Pin-Up Girls Ruby Bra - definitely a jewel accompanied by the Evie La Luve Esme

Always eager to try new patterns I had been following the posts for Beverly Johnson’s Jewel Collection of bra patterns. As usual I get drawn in by a discount so when Fit2Sew, UK distibutor for Bra-makers Supply, launched their new website with 30% discount I stocked up on a few patterns! First up is the Ruby, “an off-set vertical seamed cup for the roundest styling, and a shortened upper cup for maximum lift”. A lot to live up to but, oh boy, no wonder I am obsessed with making lingerie.

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The pattern uses a unique sizing system based on your Bottom Cup Depth (BCD). Taking my own measurements in a mirror was a sight to be seen but hey, I’m an accountant and don’t normally have much to laugh about. I did a little more reading on Beverly’s blog about sizing and using her methods I came up with my RTW size. So I was really excited to see how well this would work out, although I need no excuse to get on and finish. For each BCD there is a band size which is your rib cage measurement. I made up a little paper cup just to check the size out against my RTW.

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I wanted to make this in lace so I first had to redraft the frame, following Beverly’s Craftsy Class, adding a seam allowance to the centre front and taking off the bottom band elastic allowance.

I also marked the foam pattern pieces in red so I didn’t get them confused with the fabric set.

Then on to the huge decision as to what fabric to make it in. For me this means getting the stash out of very tightly packed plastic boxes. The first choice was the leopard print lace. Again, another recent post, reminded me of this lace from Tailor Made. I chose a skin tone foam rather than black as I didn’t want the cups to be obviously foam lined.

Cutting foam isn’t my favourite task. I find it easier to draw around each piece and cut out separately. I do check both sides are the same size. Then I mark the notches with a heat erasable pen. This is a four piece cup so it is really important to line up each piece.

I really like pattern instructions that give you stitch sizes and this is especially important when butting up the foam pieces. As expected from a Beverly pattern, the cups came together beautifully and I could move on the to the covers. I should mention that you need to stabilise the inside of the neckline and underarm edges of the foam.

All the seams are opened up and top stitched on either side, close to the seam line. I trimmed back to the stitching on the upper cup seams so they lay even flatter against the foam. I then placed the fabric over the foam ensuring all the seam lines matched before machine basting all around the cup. I would normally attach fold over elastic in two passes but the pattern has you use a glue stick and then stitch in one pass with a small zigzag. As there is no stretching of the FOE this worked really well.

For the frame I chose to line with beige duoplex rather than sheer cup lining so that it would have the same appearance from the front as the cups, I used a temporary spray adhesive to hold in place. I opened up the centre seam and again topstitched either side, trimming back to the stitching for a neat finish. Next, I would normally put on the back bands but went straight to inserting the cups into the frame to ensure the lace stayed in place.

Then I put on the back bands. As I had adapted the frame for a lace edge I needed to ensure that the band extended past the frame to allow the fold back of the elastic. I then trimmed the duoplex back slightly so that when I folded towards the cup and top stitched it did not show through.

On the first pass you apply the elastic to the bottom band as normal, stopping at the point the band joins the frame and again on the other side of the frame. Then I turned the elastic to the inside of the frame, pinned at the centre front to ensure symmetrical and stitched down on the opposite side of the frame.

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I thought I would share how I attach the wire casing. First, I change from a stretch to a microtex needle and then I use my stitch in the ditch foot. I have the blade of the foot just covering the stitching line and I butt the casing up against this and move my needle over slightly to sew within the seam allowance. Perfect result every time.

With the underarm elastic done just the straps and fastener to do. As always I check the fit of the fastener before I attach the strap at the back. Just a little to take off. The straps are made in two pieces. The front strap should be reinforced with ribbon to stop stretching although I did omit this for my version. The only black rings I had were a little small and the foam front didn’t really want to go through. This is one reason why I leave the tails on my elastic. I overlapped the the underarm and FOE elastic to in effect extend and fold this over the ring. I hand stitched in place and then trimmed back to where I wanted the seam to finish. Then I used a small narrow zigzag to overlap the edge. So neat.

