23.6.14

My favourite use for Liberty fabric

The bras I make from Liberty are my favourite ones to wear.  Here are my new ones.

1st set:  Bra pattern - self-drafted (Basic, Liberty 3).  I think that the embossed straps are a luxurious detail.  I used a cute, frilly elastic on the decollete. The matching knickers are also from a self-drafted pattern (cheekies with a CB seam).  The stretch lace on the side front panel was much stretchier than others that I have used for this pattern, so I compensated by making some tucks in the front woven panel.  I inserted elastic as a trim into these tucks to turn this flaw into a design feature!




The 2nd set:  Bra pattern - self-drafted (based on foam cup pieces from Gabi bra).  On this one, I did a better job of changing threads to match each stitching line - only one line of stitching on the inside of the bottom band elastic has been sewn with the wrong colour.  I wanted to use white straps, but did not have any.  Instead, I covered the straps in matching Liberty fabric.  The knickers are also self-drafted (based on draft by Shin, red variation).  I added extra width to the front panel to account for the fact that I cut it in a woven instead of a knit.  The frilly elastic on the knickers is very girly.


  

The next bra is an old one that I never blogged, using the same pattern as the 1st set.  I had bought a pink elastic kit, and was disappointed that the elastics were weak / had perished when the kit arrived, so I scrambled around and ended up using 3 different colour elastics.  It all turned out okay and this has been my favourite for a while now.   Only I put it in a front loader washing machine on holidays, which must be harsher than my old top-loader, and elastic "threads" in the power mesh have broken out.



I wanted to get 3 sets sewn over a long weekend (I really needed new bras as all the wires are popping out of my old ones), and was determined to limit myself to proven patterns.  Only then I couldn't find all the bits I needed to match this lovely purple lace.  So I decided to make a strapless bra, to eliminate the need for some of the elastics / findings.  Only then it didn't work.  I used a purchased pattern, and then modified it a bit, based on my own patterns, and the result was a disaster.  There were tears of frustration as the weekend ended.  I then pulled it all apart, hacked a bit, put it back together.  The resulting bra is a little on the skimpy side.  More of a strapless demi-bra, if such a thing exists.  I didn't make matching knickers,  as I am still hoping to get a decent bra from this lace before I use the leftovers in knickers.


21.6.14

Fehr Trade VNA Top

The VNA top by Fehr Trade is one of the most fun things that I have sewn up lately.  The design lines are really cool.  With a pattern collection as large as mine, it is not often that I come across a pattern that is totally new, but I had nothing like this one in my collection.  It is a knit top, so can be completed relatively quickly and easily, but I did learn some new techniques along the way, making the actual sewing of it interesting as well.

I was a pattern tester for this project.  I never like to use my "good" fabrics for pattern tests, because it is a testing process after all, which means that the completed projects I show on my blog can be a little on the ugly side, but this pattern is such a great scrap buster, that I got to use some of my favourite scraps.  My first version is made from different scraps of rayon knits.



I found that my first version sat up too high on my neck.  I dug out my t-shirt sloper for comparison (okay, so sensible people would have done this before they made up the first version).  The front compares pretty well, but the back shows that I need to do a significant square shoulder adjustment.



I made a second version for a friend.  I made hers a straight XS, but using the same square shoulder alteration that I would use for myself.  The neck sits much better how, although the armholes still slide to the inside of my shoulder bone..so maybe a need some sort of prominent shoulder bone adjustment...I think I'll just cut the shoulders a littler narrower next time, making it a little more like a tank top.  This version was made out of merino jersey scraps left over from my cardigan.  I narrowed the binding so that I could use it as a piping between seams as well.  I didn't use the instructions second time around.  I had a lot more trouble with the v-binding on this version, and after the event, I realised that I forgot to stabilise them with squares of interfacing....won't forget that again!


 All up, this is a fun pattern that I am sure I will use over and over again.


19.6.14

Paisley Tee

I had to leave work early today to tend to a sick child.  The silver lining was that I got in an hour at the sewing machine, to make a t-shirt totally out of remnants.


My inspiration was the Solvo Tunic from Anthropologie.



My starting point was the Lisa Top from Stylearc.  I rounded out the V neckline.  It is a different shaped neckline to my inspiration top, but that would be easy enough to change next time.  It only occurred to me afterwards that I could have used the horizontal seam line between the two fabrics to put in an unobtrusive dart.  Next time.  I didn't notice the rolled up sleeves on the inspiration top until my daughter pointed them out, but I would not have had enough fabric to do that anyway.

Last time I used this pattern, I made it up in a cotton lycra and was disappointed with the fit of the sleeve / shoulder.  The fabric I used today was a drapey rayon knit, which is much more forgiving.  I don't usually stabilise the shoulders in my knits (in spite of all that advice...but really, in the past I haven't found it necessary), but the top photo shows the shoulder - sleeve seam slipping off my shoulders, so I guess it wouldn't have hurt this time.

Tonight I wore it with jeans, and felt comfortable wearing it....a quietly casual top that fills a gap in my wardrobe.  It does look better with blue jeans than the khaki shorts, but I was trying to show it compared to the inspiration version.