Lansdowne + Julia

This set has a bit of a decoupage-y vibe with all the different elements going on.  The mesh, lace, lining and fold-over elastic came in a kit from Pitt Trading.  The pretty strap elastic was also from Pitt Trading.  I decided that the fold-over elastic was too strong for the knickers, so I dyed some stash elastic to match.  I love the ric-rac elastic on the waist.  The lingerie lycra for the back of the knickers and the underwire casing were from stash.

The bra pattern was the Lansdowne bra from Orange Lingerie.  I changed the pattern a little so that I could use the wide strap elastic and no sliders or rings.  I also modified the seam alowances of the pattern so that I could use fold-over elastic for the armhole edges and unfolded-fold-over elastic for the bottom edges.

The knickers are the Jalie Julia


Making Sandals

One of my great joys at moving to Perth is getting together with other sewists.  It is so much fun to meet up and talk all things patterns and fabric.  This year, I have been having a lot of fun expanding  from the sewing chat into making sandals with Meggipeg and Fadanista.  These days I am hesitant to start new hobbies, because I don't want all the extra "stuff" that comes with a  new hobby,  but I have been sucked into the world of sandal making.  In reality, there is very little sewing, new and wonderful hand tools, quite a few power tools and a lot of glueing.

I have very few progress shots, but Sue has documented some of the process.

My first pair were the Elodie kit from Shoe Camaraderie.  A kit is a great way to start, although the kits are a little pricey.  

I did find it a bit tricky to fit the leather over my foot.  I don't think my foot was sitting in the right spot all the time.  I think my shoes don't quite look like the intended design.  I am wondering if I would have got a better result if I had a last, rather than trying to fit on my own feet?

My second pair were made with various bits and pieces that I gathered together, mostly from Leffler.  The design of the uppers was copied off a pair of sandals in my cupboard.  The bright yellow leather,  leftover from my leather hobo bag, was originally from The Fabric Store.  The soles are men's leather soles from Leffler.  I think they might be a little heavy weight for the sandals, especially as my velcro closures (velcro from Lincraft) do not seem quite strong enough.  The innersoles are made from pigskin, from Leather Direct in Osborne Park, wrapped around EVA foam from Leffler.  The randing is from Leffler.

I thought I was going to be done with sandal making at that point, but it turns out I couldn't walk away just yet.  Next up, I made my daughter The Brighton Sandals by Atelier Louise.  Atelier Louise has lots of good tips for making these sandals on her blog.  These sandals have a leather insole and a resin sole.  I got the leather insole from Leffler.  It was veg sole leather at 3.5 mm thick, and I found it really difficult to cut.  I tried using a knife, using kitchen shears and soaking it in a bucket of water before cutting it out.  It was a bit easier to cut when it was wet, but this changed the texture of the surface of the leather.  The upper leather was from Leather Direct  I bought it to make a bag, which I haven't made yet, but these sandals didn't need much, so I should still be okay to make a bag.

Next up, I made the Silver Sands Sandals by Atelier Louise.  These turned out great.  The leather was a scrap from The Fabric Store that I have been hoarding for years.  I think this pair will get the most wear, because the slip on style really suits my lifestyle.  I can't claim all the credit for these sandals.  Mark helped me chisel the slits for the straps and sand the edges, so they do look a whole lot more polished than if I was left to make them on my own.

Sue made up the same pair in some white leather harvested from a discarded couch.  There is a lot of leather in a couch, so look out for my next pair, which will be in a matching white!  I just haven't decided what style to try next..


Vogue 8894

This is my version of Vogue 8894, sewn in a rayon twill.

I was grateful for previous reviews on Pattern Review that pointed out that the hem facing did not match the dress hem, so I cut my own facing.  I raised the neckline by about an inch.  I also ended up taking hte dress up at the shoulders, about half an inch and doing a square shoulder adjustment.



The February challenge over at Bra-maker's Supply was a Baby Doll

This reminded me that I had a length of stretch silk georgette in my stash that I bought (possibly 8 years ago), with plans to make a Baby Doll.  Not because I wear Baby Doll style pyjamas, but because I was working my way through the drafts in Kristina Shin's "Pattern-making for Underwear Design".  Whilst I can't submit this in the Bra-maker's challenge because I have not used a Pin-up Girl's pattern, the challenge did give me the motivation to dig this project out and complete it.

Here is my finished Baby Doll.  You can see that it is much longer than a Baby Doll.  I decided I was more likely to wear it as a slip, so I lengthened it to above the knee.

Bra-making is always a good mental challenge, as there are lots of components.  I have a stash of supplies, but they often don't match up to a project, so I have to figure out a way to make my stash work for me.  This often means changing the construction techniques as well.  It is always tempting to go on-line and buy more supplies, but I'm finding that I have perished elastics in my stash, so obviously I am better off using what I have before it goes off than buying any more.

Initially, this project was going to be all black.  I had lots of black components, but my strapping was too wide, the power mesh very stiff and the hook and eye was poor quality.  Whilst I don't expect to wear this often, I do want it to last a long time, so I wanted to use quality components.  I was using a black and beige lace, so I decided to have beige straps.  I found that a beige under fabric showed off the lace better than black.  You can see that I switched from black thread on the floral part of the lace to beige thread.

I used beige power mesh and after vacillating for a while, went with beige elastic instead of black.  Initially I used a black picot elastic to finish the skirt keyhole opening, but it didn't sit flat so I unpicked it and went with a narrow hem instead.  The fabric behaved really well for hemming, both on this opening and the bottom hem.  On the bottom hem, I used the technique of triple stitching to make the hem....one row of stitching around the hem, fold it up and stitch a second round, fold this up and do the final hem stitching.

I used detachable straps, so I can easily switch to a cross-back or halter style.  The straps were ready made from an old bra, so I didn't even need to make them.  Bonus!

This close-up shows such more construction details.  I used a lightweight beige tulle to support the lace.  The bottom band elastic is a wide beige foldover elastic sewn over the seam allowance and then stitched down, so that the seam allowance of the black skirt does not show through the beige power mesh at the back.

The bra pattern for the top of the Baby Doll is one I self-drafted years ago, based on the 3 piece foam cup in section "3.3 The two-dart full cup lace bra pattern" of Shin's book.  Only I should make note that I need to add some height to the CF of the bra, as my full wires did not fit well and I ended up using my 3/4 wires.  It is a good style choice when you want to utilise the edge of some lace.

Bras are some of my favourite things to sew.  I think this is because of all the extra design decisions and thinking about construction that happens along the way.  I also love how you end up with a product that looks almost impossible to construct, even though it doesn't take so very long to make.


RTW Rub-off Running Top

I copied one of my Lululemon tops.

The design has lots of interesting panels; upper back yoke, lower back, underarm mesh panels, curved side panel and a front panel.  In the original top, the upper back yoke was also made of mesh.  Initially, I cut a mesh yoke, but my mesh must be softer than the original design, and combined with making armhole bindings on my coverstitch machine, the whole top stretched vertically out of shape.  I took off the bindings, replaced the mesh yoke with a solid yoke, and made new bindings using a sew-in-the-round method of attaching the bindings, which resulted in a top pretty close to the original.  

I thought about modifying the side panels for a bit of extra hip room, but decided I would first make the top as the rub-off pattern, to test it out, and then I can mess about with fitting improvements in later renditions.

The front is fairly plain, with a higher neckline than most of my running tanks.

The main fabric is a beautifully soft bamboo lycra blend from Pitt Trading and the mesh was from my lingerie stash.  From memory, I originally dyed the mesh to match a pale blue stretch lace.