Category Archives: dress making
Bra Making pt 2
Here is the long awaited update to Bra Making pt 1, it doesn’t take that long to finish once you get onto the elastic.
My kit came with two different widths of picot elastic luckily I picked the right one, the slightly wider one goes along the bottom band the other one along the outside of the straps.
Each bit of elastic has two rows of Zigzag stitching, the first row is to switch it to the front of the bra band then you flip it up on the back and do the other row, the first one is normal zigzag the second is the three stitch zigzag.
The elastic is only pulled tight across the bottom of each cup, and you cut the bridge fabric so that you can stitch that straight.
You do much the same thing for the top of the band and up the strap, the only bit that need pulling is the side of the cup.
The neckline trim doesn’t have to be elastic but the stuff in my kit was, and to be honest not my cup of tea once it was installed, it was a bit too big.
Once the bottom band has been completed, but before the strap elastic is fitted you check the band for size against the hook and eye band, trim off any excess on the band. You fit the hardware to the back strap then attach that to the back of the bra, and attach the bra strap to the the elastic back.
attach the hooks and eyes then you have a finished bra.
before you finish off the channelling for the underwires you try it on for fit.
The cup fit was pretty good, it was slightly tight along the top cup edge and the bottom band was also a bit tight, I was thinking of going up a band size but after asking the class instructor she suggested adding 1/2 to 1 inch to the back band piece and adding a wedge to the top edge of the upper cup.
So I’m going to try it and see how these alteration affect the fit.
If you are thinking of taking the Beverly Johnson class I would recommend it, I would also recommend getting her pattern and the kit that goes with it, I have enough fabric for about four bras, I will need to get extra elastic and findings. There are two reasons for saying this, if you take her other classes this is the bra pattern Beverly shows you how to alter and also I bought another kit from eBay and the main cup fabric is horrible and I think the the lace is unsuitable for bra making as it is slightly directional (one way) it is as if they have got a list of things needed for the process but have the necessary knowledge to select the right stuff. If I hadn’t bought the other kit I wouldn’t have known any better and probably not finished the bra.
I bought my official kit from b’ware they are Swedish website which accepts PayPal as well as credit cards the kit arrived very quickly.
New Dress For a Funeral
Denise had some definite ideas for our funeral attire, black with a teal or pink accent colour. I didn’t actually own any totally black clothes, if you read to the end of this post I still don’t.
I had a general idea what I was going to make, then I went to Mood Fabrics and came away with a totally different idea., while browsing the aisles I came across some black eyelet fabric and with that a dress was imagined.
Black eyelet fabric over teal for the bodice and plain black skirt, I only had a week to make it so I wanted something not too complicated. So I pulled out Gertie’s Ultimate Dress book pattern sheets and tape measure so that I could work out what size I needed to go up to on the waist, it appeared to be the next size up, so I traced out a new bodice pattern and did the SBA on it and I traced off the new skirt pattern, originally I had decided on the same skirt as for Liz’s dress circle skirt with box pleats but I didn’t have enough fabric for that so I went with the three quarter circle skirt instead.
Simon found the ‘Teal’ fabric it was probably the most expensive fabric I bought in Mood, it was silk Crepe, at this point I was thinking about lining the whole dress with it so got 3 yards, I still have just over 2 yards to do something else with.
I knew silk was notoriously hard to work with and also ‘luckily’ realised I couldn’t line the dress with it because of the bodice darts so I interlined it (thank you Gertie)
I cut out the eyelet fabric first then used that to cut out the silk, it worked quite well that way.
I basted the two together and put in the darts, and the side and shoulder seams.
I attached the skirt, there was still something missing the skirt and bodice seemed like two seperate entities, and I wasn’t sure how to bring them together, after discussing it with Simon I decided to use the skirt fabric to bind the neck and armholes.
With a 22inch zip in the back and a small hem done on the sewing machine it was finished with 2 days to spare. I’m assuming that with the holes the islet fabric stretched out of shape as the top didn’t fit as well as the muslin, but I was very pleased with it.
To finish it off I wore my pink and teal shoes. It could probably have done with being taken in at the waist a bit and the front darts could have been more dartier.
New rain coat for Charlie
Charlie is our dog you have probably noticed him photo bombing a few of my recent pictures, he has a heavy winter coat, to be honest I don’t think he needs it to keep warm, as he has his own quite heavy fur coat, his winter coat is to keep him dry in the rain, he doesn’t like to get wet and runs around like a mad thing once he gets indoors.
