YouTube Video Alert: DIY Underwear Tutorial & Free Underwear Pattern | Be Bashful Bikini

YouTube Video Alert: DIY Underwear Tutorial & Free Underwear Pattern | Be Bashful Bikini

When you already have too much to do… what should you do?  Do more! 🙂  That sounds about right doesn’t it?

Well call me crazy but I decided to jump in and try filming a YouTube video tutorial.  This is my first “film” (I use that term VERY loosely) so please forgive the awkwardness!  What is it about?  Well I think the title of this blog post gave it away… but it is a DIY underwear tutorial for the free Be Bashful Bikini pattern which you can download when you subscribe to this blog.  I made it for anyone who would like some extra help or maybe this is you first time sewing underwear and you would like a “live” demonstration or maybe you’re just really into watching sewing videos.

Extra bonus is – you get to meet my sewing companion aka cat co-worker – Howard.  He is the sweetest and loves hanging around the sewing machine.

Now what are you waiting for?!  Depending on what time it is (who I am to judge though) pour yourself a glass of wine and head on over! 🙂

Please don’t hesitate to subscribe, like or comment – your feedback is very valuable to me!

Oh YEAH – Have you noticed it’s Valentine’s Day?  Happy Valentine’s Day my lovelies! 😉

Fashion Sewing | At First Blush Patterns – Be Bashful Bikini DIY Underwear Tutorial

Fashion Sewing | At First Blush Patterns – Be Bashful Bikini DIY Underwear Tutorial

The Be Bashful Bikini was just released a little over a week ago and it had a great response!  As you may already know, Be Bashful is a free underwear pattern available if you subscribe to this blog.  For those of you who may be dabbling into lingerie for the first time using this underwear pattern I wanted to create a step-by-step photo tutorial to help you sew up Be Bashful.

Here we go! 🙂

Sewing Instructions:

Step 1: Sandwich the Bikini Back between the two lining pieces at the crotch. Make sure the right side of main fabric lining is facing the right side of the Bikini Back and the right side of the interior lining fabric is facing the wrong side of the Bikini Back.  Use a zigzag stitch or overlock to sew the three pieces together.

Step 2: Match the right side of the Bikini Front with the right side of the main lining piece at the crotch seam.  Twist the interior lining piece so the right side lines up with the wrong side of the Bikini Front at the crotch seam.  Pin in place then sew. Your underwear will have a clean seam on the front and the back once you untwist.

Step 3: Pin the right sides of the front and back side seams together then stitch.

Step 4:  Measure the waistband opening and the leg openings then subtract 2” from each.  Cut your elastic based on these measurements.  You will have three pieces of elastic.

At First Blush Patterns - Be Bashful Bikini Tutorial

Step 5: Overlap the raw edges of the waistband elastic by about 1/2” then stitch.  Repeat this on the elastic for each leg opening.

Step 6: Divide the waistband four ways and mark each with a pin.  Line up the seam of the waistband with either side seam of the bikini; keep right sides together and the scallop edges of the elastic towards the body of the garment.  Stretch the elastic so that the pins match at both side seams and center front and center back.  Pin then use a zigzag stitch while making sure to stretch the elastic to match the length of the fabric as you sew.  Repeat for both leg openings.

At First Blush Patterns - Be Bashful Bikini Tutorial

Step 7:  Flip the elastic to the wrong side of the fabric so the scallop edge now points away from the body of the garment. Next, zigzag stitch around the perimeter of the waistband and both leg openings on the right side.

Step 8:  Finish and trim off any excess threads.

Don’t forget to share your bashful panties on social media!  Tag @atfirstblushpatterns and use #bebashfulbikini #atfirstblushpatterns

For pattern support email atfirstblushpatternco@gmail.com

To download Be Bashful subscribe to this blog today!

At First Blush Patterns - Be Bashful Bikini Tutorial

 

© At First Blush Pattern Co. 2018

Fashion Sewing | Dreamy Valentine’s Day Night Gown – Sewalicious Fabric & Just Patterns Bias Top Hack

Fashion Sewing | Dreamy Valentine’s Day Night Gown – Sewalicious Fabric & Just Patterns Bias Top Hack

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!

Sewing up pretty things that is – like a sexy camisole or a sexy nightie or maybe even a nightgown.

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 using Burgundy Peachskin fabric from Sewalicious– rich color, soft texture and beautiful drape! Absolutely perfect for this project.

Just Patterns Bias Top Hack

Sewalicious Just Patterns Bias Top Hack

This pattern 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 while adding 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. 

