Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bra Making Begins



Sorry blog, it's been awhile.  Between my cheapy camera not handling the winter light in my apartment, lots of winter knitting, a series of muslins that haven't yet lead to something I'm ready to cut out, and yet another pair of Ginger Jeans which might be too boring and a bit loose so that photos look very wrinkly, I haven't had anything to blog about, but.....

I've made a bra!





As someone with a not easy to find size, who has probably never worn a bra that fits properly in her life, I'm really taken with the idea of custom making my own bras.

I've bought all three of Beverly Johnson's Craftsy bra classes and started with a Pin Up Girls Classic bra.  Unfortunately I took some sizing advise that didn't work out.  I was so excited when the Cloth Habit Harriet Bra was released and saw that it was available in my 28G size.  According to the size chart my measurements put me in an F, but I went with the G.  This one isn't going to work either.  Band is very good.  The gore tacks really well, the the cups are still too small.  Its close enough to try one size up.

What I really want to make note of is that I used a Bra Maker's Supply Kit and if you are going to use one to make a Harriet, there are a few things to know.

I thought my size called for a 3 hook closure but the back height is for a 2 hook closure.  I think the 2 size packs is what through me off.  Luckily I had one (not the right color so  I just basted it on to test. Easy enough to redraft the back band for a 3 hooks and I will do so on the next one I make, mostly because I already have the closure.

To get the wider bottom band elastic to work I had to trim some of the elastic out of the way of the wire casing.  This worked out fine.

Because I was using wider elastic than the bra was designed to use, for the second pass of stitching on the bottom band elastic, I stopped it when I got to the casing seam, started it up again for the center, stopped again for the second cup and then started again to finish the other size.  Not a problem with this either.

Another workaround that I did was to figure out a way to attach the strap elastic to the back band before stitching the side under the slider.  On all my bras the straps are tightened as much as they can be and I thought I'd want to shorten them.  It was a bit tricky but if you loop the the end loosely like this:


you can thread the slider after the back is attached.  I need to take at least a couple of inches off the length so the slider stays in the front.

The other big note if you are using a Bra Maker's Kit for a Harriet is that you will not have enough strap elastic. The Pin Up Girls patterns call for a large part of the strap to be sewn of the cup material.  Either add some extra strap elastic on to your order,  or add a sewn strap.

I may not have gotten there yet, but I believe I will.  I should have enough supplies for 2 more bras before I need to place another supply order.  Colors next time.





Friday, November 11, 2016

About once every 30 years


Like most people who sew I'll take a new project over an alteration or repair anyday, but sometimes it really is worth it.

I have a well loved (and worn) leather jacket, who's lining was very shot.  Having relined a beloved wool coat worn during college a few years post, I knew it was a job I could tackle.

Having a coat relined professionally is cost prohibitive.

Doing it myself it was done in 3 days and the cost was just $10 for a perfect piece of lining.

I carefully removed the old lining:



As you can see it really needed being replaced.  I certainly couldn't take it off in front of a customer anymore.

Used it as a pattern to cut the new lining.  It's not always the recommended way to go, but it worked out fine.
I picked up the lining at Fabrics Garden on 39th .  I usually go there for inexpensive fabrics to use for lining.  A lovely silver twill for $5.00 a yard.

The label and the hang chain were carefully replaced.


 

My very useful jacket, for the current weather, is now being worn again.



Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Last Make of Summer



This fabulous dress was made back in August and I'm finally posting now.  The time lag is not representative of my feelings of how it came out.  I think it is one of my most successful executions of idea that I had.



The fabric is a menswear shirting from Mood.  Carefully selected to make sure it was one that doesn't wrinkle very much and is quite easy to iron.

Finished with bias trim made from the same fabric.

A lovely venice lace add a very feminine touch to the menswear fabric.  It also meant that all hems could be machine stitched as they would be covered with the lace.  I did add to the sleeve hem so that the turn up matched the body hem.  It was the perfect depth to place the lace stitching line exactly over the sleeve and hem stitching lines.




The only other alteration made was to petite the shoulder depth.




This will be repeated for next summer as I've already bought a nice poly crepe and instead of the lace trim, I'm planning ruffles.

Monday, September 19, 2016

No Jeans Were Harmed In The Making Of These Shorts



I had a decent sized piece of denim left from my first pair of Ginger Jeans;  the idea that at some point I'd like to make a distressed pair of Morgan Jeans, and a need for something really casual for throwing over a bathing suit when traveling to the beach.  When your trip to the beach requires riding the subway you need real clothes and not just a coverup.

Distressed Ginger Jeans:













There was lots of fun in the making of these.

Lots of slicing.   The recently acquired rotary cutter made that fun:






I did the first distressing with my kitchen microplane:




But found that this did a much better job:



It took 3 baths in bleach to get the final color.