His store bought coat has a waterproof outside and fleece inside, I had to put an extra hole in it as we use a harness instead of a lead and collar.
Charlie’s new coat has a waterproof outside and t-shirt material on the inside, I didn’t bother with the collar, as Charlie doesn’t appear to be keen on it.
Basically all I did was to fold charlie’s existing coat in half and trace round it. On both sets of fabric then I cheated a bit and using Pritt Stick stuck both pieces of fabric together, I stitched reflective tape around it, then realised I had to undo parts of it as the elastic to go round his back legs should be stitched into edging tape and used my button hole foot to make the hole for his lead to attach to.
This has been sitting cut out on my table for about 3 months it was surprisingly easy to put together.
Tanya Whelan – sew many dresses
Just a quick post to show you the equivalent dress from Tanya Whelan’s dress book so you can compare it with the one from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress book
Here are the two back peices Tanya’s one is on top it has an extra shoulder dart, which Gertie’s didn’t it is also drafted without the seam allowance which is why it is over slightly. After wearing both dresses I think that the arm holes and back neck fit better on Gertie’s but the rest is better on Tanya’s.
Here are the dress pictures, I bought the fabric from Olympia earlier in the year, it was a lot heavier than I thought it would be.
Two Projects – craftsy
I’m working on two projects at the moment, both craftsy classes and both ‘trouser’ projects.
The first class is Kenneth D. King – jean-ius Reverse engineer your Favourite Fit the second is Pattern design – the pants Sloper with Suzy Furrer.
This is just an overview of my two projects, I’ll do a review of both classes at a later date.
I have a very nice soft pair of Levi jeans which are getting so thin that they probably don’t have much more wear in them. When I saw this class I thought it might be ideal for copying them. The first thing I did was to wash the jeans to make sure that they had ‘shrunk’ back to size. I decided on which side to copy, I went to the side without the knee hole :-).
You stitch around the seams and copy on to organza, from the organza you then copy to paper, and then from the paper to fabric.
here is the first version of my jeans.
I have quite a few of the Suzy Furrer Craftsy classes, I haven’t yet finish one but I keep trying. So far I have created my first ‘pants’ sloper and made it up in an old sheet, this might be too thin to get a correct reading on the pattern but i’m relatively happy with the fit, here is the first version of the Trousers.
I don’t know about you but I feel the trouser sloper has a very 80s vibe, Simon thinks it is the high waistband.
I’ve managed to take a whole load of photos, so expect some more posts coming your way…..
Dress for Liz part3
Every thing is coming along quite well and I am still on schedule, which is always a bonus. Simon was gigging most of the weekend just gone so I took the opportunity to get some major work done on the dress.
I started by tracing the pattern for the skirt, I traced the largest size, knowing that as it was a circle skirt if the waist wasn’t large enough I could just cut a bigger hole. If I was to do it again I might do it slightly differently, but as we were under a tight time fram this seemed easier.
I used the circle skirt with box pleats, it gives the skirt a bit more body and a lovely shape even without a net under it.
I must admit seeing it sitting there in its poppy glory I did wonder what we had done and what sort of mess I had got Liz into, but once the bodice was attached it looked a lot better. I padded up my dressmakers dummy with a 2 meters of fleece and used the test bodice as a guide.
I cut the bodice on the fold after remembering to remove the ‘seam allowance’ and I also added 5/8 to the front as it looked a lot shorter than the back.
I ran the stay stitching along the neckline as per the instructions in the book, but just to be sure I attached some 1/4 inch tape I got from my Mum which I assume was for that purpose.
I decided to line the bodice with some cotton lawn I had laying about so that the inside would look nice, I used my overlocker on the skirt.
After both peices got a good iron, and using more pins than usual I attached both peices of the bodice together.
I basted the skirt to the bodice, I needed to take about an inch off the top of the skirt to get it to fit, which is why I should have put more thought in it as the pleats no longer line up with the dart on the bodice.
First dress fitting.
The fabric I added to the front I didn’t need once the skirt was added and there were some gaping on the arm holes on the back.
I’ve pinned almost an inch out of the back shoulder as the front looks good. You can see on the picture below that the front is now too low.
I have taken the bodice apart and done the two alterations. We decided to leave the rest of the issues, like the pulling under the bust, which might be fixed by the other two changes, to be honest I didn’t want to fiddle with that bit too much as I was worried I might make it worse.
More next time….
Dress for Liz part 2
Hi, we completed the fitting for Liz’s dress on schedule, I’d given myself one week to fit the bodice and a little under three weeks to make the dress itself.
