Straps, Lace and Foam - Part 2

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I came across Sew Swimmingly during the #Braugust 2018 Instagram challenge and eagerly awaited the release of the Veronica pattern. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. How good does this look? I teamed with the side strap version of the Ohhh Lulu Nora. Great Match.

I thought I would make in one of the metallic mesh fabrics I had bought from Madalynne. The choice was based on the availability of the right colour strap elastic - blush it was to be.

There aren’t any pictures of the back so I hadn’t realised it was a pull on until I bought the pattern. A big issue for me with my wide shoulders but I thought I would make it to get a feel for the sizing of a new designer, for me.

it is really hard to get a good picture of the fabric but it is gorgeous.

I started with the cut and sew foam. The bra can be made without but it’s recommended for extra support. Unlike the Jasmine this pattern doesn’t have a lining to enclose the foam so I used some silky soft foam. Unfortunately I can’t remember where I got it from!! Once I cut the foam out I put a red circle around the foam on the pattern piece so I wouldn’t get messed up when I made this again. The pieces went together well. The pattern instructions do not give a specific size for the zigzag to use to butt the pieces together. I went for 4 wide and 1.5 wide as taught in the Beverly Johnson class “Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond”.

Then onto the fabric. The mesh is so fine it had to be lined. As I had used the beige foam I needed a more opaque fabric than the blush mesh I had so I ended up using a lilac powernet that also had some shine to it. Rather than waste powernet I first cut out in the mesh and sprayed these pieces with temporary adhesive spray and then placed on the powernet as economically as possible.

I placed the pattern pieces back over to cut around again as the mesh had already stretched out. A tip I have picked up along the way is to place paper underneath and cut through this which gives a really clean cut with lace and lots of other fine fabrics. All my pieces were the same size.

As I had two layers of fabric I wanted to minimise the bulk in the seam allowances. I graded the side seams, pushed over to the side cup and then topstitched them down. The centre I pressed open and again used my stitch in the ditch for accurate topstitching. I trimmed all back to the stitching line.

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Next you place the front over the foam. At this point I machine stitched all along to keep all the layers together to make it easier to attach the band and elastics rather than just pin as instructed in the pattern.

I used the same combination of mesh and powernet for the band so I could enclose the front. The band piece doesn’t actually say cut on fold but it seemed quite obvious.

I did check the size against another pull on and it looked about right. After turning to the right side I basted the top and bottom of the band so there is no movement of the two layers whilst I attached the elastic.

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I have lot of pink fold over elastic to choose from but went for a baby pink from Minerva Crafts. There are no guidelines for the amount of elastic to use other than to stretch slightly to ensure it hugs the body. I am quite happy to use this method for the sides. However, for the front elastic I measured and took off an inch and marked the centre point so I would use the same on each side and on both sides of the curve. This seemed to work pretty well.

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On to the bottom edge elastic. There is no mention of width of plush elastic to use so I went with the wider of my two elastics which was 1/2”. For the band, the instructions tell you to deduct 2” from the exact measurement. For my previous make, where I just went with a gentle pull, it doesn’t hug quite enough. It is really important to trim all those layers back to the zigzag so when you fold over and use the correct size three step zigzag you are only going through the one set of fabric and the elastic.

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Then on to the strapping. The instructions say to use 3/8” elastic, rings and sliders. I only had 1/2” but that worked fine. Where there are multiple elastics going through the rings it would have probably been better to use 5/8” rings. Having said that, once on and stretched in place it looks fine. There is quite a lot of bulk when attaching the rings to the bralette and I would have preferred a longer straight piece to fold over. The satin stitching over the unfinished edge does look neat.

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So for a matching set. I remembered I had an Ohhh Lulu pattern with some side strapping. I had made a while ago and remembered the gusset was too wide for my body shape. So first I put the pieces together, taking into account the seam allowances and used my curved ruler to redraw the line I needed. Again I would need to line the mesh. This time I went with the blush mesh and cut in one piece using temporary adhesive spray again.

A pretty quick make after this. As the fabric is so stretchy I measured out the fold over elastic. For the legs I deducted 1 1/2”, 1 1/4” for the back and 1” for the front so I could get a snug fit. For the legs I divided into quarters to make sure I got an even fit . The waist I matched at the middle. I like the way the strapping is finished by joining at the seam allowance and then folding back on itself. I finished off with a satin stitch, again catching in the unfinished edge. This is so much neater than my first pair when I had just started to sew lingerie.

So the verdict on the Veronica. Whilst the instructions only have technical drawings and not photos, for me this was not a problem. If you are new to sewing lingerie, especially fold over elastic, it may be helpful to have a guide and maybe what width plush elastic to use. What I was impressed by was how well it fit and the look is sensational. I wasn’t expecting the halter neck to be so comfortable but it sat in exactly the right place. The adjusted Nora fitted perfectly and looks fabulous with the Veronica.

