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I accidentally made some Edwardian Drawers.

18 Nov

Yanno, as you do!

Inspiration: I was perusing Wearing History’s patterns when I came across this one

 

I thought to myself ‘Oh I think that’s a circular trouser draft, like the Sunkissed Sweethearts pattern‘ (which also happens to be a Wearing History pattern). Then I thought to myself ‘Oh, but wait! I have a LOT of white broadcloth and voile, I could make one of these using the Sunkissed Sweethearts pattern!’ Then I thought ‘And I could use up all that white lace I keep collecting from op shops. Stashbusting!’

Next thing I knew I’d whipped out the Sunkissed Sweethearts pattern and my copious amounts of white fabric, and had cut out my own rendition of the Edwardian Drawers.

How?

I removed the gathers on the Sweetheart shorts draft (very easy to do) and cut them out in the broadcloth with the curve to the side and extra fabric in the back so I didn’t need closures. The lower part I simply used the curve of the hem on the top part, and cut-and-spread to create a circular ruffle to fit on it.

It was a tiny step from it being cut to having it sewing up. They’re basically elastic-waisted shorts with a fancy ruffle. Too easy! Sewing on the lace took twice as long as it took to make the drawers up. Oh, and unlike in the original pattern description, which has the drawers open in the crotch, I sewed mine together because, like, modern living, like. And I wanted to wear it as outerwear, not underwear!

I put elastic in the front to get it to hug my figure, and a draw-string white ribbon in the back, which ties at the side coz I was silly and put the openings for the drawstring accidentally on the side. Oops!

Around the curve of the upper leg.

Around the lower hem. I need to cut out the fabric from behind the lace. Taking the photo on a darker background might have made it clearer…

I then wore them styled with a white top and a pretty blue sash. The only real FAIL was getting a photo without a silly expression!

You can have me squinting against the glare…

Or me laughing with my eyes closed!

Or a nice expression except my face is turned away from the camera to show off the back.

Back home again, this is to show what it looks like without the top over it. I think they really do look like vintage drawers! *smug*

I love this view. They really do look like so many pictures of Edwardian ladies in their drawers I’ve seen on pinterest. No butt-hugging happening here!

Verdict:

They’re cool, they’re very comfy, they’re very pretty, they’re easy to get on and off. I love them ūüôā

Adorably cute cat er I mean undies

20 May

I’ve been on a mission to sew cute undies. My favourite rtw ie the only ones I’ve found that fits me properly, are very short-lived and too expensive to keep buying them at the rate they keep dying.

Good thing I can sew. *phew*

I’ve been sewing mostly with woven fabrics as I have mostly woven scraps. It’s also a great excuse to buy 50cm of fabric I love but either can’t afford more of, or just reeelly don’t need to add to my stash.

In fact this fabric was one of those buys, made into the ‘sweet cotton panties’ pattern at gomakeme. It’s a really cute pattern, with the virtue of being cut on the straight grain, enabling you to squeeze it out of a smaller amount of fabric generally than bias-cut woven undies patterns. I adjusted the back to go under my buttocks, not in the ‘cheeky’ fit across them. I just prefer them that way, and I think they’re just as cute either way ūüôā

 

I’ve also been using up odds and ends of fabric from other makes that are such great prints I can’t let them go. This has a different application of leg elastic than above, I was trying out how soft lingerie elastic worked on craft cotton. Yeah, it does the job ūüôā

 

Another fabric I couldn’t let go.

 

I’m in love with these undies! They’re made from the bottoms part of this swimsuit pattern I got for 20c in the local op shop. I know I know, yes this pattern is for sale from anything like $30 – $60. Be jealous! I did have to size up a fair bit but changing sizes with undies is actually surprisingly simple.

Vogue 9230; ca. 1975; Misses' Swimsuit With Briefs and Hat. Lined-to-edge swimsuit has scooped neckline, cutaway armholes, close-fitting bodice, inset waistband extending to tie ends, peplum extending to side back, and detachable back panel with elasticized waistline. Lined-to-edge briefs have elasticized legs and waistline. Wide brimmed hat has six-gore crown, elasticized headcasing and topstitching. Purchased pre-gathered trim; purchased scarf. [insert your photos of this pattern made up]

Oh no wait, that wasn’t the undies! I’ll try again

.

Darn, still not quite. Lemme try again.

Aha, got it! This pattern is sooooo cutely retro. I love it. When sizing up I just had to make sure the width fit round my hips when I was sitting down, then extended the rise up to my waist, and it now fits, while keeping that cute retro look.

A bias-cut woven, finally! A tanga-style undies even. I made this one up myself, by using a knit tanga pattern I have and, er, I just cut them a bit bigger all round and was quite surprised when it turned out well, and perfectly comfortable.

I had a slight mishap first sew of the waistband though. I sewed them up with a twist between front and back. Oops.

Making my own undies is such fun ūüôā I’ll post the knit undies in another post. Enough piccies in this one!

