White lace longline bra sewing – pure magic!

Hey All,

Hope you’re having a great time, we have a 3 days long weekend because of national holiday and next week we’re off to ride bike from Prague to Dresden (we’re traveling with train to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic and then we’ll ride 210 kms to get to the German city, Dresden.)

So I keep sewing, I’m almost finished with my second Lekala dress, some finishing touches are needed and OF COURSE I had to sew a new bra for myself. I wanted to make a nice longline bra for a very long time, and I was thinking about a boned one – you know which look like almost bustiers. Or they are actually bustiers. So, some kind of hybrid!

I created the sister of the black lace bra! And why is it a sister? Not only for that it is white and that one black, but because they arrived together. By the way, this white lace is super soft, the black one was tougher to touch, but this white lace (to my surprise) seems to be better quality. 

I wanted a similar look like this one below:

You know, I used for this white lace longline bra sewing the same self drafted pattern just like with the black one, but I used a more relaxed underwire (the sides were almost evenly short, so no significant difference), and my main idea was a two cup pieces bra, which is decorated on the band by the lace itself and also on the upper cup piece.  Also I lenghtened the cradle and wings. And I wanted to have a round look, not a triangle look.

I was used to put elastic on the upper cup piece, but the black one, and now the white bra proved that it’s not that necessary when the cup itself is stretchy – snugs on your body!

I knew I had to stabilize the cradle and I used for that white rigid tulle. I remember when I made this emerald longline that it had wrinkles all over the cradle. I learnt that I should have used a shorter lining piece to avoid that (it would free floating) but with this white lace it would have ruined the look – how do you hide the board of the lining? I could have used jersey and lace, and then lining, but… I wasn’t concerned that much.

So, it has few wrinkles – but it’s okay! And actually I love it so much, it’s very comfortable and very gorgeous look. I’m thinking about putting boning to the sides and to the front – but I’m not sure yet. I love it anyway!

I havve one more thing to do: mathing panties!

Another information: for a while I’m aware my right and left boobies are not even. There is a slight difference which why I use a bigger size of underwire which fit perfectly my right one, and almost pefectly my left one. BUT! I discovered that on the right side there is always gaping in the cradle and when I pull the fabric it disappered.
So my solution was that I shortened the cradle on my right side – and voilá! With this white longline lace bra it’s perfect! No more gaping 🙂

( PS: I know there are puckers… they happened at the very first step and I discovered them too late when I had no energy to unpick so many seams. )

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Lekala 4365 – turquoise rayon dress with pleats

The story of me and my new dress is… you, know, complicated. I instantly fell in love with Lekala 4365 pattern when I saw another member’s creation, THIS one. I mean, not the neon green color but the fit! The fit is amazing, it’s so on spot, and I wanted to make a fitted, beautiful garment for myself as well.

Previously I bought rayon/viscose flokon (flokon is in Hunagrian, I really don’t know how others call it – flokon means the softest woven type), around 2 meters and I wanted to make a maxi dress from it. Flokon drapes amazingly, it’s so bland, like a huge pile of feathers. I loved it!

But I was afraid it’s not gonna be enough, so instead I went for Lekala 4365.

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Lekala 4365 is a basic dress, with zipper on the back, and two pleats on the front, wrap-style.

The instructions are… not the best, okay? Basically it says just fold over the front (to create a 1,5 cm facing?!) and that’s it. No fusible interfacing, no facing, nothing! I knew this would not work, so I put fusible interfacing on the neckline, on the zipper, too.

I haven’t modified anything on the pattern, but I asked for reduced back measurement. It has a little gaping on the top of the back, anyways the fit is really good!

It wasn’t easy to match the front left and right sides together, because it’s hard to tell the middle point on the chest, but I managed to find it.

Anyway, it’s not a hard project, I liked it, and when I LOVED it was the time when I tried it on!

I handbasted the hem, although I don’t like it, it’s too visible, the little dots… And I made a mistake on the hem, it is not even, but this diagonal line harmonizes with the pleats’ line, so, I don’t mind. This was my first time to make a sleeveless dress and I screwed up the armhole. And I screwed up the neckline facing too! I faced the shoulder parts and the front parts seperately, so when they meet above my breasts, it has these tiny threads…

Okay, I finished it last weekend (at the end of April). I was satisfied with it and this weekend we were going for a party and to the museum – to the Hungarian Natural History Museum. This time there is the exhibiton of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year – it was amazing! And two Hungarian photgraphers were also nominated, these are the two photos of their work:

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Amazing, right?

