The Aurora Hipster Patterns

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Please note that I received this pattern free for testing.

This month I was lucky enough to test the brand new Aurora Hipster panties from Zazie patterns, now available on Etsy.

They sit low on the hips and are quite a cheeky cut over the bum, so to speak. There are 3 different backs to choose from a ruched back, lace back and a cut out heart option. I decided to try the lace back and ruched back knickers. They are made from a stretch fabric such as a knit or stretch lace and use FOE.

My hips measure at 40″ which mean I cut a size XL. A long time ago I learnt to stop being vain about what size I am on sewing patterns and to just trust the measurements.

The instructions come with really great pictures which I found very helpful and including cutting it probably took me about an hour to sew each pair, maybe longer as I seem to spend a long time choosing what elastics and lace to use. As I wanted to test the fit, for these pairs I used some fabrics in my stash rather than buying anything new.

First up are the ruched pair, they are probably my favourite as I love the effect on the stretch velvet, they feel a little luxurious.

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On this trial pair the elastic used for the ruching went slightly off centre at the top; my tip to avoid this is to draw a line in chalk/removable pen so you can keep track of where the middle is. The photos make it look more wonky than they are in real life.

The other pair I made have a lace back.

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The lace backed version have a little more bum coverage.

The knickers are a good fit, the sizing is good and the instructions are easy to follow. I’ve already made another couple of pairs and they look great and are lovely and comfortable.

One thing to note is that if you want to use knicker elastic rather than fold over elastic you need to add on some extra seam allowance, this is not an issue as there are instructions on how to do it, but I kept forgetting! As a personal preference I would rather it was provided and cut it off than add it on, but this is only because I am quite forgetful.

You can see other peoples makes on instagram, search #zaziepatterns and #aurorahipsterpanties.

Thank you Réka, I like my panties!

A cut and sew foam Angie

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This is my latest version of the Angie bra, designed by Bodils Wear.  This is my third version, this time I wanted to try some cut and sew foam cups.

For the foam I removed the seam allowance from between the cup segments and from across their top and butted the segments close together, zigzagging across the join. I then bound the top with fold over elastic with a 3 step zigzag to give them a nice finish.  I sewed the lace cup onto the top of it so I could use the pretty lace edge, Because of this I have not been able to apply the elastic to the cups as per the original instructions.

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I have also changed the bridge this time around, it was so narrow that sewing the bridge in two pieces was extremely fiddly. I’ve removed the seam allowance for the centre seam and cut it on the fold.

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I also have altered the bottom edge of the frame, to use a Gothic arch and thin frame as I find it more comfortable as it stops the band from twisting upwards. This is a change I always make and I have shared details of the tutorials used on my previous post.

The lace I have used is from Etsy from a shop called VintageToLiveBy, which has the most beautiful laces. It is not a symmetrical pattern so I have balanced the lace on my cups so that the pattern lies in the same place on both sides. I’ve been hoarding it for probably around a year waiting for the right project. You can see the beautiful colours better in this shot from their website.

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The knickers are an edited version of the Montgomery Brief from Orange Lingerie, which I have chosen in this case as it combines the non stretch lace and stretch powernet fabrics I have used for the bra together.

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Maya and the Unicorns

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This is my second go at the Maya bra, and I’ve been saving this fun unicorn fabric from LillyandMimistore on Etsy (and apparently comes in 3 colours). The Maya bra pattern is kindly available from here for free. Here was my first attempt.

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My previous Maya bra wasn’t a bad fit, but needed a pinch taken out of the upper cup. Here is how I went about changing the pattern.

I’ve taken the foam pattern piece, it has no seam allowance top and bottom, and made 3 cuts top to bottom leaving a tiny piece of paper as a hinge.

Then I’ve overlapped the two pieces at each cut and stuck them back down.

This has reduced the volume but left me with slightly funny shaped pieces that need adjusting. On the top edges I’ve reconnected the corners with straight lines.

On the bottom edge I was worried about changing the original shape so I traced the original shape edge back on.

And added some seam allowance to give the final piece below.

Not the most beautiful photos, apologies.

After that I constructed the bra as before, this time I tried using ribbon to cover the seams of the cut and sew foam rather than lining it. I think I preferred lining, but I like to try different techniques to see what I like best.

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I had a couple of issue, once again applying the elastic it stretched under the arm as my machine struggled to cope with the layers. This means I have a slightly gappy underarm section. I’ve decided to take a small pinch out of the wing next time so that if it stretches a little it won’t be a problem. I might lower the height of the under-arm too.

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The second issue is that I still need to take a little more from the upper cup. I erred on the side of caution, it’s a much better fit than before but a little more would be good. The bridge fits flat against my chest and the wires are in the correct place, less than a cm reduction should do it.

This little bow I made from two pieces of ribbon.

