Bra Challenge: Week 3 and Week 4?

As much as I’ve been trying to, there just isn’t enough time in a day to get everything done. It’s been a bit difficult to make time for everything and everyone but mostly, writing. I finally decided to sit down and write and make everything and everyone wait until this is done. The one thing I’ve reserved time for is bra making. I really want to gain bra making skills so I’ve been pushing myself to make the time. Overall, I feel more confident in my ability of tackling the construction process every time I finish sewing a bra. I’m currently working on the Florence bra from Seamwork Magazine and as soon as it’s done I’ll share it. In the meantime, I would like to share two of my completed Watson Bras. I truly love this bra for it’s longline style and it’s comfort. It also provides some support but I wish it offered more. No matter though because I plan on making a collection of many colors.

SAM_2666For this Watson bra, I used shiny milliskin in cantaloupe from Spandex House. I really like the fabric as it’s a soft feel and it stretches firmly and softly at the same time, it’s hard to explain but really awesome. I used glittered bra straps from Etsy shop Porcelynne Fabric Boutique. The straps look cute but they are a bit itchy. The  rings, sliders, black glittered picot elastic I used on the band, cradle, neckline and side arm was also purchased from the Etsy shop Porcelynne Fabric Boutique and are all 3/8″ in width.

To line the cradle, I used 40 Denair Tricot (which I have a lot of) which I purchased from Fabric.com. I do think it works well to stabilize the cradle even though it is a bit hard to work with because it is so slippery. The Watson instructions suggests to baste it in place but I don’t because it hard to work with and it also saves me some time. For the bands, I lined used powernet as lining and milliskin. Overall, I really liked the finished bra but next time, I will try and match all around the elastics and probably try to use two layers of milliskin on the cradle and one side of the cups.

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One other thing I would like to mention is that I will never again order from Spandex House because I feel like they ripped me off. They charged me $17 just on shipping without letting me know what the total cost of my purchase would be. I ordered two other one yard fabrics so my total purchase would be $30 so I thought I’d spend no more the $10 on shipping but I thought I would receive an email with an invoice but nothing. Not even a phone call. I called them myself to find out how much shipping would be and when they told me, I wanted to cancel but they told me it was too late because they had already shipped it out. I was furious but polite. I emailed them expressing how upset I was and no one even cared to acknowledge my email as I didn’t receive a reply. I would recommend trying Spandex World as I didn’t have this issue at all with them and they carry milliskin or even FabricDepotCo.com. It’s the same type of fabric and for about $1 more. It will save you in shipping costs so it’s worth to try them instead.

SAM_2672Now back to bras. For this next one, I used stretch lace for the cups, cradle and band which I already had in my stash. I purchased this lace from Fabric.com and used yellow picot elastic for the neckline, side arms and cradle. I lined the cups and cradle with 40 Denair tricot and lined the bands with powernet. All the notions, again, I purchased from Etsy shop, Porcelynne Fabric Boutique. This bra is very lightweight but very comfortable. The only thing is I wish I had at the time, yellow bra straps but I didn’t so I used black instead. It’s not very matching but I really love the comfort of this one, no itching at all.SAM_2673 SAM_2680 SAM_2684 SAM_2690

These are my Week 3 and Week 4 shares of the Bra challenge and I’m more motivated than ever. As I mentioned before, I’m currently working on the Florence bra from Colette and I already love this bra even though I haven’t worn it yet. It’s a simple bra and I find it to be similar to the Watson except it doesn’t need hook and eyes. Also, you have the option of adding channeling and underwire for added support.  If you have time to, I recommend reading this months Seamwork magazine as it’s focus is lingerie. They mention a lot of helpful tips and even list some great supply resources to look into.

An update on the BurdaStyle challenge I’m participating in, I did sew a dress but it did not come out as I hoped because of my fabric choice. I have to take in a minimum of 2″ all around so I plan on finishing this simple dress sometime this coming week. I did do a January BurdaStyle pattern but I have go back and change the whole thing to fit, ugh! Oh well. As soon as I can, I will post on the blog the finished outfit. Thanks for reading and I hope you have an amazing Valentine’s Day!

