Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Sewing Update


Hello friends! It looks like my little blog has become quite the sporadic thing lately, which was not my intention! Truth is, it's been a busy summer, with no sign of slowing down. In fact, we just arrived home this evening from a long driving tour of colleges.  So glad to be home.  Let's talk about sewing, shall we?

Thank you for all the comments and input on my last post regarding the shirt muslin. It's good to have the input, and to know that other ladies have similar fit issues.  For the ladies out there in my age bracket, it's good to have your commiseration.


 I have to begin with my latest creation, a bra.  Seriously, I want to jump up and down in excitement over this bra, the 'Shelley Bra' by Beverly Johnson of Bramaker's Supply. (Michele, are you reading this?) Truly an excellent pattern. I participated in the bra sew along that Amy at Cloth Habit hosted a while back, and came out with some knowledge about bra making and a too-small (in the cup) bra muslin. I used a Danglez pattern - not one I would recommend for anyone who is a bra making virgin, as I was then. Shortly thereafter, I ordered Shelley, but just got around to making it recently. I wish the Shelly pattern had been my first bra pattern - it's got amazing directions. I'll do an actual review and post pictures later. I still will need to tweak the fit - the size I made was maybe 2 or 3 cup sizes too big, but even at that I could see that it was amazing, and really, really comfortable. When I ordered the Shelly pattern, I also purchased Beverly's bra making manuals, which will be helpful with the fit changes. More on Shelley to come, but for now here are pictures on my dressform. It really is a lovely bra.  If you've made the Shelley Bra, what are your thoughts on the pattern? I would love to hear from you about your results.



Wider band = comfort!

This summer I also made Kwik Sew 3740, view B, the sleeveless, simple knit 'tank top', in a white, knit piqué fabric. Although it is a recent purchase, for the life of me I can't remember where I got this fabric, which had lousy recovery and some defects. Apparently I did not take pictures of this top, despite numerous wearings. Review and pics forthcoming another day. Spoiler: I will make this top again, just in different better fabric.



A few weeks back, I made yet one more muslin (#5? #6? Lost count!) on the shirt from last post - B5678. I took into consideration the helpful comments on the last muslin. I'm pretty happy with the fit after bringing in the seams for a closer fit and taking out some width above the bust. I may need to take the shoulders in a tad more.  One day soon I'll make up a final, wearable version, and possibly several versions. Maybe I'll try some of Rhonda's great collar variations!

Last post, I showed the lining to Pamela's Pattern's Favorite Bias Skirt. I finished the skirt (except for hemming) complete with the draped zipper technique that I mentioned, a Petersham waistband, and tab & button closure. It was a well made, well fitting skirt, but I just wasn't feeling it. It was looooong. I'd initially planned on mid-calf length, but pinning it to that length, it was still... meh. My daughter had a strong negative response to it, and hubby complemented it when he saw me try it on. I emailed my friends Rhonda and Myra and asked for honest opinions. Sewing friends are great! Thank you both, your thoughts on the skirt were both welcomed and helpful.

After letting the skirt marinate for a bit, I picked it up one day and hacked it off at the knee. Tried it on again and decided it did not have the slimming effect I was looking for. The skirt is currently in 'time out' with it's side seams unpicked. We may, or may not, see more of this later. Win some, lose some.  Maybe I should have been suspicious of the fact that PR had only 1 review of this skirt... Regardless, sewing on the bias is a good skill to practice.  In addition to that, other skills revisited in sewing this skirt were 1) the petersham waistband with tab button closure, and 2) zipper insertion in a bias garment.  Even if this skirt never sees the light of day, I can chalk this one up to good practice sessions.

Original, unhemmed length
That might be the KS3740 top I'm wearing.

Just before we left on our driving tour of colleges, I cut and sewed the body of a red circle skirt for my daughter.  She is attending a function in character this weekend, and asked for a red circle skirt with horsehair braid at the hem.  I'll be finishing that up while attacking the mountain of post-trip laundry tomorrow, and hopefully get pictures to post.  Horsehair is something I've yet to use, so I am looking forward to seeing the result.  If you have any tips, please share!

Now that I'm about to post this, it's time for a good night's sleep in my own bed.  After I catch up on my blog reading, that is.

Thanks for stopping by; I'll try to be back sooner!

Andrea



17 comments:

  1. Wow - that bra is looking great. If ever I try to go down that road I will stop by your blog first. Shame you are not in love with the bias skirt. I have that pattern and DVD. It might go to the back of the bus now. Top is looking good on fit.

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    1. Thanks, BeaJay! The bra really was a pleasure to make.

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  2. I have walked into Bramaker's Supply many times but I just can't bring myself to pay so much money for a class. I guess I am too cheap. I an excited to read your review on her pattern and manuals. Do you think her classes would be worthwhile?

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    1. I I would love to take one of her classes! Maybe she would like to have a class in Florida someday?

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  3. Andrea! Good for you! And the Shelley pattern is such a good pattern, and you are so right about the instructions being so much better than many other patterns out there.

    Janlynn, I would jump at the chance to take a class at Bra Makers Supply. With it you get the bra, and a custom-fit pattern for you. Yes, I'd do it in a minute! I've been doing it on my own and struggling to get that perfect fit.

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    1. Michele, you've made so many beautiful bras. You inspired me to make the Shelley! Now to find my correct cup size, lol. And thanks for the mention!

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  4. Good luck with the bra! It looks like it is coming long great. I've never used horsehair braid, but Gertie has some good tips for it!
    http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2010/06/magic-of-horsehair-braid-little.html
    http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2011/04/more-horsehair-braid-techniques.html

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    1. Thank you, Zoë! Gertie's is the tutorial I used. It made hemming the circle skirt a breeze.

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  6. Eeep! You've made a bra! I am so in awe of sewistas that make bras, since I probably won't ever make one, apart from underpinnings built into dresses. Kudos to you for your ?th muslin on that shirt, too. Just think: once you're happy with the fit, it will be one pattern less that you have to tweak because it will be a TNT that you can make over and over again. I've the same fitting issues as you: hourglasses are a PITA to fit. I was just crying the blues over fitting last night. Bewbs and a waist are incredibly difficult to fit!

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    1. I agree, Tia Dia! Finding that right fit to enhance the figure is a challenge. You should try the bra - Beverly Johnson's patterns are the best!

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  7. AWESOME Bra! Congratulatins and love your work! I can understand why you love the pattern! It has all the necessary requirements for a comfortable (and beautiful) bra! By the way, I like the skirt better this way on you! Sorry I've been so out of pocket...work is trying to send me to an early grave!! No sewing going on because I've been working lots of hours and some weekends too! I will be getting back to normal soon I hope!

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    1. I hope you are sewing soon, Myra! I've been missing your posts.

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  8. Wow! I'm admiring your photos of bra, that's a great job! I never sewed bras for me, although I do have sewn bikinis, (not the same) but I am extremely impressed by your job!

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  9. Wow I too am impressed to a tee with your bra sewing. Its just too complicated for me though who knows, one day I might be inclined. And if so, I know to check back here.

    Sorry about the skirt, but I agree. From the pics it is a bit meh. Wonder what you'll do with it ....

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  10. It's wonderful that you've found a bra pattern that you love, yay! I researched heaps of options before I chose mine too, and fortunately was happy with it straight away. You are going to have a drawer full of the most gorgeous handmade lingerie now :)

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I'd love to hear from you!