Sports bra and leggings (and a birthday)

Sports bra and leggings Sports bra and leggings

The knee-length yoga leggings that I made last July are one of the most-worn item that I’ve ever made. But since the weather got cold, I have gone back to wearing my old store-bought leggings. I suppose it is time to make another leggings!

I have been learning more about sewing workout wear through Sew and Draft Your Own Personal 7 Piece Workout Wear Collection course that was sent to me by Burdastyle. In one of the lessons, Meg Healy (the instructor) teaches how to develop the basic leggings sloper pattern into a pair of leggings with crotch gusset.

The gusset is drafted in a very simple manner, basically it is consisted of two pairs of pieces from the front and back crotch pattern. For my next pair, I want to draft the gusset in one piece instead of four pieces like this one. On the inside, the gusset has a piece of jersey lining to make it more comfortable.

Sports bra and leggings Sports bra and leggings

The waistband is drafted wide with folded edge on top. There is no additional elastic in the waist band so it is very comfortable. I like wide waistband like this that reaches to my belly button. The crotch and waistband seams are topstitched with decorative stitches that look like flatlock. I read about this technique on Tasia’s post in Sewaholic blog.
Sports bra and leggings Sports bra and leggings

Speaking of Tasia from Sewaholic, I bought her Dunbar top pattern to make a sports bra! I use the same black spandex fabric as my leggings, carrot red spandex for the contrast, and store-bought foldover elastic.

“The Dunbar Top or Sports Bra is fully lined, with a powernet shelf bra that includes pockets for optional padding or removeable bra cups. Racerback styling and contrast seaming gives it a cool modern look. Choose high-impact contrast like black and white, or opt for tone-on-tone fabrics for a subtler look. Edges are bound with fabric binding strips. View A is a mid-hip length tank top with a shelf bra lining. View B is a sports bra with elastic along the lower edge.”

Sports bra and leggings Sports bra and leggings

My lining is powernet in orange-red color that is actually quite thin, so I added another layer of stronger black powernet between the layers. The bra cups have openings on the side for removable bra cups.

I really suggest to make a muslin if you are interested in making this bra. The bra is quite short from top to bottom. I cut size 2 and had to add 2 cm on the bottom end of each piece. The recommended elastic length for the underband is way too long for me. I measure my elastic by putting it around myself snugly and cut the desired length. When attaching the binding, I made sure to stretch the elastic binding slightly so it will fit snugly when the bra is being worn.

Sports bra and leggings Sports bra and leggings

I usually wear encapsulation sports bra with separate cups and underwire like this Panache sports bra and not the compression type like the Dunbar. The feeling is a bit different, it is much lighter. I like this one better! The bra is very comfortable, I think I want to use this pattern to make another bra in jersey fabric without the shelf bra just for lounging at home.
Sports bra and leggings Sports bra and leggings

Selamat ulang tahun Mama / HAPPY

Unrelated to the sportswear, today is my 44th birthday! I’m not sure how I feel about being 44, sometimes I feel like I’m still not an adult yet.

Here is a pot of succulents that Sidra bought for me. He bought it at the market near our house, but on the way home the pot got turned over. He didn’t have the chance to fix it because he had to hide it rightaway when he got home. I think it is a very endearing story.

The cards are from my husband and Sidra. My husband wrote ‘Happy birthday Mama’ in Indonesian, and the little writing around it is something like ‘together forever’. Sidra drew me from a photo. He said that the mouth part is very difficult, so he just gave me a wide grin instead.

I feel very lucky to have these two sweet men in my life at this moment!

Sports bra pattern is Sewaholic Dunbar top (PDF), size 2.
Leggings pattern is  developed from Burdastyle knit leggings sloper (PDF), size 38 printed at 92%.

Disclosure: The leggings sloper pattern is included in Sew and Draft Your Own Personal 7 Piece Workout Wear Collection course sent to me for free by Burdastyle.

Review: A Sewist’s Notebook

110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook

Sometimes you need to look back to a project and check what alterations that you have made or what kind of fabrics that you have used. But after years of sewing and accumulating hundreds of projects, it is not always easy to keep track of all of those projects.

This is where Beth Byrge from 110 Creations came in with her idea of a special notebook designed especially with what a sewist’s need in mind. As a sewist herself, Beth understands that the work of keeping track of all the projects and inspirations can be quite messy. This notebook offers one way to organize all those sewing-related lists in one place.

110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook
A Sewist’s Notebook


  1. How to use this book
  2. Sample page
  3. Project list
  4. Measurement chart
  5. Project pages
  6. Pattern catalogue
  7. Wish list
  8. Needle change record
  9. Notes
  10. Acknowledgement

The notebook starts with a short explanation on how to use the book and a sample page. Then you get 110 pages of project pages, 90 of them with figure drawing and the last 20 pages with no figure drawing for non-clothing or kids’ clothes project.

110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook 110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook

In each project page, you can take notes of pattern, fabric, interfacing, notions, accents, planning notes, sizing & alterations, seams & finishes, hem, and notes for next time. That’s about all the notes that you can take for a project!

The pattern catalogue is divided by the type of clothing like tops, pants, skirts, dresses, outerwear, children’s, and bags. In this section, you can take notes of the pattern company, whether the pattern has been cut ot not, and the price of the pattern.

