Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while some of you are thinking about the big date night or maybe dreaming about chocolates or flowers, we are thinking about sewing over here! Specifically hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top pattern into a night gown. 😉
Well for today’s guest post on the Sewalicious blog, I will be hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top aka a camisole pattern into a delicate and romantic nightie/nightgown. I will be using Burgundy Peachskin fabric from Sewalicious– rich color, soft texture and beautiful drape! Absolutely perfect for this project.
The Just Patterns Bias Top calls for a lining but I opted out and cut the pattern without it leaving one front piece and one back piece.I then decided how much length I wanted to add to the camisole to make it into a nightie. I added a little extra just in case things go wrong.(As we all know in sewing we can’t always be certain when hacking!). I decided on adding 14 1/2 inches to the hem of the camisole.This would give me option of have a short sexy nightie or a longer romantic gown.Moving forward, I took out my trusty medical paper and taped my pattern down then measured out 14 1/2 inches down for the new hemline.I used my curved pattern ruler to give some subtle shape to the skirt.
Sewing Up Your Night Gown
Once cut out, I overlocked the edges then sewed up the side seams with a straight stitch.I wanted a slit on both sides of the gown so I left 6 inches of the side seam open at the bottom.I pressed the seams open making sure to press the slits open as if I had sewn them.
Add Some Lace
I measured around the circumference of the top of the night gown to determine how much lace I would need. Then, I repeated this for the bottom including the slit areas.
Using a wide zigzag stitch I carefully attached the lace to the outside edges of the night gown being mindful of covering the overlocked edges.I repeated this for the hem and slits as well.
I tried on my night gown to determine how long I would need to make the straps and what position I would like them to be in the back.(I advise having someone help you with this if possible).Once determined, I cut out my straps, lined them up where they needed to go and zigzag stitched them in place.
Easy as that! 🙂 I think I’m ready for Valentine’s Day now… are you?
It’s pinning time! Got a Pinterest account and maybe a sewing board? Pin this!
Happy Sewing! 🙂
If you want to try this hack you can find the Just Patterns Bias Top Pattern HERE.
2017 was the year of the blog for me. I stepped out of my comfort zone and dove right into social media, my sewing and my fitness. There were a lot of growing pains and times were I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep going. As I began to learn more and more and really hone in on what works for me I found my groove in this unknown virtual space. However, it wasn’t possible without the support of a wonderful sewing community that got me there! Now that it has been a few weeks past my blogiversary, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all who have followed me and supported my year of blogging!
Saying thank you isn’t enough so I’m going to host my very first giveaway! A couple weeks ago I shared a pair of vintage inspired polymer clay earrings that my dear friend Jessica made for me as a Christmas gift on Instagram. I love them so much and there was such a great response to them that I asked her if she could make a pair in honor of you! She said yes, of course! So one lucky individual will be getting these earrings! (Allergy alert – they are silver plated earrings hooks and the spool is made out of polymer clay with regular all-purpose sewing thread)
That’s not all though! I have one more announcement to make. I’ve been working away for the past several months putting something very special together. It has been a labor of love and I’m so happy to finally have it ready for all to enjoy.
So…what am I talking about?! Well…
I would like to introduce the At First Blush Pattern Company. A pattern company that will focus on lingerie patterns with a mix of fitness patterns (hopefully in the future). I’m a one woman show so I won’t be able to pump out a ton but they will slowly trickle out into the marketplace.
As a thank you to all who have supported me, my first pattern will be free! I call them the “Be Bashful Bikini” – a pair of panties that feature a low-rise waistline with semi bottom coverage. They are a comfortable everyday pair of underwear that offer the right amount of ease and support throughout your day.
Be Bashful will be available in time for you to sew them up before Valentine’s Day! Once this pattern is available you will see a buy button for them on the sidebar of this blog or you can head to my Facebook Shop (not open yet)! The checkout process is super simple and Be Bashful will be yours!
I truly hope you enjoy this pattern. Thank you again to all who have supported me! I can’t wait for the wonderful things 2018 has in store. 🙂
Stay tuned for the launch of At First Blush Pattern Co. and the Be Bashful Bikini!
