Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Start of an Obsession Set

I would bet that, just like me, many lingerie makers in the blogging works could trace the start of their underwear making journey back to the release of the Cloth Habit Watson pattern.

The details:
Fabric: Grey jersey from Spotlight
Pattern: The Cloth Habit Watson bra and briefs
Size: 32D in the bra, M in the briefs
Special touches and alterations: Made view B in the bra. Took in side seams of briefs by 1cm each.
Before this pattern was released, I thought lingerie making, and bra making in particular, was a specialised and rare skill that required years of study, apprenticeships, who knows what else! It seemed out of reach for the everyday seamstress. Even when bloggers such as Caroline and Novita started posting their bra makes, I felt like they must posses a specialised set of skills that us mere mortals couldn't just pick up overnight.
Then suddenly in 2014, the Watson pattern was released and took the internet by storm. Suddenly, everyone from your next door neighbour to your cat's cousin seemed to be making beautiful sets of lingerie, real bras and briefs like the ones you could find in store. It was at this stage that I began to wonder whether I, too, might have the requisite skills to whip up a pretty little set of underwear?
It took a while to build up my bravery, but a year or so ago I finally gave in and purchased the pattern, as well as some supplies from Booby Traps, and got straight to it. 
This set was the result of that venture, my first foray into sewing lingerie! It certainly isn't perfect (don't look at the top stitching at the center front!) but I was sooo proud of myself and what I'd made that I jumped straight into another set, and can now proudly call myself addicted to bra making :)
I've come a long way between this set and my latest set, but I wanted to post this as a reminder to myself of where it all started, and that sometimes you just have to jump in and give things a go. Plus, this set is super comfy, in regular rotation and still going strong! I may be wearing it right now :P

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Four Calling Birds Dress

There are a few more than four birds on this dress, but I thought it was a fitting name given that its first outing was on Christmas Eve last year! (And yes it has taken me that long to get around to posting it!)

The details:
Fabric: Drapey blue synthetic from Spotlight
Pattern: Colette Myrtle 
Size: S
Special touches and alterations: I took out the side seams by about 1cm each during construction as the bodice was feeling a bit tight! I used contrasting red bias binding for the back armholes and neckline.

I have had this fabric for who knows how long.... it is a pretty dusty blue with a texture of irregular swiss-like dots and a floral and avian print. Given the drapey qualities of the fabric, I thought the cowl neck of the Colette Myrtle pattern was a good match!
I had had my sewing machine recently serviced when I was sewing this, and disappointingly some oil ended up leaking on the dress as a result! However, after a good wash the stains seem to have come out.Other than that mishap, this came together pretty easily. I did almost give up after trying on the bodice early in the construction process and finding it quite tight, but taking out the side seams and lowering the armholes a little helped. The back neckline and armholes are finished in a bright red bias tape that doesn't match any colours in the print, but I didn't have any bias tape in orange (my natural choice with the print) and I thought the red would do nicely :)
I would still like a bit of extra space across my back, so I would probably sew a size up if I made it again, as well as increasing the length of the bodice. I have a long torso! Of course, this time around I did make it in a woven, and while the pattern states it can be made in either, I get the impression it was really designed for a knit fabric, which might fix the sizing issue.
I do usually wear the dress with a belt, I don't love the look of the elastic waistband, but didn't want to hide that detail for these photos! All in all, it's an elegant dress and I love the fabric. I think it hits that sweet spot between summer dress and fancy dress, and I'm looking forward to getting some more wear out of it in the coming months!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The No Frills Top

I've been a Burda subscriber since May now, and this top was made up from a pattern in the very first issue I received.

The details:
Fabric: Cotton/rayon blend from Tessuti
Pattern: Flounce blouse (#109) from the May 2017 issue of Burda
Size: 20
Special touches and alterations: Removed the flounce, took in side seams by 1cm.
I thought the 109 blouse from the May issue of Burda would make a great work top, but I had two concerns. One was that this pattern was a "petite" size, which I am not. Secondly, the top had a flounce on the front that I wasn't sure whether I liked or not. Well, as you can see from the photos, I managed to solve both of these problems!

Burda states that petite sizes are the same as the full sized counterparts, except that they are made for women of around 160 - 167cm  in height, and so are shorter in length. Well, I measured the pattern against some tops I own and was surprised to find that despite this, the pattern seemed the right length even for my long torso! I wasn't convinced, so I did add 3.5cm to the length of the hem, but it ended up being quite long, so I hemmed by turning up 1.5cm then a further 4cm, and I think I could have still gone shorter! I was further surprised that the bust darts seemed to be at the correct height, and not too high as they often seem to be.

And the flounce? Well, due to an error on my part in laying out the fabric, I was juuuuuust short of having enough fabric for all the pattern pieces! D'oh! So I trimmed the flounce off the front piece so it would fit on my fabric. Decision was made for me! And I'm quite glad I did as I do think the flounce might have been a bit too much.
The fabric is a wrinkle prone cotton/rayon blend of some sort from Tessuti's clearance table. Not a colour I wear often but it is growing on me! I finished the insides by overlocking in black.

I do think it is a little tight over my hips, so I would grade out to a size 21 over the hips next time. And I can never decide how to wear the neck tie. I like it open but it does show the contrast black overlocking threads when it opens up. Tied up in a bow sometimes feels too fussy, but is what I've been defaulting to. How would you wear it?