I have a tutorial up on the Sewcialists blog today for Lingerie month.
I’m no expert, but cloning a bra got me a much better fit on the first try than using a bra pattern.
This is a post about a bra.
I grew up with the English dubbed version of Sailor Moon. It was my favourite show and I would watch it endlessly. This was before we could download shows or stream them. I taped tons of Sailor Moon and ran home at various time from school to watch. I was 15/16 when I first started watching. We got the internet around the same time and I discovered that the English dubbed version was pretty different from the Japanese version. Eventually I read the manga and got to watch the Japanese version. I bought Sailor Moon everything and became a hardcore fan.
At 15/16, I bought all of the Sailor Moon mini palaces including the larger moon kingdom palace above. Little chibi Sailor Scouts were a favourite of mine. Sadly, I have nothing left from this era. I loved this stuff, though.
I wasn’t a popular kid growing up. I was a bookworm. Naturally, Sailor Mercury was my favourite. She could kick ass and still get her assignments in on time.
There’s something about the Sailor Scouts for me. The idea of being a young woman and being assertive and strong resonated with me. The show gave me a lot of strength and repaired a lot of my feelings about vulnerability. I wasn’t going to be the victim anymore. I started standing up to bullies and really became the strong woman I am today.
I have been watching the new Sailor Moon Crystal series. I actually really love it. I’m not that far in, though, because the wedding distracting me. I need to catch up!
The bra’s colours instantly reminded me of Sailor Mercury along with the oversized bow. I named her Sailor Mercury and she’s a beauty and strong. I put the bigger bra lower so it wouldn’t be bumpy under whatever dress I am wearing.
This is my best fitting bra yet. I will be tweaking the fit a bit more and more as I make more, but I’m pretty satisfied with this one. It’s super comfortable to wear and has a nice shape and lift.
I’ve gotten mostly rid of the bulk problem in the bottom seam. There is the tiniest of bumps left. I’m going to ask about sheer nylon stabilizers when I am at Bra-Maker’s Supply in a couple of weeks. This should help reduce the bulk in the seam, but make sure I still get the appropriate support.
For this bra, I increased the lower cup a little more and increased the bottom seam of the upper cup. The seam between the two lower cups now sits where it should at the apex. Before the seam wasn’t quite there and definitely contributed to an odd shape. I think for the next one I will increase the upper cup just slightly, because there is still a tiny bit of flatness in the seam between the upper and lower cups. I also increased the band by a little more than a 1/4 on each side. A little bit more than a 1/2 inch in total. I can’t quite remember the amount to be honest. That’s why I am being vague. That was just enough to make it a lot more comfortable for me. My other two are a little bit too tight. I can wear them okay, but after a day my sides pinch a little bit. This one, though, perfection. A bra should be so comfortable that you barely notice that you have it on.
I did a much better job with the straps and hook and eye than I have in the past. The stitching is still not perfect and my machine skipped a couple of stitches, but it’s getting there! They look kind of wonky in the picture above and don’t appear to sit correctly, but on me they scoop perfectly down to the hook/eye and sit very flat. I don’t think I will be working up my nerve to show you a picture of me in these bras. My day job would have a fit about that if it ever got back to them. The back looks great, though, take my word for it.
I did a much better job of making the bridge look nice at the top of the cups. I extended the channeling and used that to cover the raw edges. It also nicely lends a bit more structure to the lace at the top and will help it last.
I also lined the lace! I used stretch mesh with spandex from BMS. It’s definitely going to preserve the stretch lace.
Speaking of the lace, I took the lace off of a nightgown that I had used for a cosplay project last year. The upper part of the nightgown wasn’t needed so I cut it off. The large bow also comes from the nightgown. I made the smaller bows on the straps using the fork method.
The teal blue fabric is duoplex and the band is white power net. Elastic findings are a kit. All these are from BMS.
The insides of my bras are starting to look at lot better. I would still like a way to make the raw edge of the lace look better though. I will be asking about that at BMS.