Vintage pattern pledge makes

7 Dec

I’ve been diligently sewing vintage patterns all year, but have barely blogged about them. I want to include pattern reviews in my posts about them, but at the moment I’m so confused as to what I’ve sewn, I’ll just line them all up here. That way too, it’s easy for me to pin the pretty piccies to the pinterest vintage pattern pledge board.

Taking it from the top: Folkwear Russian Settler’s sarafan, blogged here.

Folkwear Russian Settlers' dressFolkwear Russian Settlers' Dress | Jumper, Blouse & Apron Sewing Pattern # 128 #Folkwear #RussianSettlersDress:

This blouse is a vintagey style pattern from a Burdastyle mag. Not sure if it counts for the vintage pattern pledge or not.

Folkwear’s Edwardian Underthings camisole (in silk/cotton Mmmmm!!!! With hand-crochet edgings too Mmmm!!!!)

Folkwear's Edwardian Underthings camisole Folkwear's Edwardian Underthings camisole

A nightie in a pattern I just HAD to get, because my mum had it when we were kids and she made my sister and I nighties and a robe to go with it. Simplicity 8198 The grey smudge is my new kitten, Ma’at ūüôā

Simplicity 8198Simplicity 8198 Misses' Nightgown and Robe in two lengths Size 12 UNCUT

And a top from the same pattern…

Simplicity 8198

Burda 7977 Not sure this counts either, as it’s more historical than vintage, and again, from a modern pattern. However I’m so glad I finally made it up, having long wanted a surcoat. Here’s my tropical version. I throw it over my dance or pilates gear going to and from the studio.

Burda 7977 surcoatBurda Misses Medieval Dress Costume 7977

 

Why yes thankyou! I do indeed have an ongoing love affair with vintage nightie patterns. This one is Simplicity 6047 made into a top.

Simplicity 6047 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Mod Babydoll Pajamas, Puff Sleeve Micro Mini Dress, Blouse, Panties, Nightgown, Maxi GownSimplicity 6047 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Mod Babydoll Pajamas, Puff Sleeve Micro Mini Dress, Blouse, Panties, Nightgown, Maxi Gown

And this one is Style 3010

style 3010 sewing patternstyle 3010 sewing pattern

Yet another version of Style 2172 which I’ve decided after goldilocking so many vintage nightie patterns, is my most fave of all…

Style 2172Style 2172

A lounge-dress out of Style 2363

Easy Nightdress 80s Sewing Pattern Style 2363 Vintage NightgownEasy Nightdress 80s Sewing Pattern Style 2363 Vintage Nightgown

A top made out of Simplicity 5030

Simplicity 5030 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Lace Yoke, Lacy Hem Shortie Babydoll Pajamas Set, Bloomers Panties, Nightgown, Long GownSimplicity 5030 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Lace Yoke, Lacy Hem Shortie Babydoll Pajamas Set, Bloomers Panties, Nightgown, Long Gown

Another version of the retro repro Burda 7109

Burda Misses and Women's Sleepwear 7109 Burda Misses and Women's Sleepwear 7109

(Not a nightie this time :-P) I’m so pleased I made this, too, even though I don’t like it and have plans to redo it into shorts. My version of the 1920’s 1 hr dress, with some pockets inspired by Tina Givens Marcella sewing pattern.

Tina Givens Marcella Dress sewing patternTina Givens Marcella Dress sewing pattern

Style 4890 for me in a wearable muslin, and my mum in Burda 8379 (not vintage!)

Burda 8379 and Style 4890

I’m still working on a few, such as this top from McCalls 4574. Goodness me, that isn’t a nightie pattern!70s Smock Top or Dress, McCalls 4574 Sewing Pattern70s Smock Top or Dress, McCalls 4574 Sewing Pattern

Finish off this version of Style 4890 (not the purple bit at the bottom – that’s the skirt I was wearing the day I was checking the fit.)

Style 4890

Finish off these knit wearable muslins of Wearing History’s sunkissed sweetheart shorts, and the actual shorts themselves.

Wearing History Sunkissed Sweetheart tropical separates - shorts wearable muslinWearing History Sunkissed Sweetheart tropical separates

Hopefully get a picture of the couple of pairs of undies I made using this Vogue 9230

Vogue 9230

Finish these gorgeous trousers from Decades of Style in an olive green linen.

illustration for 1930s sewing pattern for trousers from Decades of Style with wide, gently shaped pant leg

And last but not least a pair of shorts and maybe even a matching bra using Anna Depew’s Pauline tap pants and bra pattern.

Vintage Sewing Pattern Tap Panties Pdf Printable Copy 28 Waist Depew 2005B -INSTANT DOWNLOAD-

Oh, oops that isn’t the last one. That reminded me I started the Anna Depew bra sew-along¬†(hoping I’ll have enough remnants of the silk/cotton of the Edwardian camisole to make into the final bra. Mmmm!)

THIS is the last vintage sewing plan, honest! Honestly honest!

2013 new art

 

*phew* That’s quite a lot there! (Maybe some of those things I want to finish might end up in the 2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge ūüôā

A fascination with vintage nighties

13 Oct

A sewing friend’s 10 yr old daughter is interested in learning to sew. They’ve decided to start with bags and move on to a nightie.

