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Monday, February 3, 2020

Monthly makes: January

I've been watching Lizsews' videos lately and I find her monthly makes videos so inspiring that I thought to try and do the same here 😊.

The first thing I made this month (this year even) is my lil waist cincher. This is waspie Anna from AraneaBlack. I believe I made a size F with no changes at all. I used cheap thick cotton fabric (it's called ruwdoek in Dutch, no idea what it is in English..), the plan was to test the pattern thus make this little corset as budget friendly as possible. So I bought nothing and only used materials that I already had. I also thought it would be good practice to try some flossing. I used spiral steels combined with flat steels for the back and front and a couple of zip ties since I didn't have as many spirals as boning channels.

The shape is beautiful! The fit is good but I think it's on the big side since it's kinda twisting on me as I move around.

(Unfortunately the shape doesn't show 100% on ma pillow, it's quite curvier when worn!)
I'd still call this a great wearable mock up, can't wait to make more of them!

It was time to try and get further with my self draft bra pattern that I stopped working on a few months ago. There were a few issues that I had to fix. First I had to deal with extra fabric next to my cup under the armpit. Pinched out the excess, it ended up being 2-3 centimeters, and made the first padded version of this draft.

And that's the disadvantage of bra foam padding, you see every detail of the pattern, in this case how pointy my pattern is. I accidentally made an almost bullet bra 😳. It's a bummer that I used my hand dyed lace for this... oh well, I'm still going to wear it, under thick jumpers though!

The third bra made from my draft turned out better. I rounded the apex of the cup and changed the style lines a bit. I didn't quite like how big the side cup was, I also didn't want to fiddle with the curve of the top cup. I straightened the top cup line and split the side cup in two. For this one I used the leftover lace from the previous bra and this cotton jersey I died together with the lace. It turned out cute, right? 😊 I still find it too pointy for my liking but it's definitely wearable!

Number 4 turned out great! I made it a longline bra and rounded the apex even more. This one took a much longer to make, everything is made of two layers, I also added plastic boning to it, I didn't want it riding up all the time. I added underwire casing in-between the 2 fabric layers and added plastic boning in the channels.

I wanted to make a set so I drafted a high wasted thong to match my longline bra.
I love this setπŸ’™!

I've been loving the look of bralettes lately and I got my eye on a couple of patterns I want to buy at some point. I already have the Lotus and I've made quite a few of them but I want to try something else😬.
I thought why not give a try at making my own pattern based on the basic bodice draft? Let me tell you, not the most accurate method to make a boob holder. I cut the paper pattern out, taped it and pinned it on Roxane. Hmm..πŸ˜• Pinch and pin and make darts all around transfer the changes and try again. Paper pattern taped together, pin on Roxanne... Still not really.. I made a few of those, making new darts and pinning e.t.c., eventually I had something that looked like something and decided to make it out fabric.

I had this pair of pajama pants that never fit right, some weird low crotch situation, whatever. Great piece of fabric to use for my mock up, cotton jersey with a bit of stretch. Also grabbed some lace scraps from who knows when.
Surprisingly enough, it turned out rather nice! A bit on the small side but not bad! I made matching panties too! Bedazzled and all πŸ˜‹.

And then I made one more! I started with the padding and was looking around my stash trying to see what fabric I wanted to make it out of. I'm pretty sure this one is a swimwear fabric but I love the colors. While making this bralette, I wasn't sure which way it was gonna go, am I making a bralette, a bikini top or some sort of sports bra? *Shrug* , we'll see what it turns out to be!
I decided to name it a sports bra! I think it'll look great under a sheer top in the summer 😊.

 The last item on this month's list is a clothing item! I need to make more clothing 😳! I saw a beautiful blouse in some online shop and I wanted to make something similar. It's quite simple, A-line blouse with puff sleeves and elastic cuffs. The fabric was a pain to work with though.. I call such fabrics liquid fabrics...🌊. None the matter, one more blouse added in my closet!

Phew, I made a bunch of stuff this month, didn't I?

Off to the next!πŸ˜ƒ

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Corset making: A first attempt

No, I didn't quit sewing nor going to my sewing lessons, I've been making all kinds of things,the latest being corsets(❗). I also made a few bras, bodysuits and some clothing of course.

I also started drafting my own bra patterns. I have by now made a few of them following Beverly Johnson's books. I gotta say, I was really impressed with how my first one turned out. Definitely wearable and nothing like the bras I drafted before.
The method is simple and easy to follow (some parts I even find that she's overexplaining which ends up confusing me πŸ˜…).