The bra used quite a lot of the lace so I had to think what underwear I could make. This just keeps happening to me, but Evie La Luve introduced an update for the Esme that morning! The PDF came in and within hours I had made a new version.

I put together two versions, using a lace front and a mesh back. This would fit perfectly with the look of the bra. I followed the instructions for the front, basting the lace gusset to the lining and applying picot elastic to the sides and then attaching to front. The updated version of the pattern finishes in a different order. The back pieces are placed over the front pieces, the waist elastic applied and then the backs are stitched together, finished by attaching the back to the gusset.

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I enclosed the back seam by placing one folded back piece over the other and stitching through all layers. You pull through to the right side and the seam is enclosed. This is the method I picked up from the Orange Lingerie Montgomery Brief, although this is the first time I have done it on a curved seam but it looks fabulous. Finally I applied the FOE to the waist in the round and attached the back to the gusset.

Well how beautiful do they look. I am getting pretty good at this lingerie lark!

Another astonishing success. The bra fits perfectly and is a fabulous shape. I just need some ladies who will let me practice in other sizes. And, Evie La Luve has also updated the Bella for even more possiblilites. Christmas sewing here I come.

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.  

Emerald Erin Pattern Release

I first came across Emerald Erin when I started making lingerie last year.  Sourcing supplies was difficult from here in the UK so I spread the net and tried out a whole range of fabrics and findings for both lingerie and swimwear from her shop.  I was hooked!  So when she released her first patterns I wanted to be one of the first to make.

So we have the Jordy Bralette and the Tuesday Boyshort.  

The Jordy comes with three options - lace overlay, fabric or foam lined version.  The Tuesday has a choice of either classic centre front seam or solid front and you can use either fold over or plush elastic on both versions.  I immediately ordered kits in both as well as a number of other items!

As usual I couldn't wait for the order to get here from Canada so I thought I would have a practice to get the size right.  

 

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I thought I would try both versions of the Tuesday using fold over on one and plush on the other.  The pattern pieces come with the seam allowances marked so if you use the fold over elastic you need to cut this off.  I did highlight this on the pattern piece for next time.

You can just serge the seams but with curves and 1/4 inch seams I always sew the seam first with a stretch stitch.  I start with some stitch and tear when I sew stretch fabric to stop it being dragged into the machine.

The classic front is straight forward sew with the gusset enclosed in the side seams only.  The solid front has an enclosed gusset by using the "burrito" method.

Here are the two versions before the elastic went on.  The size was spot on although my personal preference is the solid front.

So on to the Jordy.  I started with the foam version and made paper versions to get an idea of the size.

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This is a really quick make especially as I used straps cut off from another bra.  Again if you are using fold elastic you need to remember to cut off the seam allowance. 

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I prefer to draw around the foam and then cut out  The foam cup has no seam allowance but you butt the edges together and I sew using a zigzag of  length 4 and width 1 (as per Beverly Johnson)  Perfect match!

You baste the fabric to the foam and attach the fold over elastic before attaching to the band.  I cut the band elastic to the size up just in case.  I drew a line in chalk along the seam allowance to ensure the cups were straight and checked they were equal distance from the centre to ensure neither had stretched out of place.  I attached the straps at the front and pinned at the back so I could gauge the size of the back band,  Once I was happy with bank band I attached the hook and eye fastener.  With the fastener on I checked the straps again before sewing them to the back band.  For straps I always like to use a fabric glue pen to keep in place whilst I sew.   

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One to the next version with is the lace overlay.  Used items from my stash mostly from leftovers from my Tailor Made kits,  Such good value.  The bralette looks great with the lace Bella pattern from Evie La Luve.  Too much in a hurry to take pictures but will get some when I make the kit,  Just love it when testers are good enough to wear.

