A Marathon of Muslins

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I was so excited to finally have a bra that fit with the bridge going all the way back that I made a whole bunch of bra muslins to try on over that bra. I went through almost all of my patterns – there are a few that I likely won’t ever make – and I sewed up muslins for test fittings.

This first bra muslin I made was a brand new pattern just released. It was Orange Lingerie’s new pattern, the Marlborough pattern.

Marlborough

You can see here the fit looks like it will be really close and I won’t have to do very much in the way of alterations. The Marlborough doesn’t actually list my size in the size range, but I know all about finding the right size by the wire size. So using my ever-so-used BMM chart, I found the correct cup size to fit into my band.

Great! I marked the muslin where I’d need to reduce it a bit at the bottom where it overlaps the seam allowance on the actual bra, and pinned it to the pattern for when I’m ready to tackle making this bra.

Shelley

Next it was the Pin-Up Girls Shelley pattern. Again, the depth looks good, but it’s not perfect. I marked where the seam lines fell under the muslin, and I marked these right on the muslin. It’s now pinned to the pattern and ready for the alteration stage as well.

After Shelley, I did the Pin-Up Girls classic pattern.

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You can see I also wrote the pattern name and size on the muslin.

After I finished with my Pin-Up Girls, it was time to try a few of Merckwaerdigh’s patterns. This is where I had to do a re-do.

BHST2 B too small

I started with BHST2, but you can see the cup is too small in this size for me. It just won’t meet all those seam lines under it. I quickly traced off the next size up and that one was fine.

BHST2 B

This one gives me all the depth I need, and I’ll alter the pattern to fit my shape. Again, I marked on the muslin what changes I’ll have to make and pinned it to the pattern.

For some reason I didn’t trace of the CUPL-16 pattern I have. I must admit I was running out of steam by this point.

I did trace off my Sewy Rebecca. I wasn’t sure about the size,  and the size I chose was actually too big. So my next muslin of this will be smaller.

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You can see here the cup is clearly too big.

I was really tired after all this, but have a great place to tackle each of these bras now – one at a time.

Happy creating!

 

A New Cardigan

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It was way back in February when I heard about this cardigan. Andrea from Satin Bird Designs posted about it on her blog saying how she was thinking of making it. She also said how it was rated best pattern of 2013 on Pattern Review. I picked up the pattern right away – it’s McCall’s 6844. Like Andrea, I lost weight and had to give up my favorite cardigan. I bought one a year ago, and didn’t love it like I’d loved my old, now-too-big one.

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But this cardigan looked charming. I knew I’d love it the moment I saw it. I made View C, the same one shown on the front.

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Here’s my version. I bought this material back in the spring, and am so glad I did. I actually didn’t have quite enough when I cut it all out. I had to go and buy more material for the facing, and unfortunately this material was gone. Since I couldn’t find the same material for the facing, I decided to do some color-blocking.

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Here’s the underside of the facing showing. I really love that pop of deep color coming out! It was between this and bright red. I decided on this because there’s a black design in it, where the red was a solid color. I thought the black would pull the two materials together more.

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This shows the detailing on both materials closer up. I really love this!

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Here’s the jacket from the side. I love the peplum on it. It fits perfectly too. I pulled out my sloper and compared the length for the waist and for the arms. I thought it would be a good way to finally use my sloper.

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And from the back. I really love this cardigan. I wore it to work the day after I finished it and had that wonderful experience when someone asks, ‘Where did you get that?’ Isn’t that the best feeling? And I’ve worn it a few times since that first day, and every time I wear it, I’m asked where I got it. That really is the best feeling.

My cardigan is looser fitting than the model’s on the front of the pattern. I’m two different sizes, so I chose the larger size to make it not as fitted. I thought about what I wanted and didn’t want a close fitting cardigan. Hers doesn’t look like it would wrap around her much at all. It looks quite fitted. Mine does wrap around a bit at the front, and I like that too. I have a few RTW cardigans that aren’t designed to wrap around the body at all, and barely touch at the center of the body. I was told they’re called Toppers. I prefer a little more coverage and being able to wrap myself up if I feel chilly.

