Evie la Luve Keyhole Darcey - Another Triumph

Not that I needed an excuse to buy any more Evie la Luve patterns but the Keyhole Darcey Add On was released just in time for Sew My Style November which is featuring all my favourite patterns - the Darcy and Willow Bras accompanied by the Binky and Frankie. Having just finished the very pretty Blossom Add On set I thought I would use up the rest of the very bright fabric from Costura Secret Shop and the fabulous coral strap elastic from Madalynne.

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The add on gives you the centre front pattern piece and the instructions to finish the keyhole and strapping. The shoulder straps are also completed in a different way with the sliders at the front. The colour scheme is amazing. At this point I hadn’t decided what to use for the back bands or even what colour fold over elastic to use as I didn’t have enough to do in all the same colour.

The centre front is cut in two separate pieces and then one side enclosed in the other. Scuba is quite bulky so I decided to join the centre fronts of the fabric and lining separately and then baste together to use as one piece. I also pattern matched the centre front seam.

As with the regular Darcey the centre front piece is enclosed in the side seams. I carefully trimmed the seam allowance ensuring the dark pattern of the scuba did not show through the lining.

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I don’t normally use scuba for the back band as sometimes the pattern can become distorted when stretched but I did this time for the look I wanted to achieve. I made sure I marked the strap positions beyond the seam allowance so they didn’t disappear when the elastic was applied to the bottom band. Then straps are applied to the bottom band before it is folded up so neatly enclosed.

Then I had to make some decisions about what colour elastic to use. I was toying between the blue and coral strapping. I didn’t have quite enough blue but the coral was slightly narrower than the pattern recommended. Luckily I had just had a delivery of multi size findings from Evie la Luve so I could play around with rings and sliders to get the look right. Once decided upon the coral I though the blue fold over elastic looked better than the green.

I made up the straps in one go following the elastic cutting guide. Just three inches spare. As always I use a fabric glue stick to keep in place whilst I sew. I start in the middle and go forward and back and end in the middle. This ensures I can snip the thread close to the fabric and do not have any unsightly ends.

There are no guides for the length of fold over elastic to use. However, if you refer back to the main pattern it does give this for the armhole elastic. I always give myself 1/2” at the start which helps start and then I keep taut but not overly stretched especially around the curves. A steam later and looks great,

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I have got quite fussy with the reverse side of my makes so now I finish off the strap ends with satin stitches before I fold in place over the ring or slider. I used a smaller slider for the centre front due to the width of the strap elastic but I did check the fabric side went through neatly. I kept the rings the same size as they have to take shoulder and front elastic through as well as the main fabric.

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I had already planned to make the Frankie Version 7 when Evie la Luve posted this suggestion on Instagram. Obviously on the same wavelength! I have already written a blog on this so will move on to my obsession with using every last bit of fabric. Just enough to get another Binky front. Then I went in search of lace wide enough to do a full lace back. The closest match was another Evie la Luve purchase. More coral than it looks in the picture.

Not much fabric to work with so I cut the front and gusset in one piece taking out the seam allowance. The back pattern piece fit the low points of the scallops well. As I had used quite a lot of the blue fold over on the other makes I added a bit of contrast with the green which is from another Evie la Luve Kit

So now I have another perfect set of mix and match to go with my previous makes with this fabric.

I really need to move on to my Christmas to do list!

Darcey and Binky Blossom Add On - Can it get any better?

Having decided on a DIY Christmas I thought I would get on and make a start on the cards but then SewMyStyle announced November would be some of my favourite Evie la Luve patterns. So for the challenge I thought I would make one of the few versions that I had not done before. Even better I had a beautiful floral scuba kit to use. As with all Evie la Luve’s products the quality is amazing. How gorgeous is this?

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There is so much going on in the fabric. With so many colours to pick up it is was really difficult to choose what to do first - pink, peach, green, purple even a small amount of blue/mint. I felt quite dizzy with all the variations going around in my head. What I really wanted to do was a Blossom Add On set which is mainly stretch mesh. So I decided on the pink theme as I had some lovely stretch mesh from Costura Secret Shop.