And this one, too, which was taken near the lake Balaton:

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So I’m really proud of my Hungarian fellas! 🙂

Back to the dress.. we were preparing on Saturday and I forgot that my dress still has stains, chalk marks and stuff! NOOO! I instantly put it in the washing machine, on hand wash then I just turned it off, tried to make it quicker… and when I took it out, there were the marks!

Then it rained and we decided to go to the museum on Sunday. Okay, no rush, I put it again to the washing machine but I accidentally changed the program to normal wash! :((((( I’m so stupid. This kind of rayon can’t be centrifuging, and when it was done it was a HAIRY MONSTER! Frays everywhere! (yes, I forgot to use French seams, I just zigzagged some seam allowances and it was a total failure.)

I guess Coco Chanel invented her famous jacket this way, she accidentally washed something which frayed like hell! LOL 🙂

So on Sunday morning I went to the sewing machine and tried to fix it. Oh, did I tell that the washing machine ripped one of my seams?! How dare! So in the end, my lovely dress was a little… silly. Like someone who has a hungover.

But I put it one and wore it with grace.

Sorry for these photos, I hate posing for photos in public….

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Black lace bra with power bar!

Finally I managed to make a bra with power bar, particulary a black lace bra with power bar.

Sofía’s tutorial helped me so much and gave the main inspiration: I wanted to make something similar to this Calvin Klein bra she posted about:

Look how carefree she is 😀

okay… so, you might read my previous post about Bubblegum – a white stretch tulle bra with lace and of course power-bar, it was my first try and the stretchiness was just too much (honestly, I don’t wear it :/).

I knew I had to use a more stable fabric combination.. and I found my beautiful grey lace in the stash and some matching grey stretch satin leftover. It was a perfect combination! I decided to use foam this time – I had to try out the huge pile of laminated foam I managed to buy lately – 3 meters for like 8$!!!

But I just did not have the good mood and I screwed up the fabric cuttings – I used the same pattern pieces on foam and fabric (it’s an amateur mistake in bra making but as I said my mind was not in the right place) and I got frustrated and I saw it’s not gonna work and just threw it to the trash can.

I dealt with my new shirt and a dress and lately my order from eBay arrived – so I got a new mojo to make a beautiful piece of lingerie.

About the fabric: I used lace trim and for the powerbar I combined a stretchy tulle fabric (it went to the outside) with a rigid navy blue tulle (it went to the inside).

I also used the same navy tulle for the cradle lining.

The style is, of course, different – I didn’t want to have trouble with the perfect 90 degree point where the power bar and upper cup piece meet, so I just took my 2 piece pattern (drafted through the Kristina Shin method) and with the help of the tutorial I created a powerbar pattern. Easy-peasy!

I used a quite open underwire I saved from one of my old bras – and I had the issue with the wire (of course, as always) – so I had not enough space for the underwire and I had a hard time to stablizite it so it won’t poke through – however, I still have to check one side because that one tends to poke through the lace on the side – but it’s not a huge deal.

And I almost forgot: it’s comfortable, I feel great in it, so that’s a big relief 🙂

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UPDATE:

I made matching French knickers using tulle and lace and an other kind of a narrow lace trim.

I made a heart shaped cutout – and I used my RTW knickers and I consider to share the pattern in the future.

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Lekala 4002 shirt with bows

Krisztian Bodis Photography

Krisztian Bodis Photography

I find it quite extreme that I haven’t encountered Lekala patterns earlier. They are AMAZING!

Lekala is a Russian pattern company which offers plenty of sewing patterns which have custom measurements! Basically you type your data: full bust, waist, underbust, hip, full hip and if you wish, neck width, arm width AND you can check some additional settings, e.g. if you have a slightly smaller back or you are shortwaisted, or longwaisted, or your breast width is wider so on.. so on. And within a half hour they send you the pattern PDF – and they cost only $2.99.