 

Of course, I have to do what I can to help my friend inspire her daughter to sew! Thus, I’ve been er *cough* researching nighties all afternoon. My tastes tend towards vintagey, old-fashionedy stuff, so that’s what I was *coughs* researching… I’m sure a 10 yr old will find them as fascinating as I do, right? Right!

There are a number of basic types of nightie patterns – I tried to find versions with appealing pattern envelope art but if necessary, ignore the art and just look at the lines of the garment. All these are for sale on Etsy, at varying prices.
Yoked – straight-ish, v-necked or roundish
Simplicity 8198 Misses Nightgown and Robe Pattern, Two Lengths, Size 14

McCalls 3155 1980s Misses Pullover Tent Dress Muu Muu Pattern Scoop Sweetheart Neck Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size XL B 44 46 UNCUT

Simplicity 5030 1970s Misses Baby Doll Pajamas Nightgown Pattern Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size Medium Bust 34 36 OR Small Bust 31 32

Simplicity 6047 misses size 14 bust 36" waist 28" Nightgown shortie PJ pajamas loungewear vintage Sewing Pattern
So many fancy variations on the yoke theme.

Kwik Sew 994 1970s Misses Evening Length Nightgown Pattern Raglan Sleeve Womens Sewing Pattern Size xs s m l Bust 31 - 41 UNCUT
1920s Women"s Nightgown Dress Lingerie Sewing Pattern Minerva 5783 Bust 34
7237 Simplicity petite 6 Miss Pattern Misses Nightgown in Two Lengths Panties Vintage 1975 Uncut

OOP Folkwear Sewing Pattern 224 Beautiful Dreamer Womens NIghtgown Size 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Bust 30 1/2 to 42 UnCut 1900s Nightgowns
Vintage nightdress pajamas & sleepsuit sewing pattern - Style 3388 - size 10 - 12 - 14 - 16 ( 32.5" - 34" - 36" - 38" bust) - 1981 - unused
Kwik Sew 876 1970s Misses Kimono Sleeve Peignoir and Nightgown Pattern Womens Vintage Sewing Patterns Size S M L XL Bust 32 - 45 UNCUT

 

This gorgeous crochet-yoked nightie was from a magazine pattern illustration. You can find crochet yoke patterns here: http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/crochet.htm
EARLY 1900"s COTTON NIGHTGOWN dress under layer L

Then there’s the straight thru, one-piece types.
1969 Sew-Knit-N-Stretch 214 Ladies Nightgown Sizes S-M-L Kerstin Martensson Baby Doll Nightgown Sewing Pattern Misses PJ Pattern u

This one is one-piece straight through but some views have elastic to pull it in under waist to create an empire look.
Size 8&10 Vintage 60s Misses" Baby Doll Nightgown In 2 Lengths Jiffy Simplicity Sewing Pattern 8252 Sizes 8 10

So uninspiring! Kwik Sew art just doesn’t do it for me…
Kwik Sew 2239 Misses Tank Style Nightgown and Camisole PatternLingerie Womens Sewing Pattern Size XS S M L XL Bust 31 - 45 UNCUT

I’m in love with this one and may have to either buy it or work out how to draft it myself.
Kwik Sew 993 1980s Misses Evening Length V Neck Nightgown Pattern Lettuce Edging Womens Sewing Pattern Size xs s m l Bust 31 - 41 UNCUT

Empire line is another classic nightie style, but its success as a wearable garment, I’ve always felt, depends on having perky boobs, which I don’t. Probably not so much of an issue for my friend’s 10yr old ūüėõ Here are some pretty variations!
Kwik Sew 717 1970s Misses LINGERIE Pattern Full Slip Pattern Lettuce Edging Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size s m l xl Bust 32 - 43 UNCUT
Simplicity 1136 1940s Ladies Lingerie Pattern Misses Nightgown Negligee Pattern Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size 12 Bust 30
Vogue 8887 / Vintage 70s Sewing Pattern / Nightgown Empire Gown Babydoll Pajamas Panties / Size 12 Bust 34
Never Used Pattern Pieces 1940s Butterfly Nightgown Anne Cabot"s Needlecraft Corner 5138 All 3 Sizes Possible

Some are (often strange) conglomerations of many style details.
1940s yoke and cut on sleeve fancy thingie. Or is it a raglan-sleeve straight-through nightie?
Vintage 50s Nightgown Pattern New York 1210 Size 17 Bust 35 UNCUT
1980s glam girl!

Sexy ROBE & NIGHTGOWN, UNCUT, F/F, Size 16-18, Bust 38"- 40", Butterick 4669.
1940s
1942 Simplicity 4456 Size Bust 34 Hip 37 Casablanca-Style Womens Nightgown Sewing Pattern Vintage Sewing Pattern Supply Lana Turner Gown

Then there are the ‘wtf you’re planning to sleep in that?’ nightie styles. (I think the above might qualify for this category too.)
VTG McCall"s 4731 Misses V Plunge Nightgown and Pinafore Look Nightgown Pattern, Size Petite, UNCUT

Yes this WAS designed as a nightie!

