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.

Summer Lingerie Part 4 - Evie la Luve Darcey and Binky again!

Not sure what I would get out of the scraps I first cut the pieces for the Binky and decided how to finish once I worked out what bra I could make.  So it ended up being the Darcey Style 3 and Binky Style 5.

Has I had fussy cut the last two sets I had quite a lot of small pieces left so it was hard to find enough to make a bra after using the last two big pieces for the Binky.  The purple contrast had worked so well with the Romy that I thought I would try the mesh Darcey version, reducing the amount of fabric needed.  This used up most of the purple fold over and I had already used up my supply of navy.  So I used the ice blue for the waist and decided to try the narrow lace for the leg of the Binky.

First up was the Darcey.  The curve of the mesh looks daunting but as with every Evie la Luve pattern the pieces went together really well.  What I would say is make sure you mark ( I never snip)  the notches accurately and make sure they match as this ensures the proper placement of the curved pieces.  As the mesh is dark I did grade the seam allowance to ensure it was tucked between the lighter layers. Then I pressed over a tailor's ham.

The bra is then finished as Style 1.  The centre front piece is enclosed by the side fronts fabric and lining.  Again grading the seam allowance and pressing using the tailor's ham.  The side front is then enclosed by the back band fabric and lining.  

The next step is the first pass of the band elastic.  The back straps are then attached to the inside of the bra on the band elastic.  So when the band elastic is folded back for the second pass the straps are neatly enclosed.  This is such a neat method. Then the fold over elastic is applied to the neckline.  As always, before applying to the top edge of the bra, you check the back band fits into the fastener.  I shaved a small amount of, with both sides together, so they match.  Guidelines are given for the length of elastic and this works pretty well for me.  The point I would make here is to make sure you mark the centre of the elastic for the V of the neckline so evenly matched on both sides.

The inside of this bra is as good as the outside.

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Then on to the Binky.  I thought I would finish the leg with some narrow lace.  I have done once before on a Frankie and it turned out pretty good.  I had forgotten what I a time consuming method this is.  You pin the lace along the edge of the lace on one side and then mirror on the other side.  I did not baste but went straight to sewing as the lace was not moving around on the fabric.  

Then I used a small zigzag all around the inner edge of the lace which is a lot of lifting of the presser foot for an even curve!   The next step is to trim the fabric close to the stitching.  This is where applique (duckbill) scissors come into their own,  I have two different sizes.  I did most with the larger pair and then went to the smaller pair for any tight turns.  

I did use white bobbin thread so you can hardly see the stitching.  Then a perfect match on the side seams.  I certainly got value for money with a yard of fabric!

More Evie La Luve - Darcey and Binky Perfect Partners

Having made one version of the Binky I was eager to try more, especially a mesh version and match with the Darcey Bra.  Along came a 20% PDF weekend and whilst I deliberated which patterns I wanted/needed I came across some great lace and fold over elastic.  It took such a  long time to decide which colour to use.  In the end I went with the peach purely down to the fact I didn't think any of my FOE went with the deep coral.

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It took even longer to decide which version of each.  This decision came down to the width of the lace and findings to match.  So I went with Style 4 of the Darcey and added a lace band.  For the Binky I went with Style 1 for the front lace overlay and Style 3 with the half lace back (I have now found some wide lace to do a full lace back)

Then came the complicated part.  I had some blush mesh which was the right colour but I thought too open and then I had peach powernet (both from Tailor Made) that was perfect but too peach so I used the mesh as the main fabric and the powernet as the lining.  For the Binky I used as one overlaying the mesh on the powernet.

I had made a Willow bra so checked the size I made in this.  For the same measurements I was a small in the Willow but a medium for the Darcey as there is a wider size range for this pattern.

The lace was also a very open design and for once easy to see on the green mat.  I used a temporary spray adhesive to keep the lace in place whilst I sewed along the scallop edge.  I find too much movement between the different stretch of the fabrics when I pin or baste.  Already looking so pretty.

As I used the lace and power net for the band I could enclose all seams.  So much neater.  Then which foe to use.  The elastic for the straps and band also came from a Tailor Made kit.  Both the peach and blush looked good but as the the other elastic was more of a peach colour I went with the peach that I bought with the lace.  

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Before you fold down your band elastic you attach the bottom of the strap which again makes it look so neat inside.  Decided the rose gold findings looked the best.  Then you need to check that the back seams fits into the fastener before you apply the foe to the top edge.  Once done you then sew the strap to the foe to keep in place.  

 

So on to the Binky.  The first pair I made a few weeks ago were a fabulous fit so no worries about what size to make.  I did notice that the brief patterns  have  1/4" seam allowance and the bras have a 3/8".  I always check as this does seem to vary from designer to designer.

I was so pleased when the pattern piece fit the scallop edge perfectly.  Not often it does that.  Then I used temporary adhesive spray to keep my two layers of mesh and powernet together.  Just laying out the pieces I knew how pretty they would look.  

The lace attached and the seams look off centre but it is the fact the seams are overlocked and pressed to one side giving the illusion that they are off.  The front seam is enclosed between the gusset and lining.  The back seam is overlocked as are the side seams.  I did sew a few machine stitches, as suggested in the pattern, where the lace meets the foe especially as the lace is such an open design.  Just the waist to do. 

Well I have to praise myself for such a fabulous job.  The fit is perfect.  I was concerned how the V of the bra would look but again the look and shape is gorgeous. And, although I am  getting to grips with foe and have a good feel for how much to stretch, I found the guides in both patterns to be spot on.   

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All neat and tidy on the inside of the Darcey and a fabulous back view of the Binky.