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There are two styles for the Binky Blossom add on. Style 1 I had done so this time I would try Style 2. The Darcey Blossom add on is a front overlay with a longline option. I was going to try the longline version but I struggled to find continuous tape for the fastener in the right colour. The choice was made. Then on to cutting perfect scallops from the scuba.

I thought I would share how I got it to look so perfect. I used this technique on my previous make but did not go into any detail. I will introduce the Cricut Maker - the ultimate cutting machine. Bought on whim last Christmas, I cannot tell you how much it has changed my crafting life and now rivals my sewing machines for my affection. That said on to the technique. The free Cricut software it uses is called Design Space which works with SVG files. My idea was to upload the pattern pieces. You can upload photos and clean them up to create precise designs but this wasn’t producing a clean cut. Then after some research I found a free program called Inkscape which lets you upload a PDF and map it or, as I did, simply trace the shape.

I had to watch a few videos to pick up the basics that I needed to do this but it was well worth the 10 minutes. First I imported the page I needed and then I flipped the image 90 degrees as I found it easier to work this way around and zoomed in so the shape filled the screen.

Then I used the Bezier tool to go from point to point along the pattern. You can see the green line from node to node. Next you edit the path of the nodes to match the curves of the pattern. With the closeness of the lines you really have to zoom in to get this perfect.

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Once you are happy you delete the imported page and you are left with your pattern piece which you then save as an SVG file. For the pattern pieces that are on the fold you don’t join the nodes along the foldline but duplicate the shape, flip and join the open nodes to create one piece.

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The next step is to import the file into Cricut Design Space. For some reason you have to resize the design as they do not load at the correct size. You need to copy the measurements from Inkscape into Design Space. I also physically measured the dimensions on the paper pattern piece to double check. First I cut out in thick card to check the size. I am amazed at just how perfect a fit they are.

Then on to the actual fabric. Pink fabric mat out, rotary cutter in the machine and spandex setting for the cut. I used the card template to fussy cut the pieces so I could up the pink in the fabric. Perfect scallops and such beautiful colours.

Rather than pin or baste I use temporary spray adhesive to keep in place whilst I sew around the scallop edge. I did this really slowly so I could sew perfect curves as I was using dark blue thread and you would see this on the reverse side. I did all my pieces in one go so I didn’t need to keep changing the thread from blue to pink. I could incorporate the gusset into the front piece but I prefer an enclosed gusset. I did pattern match but it’s hard to see as the scuba doesn’t lie very flat.

To finish you return to the regular Binky pattern. I used the overlock stitch on my regular machine for the side seams. Good enough on a small seam.

Onto the Darcey. A little more fussy cutting and remembering to duplicate the side front piece and then mirror.

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The seams are rather bulky so I did grade them. Normally I would leave the seam allowance that is pressed against the main fabric the longest but this would mean you could see the dark fabric through the stretch mesh on the reverse so I did the other way around. With the front done I had to decide what fabric to use for the back pieces. I had noticed that because of the dark colour of this scuba it doesn’t look good when stretched too far. I also thought the stretch mesh would be too light even with two layers so I used a strong powernet for the lining.

I like the way the straps are enclosed in the bottom band. Then as usual I check the fit of the fastener before applying the fold over elastic to the top edge. I used my curved ruler to redraw a smooth line and then cut with sides together for a perfect match. The neckline elastic went in well - you just need to keep the elastic taut when you pivot at the centre front.

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I am just stunned at how pretty this set has turned out. The back is as good as the front. And I have developed a whole new skill set in the process.

Now what colours to pick out next? This just may be my #bpsewember Day 13: Struggle.

Mystic - Another Orange Lingerie Pattern Release!

No sooner had I finished the Orange Lingerie Lansdowne when the Mystic bra pattern flashed up on Instagram. It is described as a seamless t-shirt bra providing invisible shaping and support underneath even the most fitted garments! Never mind the numerous other projects I have stacked I just had to try. A busy work week so I had to wait until the weekend. So just in time for Strictly I managed another gorgeous set.

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The pattern is based on pre-formed foam bra cups. Luckily, I had a pair in my stash purchased from BWear when I first attempted making bras. I had used two sets for the Pin-Up Girl’s Anita/Amelia Foam Cup Bra Pattern. This offers both a lace and fabric cup option with a lace full band. I had bought the pattern after watching Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy Class Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond. Then I had tried a self drafted partial band which I found hard going because of the bulk of the foam on the bottom edge of the cup. So I was intrigued to see how Orange Lingerie tackled the issue.