As well, the pattern is listed as Petite, but the pattern pieces are all marked where to shorten for Petite. I made the size without adjusting for petite although I did shorten the arms where they were marked to shorten for Petite.

I like this pattern so much, I’m entertaining View B or D next.

I’m adding a P.S. to this post. I had a request for a picture of me in my cardigan. So, here are a couple of pictures of me in my cardi.

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You can see in this the overlap action in the front. I wanted this. I’m always cold, and like feeling wrapped up.

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And the back. I love the peplum. It a cute flirty touch.

Happy creating!

One More Fantasie Clone

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I was so close on that last bra. And at this point, I do have a drawer full of bras I can wear that mostly fit. But I must admit, I am like a dog with a bone when I want to figuring something out – and getting that perfect fit is my objective.

I’d recently read something very encouraging on another blog. Anne from Clothing Engineer posted about being on the Make Bra team.  Annele, the founder of Make Bra said: “An older lady, who was running her own lingerie business only few years ago, told me that you need at least twenty test fitting sessions before the bra pattern is ready to go.” You can read about it here. Oh, that was such a relief to read. Then I’m not obsessed, or a terrible sewer. Whew!

Thankfully, at one time I’d bought the same Fantasie bra, but one size bigger. I think it was one size bigger. For example, what would be the size difference between a 34D and a 34DD? The only charts I have are from Bra Makers Supply, and they don’t do the double letters.

Back to the bra. I’d cloned it, and then after wearing it for a little while, gave it to a friend because I found it a bit loose in the upper cup. However, I was thinking this size would be perfect  with the firmer Duoplex material. All the materials are from Bra Makers Supply.

 

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Here it is. I think it shows the cups are a little fuller than the last bra. And just because the cups are fuller, it doesn’t show here how the bridge is really narrow at the top. The channeling and wires completely overlap at the top of the bridge. And the bridge goes all the way back!

As much as I loved the thin ribbon on the original Fantasie Vivienne, I couldn’t find anything in a beige or tan, only white. So I went with some bows I had for this bra.

 

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Here is a picture from the inside to show the wires and channeling overlapping at the top. It’s a bit tricky to sew this. What I do is sew the first channel down completely, and then the second channel is only sew down completely at the top and on the inside seam.

On the outside seam where the channelling pieces are overlapping, I do not sew it completely. There’s only maybe 2 cm opening where it is not sewn on the outside of the channeling. It has to be left open on the outside there so the wire can slide through that lower channeling.

On the top piece of channeling, I sew up to the outer seam line on the lower channeling, and it makes an attractive inverted V-shape in the stitching on the front of the bridge.

 

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And here is the back. I reduced this to make it a 2 hooks and eyes set again. This is how the original RTW bra came, so I wanted to do that again. It’s a wonderfully comfortable bra – and the bridge goes all the way back except for a tiny bit at the very top after I’ve been wearing it for a bit. It looks like I’ll be shortening my wires by 1/4″. But at least I’ll still have a full bridge.

Now I have a pattern that really works for me, the next thing I want to do is to take this pattern and use it to figure out what size I’d want to make in all my other patterns – the Sewy Rebecca, and the Pin-Up Girls Shelley and Classic, and the Merckwaerdigh E-BHST2 and E-CUPL 16.

And now I have one more pattern in my collection to try – Norma from Orange Lingerie just released a bra pattern! The Marlborough bra pattern. You can find the pattern at Orange Lingerie’s Etsy shop.

Happy creating!

Fantasie to Reality

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So, last week I told you how I was altering my cloned Fantasie bra. And now I’m going to tell you how I made it a reality.

I did have a few questions. One was how to adjust for the smaller wire. I thought back to my Craftsy moulage-sloper making class. One of the ways they measure is to turn the measuring tape on its side and follow the line of the pattern that way. I don’t find that the easiest — usually I’ve just moved the measuring tape along by about 1/2-inches. My friend, who also recently made a sloper, said in her class they had a flexible ruler they were using and you just bend it to fit the line. That sounds nice right about now. But what I have is my measuring tape, so that’s what I used.