The final touch I made for this bra was to officially make it Sailor Mercury:
On the right strap at the back, I embroidered a tiny Sailor Mercury symbol to let my geek subtly shine through. Now I have to make sure my strap is showing! ;)
This is my favourite bra yet. I’ll probably be saying that for sew many bras in the future! I have planned out three more bras in terms of fabric combinations and named two with the help of Instagram! I need your help for the last one. :)
Ruby: Black duoplex/elastics/powernet with red lace. Thanks to Maris for naming this one!
Black Raspberry: Black cherry duoplex, dusty rose lace, black power net/elastics, and grey ribbons. Thanks to Elizabeth for naming this one!
Help me name this one!
Fuschia and lilac lace from Arte Crafts, fuschia duoplex, and lilac findings kit.
Update: The name was randomly chosen! Thanks Nicole for Desert Sunset. :)
Now that the wedding is over, I can write about sewing again and get back to reviewing patterns, sewing favourites, and musing on sewing in general without the focus of the wedding for every project.
Of course without any time constraints, I haven’t been sewing! I’ve been hanging out with my husband. :D
I have some deadlines coming up for some challenges. The Outfit Along ends at the end of the month. I haven’t even muslined the dress and I am only five inches into my Embrace knit wrap. Along with this, I could be taking part in the Bra-a-Week challenge (I have some bra fabrics on the way!) or the Sundress sew-a-long (I haven’t even settled on a pattern for this one)…or sewing up the three projects I have already cut out… (two Jenna cardis and another M6696). Nope. Hanging out with my husband and cuddling him like crazy.
Lucky for you, I have a project kicking around from the end of May to blog about! Phew!
I got the fabric for my dress back in May during a thrift store visit and basically made the dress in the same week. The fabric is actually an Ikea duvet cover and had the stripes on both sides, which means double the fabric. There were two colourways and I kick myself for not picking up the blue/green colourway as well. I call that thrift store regret. I often leave things behind and then dream about them later for weeks. I usually go back the next day in these circumstances, but the thrift stores get cleaned out of the good stuff pretty often. I never got the blue/green colourway, sadly. :(
I’ve always wanted a horizontal striped dress, but I wanted multicoloured crazy stripes like the duvet. I love all stripes, but really love the multicoloured stripes. I also want more orange and yellow in my life. They are colours that just make me happy, but I know they don’t look right next to my face so the other colours worked well to keep the yellow/orange away from my face.
Really this dress was all about the stripe location and I spent about two hours deciding on where to place things before cutting it out. I held it up to my body. I looked in the mirror. I wrapped it about like a toga. I twirled in it. I cocooned myself in the fabric and thought long and hard. Okay, I spent more time playing than anything else. :P Do you ever just play with fabric? I can’t be the only one?!
I made the dress using Simplicity 1459 for the bodice. I left the collar off the dress and simply sewed the facing to the wrong side of the bodice and turned and pressed. In order to not have the facing issue that I had with my gingham version, I used fusible webbing to prevent the facing from turning up at the back. I also used it in a couple of locations at the front to ensure the facing laid flat. It also really helps maintain the shape of the neckline since the fabric is super soft. For the skirt, I cut out a rectangle and just gathered the skirt for a basic skirt. I made fabric-covered buttons using the orange and pink stripes so they were consistent in all the buttons. I didn’t want to worry about the buttons turning about and the stripes not matching up correctly. I stripe-matched on the side seams and the front bodice. I think I did an okay job. It’s off by a millimeter here or there, but overall pretty good. Like the gingham version, I finished the armholes with self-made bias tape. I also put in a short side zipper, which I installed by handpicking, and side-seam pockets.
I also made a matching band for a new hat I got:
Hahha, such a nerd.
I chose to have the white stripes go across my chest and the orange stripes across my waist. This worked perfectly and gives the dress a wicked shape for my body. I’ve been wearing this dress constantly since I made it. It’s extremely comfortable due to the lack of a waist band.The fabric is so soft, too. It’s 100% cotton, but the cotton feels brushed and lovely. It’s like wearing around a comfy duvet cover all day…wait… it’s literally that. ;)
I wore the dress for Me-Made-May, our Stag and Doe, and for our minimoon in Niagara Falls. A T-rex invaded my personal space to tell me she liked my dress.
