Thursday, August 21, 2014

Copy from RTW

This summer I bought my first bra in what must be over 10 years. Since I started making my own bras, I only bought sports bras and made all the “regular” ones myself. I went to a shop to buy a new sports bra and then I saw this one. I tried it on, it looked good and fitted very well. End of story: it went home with me. It’s a Freya bra and I wear it regularly, it’s very comfortable. (the picture is from the web, not me)


My bra making journey started because it was so difficult to find good fitting bra’s in my size: I’m full busted but have a narrow frame. According to most size charts I’m a C80 and a bra measurement tool from one of our countries lingerie selling stores even puts me in the B85 size range. Those sizes don’t fit me. It’s more like E75 or F70 that is the right fit for me. Which might sound huge, and perhaps it is, but it does not feel that way. A bra that fits well does make you feel good, no matter the letter/number in the size. Though it’s more easy to find bras in my size now, they usually are in the higher price range (or maybe I’m picky).

Loving the shape and the fit I wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t try to copy this bra. I used silk organza to trace the parts of and then transferred them to paper, checked the seamslines and trued them where necessary.

In the past days I didn’t feel like sewing other then the bra, the weather here is like we plunged into fall (it’s cold and rain showers that give the feeling of it being October), I’m inclined to start winter sewing. This is the result of my copy from RTW:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Glad I made a muslin


I’m in a mood for skirts, have sewn two recently (one not blogged about yet). Last year I bought Vogue 1389 for the skirt pattern. I like the jacket too, would only sew a real lapel collar but the skirt had a special appeal to me. Learning how to draft patterns does not mean I’m not using patterns any more, some are intriguing to learn about the way they are drafted. This pattern is one of those.

It has two main pattern pieces if you don’t count the facings and there is no side seam. That seam is drafted a bit more to the back . The upper part with the darts is a combined front/upper back pattern. Difficult to trace between sizes, therefor I took the size by hip measurement. I was inclined to use my fashion fabric (a teal linen) but decided to make a muslin first. Glad I did. Barely enough room at hip height but way too much fabric in the waist. I have no idea (yet) how to solve this. I might just take my skirt draft and make something similar. I just can’t do without a vertical line somewhere. I’ll keep the muslin and take it to class when it starts again in September, see what my teacher thinks.

On a side note: the instructions are pretty difficult as they have you sew the dart till halfway, then turn and fold and stitch the remaining half to the facing, which is attached prior to sewing the darts. No way I’m using a facing in a muslin phase, I’ve sewn all the darts from beginning to end which worked fine. When you read this and want to try this pattern using Vogue’s instructions, I would advise a muslin, as there is no way to alter at the waist later.




Saturday, August 16, 2014

StyleArc – Kellie top – how a summer top became one for fall

Not the best photos and not the best top I ever made. For being a relatively easy knit top I had a lot of problems with it. The journey of this top started when visiting my sewing friend Joana. She had made this top and I tried it on. Despite being a size smaller than I’ve used before for StyleArc patterns, the fit was quite good, so I used her pattern.

When it came to construction I was working on my own again. The top has an inner part that also is the facing for the neckline and armholes in the sleeveless version. It has been a long time since I used such a construction, and I was rather tired, so I thought I’d better use the order of construction as in the pattern instructions. Wrong decision, for the sleeveless version they are incorrect. If you want to do the neckline and armhole facings the side seams have to be left open till the last moment. That is what I forgot and what Joana told me when I asked how she had constructed her version.

I left the top alone for a few days and reworked the neckline (why is it that topstitching with the coverstitch always unravels easily, except when you want to get rid of it). I would advise some interfacing in the neckline as mine was gaping. I’ll leave it as is now but next timeI will possible use another neckline finish and I will make it a bit deeper at the front. About an inch I would think.

I had more fabric and decided to insert the sleeves. Easier than unpicking my serged seams So instead of a summer top this now is my first fall-top. Despite my struggles I will use the pattern again.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two garments drafted

These two garments were almost finished when I went on holiday, but there was just not enough time to finish them then. I came back with a a lot of ideas in my mind and almost started something new. But…. I promised myself to not start too many things and keep procrastinating finishing. Thus I finished these and there is nothing in the ufo pile (not counting the muslin for the jacket).
The top is drafted to my own measurements and basically a knock off from an Ottobre pattern. It’s an easy and versatile top that I now have in 4 variations and I love these on a hot day. The fabric I bought in fabric in the trip I made there with my sewing friends. After serious consideration I decided to buy it. It’s a lovely, lovely silk and feels so very soft to the skin. I said to my daughther that we should always be wearing silk. It took a bit of tweaking when cutting out as I had only 1 meter. The facing is cut in two parts and the binding for the armholes was cut off-grain, but certainly not on the bias as I would have wished.
I’m quite happy with the fit, only the bust dart looks a bit low,

The skirt was drafted after an Knip Mode skirt from the August 2013 issue.

I closed the pocket seams in the end, as they were standing off. The photos are not so clear and show a few wrinkles but it is a comfortable skirt.

Seeing the photos I like the top better with the tan color.
A few construction photos:
The under collar of the top was cut on the bias and I “favored” the seam of the upper collar. It makes for a nice edge to the collar.

For all seams I used French seams. The first pass I made with the serger and very thin Serafil thread which adds hardly any bulk. I don’t always do seams of tops like this but this fabric was worth it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back from the UK

I’m back from a wonderful holiday in the UK.

My husband I did a lot of walks in the first week, we visited Pauline and Mike in their new home, spent an afternoon with sewing friend Vivien and her husband and in the last week our children joined us. We had the most gorgeous wheather, my face and arms haven’t been as tanned in years. Home was very far away for a few weeks, as was blogging and blog reading for most of the time. It was good to take a long break.

Before I resume my blogging about sewing (a sleeveless blouse and a skirt were almost finished before I left) a few pictures of the last weeks. Pauline is holding samfire in her hands that we picked on the shores and ate that evening. I can so understand she has limited time for sewing at the moment.

DSC01646 DSC01612 DSC01599 DSC01549 DSC01519 DSC01499 20140721_123613 20140721_115606 20140718_150739 20140718_141444 20140718_122320 20140710_105657 boot

I am aware that during these weeks my country was struck by the horrors of the Malaysian airplane being shot down and so many people lost their lives, most of them Dutch. The horrible aftermath that is still happening. I have no words for this. Only wish the violence in the world would stop. So many areas of conflict and war. Horrible.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Blogging Break that is. I decided there was not enough time to work on the jacket prior to our holidays. I only prepared all pattern pieces, also for facings and lining and will not start cutting and sewing till I’m back from a  holiday in the UK.

Hope you all have a lovely summer (or winter in the southern hemisphere) and enjoy it, sewing or otherwise. I’ll be back in a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jacket muslin

Remember my struggles with fitting a jacket last year? I lost count of the amount of muslins I made, the tweaks I made to patterns to get it right. These struggles with fit have led me to learning pattern drafting (better). I had some basic knowledge of it from a few lessons in the past, but never did work on it properly.

I’m convinced now it is a good approach for me. Last week I drafted a pattern for a jacket, the same idea of jacket I made  last year. I wearit but after all the work I’ve done on it I still think it could be better. It was made from a Burda pattern which I altered and altered…

The muslin of my self-drafted pattern. Could not find shoulderpads which will help with the fit in the back, but otherwise I’m pretty pleased with the result. Remember this is also not interfaced or otherwise stabilized. Just muslin fabric. Taking it to class tonight to hear what my teacher thinks.