But that's not what I wanna show you today, today I wanna show you the first corset I've ever made!

I have to say, if you thing that lingerie and bra making is expensive... Corsets are even more expensive...! It also took me a long time to make, I did enjoy every minute of it though.

It all started during one of my sewing lessons, the teacher asked me if I've ever made a corset before and if I'd like to make one. I hadn't but it was something that I wanted to try some day so I went for it. I drafted my basic bodice pattern, drew my style lines and that was my pattern.

At that point I knew pretty much nothing about corsets (and by corset I mean the historical garment, with boning channels, steel boning e.t.c...). So i started doing some...research. I've been a member of a facebook group that focuses on corset making for a long time,months  or even a year. It's amazing what people can make when they know what they're doing! I've just been looking around and admiring their creations, now it was time to have another look at the group posts and focus more on what everyone was saying, not only looking at the pretty pictures!

Youtube must certainly have some videos about corsets, right? Of course it does!
First I found Lucy. If you're into corsets then you know who Lucy is, she has so much information, videos and reviews on her channelπŸ’“. If you're curious about corsets, that's the place to look! She doesn't make them but if you have a question about corsets, she probably has a video on it! She talks, among other things, about what happens to your body when you wear a corset and what does not, what to look for when buying a corset, e.t.c.

At this point, since I've been looking at the corset facebook group from another perspective, I stated noticing Ms Aranea Black's posts about a corset bunnysuit (?), dafaq is that I thought, it was a link to this youtube video about how she made one. And I started watching... In 12 episodes she basically shows how to construct a corset πŸ™€. Exactly what I needed since I got no fπŸ’₯ckin clue what I'm doin!

I took my pattern and made a mock up which ended up being too big. I pinned the excess,transfer my changes to the pattern and cut my corset out of some random fabrics I had laying around. I fused my top layer with cotton interfacing for extra strength since I got no clue what this fabric that I'm using is. The second layer is also made out of some questionable quality fabric,it seemed strong enough though.

Since my budget was low for a most likely failed project, I decided to use zip ties instead of boning, like Katarina did on her bunnysuit. Took a bit of searching for a store that had em but I managed to find 8mm wide zip ties. Got some cheap ass paracord and a package of grommets (they are NOT cheap for a lil piece of metal...!) and tadaa!

It was definitely fun making! The fit: what can I say, ok?😐 I shall demonstrate my amazing creation on this pillow because Roxanne is a bit hard and it doesn't fit on her.

Whoever thought of displaying corsets on pillows is a genius!

Since I used zip ties, I blamed the fit partly on that, I had to try and fix it so I went ahead and searched for a store where I could buy some proper boning and see if that would improve the fit. Well, somewhat better but the style lines that I made where just... wrong... Also, it probably needed more bones... it also needed to be longer at the back so the longer sides could be supported better and not collapse when you tighten the whole thing... I mean, it's not that bad for a first try, right...?

Oh yes, it no longer has any boning in it, I took it out and used it for the next corset I made! Can't keep ordering boning, ehπŸ˜•.

But yea, the way I drew my 'corset' makes more of a bustier than anything else, especially if you use the thin plastic boning my teacher was talking about. I'm not really interested in making that though, what I wanted to make was a real corset, a waist reducing one even! Just to see how I like it, if I can even stand it and maybe... maybe get some support for my aching lower back. 

This didn't really offer me any support and by now I've become very interested and curious about corsets and the right fit. I started watching more and more videos and learning more about corsets before I attempted making another one. Yes, I made another one and one more after that!
To be continued πŸ˜‰

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Lotus bra: Wireless!?

I've been making bras like there's no tomorrow, mostly Mayas and a couple of self drafts (yes, I finally bought the bra makers manuals!πŸ˜ƒ).

I've been wanting to make a few sleeping bras but I don't want to try and draft one just yet. So instead, I've been looking at wireless bra patterns with some support. I mean, all the lacy little bralettes are beautiful but they're not exactly supportive.

I've had my eye on the Lotus bra for a while now, contemplating if it's the right sort of bra for me. I'm the kind of person who, when I buy a pattern, I want to make more than 1 item with it, maybe make a few variations e.t.c.

While visiting LilipaDesigns' site for the 10th time looking at the bra, I figured it was time to buy the pattern...!

With hesitation, I made my tester out of some rigid charmeuse and tulle, random elastics and leftovers. I pick my size following the pattern's instructions which put me at 34DD/BCD 10,3cm. The instructions I found quite detailed with drawings at every step. It also includes the sorts of fabric you should use for the pattern for cups and band and the stretch percentages. Looks good and easy to follow!