Vintage Simplicity 4980 1950s nightgown pattern Bust 30 shelf bust tie shoulder fitted waist Full skirt Grecian peasant dress

So was this!
Kwik Sew 1813 1980s Misses Lace NIGHTGOWN Pattern Drop Waist Overlay Skirt Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size xs s m l Bust 31 - 41 UNCUT

 

Vintage sewing pattern pledge update

29 Dec

The original plans of what patterns to sew totally went out the window. No worries, I replaced them with a whole lot more though.

Firstly what I have done so far:

Bolivian Milkmaid’s jacket in a blue velvet. Mmm! Sadly the fit was so boxy I am not sure I can adjust it to be more flattering. I didn’t like the peplum either, with the boxy waist it just looked huge, not flattering.

Mind you, I learnt an enormous amount! And I also had a lovely jacket for the trip I went on. Here’s the best photo, where I’m pulling the jacket in at the waist in the back. It doesn’t look too bad at all in that photo!

I think this macro I found on Sew Pretty In Pink’s blog. I think it’s appropriate for this jacket too (I so ‚̧ Anne!)

3dfd4-tumblr_lnqobbivnf1qb5fseo1_500

Next, I sewed up Mrs Conover’s blouse.

Miss Conover's blouse, 1921

 

Here’s my mock-up version in an old sheet that’s a horrible colour on me. I decided it was a terrible pattern, until my mum and best friend both convinced me the icky bit was the fabric, not the style:

 

I found when done up in nice fabric that it was just too big. I took it in, then took it in, then took it in. Each time I did it looked better and better. I finally stopped taking it in when it was this big.

But do you think I could get a decent shot of the front? NOPE!!! and then it was all spoiled anyway when the green fabric colour ran the first time I washed it, and made the yellow icky *cries* I love the top so much I’m planning on trying to fabric-paint the neckband yellow again. *hopes*

Next was the swirl dress! Soooo much fun, the sewalong group was fantastic, and Beccie was also fantastic.

The fourth vintage sew¬†– two dresses from this mid-1970’s pattern

For me…

And for my mum…

Fifth pattern: made the underwear part of this pattern too but no piccies yet.

 

So that’s six garments from 5 patterns.

Well that was my original pledge amount. Why aren’t I finished yet?

Well… I got all inspired by¬†Amanda of Bimble and Pimble’s nightie-tops. (Ok, properly the Alice top ūüėõ But I just so have a vintage nightie pattern that is very similar to this!) I hope it’s not rude to just borrow the picture of the blog post. But it looks so good! And so cool! And so inspiring! And that dotted swiss voile is made with neon dots!!! (Go read the whole post, that’s one groovy top ūüôā

Tessuti-Fabrics-Alice-Top

I just so happened to have bought 3 vintage nightie patterns not long before christmas! (Yeah yeah I love nighties :-P) Now what on earth could I do with those patterns???¬†I’m aiming for photos and a post about it on New Year’s Eve my mum’s birthday to nicely round out the vintage pattern pledge!

Vintage pattern pledge – where I’m at so far

25 Oct

The¬†Bolivian milkmaid’s jacket – done! hehe I’m VERY pleased with myself with that one. I made a jacket! Having said that, I’m planning to refit it before it gets its next outing. But yeah, it’s been sewn and been worn and I love it. Yeah!

Nothing else is finished yet, but there have certainly been developments, like oh you know, a whole lot more patterns I’m planning to make up *sheepish* But I just couldn’t resist …

I signed up to a Swirl Dress sew-along. I’d never even heard of Swirl Dresses, they sound like they might be a purely American phenomena? But the moment I saw the pattern I realised I needed one – you know how it goes ūüėČ I’ve bought some baby blue gingham for it. I’m looking forward to the sew-along. I’ve never done a sew-along, not my thing, but it’s turning out to be fun, so I may end up actually doing this one. If not I’ll just sew it up on my own.

The next addition came about as a result of a terrible terrible wardrobe tragedy. Sadly one of my most favourite dresses EVAR¬†fell apart on me. Noooooooo!!! Worse still, it’s just the time of year where a loose style of dress is mandatory, weatherwise. I really need to replace it asap, so I desperately searched stashes of fabric and patterns, and came up with this 1974 dress pattern. (My sister’s vintage, aw cute!) The loosish fit through the torso looked good, weatherwise, especially if fitted on the looser side.

Here’s the almost-made dress, donchya love the pretty cotton/lycra satteen fabric?! And see the three pleats at the shoulder?¬†The original pattern has two but I added another pleat as part of my customary FBA adjustment. The seaming details made it so easy to fine-tune the fit, and I can happily report it looks beautifully while still being suitably loose. It’s even a bit swishy,¬†mmm! (It¬†surprised me as sateen doesn’t usually swish.) Now I just have to finish it off. Not my forte, starting projects is so much more fun :-P, but the awful weather is driving me …

I thought the pattern might work on mum, too. I’ve realised recently things that look good on one of us will often work on the other. Only took me 38 yrs to notice mum and I have the same figure, just in different sizes, DUH!!! Her style’s vastly different though, for eg she wouldn’t be seen dead wearing something like this¬†ūüėÄ But the 1974 dress? Right up her alley, I suspected. She agreed, so I drafted her size, then cut it out in this fabric. A selfless sewing make could be part of the vintage sewing pattern pledge?

