Sunday, 26 June 2022

Bra top / bralet prototype


This is something I have been intending to make so quite a while. However I did not want to cut into some new decent fabric until I had used it for eg a shirt or leggings so I waited. Its really annoying when you cut a new bit of fabric to then realise you cannot make what you originally wanted from it so for small things like this bra I prefer to wait until I have some offcuts left over. Its just more cost effective. 

Some time ago I wrote a short post to remind me of a bra or exercise top I found that I thought was really nice and looked very comfy. 

 This is what I am inspired by:

My top though is  just a protoype but I am so far very happy so will assuming it stays in place today, be making more because its easy. Also I will probably have a go with the mesh insert atsome point once I have perfected the restof it. 

 

My back is slightly different but I may do it like the original next time.

The centre back on this is more like the RP bikini top. Though that one is a bit wider to give a gathered back but its very similar. 

Its also as you can see really badly sewn:

I had loads of recent sewing machine issues which I believe ( fingers crossed!) that I have now sorted and this top was made during the adjusting / sorting process so the stitching is quite uneven and has problems with tension. That does not actually matter for my purposes which was to make a prototype that is comfy and lacks elastic because recently all my bra tops have been so uncomfortable. I am not sure why but I am finding anything tight really annoying. Even things that have been staples for a year or so have become unbearable. So I am attempting to make some comfortable undies I can handle wearing for more than an hour or so. Its really not "done" where I work to go bra-free unfortunately so I must wear some kind of undies.

This top relies totally on lycra in the fabric. The main body is french terry cotton/ lycra used to make my sweatshirt dresses so not sure how comfy this will be. I have had the top on for about an hour so far and it seems good. The edging is swimwear fabric. The lower band is just swimwear fabric doubled into a band and to make it tight enough I cut it about 2 inches or 10cm shorter than the hem and stretched to fit. So far its working and staying put where it should do.

Patterns:

Back piece is the Noelle from Madalynne ( free) and the front is the RP cami top. Next version - or at least the next version I cut because I have one cut out already the same as this, I will try to narrow the back racer part to make it neater. Otherwise it needs to fold over like I did here because Noelle is desgned to have proper bra parts such as rings, bra straps and sliders. IE its a bra. This is more pf an exercise top and hopefully will solve my current comfort troubles.

Again not very professionally finished. But looks ok from the outside at least - ignoring my dodgy tension anyway:

Though I am very happy how the seams on the side actually almost line up - this is something I am really not very good at and many thinsg I make do not line up right.

The bottom band has just one seam. Its one piece folded over. I decided the seam would be batter at one side but it may be more usual to put this at CB.


The success of course will come down to whether the bottom band stays in place or slips upwards. So far its doing well but I have yet to do housework, gardening etc. 

Well we are cutting hedges in the garden today so that should be a good tester. If I make more of these you can know that this desgn works.

Have a good weekend and thanks for popping by my blog,

Bracken

Saturday, 25 June 2022

White velvet hoody dress - Faery clothing

Well why did I make this? 

I actually bought the white lace to make undies and the white velvet was bought for colour blocked winter sports wear which I realised I was not up to sewing well enough to make it look professional so I decided to abandon that and make the warm winter lounge wear in plain colours which did work well. I still wear some of that even now the weather is ( mostly) warmer.


This is kind of a bit bridal for me and I tend more towards black and darks than pastels and white but I made it to use up the fabric which will otherwise stay stashed for who knows how long. I seem to love this style of top so it seemed a good use for the fabric and I think maybe this will get a lot of wear this summer. I made a very similar black cotton and lace version here:

So not a very adventurous pattern for me really but this is a adventurous colour - at least for me.

Probably time to stop with this particular style of dress/ top now. I do love this look though!
Again this dress has mitts.


Its another high low hem as well though I must admit to very rubbish hem sewing on this one.

It has some wrinkles as the curves got sewn. I just could not get it right. It is down to the fabric which is very soft and stretchy - of course thats also going to make it very comfortable.
I am really unsure of the bright white colour though. Still the reason to make your own clothing is not just to get original things but also to experiment when perhaps you normally would not.


Its  a better length than the camo dress I made last week though, and yet still short which was my aim so all is not lost on this one. Next #MMM I will see how much it has actually got worn. 

I need to make some other style now though. Mind you its very tempting to make more of the same because I like wearing them. 

And the hoody being also a cowl works really well for work when its much harder to wear hoodys. Mind you this dress is not work wear.



Time has yet to see how much I will actually wear this but its an interesting make for me personally. It breaks the usual mould of what I am prepared to wear and being a style I love at the moment it should mean the fabric is not wasted. Though its pretty much a bad buy full stop for me to invest in white usually. We will see. 

Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great weekend

Bracken


Thursday, 23 June 2022

So many sewing machine problems!

 Well I hope everyone else has been having a better time than me with sewing over the past few weeks. I have managed to sew a couple of items but only wovens. Even that has come to a standstill the last week or so.

It all began with sewing knits:

I have two overlockers. One I bent the upper looper and possibly also lower looper on years ago and the repair mans call out before even looking at it was so much I decided to just buy a new one. I bent the loopers back but the tension has never since been good enough for knits. Its not too bad for the edging on cottons and wovens though so I kept it. 

Then when I made my most recent sweatshirt - grey glitter with mitts - well ages ago now - I got it all jammed up. That was the newer of my overlockers. I changed the blades though the old ones seemed fine because it jammed and would not cut. It did not fix the problem!

After several weeks of fiddling with the thing I asked my partner for help. I spent the past 4 days with the help of my partner trying to work out what exactly needs adjusting or replacing. Finally it works after working through the entire manual. It was actually the screw on top that finally made it work right though it was a long process of trying out different things to get the tension and cutting correct againand often undoing what we had altered and then redoing it in different orders. But it works!

