Kawung batik print set

Kawung print set
Several months ago I was contacted by Contrado about their new fabric printing service. It was actually the first time I heard about this company. When I checked out their website, I was impressed with the number of fabric options available. They have 80 options of fabrics from canvas, jersey, even scuba and waterproof ripstop!

Then I had to decide what I want to make. A summer dress? A raincoat? Canvas bags? I was a bit overwhelmed. If you want to order from Contrado, I really recommend to order their swatch pack first to have a feel at their full range of fabric. If deciding on what kind of fabric from so many options is not hard enough, the fabric design part is definitely challenging!
Batik print

I have always wanted to make lingerie with Indonesian batik print, however it is not easy to find suitable lingerie fabric with this kind of print. I have an Indonesian batik fabric from my stash that is perfect because it has several different motifs on it that I can choose from. I decided on one motif called ‘kawung’, a four lobed stylised flower based on palm blossom. There are many symbolical meanings behind this motif which is a very interesting topic on itself, but for now let’s just say that I like it for its simplicity.

What I did was scanning the motif first, then traced it on Illustrator so it can be manipulated as a vector image. The most important part is transforming the motif so it can be tiled to cover bigger area. I suggest to make several print samples to see if your tiled image match perfectly. Then I exported the image back to jpg format and uploaded it to Contrado.
Print and original batik fabric

The shipping was surprisingly fast, considering that it was sent all the way from UK to Japan. Here you can see the original batik fabric on the bottom with power net on the left and Lycra sheen on the right.
Power net kawung print Lycra sheen kawung print
The quality is very good! I often find printed Lycra that doesn’t look too good when the fabric is stretched, with white colour of the base fabric peeking between the weave. The one from Contrado has a bit of that but only if it is stretched too much. But stretched considerably, it is still look good.

The Lycra sheen is not satin shiny, but has a lovely sheen over it. Contrado also has Lycra matt and heavier Lycra that can be used for swimwear. The Florence power net is very lightweight and suitable for make mesh panties. When used as bra band, it needs reinforcement underneath. I simply used beige power net.
Kawung print set Kawung print set
The bra pattern is Boylston bra by Orange Lingerie with several of my favorite alterations:

  • narrowed the centre piece because I have very little space between breasts
  • very narrow cradle
  • changed the center front to gothic arch
  • added back strap extension
  • padded bra straps

Kawung print set
Kawung print set

The foam lining and band elastic were sent by Tailor Shop Made. I find out that I prefer wide elastic for the band as it is gives more stability. The turquoise elastics are from my stash and unfortunately is not very good as it stretches a bit too much.

Kawung print set Kawung print set

Both the panties pattern are new releases from Ohhh LuluJustine cut-out and Kelly hi-cut. The Justine uses lycra and power net while the Kelly is made entirely in power net. I shortened both pattern about 1 cm across the hip. Both are very attractive patterns.
Kawung print set Kawung print set
Kawung print set Kawung print set

And here’s the bra on me!

BWfront BWback

I still have Lycra and powernet from Contrado in different motifs that I am planning to make into different bra. More posts soon!

Patterns:

Notions:

Disclosure: Fabrics, foam lining, and band elastic are sent to me for review. The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.

Cara top and Sally skirt

Cara top

Cara top

Since the weather is getting warm, I’ve been seeing off-shoulder tops everywhere around me. I began to look for sewing patterns and came across this relatively new pattern by Style Arc: Cara top. The description on the pattern page: “This on-trend top gives a gorgeous look with its flattering, gathered, off the shoulder neckline with a floaty raglan sleeve. The elastic at the back neck band keeps the shoulder line in shape. Wear it with jeans or dress it up with a fabulous print to wear to a special occasion.”

I cut size 6 without alterations. Since I’m petite, this top may come across as a bit short short on other people. The fabric is Indonesian cotton batik with floral pattern from my stash. The pattern is quite straightforward and not complicated at all. Basically you sew the sleeves to the front and back bodice, gather the front bodice, attach the shoulder band with inserted elastic on the back part, and then sew the side seams together.
Cara top
Cara top

I love how the shoulder band is flat on the front and has elastic on the back. The pattern also comes with suggested elastic length for each size.
Sally skirt

This is such a great top to wear with denim for summer. I already have several denim pants, so this time I wanted to make a denim skirt.