First, I’ll show you my custom bridge and cradle.

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Here you can see the little bit of the cradle that comes up above the wire line – that’s the flat spot adjustment I make.

Now onto some measuring, and I measured everything!

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This photo shows the easier of the measurements I took. For the photo I had my scissors hold the top of the tape against the top of the wire. Then I carefully followed the curve of the wire without any gaps. Basically, I made a new cradle and compared that to the original cloned one. And I measured everything to see where the changes needed to be made.

To be sure, I double measured everything. And after that, I made up a mock cup and cradle and sewed them together. My main concern here was making sure the cup still fit smoothly into a now smaller cradle.

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And here it is. It all came together quite well. There was one really small adjustment I had to make in the cup, maybe 1/8-inch.

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You can see in the photo above the cup needed just a touch of an adjustment. So, it was all looking good, so onto the good materials. All my materials were from Bra Makers Supply.

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Here’s my Fantasie made a reality. The cups are a full cup, not the modified ones I’d been making. And the bridge is a full bridge. There are black foam cups behind the lace/duo plex cups to fill out the shape, but they are not part of the bra.

There were a couple of changes I made to the bridge.  I narrowed the bridge, because the original was too wide for me. On this one the two pieces of channeling for the wire overlap at the top. And the rest of the bridge is still my custom bridge.

Some of you might remember, I had attempted a Fantasie Vivienne before. The lace can be a bit confusing as to which way it goes on the upper cup. And the last time I attempted it, I got it wrong. As that bra was a clone and didn’t have any of the adjustments, I decided it didn’t fit well enough to bother fixing it and continuing. This time I got the lace in correctly. Whew. Another relief.

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Here you can see that narrow bridge. It’s just the right width for me, and thankfully just enough for the channeling to fit into as well.

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And here you can see where the lace ends before the strap tab. That was a little tricky, but I got it to look neat.

You might have noticed there are no bows on it yet. I want to follow the same style as the original bra. They used two very narrow ribbons of coordinating colors to make the ribbons and I want to find some black and pink and do the same.

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You can see here the beige and white ribbons together, as well, how much wider that bridge is at the top. This style of bow is such a pretty and unique feature, I’d like to add that too, so I’ll have to go shopping for some thinner ribbon than what I have.

And lastly, the back of the bra. Again, on this I simply cloned from the original.

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The only thing I didn’t do the same on this is the original is only two hooks and eyes, and I made this three.

So, does it fit? Perfectly? Almost. It looked great when I put it on, but after wearing it for a little bit, I noticed the bridge does not go all the way back. Almost perfect. My best to date.

I think the difference in fitting is the materials I used. I’ve mentioned before that a lot of RTW manufacturers don’t use duo plex, but rather something more stretchy. I used duo plex for the cups. This gives me more support, but likely took a little of the depth out of the cup too.

There’s another slightly different Fantasie on the horizon.

Happy Creating!

 

A New Fantasie in the Works

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I get emails from a few online bra stores. They’re full of bras, so full of design ideas. Does anyone else do that?

One came from HerRoom recently with a video attached. The video is part of a fitting series, and was talking about how the ‘center panel’ should fit. The center panel is what I’m familiar with as the bridge. I watched to see what they’d say because I’ve had so many issues with bridge-fitting. You can watch the video here.  A wonderful little extra right under the video is a transcript of the video. Here’s the part that got my attention:

“The center panel should rest firmly against your sternum. If it doesn’t, your bra cups are not deep enough so you need to go up a cup size. If your center panel is significantly pulling away from your sternum, you probably need to go up several cup sizes and down a band size.”

I knew a lot of the information in the video, including the information in the above quote, but it did give me reason to re-think my bra-making bridge issues. I had followed the instructions in the Bra Makers Manuals and ‘Frankensteined’ my bras that didn’t go all the way back to the chest wall. I did this more than once, and one of those times was with the teacher here. And even doing that. I did not get the fit I was looking for. After what felt like too many attempts, I’d given up. It was suggested I just use a lower bridge and that does work. But I’m not really one leave things alone or give up. I wanted to find a solution to this.