The only issue with the dress is that the neckline doesn’t quite sit flat at my cleavage line when I am sitting forward. It’s a little baggy there and the v-neck sometimes gaps. It doesn’t bother me, though, since it still provides enough coverage that I don’t need to worry about flashing people. Just means I need to stop slouching!
Here is my much-delayed photoshoot:
When I was growing up, I never had an idea in my head of a wedding. I never had it in my head that I would get married at all. If my Barbies or dolls got married, it was usually a lesbian wedding and involved unicorns and dragons. It usually ended in complete destruction of the world I had set up, because fairy tale weddings always had the bride carried away by a dragon, right?
I’m happy to report that my actual wedding had no such conclusion. It was perfect.
I already revealed the dress, because I was too excited to hold back the dress for me to write a post. Instagram was also filled with pictures of our wedding. A lot of our wedding was DIY and I wanted to go over a few more details from the week leading up and the day and then tell you about our awesome minimoon in Niagara Falls.
Decorations for the wedding reception were created by my friend Rob and I. The night before we went to the space and got everything pretty for the day of.
Each table had a paper table cloth and a tissue paper flower with a tea light in the centre. The stage, where we put the head table, had a string of lights and tulle, as well as balloons covered in tulle and tied with ribbons and fake flowers. These balloons also appeared throughout the space, as well. We also had little paper wedding bells above the bar.
This was the prototype we created for the wedding. They weren’t helium-filled, but were hung from the ceiling with clear fishing wire.
Here I am playing with a wedding decoration after a few. ;)
Dale and I made the favours for the wedding reception, as well:
We gave a little DIY Yahtzee game with dice and little pencil along with a bunch of candy: York peppermint patty, Hershey’s Hugs, Maple toffee, Tootsie Roll, and a Chocolate Loonie. Totally random candies from a bulk store.
Our ceremony was a mix of non-traditional and traditional. We are not religious but we chose to do a handfasting, which is a Celtic and neopagan tradition.
We felt connected to the significance of having our lives bound together physically and symbolically through marriage. Our parents each bound our hands and then tied a knot together. We wanted them to take part in the ceremony in some way even if it wasn’t a traditional giving away of the bride by the father of the bride. In this way, our two families are connected by the bond they created by raising us and blessing our union.
Our vows were a little different from the usual to have and to hold for richer and for poorer. Helen Sweet, our amazing officiate, had a lovely set of vows that fit with who we are with each other:
I, Andie, choose you Dale as my spouse, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I don’t yet know; With respect for your integrity and faith in your abiding love for me; In all that life may bring us, I join my life to yours.
While I didn’t cry all the way through the ceremony, my voice caught in saying these words and looking into his eyes.
And then we made out. Fully encouraged by Helen, who said she wouldn’t tolerate anything less than making out.
And the ceremony ended with a family hug with the kids. A perfect way to end it.
Here are some post-ceremony pictures:
Our ceremony took place in Allan Gardens Conservatory in the main atrium under the banana tree. It was an important place for us as our family pictures took place there a few years prior.
Helen Sweet, our officiate, was booked through All Seasons Weddings. She was an excellent speaker and truly wonderful to work with. We adored her.
Our reception took place at Social Capital Theatre, where we perform our monthly show, Holodeck Follies. It was catered by KAMA Restaurant, Indian buffet, with a late night pizza snack from Panago Pizza.
For our wedding cake, I made a small gluten free vanilla cake with blueberry coulis and vanilla buttercream. To match our gold colour, I dusted the top with gold sugar dust.
Nerds with Guitars played our wedding with excellent covers and some original songs.
I’ve purposely kept a lot of people out of the pictures and focused on Dale and I. I won’t post pictures without permission from individuals. I do want to give you an idea of my neice’s dress, though, so here is a detail of the back.
She was truly adorable in the dress and such a sweetie. She was pretty pleased to be able to take the dress home and be able to wear it to school for special occasions.