Sewing Round Up

Been rather busy with actual work so not much on the sewing front.  A colleague had a baby so I got to try out Blank Slate Patterns Snuggle PJs.   A good size range from 3m to 12y.  The organic cotton panda fabric is perfect.  I didn't have to make any binding as I had the black jersey bias the right width and weight of fabric.  The bottoms are quilting cotton I chose as it had just a hint of pink.  

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The new baby also meant I got to try out embroidering a plushie.  Not as easy as they make it look.  This is a Mumbles zippy.  There is a zip at the back so although you can take out the body pod there is still a big head to manoeuvre around.  I did try to get hold of an Embroidery Buddy as you can also take out the head pod but can't find anyone in the UK who sells small numbers.  I did have a birth announcement  template to use but just too much to get in so kept it simple.  I added the pink gingham bow for balance.

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Although a huge stack of planned projects I am always sidetracked.  This time it was the Josie Tunic, a download pattern, in Sew magazine featuring some lovely heavy rose pink and grey Ponte Roma knit from Minerva Crafts.  So I rounded up on the metres as I like to make mini items with leftovers.  It took about 1.8m when the requirements said 1.4!  The next issue was the size to make.  The pattern included 8-20 but no indication anywhere in the magazine or online what that meant or finished sizes.  So I went with the size of pattern I always start with not my RTW.  I made the mistake of thinking it was a quick  make so just go with it.  It was huge.  I shaped the sleeves into the wrist as well as at the waist and took a large amount off the hips.  As the back skirt seam was on a curve for shape it no longer met the front skirt seam.  It also meant the pockets were close to the side seams.  Still it is very comfy and I wore it the very next day.

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I also had another quick make with Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan. For this one I used fabric sold by the weight fabric from Abakhan.  It feels and smells like wool when wet but you you can never tell what you have bought from the receipt!  I just love this pattern for me being the 5ft 6" most patterns are drafted and with long arms.  Designed with layering in mind, it has minimal excess fabric in the front and a close fit around the neck and shoulders.   I made View A which extends down to the mid-thigh and includes patch pockets at hand level while view B ends at the hips.  Based on my measurements I made a medium and yes it fit how it should.  The sleeves are long but the cuff size means they sit just where they are meant to.  

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Urban threads had this Kitty Specs design on sale and it was another I just have to make project.  It was meant to be as I decided to clear my desk of all those things that I didn't want to file in case I forgot I had bought them and there were these Lecien Jelly pink handles from Sew Hot.   There was even a pattern with the handles.  No problem finding suitable fabric in the stash.  The premium vinyl is also from Sew Hot.  It iis worth getting the premium vinyl as it is both strong and supple making it so much easier to work with.  Not sure it will ever get used but makes me smile!

Evie La Luve Inspiration and Art Gallery Fabric

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I saw this Art Gallery fabric (Pandalicious Yinghua Cherrylight) in one of Hannah's tutorials and decided I must have some.  I found it on an a number of websites but used Minerva Crafts as I get a 10% discount on all purchases as a member of their Craft Club.  

As the Esme pattern is my go to pattern I made this version first.  The fit is fabulous and the cross over lace looks gorgeous whatever you make it in.  Just as I bought the fabric Hannah launched her Frankie pattern so the other two in the Art Gallery fabric are versions 1 and 3.  The Frankie's are a mid rise fit perfect for every day wear.  There are over 40 combinations  using variations of wide stretch lace, narrow stretch lace, fabric and elastics and all with beautiful colour instructions it really is a must have pattern.  I have since made a lace overlay version but have yet to make the dip and strap back version, although I have bought the rose gold findings for when I find the right fabric.  

The bra is my own design using foam cups from BWear based on a technique I picked up from Beverly Johnson's Craftsy Class - Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond.  You place a piece of the fabric on the cup and work it around the perimeter so it is smooth and without puckers or creases.  If I am using FOE for the front edge I then zigzag all around from the inside and cut back the fabric to the cup.   The fabric is really stretchy so I lined the frame and bridge with sheer nylon.  For extra support and to enclose the seams I lined the back band with a microfibre tricot stretch fabric which is really soft against the skin.  

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As I have seen so many good reviews I thought I would also try the Watson bra from Cloth Habit.  The instructions are so good with an explanation of stretch fabrics and guidance as to the stitch length and width to use.  I used a tricot lining for the cradle and lined the cups and band with what I consider a light powernet.  The size guide was pretty accurate for me but next time I make this bra I would probably make the longline version for that extra bit of support. 

To complete the set I used the rest of the mint lace to make the free pattern from So Sew Easy.  There is more of the Art Gallery fabric but that is for another day!