The only thing missing is instructions about cutting the bra slings, sort of fabric for the slings and if they're doubled up or not. You can however find all the information you need about slings and fabrics in this blog post ! I also asked Lily and she said that she prefers cutting the slings on the fold since this way you also get finished edges.

 So this is my test Lotus! It would have been even pretty dare I say except from the gothic arch πŸ’©. This was my first attempt at a gothic arch and it shows... Oh well, at least this was a tester!

(Roxanne is going to be modeling all of the Lotuses since without a 'model', they look like pancakes due to the fact that there are no wires to hold em up!πŸ˜‹)

Do not look at that arch!πŸ’©


I like the way it turned out! I've been wearing it as a sleeping bra and I find it comfy. Although it isn't perfect... Something's off. Yea, it's missing some foam padding!😜

Lily made a beautiful variation of the pattern by adding padding to it and covered it with lace on top:

Beautiful right?πŸ’—

 Using this as inspiration, I decided to make one with foam as well 😏

I taped the cup pieces together (overlapping the seam allowances) and drew a lightly curved line where I wanted my foam cups to end. I then separated the pieces again, traced the new pattern pieces and removed the seam allowance from the cup seam (where the two cup pieces connect to each other). And tada!

I picked one of my not-so-favorite laces (I wasn't sure how it was going to come out so..πŸ˜‹) and my thinnest padding, (the plan was to use this one as a sleeping bra as well) black bra tulle and, well, black everything and put it all together!

It turned out so much prettier than I expected! Some of my stitching is wacky but luckily enough you can't see it, all black was my friend here!πŸ˜… I also figured after I finished that my thread wasn't black but deep blue...😩

I find that it looks too nice to use as a sleeping bra so I decided to try and wear a non-wired bra during the day, something that I haven't done for 20 years 😱!
Omg it is soo comfortable! And it looks beautiful too! I found the non-padded version a bit flattening for me but this one... Comfy and supportive, giving very nice shape and, on top of all that, so cute!πŸ’•

The gothic arch went much better this time!

Next up I'm going to be making another one with some self dyed materials! I need more of them Lotuses!πŸ’•

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Oops I did it again! Another Maya with a twist

Yup, another Maya, what can I say, I love this pattern!😊

After a lot of drafting and making of slips, strings bodysuits etc that I have to do for my degree, I needed a break from it and what better to make than a great fitting bra?😜

I recently paid a visit to the biggest lingerie materials store in the Netherlands and came home with 3 full bags of pretty pretty things!πŸ’• I bought a bit of everything (a 'bit'...πŸ˜‚), of course lace as well!

I've had this idea for a Maya for a while now, I wanted to make the bottom cup(s) padded but the top cup sheer, preferably with lace. In my haul, I bought mostly light pink and beige cute lace but I also got this crimson/purple/pink lace I thought would fit with this project.

I have nothing to say about pattern changes since my pattern already fits me perfectly.
I cut the bottom 2 cup pieces out of padding and lace and my top cup out of lace and bra tulle. I zigzagged my bottom cup pieces together and also the top edge of the foam. The upper layer (aka the lace and bra tulle) I put together as usual. I pinned my lace to my foam and stitched all around the cup and across the diagonal cup seam so that my top layer will stay put and not move around the top of the foam. I would have finished the top of the cups with some neckline edge elastic trim thingy but guess what I forgot to buy...πŸ’©

The band has got some layers..! The whole band is made with powernet but since I don't want my cradle to stretch at all, I lined it with bra tulle. I of course had to make it prettier than just brown, so I added some lace to the sides of the cradle. I also cut out a piece from the lace and added it the bridge.
The rest was done as usual, picot elastic e.t.c.

The back closure and bra straps came from the bra graveyard, they belonged to a 2 sizes too small bra that I used to think that fit meπŸ˜‚.

And that's about it!

The only mistake that I've spotted is that I didn't stretch the lace enough over the foam and it's bulging up a bit... Oh well, I learned something again: stretch that lace!!

I πŸ’– it! I'd say that's the best and prettiest one so far! What do you think?πŸ˜ƒ

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Slight change of plans and one more Maya!

So yes, my last attempts for a great fit didn't go that well... So I decided to stop using Bella Hendriks' book "Maatwerk lingerie en badkleding", it just didn't want to work with my figure! πŸ’
 I do know that eventually, with the right adjustments, I would have gotten a good fit but what's the point of making 100 changes when you can use another method and have a good fit with much less effort and wasted materials?

