My favourite use for Liberty fabric

The bras I make from Liberty are my favourite ones to wear.  Here are my new ones.

1st set:  Bra pattern - self-drafted (Basic, Liberty 3).  I think that the embossed straps are a luxurious detail.  I used a cute, frilly elastic on the decollete. The matching knickers are also from a self-drafted pattern (cheekies with a CB seam).  The stretch lace on the side front panel was much stretchier than others that I have used for this pattern, so I compensated by making some tucks in the front woven panel.  I inserted elastic as a trim into these tucks to turn this flaw into a design feature!

The 2nd set:  Bra pattern - self-drafted (based on foam cup pieces from Gabi bra).  On this one, I did a better job of changing threads to match each stitching line - only one line of stitching on the inside of the bottom band elastic has been sewn with the wrong colour.  I wanted to use white straps, but did not have any.  Instead, I covered the straps in matching Liberty fabric.  The knickers are also self-drafted (based on draft by Shin, red variation).  I added extra width to the front panel to account for the fact that I cut it in a woven instead of a knit.  The frilly elastic on the knickers is very girly.


The next bra is an old one that I never blogged, using the same pattern as the 1st set.  I had bought a pink elastic kit, and was disappointed that the elastics were weak / had perished when the kit arrived, so I scrambled around and ended up using 3 different colour elastics.  It all turned out okay and this has been my favourite for a while now.   Only I put it in a front loader washing machine on holidays, which must be harsher than my old top-loader, and elastic "threads" in the power mesh have broken out.

I wanted to get 3 sets sewn over a long weekend (I really needed new bras as all the wires are popping out of my old ones), and was determined to limit myself to proven patterns.  Only then I couldn't find all the bits I needed to match this lovely purple lace.  So I decided to make a strapless bra, to eliminate the need for some of the elastics / findings.  Only then it didn't work.  I used a purchased pattern, and then modified it a bit, based on my own patterns, and the result was a disaster.  There were tears of frustration as the weekend ended.  I then pulled it all apart, hacked a bit, put it back together.  The resulting bra is a little on the skimpy side.  More of a strapless demi-bra, if such a thing exists.  I didn't make matching knickers,  as I am still hoping to get a decent bra from this lace before I use the leftovers in knickers.


Fehr Trade VNA Top

The VNA top by Fehr Trade is one of the most fun things that I have sewn up lately.  The design lines are really cool.  With a pattern collection as large as mine, it is not often that I come across a pattern that is totally new, but I had nothing like this one in my collection.  It is a knit top, so can be completed relatively quickly and easily, but I did learn some new techniques along the way, making the actual sewing of it interesting as well.

I was a pattern tester for this project.  I never like to use my "good" fabrics for pattern tests, because it is a testing process after all, which means that the completed projects I show on my blog can be a little on the ugly side, but this pattern is such a great scrap buster, that I got to use some of my favourite scraps.  My first version is made from different scraps of rayon knits.

I found that my first version sat up too high on my neck.  I dug out my t-shirt sloper for comparison (okay, so sensible people would have done this before they made up the first version).  The front compares pretty well, but the back shows that I need to do a significant square shoulder adjustment.

I made a second version for a friend.  I made hers a straight XS, but using the same square shoulder alteration that I would use for myself.  The neck sits much better how, although the armholes still slide to the inside of my shoulder bone..so maybe a need some sort of prominent shoulder bone adjustment...I think I'll just cut the shoulders a littler narrower next time, making it a little more like a tank top.  This version was made out of merino jersey scraps left over from my cardigan.  I narrowed the binding so that I could use it as a piping between seams as well.  I didn't use the instructions second time around.  I had a lot more trouble with the v-binding on this version, and after the event, I realised that I forgot to stabilise them with squares of interfacing....won't forget that again!

 All up, this is a fun pattern that I am sure I will use over and over again.


Paisley Tee

I had to leave work early today to tend to a sick child.  The silver lining was that I got in an hour at the sewing machine, to make a t-shirt totally out of remnants.

My inspiration was the Solvo Tunic from Anthropologie.

My starting point was the Lisa Top from Stylearc.  I rounded out the V neckline.  It is a different shaped neckline to my inspiration top, but that would be easy enough to change next time.  It only occurred to me afterwards that I could have used the horizontal seam line between the two fabrics to put in an unobtrusive dart.  Next time.  I didn't notice the rolled up sleeves on the inspiration top until my daughter pointed them out, but I would not have had enough fabric to do that anyway.

Last time I used this pattern, I made it up in a cotton lycra and was disappointed with the fit of the sleeve / shoulder.  The fabric I used today was a drapey rayon knit, which is much more forgiving.  I don't usually stabilise the shoulders in my knits (in spite of all that advice...but really, in the past I haven't found it necessary), but the top photo shows the shoulder - sleeve seam slipping off my shoulders, so I guess it wouldn't have hurt this time.

Tonight I wore it with jeans, and felt comfortable wearing it....a quietly casual top that fills a gap in my wardrobe.  It does look better with blue jeans than the khaki shorts, but I was trying to show it compared to the inspiration version.



I made this top using Patrones No. 330 (17 Blusa el corte ingles.) and a Milly chiffon from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I rarely sew with chiffon, but I thought that these birds were pretty groovy.  It turns out that the chiffon is not holding up terribly well for my wash 'n wear lifestyle, so I am posting this before the the pulls and tears become obvious (I made it over Christmas).

The fabric is navy, grey and white.  None of these colours suit me, so I made the bottom band in a coloured fabric to help co-ordinate it with my wardrobe.  This has turned out quite practical, as I have worn it with black trousers, mustard trousers and a turquoise skirt.

A made a few modifications to the pattern
- I left off the buttons on the band
- I left off the back neck opening
- I added the knit cuffs
- I took in the sleeves (I was doing a forward shoulder alteration and then thought I would just narrow the front sleeves by the amount I moved the shoulder forward - turns out this was a little too much narrowing of the sleeves are they are too tight now).
- I wasn't sure what to do with the back band - the technical drawing showed that it was elasticated, so I added a casing and inserted elastic. (Since then, I have seen this made up over at Aventuras de costuras and now I know I should have shirred the back waist band).

The elasticised back band and chiffon combine to make the birds look like they are floating, or flying, around.  Quite groovy in real life.


Jalie 3352

This Dolman top from Jalie is a quick and easy make.

I think it works great in a stripe.  Navy & white would give you a mariner's tee, but I prefer this fuschia bamboo jersey.  I suspected that the bamboo would be difficult to use as a binding....I thought I'd give it one go....some of it caught under and some of it didn't, so I just cut through the binding so that it curled up.

I made a size U, which corresponds to my measurements, but I think it is too big for me, which is most unusual for Jalie....usually I find their patterns very close fitting and always think I should have gone up a size.  The sleeves seem to be a much closer fit on the pattern models.