Another addition came about by a much happier incident! Ever since I bought this lovely pattern I’ve been trying to find just the right fabric for it.

1940s Inspired Misses Princess Seam Peplum Blouse Sewing Pattern, Simplicity 1590 or 0229 Sizes 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 uncut

I found it the other day! The fabric colour is actually shades of navy blue through to white,no idea why it came out so grey. *facepalm* It’s much more beautiful irl! So of course this pattern has been added to 2014 sewing list.

The last addition I found in the op-shop the other week. Is it beautiful or beautiful?

V9230

Not needing a swimsuit (I SO hate swimming, I know, so un-Aussie of me *hangs head in shame*) I’ve graded up the knickers part of the ensemble, and cut them out in soft (woven) cotton for undies. Fun! One day, not necessarily as part of the vintage pattern pledge, I wouldn’t mind trying to convert the top/overdress into a proper dress while keeping the overall feel of the style. As for the hat omgsoperfect for a woman¬†with stupidly fair skin living in the tropics! Must make!¬†I haz Big Plans¬†for this pattern!

 

Frilly knickers! or: Granny Undies aren’t actually comfortable.

18 Aug

Carolyn is right. Lingerie sewing is addictive!

The latest addition to my lingerie drawer¬†is¬†too cute for words. The photos don’t the cuteness full justice, but rest assured they look incredibly cute on me. (They were hard to photo. The elastic round the legs would not sit nicely. I ended up ironing the leg openings on a low heat to get¬†them to¬†look this good. That’s right. I ironed my undies. OMG someone call an ambulance O_o )

Pretty frilly legs.

The inspiration

These knickers by Free People via Pinterest.

Free People booty shorts

And these too via pinterest. Oh so pretty! I just wanted my own pair ūüėÄ Have sewing machine, will sew!

Amazon.com: Undrest Signature Bloomer Short Natural/Watermelon: Clothing

Mine look just as pretty on!

But they started life far less glamorously

They used to be a pair of the wonderfully old-fashioned Bonds Cottontails Full Briefs.

 

I am still not sure why I bought the pair. An experiment I think. I blame Sewveravenus and her wonderful Grannypannie pattern (below). It gave me the idea that Granny Undies could be funky, chic, and comfy. After all, you can see the resemblance between the cottontails and the Sewveravenus Grannypannies, right? Right? Sure you can!

There were sadly three things wrong with the cottontails Real Granny Undies

1) The elastic round the waist was so strong it cut into my poor tummy and made me feel very ill. It’s not a size issue, it’s the elastic. It was so strong it could have been used successfully to catapult huge rocks in ancient Roman war machines.

2) The legs are finished with a thick band of non-elastic rib. A bit less elastic in the waist and a bit more in the legs would have helped.

3) When my partner saw me wearing them he said ‘They look … comfortable…’

Oh dear.

Hey I swear if there had been no problem number 1 or 2 I would have smiled sweetly at my partner and been too embarrassed to wear them around him ever again and worn them proudly, refusing to sacrifice comfort for any man, not even my beloved. And in his defence I know he’d have just been amused at them, and that would have been that. But … the existance of problems 1 and 2 could not be denied.

What I did to massacre refashion the Real Grannie Undies

I chopped off the leg bindings and waist elastic.

I cut two rounds of fabric about 4 cm wide from the top of the waist.

I sewed one round onto each leg opening using a 4mm seam allowance, to form the frill. The frill was about 1 1/3 longer than the leg openings so I just stretched the leg openings to fit the frill. (Basically I was using the stretch inherent in the knit to gather the excess length in.)

I folded the seam allowance back ¬†toward the main bit of the undies and stretched elastic (decent, normal knicker elastic of the non-catapult kind) round the seam, sewing it down with pretty pique side facing the frill. I wasn’t sure if this would actually work but it did. YAY! And so easy!

I used the same kind of elastic to redo the now-hipster waistline.

Here is the leg-elastic application in progress. Elastic on the left,  frill on the right, the seam allowance folded back towards the main part of the undies.

I haven’t found out my partner’s reaction yet. But if (in the now very unlikely event) it ¬†involves the word ‘comfortable’ I’m going to smile sweetly and say ‘Yes, indeed they are!’ because… they are!

What I’ve learnt about sewing undies

19 Jul

Undies, knickers, panties, those things! Being an Aussie I’ll refer to them as undies, m’k?

A personal goal of mine is to make my own lingerie, inspired by the likes of Bloom’s Endless Summer,¬†Handmade by Caroline, Sewaholic,¬†and all the lovely patterns and blog posts on sewing lingerie to be found in the online sewing community. I figure ‘if you guys can do it, then so can I!’ Right? Right!

(I’m sure I got this at attitude from being a little sister. All my life I’ve watched my older sister do stuff, and I’m thinking ‘If SHE can do them, then so can I!’ Mum reckons this attitude always annoyed my sister no end. Poor Kylie!)

