I was cleaning my sewing room when I found some little pieces of black stretch lace, leftover from my black strappy bra. It was too little for anything but I didn’t want to throw them away yet. So I put together some powernet, elastics, and other bra notions to make a new bra.
The pattern is Merckwaerdigh BHST2, which is perfect because it only need very little pieces of lace for the upper cups. The pattern originally has low back that I changed into regular straight back. The lower cups, bridge, and bands are powernet with the bridge lined with non-stretch mesh lining.
The hardest part about making a bra is the fitting. Once you find the right fitting pattern, the actual sewing is quite fast because all the pieces are so small. I finished this bra in about 3 hours and wore it the next day. Here it is with the thong from my black strappy bra that has the same lace.
I’ve been wanting to have a simple and comfortable knit dress for daily wear. It is not very easy to find the right fabric, medium weight fabric that is not too thick nor too thin. So when I spotted this red double jersey in the fabric store, I snatched it rightaway. They also have army green and black that I have bought as well.
I was sent the Sew and Draft Your Own Personal 7 Piece Workout Wear Collection course by Burdastyle, and several knit slopers are included in the course. I’m still planning my workout wear collection, and in the meantime I use the Knit top and Dress sloper to create this dress.
As usual I printed Burdastyle patterns in 92 % and cut size 38. The neckline is widened and lowered a bit with neck band added. The sleeves are shortened to 3/4 and the hem is lengthened. I made the dress on my serger and topstitched the hem using small zigzag stitches on sewing machine. It is basically like a lengthened T-shirt so it was finished very quickly!
I’m very happy with the result! It is simple and comfortable like what I’ve wanted, and it is quite versatile to wear. The color red is a bit loud though. I was in the train wearing the dress and when I looked around, everyone else was wearing muted colors like beige, grey, and black. It was already a grey rainy day, hopefully a splash of color would make it less gloomy!
A new dres! The pattern is Burdastyle hooded cowl neck dress in grey jersey. I love how simple and easy to sew the pattern is, while looking so interesting with the giant cowl neck.
The description of the pattern: “This cowl neck dress has a deep cowl that can be transformed into a hood whenever the mood strikes. It has long sleeves and can be worn in the winter months with high boots and tights.”
The pattern only has three pieces. The cowl neck is integrated to the front bodice pattern, making the front bodice pattern looking very interesting. I made all the seams on my serger, and used sewing machine to topstitch the dress and sleeves hem with zigzag stitches.
As usual for Burdastyle pattern, I printed the pattern at 92% and cut size 38. So it is actually closer to size 34 than size 38. Other alterations that I made was shortening the dress and sleeves a bit.
I suddenly realized that for some reason I’m always attracted to cowl necklines. Here’s some that I made in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. This 2015 version has the biggest cowl neck! I wonder why I love them. Maybe because I like how the cowl neck drapes to frame the face and upper body.
I don’t use many Japanese sewing books now, but they have always been special to me. Mainly because the first time I learned sewing was through Japanese sewing books and magazines.
The minimalist photos and layouts are one of the characteristics of these books. The model usually just stand or sit on a simple chair (or even the floor), doesn’t do much and not even smiling. The clothes are often loose and flowy with not much shaping, which makes them quite easy to make.
Japanese sewing books don’t use many words in their instructions, mainly relying on pictures and diagrams. These diagrams are usually pretty good, but people are often intimidated by the Japanese characters. This is where Tuttle Publishing comes in with English version of these books. I think it is a great idea!
Stylish Remakes was released this year, written by Violette Room. This is not a person’s name though, but a Japanese fashion company who is famous for its relaxed silhoutte and comfortable lines. As you can see in the cover, the book shows several ways to remake old clothes into trendy fashion pieces.
Personally this is not my style (anymore), but I think this is a perfect book for sewing newbie – especially the ones who are attracted to Japanese fashion style. The remakes are quite simple that you can have a new outfit in just a few hours.
My favorite from this book, a summer dress made from two men’s flannel shirts. The shirts have to be the same size because they will buttoned to each other. Part of the sleevs are turned into shoulder straps and the armholes are turned into pockets, very interesting!
More remakes from men’s shirts. Probably useful if you have a man in the house who is willing to separate from his many flannel shirts.
The book doesn’t come with full-size patterns, but the instructions will show you how to draft them – with both imperial and metric measurement systems. There is also templates for patchworks and embroideries, along with simple instructions on the hand stitches.
Although I’m not sure if I will use this particular book in the future, but I really like love idea of translating Japanese sewing books into English. It is an opportunity to see different ways to develop ideas. And of course, the pictures are an absolute eye candy!
I got intrigued by all those strappy bras that seem to pop up everywhere. They don’t look too comfortable, but they sure look good. Having made all my own lingerie all this time, naturally I would love to make one myself. A custom made strappy bra for myself!
