Thursday, August 13, 2020

Neon takeover!

 Hello, there! It's been a while.

I've been sewing up a storm, but with everything going on, I've not been documenting things as I would like.  Maybe I'll do a roundup of my lock-down sewing.  Or maybe I won't.  But I'd like to.

Now for the main event.  The neon Ruby Bra!  I love this patter and it is one of my most worn bras in my drawer.  What could make it better? Make it a longline.  Full disclosure, I've never before sewn a longline bra.  That's not a thing that would stop me though. Funny enough, a few days after I finished this bra, my Diamond Bra pattern 

I got this lovely neon green lace on AliExpress. It had hearts and neon, yes please!  The lace has a nice scalloped edge and is a non-stretch lace.  Since it is Braugust over on Instagram, I decided to poll the masses to see if I should use the navy or white. The responses were almost completely split! I decided to go with my original idea of using the Navy, but I kind of want to order more to use with white, because I was pretty split myself. I should have ordered more, because I barely had enough for this bra.

This bra was definitely an experiment. I decided to go for it. I've seen others make longline bras and I totally watched the video from LizSews about making a bra longline.  When I cut my pieces, I tried to keep some continuity in the direction of the lace. I'd say I mostly succeeded there.

I split the bridge in half and added back in a seam allowance, because I wasn't sure how to keep the angle of lines where the front frame meets the band.  Once I split the bridge, I was able to just draw a line straight down. That mostly worked. The bridge is a slight bit wider than I would like at the top, but totally wearable. 

I used foam for the cups and cut them to the pattern size. I cut the lace with the scalloped edge just above the edge of the upper cup pattern piece, so the scallops would show over the foam edge.  No fold over elastic for these cups.  I did attach some to the center, but it is poorly attached, so I'll take it off at some point and replace it. Or maybe I'll just tack the lace down. The FOE is a bit distracting.

I wanted to make sure the scalloped lace at the bottom remained visible. In order to do that, I cut the lining to be the same length as the lace, and attached the elastic to it.  The band elastic is lightly tacked to the lace, which allows for a snug fit and the lace to be seen in its entirety.  

I added channeling for boning to the sides and the center seams to add some stability. I'm waiting for my boning to arrive so I can sew it in to complete the bra. Even without it, I'm pretty happy that it doesn't roll up for move around a whole lot.

For the back, I used 2 black hook & eye clasps which I sewed together.  I saw Emerald Erin use this method in her bra a week series, and it was perfect. I didn't have a 6 hook clasp, so sewing 2 of them together resulted in the perfect size.  

The only thing I'm not quite unhappy about was that I couldn't use the lace for the back. It would have looked so cute with the lace on the back! I cut it out, but quickly realized that if I was going to be able to have any stretch on the band, it wouldn't work.  Luckily, I'd cut out lace and powernet, so down to just the powernet it was.  

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the bra. I think if I were to make this again, I'd narrow the bridge and use stretch lace for an overall lace effect.  For my first real pattern mutation, I'd call it a success.

Fabric: Ali Express (lace) and the Bra Makery (lining and powernet) and Sweet Cups (foam)
Findings: Tailor Made Shop and The Bra Makery
Pattern: The Ruby Full Band Bra from  Bra Maker Supply

Friday, March 27, 2020

That one time I made a coat...

It is solidly March here.  Clearly, that is a wonderful time to make a fully lined and insulated duffle coat.  To be honest, I started cutting it back in January, so it was technically still winter.  I came across the Cascade Duffle Coat pattern a while back and kept it in mind.  My wardrobe really wanted/needed a new winter coat.  I'm not sure exactly what drew me in when a peacoat was originally what I had in mind, however, this coat reeled me in, so I picked it up when I found a sale.

I saw a Mood blog post about the coat where the blogger had the most amazing orange and maroon plaid coat.  Clearly, I needed to track down that fabric.  For those who don't know, Virginia Tech is my Alma Matter, so I basically bleed orange and maroon.  It's a thing.