I knew from previous makes that you need your fabric to be really stretchy so I looked around for some soft jersey scraps and there on the pile was this super organic cotton from Jelly Fabrics I had just used to line my Charlie Jacket. I only had black foam cups but when I stretched the fabric over slightly it looked fine so I went ahead.

I read the instructions and the trick is to to attach a seam allowance to the inside of the cup. I struggled to find something appropriate and I ended up with some tape. Once you have the tape in place you have to place your fabric with the greatest stretch direction in line with the upper edge and then manipulate until you get out all the creases.

This does take some time and patience. You just need to keep moving the pins around until the creases eventually are stretched out, taking care not to distort the foam cup. Once you are happy with this you then mark a line on the upper cup as well as a notch in the middle on both the fabric and cup. You then need to take out your pins and put the right side of the fabric against the cup with the line matching the edge as well as the notches. You sew an 1/8” seam along the edge and then roll the fabric over and then start the placing of the fabric all over again. When all the wrinkles have gone you sew the fabric to the new seam allowance and cut the the underarm fabric back to 3/8”.

I did one cup and decided to try something different with the second for a smoother look. I left attaching the seam allowance until after I finished the upper edge and got the fabric back in place. Then I basted the fabric in place along the side and bottom edge. With the fabric in place I butted fusible tape along the edge of the cup and fused to the fabric only and then trimmed back to the 1/4” seam allowance.

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With the cups done I had to choose what fabric to use for the rest of the bra. I had some matching red jersey as well as some aqua marine stretch mesh from Costura Secret Shop. Then a decision between red findings or a Fit2Sew findings kit in turquoise. Too much choice but I decided on using the same fabric for the bridge and side band with two layers of the mesh for the back band. With this combination the turquoise findings looked best.

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On to the bridge. The pattern does say to stabilise if using your cup fabric. This is really important as I found out in previous makes. The jersey stretches out and causes creases when used with a stable lining. So I used an ultra soft fusible to stabilise. Initially I was going to use black sheer lining to match the foam cup but changed to beige. Attaching the bridge to the cups is quite fiddly to get right but worth the effort.

The elastic is added to the cup at this stage. On the first pass the elastic is attached to the fabric seam allowance only. You then attach stabiliser to the end of the elastic so that it is not stretched out by the strap. The pattern has you hand stitch the elastic in place using a fell stitch. However, I just used a machine zigzag as thought a stronger finish and my hand stitching is not very neat.

After stabilising the side bands I used temporary adhesive spray to attach the beige lining to the back and also to keep the two layers of mesh together. The back band is then attached to the side band. This should be pressed towards the side band but my fabric preferred to sit the other way because of the bulk. So rather than overlock the seam and add extra bulk I topstitched close to the edge and trimmed back to the stitching. I think it is worth saying it would be hard to pattern match the cups. I started with two different flamingos in the middle of each cup and this looks fine. However, with so much moving of the fabric you could struggle to be anymore precise.

After attaching the top and bottom elastic to the bands you make the strap. Before attaching the strap I checked the fit of the fastener. The band was too wide so I pinned the two sides together and reshaped to fit. This ensures the bands are exactly the same.

The bands are then attached to the cups. There is an awful lot of bulk where the two elastics meet on the underarm but thankfully not an issue for the sewing machine. Just the chaneling to do before attaching the strap. Before sealing off the ends I made sure that the wires fit through . All done and on to making a matching set.

The Orange Lingerie Montgomery brief is a perfect match as it has an innovative design that eliminates elastic from the bottom for a smooth profile under clothing. I have made this pattern a number of times as it is a really comfortable fit. Although a pattern for a lace front there is a great guide on Norma’s website for a simple adaption so you can use fabric.

You just need to add the seam allowance for the waist elastic and because you are not using the edge of the lace you can draw a light curve for the waist. To make sure it was symmetrical I folded the pattern piece over and used on the fold rather than cut on one layer. To use as much of my fabric as I could I also added the gusset to the panel, rather than use the mesh. So you need to eliminate the seam allowance . This would mean I wouldn’t be able to enclose the front seam but not a big issue for me. I overlocked the front edge and basted in place.