So, with that very persistent personality trait, and the video stirring up questions in my mind, I thought about the RTW bras I have that fit with the bridge going all the way back to the chest wall. The Prima Donna bras I have do not do that. Neither the Deauville bra, nor the Duchess bra achieve that aspect of fit, but the Deauville is somewhat better. However, because they didn’t fit to begin with, I didn’t even look at either of those to help me in drafting a new pattern.

The one RTW bra I have that does achieve this fit level is the Fantasie Vivienne.

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This picture is from the internet as, at the time of this writing, I had not made a Fantasie clone yet. The cups on this RTW fit perfectly AND the bridge does go all the way back. But the bridge does not fit properly – it’s too wide. The wire is not the correct size either. Although it’s the closest I’ve ever found in a RTW bra. It’s even got Vertical wires. Those wires are one size too big. And too big is still too big.

I was thinking, if the bridge not going all the way back is a cup-depth problem… and these cups fit perfectly… then I can use the cups. And I’ll fix the bridge and the wire size. I’d want to fix the bridge, even if the other bridge fit better because I have a custom bridge that also adjusts for a flat spot. I’d also want to use the cradle I made for the Vertical wires I use.

Out came the pattern drafting paper, and I started to re-draw my custom bridge and cradle, starting with my wires. This method is described in the Bra Makers Manual.

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Here’s the first steps of that new bridge. You can see how it is the same shape as the Vertical wire. I felt like I was off to a great start here. I know the cups fit, so at this point no changes to them (at least not yet). And with the cups fitting, the depth should be spot on.

I now have a cradle and bridge drawn, and the bridge had the custom aspects added, and I have cups that fit. I’m feeling pretty confident at this point.

Now to address how some of the changes I’m making affect the cloned pattern I already have. I’m using a different wire and it’s not the same height as the wires that came in the RTW Fantasie.

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You can see the difference in the wires here. I have to say, although the RTW wires are a bit sturdier, they are a LOT less pretty to use.

I measured the difference between my new custom bridge and the cloned one, and took that amount out of the upper cup as well. It was only a 1/4-inch, so not a huge amount, but that excess still has to go somewhere. The next adjustments to make will be to the lower cup to help it fit into a smaller cradle.

As this is getting quite long, I’m going to sign off here, and next week I’ll have the conclusion of alterations and hopefully a perfectly fitting bra, with a full bridge that goes all the way back to the chest wall!

Happy Creating!

 

A Few Summer Projects

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I bought some gorgeous material earlier this spring intending to make a summer skirt. Thankfully I can say I got it finished in July. There may not have been a lot of July left, but at least it wasn’t August or later before I got it done. I must confess here, I gravitate to making bras – just love all those bits of lace and bows!

Back to my skirt. It’s such an easy skirt and so incredibly comfortable on a hot day. The idea came a couple of years ago when I bought some elastic sheered material to make sundresses. I made two, and honestly hardly wore either one. I guess they just aren’t my style. So the next summer came around and I knew I’d likely wear them just as much (hardly at all). So out came my scissor and I cut both off into skirts. I’ve had so many compliments on both skirts, and honestly, they are so light and comfortable on a hot day.

They have the simplest of waistbands – I used the sheered elastic that was already done on the material. So no waistband needed. And for me, that helps in fitting. The material comes with a cute lettuce edging, which I sew on again.

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Here you can see I’ve completed part of what will become the waistband, and I’m in process of finishing the remainder of the waist. Once that’s done, I simply used an overcasting stitch to finish it and keep the edges from fraying.

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Here’s my newest skirt on Catherine. I’ve said it before, Catherine and I don’t have the same shape when it comes to hips and waist. I do have a small waist, but not like hers!

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Here’s a closer picture of the lettuce edging on the waistband.