If you wish, for additional price you can get SA included (but I’m used to Burda patterns so it’s not a big deal for me) and yep, you gotta tape your own patter pieces, but again, no big deal for me to trace a pattern (hello again Burda pattern mazes!).

I know it’s hard to tell whether you have a small back or not – compared to what? There is no magic formula for that. But let’s see my case. 

So on Burdastyle I saw a featured member project and then reading the pattern, I had to check the Lekala site. As I can guess (according to some blog posts), Lekala made an international-friendly website and webshop recently, because I’ve read years ago people advised to check and buy from the original Russian site – it had more options, patterns back then. Now I find the English site user-friendly, cheap, and awesomethe patterns are purely awesome! /okay, the searching system is not very detailed/

I know some people had no luck with custom made measurement, but let me tell you something..

So far the Burda and the one Butterick patterns never fitted me good enough. And as a beginner, a novice, most of the cases you have no idea how could it go so wrong… And I’m speaking as someone who had never problems with RTW sizing, never! And it is really frustrating when in the name of sustainability and slow life you spend hours and hours with sewing and what you get doesn’t fit. And in my case I found my sizes in one column, so my fb and waist and hip regularly are in one size – and still had no luck. So after al the struggle…

Ladies and gentlemen, I think I find my favourite pattern company!

And the reason is not only the custom-made measurement, BUT the style. As a European, living in the Middle of Europe and having a lot of slavic influence, I fu***ing love the styles of the pattern, almost all of them! Can you believe? They are fitted, they are truly feminine, and have sometimes couture designs but not in a very twisted/weird way, just some draping, some interesting details. I gotta tell you, a lot of indie (and Burda, too) patterns are baggy – for my taste. Shapeless, not fitted at all – and I really don’t get what is the purpose of those shapeless designs. Sorry!

I find very refreshing to see Lekala.

Okay, my first choice was a shirt, a basic shirt with lovely bows on the sleeves – called Lekala 4002. I haven’t asked for any modifications, just typed my data and quickly received the pattern.

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I haven’t followed the instructions, because I luckily knew some things about shirt making. I bought floral cotton fabric earlier, it was discounted and I found it suitable for this project.

I wanted a wardrobe staple and I’m short on the shirt-list – I have 3-4 wearable ones only. Lekala 4002 is not that fitted (which may sound funny after I mentioned I adore fitted garments). You can see on the model that near the waist there is some extra fabric which I didn’t mind and of course at first I wanted to see how the pattern fits me without alterations.

I gotta say, I love it! It fits me with a small note : I noticed that with Burda and Butterick I felt that my back is not wide enough, I ended up always with 2-3 cms extra fabric on my back. I don’t feel it too much on the yoke, but for a more fitted result (or for the original design) I might check next time the “back width – decreased”. On bust front – it’s all good, not tight so I won’t want an increased breast width in exchange. I hope with this minor alteration I’ll get the most suitable patterns. So far I’m really satisfied with the results.

This shirt was ready within 2 afternoons/evenings, and I really liked the pretty bows on the sleeves.

Yesterday we had a big event in Budapest, called ‘I bike BP’ – which is a regular event every year to make important the issues of bycicle routes and the bike-friendly city. When the weather is nice, I always ride bike to get to work, it takes me 40 minutes through our lovely park and I always enjoy it – it’s sport for me (I don’t work out regularly, only some yoga). It’s 2*40 minutes a day, which makes me quite satisfied (and currently we’re preparing for a big journey from Prague to Dresden – a bycicle route from the Czech capital city to the German Dresden in May along the river Elba).

So at the event there was a 10 km long route in the city – all important roads were closed for the cars and there were 10 000 riders – young, old, children, everybody – some poeple on skateboards or rollers too. I wore my brand new shirt on the event, so I’ll show you some action photos!

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With my Hubby

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Craftsy Classic Tailoring: The Blazer review Part I

About a month ago or so I made my decision and bought a class on Craftsy! I know a lot of people joined these wonderful video classes (most of I read were Beverly Johnson’s Bramaking classes), but I was looking for something else (cause I own Beverly’s book and lately I lost some of my lingerie mojo – like the scale went down for the clothes).