Here are some fun pictures from the reception enjoying the music and having fun.
Our day was absolutely perfect in every way possible. It was wonderful celebrating our love in our own special way.
We were lucky enough to be gifted a Scandinavian and Russian cruise from Dale’s family for the wedding through Celebrity Cruises. Along with that, people were incredibly generous and gave to the Daily Bread Food Bank and gave us enough for a mini honeymoon in Niagara Falls and spending money for our cruise. We’ll be going on the cruise in May 2016. Tons of time to sew up a vacation wardrobe!
In Niagara, we spent some time being tourists and visited the midway, the falls, went on the boat under the falls, visited a wax museum, went to the bird kingdom, and got old timey pictures taken of us.
Here are some fun highlights from our minimoon:
Thanks for reading!
Mrs. Andie Wells
Read the full series:
June: The Wedding Lingerie
I’m still going to write a post when we get more photos, but my lovely husband wrote a lovely page about the wedding day and included some of the pictures from the day. Check it out here: Our Wedding Day
Also, my blog header changed for my new name!
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Wells
Stay tuned for more after our mini-honeymoon!
Read the full series:
June: The Wedding Lingerie
Well, my plans for the lingerie ended up all over the place. I did make the bra and I will be making the camisole, but left out the tap shorts and the underwear. I just didn’t want to fiddle with the bottoms and have been feeling stressed by it and not wanting to do it. Instead, I bought some white stretchy shorts with lace on the bottoms and some lace underwear to match my bra. I will blog about the camisole another time and include a review. The pattern I am using for the camisole is the Savannah camisole from Seamwork mag. So, this post just includes my bra. Oh the grand plans that come down to one thing while I co-plan a wedding…
Since making my cloned Elomi bra, I was pretty psyched to get to making another bra with the tweaks to the pattern. Before making the bra for my wedding, though, I had to make another test bra.
From the last bra, I shortened the band, narrowed the bridge, increased the lower cup and accounted for the stretch in the lace for the upper cup. I also shortened and narrowed the straps.
The “test” bra is in fuchsia duoplex, black powernet, and fuchsia elastics/findings from Bra Maker’s Supply and black and fuchsia stretch lace from a local store. The fit is almost perfect. The band ended up tighter than I expected, but still okay. Not uncomfortable unless I eat a big meal. The bridge still doesn’t sit flat in this version. It’s a little difficult to understand how this bra works in the flat version. The stretch lace is narrow at the top so the bra looks like the straps are close together. On me, however, they are in the correct position. To give you an idea of that, I put the bra cup on a balloon:
It’s hilarious to me that the balloon is still not big enough for that cup and I still find the cup a little small…
Unfortunately, the lace in this version got a couple little holes in it when I washed it.
The other thing I realized was how bulky the bottom cup seam is where the powernet of the band and the duoplex/lace of the bridge meet. I doubled the powernet in the band, which also meant that the bra was more supportive, but I also doubled the duoplex in the bridge, as well, to ensure the support there, too.
Super bulky seam that I didn’t trim down. The sewing is less than stellar in that area. The problem with sewing with duoplex and powernet and lace is that ripping out seams is almost impossible without destroying the fabric so I left it. My technique only gets better with every bra so I know this will be remedied in future versions.
The other issue I seem to have with the sewing is in the straps:
The straps are sewn to the powernet with a double lightening stitch. This one is actually better than my wedding bra version, but you can see that I didn’t quite catch the powernet in the second row. In spite of using pins, the three layers move about a lot. I need to figure out how to improve my technique there. It works, but I am worries about the longevity of the bra in that area.
The other thing to note is how narrow the bridge is:
The underwires actually overlap in this area, but I have no issue with comfort from that.
For my wedding bra, I left out the lace on the bridge and made sure I clipped the seams to reduce the bulk. I clipped one side of the doubled duoplex and powernet so that I was only sewing over one of each within the 1/4 inch seam allowance. I also further increased the lower cup and the upper cup. I decided not to increase the band, but I have done it for the next version, including increasing the upper cup and lower cup again. Geez, how big are my boobs?!