As expected, the bleach did a good job of killing the lycra. I was perfectly fine with no stretch on these.  The mystery though was without the stretch would they be tighter or looser?  Verdict is they loosened.  A long spin in the dryer helped, but the looseness is good for the boyfriend look and for comfort.

One last look:






Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Very Useful Dress

I have had a number of occasions lately that have required something a bit more special than my everyday wear,  but not something too fancy.  Maybe best desired as business to cocktail.




I took advantage of a fit clinic with Kenneth D. King at Sew Right, the terrific store where I bought my  newest sewing machine.

This was the second one I had attended.  After the first I started thinking about the styles I that  I could never wear as RTW.  What silhouettes would actually flatter, if they were altered to fit me properly.  Although I am a fairly standard petite height, my upper body is even more petite than petite sizing.  A fit and flare style would suit my shape, but even in a petite cut, I'm still trying to fit my hips into a higher place.   Additionally my shoulders are very narrow,  my under bust very narrow and my bust full.

The pattern is Vogue 8848  which I picked up on a rare Joanne's (bathroom pit stop on a business trip) visit.  It definitely could only be made to work on me with expert fitting.





Early this spring, on our yearly fabric shopping trip to find a good friends birthday present, I found this lovely Jason Wu fabric at Mood.  It is a cotton fabric, with a bit of texture.  A bit thicker than most cottons, but not too thick.  I'd describe it as something akin to a light upholstery fabric
.
It behaved  up beautifully.  A shot of steam and all those tricky pivot points just laid perfectly.

All seams are bound with Hung Sung seam tape:





It might have been worth the effort to get the zipper and tape to match, but I used what I had and I still think it looks pretty.

As the fabric has a lot more body than those the pattern called for, the stiffer fabric lead to too much in the skirt.  I removed quite a large amount (24" total) from the flare.  Just took out long triangle from hem tapering to nothing at the horizontal seams:



I should get a lot more use out of this dress as it really is just about reasonless  Looks great with a black cardigan and may even work with boots.

Unless a special occasion comes up, I'm taking a break from dresses.  That's okay; there is plenty else to sew.  I'm planning a coat, more jeans and bras.





Monday, August 1, 2016

Frankenpattern Sundress





On Pattern Review, Catina , The Pattern Hack Fairy",  drafted a skirt pattern for someone who had asked for help in finding a pattern to recreate a Milly skirt with lovely pleating.


 Although I was searching for fabric for a skirt that would match a sweater I love very much, when I saw this fabric at Mood I thought sundress.


I


The fabric was a bit stiff when purchased, but that totally washed away with one washing.  I thought it might have been a plus for the pleating, but now it is so soft and comfortable.

I was very creative here and I all worked out very well.

I started with my TNT shift dress pattern.  It's from an old Butterick coordinate pattern.  The number is B5147, but it could have been any darted shift dress.  The original fitting was done by Kenneth King at a fit clinic at Sew Right and I've sewn it many times.

I cut across at the waistline, rotated the darts into princess seams and cut across the top.  After the first muslin, I took quite a bit in at the back and the sides.

The skirt was cut from the pattern posted through Pattern Review and it matched up to the bodice very well.

It has lovely unique pleating.  Very flattering as you get a pleated skirt look while it is very flat across your tummy:



Bodice only was lined and bra carriers were added to the straps;



I added pockets, nabbing the pattern piece from a random pattern, because, well pockets!

The lining was hand stitched down at the bottom of the bodice and to the zipper.  I have never been successful at machine stitching the lining to the zipper.

Hem was finished with Hung Sung seam tape and hand stitched.

For no reason at all I had issues in getting the zipper so that the seams matched up.  With a bit of persistence (and basting only a few inches many times) I eventually concurred it.



One last photo:




Sunday, April 17, 2016

I've got a skirt thing going on


So the 3rd skirt post in a row.



Fabric was my last purchase made at Chic Fabrics before it closed.  It's a charmeuse with matte dots and I've used it wrong side up so it is matte with charmeuse dots.  I just love a fun skirt, worn with solid tops and the colors of this print are totally me.

No pattern, no hand sewing.   I took my 1 yard of fabric and cut a waist band off of one selvedge side.    Cut the remaining piece in have crosswise.  Then I cut 2 pieces of Bemberg lining the same size less 1" along the long side.  With both the main fabric and the lining I  sewed the two respecitve  pieces together on the short sides.   Next the body and lining were sewn along the long end, which became the hem line.  Side seam had a zipper inserted and sewn.  Waistband created and attached with a single button for closure and done.

Here's a look at the no hem hem:





Twirling shot:



Guess what?  There's another skirt sewn.  Just need a photo session. Been really bad about that lately.

'Til next time.