7-8 months ago when I was just getting around sewing and made like 5-6 projects I decided I’m gonna make a suit! A tweed suit! Such naive thoughts... But you can’t blame me, I was fresh in sewing world and I thought it couldn’t be hard – but, well, it IS hard, very hard and the more I sew the more I feel like it’s getting harder – when you want to try yourself out in different garments, different styles, not just causal t-shirts and tops.

So, I want to show you my failure from back then:

This was a Burda pattern, an individual pattern I bought – I haven’t used any outside helps only following the description (which was quite helpful, full of pictures).

But it lacked the tailoring techniques, hair canvas, hand stitching— nothing there.

So I spent one week to experience the hard way of making and failing.

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Actually it’s not THAT bad for a begginer, but it clearly shows that the pattern should be adjusted to my body and there is no stability in the blazer at all. It collapses on my body.

However, the matching skirt turned out to be good, although I wore it like once since then, I feel like an old lady in a tweed skirt. Somehow my love for tweed is not a heavenly-matched love, I love it on other people, on Englishmen, on Pinterest photos but on me, without full styling looks so old.

But I never give up on jacket / blazer making!

And when I saw this class on Craftsy, Classic Tailoring : The Blazer for $59.99 or something I was… Umm, it’s so great, but I’m gonna wait for a while to purchase the class. And I was browsing through the project photos, other reviews about the actual pattern (Butterick B4610), and when I saw the class is on sale for $19.99, I instantly bought it!

The pattern is free for the class, thank God, they send it to you (to Hungary Simplicity and Butterick and Vogue international shipping rates are $15… double of the actual patterns so I never buy these American patterns).

I wanted to use wool for this jacket, but, 1, it’s almost summer here, 2, I didn’t want to spend too much money on expensive fabric, because this was my real first try. And you have to buy so many stuff for this project – I payed only for the cotton fabric $16 / the seller showed me a beautiful wool fabric in white – LOVE LOVE LOVE, and it was on SALE, guess for how much? Instead of $44/meter it was only $30/meter…. what a bargain… 🙁 I’m not a millionaire, sorry, maybe, next time.

Okay, let’s talk about the materials:

  • fabric
  • lining
  • cotton lawn / batiste / or cotton muslin
  • twill tape
  • fusible interfacing /or wigan
  • hair canvas
  • buttons

The teacher is Steffani Lincecum, who comes from the costume world and knows her thing around garments. I liked her ‘coaching’, understandable, easy to follow and very nice.

The first half of the making process is full of hand stitching! A LOT! And you know what? I found it very rewarding, because handstitching the hair canvas, the lapel and the under collar gives very good shape to your garment.

I used cotton fabric with a little bit of stretch.

So, you begin with cutting the pieces, making bound buttonhole, putting twill tape on the lapel, undercollar, handstitching like a million times, basting cotton muslin on your pieces and fusible interfacing or wigan on the bottom.

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Reinforcing the shoulder

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Handbasting on front

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Front – inside – outside (full of handstitches, twill tape)

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Bound buttonhole

 

So I felt that it’s going well, I’m getting it, it’s slowly have a shape.

I forgot to tell that I made a quick muslin, only a vest to see is it okay, and I compared the size to my other blazers and I felt okay, it’s gonna be all right. (I shortened the shoulder a little and adjusted to fit better the princess seam on the front).

And then, my fate reached me.

Steffani, so so sadly and I also read another blogger’s review about the class, forgot (or just ignored) the very- very hard process of setting the sleeves in. And I’m so sad, really.

I put on like 100 times the jacket, pinned, then basted, repinned, twisted, basted again, tried my left sleeve on. That bastard drapes unwell! Somehow there is a line and it’s like my sleeve collapses, or.. you know, it looks like there is a twist, no matter how hard I tried.

I started to setting the sleeve in last Thursday, and tried it since then, almost every night, and yesterday I said, it’s fine by me, I don’t care anymore and I just hope with time I’ll be better at sleeve setting.

So as much as I like this class, I’m really devastated because the sleeve setting part is missing.

And the mider on the sleeve is a little bit confusing, too – one side is recorded very well, but the other side of the sleeve is getting midered more easily – and the camera doesn’t show where she folds, stitches and turns the fabric… hmph.

I know these issues are not issues for experienced seamstresses, but for me, they are issues.