My version is based on Merckwaerdigh PBH30, af frameless push-up bra pattern. It is actually quite simple to make, the cups are made with stretch lace and the rest is lots of straps. It is quite funny how the bra only needs very little scraps of stretch lace.
To decide the length of the straps, I use the bridge and band pattern pieces as guide. The Y-shaped straps on the front are added last. After attaching the hook and eye and shpulder straps, I put on the bra to decide the length of the Y-shaped straps. Store bought bras often have sliders in this area, but I just made mine without sliders. This part can be easily diassembled and readjusted.
The thong pattern Is Ghia by Ohh Lulu in size S. I used stretch mesh fabric for the center front and back and stretch lace on the sides. I couldnt find plush elastics here in Japan, but I found this soft elastic with one good side. I attached it on the wrong side first and then folded it to the right side. Basically the inverse of plush elasic application.
As I have imagined, the bra is not very comfortable, but surprisingly not THAT uncomfortable. I don’t think I will make another though. I mean, one strappy bra is enough for all your needs isn’t it?
Now what I need to know is how do you wear a strappy bra? Do you just keep it as a pretty secret underneath your clothes or do you wear it with certain outfit that can show it off?
Taylortailor is one of my favorite sewing blog. I love how much thought and details are shown in each project that Taylor has made. There is no one day sewing project in his blog, everything is developed slowly with so much patience. Something that I often don’t have! If something takes more than a week, I usually begin to lose interest….
Another thing that I like about his projects is that his style is something that my husband can relate to. My husband likes simple lines, functional details, and often muted, calm colors. So when Taylor called for patters testers for his new bag pattern, I was very excited!
The pattern is finally launched this week so I can post about my version! Desmond backpack is a fully lined backpack with roll top, zippered front pocket, two side pockets, and several pockets inside.
For my version, I use medium weight nylon fabric on the outside and lighter nylon fabric for the lining. I want an all-black bag so I use black plastic hardware.
There are several changes that I made to the bag but mostly only the hardware stuff, like using side release buckles instead of D-rings and tension locks instead of O-rings. I did add a wide pocket inside so to insert a piece of XLPE foam sheet so my bag can has more structure and not too crumpled.
I think one of the most challenging part about designing a bag is making the perfect dimension, not too big nor too small and with perfect balance between height, width, and depth. I am very happy that this bag has fulfilled these requirements. The size is just right for daily use. The front pocket is perfect for keys, and little things that need to be accessed easily, and the side pockets are the right size for water bottle. Everything is not too much nor too little, just right as it is.
The instructions are quite clear and straightforward. I can say that this is a perfect project for a beginner who wants a little challenge. Taylor has started Desmond backpack sew-along at his blog at the moment if you want to hop in!
I’ve been playing around with this neon stretch lace fabric that I got sometime ago. The fabric is very stretchy and transparent.
For the first set, the pattern is Merckwaerdigh BHB40. The pattern set has two underwired bra pattern and two bodysuit with low leg cut patterns. One of the bra is actually has three-piece cup although the drawings show that both bras have two-piece cup. This came as a nice surprise for me as I have planned to draft a three-piece cup bra.
The notions are from the Basic Kit that I got from Makebra. They has the best foam padding that I have ever encountered. I cut the cup pattern without seam allowance (except for the underwire allowance) for the foam padding and attach them together using zigzag stitch with width set on 5 and length set on 0.5 – as shown by Erin on this post. I think the result is indeed quite stronger than my usual method.
Usually I use zigzag stitch with width set on 3 or 4 and length set on 2. Afterwards, I would cover the seam with lining strips and topstitch them with three step zigzag stitch. Using this new satin stitch method, I don’t have to cover the seam with lining strips anymore.
With the black foam underneath, the neon yellow lace shows the most contrast. The thong has no lining and you can see that the appearance looks quite different than the bra.
As for the fit, I always have good fit with any Merkwaerdigh bra pattern and this one is not an exception.
The second set is made with Watson bra and bikini pattern by Cloth Habit. I made size 30C according the measurement chart. The bra and panties are lined with powernet in the same neon color, the lining pieces are basted to the main pieces and treated as single pieces.
With the neon mesh net as lining, the transparency is reduced but you can still see a hint of skin when the set is being worn. I find that this stretch lace is quite fragile, so lining them is a good decision.
Although it is a soft bra, I’m surprised that it is quite supportive and comfortable. In fact, this bra has become one of my favorite bra to wear recently. The cups are a bit too small though, so next time I might make my usual size, 30D.
Acually I’m not too sure if I like this fabric or not. The color is very bright and interesting, but I find the fabric a bit too fragile. I’m afraid I will create a hole everytime I put them on. But both bra patterns are very good and comfortable. I also really like the Watson bikini pattern.