Sewing lingerie is a pretty daunting goal though, so I divided it up, starting with undies.

What do I want in a pair of undies?

I feel kinda crazy talking about the different roles of undies in my life! But there’s no point in sewing undies I won’t wear, be them ever so pretty in my lingerie draw, so bear with me?

I need to:

  • be able to walk over an hour in them
  • dance over and hour in them
  • bike ride an hour in them
  • do a pilates class in them
  • not have to adjust them just at that moment I am sighting a feral pig down the length of my arrow – or even having just gotten¬†out of the car, for that matter
  • not have them show under my clothes
  • look suitably cute and appealing when viewed by my partner

Gosh I don’t ask much, do I!

There’s a few rtw styles that fulfil the requirements – the ubiquitous Bonds hipster bikinis(left) and Parisian knickers (right).

I can buy them fairly easily, so why am I so determined to make my own? Well, the Bonds bikinis are BORING. The Parisian Knickers are hard to find in cotton – polyester undies in this climate? No thankyou¬†O_O. But mostly because they just don’t last long . I suspect this is a climate issue – the lycra in the fabric dies within 6 months. It happens with t-shirts with lycra in them too.

Heh, and I bet too, that now I’ve told the world¬†how much I like them, they’ll both be discontinued by this time next year.

Oh yeah, and, I like a challenge:-)

Patterns patterns patterns

I made a pattern from each rtw style.

Next I pulled out the most likely suspect from my pattern collection, a Kwik Sew boyshorts-style pattern from an op-shop. The pattern envelope has long gone so I don’t know the pattern number, sorry ūüė¶ However here is the pattern after I’d muslined them for a one-way stretch cotton knit. (More on muslining later.)

I also looked online for more inspiration. I fell in love with the Granny Panny from Sew Vera Venus. She offers a number of truly awesome patterns for free, including the Granny Panny.

And lastly, I have a pattern from off the internet that I’ve thrown away the original printout, and on the tracing I kept, all I wrote on it was simply ‘Pretty Things’ . I have NO idea who or what Pretty Things undies are, but if you do know, please tell me so I can a) acknowledge them properly, and b) thank them, because they are really comfortable!

What I made!

The RTW undies: When made in similar fabric to the originals, both the Parisian Knickers and the Bonds bikini were almost exactly the same as the rtw. This surprised me. I had my doubts that copying a rtw pair would produce anything much useful, but it was actually really effective. Yay!

I don’t have a picture of the me-made Bonds bikini, but could you just take my word they were very comfy? Here are the Parisian Knickers:

Photo

For these, I used stretch lace fabric found in the scrapbooking section of Officeworks. Seriously. *rather bemused* All I can say is it is a good advertisement for the value of reaching out to touch every textile you ever see ūüėÄ It was only when touching it that it became obvious it was stretch lace. Why you’d need stretch lace for scrapbooking, I don’t know…? ¬†The fabric is modal jersy/lycra from Dharma Trading and I’m sadly disappointed by it. It’s a nice comfy stretchy cool fabric –¬†that pills the moment it’s washed. And I have a front loader I only use cold water with, so I am not butchering them¬†ūüė¶

The Kwik Sew supposed boy-shorts in one-way stretch cotton from Spotlight (This is how they ended up after adjustments to make them fullfil the Undies Requirements. Not exactly boy-shorts anymore, are they!)

My version of the Granny Panny (Oh why isn’t my photo all neat and shapely like Sew Vera Venus’s?), in a very funky purple polkadot cut a dress I found in an op-shop. I never took to the dress, but as a pair of Granny Pannies? LOVE!!!

 

The mysterious Pretty Things undies, in modal rayon/lycra from Dharma Trading, and stretch lace from Spotlight. Very comfy!

Hey Imogheena, just get to the good stuff already!

ok ok, So what have I learnt?

Patterns…

  • Why have more than one pattern? The patterns have very different layouts – some take up a lot of fold, some barely use a fold. Some are made of one big pattern (nice and easy to work with!), others two or three smaller pieces which fit on small scraps of fabric better. For eg I got 2 Parisean briefs out of a singlet top requisitioned to undies-making. If I’d used the Granny Panny or even the Bonds bikini, I’d have only gotten one pair from it. Conversely, with the¬†modal rayon/lycra, I could get more Bonds bikinis than any other type. However it was so slithery, the Granny Panny with only one main piece, would actually have been¬†easiest to use.
  • Crotch style (eg attached only at the sides/a seam down the centre/no seam/sandwhiched onto the front and back etc) has a huge bearing on how comfortable undies are, and there seems to be as many different versions of crotch-linings as there are undies patterns! ¬†I found it’s pretty easy with a bit of judicious tracing and perhaps a seam added or taken away, to adjust most undies from one crotch-lining style to another. The increase in comfort a crotch-lining in your prefered style creates is well worth the effort.