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Generally it just fills me with lots of happiness. It’s so beautiful and colourful. My entire reason for starting making bras was because I was fed up with the lack of fun bras bigger than a DD cup.

This week I’m going to purchase the scrundies pattern and make some matching knickers.

Bella II

This week I’ve sewn up my second pair of Bella knickers with this gorgeous kit I purchased from Evie La Luve. Read about my first here.

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The Bella pattern is designed to be ultra low rise, so I decided to adapt the pattern to lift the waist band a little. There may well be a different correct way of altering the pattern, but this is the way I altered it to get a little more coverage, without changing the size of the waist band or the cut round the legs and crotch as I was happy with that. Here is the shape of the original pattern piece, with the waist band drawn on in red.

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I lifted that line up without changing it’s shape by a couple of cm.

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Next I looked at each end of that new line, it needs to meet the front and back seam at right angles so that the waist band lies flat.

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And then using a french curve at the back, and a ruler at the front I drew in new front and back seams.

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Then I sewed them up as before, and here are my finished knickers.

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Here you can see the difference in size between my new and original pattern. The lace on the red pattern is a little softer and stretchier which is why they look a bit wider, but the waist is notably higher.

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Also after my first pair I switched from a regular zigzag (in green) to a 3 step zigzag (in purple), in my opinion the 3 step looked much nicer and I have used that since.

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I love this big bow included in the kit.

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I’m really happy with how the adapted pattern fit and feel, definitely a wardrobe staple and I have several other pairs in the pipeline. The only disadvantage is that I do need slightly wider lace to make the knickers from, alas, I will have to go lace shopping 🙂

 

Rosy – Ladyshorts Pattern review

This was a free pattern produced by Cloth Habit that is an alternative to the watson brief.  

This pattern looks a little odd when you cut it out. There is a seam down the centre rather than at the sides, and a cotton crotch. It takes barely any  fabric so you can get tons out of a pretty small bit of left over knit. 

There are printable instructions but also an excellent tutorial which covers everything including fabric choice, there are some gorgeous lace versions to inspire you too. (And me… It looks like I might need some more fabric). 

Now as this was my first pair I had a small amount of trouble with the elastic which needed a teeny tiny amount of stretch but due to the drag of the presser foot didn’t quite go to plan – a walking foot next time I think. It does mean sadly on this pair the band elastic isn’t quite perfect but next time. You can’t tell when they’re on anyway. But you can see it in this photo….

Despite this small issue it was a perfect fit first time. I love them, just the style I would buy RTW and perfect with no adjustments. Plus this is my second complete matching set so I was pretty happy.

I might make a few adjustments anyway for future pairs if id like a bit of extra bum coverage…just for some variety, but my new wardrobe staple I think.

Definitely a great pattern I thoroughly recommend it. Good sizing, great instructions.

Sewcialists Tribute Month

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In case you are new to them as they’ve had a break the sewcialists are a group of friendly stitching bloggers who set readers month long challenges of fun things to make. This month is the sewcialists tribute month, where anyone can join in and try out something that they’ve seen someone else make, or produce something in their style. Great if you follow other bloggers and have been eyeing up some of their creations and need an excuse to perhaps step out your comfort zone and try something new. As I have been in hospital for most of this month, hence a severe lack of sewing, I have had the opportunity to put a good deal of thought into who has inspired me and what of their’s do I really wish I’d made myself.

Here is the short list:

  1. Lauren from Ladybird

OK I’ll be honest I actually have a list of things that she’s made that are on my list, some I even have patterns for, such as the Ginger jeans, which I’ve been eyeing up for years, she’s made so many great well fitting pairs. However in this instance she is on my list because of the Pneuma tank from Paper cut patterns which she blogged as recently as the 12th July.

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It comes as either just a sports bra or there is a optional over top. Lauren has just made the sports bra top to go under something else she has made but the colours are fab, just so bring and have a holiday feel.

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When I get back to full strength and have maybe had an operation on my back I was hoping to pick back up on some light yoga to strengthen my core and I have to be honest my t-shirt seems to slip all over the place so having a keep-it-all-in but pretty sports bra to keep my modesty would be ideal to stop me flashing people.

I haven’t sewn much with sports fabrics so I’ll be back to Lauren to re-read and see what tips I can pick up.

2 & 3 Featherred1 and Alexandra Anissa

The next two ladies I have picked for the same reason. Most people would imagine handmade underwear to be comfortable, well covered maybe a little frumpy, I love that a lot of their designs and photography are downright sexy. I began sewing as I found it difficult and expensive to buy bras that fit, to buy sexy underwear that fits is doubly hard. These gals breaks the mould and if some of my makes were a little more sexy and a little more cover-all safe, well, that would be a nice thing.

       2. featherred1 on instagram

This talented lady designs and sells hand made lingerie in Texas. She also has an Etsy shop which is lovely to peruse called Feather Red.