Lingerie Weekend - Tailor Made Order Arrived

I waited in eager anticipation for my order from the Tailor Made Shop to arrive which included the Orange Lingerie Marborough bra kit.  I order as soon as Ying posts new kits on Instagram as they seem to get snapped up in minutes.   I have been so busy so had to wait until weekend to start making.  Good job it was cold and wet all weekend!

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There wasn't a bra and underwear kit available but from previous experience there is always enough to make something to match the bra.  I was not disappointed!  Plenty of the charmeuse and probably enough lace.  I had also ordered a pink findings kit, blush stretch mesh, wires and various other bits.

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As I wanted to make a matching set I decided not to use the peach findings and powernet that came with the kit and used blush from my stash.  Then I had to decide what underwear patterns I could get out of the fabric I had.  The first issue was that the charmeuse is a woven and most of my patterns call for stretch.  Then I didn't have a huge amount of lace.  So I got out my lace patterns.  I went for the Ohhlulu's Claudia as I could just scrape out my size and I had enough fabric to cut the front panel on the bias.  As I had just bought the blush stretch mesh I thought I would make up the Montgomery Brief which is designed to match the Marborough Bra pattern.  

I have made all three before and had the pattern pieces ready.  The bra went together beautifully but I was not too fond of the charmeuse as it does fray quickly.  The construction process allows you to enclose all seams between the fabric and the non-stretch lining.  Before topstitching each seam I did have to tidy up the fabric in the seam allowance.  I also line the lace as well as attaching narrow elastic as it gives much better support.  Although the hook and eye should fit I always check before attaching the strap.  I had to shave a little off the back band.  When making and attaching the strap I switch to my walking foot.  I also use a water soluble glue stick to keep the strap in place whilst I sew.  This way I always get perfectly aligned straps.  I had to cut down my wires which  I then re seal with some plastic tubing and use a heat gun to shrink wrap around the end.  A bit of fray check on the wire casing and I was done.

The Montgomery brief is such a quick and satisfying make.  The pattern is for a lace front panel.  Although online shows a picture with a fabric front details are not included in the pattern but there is great blog on how to make the adjustment.. As my plush elastic colour wasn't just right for me I used some blush FOE instead of using the plush along the whole of the waist.  

Then onto the Claudia Panties.  Another great fitting pattern for me and lots of options.  I had to squeeze the lace panels out so couldn't match up but you don't really notice because of the design.  I chose some pretty decorative elastic for the leg line in white which I thought would look better against the white gusset lining than the multi colour fabric.  Also, although I do have a cover stitch machine, I was worried about the fabric fraying on such a narrow seam.  The blush FOE was perfect to finish.  The best ever advice from Norma, Orange Lingerie, is to steam you garment when finished as this relaxes the elastic after the sewing process.  It makes a huge difference.

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Thought I would finish with a picture of the back of the briefs and the inside of the bra.  Just so pretty!

 

 

 

 

The Berkeley Kit from Tailor Made

My order from the Tailor Made shop shipped promptly.   However, when I opened up the parcel I realised I had been so eager to place my order before they ran out I forgot to change the wire size. I now have four size 30 wires - there must be somebody there that can use them!

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Having decided to make the navy first, the other is raspberry/pale pink, my first thought was to check whether there was enough lace to a make a set.  Oh yes!  My go to pattern for all lace is the Bella from Evie la Luve.  The website describes them as a low cut waist and sheer design

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I just had to take a picture of everything cut out.  I saw a man's face but the other half thought it looked like an owl.  

I made the panties first because I had had a long day and didn't want to start the bra.  You can just serge all the seams but on curves, as in the back seam, I sew with a stretch stitch first.