Pattern Review: DIY Silk Tank from BurdaStyle

Oh my gosh I love this pattern! I’m so excited about completing this tank. I’ve been wanting to make this for some time now and I finally made the time to make it happen. I used fabric I had in my stash and it has such an awesome soft feel and great drape. The pattern is made with only two pattern pieces but you end up cutting four pieces for each. I totally recommend this pattern for any newbie learning to sew.

SAM_2579The fabric is a bit slippery but I really only had trouble cutting it (I probably need better scissors) and not really sewing. I used a stretch needle on the sewing machine hoping it would not cause any visible hole punctures and it worked great. The pattern requires stay tape for the neckline and I didn’t have any on hand so I used some Tricot fusible interfacing. Not sure if it won’t workout but for now, I’m just so happy the tank came out awesome. Now I need to make a skirt that will go with it. I will be looking through my pattern collection and see what I find.

Pattern Description: Silk Tank 07/2013 #103B from BurdaStyle

Pattern Size: I used size 42 and made not alterations to the pattern.

Fabric: Mauve Stretch Charmeuse, about 1.75 yards, I purchased it from OnlineFabricStore.net. They have a good amount of color selection.

Repeat: I will be making this again. I really want one in a shimmering gold color and another in a print lighter weight fabric.

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SAM_2573Is there a pattern you would love to make is all kinds of colors? I think this is a good pick for me. Thanks for reading!

Bra-A-Week: My First Bra!

Yay! I’m so happy I finally gave bra-making a try. I was hoping to have the bra finished by Sunday but took me a bit longer. I took my time sewing this bra because I really wanted to understand each construction process and overall I feel more confident in making another bra. This is just a test fit bra so you will notice I didn’t use all that great fabric, elastic and straps but I’m still proud of the outcome.

SAM_2561The pattern I used came along with the book Bare Essentials Bras Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design by Jennifer Lynne Mathews-Fairbanks which is a basic bra pattern. The instructions in the book were good but the only thing they really failed to explain was what direction the pattern pieces need to be cut from the fabric. As I sewed the bra, I followed along with Beverly Johnson in my Craftsy class, Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit. I really enjoyed sewing along with Beverly, she made every step seem so easy and it was. I think the hardest part for me in sewing the bra was the top-stitching of the channeling but I’m not too worried about it because I know as I continue to practice these skills, it will only get better.

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The pattern that came with the book is a very basic bra but has similar components as the Pin-up girls classic bra Beverly was using in the class. Beverly does mention most bras have the same components and so I’m glad this pattern worked out. One thing I did not like is that the band of this bra is really narrow, at least it seamed that way. After sewing in the channeling, I noticed the channeling would stick out a bit. The bra surprisingly fits very well in comparison with what I have been using in RTW. I did not add the underwire to the bra because I did not want to waist the wire on my test pattern but I think it would not make a difference because of the type of fabric I used on the cups. I used 40 Denair Tricot in white for the cups, the center front band and the side front band. I also interfaced the side front band and the center front band with fusible tricot to give some stability. When I was ready to sew the cups onto the band, the cups were too flimsy so I cut out strips of fusible tricot interfacing and sew strips onto the armhole  and the neckline of the cups. It really made a difference in sewing them to the band and when adding the elastic. I made a few mistakes as I tend to do since I still consider myself beginner sewer but as always they turn into a learning experience and wouldn’t have it any other way. This bra is my first bra of the Bra-A-Week challenge and so happy I got to start.

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I’m participating in the Watson Bra Sew-Along  which is starting this Thursday and I’m out of some materials. I guess I will have to start a bit late. Anyone who is nervous to start sewing their own bras should know this is so much easier than trying to fit a basic top pattern. 100 times better! I will be talking about my fitting troubles in another post. No matter what, I will continue to conquer these skills in bra-making and I hope to be of inspiration and motivation to others.