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A little more neutral than some of her other sets this is Strawberry Lolita Strappy Bralette, Panty, and Harness Set, Custom Sized Made to Order.

     3. Alexandra Anissa

Alexandra Anissa is owned by Vanessa Villarreal. She designs lingerie and hand makes it to sell. She has also started selling a few patterns on which are high on my hit list. Her photography is always fabulous and sexy, and without using stick insect models. In fact Villarreal’s goal in her own words is to, “above all, is to help women feel beautiful, sexy, daring, strong and confident”. Her blog contains a number of tutorials which can help with her patterns.

I can’t wait to try these new patterns out and feel inspired by her sewing to improve mine and try more lace only and sheer designs.

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     4. Oonaballoona

Oonaballoona looks stunning in the Bombshell swimsuit, so much so that she has inspired me to make my own. I love the bum coverage to stop that ‘getting out the pool is it covered’ moment and the flattering way the tummy is covered. I was thinking it needs red and white poker dots, thoughts?

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Oonaballoona totally rates this swimsuit, as do several other reviews. Plus great news there is a sew along, for people like me who haven’t sewn with any swimwear materials so far. More information about the Closetcase Patterns Bombshell swimsuit is here.

5. Amy from Cloth Habit

As mentioned above I have spent quite a large portion of the last month in hospital and laid up in bed due to a slipped disk in my back, and I have come to the conclusion that wearing an underwired bra in bed all day is extremely painful by mid afternoon. I desperately need some soft bras that can provide a little support and stop me exposing myself in the oh-so-flattering hospital gowns.

Sewing it, well anything, will be a slow process as I can’t get up for much time a day but as it is relatively small in size isn’t too heavy to work with. I also love that it comes with matching brief and a tutorial to help you assemble it.

These have been so popular I am just tripping over the number of hits on my pinterest wall. At the moment I am favouring these beautiful bright versions who have been made by these other talented bloggers.

 

So these are some patterns and bloggers I am really excited about, I am looking forward to show you some makes soon inspired by this lot.

Pattern review – Camille knickers

I have recently been making knickers to go with my homemade bra collection, those bras all use non-stretch main fabric so I have been searching for a knicker pattern that is non stretch too, or a combination of non stretch and power mesh.

On that note I decided to try the Camille knickers by Evie La Luve for £7.20. I liked the slightly vintage, casual style of them and the fact they are designed to sit on your hips. I thought they might be most suitable for sleep wear as I’m not sure how visible they would be under clothes due to their loose nature.

To begin with I thought I would use some scrap fabric to make some trial ones, as I don’t have a lot of the fabric I made my bra with and these use quite a lot of fabric, a recommended 1.2 m, hardly a pattern to use up your scraps.

I measured myself and I came right in between two sizes, usually I size up on a – I can always cut it down- philosophy. This was a big mistake. At the stage before you wrap them round the sides they look enormous, I wish I had taken a photo against me. It freaked my bf right out, he’s not exactly sizest but they were probably about 4 times my actual size!!!!

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Even overlapping my layers they were still completely huge on me, I could have probably fit me and my little sister in them together.

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One of the other issues I had was sewing the lace around the lower edges. The idea is to line one edge of the lace up with the bottom of the fabric, sew across the top and cut any excess fabric away under the lace. The pattern asks for rigid lace, but of course then sewing it round a bend is an issue because the inside seam of the lace is shorter than the outside seam would be . This means the lace won’t hang in the same way as the fabric, you get creases, it’s impossible to keep the length of the shorts the same as the original fabric. It was a real problem and the wider the lace the more problem. I notice she has used a wavy lace and that is a bit more flexible round bends. I feel that that should feature in the instructions.

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The crotch of the knickers isn’t lined with cotton, so I am not sure how fresh they would be if you were wearing them for a period of time.

As the first ones were miles too big I took them back apart to save all the lace and elastics and made the next ‘real’ pair the next size down. A chat with some sewing folks online informed me that they’d had to go down a size too. I used the fabric I used for my longline Marlborough bra.

I had the same lace problem as the first set but they looked good finished flat. But I HATE them. They just look all wrong on, the shape of them on just doesn’t feel right at all, they don’t hang nicely. Maybe the fact that the lace I used isn’t wavy is part of the problem, but they are really not flattering, they are OK at the back but at the front there’s something weird going on between the legs. Retrospectively I looked at the example ones and wondered if it was the design or my body shape. Either way I am now spending the next few hours taking them apart to reuse the fabric/elastics on something I like more.

I really wanted to be more positive as I try and support small businesses but I have wasted hours sewing and dismantling the pattern and I wish I’d never bothered. I fully appreciate that other people may have more success but I can’t find anyone who really likes them. Except maybe my cat who wanted to sit on them.

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I guess my final words are, after all of that a free very similar version has been released here and you could have a go without worrying about money. it may be that they look right on you not all clothes suit all people.