And for all the things that you wished to have, there is the Wish list! This section is divided into fabric, patterns, notions, and tools.

110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook 110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook

110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook
Needle change record

I think that the figure drawing in the project pages has quite a thick lines, which makes it rather difficult to draw over. Also, I think it is important to have another figure drawing but from the backside.

It would be great too if the section of the pages can be bought separately so you can expand the book. I change my needle after each project so I don’t really need to record my needle change time. But other people will find this section very useful.

This notebook is a great tool if you like to keep a detailed track of all your sewing projects manually. Personally I prefer to keep my notes in digital form, and that is actually my purpose of starting this blog in the first place. It would be great if there is something like this notebook but in digital version so I can use the search button to find anything.

You can buy the book here for $14.99. Beth also has a similar notebook for children’s clothes with child-sized figure drawing and check out this cute, smaller version of A Sewist’s notebook!

How do you keep track of your projects?

Book review: A Sewist’s Notebook by Beth Byrge

Disclosure: this notebook was sent for free to review. However, the views and opinions expressed are purely my own.

Black and maroon bra

Black and maroon bra
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.
Black and maroon 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.
Black and maroon bra Black and maroon bra
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.
Black and maroon bra Black and maroon bra

Bra pattern is Merckwaerdigh BHST2 size 30E with back altered.

Red knit dress

Red knit dress Red knit dress

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.
Red knit dress Red knit dress
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!
Red knit dress Red knit dress

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!

Pattern is based on Burdastyle Knit top and Dress sloper (PDF), size 38 printed at 92%.

Disclosure: The sloper pattern is included in Sew and Draft Your Own Personal 7 Piece Workout Wear Collection course sent to me for free by Burdastyle.

Hooded cowl neck dress

Hooded cow neck dress Hooded cow neck dress

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.”
Hooded cow neck dress Hooded cow neck dress

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.

Hooded cow neck dress Hooded cow neck dress

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.

Red cowl dress Violet Vogue 1250 Fruit jersey dress (Vogue 1351) Issy top and Elle pants

Pattern is Burdastyle hooded cowl neck dress 09/2015 (PDF), size 38 printed at 92%.

Disclosure: the pattern is sent to me for free by Burdastyle.

Book review: Stylish Remakes

Stylish Remakes
Stylish Remakes

Stylish Remakes

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
All-in-one shorts and children’s romper, made from T-shirts

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.

Stylish Remakes
Half-and Half dress, made from two flannel shirts

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!

Stylish Remakes
Coat dress and Half-and-half skirt, each is made from two men’s shirts

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.

Stylish Remakes
Coat with scarf collar and details, made from an unlined coat and a scarf
Stylish Remakes
Patchwork dress and Child’s camisole and skirt, made from bandannas

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.

Stylish Remakes Stylish Remakes Stylish Remakes Stylish Remakes

Stylish Remakes
Stylish Remakes

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!

Book review: Stylish Remakes published by Tuttle Publishing

Disclosure: this book was sent by Tuttle publishing for free to review. However, the views and opinions expressed are purely my own.

Black strappy bra

Strappy set
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!
Strappy set Strappy set

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.
Strappy set

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.

Strappy set

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?

Strappy setBra pattern is Merckwaerdigh PBH30 size 30E.
Thong pattern is Ohh Lulu 1308 Gia (PDF) size S.

Pattern testing: Desmond Backpack

Desmond backpack Desmond backpack

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!

Desmond backpack Desmond backpack

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.
Desmond backpack Desmond backpack
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.

Desmond backpack Desmond backpack

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!
Desmond backpack Desmond backpack

Pattern is Desmond backpack (PDF) by Taylortailor.

Neon yellow set

Neon yellow set Neon yellow set
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.
Neon yellow set Neon yellow set

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.

Neon yellow set Neon yellow set

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.

Neon yellow set Neon yellow set

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.

Neon yellow set Neon yellow set
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.
Neon yellow set Neon yellow set
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.
Neon yellow set Neon yellow set

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.

Anyway, I have the same fabric in other color for another set of lingerie. The other one is neon pink. I don’t know why I keep buying these neon fabrics!
Foam cup bra pattern is Merckwaerdigh BHB40, size 30D.
Thong pattern is Kwik Sew 2075 (out of print), size S.
Soft bra pattern is Cloth Habit Watson bra, size 30C.
Undies pattern is Cloth Habit Watson bikini, size S.
Bra notions are Makebra the Basic Kit in black.

Summer date dress

Halter dress and shrug Halter dress and shrug

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!

Halter dress and shrug Halter dress and shrug

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.

Halter dress and shrug Halter dress and shrug

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.

Halter dress and shrug Halter dress and shrug

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.

Halter dress and shrug Halter dress and shrug

Halter dress and shrug Halter dress and shrug

I love summer with all the pretty dresses, swimsuits, and tanned skin. Unfortunately it is over now, time for some pretty autumn dresses!

Dress pattern is Burdastyle Halter Dress with Ruffles 04/2015 #111B, size 17 (petite size).
Shrug pattern is Saki shrug – as posted by Yoshimi