Since here in the Netherlands, if you want a degree in bra making you have to first have one in lingerie (at least with the system my teacher uses),  I got a book that includes everything! And by lingerie I mean bodies, nightgowns, robes, pajamas, camisoles, slips, e.t.c.,e.t.c. The book is of course in Dutch and it's called "Patroontekenboek Dameskleding en lingerie" and it's from Danckaerts (Sorry non-Dutch speakers 😏!). What's also very nice about this book is that it also includes clothing, so it basically has everything!

To be honest, I don't expect to become an expert bra maker with this book but that's ok, I get to learn lots of other things and techniques and in the process also learn how to draft my own clothing! Fortunately there are a few good English language bra drafting books that I can also use! I'm already planning on ordering Beverly Johnson's books anyway!πŸ˜‹

Ok, enough about all that for now, you're probably here to see this beauty:

What do you do after being disappointed a bunch of times and just want something pretty? Yes, another Maya!πŸ˜‹ I've tried other patterns, most of them just didn't do it for me, the Maya is just my favorite so far, so I keep making them!

I have changed nothing to my pattern since these 2 ,no reason to touch my pattern anymore since it's perfect! 

I used this beautiful lace that I bought a while ago from Amsterdam, white background with yellow flowers and green leaves.

I used my 6mm (yes, 6mm!) beige foam padding and covered it with the lace. For the frame I used beige 2-way stretch polyester lycra which I doubled for the back wings. My cradle was lined with rigid tulle. And of course a bit more lace on the bridge for some extra cuteness!πŸ’›

The fit is, as expected, perfect!πŸ’š I'm very happy with it but I think I have enough Mayas now for a while πŸ˜‹!

Monday, October 15, 2018

An attempt to diagonal cups

Back from vacation and ready to continue my bra making adventures!

I couldn't wait to give the diagonal cup a try in the hope that it'd look better than the horizontal cup draftπŸ˜‹.

I followed my book again (which, to be honest,at times I find unnecessarily complicated), and altered my pattern. My knowledge is still limited when it comes to how patterns should look so I assumed it was ok.
Initially I started making a soft bra again but, if you've read my other posts, you know I'm not really a fun of them since, despite my bra size, I still got lemons!πŸ˜…
I had already cut my lace out and was about to start putting my bra together when I decided I'm gonna make it with padding! For the padding I added the same seam allowance at the wireline as for the lace ( and not +1cm that I normally add), I thought, this padding is quite thin, it should be fine.
I also moved the strap position 1cm outwards since above the apex didn't do it for me.

The result? Meh...😐 I mean... I like the color combination and the lace is beautiful but... The cups are a bit small, the straps are still too far inwards and the apex is too low... And now I have another sleeping bra...πŸ˜‚

In the last picture you can see where the apex is supposed to be and where my cross cup seam is, with as a result: downward pointing boobs!πŸ‘€
I thought the apex being too low was my mistake since I added less seam allowance than usual ( and less than the book suggests). The strap position...well, apparently the ''ideal'' strap placement is above the apex but that doesn't work for me, it just looks weird!

So I decided to try and fix one problem at a time, starting from the apex issue.
Since I f@cked up the seam allowance on the last one, I started again, making another bra but this time with the right seam allowance added. At that point I was sure that this was going to fix that problem and the fact that the previous one was a bit small.
I scored some push up underwires on my vacation and thought this would be fine to try with this bra as well since all I gotta do is lower my bridge and my upper cup a bit. (Spoiler alert: it didn't go that well!)
So I started all over again, cut my stuff, put it together and.... it's worse! πŸ˜•πŸ˜‘ It looks like a misformed triangle bra that got run over by a truckπŸ’©...

Again the dots show where the apex should be and where it is... Even lower than before somehow (?)
I find this so ugly that I don't even want to use it as a sleeping bra, to the bra graveyard it goes!πŸ‘Ž
The apex is still too low, the straps are too far towards the center and there's excess fabric/padding at the outer sides on the seam line.  I think I have to start from scratch, remeasuring and all and keep my cross cup seam lines a bit straighter.

So yea... that's how well that went, I need to take a break from this, make a couple of pretty things first and then start again!

I want to add as a footnote that this post was written a couple of months ago and after these 2 disasters, I decided to not continue with this book since nothing fit me properly (I also tried to make panties and a top) and, even with my limited knowledge, I disagree with the way some things are supposed to be cut/fit. Also, as I already mentioned, I find it unnecessarily complicated.
More about what I decided to do and how to continue on the next post 😊!