You can see the seam is much smoother on this version:
This version is an even better fit. The bridge is almost flat against my breastbone (only a 1/4 inch out now). I haven’t spent a lot of time wear it, because I am saving it for my wedding mostly. I did wear it for a day last week to make sure I wouldn’t have a problem for my wedding day, though. It fits will and is very pretty. The only issue is I derped and put in the hook and eye wrong so I will be fixing it this weekend, because I can’t hook it very well this way since I am used to the other way.
Here are more balloon pictures:
You can see that the cup is even bigger in this version, because of the bagginess in the cup against the balloon.
Here are some lovely detail shots:
Oh and the crappy job I did on the straps (even worse than the last time!):
The interesting comparison here is this bra to the original cloned one:
It’s pretty similar in terms of length.
Here are all my cloned bras so far with the most recent on top:
I feel like they are getting a lot better with every step. I’m really pleased to see my skill increase. So much more room to grow (damn straps), but it’s getting there.
From here, I basically want to make all the bras. I will hold off for a while, though…cuz wedding…and see how these wear. I have enough materials for another two bras minus one pair of wires. Then in the future, I’m hoping to try foam bras and bras for my swimwear plans.
Also in the series:
Stay tuned for:
It’s a week before the weddddding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I also recently got this lovely bundle in the mail from Jenny at Cashmerette!
She had a giveaway on her blog and I won it. :D
I think the panel of fabric is screaming to become a cute mini-quilt for a wall hanging.
Okay, excitement is high here, but I do have some Summer sewing plans for after the wedding and wanted to post a roundup of my Spring sewing.
I made two M7100 bomber jackets as planned (click the pictures for links to the entries):
And spent most of the Spring wearing them every day. We have had a strange Spring here. Usually by this time in Toronto, we have weather that is over 20 degrees and less rain. This Spring is weather anywhere between 10 degrees and 30 degrees and tons of rain. It’s crazy. I never know how to dress so having these jackets is perfect.
2. Men’s clothes:
I want to formally apologize to my husband-to-be for neglecting him yet again in this area.
I made a few dresses:
I haven’t blogged about the striped dress yet. I keep spilling coffee on myself before I get pictures taken! At this point, too, it’s definitely going to be a post-wedding entry…
I never made anything for Indie Pattern Month, sadly. Oh well, I’ll be able to participate next year. Not the million dress I planned, but enough.
I also made my wedding dress, but you have to wait until July to see that.
I made a flower girl dress. So cute! Not my size, though. ;) Darn.
I made two bras from my cloned Elomi bra pattern!! Neither of these are blogged about, but I will be doing that before the wedding.
I did not get to the raincoat with the Spring sewing, but I will get that raincoat made this summer. I didn’t get to it, because of a minor alteration on the sleeves and basically just wanted to sew up projects I knew would be easy. As a reminder, these are the fabrics and the pattern I plan to use:
I decided to sketch it out for fun!
I’m using my Curvy Sketchbook from Cashmerette.
2. Men’s clothes:
I swear I will get this done. I already have the first version cut out in a black cotton. It will be Simplicity 1544:
View A with just the collar stay and not the full collar in black cotton from a local store.
Other than that, I am making him some boxer shorts, but I will not be posting them here. I can post my underwear without issue, but not other people’s.
On the heels of two more successful bras, I want to make all the bras! I have enough of the fuchsia duoplex to make another bra and this time I will be using pink and purple elastics/findings. I will also be making two in turquoise fabric. One is planning with white lace and blue elastics/findings. I have yet to find a lace for the second version, but I am leaning toward hot pink or something else crazy and loud with black elastics/findings. Black powernet for both. Although, I might “harvest” my first bra for white powernet for the turquoise bra, but I haven’t decided yet. I may also just get some white powernet since I need more underwires anyway.