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.

Sewalicious Just Patterns Bias Top Hack

I measured around the circumference of the top of the night gown to determine how much lace I would need then 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 my night gown on at this point 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.

Sewalicious Just Patterns Bias Top Hack

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!

Just Patterns Bias Top Hack

Happy Sewing! 🙂

Introducing the Be Bashful Bikini #3001 from the At First Blush Pattern Co.!

Introducing the Be Bashful Bikini #3001 from the At First Blush Pattern Co.!

I’m very excited to share this with you all!

I’ve been sewing on and off for quite sometime.  A little over 10 years now to be exact.  I always felt I was a bit held back with it especially when studying for higher education. I didn’t have as much time or spare funds to pursue it more regularly as I was a student then an independent adult trying to figure it all out. I always knew I wanted sewing and pattern design to play a large role in my life I just had to go out there and make it happen. It’s taken me longer than I’d like to admit to get myself to a point where I feel comfortable releasing my own design to share with the world but as they say there is no time like the present. Now I could keep waiting and waiting and waiting for the right time but I’ve decided to make this the right time. As another big thank you for all who have taken time to read my blog or to comment on my posts here or on Instagram I truly am grateful as your time is valuable and taking a few minutes to communicate with me really means so much to me. So thank you for all those who have supported my teeny little sewing corner on the net.  Whether you read this blog or not I still am grateful for you and all the people that make this such a wonderful community.  🙂

Now I will not take too much more of your time so without further ado I want to announce the official release of the Be Bashful Bikini pattern!

Be Bashful Bikini At First Blush Patterns

What is Be Bashful?  A pair of beautiful panties that feature a bikini cut, low-rise waistline with semi bottom coverage.  They are sexy with just the right amount of modesty to wear as a comfortable everyday pair of underwear.  Plus, they are FREE when you subscribe to this blog!

Who is Be Bashful for?  For anyone who wants a pair of undies that have support and ease but still make you feel like you have a sexy secret. 😉

Why do you want it?  You want Be Bashful because it’s okay for your lingerie to be a little timid and not show itself off but when they are ready you don’t mind if someone takes a little peek! 😉

Where is it and How do you get it?  It’s right here!  Just subscribe to Sewing Unaffiliated and a link will be emailed to you to download.  When you subscribe you will not only get a free pattern but updates on the latest pattern releases too!  Your privacy is important to me and I will not share your information with anyone.  Enter your email in the side bar under “SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL” and click “FOLLOW” if you cannot wait any longer to download your Be Bashful panties!

Be Bashful Bikini At First Blush Patterns

Thank you for joining the At First Blush Patterns Community!

 

UPDATE:  Need extra help?

Photo Tutorial here: At First Blush Patterns – Be Bashful Bikini Tutorial

Video Tutorial here: YouTube Video Alert: DIY Underwear Tutorial & Free Pattern | Be Bashful Bikini

Blogiversary – Giveaway CELEBRATION!

Blogiversary – Giveaway CELEBRATION!

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)

Spool Earrings Sewing Unaffiliated Giveaway

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…

At First Blush Patterns Be Bashful Bikini

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)

Good luck to all and THANK YOU!

Tutorial: How to Sew Underwear Using What’s Already in Your Fabric Stash

Tutorial: How to Sew Underwear Using What’s Already in Your Fabric Stash

Hey All!  I had the opportunity to share a post on sewing up your own 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! 🙂

*****

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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 take that leftover fabric and create a cute pair of knickers using your RTW knickers as a copy. (You can use one of the many underwear patterns available online as well – many are free!).

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Fortunately, I was lucky enough to use this gorgeous Traditional Floral Cotton Stretch Fabric from Sewalicious.  Hopefully you will have some gorgeous Sewalicious fabric in your stash too!

Step One: Find yourself some stretchy knit fabric and if you have some picot elastic even better!  Mine is from Tailor Made Shop.

Step Two:  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.

Step Three:  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.

Step Four:  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.

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Step Five:  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.

Step Six:  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.

Step Seven: 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.

Step Eight: 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.

Step Nine:  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.

Step Ten: Flip your knickers right side out, press and enjoy!

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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!

How to Make Knickers

Fashion Sewing | Bare Essentials Bra Pattern from Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks

Fashion Sewing | Bare Essentials Bra Pattern from Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks

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 and starting 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! 🙂

This new found love lead me to Bare Essentials – Bras: Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design by Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks.  I also took the Craftsy.com course, Sewing Bras: Construction & Fit with Beverly Johnson.