Right now both sleeves are inserted, they are just not great. I’m working on the jacket for 1,5 weeks and I’m getting exhausted (I had to make a quick t-shirt during it, and also I’m wanting to try my first Lekala shirt pattern..), so I don’t know, it’s impossible to work so much constantly and you don’t know is it going to fit well? Or I would say it, I know it’s not gonna fit perfectly tailored but I have to keep working to gain experience and learn, and maybe next time make a better version.

So I’ll keep you updated, I need to sew together the lining and front facing, attach the two parts and then line the sleeves and some final touches… Right now I know I’m not gonna put packets on it, I don’t want to mix the pattern too much.

A photo, when it had only one sleeve:

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‘Bubblegum’ – stretch tulle bra sewing

I know that Beverly Johnson’s rule is that use fabric for bra cups with low to no stretch factor. I know that. But the desire to use that heavenly soft white tulle I used for this bodysuit was too strong… and after I’ve seen Sofía’s power bar tutorial, I wanted to practice a little bit.

I’m in a middle of bodice and darts alterations which went on my nerves, really, I barely had success with low cowl patternmaking and with empire bodice patternmaking – so I took a break with some bramaking.

So my basic idea was a non-foam, stretch tulle bra – tulle is the sexiest fabric in my opinion, especially the black one – but shame on me, my leftover elastics contained mostly non-black elastics so I decided I’ll give it a try at first the white one. Also I had only white lace to try out the power-bar.

So far Sofía’s tutorial is the best detailed tutorial on power-bars, I strongly suggest you to read it, it’s easy to follow and easy to make! This was my first try with power-bars. Also her inspirational pics are sooooo goood! I love the Calvin Klein bra, and next time I’m gonna try to make a black tulle + black lace version. (Also it’s hard to find decent black lace without stretch… the rigid ones are so tough to touch, I don’t like the feel of them.)

Okay, so, I definitely DON’T suggest you to use very stretchy tulle – I used it and the fit is horror. Let me tell you.

So I knew it was too stretchy that’s why I used two layers of tulle – both in the cups and in the wings. I used lace and tulle on the bridge, the lace stabilized the tulle. Okay, I used a self drafted pattern (the alteration of THIS and the almost same version of THIS).
But eventually the tulle stayed too sretchy and ruined my whole concept – it became way too big, and the problem is not with the cups, but the unerwire.

It lets the underwire to fall so far from my actual breast root on the sides it’s horrible. At the bottom I managed to make it OK, not the best but on the sides…. it’s like the underwire said goodbye to my boobies!

I love the look, I love the feel – I don’t like the placement of the underwire. And I wanted to use a much lower, opener wire but as you can guess the tulle had other plans…

Oh and of course I always mess up the sewing process of partial band bras – the method twists my mind and I always forget to attach the elastic on the band and bridge FIRST, not after I sewed the cups with them together…

A photo about it: (every part of it from the stash – I love the sheer elastic so much!!!)

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So this is a lesson to my fellow bramakers who plan to use stretchy tulle: think about it twice! If the stretch factor is not too much, or it’s not 4 way stretch fabric, use it. If it’s very-very bodysuit-y stretchy, DON’T use it, learn from my mistake…. OR shrink the cup pattern to a tiny piece and maybe then it will balance the difference.

 

Fashion inspiration

Hey Everyone!

I’m still alive, but the reason I’m in silence is that:

  • I had the first workshop (lingerie workshop where I am the tutor) last Wednesday, and I gotta tell you, it was successful, tomorrow we’re gonna finish the soft bra and will make a matching thong! It’s hard for me to tell the feelings of the ‘students’, there were some quicker seamstresses and some slower, therefore I had to seperate the group somewhere in the middle. Well, yeah, it ain’t easy to teach something like this but I had the leader as a student of the company which organize sewing classes and she said it was really great, especially that it was the first time for me. I’ll show you photos if I’m through the workshop tomorrow!
  • Second: I’m into patternmaking…. look, there is the 800 pages book for free!!! On LinkedIn. It’s like… OMG! I started with drafting the basic bodice sloper and yesterday I managed to draft a pattern for an Empire gathered bodice. It’s really slow process, and sometimes my brain gets very … full. You know?

This post is for a reminder for myself about some simpler designs (OK, a couture dress is never SIMPLE, but I want to translate these design to my own language/skills and they seem to BE adaptable.)