Not having any navy fold over elastic (foe) I  went for the red.  I  sometimes have issues with foe as I think I over stretch.  A great tip from Norma at Orange Lingerie is to steam the finished garment to relax the elastic from the sewing process.  Works every time.  Although with this lace this wasn't too much of an issue.

The kits comes with two linings.  A 15-denier tricot for  more give and a softer shape and a non-stretch tricot for more support. For the first bra I made I used non-stretch except for the upper cups where I used bra tulle.  I was a little worried as the non-stretch was black not navy.  So for the upper and lower cups I used the 15-denier and the non-stretch for the bridge and power bar although  I  toyed with the idea using a non-stretch red.  However, as the black is placed behind lined lace it is hard to tell it is black.  

This bra goes together so well I had it finished within a few hours.  I did remember to stabilise the elastic at the ring attachment point.  You can use the non-stretch tricot but I used fusible non-stretch stay tape.  

I just need to finish off with a red bow to match the foe elastic. Job done.

 

The Berkeley

So here is the all lace Berkeley from Orange Lingerie.  It was only meant to be a tester but it looks and fits amazing.  Having only just finished my first Marlborough, another orange lingerie pattern,  I didn't think I would get anything that fit as well.  So I was over the moon with this. 

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I only joined Instagram a couple of days ago so I was really happy that a notification popped up to say that Tailor Made had released a number of kits.  I was able to order the navy and white/raspberry.  From the comments the navy ran out pretty quick.

Pattern downloaded  I was ready to go. I always print off instructions as I find this much easier to work with and I always read through them before starting.  Orange Lingerie patterns are fabulous.  Every step is clearly described and illustrated even down to stitch length and width.  

There are separate pattern pieces for each size, showing seam allowances and /or trim allowances.  I find this very useful when deciding where to place lace  and checking the width for the fastener.

Having made a few bras I am getting better at gauging the size.  For me, I have found that I usually end up making a smaller band size with a larger cup than the instructions indicate,  However, a lot does depend on the fabric you are using. I start by making a 3D paper version, trimming off the seam allowances and taping together with magic tape.  

Happy with the size I printed off again for my pattern pieces.  I found a small length of stretch lace  that  I could play with.  For the rest of the fabric and notions needed I always have a stash of beige, white, red and black mostly from B Wear.  

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The instructions are really helpful for lace placement.  This pattern shows seam allowances, otherwise I would mark them in, as you need to know where the lace pieces join for a scalloped edge.  The easiest way I have found is to place one side, checking for pattern balance and then cut out.  I then flip the pieces over placing right sides together on the remaining fabric where the pattern matches.  

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So all cut out with perfectly mirrored lace.  I attached the linings to the lace with temporary spray.  Not in the pattern, but I have also lined the upper cup with bra tulle for softness and added support making sure I had the stretch in the right direction. 

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At this point I have the put cups together and attached the clear elastic to the upper cup using a 3 step zigzag.  Already looking beautiful.

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I thought I would try a camera shot at the sewing machine.  The notches lined up perfectly when attaching the cups to the cradle.  I wouldn't normally use so many pins but with three notch marks and a new pattern i went a bit overboard!  

The next step is to attach the underwire casing along the cup-to-body seam.  For the casing I  use a microtex size 10 needle and put on my walking foot .

Before attaching the underarm elastic I check that the back strap fits into the fastener as it may require a little tweaking of the back band.

I  got so carried away with how well it was all going that  I almost forgot to put the stabiliser on the upper ring attachment point to stop it stretching out the elastic in this area.

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Next you make the straps.  I thought the rose gold findings looked much better than the beige.  

I didn't have any plain edge plush elastic for the body so I put the picot edge upwards so it didn't show below the lace.   As you are using the lace edge you apply the elastic in one pass using a 3 step zigzag the width of the elastic.  I am lucky as I my  machine has up to a  9mm stitch width so I could use a 7mm stitch which fit perfectly and would stop the elastic rolling.

All seams are enclosed so the inside looks as professional as the outside.  

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