It is surprising how you go into these projects with one thing in mind and at the end decide on something different.
In the end I made four bodices in total, the first one just proved what I had thought, that a FBA would be needed, it was also a little small round the waist, which I’ll come to in a minute.
I decided to add a 1inch FBA which made the side dart huge but as I was going to need the extra space across the waist I decide to rotate most of the extra into the underbust dart, otherwise I was going to end up with no shaping at all under the bust. Liz tried this one on Monday, the fit seemed almost perfect apart from some pooling at the center back at this point it didn’t have a zip in it so this was guess work.
As I was pretty happy with the fit at this point I decided to make up the bodice of ‘our’ choice, it was at this point I discovered that when I had traced off the front bodice piece I had missed off the cut on fold, oops. This explains why the original bodice had been way too small I had taken out 1 1/4 in out of the front.
So that week I then made up the bodice with a 1/2 FBA,
put a zip in the one Liz had already tried on and take a 3/4 inch horizontal sliver out of the back
and also made up the style I thought would look best.
Liz tried them all on and it turns out that the second bodice with the center seam and the 1inch FBA looked the best, so that is the one we are going with.
Dress for Liz
I am quite excited about my next project, I have offered to make a dress for one of my best friends to wear to her nieces wedding at the beginning of July, when I say the beginning I mean July 2nd, and Liz and her family are leaving for Wales on the June 30th which leaves me with only one month.
We have picked the fabric and have had one bodice fitting, as Liz is a completely different shape to me I have a whole load of fitting issues I haven’t had to tackle before.
Issue one she has a lot more chest than I do, FBA here I come, and proportionally her waist is larger, but her hips are in the same size range as her bust.
We have decided on a pattern from Gerties new book Gerties Ultimate Dress book (well I think I talked her into it, but I’m not sure) it’s sort of the boat neck dress, but not, Liz isn’t keen on higher neck lines, so I was thinking the V neck from the basic pattern, with either a circle skirt or a pleated skirt.
Liz is very keen on the 50s type vibe in a dress, I also figured that at the bodice was going to be the hardest for fitting issues I worry about the skirt later.
The first bodice I made up was 14 on the shoulder and bust and 16 on the waist, it fitted beautifully across her shoulders and upper chest but needs about two inches added across the bust as it bought the side seams forward.
For ironing out the fitting issues I’m using the basic bodice as I think this will be easier to fit initially and then the changes can be transferred to the pattern I want to use.
Anyone that has actually read through my blog, (and I thank you for sticking with it) will have realised that I do have a lot of problems finishing Items.
Anyway recently I was reading a blog that I follow, loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.se and it appears that this lady has an even worse problem than I do, that could just be because she has been sewing and blogging longer.
She has made a decision to complete one Unfinished Project a month and she also wants to work out why she lets things become UFOs, I’m fairly sure I know why I let things become UFOs I do the initial fitting and either I don’t like the fabric after all, or it doesn’t look the way I envisioned it. There are a couple of other reasons, I can’t be bothered to do the hand stitching, or I’ve jumped into another project, the next big thing.
So starting this month I also want to complete one unfinished garment a month, but also I want to pledge that I will finish any stitching that I start before going onto the ‘next big thing’
There are a couple of things that I want to get into the habit of doing, one of which is not waiting until I have something finished to show you. If I can blog as I go hopefully there will not be long stretches of time between posts and also it should be extra encouragement for my UFOs.
Do you have trouble finishing projects? How do you deal with it?
Thanks for reading….
Denim Skirt -Simplicity 7995 (sort of)
After cutting out two pairs of birkin flares, I had just enough fabric left to cut out a denim skirt, I knew I wanted one with buttons up the front, but I also knew I had this pattern Edit(Simplicity 7995) a size smaller thatn I usually wear, but it was stretch fabic that should work fine.
I have already made view 3 so knew that the skirt came up ridiculously long on me, so I started off by shortening it by 7 inches which should get it just above my knee, similar to the picture on the pattern envelope. I picked view 1 because I wanted the top stitching, but as you can see the front panel is cut on the fold, which I didn’t want, I wanted buttons not a zip, so I cut it in two peices and cut two lengths of fabric for the button bands.
The skirt was pretty easy to put together, having made the Birkin flares made it easier as I had already had a lot of practice with the top-stitching and putting on the buttons,also I used the same method of attaching the waist band as that in the Flares.
There was discusion with Simon as to whether there should be top stitching on the side seams, we agreed that it would probably look better with out, I had been toying with the 6-7 inch one you get on jeans but thought it might look iffy.
Here is the finished look