New Year and Joining Bra-A-Week Challenge

December-26-yippee-cartoonIt’s so crazy how long it’s been since the last time I blogged. Christmas really messed me up. Just like the prior year, I decided to make handmade gifts for my closest family members. I was hoping to make simple things and have them all done within 1 week but yeah right. It took me up until Christmas day to finish so a couple of people did not receive their gift wrapped. I wanted to show case all of my gift makes but I didn’t get a chance to. I ended up making 6 knitted beanies and 4 girls ponchos. I did not expect exhaustion after they were all finally done. As every year, I regret not making these gifts ahead of time. I realized my planning really sucked. Well, I have a better plan for 2015 and I feel very good about making it happen. I will start early this year and I already have ideas of what to get started on but I will leave it at that because I need some time off from thinking of Christmas gifts.

brasI’ve been working on a few projects since the New Year started and I can’t wait to share them. I hope to have something by next week. Something else I am really excited about is bra making. Emerald Erin from The Sewing Life Adventures of Emerald Erin is starting a bra-a-week challenge and I am totally in. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to start sewing bras and I thought I would make 1 a month minimum but Emerald Erin’s bra-making challenge sounds even better. I hope to become a better sewer and an awesome bra maker too. Can’t wait to share my bra makes.

On another note, this month of January I plan to go back to work which means I’m job hunting. It’s been tough living on just one income and it is time to go back to the workforce and practice my accounting skills. I’m kinda excited about that too because for a long time, I wanted to work as an accountant or bookkeeper. I did have a bookkeeping job before I became pregnant but the hubby and I decided I would be a stay-at-home mom for two years after the baby was born and then go back to work. My baby turned two in October and so it’s time to make some money to help support us. I’m nervous and excited in finding that awesome job. I plan not only to be interviewed but I will also interview employers. I need to find the place that deserves me and they deserve. It would make it such a better world. I will have to manage my hobbies, family and work somehow but I know I can do it. I’ve always loved to multitask. I wish me luck!

 

 

Pattern Review: Girls Poncho Simplicity 1263

Simplicity1263 I’ve been wanting to make a poncho for my girls for a while now. My first encounter to a poncho sewing pattern was at some point in the summer so I was not all ready to make one yet but I wish I would have because then my girls would have had one ready for this cold weather. It doesn’t matter when I had it done, what does matter is that I finally made one and finished it in less than a day. This pattern is an easy-to-sew pattern and it’s true. I would recommend it to a beginner sewer and anyone who needs to make quick gifts for little girls.

I am planning to make these poncho’s for 4 little girls as their Christmas present. I will challenge myself to have all four done within two days and no later. I have so many gifts to make, plus I want to make myself a dress for Christmas. I have so much to do but I really only have 3 days a week to really dedicate time to making these gifts. We’ll see what happens. As far as this pattern goes, the instructions were clear and easy to understand and the images showing the steps are really helpful. I recommend to always read your pattern instructions before you start sewing so you have a clear understanding of what the pattern instructions are asking you to do.

Here are some details:

Pattern: Simplicity 1263, View A (I purchased this pattern at Joann Fabrics when it was on sale).

Fabric: The pattern recommends double faced fleece or fleece, I used Blizzard fleece from Joann Fabrics. 1 yard of the main fabric and 1/2 a yard for the ruffle. The pattern also recommends three 1″ buttons and 7/8 yard of 5/8″ wide fold-over elastic. I did not have 5/8″ wide so I used what I had which is 1″ wide. I think it still worked out fine.

Difficulty Level: Easy (Great for beginner)

Adjustments: None, fits great as is. I used the small size for my 2-year-old. It’s a little loose but I think it fits her great for at least this year.

Would I make this again? Yes, will be making another for my little girl and 4 others for Christmas gifts. My due date is for next Sunday, December 7, 2014 (or at least I hope).

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I had some trouble getting photos for the finished girls poncho, my little girl did not want to take pictures. Then she became instantly happy when my older daughter gave her the phone to play with. May not be the best pictures but I’m still happy with the outcome.

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Overall, I feel that my sewing performance for this project is an A-. I did make a mistake by using a wider fold-over elastic but I’m still very happy with the results. What would you grade me or better yet, any suggestions on how to improve? Let me know if you would consider making this poncho for any little girl in your life.