Muslining undies…

  • Muslining is really really useful. And I HATE muslining, so I don’t say this lightly! Often quite small differences in stretch and recovery between fabrics can make a huge difference when on your body.
  • It works an absolute treat to literally draw with a pen where you want the exact leg-opening and waist-opening to fall on your own body! It was perhaps the most useful thing I worked out about sewing undies. Yeah! Go me!
  • If you do draw the openings on your muslin, it helps to have fabric to draw on, so cut extra length in the leg and waist openings.
  • There are tutorials out there that teach you how to adjust the pattern to different fabrics. (Using this principal in this tutorial by Cloth-habit)¬†However they don’t¬†take into account the lengthwise stretch or lack, of a fabric. But this is important for the comfort. You can do the same calculations for the length, but neither of these approaches necessarily made the leg opening fit well. (Noooo I’m not finicky! Honest!) I found muslining the easiest way to solve all of these issues at once.

Elastic and stretch laces…

  • The width of the stretch lace needs to be calculated into the fit. ie if the fit is perfect with 2cm wide lace, if made with 4cm lace it isn’t gonna fit right, especially through the crotch which will now be 4cm wider than drafted. Yeah I know. Obvious when spelled out, right?! Fortunately it’s easy to just cut that extra width off the pattern pieces before applying elastic.

How much elastic/ stretch lace to apply to each opening?

Like fabrics,¬†different lingerie elastics and¬†laces all have a different stretch and recovery. You want to get this bit right. After all a leg-opening that binds is a misery; too loose a waist and you might lose your duds, too tight and you’re back to misery. I decided the best thing to do was just experiement. Make¬†200 undies! (Well, not literally. I ¬†mean the 200 zips concept)¬†figuring eventually it would all make sense. And it did! Phew!

Firstly I simply measured each kind of elastic around the relevant body part at the taughtness that felt comfortable. Boy did that not work! Often the elastic I’d cut would be longer than the opening it was supposed to pull in. Huh? Even when it was smaller than the opening, once applied it was usually just too loose.

Eventually I realised that so long as the undies fit nicely, all you need is to cut the elastic a bit smaller than the circumference of the opening. DUH!! So obvious – well, now I’ve worked it out…

The caveat is: the ‘bit smaller’ varies with the stretch/recovery property of each elastic, and I haven’t yet found a way to work out how much by other than trial and error. I’m open to suggestions!

Fortunately I’ve now done so much trial and error I’m starting to intuitively know how much smaller particular elastic needs to be. ¬†The 200 zips principal at work. YAY!

THEN I discovered that like bras, elastic in undies loosens as it ages. *facepalm* (I blame the Bonds hipster bikinis that I didn’t know this already – the fabric dies long before the elastic does.) So now I add that into my calculations too.

Construction…

This is the easiest way I’ve found, it means you’re applying elastic to a long edge rather than in the round, making it a lot easier to handle and match the elastic evenly along the fabric.

  • Sew the crotch seam and sew or baste the crotch lining in
  • Apply leg elastic to both leg edges
  • Sew up one side seam
  • Apply elastic to waist
  • Sew the other side seam up

 

Applying Elastic…

I’ve seen many suggestions for applying elastic, and duly tried them all.¬†I’m really sorry that I can’t credit these suggestions correctly because they were gleaned from many late nights vegging out on pinterest and following links and I’ve long forgotten who said what. They’ve come from tutorials on adult lingerie, children’s undies (Do children have lingerie???) and swimwear for both adults and children. One day I intend to sort my Pinterest sewing boards a bit better, when I do I’ll come back and link to the lingerie-sewing board.

The suggestions:

‘Stretch the elastic more across the back than the front leg opening.’ IME it makes no difference and is a pain to do, so I don’t do it.

‘Stretch the elastic and the fabric a bit’ and conversely ‘only stretch the elastic to fit to the fabric’ IME this also makes no difference. What DOES matter is that you have good control of both fabric and elastic. Some elastics sit better on fabric that is stretched, others on fabric that is lax. Some fabrics are easier to sew the elastic to when stretched, others not. I do what works best.

The other important thing this impacts on is the stretchiness of the seam itself. I discovered the seam itself needs to be very very stretchy. If the seam is any less elastic than the lace it feels binding. The zigzag chosen needs to be very wide, and not very long.

And not elastic but still a common suggestion,¬†‘You can cut up old t-shirts to make undies!’ Hmph. See the point about muslining. By the time you’ve muslined there probably won’t be any fabric left for the Real pair. However if you’ve sewn 200 undies (or thereabouts ;-P) you’ll have enough experience to use t-shirts effectively. But when learning? IME it makes it harder, not easier.

 

Pretty pretty undies all cut up (from two singlets I wasn’t using) and ready to sew up ūüôā

Vogue 8888 or: a sweet but scratchy vingette

1 Sep

According to¬†wiki, a vingette¬†originally meant “something that may be written on a vine-leaf.” Hmm. A written on a fig might be more appropriate for these lovely french knickers?