I found that fabric. Yay!  Information about the fabric, not so much.  It might be upholstery fabric mostly made of wool, possibly discontinued. I'm really not sure.  Every place that I saw it listed had different care and fabric content information.  Frustrating.  I decided to go ahead and risk a prewash on delicate in case I ever need to gently cleanse the coat.  That went just fine.  The dryer, however, was another story.  It filled up the lint trap!  Twice! So much fluff.  Plus, I had to give my sewing machine a REALLY good cleaning after wrapping up construction.

This is a lined coat, so I lined it with a nice black and white silky poly from Joann Fabrics. I had it in my stash and I had enough of it.  Plus, I'm pretty happy with the way it looks against my main fabric.

I wanted a warmer coat for the depths of winter to wear every day.  It does get brutally cold, or at least it has the ability to even though the past 2 years haven't really reflected that.  I decided to use some fusible fleece iron-on interfacing attached to the lining.  Best to be prepared.

I picked the size by my measurements, the largest size the pattern offered.  Phew.  Somewhere I read that you can use the lining of the coat as a muslin.  That's totally up my alley. So I put together parts of the lining first with my fusible fleece and tried it on. Great fit everywhere (generous even in the hips) except the bicep.  A quick 1" bicep adjustment was made before cutting out the main coat.  I sewed the arm lining pieces at a 1/4" to make sure I had enough room.  That did the trick.  The benefits of picking a rather boxy coat.

After that it was onto sewing the main coat.  Even though this pattern has maybe 30 some pieces for the view I made, construction was pretty easy and straightforward.  I flew through it once I really got going. For my first coat, this definitely took less time than I imagined.  Thank goodness for online sew-alongs. I had to reference them quite a few times to make sure I did everything correctly.

I found double-sided tape to be quite useful when installing the zipper and zipper band.  It definitely helped keep everything aligned nicely while sewing.  I managed to forget about putting my toggles on until the very end, right before I added my lining.  It just added a bit of bulk while sewing, but it wasn't too bad.

The expander thingey (Simflex) makes toggle placement easy.  I didn't mark the placement from the pattern figuring I would want them slightly off.

Here is the coat during its birthing.

And the coat was born! I love this thing! Too bad I finished it after most of our cold weather. I've managed to wear it a few times, but it is ready for next year! Now enjoy my attempts at modeling.

Fabric & fixings:
     Main - P. Kaufman Fabrics Aberdeen Sumac Scottish Wool Plaid from Hancock's of Paducah
     Lining - Stretch Chiffon Silky Fabric Black & White Mod Leaf Dots from Joann Fabric
     Zipper panel - Allison Glass fabric (not sure which line) from New River Art & Fiber
     Interfacing -  Pellon 931TD for the coat side and Fusible Fleece attached to the lining from Joann Fabrics
     Toggles - 4 leather sew on toggles from Amazon

Pattern: Grainline Studio - Cascade Duffle Coat 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Apparently it is bralette season

Evidently, sewing bralettes is a thing I do. Let me tell you, this time I found pattern I love. I'd seen many others make the Poppy Bralette by House Morrighan and it just looked so darn neat. I really like the idea of a bralette, but there aren't many that work with larger chests. I generally stick to wired bras, but after sewing up the Romy Bra, I was in a mood to try a bralette for myself.  I finished setting up my projector for pattern cutting, so it seemed like a appropriate time to test it out with a new pattern! 

Isn't the projector set up an awesome thing?

I made an F/G cup and a straight size 10 (43.5 bust).  Can we talk about the fact that their size range is pretty amazing for a bralette?  The only downside is that I could find no information as to what each cup range corresponded to, so I had to guess. On my next one, I'll definitely go up a cup size.  The band was a perfect fit.  I followed the advice to add elastic to the intersection of the cups and the band.  That definitely adds some nice support, but makes it harder to get a good picture due to the pulling.

Who doesn't love a good flat lay?

     Lining fabric - Medium Powernet from Bra Makery
Rings & Sliders - Tailor Made Shoppe
Elastics:  Bra Makery

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ginger Jeans - take trois

Everyone loves a good pair of jeans, right? Why is finding them so hard?  Reason 1,503,019 why I sew.

The last of my RTW jeans died under the crushing friction of my thighs, per the usual, so I pulled out some mystery dark stretch denim that's been in my stash for quite a while.

This was the first project I really got to get some good use of my Singer 15-91.  She sews through denim like a hot knife through butter. It's wonderful.  She still needs a name. Taking suggestions.