Back to the giveaway! Head over to my Sewing Unaffiliated Instagram page (@sewingunaffiliated) where you will see the earring photo above. In order to enter for a chance to win you will need to go to my At First Blush Patterns Instagram page (@atfirstblushpatterns). Just like the earring photo there and follow the At First Blush Patterns page for your chance to win these cute spool earrings! (Shipping only to US and UK)
Hey All! I had the opportunity to share a post on how to sew underwear by copying a pair of RTW undies and using leftover fabric in your stash for Sewalicious.co.uk. I’m sharing the post here on my blog but don’t hesitate to head over to their site and check it out! 🙂
How to Sew Underwear Using Your Fabric Stash
I’m very excited to share my first guest post for the Sewalicious blog!We are going to do things a little differently and blog about a really fun idea to downsize holiday fabric waste.
As sewist you all know what it’s like to have several pieces of fabric leftover that just aren’t big enough to do anything with.Well this won’t work for every piece of fabric but it might for those stretchy knit fabrics.
Today I’m going to give you a step by step guide on how to sew underwear using your RTW knickers as a copy all while tackling your fabric stash. (You can use one of the many underwear patterns available online as well – many are free!).
Find yourself some stretchy knit fabric and if you have some picot elastic even better!Mine is from Tailor Made Shop.
Dig through your drawers for your favorite pair of undies (of course not just favorite – make sure you still like how they fit!)Try to use fabric that has similar stretch to these for a good fit.
Take out your tracing paper and a pencil.I use a roll of medical paper and sometimes kraft paper but any paper will suffice.Place your knickers down with pattern weights of your liking and trace your underwear.Make sure to trace the front, back and lining.Be sure to trace the front and back piece by separating them at the seam.My seam is in the back so that will be where I draw a horizontal line to match both sides of the back pattern piece. My front pattern and lining pattern are one piece but I will draw a line on the pattern piece to indicate where the lining begins so I can also use the lining area as my guide to cut out a lining piece of fabric.
Once completed remove your undies from the tracing paper and smooth out your traced lines with a marker or pen then add seam allowance. 1/4”-3/8” should suffice on all sides – remember you’re adding elastic to the waistband and leg openings so your seam allowance depends on the width of your elastic.I’m using 3/8” wide picot elastic.
Cut out your new pattern and lay out your fabric.Place your pattern pieces on the fabric following the direction of most stretch (I’m cutting on the bias) then cut.
Measure the length of the waistband and leg openings to determine how much elastic you need for both then cut. You will have three strips of elastic.
Time to sew! Using an overcast stitch sew the raw edge of the narrow side of the lining.Take the front piece, the back piece and the lining and sandwich the front piece between the two with the wrong side of the front piece facing the wrong side of the lining piece.Sew the three pieces together using a zigzag stitch then overcast stitch the edge.Press the seam toward the back piece then using a zigzag stitch, sew the seam allowance to the back piece.
Flip the front piece and lining piece so that the wrong sides are facing each other then baste the lining edge to the front edges.Using a zigzag stitch, with the right sides of the front and back pieces facing each other sew the side seams.
Sew your elastic to the leg openings and waistband.For picot elastic, line up the straight edge of the elastic with the right side edge of the leg opening.Make sure the smooth side of the elastic is facing the fabric and the soft side is facing you.Sew using a zigzag stitch.Flip the elastic inside so just the picot edge is showing and sew in place using a zigzag stitch.Repeat for the other leg opening and the waistband.
Flip your knickers right side out, press and enjoy!
Viola!Now you have a pair of holiday knickers! ☺
If you like this idea head over to my Pinterest page and “Pin It” to your favorite “Sewing” Board!
Isn’t funny how you can look at something and be totally mystified by and it then try it out and realize you absolutely love it! That is how I felt about bras. They always seemed insurmountable to me (no pun intended haha) until I tried making a few on the simpler side and really fell in love with the process. So much so that I bought books on how to construct my own bras which led me to the Bare Essentials bra pattern.
As a result, I started spending all my free minutes on reading said books, and blogs and tutorials or just admiring everyone’s handmade bras online. I’m passionate about sewing but for some reason bras excite me more than anything.
These got me started on a serious bra-making journey. For my first “serious” bra I used the Bare Essentials bra pattern. I measured myself just as instructed and low and behold I have been wearing the wrong bra size my whole life. Go figure…
No wonder the straps always hurt or the band popped up in the back or didn’t lay correctly against my chest. I’m sure you ladies know exactly what I am talking about. Going to the store and getting measured is awkward and a bit confusing. You have to rely on someone who may not have the proper training to even measure you correctly. Then buy what fits best even if it isn’t great. Let’s not forget to mention the exorbitant prices on a necessary piece of clothing that doesn’t even fit right! More reasons to make your own bras right?
