Colette's Nutmeg is a collection of a bralette and two bottoms. Having previously made both the knickers and the tap pants all that was left was to make the bralette.

The pattern includes various cup sizes (A/B, C/D, DD) but doesn't provide any guidance on selecting them. They are constructed from a lower front band (with darts and elasticated hem), upper front band (with interfaced facing), and two back bands of doubled layers. The 'straps' are ribbon, caught between the back band layers and the top front band and its facing. Made from stable wovens, straight stitch construction (except for the elastic) and overlock stitch/foot for finishing seams. I made mine in the same pretty patterned pink cotton as the tap pants.

This is possibly the worst fitting garment I've ever made. Putting aside how the ribbons are purely decorative, there is still no support in this style. The stable fabric doesn't move, and the only bit with any give is the elasticated edge, the lower front, which is the only part on a regular bra that doesn't stretch. Perhaps on a person with a smaller bust this could be made to work, but it is definitely not for me.

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Colette's Nutmeg is a collection of a bralette and two bottoms. A long time ago I made the view 1, knickers. This time I made the view 2, tap pants.

Longer than they appear on the packaging these shorts consist of eight pieces; yoke piece and leg piece, left and right, front and back. Made of stable woven fabrics, and cut on the bias. With an elasticated waist. I made mine in a pretty patterned pink cotton. Straight stitch construction, seams finished with overlock stitch/foot. Except for the visible topstitching joining the yoke and leg pieces, which is a zigzag.

The fit of these shorts do not suit me. The rear is pulled too tight and the front belly has too much material. My usual gripe with shorts/trousers patterns. Hopefully I'll get some use out of them.

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Seamwork's Dana, I previously made the bralette, now let's look at the panties. They consist of three pieces (including crotch lining), seamed at either side and once through the crotch. One end of the crotch lining is left open. Not my favoured construction technique, but it is common in ready to wear. The waist is narrow elastic turned over, and the legs are simply turned over without elastic. A nice clean, modern, no-visible-elastic aesthetic.

I am happy to report no major fit issues. These are great. They are really comfortable and more short-like (when worn lower on the hip) than the diagrams led me to believe (which is a good thing). I hope to make more.

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Seamwork's Dana is a cute bralette and panties set. This is my first go at the bralette. It is simply two pieces of fabric, with thin elastic at the top, wider elastic at the bottom, turned over. A third piece of elastic and some gathering at the front form a feature. Then two lengths of elastic are attached as straps. Simple. I'd even say that this is a very good bralette pattern to start making your own underwear with.

As usual I had some fit issues. I cut a L(arge), but found the underbust too loose, while at the same time there wasn't enough height to the front. I will make suitable adjustments next time. However it is still quite wearable.

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This Venus Tanga is one of the projects in the Sweet Nothings book. The first project actually. You need to scan a couple of pattern pieces, scale up to 200%, and print.

It is very straight forward; cut two lengths of stretch lace, at an angle to get the v shape. Stitch together. Cut one crotch piece in the lace, and another in a jersey. Stitch on. Add bow, finished. And the result is both pretty and solid.

The crotch looks very small, but seems that that is what is required with this style. I am pleased the crotch is lined, but, the two crotch pieces are initially sewn wrong sides together, leaving raw edges exposed. It really wouldn't take any extra effort to sew the two long edges right sides together, and then turn out to sew the two short edges. And you'd have those seams nicely hidden. I'll make sure to do that myself next time.

Also, you are told to melt the polyester thread to secure. I mean, yeah, sure, but, I think it is the only time any instructions have ever actually instructed me to do that.

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Seamwork's Florence is a soft-cup lounge bra crossed with a cami. I had tried making stretch lace camis before (there are patterns in both Sweet Nothings and Sewing Lingerie), but was never satisfied with the results. Those camis seem to be mere decoration, rather than practical. I was pleased to see that Florence is different.

The other camis consist of a band of stretch lace about your underbust, and two cups (each made of two rounded triangles) attached to the top. Absolutely zero support.

With Florence the cups are actually set into the band, like a regular bra, and there is plush elastic adding around the bottom of the stretch lace band. The instructions include a few ideas for additional support; sewing the straps criss-crossed, adding channeling under the cups, and feeding underwires into that channeling. But overall it's still a soft cup lounge bra, with t-attached straps, and no fastening. It will always have a low level of support (thankfully non-zero), but it can still offer a little shaping/control.

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With the chalky taste of paracetamol in the back of my throat, there's only a small make this weekend. Or should I say, smalls?

I got a book recently, Knickers!, although 'book' is a bit of an exaggeration. There's a quick intro, and then it's straight in to instructions on how to make six (although three distinct) varieties of knickers. Then in the back there are patterns you need to enlarge 200%, or you can download the fullsize patterns from a website and print them (at 70+ A4 pages). Size charts are in UK dress sizes, not measurements. But otherwise, it is beautifully to-the-point, and very clear.

I used some left-over Fushia jersey, about two metres of black stretch lace, and took on the 'Stretch Knickers' pattern. Start to finish in an hour. I'll definitely be making more.

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I'm feeling a little despondent over things I have no influence over. So I'm distracting myself with blogging. Here's something I made earlier in the year.

Remember the Butterick 6031 slip sew-along? (Here's version one.) Well, I finally got around to making it up in the kit fabric and notions.

It's straight forward, easy to put together (even with the slippery fabric). The lace straps are a little fiddly, but otherwise it's a joy to make and wear.

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In sad news, it appears my new sewing machine and I will not be immediate bffs just yet. I am rather appalled at how it has handled stretch knit fabric and elastics.

I finally got around to making up a test of the panties to go with the Butterick 6031 slip. The last part of the sew-along is here.

The pattern is very simple and straight forward. A good fit and style. (Clearly much better than my attempt at the Kwik Sew 2100 panties.) But as this is just a test I swapped the waist stretch lace for folded-over elastic, and just hemmed the legs without any elastic.

Underwear underneath )
It has been a busy few weeks! From dipping my feet in the fog cloaked Pacific Ocean, to walking along the bright three-hours-of-night Baltic Sea, and all within a month. From San Francisco to Stockholm, I somehow managed to not visit any hackerspaces. I just didn't have the time. Work sent me to the Bay Area for training, and I went to Stockholm to take a sewing course.

Stockholm is very easy to get around. The city centre not being that sprawled means you can easily walk around all day. But there's also public bikes, buses, trams, and trains. Everyone is friendly and has great English, which is just super convenient for the clueless tourist like myself.

However, the number of similarities between not only Swedish/English, but also Swedish/Irish is quite interesting. For example, button in Swedish; knapp, and button in Irish; cnaipe, pronounced almost identically. And then there's the Irish Viking place names, and Irish Norman family names... It's almost like they're related in some way ;)

But, back to the course! It was two days of exhaustive sewing. And I mean exhausting. I was falling asleep on the twenty minute train journey back to my hotel each day. Clearly I would never be able to do anything as strenuous as the Great British Sewing Bee!

Details and pictures )