18.12.14

Jalie 3351 running shorts

I really liked the pockets on my Jalie running skort, but I find the skort too hot to wear with its double layer.  So when Jalie released their swim shorts with the same pocket detail, I was keen to make it up.




The main fabric is a supplex lycra. 

17.12.14

Green cherries on orange lingerie

The green cherry print on this lycra is so cute that I snapped it up the moment I saw it online.  This was whilst I was in transit and looking for things to sew whilst I was in a hotel.

Norma, of Orange Lingerie, released her Marlborough bra pattern that week, so the match seemed inevitable.


Of course, it was only after I cut it out that I realised that the print was directional.

I didn't have access to my stash, so all the notions and other bits are from Lincraft.  Lincraft didn't have any wire casing, so I made my own casing by folding over a non-stretch bra strapping, which seemed to work well.

I didn't have my other patterns to compare to this one, but I did have access to Norma's bra fitting book on my daughter's kindle, so I made a muslin and followed her book to adjust the fit.  It is the first bra pattern ever that I have not had to adjust the bridge.  I did have to adjust the cups to accommodate breast shape by flattening the curve of the bottom of the cup.  The second muslin showed that I was good to go.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the fit of the cherry bra.  The straps sit wide, similar to my favourite RTW bras, but I must admit that they were a little too wide for me (unusual), so on the next one, I moved the back scoop a little to be closer to the CB.

So I made up a second bra, with the only change being to move the back strap position a little.  Only, this one does not fit at all.  The elastic and stretch lace is much firmer and I can't actually do the bra up.  I added on an extender  hook and eye to try it on.  The straps were pre-made straps from Lincraft and they are a little short so the power bar pulls up too much as well.
 

Now that I have all my sewing supplies with me, I compared this bra to my standard pattern and can see that the band is significantly shorter.  Amy, of Cloth Habit, has a great tutorial on adjusting the bra band, but in the past I have used elastics and fabrics  of similar strength, and have not needed to do this.  I'll have to go back to this tutorial!



I found it a struggle to fit the wires in, and wondered if this was because of the Lincraft wires, but now that I compare patterns, I can see that the CF of the Marlborough bra is a little lower than my standard (self-drafted) pattern.

Here is a photo of the insides.  The cups were lined with batiste.


Similar to other reviewers, I think that the bra pattern could do with a few more notch points.  Also, I would like the pattern to show how to place the pattern on scalloped lace, as I showed in this previous post.



This was the same time that I was testing the runderwear in the Threshold shorts pattern, so the knickers are based on that pattern.  I did adjust the pattern to use wide lace elastic instead of standard lingerie elastic.

So, in summary, I will be making the Marlborough bra again, but I will be reviewing Amy's band tutorial before I cut!

3.12.14

Patrones skirt with side panels and horizontal darts

I love the shocking pink fabric in this skirt, and the patrones pattern is really interesting...but in my love for them both, I didn't realise that deep down I wanted a longer skirt for this fabric.  The skirt is wearable, but it is not the magnificence I was hoping for.


The patrones skirt (I will find the number and put it in here later) has side panels. There are pockets sewn into the panel seams, which is pretty cool.

  
The front horizontal darts are cool, but they don't really match my shape.  I think maybe I could have left off the bottom dart.  The light pink dots actually look grey in real life.


 I compared the pattern to my sloper, but I didn't make a muslin.  I ended up having to take the side panels in quite a bit, because the fabric is so stretchy, which has made my use of the reverse side of the fabric for the panels just look like a bit of a mistake. 


I chose to use a wide elastic for the skirt waist facing, which I think was the right decision, given the stretchiness of the fabric, but it doesn't look nicely finished on the inside.  There is an invisible zipper at the back. 

The colour makes this skirt fun, and I will wear it, but I am not likely to use this pattern again.

2.12.14

Stylearc Amber Woven Blouse







Stylearc is a pattern company that I have been wanting to love, but haven't quite.  This top is the Amber Woven Blouse, and I think it has been my most successful stylearc project so far.

I think that the success is largely due to the fabric choice.  It is a stretch silk georgette, which is not a fabric that I have used before. It drapes well and I suspect is rather forgiving when it comes to fit.   I bought it to make a dress for my daughter and then used something else for her instead.  I thought that the fabric would then languish in the stash as it wasn't really "me".  Now that I have made this top up, I totally love it.

I changed the pattern a bit to use a wide lace insert.  The external facing piece on the original pattern is round.  I got the lace from Lincraft, tea-dyed it (though maybe not enough, or maybe it didn't take the tea too well), then found it torn, so had to do some repair embroidery with solvy underneath.  This is a technique for machine embroidery that I have read about and never had need to use until now.  I also changed to a bias binding on the neck to keep the lace in check.

I only had to make minimal fit changes (I did make a muslin, and then when I went to adjust the pattern, I could not find the muslin and had to guess the changes).  I shaped the side seams a little, widened the hip area and raised the front darts. 

I will make this pattern again, probably using the colour blocking suggested on the pattern.

5.11.14

Fehr Trade Threshold shorts

Okay, so I don't have the camera charged yet, but I found some phone photos I took when testing Melissa's Threshold shorts.

Now this is another fun pattern from Melissa.  Interesting seaming, lots of pockets, new techniques.  It is even a great one for somebody who wants to sew exercise gear, but is not ready to tackle knits, or negative ease, because it can be made in a woven fabric as well.

When Melissa asked me to test this pattern, I was in the process of moving and living in a hotel.  I did have my daughter's little sewing machine with me, as I thought I might need a few moments of clam for the gaps between settling the kids into schools and looking at houses.  So I can verify that this pattern can be made on the most basic of sewing machines.  I did not have access to my fabric or notions stash, so my personal challenge for this project was to discover the sewing resources available in my new town.

Sadly, there is not a lot available.  There is a local Lincraft, and luckily, specialised fabrics  and notions were not a necessity for this project.  I found pink FOE and a lovely inch wide lingerie elastic and I was drawn to the colours in this stretch woven dress fabric.  The shop assistant asked what I was making, and I was a little embarrassed to admit that I was making exercise clothing with this fabric and not a glamorous dress.  Though, the sheen washed out of the fabric in the pre-wash, so I would have been disappointed if I did buy it for a dress.  The colours are awesome though, and it matches most of my running tops.

Here are a couple of photos of me testing the position of the elastic. I need to either reduce the front rise or raise the back rise for Melissa's patterns, though this is a fairly typical pattern alteration for me.  In spite of testing the elastic, I did not pull it tight enough...it seems in all my exercise clothing the elastic is either too tight or too loose...still need more experience to get this right.


In this side view, you can see the interesting front pockets and seaming.  I would have liked the front pockets to be a little deeper, and I believe that Melissa has added instructions to do this in her final version of the pattern.

You can't really see the seaming on the back, because of the print.

I lived out of a small suitcase for about 6 weeks, and am surprised at how thoroughly bored of those clothes I got....so these shorts were a welcome addition.  I wore them running, but also just as regular shorts, as beach shorts, as moving furniture shorts.  I will definitely be making more of these.

I also tested the runderwear, but as a stand alone item rather than attached to the shorts, as I knew I would have issues with the rise of the shorts.  I did send photos of me in the runderwear to Melissa but will not be posting them here!  I just wanted to say that the runderwear is a useful addition to the pattern, even if you don't want to attach them to the shorts.