Capture

These got me started on a serious bra-making journey.  For my first “serious” bra I used the pattern provided by Bare Essentials.  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 best fits 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?

Lets talk fit: 

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 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.

Materials:

On to my fabric… I had leftover fabrics from other projects but I really wanted to experiment a bit more so my dear friend and I went downtown to do a little shopping.  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 definitely need a better plan next time.  I did pick up this beautiful floral mesh fabric and some deep blue picot elastic and light blue strap elastic among the underwire, underwire channeling and hook and eye pieces.  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 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.  (I have one now!)  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.  I call this “band practice” haha.  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 the I cut out the pattern correctly.  As it turns out I did, I just screw up the fabric.  Upon further investigation there are two reasons why my cup was too big:

  1. I didn’t use a rotary cutter AND
  2. 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 it out:

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.  These 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 it fit…?

Well it 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.

Recommendations:

  • 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! 🙂

Happy Sewing!

Be sure to check me out on Pinterest – click on the pin below!

Bare Essentials Bra

 

Fashion Sewing | Kwik Sew 3167 Misses Lingerie Lace Bra Camisole and Panties

Fashion Sewing | Kwik Sew 3167 Misses Lingerie Lace Bra Camisole and Panties

 

This project has been sitting on my sewing table for quite some time now.  I was originally planning on sewing these with my girlfriends but we were only able to get through one and we haven’t been able to reschedule another session.  Luckily, due to a recent long weekend and lots of sewjo I finally completed my project.

The Low Down:

The Kwik Sew 3167 Misses Lingerie Lace Bra Camisole and Panties pattern comes with two camisole versions and four panty versions.  The camisole can be sewn in all lace or with stretch edging lace.  There is an option for boy-cut panties that can be sewn in all lace or with a stretch edging lace.  They can also be sewn in two thong styles with either a lace back or string back.
Kwik set 3167

I sewed up version B for the camisole and version C for the panties all in lace.

One major modification I made was to use narrower stretch lace at 6″ for the panties as I could not find many colors I liked in the 8″ width the pattern called for but ultimately it worked out very well.  I just had to adjust the pattern slightly as you can see HERE:


Materials:

  • Recommended fabrics: Lightweight fabric with Spandex Lycra, cotton Lycra, sheer Lycra, stretch lace.
  • All-purpose polyester thread
  • Bobby pin
  • Optional:  If you trace your pattern you will need tracing paper (I use medical pattern paper), markers, and a ruler.

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I purchased my materials from the Downtown Los Angeles Fabric District

The Process:

I started with the panties because they are extremely simple.  You just sew one seam and secure the cotton lining.  It literally takes less than 10 minutes.  Talk about a satisfying sew!

I moved onto the bra cups which is also one seam down the middle- you just need to be sure you don’t mix up the inner cup and the outer cup.  They look very similar.  After you secure the two together at the midpoint you sew two baste stitches along the bottom edge of the bra cups.  You then pull the loose threads on each side so the cups tighten or scrunch up evenly and fit between the notches on the camisole band. You simply sew the cups on making sure to align the centerfront and notches then you sew the back seam and remove the baste stitches.

Your next step is to make the straps and sew them on.  This part was difficult the first time around to be quite honest.  After sewing up the straps they were still inside out and we struggled to turn them right side out without ripping the fabric.  Luckily the manual shows you how to turn it right side out using a bobby pin and a small cut in the fabric.  See the handy photo directions.  This was a life saver and made it so easy the second time around!  After you just make sure to measure the straps to fit your frame and attached them at the notch points.


There you have it!  A very simple camisole set that you can complete in an afternoon. 🙂

Hiccups:

  • My straps ended being slightly longer so I had to re-adjust them which wasn’t too bad
  • I also sewed one side of the lace on the wrong side.  I didn’t notice it until sometime after I finished sewing it.  It’s very subtle luckily.

Recommendations:

  • Use the bobby pin method!  It saves so much time
  • Trace out your pattern to make more for others

 

Happy Sewing!

My Florence Bra by Seamwork Magazine Sewalong

My Florence Bra by Seamwork Magazine Sewalong

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.

Florence Bra Seamwork MagazineAs 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?” ;)

Florence Bra Seamwork MagazineNext step was to 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.

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine                     Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine      Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

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.

Florence Bra Seamwork MagazineThe 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.

Florence Bra Seamwork MagazineThe 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!

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

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. 🙂

Happy Sewing!