Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forging Ahead - Butterick 5401

Even with the painful hangnail as well as the sliced thumb, I am forging ahead on my coat. I don't think I mentioned it here but I don't have a solid black winter coat. I did have one but after realizing it had seen better days, I trashed it. Little did I know that the fashionista in me would not be able to wear a brown coat while styling black boots and purse. As I want to sew everything I wear I had to find a suitable coat pattern and do what I do...SEW.

Although I thought I had what was a suitable fabric in my stash, it wasn't a solid so I had to make a trip to the local JoAnn's. Once there I found what appeared to be a semi-felted 100% wool boucle` that is perfect. The regular price was $49.99 a yard marked down by 60%. What a deal and thank goodness because I needed 3 1/2 yards.The lining fabric is from my stash as well as the interfacing.

On Sunday I made an FBA to the pattern as well as turned the one-piece sleeve into two pieces. Monday I cut the pieces out. Tuesday I fused the interfacing. Yesterday I did the fused tailoring. I was going to do hand tailoring but the finger and thumb will not allow that, so I am tailoring using the fusible method. So far all the fusing is done but the only seam I've sewn is the undercollar. My goal is to have this coat done by Sunday. I guess I just love a challenge. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Should Be Sewing

I should be sewing but I'm not. Why? I have absolutely the worst hang-nail in the world on my index finger. That doesn't sound like a good reason but it is beyond painful. I've cut as much as I can away and it's now just a waiting game until I can function again. I had planned on having a coat finished by the end of the week. That project has come to a screeching halt. I'm still hopeful that I can at least get some of it done but it's not looking good right now.

While I first thought these photos were sewing related, they really are.  I'm an aspiring violin virtuoso. I've played the violin since elementary school and as an adult have played in several orchestras. I'm currently taking lessons and have the most wonderful teacher. She is from Finland and is everything you would want in an instructor, not to mention she is amazed by my sewing skills. She even willing snapped a couple of photos for me. Under her excellent tutelage my next stop could be the Metropolitan opera! LOL.

Actually my outfit is the winner in these photos. It features a faux lace twin-set I made in 2010 and the lace panel skirt from Faye's Carnival of skirts. Coupled with my over the knee suede boots I think this outfit is a real winner! I really love being able to combine old garments with newer ones to create a polished look.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kool-Aid Bra Video Post

Just thought I'd upload a video post. Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

WIWO - Kool Aid Dyed Bra

I'm still in the throes of bra making and I don't see this ending anytime soon. Sure I'll stray away from time to time but right now I'm loving it and so I'm just gonna go with it.

Yesterday I tried my hand at Kool-Aid dyeing some fabric. While it wasn't perfect it was really a "no-brainer"

Step 1 - I collected all the fabrics, elastics etc

Step 2 - I added one packet of Kool-Aid (I only had one pack)  to two quarts of water and 1/4 cup vinegar

Step 3- After dissolving the Kool-Aid in the boiling water and vinegar, turned stove to LOW. Added fabrics and let simmer until water turned clear signaling all the color had been absorbed.

Step 4- After rinsing fabrics several times in cold water, I put everything into the dryer which was already loaded with laundry

Step 5- The Power Net (backing fabric) sort of has a "tie-dyed" look but I still like it. Next time I will soak the fabrics in plain water before adding to dye mixture and will use two packets of Kool Aid.

The cup fabrics and elastics took the dye especially well on the plush side

I will certainly try this technique again. Hope to stitch the bra up tonight. Wish me luck/

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bra Success At Last

Yep, you read it correctly. I have finally, successfully, completed my journey to make a partial band bra that fits like I want! After about six failures I got an amazing fit. Although I started out with the Elan 530 pattern, I eventually combined it with elements from the Anne St. Claire Queen Bra Elite, and tips from Beverly Johnson's Bra Maker's Manual to produce this beauty!

The only issue I do have with it is this

As a result of the stress caused by the straps, I have a little wrinkling in the upper cup. It's not something I want to tackle right now. I'm just really happy to have ironed out most of the fitting issues I've had in this journey. I can assemble a bra in a little under two hours. I wanted to be able to use my non-traditional fabrics to make bras and I have certainly accomplished that. Now I need to work on incorporating the same fabric into panties so that I can make matching sets.