Since Sidra entered Junior High School, he becomes very busy with all the school activities. He even has to be at school on weekends for his sports club activity. My husband and I got a bit lost on what to do as the three of us usually did things together on weekends. But we have to get used to this. Eventually Sidra will have to be by himself as he grows up so maybe it is time to start letting him go.
One of the thing that my husband and I are starting to do at weekends is having a date. We would get dressed and go to the city, have lunch at a nice place and do things together. When Sidra was still in elementary school, it was very rare for my husband and I to go out by ourselves. I had forgotten how it felt to go on a date. It was strange at first -and I felt a bit guilty to Sidra- but eventually we enjoy it!
This is a dress that I made to wear on these dates. Of course I don’t always have to get dressed to go out with my husband, but where’s the fun? After all I always welcome more reasons to wear pretty dresses.
The pattern is Burdastyle Halter Dress with Ruffles 04/2015 #111B, it is already in petite size so I cut size 17. The midriff part was shortened a bit, about 1 cm. I also eliminated the ruffles as I think it is a bit too much. To do this, I just cut the strap frill two times and tapered the ends to have a couple of long straps. I was a bit worried that the floral fabric might look like a curtain, but I think it works quite well with this pattern.
Obviously I can’t wear a bra with this dress, not even the strapless one because of the cutout under the bust. It doesn’t really matter actually, but I feel a bit exposed wearing the dress in train. Sometimes the train is crowded and you have to stand a bit too close to other people. I’m shorter than most people so they can look down into my dress -deliberately or accidentally. Maybe I think about it too much! But anyway I made a shrug to wear when in train or when it gets a bit chilly.
The shrug is called Saki’s shrug, you can check more about in Yoshimi’s post about the shrug. It is delightfully simple, basically just several rectangles sewn together. But the result is quite pretty, especially in light knit fabric like this.
I love summer with all the pretty dresses, swimsuits, and tanned skin. Unfortunately it is over now, time for some pretty autumn dresses!
I made a swimsuit! The pattern is Soma swimsuit by Papercut Patterns. I made size XXS, with the only alteration was shortening the bottom part about 1 cm. Instead of elastic strap, I just use the foldover elastic for all the binding and straps. The fabris was lined with skin-colored swimsuit lining.
It was an easy sewing and I love how little fabric are needed for this swimsuit. I still have enough leftover for another swimsuit, but I guess one is enough for this year.
I see that some people inserted swimsuit bra cups when making this swimsuit, but I didn’t do this. I don’t really have problems with nipples but then I saw everyone around me has cups under their swimsuit. Maybe next time I’ll put the cups. Or maybe I just have to stop looking around 😛
Actually I made the swimsuit to go to the beach this summer holiday, but then things happened and we had to cancel the plan. Bummer! So we went to a nearby swimming pool on the last day of summer holiday. It is far from the beach but the most important thing is that we were having fun together!
Here I am wearing the suit pretending to be in a real beach. There are several pools in one place, this one is a fake beach complete with waves. One of the funny thing about Japanese swimming pool is that there is a mandatory rest every one or two hours. The lifeguard will announce that it is time to get off the pool. People will usually start to walk around buying drink and food. During this rest, the visitors are not allowed on the water. After about 10-15 minutes, depending on the pool, there is an announcement that the pool is opened again and everyone run back to the water. Only in Japan!
These lace panties look so weird when not worn, but they actually fit really well on me – surprisingly quite comfortable too! These are a couple of quick things that I made yesterday with a new pattern. I’ve heard about Booby Traps patterns before but this Australian-based company only ship to Canada, England, America, and New Zealand. Until recently I found out that they have digital patterns!
For my first try, I chose the simplest one (in my opinion) which is the Lace Brazillians. This pattern only needs some stretch lace and cotton jersey for the gusset. Although the pattern and instructions are in PDF format, they are not instant download. They sent me a dropbox link a day after I placed the order. The pattern is in A2 format, so I had to tile-printed it. I wish that they will format the patterns for A4 in the future.
As I’ve thought, this is a very quick and easy pattern. After finished cutting the pattern, it only took about 15 minutes to make a pair of panties. Because it only uses stretch lace, you don’t have to fiddle with attaching underwear elastic like usual panties.
For the constructions, I only use sewing machine to make the panties. I use straight stitch for all the center seam, then topstitched from the right side using wide triple zigzag stitch the keep the seam allowances flat.The waistband is attached to the back and front piece using triple zigzag stitches. The cotton jersey is attached last, again using triple zigzag stitches.
I have lots of stretch lace bought on sale or left over from past projects, so this pattern is perfect for them. I’m happy with the result and now intrigued to try other Booby Traps patterns!