So, onto the pattern. I love Ginger jeans. I am currently using view A which is the mid-rise version with stovepipe legs. I'm thinking about trying the high waisted version with the same stovepipe leg. I find that the mid-rise hit me at an awkward point requiring me to wear a belt, otherwise they fall down.  Who knows, the high rise version might not fix that.  I also appreciate that they're the perfect length as written.


I found my first pair had some serious wrinkling in the yoke area.  The waistband was also wayyyy too big. I put some darts in, but who really wants to do that? This time, I decided to take the waistband and yoke and redraft them so I had a curved waistband and yoke to match.  This also required taking some out of the top of the back legs to accommodate the smaller yoke.  This was exactly what they needed. 
I ended up with a bit of extra fabric behind the knees.  Maybe I'll try to work on that next time.

I made a triple topstitched hem, just because. I figure its a nice little detail. Add in rivets and I'm a happy jean(s) momma.


Fabric: Mystery dark stretch denim. Most likely from Joanns.
Pattern: Ginger Jeans - Closet Case Patterns

Friday, February 14, 2020

Bra days

One of my favourite garments to make is a bra. They're simple, yet complex. Beautiful, yet functional. And really, that's where my aesthetic lies above all else - functionality. There is something about being able to make a bra that fits, because I've yet to buy one from a store that does. However, this bra isn't for me.

I told my sister I'd make her an item of her choice as part of her Christmas presents.  I'd been putting off ordering some underwires in her size for whatever reason. Then, Ohhh Lulu had a pattern sale. I'd been looking at the Romy bra for a while.  Personally, I prefer an underwire. Probably because I've never had a good bra that didn't have an underwire. Clearly, it was a sign. I sent a picture of the pattern to my sister and she liked it.  This was meant to be.  I'm not going to lie, the next one is for me.

I feel like this bra was so much easier and faster than others. It's probably just because it lacks channeling and an underwire. Amazing how one extra step can feel like so much.  Anywho, she picked out some fun scuba I had in my stash. It was a striped watercolor floral from Tailor Made Shop. Her grab bags are amazing!

Construction wise, it was quick and easy with enclosed seams.  I'd say it was a nice, satisfying sew.  I finished it with black band elastic, quartz pink for all other elastics and some rose gold rings and sliders.  I'd take better pictures, but it is in the mail.

 I guess I should warn ya'll not to expect amazing pictures from me. I'm much more of a wear it once it's done kind of person. I'll get pictures, but they're not going to be the most amazing ones you've ever seen.

 Now I kind of need to make one for myself.

Fabric: Tailor Made Shop
Findings: Tailor Made Shop and The Bra Makery
Pattern: The Romy Bra - Ohhh Lulu

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Hi y'all!

Hello there. My name is Lauren and I'm finally starting a sewing blog. I've been throwing the idea around for a few months, so here we go.

I'm a wife, a mom of 2 boys and I live on a little bit of land with our chickens, ducks, Guinea hens, 2 cats and a pup.

Why do I feel the need for a blog? I'm a curvy sewist. While there are a lot of other curvy sewists out there, I often have trouble finding  examples of how garments fit curvy people. I figure, at the very least, my blog can become a help to someone else who is looking to see a human wearing that garment and see what adjustments have been made.

My taste is eclectic, my motivation is high, and my intimidation factor is low.  I'm multi-craftual. If it piques my interest, I'll try it. Currently, I sew a lot, I knit a little and occasionally quilt. I'd like to explore bag and shoe making next. Like I said, I'm not afraid to try something new. I'm sure those crafts will make their way to this little corner of the internet.

I'm currently on a mission to create a mostly handmade wardrobe. I have an eye towards pieces that make a statement and a penchant for not really caring about matching.  I generally go with more Earth tones, but I do love some mustard yellow. According to my color palette, I'm a warm autumn, so I guess I'm already there. I'm also quite aware that you can't always wear the loud patterns.  We'll see where I land.

That bring said, welcome. I hope you'll enjoy what I put out into the world.

And for anyone looking to see how garments fit - Bust:43 Waist:37 Hips:47. I'd be glad to provide more specific measurements if anyone is interested.