Lately I feel more comfortable wearing thin bralettes than bra with underwire or foam lining. Maybe because it is summer and everything is just too hot. Then I noticed that Evie la Luve has just launched some new patterns, one of them is this Willow bra.
The pattern package includes 5 different looks, including wraparound style and longline style, with sizing from XXS to XXL. Usually I prefer to use pattern with band and cup sizing but I have had success with Evie la Luve’s panties patterns so I’d like to give this a try.
This is a very good pattern package with complete tutorials for each style with aesthetically pleasing pictures and clear explanation. One thing that I like about Evie la Luve’s pattern is that she always gives exact suggested length for the elastic instead of just ‘stretch slightly while sewing’.
I like reading tutorials from each pattern maker as it shows how they organize their thoughts and put them into words. Sometimes the way a tutorial is presented can rub me off the wrong way that it keeps me from working with the pattern, I really like how Evie la Luve presents her tutorials though.
Having said that, I didn’t really follow the tutorial for this pattern… but it’s because I already have my own flow of works. The pattern has 1 cm seam allowance that I trimmed into my usual 0.6 cm seam allowance. I also didn’t line the fabric as suggested. The seamlines are simply serged and topstitch to one side.
The fabric is actually from a pair of leggings that I made a couple of years ago but rarely wear. It’s lycra fabric with under the sea themed digital print.
I was very happy with the result so I wanted to make a matching panties. This time I use the bottom part of Mimi bikini pattern. As you can see, this is a swimwear pattern so I didn’t follow the tutorial either. But if you want to make a bikini for swimming, the tutorial for this pattern is really great.
Actually I made the black one first as a muslin. I wore it and liked it a lot that I continued making the second one. I can see more of this bralette in the future as it is so simple and quick to sew!
And here’s how they fit on my body. My dummy has very small waist, that is why the band on the panties look wrinkled. On me, the fit is better.
Someone sent me a link to a tutorial video on Youtube. And once on Youtube, you know that you’ve got to click all those related videos that look interesting on the side bar. Two hours later I came across a tutorial video on Proper Fit Clothing co. channel for making caps.
The tutorial was very good! It was very interesting to see all kinds of machines used to sew a single cap. The person said that the cap can also be sewed on regular sewing machine though so I got curious about it.
The cap pattern is available for USD1.5 on a website called Cap Supply co. that also sells caps and various cap making supplies. It was the first time I have ever heard of this company! And as far as I know, I have never seen anyone making a cap that really looks like a store-bought ones.
The company also has several other cap patterns such as the most ordinary six panels baseball cap pattern, Dad cap pattern (I don’t know what the difference is with the baseball cap), even visor cap and ponytail cap pattern. I didn’t know there are so many types of caps! I bought the 5 panel Camp Cap pattern because the seamlines look very interesting.
A friend of mine gave me several kimono and obi fabric that I have planned to refashion. Obi is the belt used for kimono, the fabric is usually stiffer than the kimono and it has many interesting embroideries. So instead of using canvas fabric like a proper cap, I went straight into cutting my beautiful obi fabric. Life is too short for boring fabric!
Constructing the head part was very easy. The pieces are small so it came together quite fast. All the seamlines are covered with bias tape on the inside, topstitched on either side of the tape. In the tutorial video, they used an attachment to double stitch sewing machine so the process was quite fast.
Instead using store bought brims as recommended, I used a plastic sheet that is specially used for cap brims. I cut the shape of the brims and inserted it between the fabric brims. I used industrial sewing machine to topstitch the lines across the brims, it’s a very strong machine so there was no difficulties at all. I’m not sure that a domestic sewing machine can be used for this.
Attaching the brim to the hat part was difficult. But the most difficult part was sewing the sweatband to the hat! In the video they used a special sewing machine that makes it quite easy. I found their old video where they still used a regular sewing machine that convinced me that it can be done. I stitched and unstitched and stitched and unstitched so many times! You can see above my wavy sewing lines around the brim part. Oh well, experience will make it perfect I guess.
Cap pattern pieces
There are several back closure options, I use plastic closure and nylon straps. The end of the strap can be inserted back into the hat so they don’t dangle around.
It is best to steam the cap after finished to shape the hat. In the video, they used a wooden form to place the hat for steaming. I just used my regular tailor’s ham. It was quite a maneuver to steam all the seam lines but it can be done!
I made the gold cap first and it was way too big for my head. My husband loves it though! For the purple one, I printed the pattern at 93% so it would fit my head. The circumference of my husband’s head is 58 cm while mine is 54 cm. 54 divided by 58 is 0.93 and that’s where 93% came from.
I found that I really love making these caps! I love how the small pattern pieces have quite strange shape and how they come together slowly to form a cap.
Here we are in Harajuku wearing my handmade obi caps!