All total I've spent about $250 on bra making supplies which includes $99 for the Bra Maker's Manual. That may seem like a lot it isn't. I normally spend $35 per bra. So for the cost of eight bras, I have enough supplies to make at least 26 underwire bras. It was not until I was making this bra that I thought I should have purchased some black elastics and underwire channeling. Duh. Oh well. Other than my husband you all are the only one's that'll be seeing my underwear! Before the week is out I'm going to try my hand at dyeing my own bra fabric and elastic. I've already purchased the Kool-Aid.

Hope you enjoy this post and if you have a solution for my upper cut wrinkling let me know. BTW do you recognize the fabric that I also used for one of my Infinity scarves?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another Failed Bra Attempt

Last night I whipped up another bra (`Elan 5130) and it too was another failed attempt. Then again with each fail I do learn something so it isn't really a failure, is it?

It looks pretty but once again the cups are too pointed. In my defense I did cut out the wrong bra. When I realized it, I decided to forge ahead anyway. After all, practice makes perfect. I think I could sew a bra in my sleep. I no longer need the instructions and construction is starting to become relaxing. The only thing I salvage from the failures are the straps and the wires. Luckily I have lots of supplies to practice with!

On another note, I'm teaching a class at JoAnn's tonight.

The class is comprised of beginners and the class project is supposed to be the bottom left top. There is no way a beginner can be successful at that top. The ruffles are single thickness and have a rolled hem edge that is essentially cut on the bias. Couple that with a silky fabric and I think it is a recipe for disaster. I also don't want to even think about sleeve insertion. So what to do? The top right top is the way to go.

I worked on this for about an hour last night and think it is certainly within a beginners skill level. In less than an hour I think I can finish it. I needed a neutral colored top and think I'll be able to get a lot of use out of it.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Need A New Photographer

How hard can it be to snap a couple of good photos? It's not rocket science! Obviously my husband thinks it is!

The top is Vogue 8831 and the leggings are McCalls 6173. Both pieces were super easy. The top features different bust sizes but the drafting is not the best. All sizes use the same center front pieces with the only changes being the side front. If you've ever made an FBA on a pattern, you know that you need both addition length and width to do it properly. No such luck on this pattern. The side front piece didn't fit as well as it should have to the center front piece but it is passable. My husband likes the top more than I did but thinks the leggings are very "hoochie." With the super blond hair he says I look like a hooker! Hey, at least I look like I have a job! LOL.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Adventure in Bra Making

I'm still in the throes of bra making and having some success. Following Sigrid's advice, I'm sticking with the band for Anne St.Claire's Queen Bra Elite pattern. I used the cups from the Pin Up Girls Classic Bra pattern.

The cups fit perfectly into the band from the Queen Bra Elite. As I was sewing, "Mr. Know-it-all" (aka husband) informed me that the cups looked way too big. Based on my measurements, I chose the 38F. I guess based on his experience, he was right again. Darn cups are too big!  What a bummer. (I added shoulder pads to the cups to fill them out in the photo.)


This time it only took me about two hours of sewing. I will not be deterred. I will forge ahead with another attempt tomorrow. I'm going to adjust the shape of the cups as they are too pointed. I think I also need to adjust the position of the straps on the upper cup and added coverage on the side of the cup. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

To Infinity and Beyond

I was more or less snowed-in this morning so I decided to finally get in on the Infinity scarf craze. I'm a few years late but luckily the craze is still going strong. I think what finally pushed me to make some was sometimes not having the perfect necklace. I also wanted to add more texture and color to some outfits. I dug through my stash and these were some of the fabrics I came up with.

I can't wait for an opportunity to wear one.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

More bra making

I'm still in the throes of bra-making and I do mean in I want to throw it out of the window! I'm currently working on Elan 530.

The issue I'm having is the channeling for the underwire. I've figured out that the channeling should be no more than 1/2" longer than the underwire. The channeling is not long enough to sew in place smoothly. I'm sure there shouldn't be gathering in the cups! I've tried stay-stitching and easing. I think I'm out of idea. I've re-cut the cups a couple of times with the same results. I'm not giving up but my patience is wearing a little thin!