To get the right fit you must be braless for at least one measurement (this is optional of course). Going braless is a bit awkward to do with a stranger so make sure you really understand how to do it properly yourself. Or you ask for the help of someone you are very comfortable with who will do a good job. Both Bare Essentials and the Beverly Johnson course go over in detail how to measure yourself. Bare Essentials even talks about how to measure yourself after having a baby which is really helpful for many women.
As for my measurements, I measured at a US 32 for the band and “C” for the cup. I typically wear a 34C which clearly means my band is too big. I used the Bare Essentials guide as I thought that would be more conducive to sewing up the Bare Essentials bra pattern.
On to my fabric… I had leftover fabrics from other projects but I really wanted to experiment a bit more. Off I went with my dear friend to do a little shopping downtown. I will say that things got a bit overwhelming as I couldn’t find the right sizes and matching colors of straps and elastics. I did pick up this beautiful floral mesh fabric and some deep blue picot elastic and light blue strap elastic. Not to mention, I found the underwire, underwire channeling and hook and eye pieces as well.
Luckily, I realized that I could match these with some leftover viscose fabric from my Araine Slip from Seamwork magazine. I also had some tulle that I could use as a stabilizer for the front band since the viscose has some stretch.
Here is how it went:
I made copies from the back of the book then cut out my Bare Essentials bra pattern and laid out my fabric/patterns as the pattern pieces directed. I used fabric sheers but honestly I needed to use a rotary cutter. After pressing my pieces and allowing them to cool I used a fabric glue stick to attach the stabilizer pieces. I then sewed the two cup pieces together, trimmed the seams (a small detail scissor would have been great for this) and added stay tape for added comfort and stability.
Next, I attached the picot elastic then started my work on the band which I call this “band practice” haha. Moving on, I edgestitched the center front, and front side band pieces. I didn’t need to edgestitch the back side bands so I sewed them on and reinforced the seam. Then I sewed the picot elastic to the bottom edge of the band.
Next, I attached the cup to the band but to my dismay the cup was much bigger than the actual band (as you can see in the photo the seam line hits the top of the band when it should be about an inch lower). I thought this was odd and double checked that I cut out the right pattern and I had. I decided I would just alter the pattern a bit so that band would be flush with the top of the cup and went ahead and sewed it on.
This would have worked but once I tried it on the cup was much too big and the bra would not have been the least bit wearable. Maybe the underwire will fix this I thought! LOL so I decided to add it and guess what? It still didn’t work out SO… in comes the seam ripper, wasted thread and wasted time. (Howard looking at the wasted thread with dismay).
My next course of action was to cut out a cup in muslin fabric on the bias just to be sure that I cut out the pattern correctly. Fingers crossed because I highly doubt it is an error with the Bare Essentials bra pattern itself. As it turns out I did, I just screwed up the fabric. Upon further investigation there are two reasons why my cup was too big:
I didn’t use a rotary cutter AND
There were too many wrinkles in my fabric that ended up distorting the final size once re-pressed (is that a word in sewing? Haha).
Moving forward, I used the new muslin cup as a guide to trim off the excess fabric for my big ol’ cups. This worked out quite well and viola the cup actually fit the band the way it was supposed to! More importantly it actually fit me! Check my Bare Essentials bra cup:
Off I went to sew on the underwire, insert the underwire and add on the picot elastic. There was still one more problem though… The band was too long! Ugh… not again.
I thought I cut it out correctly. No, no I did not for the same reasons as above. Out comes a RTW bra for my guide, my rotary cutter, a lot more patience and some problem-solving skills. 😉
Once that was measured and cut I was able to attach the last piece of picot elastic to the back. This piece of elastic is intentionally longer so you can create a loop for the strap ring to attach to the band. I made the straps and attached them (be careful not to twist the strap before you sew the elastic loop to the band). Finally, I attached the hook and eye pieces. My first “serious” bra was now complete and boy did I learn SO MUCH! 🙂
But how did the Bare Essentials bra pattern fit…?
Well the bra actually fits quite nicely but I’m a bit picky and of course I can see all the mistakes as any typical sewist would in my position. My biggest complaint is I am not a fan of the horizontal seam line over the apex of the bust on the cup. It could be that I’m just not used to wearing this style but I don’t feel it suits me. Otherwise, I would like to use a stiffer fabric for the front band next time rather than a fabric with 20% stretch backed with a stabilizer. The stabilizer did its job but the stretch fabric ripples since it can’t stretch. I don’t like how that looks though it lays properly against the body.