Have you seen the Spring/Summer 2017 collection: The Playground, from Named Clothing? It is inspired by the practicality and simplicity of childrenwear. I’m all about practical and comfort so I was very excited about this collection.
It is launched two days ago and I immediately picked the simplest pattern to make, The Ninni culottes. It is a pattern for wide-legged cullotes with elastic waistband and in-seam side pockets. I made it in very stable black jersey.
To make my life easier, I keep a Google spreadheet for all alterations that I have to made for each pattern. For Named patterns, I use size 34 with these alterations: shortening 2 cm on the hipline, 5 cm above knee, and 5 cm below knee, at total 12 cm. Twelve centimetres might sound a lot, but it has worked very well for me. Named patterns are drafted for height 172 cm while my height is 150 cm.
I’m very happy with the result! My alterations has worked quite well, as you can see the length of the culottes is at the same proportion as the original pattern. These culottes are very basic, it means that it will have lots of wear in the future!
Linden sequin T-shirt
Now for the not-so-basic T-shirt, I used knit sequin fabric for the bodice and the leftover black jersey for the sleeves and neck binding. The pattern is Linden sweatshirt by Grainline studio that has became one of my favorite.
I use overlocker for all the seams except for finishing the sleeve and bodice hem. The sequin on the fabric is very soft and can be cut easily, so they didn’t need to be removed from the seamlines.
I like how the sequins are a bit muted and not glaringly reflecting lights all over the place. It is quite a nice detail to an otherwise very simple black T-shirt!
My new tote bag! Actually I wasn’t planning to make more bags but then I found this canvas fabric with interesting panel print. One panel is showing a Maneki Neko or Fortune Cat, and the other panel is Mountain Fuji.
The print is interesting enough that I want to show it off as much as possible with simple lines and no visible topstitching. That is why the straps and facing are tacked to the bag with small rivets.
I left the bag unlined and bound all the raw edges with twill tape. The wide bag straps are quite wide so I stitched them together around the middle. This will make the straps stronger and easier to carry.
The bag has two pockets inside. One is zippered pocket, the other pocket has key strap attached. As you can see the bag is quite big, enough for everything that I want to carry. In my bag usually I have water bottle, small towel, makeup pouch, stationery pouch, charger pouch, earphone pouch, tissue pouch. I have many little pouches inside my bag that is why I need big bag!
Merckwaerdigh wings and Harriet bra
Recently Amy from Cloth Habit has just released her newest pattern, the Harriet bra. You’re probably already familiar with her previous pattern, the Watson bra, that is very popular.
The Harriet bra is an underwired bra with balconette neckline and 3 piece cup seam. The sizes range is pretty great, from 28A-42H. I think this is the widest size range available in one bra pattern that I have ever encountered. Amy wrote more about Harriet bra in her introduction post here.
The Harriet bra has similar seamlines as one of Merckwaerdigh pattern, Wings. This PDF pattern is also listed as BHST2 in the printed version. I have made BHST2 several times and always like the result, so I was curious to see how the Harriet bra is compared to Merckwaerdigh Wings.
I use my usual size for Merckwaerdigh, 30E, that I got by using size 36B and shortening the band 6 cm. While for the Harriet bra, I followed the measuring instructions and got 28DD as a result. However, my finished bra was a bit too tight so I decided to make a new one in size 30D, bigger band size with the same cup volume as 28DD.
Frame comparison of Merckwaerdigh Wings and Harriet 30D
The frame comparison is very interesting! You can see how the Harriet bra has much narrower wire line compared to Merckwaerdigh. As I’ve always been happy with my result with Merckwaerdigh patterns, I got slightly worried that the Harriet bra might not be for me.
On my dummy, the cup seamlines on both bras are quite similar. I made the Merckwaerdigh Wings with stable fabric and stretch lace upper cup, while the Harriet bra is made with stable lace with only mechanical stretch. I would say that the stretch factor on both bras are quite similar. Both bras are unlined and use the same wire. The alteration for both is narrowing the center gore because I have small space between breasts. I changed the back of the Merckwaerdigh Wings to U-shaped back similar to the Harriet.
And here is how the fit on my body, surprisingly quite different! The straps on the Merckwaerdigh wings are quite far apart. The cup seamlines look almost horizontal. The neckline is flatter compared to Harriet bra. The breast shapes are more relaxed and natural.
The straps on the Harriet bra are closer together. As a result you can see the cup seamlines more clearly. The cup seamlines are more diagonal and the neckline has more of a V shape. The narrower wire line push the breast more to the center, creating a ‘perkier’ look.
The Merckwaerdigh Wings is great to wear with tops or dress that has wide neckline, but for everyday bra I prefer the Harriet. In fact, I’m very, very happy with the Harriet bra. Usually I have to do several alterations to bra pattern, shortening the band, creating the U-shaped back, moving the straps closer etc. This time I only did the center gore alteration and everything else fit perfectly! I will be making more of this bra!