Simplicity 8634

I went a bit crazy when I saw all the beautiful printed lycras online at Pitt Trading.  Now I have to sew all the swimwear and leggings!

I recently purchased Simplicity 8634 for $6 in a Spotlight sale.  It seems a terribly good bargain, with leggings, sports bra with cup sizes and t-shirt included. 

My measurements were between M and L, and I sewed up the M.  I had to take in all the vertical seams.  My lycra is very stretchy, but even so, I would recommend sizing down in this pattern.

The leggings pattern includes large side pockets, which I love.  The pattern uses wide elastic for the waistband.  I cut a strip of lycra and encased elastic for my waistband.

I love a bit of matchy-matchy, so I made the sports bra out of the same fabric.

I normally wear a 34B bra, and after reading other reviews of this pattern, I decided to cut out a 32B, and I'm pretty happy with that choice.  I made a few modifications to the pattern.  I eliminated the V piece in the front.  I didn't use the binding on the armholes, instead I changed the order of construction and sewed the lining and outer together with a seam.  For this reason, my straps are narrower by a seam allowance than the original pattern.  I made the bra using 3 layers of fabric; the outer lycra, and inner soft nylon lycra lining and power mesh between the two.

Another happy fabric project :)


Another Jalie Melanie Robe

I knew I wanted a summer version of the Jalie Melanie Robe, to throw on in the afternoons when the wind picks up.  I was thinking linen would be a good fabric choice, and then when I saw this gorgeous linen print in Fabulous Fabrics, I knew it would be perfect.  I love both the colours and the print.  It is definitely a fabric that makes me happy.

I have dressed it up and worn it out with jeans, but mostly it is for throwing on over summer clothes at home.

I made all the same changes to my pattern as my previous version, but I made one further change for this version.  I am likely to wear this open, and the tie dangles down and annoys me when it is open, so I made a secret inside pocket for the tie to sit it when not in use.

I lined the pocket up with the print of the fabric, so it is pretty unobtrusive from the outside.

This is definitely one of my favourite makes for this year.


Sewing instead of exercise

Recently, I had to give up exercising altogether for a few weeks.  I usually exercise in the mornings, before the rest of my household has got up.  I was still waking up early, so decided to use this extra time at my sewing machine.  Seriously, I only exercise for health reasons.  I would much prefer to sew every day!

My daughter seemed to be busting out of her bras, so I decided to sew her a couple of new ones, in the next size up.  The Orange Lingerie patterns seem to fit her well, usually only needing both the front and back straps moved inwards a little.

This first one is the Boylston Bra, with the upper cup modified slightly and all elastic straps.  Can you see where I cut a hole when I was trimming the seam allowances?  This is the first time I have done this.  Bummer.

I bought a few new patterns, for variety, and the next one is the Lansdowne bra.

When she tried these on, they seemed a little big.  I think she fluctuates in size, so then I dropped back a size and made another Lansdowne.  On the bra above, I didn't line the stretch lace, because it is not that stretchy, but I think the lower cup really does need to be lined if you use a stretchy fabric, so I mended my ways for the next version.  I dyed the lace, mesh and elastics used for this bra.

This fit her, but it didn't have the push-up effect that the pattern promised, so I took some of the volume out of the lower cup, mostly towards the side, and tried again.  This gave more of the push up effect, but I moved the straps in too much on this version.  The black fabric is a lingerie lycra, that stretches on one direction, but not in the cross direction, so you can use it for both band and cups if you lay the pattern pieces in the correct direction.  I love this lingerie lycra, but don't know where to source it again.

Time to move on from the Lansdowne and onto the Devonshire.  I dyed this lace and elastic yellow ages ago.  I saw something similar in a lingerie book.  the inspiration version was beige and yellow, but I decided I liked the ivory with this particular shade of yellow.

One of the things I love about the Devonshire pattern is that it has a chart showing the wires used for the pattern draft.  I have 34B and 34C  wires in two lengths.  It was easy to compare these to the chart and make the changes required for the pattern.  You could choose to cut down the wires, but I don't have the tools necessary to do a neat job of that.  I raised the CF of the cups by about 1 cm, to accommodate my longer wires.

I like the variety of the patterns, but I think the Boylston is the best fit for her.

That was altogether too much selfless sewing, so I sewed up something for me.  This is the Cloth Habit Harriet bra.  I spent ages fitting this the first time around, and now it is time for that fitting to pay off with a quick sew.

The grey fabric is a knit, so I lined the lower cups with the same material that I use to stabilise the bridge and front band.  It is not as soft as bra tulle, and afterwards I thought I might have to cut it out because it did not feel great, but I have worn it for hours at a time and not noticed, so I think I'll leave it in.

Happy sewing!


The Assembly Line Cuff Top

After seeing Fadanista's Cuff Tops, I decided I needed to try out this pattern for myself.  As I've stated previously, I am ambivalent about cut-on sleeves.  They seem to be fashionable, but personally, I find regular sleeves more comfortable.  For this reason, I wanted to use stash fabric to test out the pattern, rather than race out and buy something fabulous.  

After perusing my stash, I decided on a cotton voile, originally from EmmaOneSock.  I have a few cotton voile prints in my stash.  I bought them years ago, before I realised that I don't quite know what to do with a cotton voile.  You think voile is going to be cool and summery, but the softness of it falls against your skin, so it is not as cool to wear as a crisper cotton.  Also, it often needs lining, which seems to defeat the purpose of a cool cotton.  It is not sun protective enough to use for a summer cover up.  I don't wear floaty scarves.  What does everyone else do with voile?

Anyway, now that I don't live in the tropics, I thought I could use it for this top and wear it over a camisole.  I made this top a few months ago, and have been waiting for a chance to wear it.  The day these photos were taken, I wore it over a bamboo singlet.  We had some visitors, and being my first September in Perth, we set out in search of wild flowers.

The only change I made to the pattern was a narrow chest adjustment, so that the boat neck would sit better for me.


First swimwear of the season

I sewed these swimmers for my teenage niece, using a striped lycra from Tessuti.  The top was modified from the Megan Nielsen Cottesloe pattern.  I lowered the front neckline (I think by 1 1/4 inches).  I modified the straps to be ties, because I don't have my niece nearby to try them on, and this way she can adjust them to fit.  Instead of swimwear lining, I used a soft swimwear lycra that I picked up cheaply from the Alannah Hill outlet when I was in Melbourne.

The boittoms are the Swimstyle Heiress bikini, with the extra coverage hack option.  This pattern has instructions so that the elastic is sewn between the lining and the outer fabric, which is a technique used in a lot of RTW at the moment.  There is elastic in the waist and the back leg, but not on the front leg.  After trying out this technique, I used the same method for attaching the elastic to the armholes and neck of the bikini top.   I used a traditional method of applying the elastic on the bottom edge of the bikini top.  The Heiress bikini comes with separate pieces for the outer and lining, with the lining cut small enough that it doesn't peek out.