One other little project I had was a repair. I live pretty far north and it get bright early and dark late in the summer. I like it dark when I sleep, and there are times I’m heading to bed and it’s not dark yet. So I wear a sleep mask. It’s not one I’ve made, but I am thinking of making one. This one is one I bought and it had Velcro on the elastic to adjust it. Last week the Velcro decided to get stuck in my hair! That was not fun. So, it went in the pile of ‘to do’ sewing. I ripped out the stitches that held the old elastic, which was rather spent, and used some of my nice soft plush band elastic. It’s so much nicer and softer than what it had in there before.

While I was sewing up this little project, I noticed the sad state of my sleep mask. Yup, it’s definitely time to make a new one.

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Here’s my mask with new elastic.

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Here you can see where I inserted the elastic on the side. I was already thinking I’m going to replace this, so didn’t even bother with those few remaining black threads. Tsk, tsk.

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And the back of the sleep mask. Oh, I love that nice soft elastic and not getting my hair pulled by Velcro. Now to find a sleep mask pattern I like.

Happy creating!

Beige Lace Overlay

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With this Beige Lace Overlay bra, I feel I have my beige bra wardrobe complete. I have enough of a basic color to now branch out. I won’t be able to do that tomorrow, but hopefully soon.

Here’s my latest bra – the Beige Lace Overlay:

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This style is the same as the last beige bra I made. I was so happy with the lace on that bra, I decided I’d do the same again. My thinking was if the lace is different, then it feels completely different – at least to me. (smile)

All the materials are from Bra Makers Supply – including the pattern, but it isn’t the original pattern. What I’ve done is taken the Classic Full band pattern and altered it significantly to fit me. I’ve altered the cradle, the bridge, the upper cups and the lower cups, drew my own band based on a Prima Donna band. Heck I even alter the wires.

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Here’s a close up of the front. You can see here the lace doesn’t go all the way to the top of the upper cup – but lays over the upper cup. It’s a very pretty option for this style. You can also see how the upper cup curves with the style. This style is described in the Bra Makers Manual as a Fake Demi Cup. It still gives the coverage of a full cup.

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And this photo is just because I really love adding bows to cover the strap seam. It is such a pretty feature.

I won’t show the back or sides of this bra as they are the same as what I usually do – so no changes there. However, I do want to show you something else I thought to share with you. I remember when I first started making bras. Knowing where to cut the channeling was always a bit fuzzy for me. It was rather hit and miss for a while. Sometimes it ended up under the upper band elastic, but sometimes not. I would just zigzag over it in those cases. it still worked, but wasn’t quite as pretty as I was wanting. Then I figured out a way to do it.

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You can see here I’ve folded my upper band elastic over to where I will sew it, but it’s not sewn down  yet. It’s not even pinned yet. Then I lay the channeling over that. This gives me a clear visual to use. I’m holding the channeling here for the picture because it just didn’t want to lay flat. Pins come in so handy, don’t they?

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And once I see where I want to cut it – where the top of the channeling will lay under the elastic – then I cut it. I also cut it on a bit of an angle. I follow the slope of the band rather than cutting it straight across the top of the channeling.

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And here you can see how neatly the 3-step zigzag finishes that channeling. I hope this helps.

One last bit here, do you remember this?

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I’m in the hunting-gathering stage for this project. I’m collecting laces to put together to make my own version of this beautiful bra Amy Relf made. You can read my post on it here. I LOVED this, and have the picture beside my sewing desk to remind me to work on this.

Happy creating!

 

 

 

The Other Apron

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A few weeks ago I posted about an apron I’d sewn for a friend. And she loved it! I just finished the second apron. And it’s just as cute and original as the first apron was. The apron is a pattern I bought on Craftsy. It’s a pattern by So Sew Easy. She has a number of free patterns I’ve been looking at, and will try at some point. The apron pattern is the Reversible Apron – I’ve got you covered!.

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The colors of this material are so beautiful. I really enjoyed working with them. And I’m saving all the little bits for that quilt that I’m going to sew one day.