The findings kit was just for a bra so there was not enough 3/8” elastic for both the legs and waist. The kit does contain a neck edge elastic which is rather decorative so I used this for the waist instead. I always put my waist elastic join on the side but the match on this was so good you can’t see it! The guide does say not to stretch the elastic over the front panel as it is meant for a rigid lace. However, this jersey is very stretchy so I calculated my usual deduction and distributed the elastic evenly. Worked perfectly.

Another fabulous make. It is a time consuming process but worth the effort. It did help that I had used a similar method before and knew what size cup, wire and back band works for me and all made from my stash.

No Stopping Me Now - Orange Lingerie Lansdowne and Blossom4Binky

A rather selfish weekend of sewing but I have so many beautiful kits stacked up I just had to use one of them. So as we head into Autumn I thought I would use the strikingly colourful kit from CosturaSecretShop. Then I had to decide what to make with it. Orange Lingerie has just released the new Lansdowne bra pattern so that decision was made. Then Evie la Luve posted a fabulous Blossom set on Instagram and having bought the add on pattern as soon as it came out it was time to give it a try. Feeling quite smug for a number of reasons.

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I have made all the other Orange Lingerie patterns using the same size but as the Lansdowne is a partial band bra I thought I would make my usual paper cup and check. I really like the fact that the PDF pattern has a set of pieces for each size and that the seam allowances are marked. I just cut off the seam allowances and tape together along the cup seam. Looked fine.

The positioning of the lace is made easy as the seam allowances are marked and you can see exactly where the lace will join the bridge and where the strap ring will be attached. I lined with a nude bra tulle from my stash and used clear elastic to stabilise which I attached using a three step zigzag.

Then I had some decisions to make. The kit came with white sheer lining, nude picot elastic, blue strap elastic, black powernet and a black fastener. I hadn’t really picked up on the coral from the pictures I had seen of makes from the kit. I really love the contrast of the coral and the blue and remembered ordering some notions from Madalynne. Wow! So I swapped the elastics.

The outer cup requires stable fabric but as the scuba has some stretch in one direction I lined with the white sheer lining to stablise. This also meant I could enclose the cup seam for a neater finish. I decided against using the fabric for the band as thought this would be too much and used some navy powernet from my stash rather than the black from the kit. Rather than overlock the band to the side band, which creates bulk, I just did two rows of straight top stitching to keep in place. This is fine with scuba which doesn’t fray.

On to the band elastic and the usual dilemma when using different colour elastic and fabric. What colour thread to use? So I did the first pass in beige/nude which blends into the coral really well. However, the colour wasn’t good enough for the contrast on the navy powernet. So had the blue on top and kept the beige in the bobbin, sewing the second pass with the fabric right side up. Also, for a better colour match I used navy duoplex for the lining of the bridge. As with my previous partial band I attached the bands and bridge in one go, sewing from one side of the cup to to the other, to leave a guide for attaching the channeling. Looking pretty.

Applied the channeling as with the previous make. The photo shows how I mark the channeling once the first pass has been done. Once the second pass has been done I applied some iron on seam tape to the end of the elastic to provide stability for the ring attachment. Easier and less bulk than sew on.

I still couldn’t make my mind up about the strap elastic as the coral was a little narrow but looked so much better. I chose the coral and then switched to rose gold findings. Before applying the strap elastic I checked the fit of the fastener. As I had used slightly narrower elastic I had to shave some off the band to fit. As always I reshape the bands pinned together so exactly the same.

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Bra finished and on to the Blossom4Binky. The big issue I had was how I was going to cut out the scuba neatly. Then I had a brain wave. I would see if my Cricut Maker could cut the fabric. No setting for scuba but thought I would try the spandex setting. I made a little design with half circles and watched carefully as the rotary blade cut a perfect circle. So next it was how to get the design into Circut Design Space. I played around taking pictures of the pattern piece, uploading and trying to clean up. Unfortunately this was not good enough as this didn’t give clean edges. So I spent a very worthwhile Saturday morning googling and came up with a free package called Inkscape. I opened the PDF in the program and basically traced using the Bezier pen. You make straight lines from point to point and then shape the curves. Amazing, within a short while I had an SVG file for the Cricut. When I opened in Cricut I had to resize as some SVGs do not import the correct size. Easily done and a perfect cut!

