, with the adhesive layer to the padding and the paper on top.

Iron it with an iron on medium setting without steam.
When it has cooled down, remove the paper layer. The second adhesive layer is now visible.

Put the lycra on top and iron it to the padding using a pressing cloth!! It took a bit longer for the lycra to adhere to the padding.
The padding and lycra are now one layer to be worked as one.

The cup parts are cut.

Sew them together with a wide zigzag stitch, making sure that the beginning and end of each seam are well stitched.
All edges are thinned to remove bulk and to make applying foldover elastic at the top of the cup easier. Just put a sharp pointed scissor between the layers and cut, be careful not to cut through the fabric of the padding or lycra.

Fold over elastic is sewn to the top.

And the mesh lace cup is sewn. This is a very think layer that is then put over the cup of padding.I used a small zigzag stitch to attach it.

Then I pressed shape in the cup, using a styropor foam ball, a press cloth and a bit of ironing spray. The press cloth is important, risking melting the fabric is no good!

I made a stable side to my styropor ball.

The difference before and after pressing. It’s even more clear after the cup is attached to the band and the wires are in.

Construction of side/back and closing was nothing new. Here are pictures of the result.

And just for fun: the mesh fabric on two different colors, a huge difference!

Hope this was helpful.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finally sewing again

Yes, I’ve finally been sewing again. A bra was just the right thing to start with after returning home (with jetlag) from a fantastic trip with my family to New York!

When planning the trip I claimed one day on my own for going to the garment district and of course, a highlight for me, meeting my friend Nancy. Mostly we were talking and shopping fabric too much to think of photos, but here’s one during a lovely Korean lunch.

Nancy brought me the interfacing I had ordered with Pam of Fashion Sewing Supply. The best interfacing you can get in my opinion and in this way I could stock a bit and not pay the high shipping cost.

And where did we go and what did I buy? B & J fabrics and Mood were the larger stores we visited. I felt like being in a candy store: so much to choose from it’s difficult to decide.

The first fabric I bought was this wool/lace one. I also bought zippers for it and plan to make a jacket of it.

Beautiful Swiss cotton for next spring/summer in an original weave.

A few silks.

And last but not least: wool jersey and an Oscar the la Renta boucle. At least, that was the name on the tag. Whether or not he actually used it I can’t find on the internet. It’s of minor importance, I loved the colors as they are very much “me”. Don’t expect all this fabric to be sewn up in the next weeks. My fabric buying obviously exceeds my production, especially in the past months. It’s time for “stop buying fabric and start sewing”. I’m trying to plan 15-30 minutes each day, which should mean more time than I used for sewing recently.

I started with this bra. It’s the download pattern DL01 from MakeBra. I made it before and while wearing it I was not completely happy with the fit, the cups felt a bit too small after all. I now used a size 75F which is the right size I think. Most examples on their site and the gallery are for bra’s in which the cup is covered with lycra. For a long time I had the idea of using lace and that’s what I’ve done here. I made photos of the construction phase and plan to do a review and instruction post later. The color is a bit bold for me, out of my comfort zone.



Friday, October 11, 2013

Still there – snoop shopping

I’m still there, just a bit silent on the blog. All’s fine, only very, very busy with work, a daughter leaving the house and all other things that happen in life. Sewing? None! Reading blogs? Occasionally only. I’ve ordered me some sewing books, the Marfy catalogue, even bought some fabric. Just couldn’t find the time to sew.

This afternoon I felt I could breath a little again, did some snoop shopping on the internet, looking for inspiration. I thought the combination of these fabrics was nice.

Look at the back of this jacket (mind you, this is a jacket with a $650 price tag!). To me it looks the jacket was too wide when finished and a “dart”  or partial center back seam was added later. The seams on the lower part of the jacket also look like they have been redone after finishing.

I know, if you don’t sew you probably won’t see this or mind at all. It would bother me though if I had sewn the back of a jacket like this. Says something about me, being too perfectionist sometimes.  I’ll be looking at further inspiration and hope to find time for sewing soon.

Till then: enjoy the autumn colors (or spring if you’re in the Southern hemisphere).