I did make a few changes to this apron. The first change was, it’s not reversible. For that reason, I won’t review the pattern, except to say I do like the pattern, and the instructions were clear up to sewing the two sides together, which I didn’t follow or even read. For that reason, I don’t feel it’s fair to give it a review. But for how I used it, I had no problems.

Another change I made was to add a bow to the front. When I looked at the apron front, I just felt it needed something. My dress form, Catherine, is so small in the waist and hips that the apron ties go right around her and the ties made a bow in the front. When I tied the apron at the back as it is above and will be how my friend wears it, there just seemed to be something missing. So I added a bow in the same glittery black fabric.

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Here’s one of the sides. I love these adorable pockets! They are so cute. They’re from the same material I used for the front panel on the first apron, but smaller. They’re perfect for pockets.

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Here’s a close up of the pocket. The folksy theme is so charming to me.

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Here’s the other side, using a different patterned theme for the pocket.

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I think I mentioned I love the musical theme to this fabric. I’ve played piano since I was 4 or 5, so it’s bringing a couple of my loves together. And in such a pretty way.

And the last change I made, which I didn’t do on the first apron, was to leave the overlock stitching showing. I decided I liked how it looked on this one, and let it be part of the design of the apron. It doesn’t show up very much against the batik material, but really pops out against the black glittery material.

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Happy creating!

A Black Plunge with Butterfly Effect

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I must say, I was inspired recently after reading Madalynne’s blog where she planned to do a bra-making marathon. (Way to go, Madalynne!) However, I live a very different lifestyle than Madalynne – for starters, I’m married, and have two sons. I rarely get days to myself without someone needing my help or assistance. But I was inspired and thought I’d see what I could do too.

So bright and early Saturday morning, I cut out 2 bras. One in black with some gorgeous black and pink lace. The second bra is a beige, with a pretty beige and tan lace. Both sets are from Bra Makers Supply. I was off to a good start. Then reality began to impinge on my plans. I had laundry to catch up on, and my dear hubby and son arrived home after a 4-day camping trip. But I did make some progress.

The black bra was the first one I worked on. And it was coming together very well. Until I hit a bump. Perhaps because there was so much activity happening around me that wasn’t usual activity, whatever the reason I made a faux pas after attaching the upper band elastic to the outside of the strap. I didn’t notice it either. It wasn’t until I had turned the strap over and was trimming the excess, and had a brief thought as my scissors snipped the material, ‘that looks folded’. SNIP.

I’m not sure how I folded excess material under the elastic, but I did. And then I cut it! Ouch. Well, I know me too well; I’d never accept that. I knew I wouldn’t wear it if it had a flaw. So, out came my trusty seam ripper, and I carefully started removing all the stitches from the strap. First, I removed all the stitches from the elastic I’d just sewn on. That wasn’t too bad. That was just a zigzag. But the side with the trim on it had both zigzag and 3-step zigzag stitches that had to come out.

I got it all done, and attached a new strap. I re-sewed all the elastic and trim to the outside of the strap, and then carefully turned it and matched it up and sewed the 3-step zigzag. And it looks good. Whew.

Okay, enough drama. Here’s my black plunge with a Butterfly Effect.

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I think the Butterfly Effect is more pronounced when the style isn’t a Plunge style, but I’m still very happy with it. It’s a very pretty way to add some lace to a bra. And I do like lace.

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Here’s a closer view of the Butterfly Effect. You can also see the foam cups I have behind the cups. The way a Butterfly Effect is done is a bit unusual. You start to sew the cups together, stop, add the lace, and then finish sewing the cups together. This effect is shown and explained in detail in the Bra Makers Manual.

The little pink bows that match the pink so perfectly were from the Bra Maker’s teacher I had here one weekend. (I’ve had the lace in my stash that long.) She had a big bag of bows and I think I might have drooled when I saw it. She let me match up a few bows to lace I had. Thanks, Jane.

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Isn’t that adorable? I took the picture before I had sewn the bows on.  They’re just pinned on at this point. But what a great color match.

