Drafting a bralette

I have been wanting a decent bralette for a while. However, there is no pattern that goes up to my size. Well…. Seamwork Florence does, but that was a disaster when I made it…

I knew the basics I wanted: racerback, non-stretch cups for support, wide elastic band, front closure, etc.

I just decided to take the plunge at drafting my own using my measurements. There are lots of different ways to do that… and since this was a completely new thing for me, I didn’t really document that process. I may at some point, but it was a learning experience every step of the way.

First try on was a little bit disheartening since the amount I subtracted in the cup was a bit too much so I actually needed to add most of that back in. The back, however, was perfect. Really really perfect actually. I didn’t want that lovely velvet to go to waste since a friend had given it to me so I decided to add a third cup piece for a 3-piece cup so that I didn’t have to scrap the mock up entirely. I really love the result and the shape of the cup. Still some more work fit-wise but it is very close!

The cups are made with stretch velvet and lined with sheer cup lining (either from Emerald Erin or Artes Crafts, I can’t remember but either of them have great quality sheer cup lining). Back is stretch powernet from either Blackbird Fabrics or Emerald Erin; I also doubled it up for more support. I finished the edges of the back and cups with fold over elastic from Emerald Erin. The band elastic is wide elastic from Emerald Erin and the straps and slides/hoops are from Arte Crafts. Front closure from Bra Maker’s Supply, I believe.

As you can see the front is still a bit scandalous and I needed to cover it with my long hair. Hahah. The length of the cup is also off in the center front, meaning that there is a bit of spillage instead of support there. It would benefit from at least 2 inches taken out as well as 2.5 inches to 3 inches added into the cup volume. My next steps are to lower the armsyce a bit since it comes up a bit far. I also want to move the straps on the front a bit closer to the center to match up with the back. I want to make the cups rounder to give a nicer shape In the process of making the curves in the cups rounder, I should be able to add in the extra material needed to give coverage in the center. I am going to make the elastic band a bit tighter since it is a little loose causing the front closure to twist forward a little and not lay flat. The length of the cup also needs to be shortened slightly overall (maybe an inch on the side and a few in the front center. This is going to bring the whole cup up and make the band sit a bit better under my breast tissue.

I really really like the 3-piece cup. I think it offers a nice shape and look and great support. It will also be nice for using some lace in the center cup or doing some colour blocking. The racerback is so incredibly comfortable and makes my back feel great. I might actually make my wired bra into a racer back, too, given how great it feels. I’m really pleased with this bralette. It feels supportive but incredibly comfortable. The support in it is a bit less than my wired bras. I think it will be improved by the fit changes I am making.

I got a few people asking for a pattern for it on instagram. I have no sewing pattern plans for this or ever! It was a learning experience and I really enjoyed doing it. I would be interested in developing it for sale of the actual product, but creating sewing patterns is so not in my interest. I’d much rather sew. 😉

Advertisements

Handmade Christmas 2016

I got back to sewing in December and made a bunch of presents for people for Christmas. I did manage to make one thing for myself before the year ended, but I will post about that another day.

My mom got a dark purple bamboo knit Cashmerette Concord T:

Concord T shirt for my mom

I made her one for her birthday last year and she really liked it.

I made a bunch of pj pants and shorts using the free pj pants pattern from 5 out of 4 patterns.

5 out of 4 PJ Pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

The top two were made for two of my friends that I work with. The bottom two are for my stepkids. The pants all have pockets in them and every time I pointed that out the recipient was pretty excited about it!

I have plans to use up all the flannel I’ve been hoarding for myself for this and try out the pattern. If I used up my flannel, I’d clear off a shelf and get the surplus into my cabinet. Most of the surplus is fleece leftover from the next project so if I make some fleece tops then that is cleared, too! Plans to get my stash down by 10% are underway.

The next project was all self-drafted. And by drafted, I don’t mean to claim any professional skills, but that I eyeballed most things and made guesses and luckily it all worked out!

First up, I made three mermaid tail blankets!

Mermaid Tail Blanket

They are super cute. Two are adult size for my niece and sister and the one is a bit shorter for my youngest niece.

I made shark tail blankets for my nephew and brother in law:

Shark Tail Blanket

These are probably my favourite out of the lot. Those teeth make me giggle!

