Jalie Nikita

I was so excited by  the new Jalies, that I made up this Nikita pattern when it was first released, during out winter here.  It has only just got warm enough to wear it now.  Only in that time, I have had to stop running and I have taken up swimming 3 times a week.  I am not a strong person and struggle to build muscle, but swimming does seem to have built up my lats and this top is on the tight side (same with a lot of my summer tops, which is a bit sad).  My bust size is still a T on the Jalie chart, and I made a size U, grading out to a W in the hips, but clearly I need to allow extra room across the back.   I'm not sure if I also need to lower the armholes, or if this won't be a problem in a larger size.

I used a t-shirt from a fun run to test out the pattern and I did have to piece in a little bit of fabric to get it to fit.  I used this same fabric for the armhole bands.

I have a lovely soft bamboo lycra to use for my next version.


Not red velvet

Twenty years ago, I was very taken with a girl I saw wearing red velvet pants.  I went out and bought some red velvet the next day (actually cheap red velveteen, because I didn't have much money then).  Only I didn't have the confidence to make and wear red velvet pants.  The velveteen sat in my stash for years and years and eventually I gave it away in one of my house moves.

Then a few years ago I saw this patterned red denim at EmmaOneSock and thought it would be a better way to fulfill my 20 year old vision.  I used an old Vogue Alice and Olivia pattern that had been stashed and never used, V2812.

I still feel that red is a bit dramatic for my everyday, but I did wear these trousers to the pop-up Globe Theatre to watch Hamlet.  I don't think you could over-do the drama for Hamlet :).


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!