chebe: (Sewing Machine)
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.

Couple of photos )
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
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.

Photos )
chebe: (DarkStare)
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 )
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
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 )
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
Ah, the Butterick 6031 slip sew-along. In one sense I'm behind. In another, I'm finished. See, I forgot for a moment that pattern company sizes are not regular sizes, and got the pattern in the wrong size. But, after measuring (myself, and the pattern) it became clear that the pattern included quite a bit of wearing ease. Which I would find unusual for a regular knit fabric, let alone the two-way-stretch knits we're actually using. So I chanced my arm and made up a toile in the largest size included.

I used some two-way-stretch knit I had laying around, which is just a bit heavier than the kit fabric. It doesn't really fray so I could skip most seam finishes. And I couldn't find any of my lace, so I made do with just some quarter-inch elastic.

Details and pictures )

The knit used is just about heavy enough to be a non-underwear fabric, and without the tell-tale lace details, well, my 90s self would like to wear this out dancing. She probably won't get her way, but I do adore this slip/lounge dress. It's so comfortable, and the different sized cups provided means I actually have something that fits properly with very little effort! I think with the actual fabric I'll narrow the side seams a bit, just to take the pressure off. But otherwise, I'm very happy. Talk about your wearable toiles!

Slip Sew-Along

2014-Mar-30, Sunday 01:11 pm
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
Gertie is running a new sew-along! Before you panic, this one should be much, much shorter than the last one. I don't have many details yet except that it's starting sometime in April, and her tag will either be Butterick 6031 or slip sew-along. I made things easy on myself by purchasing the kit and pattern directly, so all I need worry about is the fitting and sewing. Here's to more adventures in sewing!

Signed up for a workshop

2014-Feb-19, Wednesday 11:11 pm
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
I'm excited to have signed up for a sewing workshop in June. It's a specialised sewing workshop, two days on making your first bra. And it's in Sweden! Being taught by Beverly Johnson of Canada's Bra-Makers Supply and 'The Bra-Makers Manual'!

Seemingly this is Beverly's second trip to Sweden, and she'll be teaching a whole range of workshops over a couple of weeks. I never expected to be able to take a class with Beverly (Canada is too far for a workshop, even for me) so am ecstatic at this opportunity. Which is why I'm telling you all, in case this is something you'd be interested in as well!

More Sewing Plans

2011-Sep-27, Tuesday 03:17 pm
chebe: (DearDiary)
Today I got a new book, 'Vintage Lingerie, Historical Patterns & Techniques' by Jill Salen. Despite its name it only contains two full projects with instructions; one a bra, and one a petticoat. But it does contain scaled patterns worked from existing pieces presented in the book, that you are left to assemble by yourself. Still, I enjoyed looking through it and am glad to add it to my growing collection of lingerie and underwear books. And it has inspired me to start a plan-of-action. This isn't targeted for any set time-frame, and I don't expect to get through it all in any reasonable amount of time, but it's the way I want to proceed. However long it takes me.

I'm going to leave out modern books and patterns, as well as chemises and panties (which I'll deal with in a more ad-hoc manner), and just focus on the evolution of the bra. As the years pass designs get more convoluted and complicated, so it makes sense to start at the beginning.

1930's: Black Brassiere and Kestos Brassiere, scaled patterns from 'Vintage Lingerie'
1941: Brassiere, description (make own pattern) from 'Sew and Save'
1947: Set of bra tops (four styles) from Simplicity pattern #2026
1949: Bra top (from a pattern also including shorts and a jacket) from Simplicity #2825
1957: Bras (two styles from a pattern also including elongated versions as blouses) from Simplicity #2118

1971: Bra top of bikini (pattern also includes top/dress) from Simplicity #9378
1976: Bra top of a two-piece swimsuit (pattern also includes shirt and pants) from McCalls #5025
1976: Convertible Body Bra, Leisure Bra, Convertible Bandeau Bra, scaled patterns from 'The Undies Book'

Hmm, I'll have to keep an eye out for something from the 60's. As most of these patterns are vintage and in only one size I will make them up as is, not intending for them to fit anyone. Though hopefully Felicity will still be able to model them. (Indeed, as evidenced by the Crepe catastrophe worrying over fit keeps me stuck for a long time, so if after making it up I like the style, only then will I try to resize it to fit me.) This list may grow as I stumble across more patterns, but for now I think it's a fairly decent list to get started on.
chebe: (Spools of thread)
I'd like to introduce you to a new member of staff here at chebe studios, her name is Felicity.
Meet Felicity )

Speaking of which, I'd like to talk about what Felicity is wearing today. The top is simply an old RTW vest-top I bought years and years ago. The bottoms however, are my first attempt at making the knickers from Colette's Nutmeg (#1011).
Adventures in sewing )
chebe: (Spools of thread)
Okay, I got the supplies, I did some preparation, only thing left to do was sew them up!

Knickers and fitting talk )
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