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For the main front I used a stretch mesh I bought in the same order from CosturaSecretShop. I used temporary spray adhesive to keep in place whilst I sewed very carefully around the scalloped edge. It was really hard to see the edge in places but I went really slow. I then enclosed the front seam between the gusset and gusset lining. I even pattern matched the gusset so well you can’t see the join in the picture.

I used the lace for the back. The Binky has two options - full back and half back. The lace wasn’t quite wide enough for the full back. So to make life easier I just used a scrap of fabric behind the lace and used a small zigzag stitch along the scalloped edge. Then I trimmed the fabric back to the stitching. Just the elastic to apply. I didn’t have enough coral for both waist and leg so used the coral on the waist and the blue on the leg.

I know the Binky fits well but this Blossom version is gorgeous. It just looks fantastic with the Lansdowne. The fit and shape of this bra is all I expected from Orange Lingerie. With all the new skills where do I go next!

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More Lingerie

Deciding what to do next became more of a problem over Christmas as the arrival of the Cricut Maker and the Sizzix Big Shot brought even more possibilities.  So many new skills to learn. I was quite glad when the kit I bought on discount arrived from Costura Secret shop.  Instagram is great for promotion alerts.  

Bra and Pantie Kit

Bra and Pantie Kit

Everyone seems to be using Scuba for lingerie so I thought I would give it a try.  This fabric had caught my eye on Instagram and I bought on  a deal over Christmas.  The description does give a list of bras patterns that would be suitable.  When the kit arrived the plush elastic for the bra band was only 3/8" and not 1/2" which I would use for the underarm not a bra band.  For some the fabric for the gusset was not cotton may be an issue.

I did have all the patterns mentioned but I had been thinking of trying the wrap around version of Willow bra pattern by Evie La Luve.  There is plenty of fabric and foe to make what you want.  I did need extra strapping and findings included a front closure for the back strap. So the back strap had to be red and I swapped out the gold findings for rose gold (from Evie La luves' etsy shop) as I had everything I needed in this colour. 

The bralette is a "C" cup fitting.  I didn't make a trial version as I use this brand of patterns quite a lot and have a good idea of how they fit.  I crossed over two sizes so I made the smaller one as the pattern doesn't have a back closure which I usually end up adjusting,

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Once everything is cut out you baste the fabric to the lining of the centre front pieces before attaching foe.  You could just use temporary adhesive but in this instance I used a silk thread which pulls out easily without leaving any marks.  The pattern is specific about how much foe to cut.  I always add 1/2" each end as I find fitting to the edge fiddly and then trim excess.  

You then enclose this seam between the fabric and lining of the side front.  To reduce the bulk the instructions tell you to grade the seam cutting the lining fabric shortest and press.  I left the same length as the lining is quite sheer and I didn't want to be able to see the dark fabric on the inside of the bra.  Once pressed the seam was fine.  

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After repeating for the other side you enclose the side front between the fabric and lining back.  Just the strapping to put on now.

 

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I always switch to my walking foot when making and applying straps because of the bulk.  I also find using a fabric glue pen helps keep the strap in place as I sew.  Nothing worse than wonky straps.

The patterns says to use 5/8" rings for the main front pieces.  I didn't have any this size and the 1/2" ones I did use didn't cause any problems.

The fit is pretty good although I did have to make the straps quite short.

Then I had to choose what panties to make.  I remembered that the Frankie pattern has a version with a dip back and strap that would match the bralette.  You can make this pattern in so may variations.  I chose to do the fabric front with foe and lace back.  

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I usually play around with the placement of the lace so that the seam line falls at the low point of the lace.  I then cut one side and flip over to find the mirror image.  Perfect!  As the lace is so fiddly I  always use a stretch stitch to sew the back seam before I serge The next step is to enclose the front between fabric and lining gusset and then apply foe to the leg openings.  I also made the back strap at this point whilst Ihad red thread in the machine.

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Again I use a stretch stitch before I serge when I attach front to back and side seams.  Although I had plenty of red foe left I used navy as I thought it would look better with the lace. 

Looks fabulous and I think my FOE technique is so much better.