Friday, February 20, 2015

Pin-Up Girls Linda Bra #3 and Undies

I finally got to making another bra. The first two bras I made weren't perfect. But, they are still so comfortable, that I don't wear any of my other bras any more. Which means that they will quickly wear out if I don't  move along with more bra production.


Pin-Up Girls Linda Partial Bra Band

I made a size 38B with alterations. I may actually be a 40A, but the pattern stops at 38A, which uses a size down underwire.


The main alterations I made with this bra were to use a narrower bridge and to take about 1/2" out of the top of the lower cup. I also added 1/2" length to the bra bands.

The fit is almost perfect. It's now a little snug, but that may be because I figured out these changes by pinning out my second Linda bra. I've worn that bra quite a bit and the fabric may now be relaxing out a bit. I'm going to wear my new bra a bit to see if the fit improves after a few wears. If not, I may have to add back some depth on the lower cup.

I re-read the Bra Makers Manual and finally noticed the importance it placed on finding the right size bridge before you sew. It suggests to cut little templates and try it them. My previous bras had bridges that are too wide, which means that the bridge gapes and doesn't lay flat against my chest.

If you are about to sew a bra, I would suggest:
  1. Find the right underwire size by placing test ones (or make a template out of cardboard)
  2. Find the right bridge size by making little templates out of thin cardboard
  3. Measure your breast or a bra that fits to find the right lower cup depth
Just those three steps will probably save lots of time in fitting.

For Christmas, I got a few fabric sets from Bra Makers Supplies to make more bras (yay!). This one is the Black Cherry with Rose/Black Lace. A black findings kit had to be purchased separately.

wrong side
The black findings worked really well with the red-ish 'black cherry' fabric. The band fabric was a double knit instead of the power net I used with the earlier bras. It is much thicker, so I did have some trouble sewing near some of the seams. I think I prefer the power net.

The lace placement was probably the hardest thing! I spent about an hour trying to figure it out. Overall, I'm really happy with my placement. And, although I usually don't use the little bows, the bra looked like it wanted it. The bra is almost too pretty!

Once again, I'm really impressed with the pattern and resulting bra.

But wait! There's more! I had leftover fabric and lace, as well as some extra picot elastic that I had bought, so I decided to make matching panties.

The pattern is the Free Lacey Thong by Fehr Trade.

wrong side
The pattern was super simple and it was a quick sew. I had some scrap jersey left over to use for the crotch lining.

I made a size large, since that is the size that is supposed to fit someone who fits a Burda size 40 (which I do). The fit is perfect and I can't believe how comfortable they are. I'm not sure how often I'll wear them, but they will come in handy when I'm wearing a dress or skirt that I don't want weird underwear lines with.

Who new making underwear and lingerie could be so fun and easy?!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fixing and Mending: Liberty Alma Revisited

I finally went back and fixed my Liberty Alma. The sleeves were too tight and I ended up not wearing the top as a result.

This is what the top originally looked like:

I cut the sleeves at a much shorter length. The sleeves now sit above my biceps where it was definitely too tight.

I finished the sleeve hems with bias tape, which is on the inside of the sleeve.


I feel like I have a whole new top now. It was such a simple fix, I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. I guess it was hard to cut into my pretty Liberty fabric and not know if I was actually going to make things better or not.
The adjustment worked and the shirt is much more comfortable. I work it to work yesterday and my arms didn't feel like they were in horrible pain. Yay!
Do you ever go back and fix your sewing projects? How do you find the motivation to do it?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pajama Party! Simplicity 8088 and 7071

I've been meaning to make pajamas for myself for a very long time. My existing pajamas are in shreds and I really need new ones. To be fair, I was also waiting for a walking foot. I finally have one that fits my machine, so I'm back to sewing knits with ease!

I made a top using Simplicity 8088 and some pants with Simplicity 7071.


  • Knit fabrics from my stash
  • Thread

I had a lot of knit fabrics sitting around in my stash. None of them were quite right for everyday wear. The pants fabric was too thick to be a top. The top fabric is so thin, it's practically see-through. So, not great for a "wear out of the house" top either. But, the fabrics are perfect for pjs!


Simplicity 8088 and Simplicity 7071

Not only was the fabric from my stash, but so were the patterns. I wanted some quick and easy sews after working so hard on my Sewaholic Granville.

Simplicity 7071

This pattern has a nice simple pj pant pattern. I like the top patterns that come with it, too. But, they didn't look like they would work as well in knit fabric.

I was working with a very limited amount of fabric, so I made size Small and made the pant legs narrower (they are still wide enough for pjs). I also shortened the legs about 2" and took another 2" off of the top. If I didn't take off that top 2", either the elastic would have been up around my boobs or the crotch would have been around my knees. So, I'm really glad I didn't waste the fabric there.

Simplicity 8088

This is a simple kimono sleeve top pattern. I usually don't like boat neck tops (bra straps like to peek out and it bugs me), but since I won't be wearing a bra with pjs, it works fine on a pj top.

I added cuffs to the sleeves (copied from my Sewaholic Renfrew view C). I'm glad I did, because I really like how it turned out.

The fabric is so light, it was really hard to turn over for the neckline. Plus, the opening seemed too small.

So, I cut off my original neckline and sewed a large rectangle of my dark grey knit fabric to right side of the opening - kind of like doing a welt. I then slashed the rectangle open, pressed it to the inside and topstitched it in place. Then, I trimmed the excess close to where I topstitched. Here is what the inside of the neckline looks like now:

I'm really happy I took the time to make some pajamas. It was fun to use up my stash and try some vintage patterns.

I'm so comfortable, I feel like watching a movie and eating popcorn in my new outfit.

What do you think? Do you know of any other fun and interesting pajama patterns?

Also, how do you motivate yourself to do those projects you never get to?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sewaholic Granville

I'm finally finished my Granville buttondown shirt! I was sick and so it ended up taking me a little longer to finish than I wanted to. I'm done now, so I'm excited to share it with you.

  • 100% Cotton Oxford Shirting
  • Muslin Interfacing
  • Thread
  • Buttons

The oxford shirting is nice. It is smooth and has some body. It doesn't drape as much as a lighter shirting fabric.


Sewaholic Granville


My last post went over in detail all of the fitting alterations I made.

I also made one alteration for styling. I added pintucks along the front button band. There are four 1/8" tucks per side.

Before I made the tucks, I cut out the front pieces while leaving a few inches of excess on the top, bottom, and centre of the piece. I then marked them out where I them to be in chalk.

I don't have a special pintuck foot. What worked for me was to use my blindstitch hem guide and put my needle in the left position. This made the tucks an even 1/8". After I made the tucks, I went back and cut out the shirt fronts.

My swayback alteration and waist and hip alterations worked very well. I love how well this shirt fits back there. This is usually one of my biggest problem spots. I might have to narrow the back shoulders a bit more, but it looks pretty darn good.

I had a lot of fun sewing the collar, cuffs, and placket. They took time, but were a fun challenge. Well, except that my machine was having trouble over the parts with many layers and the bobbin thread was not being pulled up properly all of the time. When I got to the second cuff (after I did everything else, of course), I found that the right combination was using a walking foot and a size 90/14 needle.

I have the same shirtmaking book that Tasia mentioned and was using it for tips.

The book is Shirtmaking by David Page Coffin and I recommend it to anyone who wants to make fancy dress shirts.

I definitely feel spiffy in my new shirt. I think I'm finally learning how to make shirts fit. Time to go back to some of my other Sewaholic patterns and make them even better!