 

  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Royal blue rayon cupro (an op-shop find!) YUM!
Black nylon embroidered lace
Underwear elastic
  • Inspiration

I’ve been working on sewing my own undies for a while, having a lot of fun – and no little frustration – experimenting. Vogue had a $5 per pattern sale at Spotlight recently. An invitation I can’t pass up on. I saw this gorgeous-looking pattern and nabbed it. I have some idea of one day making that wrap. And one day making a cami from it too. But this week I made the french knickers

  • Construction notes

The knickers are cut on the bias. I cut out the largest size – 20, not sure how the fabric would behave, and if the measurements given were stretched bias or non-stretched or what? Let alone having no idea how tight they might be across the top of my thighs, which are quite big. (Dancing. Gotta love it!) Ended up being just fine across the tops of my thighs, but a bit too big in the hips so I cut it right back down to size 14 in the hip, sizing up to 20 in the thigh. I could possibly have sized them down in the thigh a bit too, but they’re perfectly comfortable so I may as well leave them.

I liked the instructions to sew the seam, then simply sew it again just inside the original stitching. I haven’t thrown them in the washing machine yet but being bias-cut I think that’s likely all the seam will need to stay neat and not-unravelling.

The elastic around the waist is pretty loose. I didn’t use the elastic guide, I just estimated on my own hips but I think it needs a more solid affair around the hips. I might cut it off and redo it. The rise is high enough I could easily get away with losing a half-inch from elastic mistakes and the knickers still work.

Rather than following the instructions to put the lace over the actual fabric of the knickers then cut the excess fabric under the lace away, I added it to the bottom of the leg hem. This made them wider in the crotch and longer in the leg. Cute over the leg, but really annoying in the upper thighs, bunching up. I’m not entirely sure I actually¬†like¬†wearing french knickers. Owning them, yeah! But¬†wearing¬†them? Another matter entirely. But with these ones I could actually see that the width in the crotch is vitally important to comfort. Too wide it will start bunching between the upper thighs and pulling the whole garment out of wack. Aha! Maybe if I make the crotch the actual same width as my own self in that area, the knickers might sit nicely not pull out of place when I move, thus staying fitting nicely and be *gasps* comfortable and cute all in the one lingerie garment. That would be a major WIN!

Seeing if I can fix them so they don’t bunch won’t be too hard because …. WAGH!!! The lace is scratchy ūüė¶ So much so, that in spite of it making the knickers extra-sweet, I’m gonna chop it off, and either replace it with a simple gathered edging I have in my stash or, of that looks like it won’t work in the crotch area, I’ll just rehem it and try it out sans any trim or lace.

  • Cost

Fabric: 50c op shop find

Elastic – $1

Lace $3

Pattern $5

total: $8.50. Hmmm, that’s competitive with my go-to rtw Bonds hipster undies. Kewl!

  • Last word

In spite of my plans to pretty much redo the waist and leg hems, I couldn’t resist taking a piccie and doing a post coz they’re so very very sweet as they are. Looks-wise, at any rate. We won’t mention the effect of horribly scratchy lace on the comfort of them!

The Galah Bra (Yes! I made a bra!)

31 Oct

And yes, it’s pink and grey again…

Kwik Sew 2489

  • Pattern: Kwik Sew 2489

Found it in an op-shop years and years ago!

  • Inspiration:

All the beautiful bras and lingerie people have been sewing then posting onto their blogs. Mmmmm!

  • Fabric/notions/trim used:

Stretch (ish) satin in pink and grey galah colours from a ¬†previous project idea I never actually did. (told you I love those two colours together ūüôā

Pink bra fastening, straps and underwire casing cannibalised from a bra whose cups had stretched out of shape while still fairly new.

Lingerie elastic from Booby Traps I bought years ago (ie last time I decided I’d give bra-making a go.)

  • Construction notes:

I put the bra fastening on the opposite way to RTW bras. Do you know how difficult it is to do up and undo because of that? Like being 12 again and trying to put bras on for the first time in my life!

Fitting issues: I don’t know why it surprised me that I had similar fitting issues in a sewing pattern bra to RTW bras, but it did. The top of the cup cuts into my bust in RTW and this bra pattern. I must have quite a full high bust, I think. I get around this issue by getting stretchy cup-fabric in RTW bras. But in this satin the “stretch” was really only a token stretch. So I took to the bra with my scissors and sliced into the top bra cup piece, let it open to where it needed naturally, then filled in the gap with a scrap of fabric.

It actually worked! I measured the width of the gap and it is 4cm. So next bra I make I’ll redo the cup, cut and spread it, maybe in three different places to get a more even spread of the extra 4cm.

I also think I’ll run a line of clear elastic along the top of the cup for extra safe keeping. And possibly make the top edge of the cup a bit higher so everything stays neatly were it is supposed to.

I was looking at the cup style of my latest fave RTW bra. That side cup piece is interesting. I’m considering drafting that cup and try that as a pattern. So many possibilities!

 

Take a look at the inside of the bra. So messy! The satin frayed the moment I touched it, so in some parts I just had to zig-zag right over the edge, like at the base of the cup pictured. Also, white in the elastic side and grey on the outer would have looked much nicer. *takes notes for next time*

  • Cost

50cm stretch satin = $5

Pattern = 50c

Total = $5.50

  • Final word:

Hey, it worked!!! ūüėĬ†It is very comfortable too. Bonus! Must go make another one. It was a lot easier than I expected.

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