Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brassieres Away!

All my nursing bras went kaput at the same time. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I made the Seamless Pledge for 2013, so I had to either buy bras at a thrift store or make them myself. While scrounging around for bras at thrift stores in my size and then altering them for nursing access sounds like a blast, I opted to make them myself. This is something I wouldn't have fathomed doing myself before I got into reading sewing blogs. After seeing so many women crafting gorgeous bras, I couldn't resist, especially after wearing the following for the past 16 months:

Bravado Nursing Bra

It is probably the most comfortable bra in the world. It also happens to be one of the ugliest. I'm glad to move on to sexier pastures. Until next baby, dear ugly friend.

That is why I purchased a pattern and a bra/panty kit from Merkwaerdigh on Etsy. Her designs are really pretty and varied and she has cute kits for a decent price. I chose the BHS10 pattern because it came with 5 different bra options and I was loving the racer back style and the lace look. 

Merkwaerdigh lingerie
BHS10 Merkwaerdigh

I chose view C. It's a wireless soft bra with lace panels. Combined with the stretchy lyrca fabric from my kit, it is not the sturdiest, but it's great for lounging around the house and yard or sleeping in. I scavenged the nursing clasps from a now retired bra. I went rogue on the straps and fashioned them so they could be adjustable and also accommodate the nursing clasps. The straps seemed pretty flimsy in the finished product, so I scavenged the straps from another bra, trimmed it with picot elastic and sewed it under a portion of the existing strap. It made it a lot more supportive and comfortable. 

purple lace bra
Wish I had a dress form to show the shape better.

 bra diy

In hindsight I probably would have chosen a different pattern for my first bra sewing effort. The instructions are not great for a beginner bra sewer and I was at the larger limit of their cup size.  My rtw nursing bras come in small/med/large/extra large, so I wasn't sure what my rtw cup size was post pregnancy. After trying on some rtw bras at the store, I found that I was 34D (I previously wore a 36 B). I was not expecting that. Fortunately the fabric I received in my kit had generous stretch, so the fit worked out in the end. I did a few toiles with less stretch and they were a tad small. 

sewing lingerie
Looks much prettier against the light.

Here's the part I'm most excited about: I combined sizes and did a 34D for my left side and a 36D for my right side. Yup, my breasts are different sizes. It didn't even cross my mind that I could combine sizes when I decided to make my own bras. I had the epiphany when I was trying on the toile. With most rtw bras, if my right breast fits perfectly into the cup, the left side will gape and if my left breast fist perfectly, my right side is smushed and bulging out of the cup.  Ladies, if you have different sized breasts and you own a sewing machine, I would encourage you to start making your own bras! This has been a life changing sewing project for me!

 Now that I think of it, I guess you could buy two rtw bras in different sizes, cut them in half and sew the different sizes together. . . but bras are expensive, yo. Unless you could find someone with the same problem who's the same size, except mirror image to you and split the cost. Joking, joking.

Love the lycra print, but not sure I like it paired with that shade of purple. Too contrasty. 

My new bra has some questionable sewing going on. . . a few wonky stitches, tension problem areas, badly done decorative straps, and a a big pucker by the closure area. I also didn't attach the upper cup lining to the lace. I thought I'd share that to "keep it real", as it's easy to hide shoddy work in photographs. I also want to keep track of how I'm improving in my sewing skills.

I need a sturdier bra, so I'll be searching for patterns to accommodate that. I also need to sit down and really dig into some bra making tutorials. Anyone else thinking about making their own bras?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Simplicity Sew Simple A1634

I don't like how these shorts turned out. I wanted them to be in a bright loud "ethnic" print and I wanted them to be flowy. I couldn't find both factors for the equation off hand, so I opted for the print instead of the flow. I made them in a cotton batik that is light-med weight.

They don't hang the way I want them to and I don't like the way they wrinkle. I also probably should have made the legs a little wider and lengthened the crotch for the look I was going for.


I do think this pattern has potential. I like the tie, the pockets and even the pleats. If I find some challis in a print that speaks to me, I may sew these up again with a few tweaks.

If high school me knew I was sewing up shorts with a mid rise, pleats and elastic waist, she would be mortified. I would tell her to treat herself better by not wearing so many polyester shirts.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Burdastyle- Ruby Shorts #6005

These shorts mark 3 firsts for me. First time making a muslin, first time doing a double welt pocket and the first time doing a rolled cuff hem. I'm not really a shorts person, but hot and humid weather has me going for it.

tan striped high waisted shorts

I decided on Ruby #6005 from Burdastyle as there were plenty of real life examples posted on their site from members and I liked what I saw. I liked that the rise was fairly high and the button detail was pretty cute.

summer shorts pattern
Ruby #6005 Burdastyle

I decided to cut a size 42 for my muslin which was a size larger than I thought I would need. My muslin confirmed that I probably needed to go down a size and I went with a 40 for my final version. If my fabric had stretch to it, I may have tried a 38.

My first muslin! Trial and error with the double welt pockets

 I decided to forgo the back pocket flap and belt and made two pockets in back instead of one. I also added an inch or so to the length of the crotch depth. I only sewed button holes for one side and just sewed the buttons over both plackets on the other side to save on some time, since I won't need to unbutton both sides to get in and out of them.

I used the same fabric for both the muslin and the final piece which came from my mom's old stash. I was originally convinced that it was polyester, but a burn test revealed it to be cotton(?) so I decided to go ahead and use it for my finished product. It is slightly scratchy, but nothing I can't live with for now, since I'm mainly concerned with breath-ability.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the fit, but think it would look better if the back pockets were slightly larger and lowered a little. I may fix that later, but I'm calling it good for now. Also, there are also some drag lines in the back. I'm assuming it's because that region of my derriere is a little concave? not sure how I would fix this.

I tried hard to take my time with these and not rush the process. They are far from perfect, but I'm proud of my results!

Sucking in my gut!

 I think I'm most likely to wear them with a loose, un-tucked blouse. Right now I don't really have any tops to match these with. I usually choose patterns over solids for my tops to hide stains, but I think I'll have to sew up a few solids for a more versatile wardrobe.

I've already sewn another pair of shorts in a different pattern that I'll be posting shortly. Haha. They are pretty wild. Until next time. . .