Here are some of my fabrics:
I also have plans for some funky strapping across the front of the fuchsia one, like this bra:
The straps would replace the stretch lace in the upper cup… We’ll see if that ends up being something I make… Or even something that will work…
Now that it is summer. I want to make all the dresses ever. I have started sketching a couple with my Curvy Sketchbook.
a) B6210 in the same stripe fabric as I’ve used before:
b) For the Outfit Along, I am planning to make the Embrace wrap cardigan in a mint green wool/acrylic blend from Ice Yarn and M6887 in a lovely apple fabric with a light blue lining and mint green bias tape accents:
The knit wrap cardigan is the Embrace pattern. It’s available for free on Ravelry.
c) Decades of Style ESP Dress in Wonder Woman fabric:
d) Muse Patterns’ Melissa dress in a mint green floral print with forest green accents on the front v pockets and the sleeves, and an ivory lace insert on the back V:
e) I currently have another M6696 all cut out and ready to be sewn using these fabrics and buttons:
The plan for this is to have sleeves that turn up with a cuff and button tabs with the green flower buttons. We’ll see if that works out! :)
I don’t really know whether this will happen or not. To be honest, I almost didn’t put it on the list, but if I try this and fail, I still want to write about what happened. I’m not a fan of shorts or pants. You see me wear leggings with dresses and I get by okay all year round. The thickness of the leggings just change based on the weather.
I’m not sure of the pattern. I know I want them to be bermuda length (knee-length), though, anything shorter and I won’t feel comfortable wearing them. I have Green Style Taylor Shorts and Ginger Jeans in my pdf patterns. I also have M5894, a jeans pattern, in my paper pattern stash and that one is the closet in terms of sizing for me. I just discovered a new pattern that is yet to be released from Itch to Stitch called the Angelia Shorts. I saw a version over on the Monthly Stitch and really loved them. They aren’t really in my size range, though. I like the idea of adapting M5894 into a bermuda length with a draw string and making them in a lightweight pant material. We’ll see what happens here. If anyone knows of a pattern like the Itch to Stitch that is in a 24W or higher (there are tons with an elastic waist, but that isn’t what I am looking for at all), please let me know!
I have no sketches of this yet as I am just mulling it over…
This venture really depends on whether I can find a good swimsuit fabric that I like. I haven’t found any yet; although, I can make the first version in cheap fabric to check fit and figure the bra issue. I will be making B5795 in view B for the top and view F for the bottoms:
The bottoms will be made in a solid colour, because I want to make a few and have them interchangeable for the tops. I would also like a few bottoms in boy shorts, too. The tops are going to be prints with the princess seams on the front in solid colours. There will also be a foam bra insert using my bra pattern so I will be changing the back a little bit so it dips lower and has an elastic band and a swim clasp.
I’ve sketched out the concept here:
The bottoms have drawstring ties in the picture. Not sure if I want to do that yet.
Along with swimsuits, I also have plans for a swim cover up, using the free Medina mini-kaftan pattern from Hot Patterns on fabric.com I’d like it in the white island breeze gauze on fabric.com for the main fabric and a fluorescent cotton for the contrast. A store near me sells a few fluorescent cottons that I want to snag for this. I’m thinking hot pink for the neckline and orange or yellow for the sleeves/bottom. I love colour blocking like that, because I know the orange/yellow won’t work near my face in terms of my complexion, but it will be fine on the sleeves or bottom of the cover up.
I plan on going to the aquatic centre near my home for a drop-in class of aquafit or for the non-lane swim times. My post-wedding plans are to increase my fitness in low-impact ways. So that means yoga, swimming, light stretching at home, and some strength training at home, too. With my fibromyalgia, I can’t really do anything that leads to a flare up so that means I do smaller things and get fit in different ways.
I find it funny that most people try to lose weight for a wedding. How can anyone handle that with all the other stress? I plan on focusing on getting fit after the wedding. :) I’m not purely focused on losing weight, but more on making sure I am getting my body to a better place in fitness. Not being in pain all the time will hopefully be a result of this.
I could write out more that I want to sew, but I’m trying to limit my planning a bit more. I tend to be pretty ambitious. I also want to focus on slower projects and make interesting details for them.
What are your summer sewing plans?