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Now on this one, there are two pins. One is holding the bow in place for where it will go. the red-headed pin is to make sure I remembered, once the bra was all sewn, which strap I’d messed up. Looking at this, I’m really pleased with how well I repaired this faux pas.

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And the back of my newest plunge bra. I may tweak this back a bit and bring the shoulder straps in a bit. They’re not falling off my shoulders, but they do look quite far apart when I look at the back. Something for me to think about.

And that second bra I cut out? Well, it’s all cut out and sitting on my desk just waiting for me to have a few hours to myself to begin it.

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The good news is, it will wait.

Happy creating!

 

La Bella Luna

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I hope all my Canadian and American readers both had wonderful holidays. Canada’s birthday is July 1st, and America’s is July 4th. Let me tell you, there’s one week a year where most of the continent is celebrating.

I just finished the cloned bra I made for a friend of mine. and it looks so pretty. Prettier than the pictures show. And she LOVED it. She exclaimed when she saw it that it was prettier than the original. Well, that made me feel good!

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She chose Ivory & Pink for her colors. And they really do look so nice together. All supplies came from Bra Makers Supply. Here’s a close up of the set we bought at Bra Makers Supply.

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And the back of  her bra.

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It all went together quite smoothly. Cloning is easier than pattern adjusting!

There were a few things I noticed on this bra that were a bit different than I was expecting. One was on the original bra, the manufacturer only used 1/2″ band elastic – if it was that wide. I was really surprised when I saw it and how narrow it looked. I didn’t measure it, but honestly, it looked like the same as the upper band elastic. I changed that to 5/8th width which is more supportive and should be more comfortable.

Changing the size of the elastic meant I had to add that extra bit to the pattern I traced. That wasn’t a problem, but there was not room for all that elastic under the cups. So, with bated breath, I followed the advice Beverly gave in a recent blog. She explains how to cut the elastic so it will fit under the wire.

I read her blog and thought, ‘that makes sense’, but then when it came time to actually cut the elastic! Oh, my! What a terrifying feeling. I had just spent hours sewing this bra… and it’s for someone else… and she paid for all the materials… and I’m about to cut it! Can you feel the drama there? Well, I can tell you I’m so very thankful it all turned out.

But I didn’t just cut the elastic. That was too big a step for me, so I took a preparation step first. To help me feel more comfortable cutting, I folded the elastic over the seam where the cups were sewn into the cradle – that same seam the channeling will be sewn onto – and then traced on the elastic where I could feel the seam underneath the elastic. Sorry, no pictures of that. I was busy holding my breath that it would all work out! Then I simply cut along that traced line. It all worked perfectly. When I do this again, I’ll take pictures to show you.

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On this slightly blurry picture (Sorry, technical difficulties), you can see the elastic is much wider at the lower bridge than what can possibly fit under the channeling. Trimming the elastic is a great option.

As well, on the above picture you can (barely) see the seam in the bridge. That was another one of the surprises I found on the original bra. Most patterns I’ve come across have the bridge cut on the fold. This original bra had a seam in the bridge. So I added a seam allowance to the bridge, and seamed both the duoplex on the front of the bra and the sheer cup lining.

Again, not super clear, is the lower cup of this bra is lined and there is a vertical seam in the lining. It shows up much better in this photo of the original bra.

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That seam line that is visible is actually in the lining, not in the lower cup. So I copied that as well.

The only finishing touch I’d still like to add are a couple of bows to cover the strap seams. They always make it look so much prettier.

One last surprise on this original bra was the lower cup fabric is stretchy! That one doesn’t even make sense. When dealing with cups larger than a C why would a manufacturer use stretchy fabric? It’s not supportive. So one negative is my friend said she could use a little more room in the lower cup. It fits and she’s still thrilled with it, but we’re thinking of changing things up for her next bra. I’m thinking the Shelley bra will be perfect for her.

And lastly, my friend, Jan, really loved her apron. She wanted a picture of her wearing it for the blog. Not only her wearing the apron, but she grabbed a spatula from the kitchen to make it look like she was busy cooking too.

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Happy creating!