They are really good to try out some techniques, like shawl collar, quarter circle skirts, contour guidelines, pleats and so on and on.

  1. Valentino – shawl collar, spaghetti straps, gathered skirt, pretty embroidery – of course in SILK!

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2. Valentino – very basic bodice, occassionally this is a bodice sloper with the classic one-dart design and this rich emerald color is absolutely winnerVAL_2356
3. Valentino – pleats everywhere! I’m not a big fan of the bodice but the skirt is amazing_VAL1102
4. Valentino – lace and lining. Haylee made a fantastic dress based upon this one, and I completely lost my mind and now I want one for myself. I have never had a lace dress which was not stretchy and I think ths rigid lace is much richer, more elegant than the tiny stretchy lace (which is obviously cheaper). Gorgeous!!
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I don’t know how I’m gonna succeed, will I make any recreations at all? I really hope so.

I’m quite tired of the ill-fitting patterns which gave me too much work to correct OR in the end they are not gonna look like I imagined. This happened lots of times in the past and I want to create garments which fit me like a glove!

When I compared my drafted bodice with another one which was attached to a book – well, they were so different and at that moment i realized the garments will never fit me properly unless I make them after my measurement. If I fail with patternmaking I’m sure I’m gonna come back to ready-to-made patterns but with much more experience. I’ll be able to tell whether it’s gonna fit, where should I alter the patterns etc. But for that I need to learn more about 2D patternmaking.

 

Burda High Waist Trousers 02/2016 #114

It’s national holiday in Hungary, so let me surprise you with a second post!

These trousers were on my to-do list as you could read it on my sewing plans post.

I adore the 7/8 trousers, it’s so sexy to show a little ankle – especially if you have nice ankles. It reminds me of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe. But I gotta be honest, I’m getting bored of the 60’s trend. Not that I would own so many vintage looking garments, but I was a huge fan for like 10 years and now I feel I want to move on. I want clothes which have a modern vibe. When I see poeple in vintage clothing they all look costume-y. I ain’t no housewife from the 60’s – we learnt besides the petticoats and lovely dresses it’s not superb to be a Betty Draper (Mad Men TV show).

What I like in vintage clothing is the strong feminine attitude. Lot of skirts, curves, heels. That is important to save.

So I loved the concept behind Burda High Waist Trousers 02/2016 #114 because these trousers look like a toreador’s trousers. Also I liked the idea of using stretch jacquard – I wanted to try out jacquard for quite long time. I found nice grey jacquard fabric which was thick but stretchy just enough.

I left out the piping tape – I don’t know yet where I can buy them so I simply left it out. Somehow the right leg got twisted, maybe during sewing I pulled it accidentally or it didn’t lay neatly, I don’t know.

I sewed together the trousers with zig-zag stitch (the legs part). If you are new to trousers, I advice you to watch this YouTube video, it was like a light bulb for me.

At first I did what I was told to do: glued interfacing to the double waist part but it became so stiff that I just couldn’t zip the zipper. And I felt I can’t breathe!

So I ripped the seam and went for single waistband, and I didn’t interface it. Therefore it remained stretchy but snug my body and with zipper it’s comfortable. I had to put darts on the back of the trousers, it was gaping at the CB.

The zipper part is not so nice, on one side there is extra fabric left, and I’m not so proud of the waistband, so I prefer to wear it under shirt or blouse.

Next time I’ll be definitely smarter 🙂

I used twin needle at the hem and the outcome is okay, I’m very novice at using twin needle, forgive me…

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Floral jersey dress

I swear I was gonna use this Burda pattern, the Flounce dress. I chose a nice stretchy cotton linen fabric for that pattern but when I arrived to the fabric shop, I was disappointed by the stretchiness of that fabric (the lack of it) and I found it very thick.

So I looked for cotton jersey instead, and found this fabolous fabric which I am in love with. Really, this fabric, if I’d had to choose, would describe me.

It’s funny, it’s colorful, but not in a disturbing way. Perfect. And its touch is so soft like a dream.

As I had the Burda magazine, February issue, I checked the pattern I mentioned above. It had a lot of pattern pieces, and I think it is designed for less stretchy fabric, because it had darts and a lot of seams to have curves in it.