The pattern is Sally skirt, another Style Arc pattern. The description on the pattern page: “This skirt has all the features of a jean skirt along with the comfort of a contoured waistband. Sitting just above the knee and very slightly “A” lined. Another wardrobe ‘must have’.”

This is a classic denim skirt with A-line shape with five pockets and zipper fly closure. I cut size 6 and widened the waist part a little bit. The hem was shortened a lot because I’m petite. As I have made several denim pants, I didn’t really looked at the instructions and just sewed it the way I have used to.

One of my favourite thing to do is making all the details on denim pants or skirt. So I made sure to put all the necessary details: metal zipper, metal button, rivets, and all the topstitching. I wish I could do this all day!

Sally skirt Sally skirt

Sally skirt Sally skirt
Cara top and Sally skirt Cara top and Sally skirt
I’m quite happy with the result, no complaints at all. A perfect outfit for strolling along the street in summer. The skirt is not too bike-friendly, but I can still manage!


Top pattern is Cara top by Style Arc (PDF), size 6
Skirt pattern is Sally jean skirt by Style Arc (PDF), size 6

Style Arc’s patterns in paper form are also available on their website.

Komani cape dress – Bootstrap Fashion

Komani cape dress Komani cape dress

This is the Komani cape dress, the second pattern that I made from Bootstrap Fashion. As I have mentioned in my previous post about Bootstrap Fashion, the patterns are drafted according to your individual body measurements including height and other details like belly protuberance and upper arm circumference, among other things.

This pattern is one of the exclusive design made by indie designers who use the same Leko fit customization technology. Bootstrap Fashion allows indie designers to set their own price, that is why these patterns are set on much higher price than other Bootstrap Fashion patterns.
Komani cape dress

20001_Technical_Sketch

Komani Cape Dress – Bootstrap Fashion

I was attracted to the dress’ many interesting details. From the front, it looks like the dress has a cape over the shoulder. But from the back, the cape is integrated to the back part. To achieve this effect, the back side pieces have lining pieces that are attached to the armholes. I’m sure I don’t make much sense here but hopefully you will understand it when you see the pieces.

The recommended fabric is medium weight jersey. I found this cotton knit fabric with giant brush strokes design which I think complement this dress pattern quite well.

There are many things that I love about this dress, but let’s talk about these first:

  • At $9.95 (+$0.5 for seam allowances), this pattern is much more expensive. Ordinary Bootstrap Fashion patterns are only $2.99.
  • It does have more instructions compared to ordinary Bootstrap Fashion, but it is very confusing to me.
  • The instruction has step by step photos, however the photos are poorly lit and often fail to show clearly what is going on. Since this is a rather complicated dress, clear pictures are necessary.

Komani cape dress

  • I ended up doing the neckline differently because I couldn’t understand how to finish it. In the instruction, the neckline is finished before attaching the sleeves, I just made a simple neck band strip similar to T-shirt’s neck band.

Komani cape dress

  • My finished dress is a bit different than the technical drawing and the photos in the pattern page. The shoulders on my dress dropped much lower, so probably I have made some mistakes in the process.

Komani cape dress

Apart from all these things, I still think the design is brilliant. I love how the lining pieces shape the armhole area and create the underside of the cape. This is definitely not a basic piece. People will notice the details and make comments about it. I just wish that I can understand how to construct it better.

The dress is also quite comfortable because basically it is a loose knit dress. It will get lots of wear this summer for me. When my husband saw in the dress, he said that it kinda looked like an insect. He really meant that as a compliment though!

Komani cape dress

Komani cape dress Komani cape dress

Pattern is Komani cape dress – Bootstrap fashion custom-fit sewing pattern

Disclosure: Bootstrap fashion has sent me credit store to use in their pattern store. However, the views and opinions expressed are purely my own.