Finally, I made a Cashmerette Turner dress for my friend and couldn’t resist trying it on:

Turner Dress

It’s made with some lovely medium-weight knit that a friend gifted me. The colour and print looks great on my friend. It’s all coffee colours and was originally going to be a Gilmore Girls related gift with a Luke’s Diner brooch made by me, but I never got around to it. So she has to wait for that part of the gift. She sent me a pic of her wearing it for her birthday and Christmas Day and I was over the moon with happiness. She looked amazing.

That’s it for what I made for Christmas presents this year. My husband missed out on the handmade gifts this year sadly, but I tried to remind him that he got two wicked Star Trek uniforms earlier this year!

Did you make any handmade gifts this year?

4 times the dirndl, 4 times the fun

Reader, I sewed a lot of skirts this month. I do not need to sew skirts for a while. I made 4 dirndl skirts this month. A dirndl skirt, for those who don’t know, is a simple gathered skirt made of two rectangles sewn together and gathered on to a smaller rectangle, the waistband. Gertie has a tutorial for a dirndl skirt.

When I started sewing my skirts, I needed skirts or felt I needed skirts because my wardrobe was lacking in a million skirts. Now that I’ve sewn 4 skirts in a month, I think I’m good for skirts for a while.

The challenge for this project, however, was making the skirts with in-seam pockets and a side zipper as well. I have to count that a success all around and I got better as I made more and more of these skirts. Here is the progression on my skirts:

DSC_0973 DSC_0971 DSC_0986 DSC_0981

The plaid skirt, my first one, has an exposed zipper and the other three have lapped zippers. The two bottom floral skirts are equally matched for quality. I didn’t attempt to do pattern matching. Although, I did try to match the plaid on the vertical. I mostly succeeded. The side with the zipper is about 4mm off, but perfect on the other side.

I extended the waistband of all skirts. For the two bottom florals, I added buttons; the plaid and pink floral have hidden hooks.

DSC_0989

I adore the buttons on the blue floral. They’ve been in my stash for a while now and I love them.

I didn’t do any fancy math or actually follow a tutorial when I created these skirts. I cut them based on the fabric amounts I had available. Some are longer and some are shorter; some are more gathered than the others and some are less gathered. I wasn’t really concerned with that. As long as you have some gathering, the skirts work quite well.

DSC_0960 DSC_0956 DSC_0962 DSC_0958

My favourite of the four is definitely this blue and white floral; it’s the perfect length and perfect gather. It’s a cotton lawn from Joann fabrics. It’s a very light, flowy fabric and is perfect for Spring/Summer. I wish I had gotten more to make a dress as well, because I crave light florals like this. Do you go through fabric cravings like I do? Probably the reason why my stash is so large…. :/

My second favourite is the yellow plaid. I really love the fabric. I got it from the thrift store and it’s a very light fabric. I am unsure of the fiber content, but it’s likely a poly-cotton blend.

DSC_0941 DSC_0938 DSC_0934 DSC_0937

I usually wear the plaid with my red Bronte top, but decided to wear all my skirts with mostly sleeveless tops in this photoshoot.

My skirt collection would not be complete without a pink floral skirt. I’ve been hoarding this cotton floral for a while and am very happy with it. I chose to put a colour block at the bottom of the skirt to increase the length. That was also a testing of my skills to match along the vertical. I accomplished that rather nicely. 🙂

DSC_0953 DSC_0949 DSC_0948 DSC_0946

The last skirt I made was this red Christmasy floral that I inherited from my nana with a colour block on the bottom.

DSC_0924 DSC_0916 DSC_0932 DSC_0928

It’s definitely the shortest and most gathered of the skirts. I am not sure I will wear it much to be honest. I feel very…Lolita in it. Which isn’t a bad thing…really. I like a lot of the Lolita style, but I’m not sure how I feel about it on me. I would definitely feel better in this if I were wearing some leggings or tights. Both this one and the blue floral flew up when I was taking pictures. Luckily, I was just on my back porch, but I definitely need something under those two for walking around in the summer.

I look at these pictures and I feel good about myself. I feel good for being brave enough to wear sleeveless tops and bare legs; things I have felt really self-conscious about in the past. I feel good about having made skirts that scream my own personal style. I might not have the supposed ideal body that society tells us is ideal, but this body is mine and I am determined to feel good and feel happy in it. I feel positive about myself in these skirts and that is what sewing is to me.

DSC_0970 DSC_0994

DSC_0977 DSC_0983