Finally, now that I’ve sewn this I will know what to look out for and have a better handle on the precision needed for lingerie sewing. I’m not sure I will sew this exact Bare Essentials bra pattern again but I’d love to experiment with others in the book.
Please whatever you do use a rotary cutter (18mm or 28mm for detail cuts) and a cutting mat and press your fabric before you do!
Also, bra making takes time so be patient with yourself. You won’t regret it. 🙂
For your cup and front band DO NOT use a fabric with more than 20% stretch – this is imperative as the size will be distorted and you will not be happy with your bra
Use a stabilizer fabric if you have any stretch on your front band fabric (of course the stretch should still be no more than 20%)
Your back band should have no more than a 50% stretch – any more will distort your bra
If your machine has the option use a 3-step zigzag stitch – it allows for the best amount of stretch which is perfect for lingerie
Be careful not to twist your straps before sewing them on
Take it slow and have fun most of all! 🙂
Be sure to check me out on Pinterest – click on the pin below!
Sewing up a bra for the first time always seemed so complicated to me. Then I got to chatting with my sewing pal Helen and discovered that she was also a bit intimidated by the idea. We knew we wanted to sew one up eventually but had not committed to it so Helen being awesome and proactive said “Let’s have a bra sewalong!”
I have never sewn anything with anyone before except for school projects so I was all for it! I’ve always wanted a sewing buddy and Helen couldn’t be more perfect to fit the bill! Now if only that pesky Atlantic Ocean wasn’t between us! Luckily, IG made it easy for us to send photos and messages and have a sense of collaboration despite the time zone difference. Helen is also just so wonderful to chat with that it doesn’t even feel like she’s that far away anyway!
We already had a few projects in the queue and I was about to go on a two-week vacation so we decided to start at the beginning on June. We went with the Florence bra by Seamwork since we both have it. Unfortunately, things got pushed back about two weeks into June because I had unbearable jet lag and was struggling to figure out what supplies to buy. Ultimately, I went with all black because I really wanted to start and I knew I would love black either way.
We approached our sewalong by completing one step each day and sending each other pictures and updates the next day. This worked out pretty well for us as we were able to brainstorm together when my mornings and Helen’s evenings overlapped. It was also great to get tips from each other on things that worked and didn’t work.
Sizing & Straps
As for the Florence pattern, I didn’t have any issues with it luckily. I cut out an XS for the band and a M for the cup. The pieces were easy to put together and cut out. That made me really happy! Then I had to conquer the straps and sliders. This was a first for me and of course I was like … wait, how?? I struggled with looping the strap back into the slider as it didn’t seem it would fit. I eventually found a way to do it and now I look at it and think “What was so scary about that?” 😉
Next step: Sew up the cups
I used a wide zigzag stitch and it turned out pretty well. Everything was still coming together nicely and in a timely manner. So I moved onto attaching the straps to the cups and thank goodness for our sewalong because Helen warned me that the top portion of the cup that attaches to the strap pops out if you don’t tuck it in as you are sewing. With that in mind, I was able to sew it up without a hitch.
Although, once I saw how the straps attached to the cup I wasn’t convinced that the fit would look right. The strap seemed like it would pull the cup away from the body and towards the arm. I moved forward anyway since I wouldn’t really know until I attach the cups to the band and try it on.
The next day, I attached the cups to the band starting from the side to the center front. I carefully pinned them so I could make sure the points met in the center. At this point the bra was practically done. I just needed to sew up the back seam of the band, attach the straps to the back and sew elastic around the bottom of the band. I really wanted to try it on so I sewed up the back seam and attached the straps but left the elastic for the following day.
Yay! I was almost done and I finally got to try it on. I was really hoping I would love it and want to wear it all the time. Once I tried it on all my fears were eased. It fit just right and it looked so pretty. I’ve been dreaming of having a pretty lace bralette and I finally had one! I didn’t want to get too excited since I still had to attach the elastic band and that could ruin everything… haha.
The following afternoon I sat down and carefully attached the elastic. There was no way I was going to let the final step of my bra making ruin this for me! Everything looked fine, things were going smoothly and sure enough I was done!
Now, for the final fit test!
Drum roll please! I’m sure you guessed it by now but IT FIT! I was very pleased and honestly now I want to sew up a whole bunch more lingerie. It’s just so beautiful and dainty and fun!
If you want more bra fun check out Helen’s Florence bra here! It is bursting with color and she is so thorough in her description of her experience it is definitely a must read for anyone looking to sew up Florence or any bra for that matter. 🙂