Polka dot plunge bra

Polka dot plunge bra Polka dot plunge bra

Bra draftingAnother self-drafted plunge bra! I want something smooth to be worn under T-shirt, so no pretty lace this time. The fabric is lycra in black with purple dots.

Since I don’t have much space between the breasts, I find that a plunge bra with its lowered center front is comfortable. I also found that I have flared rib, that is why I like gothic arc on center front because it releases some pressure from the band.

Drafting my own bra is great as I can include all the features that I love. This plunge bra has:

  • three piece cups
  • plunge style
  • very narrow bridge (about the width of the channeling under the cups)
  • gothic arch on center front seam
  • back strap extension

Polka dot plunge bra

This is also my first time dyeing my own notions. It was not as difficult as I thought! I used RIT powder multi purpose dye and vinegar. I think the purple looks quite fine. Let’s see how they stand several washing later.

Polka dot plunge bra

Here’s a closer look at the center front. You can see how it ‘dipped’ upwards, and the elastics are overlapped on the inside.
Polka dot plunge bra
Polka dot plunge bra

I should have managed the thread tension better. The purple thread is not supposed to be seen from the outside.

plunge1 plunge2

And here’s the bra on me! Quite happy with the result although as usual I feel that some things can be done better. The upper cup is a bit too low on the side so next time I will make it higher.
Polka dot plunge bra

The panties is made with my favorite low rider panties pattern by Merckwaerdigh. This low rider panties only need very little fabric and they are not too skimpy when worn. They are finished with foldover elastic dyed in purple.

Making bra is quite addictive! I find it amusing that I have spent so many hours measuring and re-measuring my breasts to find the perfect shape bra for them. And each time there is always something new that I found. I don’t think I knew anything about the space between my breasts, the shape and the asymmetry of my breasts, before I learned to make my own bra!

Patterns:

Cap sleeves dress – Bootstrap fashion

Cap sleeves dress - Bootstrap Fashion Cap sleeves dress - Bootstrap Fashion
A couple of months ago, I was approached by Bootstrap Fashion to try their custom-fit sewing patterns. Unlike with other pattern companies, you don’t have the option of choosing regular sizes when buying their patterns. Instead, you put your own detailed measurements, and Bootstrap Fashion will prepare a pattern customized just for your body!

Isn’t this a great idea? I always have to make petite adjustments when using sewing patterns. Other people always need tall adjustment, short waist, full bust adjustment, and other things. With this system, you don’t have to worry about all of these adjustments!

Bootstrap fashion order page

Bootstrap fashion order page

Of course it is always better to make a muslin first. But for the sake of trying out this system, I made this dress without muslin or making any adjustments at all. This is pattern #41689 Knit Classic Princess Seams Dress With Cap Sleeves.

For every measurements, there is a helpful drawing to show where to take the measurements. Later you can save this measurements to use on other patterns. You also have the option of using standard retail measurements.

If you need further fitting adjustments, you can do so by clicking the next tab. There are options for bust adjustment, waist length, upper arm fullness, and so on.

Cap sleeves dress - Bootstrap Fashion Cap sleeves dress - Bootstrap Fashion

The patterns can be ordered in several options of output, in PDF to be printed and in CAD format if you’d like to alter the pattern in drawing program. Pattern price is very reasonable, USD2.99 for each pattern with additional USD0.5 if you’d like to add seam allowance.

Each pattern is ready within 30 minutes after the order, and it comes with written instructions. The instructions are however not very detailed. But this dress is very simple so detailed instructions are not quite necessary.

The fit is spot-on on my body! The dress fits exactly like the drawing in the pattern page. I’m quite happy with this result! I think this should be the future of all sewing patterns, where people can order customized sewing patterns for all body shapes.

Pattern is Knit Classic Princess Seams Dress With Cap Sleeves from Bootstrap Fashion, custom fit size

Disclosure: Bootstrap fashion has sent me credit store to use in their pattern store. However, the views and opinions expressed are purely my own.

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