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.

Scuba Sensation - Evie la Luve Jamie Bodysuit

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Well there was 20% off PDF patterns at the weekend to celebrate three years of Evie la Luve so I thought I would get the one pattern I didn’t have. It tied in with a few Instagram posts on the Jamie and the gorgeous kit that I’d had my eye for a while. It was going to be a Christmas present but is so sensational I am going to keep it for myself. So here we are!

The kit was for a bra and pantie set but there is enough fabric to make plenty more. I needed some extra strap elastic as well as rings and sliders. The pattern uses a three row fastener but you can adapt the back band for any size. However, I felt I would prefer the extra support of the three row and swapped out the two row one included in the kit. All perfectly matched as everything came from the Evie la Luve shop - all such fabulous quality and gorgeous colours

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The beauty of this pattern is that it is designed so that any bra size will fit any pantie size and can also be made as separates, although I made the same size top and bottom. I didn’t really do any pattern matching except to try and get the light marbling to the middle without wasting too much fabric! The scuba is so super soft but thick to cut through so I really did need to change the blade in my rotary cutter.

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First you make the bra up in the main fabric. There is quite a curve on the front seam so it is really important to mark the notches. I also marked the seam allowance at the edges as given the shape of the pieces I wanted to make sure I had them lined up correctly. Although the instructions are very clear about the size of the seam allowance it does change so read carefully. You trim the seam allowance and press open (as much as you can with scuba).

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You do the same with the lining fabric. You then baste together. I did this by hand and used silk thread as this comes out easily and doesn’t leave any marks. I also stitched together along the seam allowances to keep in place. On to the gusset of the panties with seam enclosed . I finished the side seams with the overlocker. I did have to refer to the manual as the cutting width was too narrow and hence the blade needed moving.

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On to the elastic.

Plush elastic is applied to the bra band and the open sides of the panties. I prefer to leave a tail at either end as I find elastic easier to work with this way and also a neater finish when the elastic is folded over. I just cut off any excess. As I was using a measured amount of elastic I still matched the quarter points so would be symmetrical.

Next the fold over elastic is applied to the leg in the round. I always sew the ends together on a piece of Stitch-N-Tear as this stops the elastic from scrunching up. I start from the middle and then sew up and down and back to the middle so I have no threads hanging off the edge. Then I use a fabric glue pen to keep the seam allowance in place. I always try and place the join out of the way but the neater the better wherever it is.

Before applying the fold over elastic to the top section of the bra you need to check that the band fits into the fastener. I always place both sides together and do any adjustments as one to ensure matching sides. A perfect fit this time so on to the top elastic. All looking pretty with just the last section of strap elastic to do.

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At this point I prepared all the strap elastic. There is quite a lot of preparation!

The rings for the bra top are 5/8” with the rest of the rings and sliders being 1/2”. As always I use a fabric glue pen to keep the straps in place whilst I sew. Once I have trimmed back to the stitching I apply a dab of Fray Check.

Perfectly neat straps all the time!

Then on to stitching the centre seam and time for the walking foot as there is so much bulk with all that elastic in the seam. I finished off with the overlocker. In hindsight I should have done this first as even the overlocker struggled and the seam just didn’t want to press open. So I tacked the seam down around the elastic. I also finished off the back waist with the overlocker as I thought it would look neater than just being trimmed back to the zigzag stitches.

Next you place the the elastic over the waist opening. I marked both the centres and drew a 1/4” line above the seam to place the elastic evenly. For the back waist I marked 1/4” down from the edge. Then the rest of the elastic is sewn in.

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All done.

It wasn’t meant for me (although I did make it in my size) but I just had to try on. To be honest I didn’t think it would look that good on me as I thought the leg would be cut a little high for me and the waist opening might dig into my hip. Well I was wrong! The plush elastic gives it a snug fit without any digging and the slider on the waist elastic allows for a perfect adjustment.

All in time for Day2 of #bpSewvember on Instagram - Luxurious. This is the softest scuba I have come across and it looks just stunning. Makes a girl (a liberal use of the word in my case) feel amazing!