Actually I wanted to achieve the same fit and shape just like with my previous jersey dress which pattern I drafted after an existing dress I own. (It’s a very simple T-shirt dress but very flattering to my body). The previous happened to be very tight, it was only a 2-way stretch jersey.

I found the mentioned Flounce dress Burda pattern too complicated for this stretchy fabric and I went to trace again my existing dress – I lost the previously used pattern somewhere.

I know it might be the simpliest sewing project – a back and a front and two sleeves but it’s extremely feel-good project! It gives you joy and the dress fits like a glove.

And don’t you worry, I also tried something new out:

  • I tried the bias binding on the necklinethis tutorial by Colette was really helpful and I think the finish is quite neat
  • I bought stretch twin needle and I finished the knit hemline and sleeve hem with it – I found that this knit fabric is very thin and therefore I made tunneling – I tried to loose the tension, still not the best, but next time I might use some small lining in the inside and try that way.

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I am ready for spring/summer with this dress for sure!

Sewing books for the better understanding of design

Hey-hey!

Today I want to share some awesome sewing books for the better understanding of design! In my native language the supply is not so good considering the useful sewing books. And I don’t blame anyone, but I have to seek for solutions (like all the time, my life seems to be a continous solution peek-a-boo game 🙂

At first I would like to introduce you the Ultimate Dress Sewing Book, aka Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time by Tanya Whelan!

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This book is something incredible, I gotta be honest. It says you can make 200+ different dresses and walks you through the process, like takes your hand and shows you everything you gotta know about dressmaking.

What I love about it that it shows you 7 different bodices, 4 necklines, 4 sleevs and 6 skirts and top of that a lot of alterations, mix+matches, everything. Genius! And yes, patterns are attached!

So basically you can learn the basics of dressmaking by making a simple basic bodice with straight skirt and then, you know, just plan a dress with a matchmaking game. There are basic, one-shoulder, simple yoke variation, dart modification, strapless, halter etc bodices, and you just match them with a nice skirt which you alter by yourself (bias, straight, pleated, box-pleat, A-line wrap etc skirts). And you choose the sleeve and neckline too! AAHHHMMMAAAAZING, right?!

I must make the basic bodice, really. After you figure out your basic bodice pattern you are able to create any kind of a dress for yourself, and I think it really changes the sewing – game for anyone who wants more than just purchasing patterns from time to time. It brings you closer to designing.

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Second, I want to show you the How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns by Lee Hollahan!

It’s a a book with beautiful photos, thorough explanations about using, adapting, altering patterns. It’s very useful, handy when you are stuck somewhere, something doesn’t fit or you just want to create something else from an existing pattern.

I think the steps are easy to follow and it’s a guide to the world of tailoring. Really pretty work, full of images, instructions.

It’s nice to have next to your sewing machine!

Have I mentioned it contains the basic blocks seperately for the different sizes?!

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bodicea fittin Last but not least let’s take a look to a beautifully photographed book, Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer!

Haute Couture was always something very intimidating to me. It’s on the top of the pyramid of fashion, style, sewing, tailoring, everything. And basically I barely knew anything about it.

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This book is a colorful manual guide to anyone who wants to get to know the couture sewing techniques, desire a deeper knowledge, but is not a fashion school attendant.

I love the first chapter:

If you can sew,  you can sew couture. Very
few techniques are difficult, but they require time and patience. This
edition, like the original, describes couture techniques as practiced
in the ateliers of the haute couture. They are not adapted for homesewers
because I feel strongly that grasping the principles used in the haute couture will help you better understand
garment construction and fitting, and in turn, help
you to solve many problems you encounter.

(…)

While some techniques are less suitable for
beginners, most will be of value to the average
home-sewer; they are easy to duplicate and can be
applied to many designs and fabrics.
I find sewing by hand extremely rewarding. The
pleasure of both making and wearing beautifully
constructed garments far exceeds the time and
effort required to complete them. I hope this book
will help you develop these same skills and perfect
old ones, and, in turn, reward you with years of
pleasure—and a closet full of beautifully made
garments.

I think even the photos showed in the book are worth to buy this book.

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Do you own any of the mentioned books? Do you like them? Have you used them? Are they handy?

Share your experience!