I tried it out doing some test stitching and it does seem to work now. I have yet to actually try to make anything but the overlocking tension seems ok for now at least.

But during all this time I have been sewing wovens. And yes perhaps I favour the knits too much because  have a huge stash of woven fabric that I do not seem to make much from so maybe its time to try to use some up. Especially since its sumer and woven cotton is nice then and auguably more comfortable than jersey.

So here I am sewing some woven fabric and the machine has sent the tension out here as well. Bearing in mind I rarely use this machine - its a basic Janome that has never gone wrong in any way before - but I also have a very old Brother that I use more often - mainly because the newer Janome will not sew with a twin neeedle and as I said I seem to like sewing with knits best. Anyway this just seems so unreasonable that this machine also will not sew correctly. 

So now I spent most of today trying to get that right again. I did some zigzagging this morning on the edge of a bra top ( that ones jersey though and the last thing I managed to sew before my "newer" overlocker gave up on me, so before any of the above described fixing came about) and yet again the tension is out even after spending hours adjusting it. Ah its so frustrating!

Its not like I do not clean or oil the machines because I do. I am though now seriously considering paying the rather extortionate call out fee for the sewing machine repair guys and getting them to look at ALL of my machines and give them all a service or whatever they need. Thats assuming I only have to pay the call out fee once though! I have not yet asked. It worked out last time that it was just cheaper to spend £200 ( so loads!) on a new machine. 

Seriously how do they stay in business when they charge so much!

Ah well rant over and it would appear that actually I have managed at last to repair my Janome myself. Its taken most of 4 weeks of fiddling around but all my machines are now working again so maybe I can actually get some serious sewing done at last.

Bracken

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Camo short dress / top

  

This is scuba and very good quality. Its also camoflage though thats hard to tell from these photos. It has lycra but really is not very stretch at all.. I bought both green camo and blue camo and made as much from this fabric as I can squeeze out. I have an idea for a short skirt made of a mix of the two colours from the scraps but am still working that one out. 

This is McCalls 6612 so the same pattern I used for the lace hoody cowl dress but with a T shirt type band on the neck instead. It was intended as a dress but as you can see its really very short. That means it could end up as a dress or a long top depending on my mood. All then is not lost despite the length. Really its because I high lowed the hemline making the front short. Still its something I do not have in my wardrobe and I do love camo!

If I do manage to have a romantic night out at least I could wear this then. I do not have much of this kind of thing in my wardrobe these days. I seem to have loads of hoodys and joggers.

The dog in the below photo is my faithful Roger.



Ah and I added Mitts to this.

Have a great week, 

Thanks for popping by to visit me,

Bracken

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Navy Burda Sun Top

 

This top is made from scraps left over from the Navy Steampunk Skirt so they go well together. So its made from very stretchy "denim" type of fabric. The pattern says to use sweatshirting or poplin depending on which view you make and you can also make a very cute dress from this top pattern which I have yet to try. It also says to add a side zip which I decided I do not need. With a more solid/ less stretchy fabric I would need to add one though but I was trying to keep it all as simple as possible for my first version of this top.
Rather than hem this I just overlocked all edges and added stretch lace.
This is not the best made top but its ok for a muslin. The front panels are very inexpertly sewn but probably you cannot see on these photos but believe me its not quite right. There is a bad pucker on one of the front panels. Its very tricky maneuvering the different pieces into position to sew it together. Now I understand how it goes together the next version will be much easier to sew.

 The pattern is Burda Style 114,06/2016. Its a bustier but with unusual construction. I actually traced this years ago but never made it and lost half the pieces so had to retrace some of this to make it. I have actually had this on my to-make list since I received the magazine through my letterbox back in 2016.

I found it quite confusing how the pieces go together and needed to use the never-very-easy-to-understand Burda instructions. Usually I avoid Burda instructions if at all possible but this time I did have to interpret them. 

Its one of Burda's more interesting designs in the construction though. It will be much easier sewing it together second time around anyway though I may just stick the bottom bits of fabric together next time and cut as one piece because its pointless having so many joins on the bottom band - although this does allow for making from offcuts! Or a bit of colour blocking.

Its actually also a very omfortable sun top so I defitinely want more of these but will wait until I have enough offcuts and make two or three at once I think. That will make the sewing up easier because I can just repeat for each step and not have to keep deciphering Burda's bad translations of directions.

Ah also I am wearing my sun sandals today because its not wet and I need to wear them in order to know where to add some soles. They seem to go well with this skirt.

Take care and have a lovely weekend

Bracken

 

Saturday, 4 June 2022

Orange cullotte shorts, #MMM22

The problem with May in England is one day its really warm the next freezing cold and raining. Today is warm.

The orange lycra velvet was sold me as fluorescent. It could be. Its certainly very bright. I have not worn these under UV light though so cannot know for certain. Its a good quality stretch dancewear grade from a random seller online. I should have bought more!



 

The pattern is the Rebecca Page cullottes which I used a while ago at Christmas. Theres also a me made mask in the below picture. I am so glad they have gone now. Or at least we only need to wear them in health places like doctors, hospitals etc.

 

I still enjoy wearing them even though we are now well into spring and they have glitter in them! I actually cut these orange ones out back in November/ December but then they never got sewn up. I decided they were too bright and too short for Christmas. I kind of feel there should be a length between the very short and the very long ones in the pattern. These are good for summer though.

 

And they have pockets! Though thats the hardest part to sew. No idea why because usually I do not have problems with pockets but both this pair and the Christmas longer pair I had the same issues, so I think its to do with the curve angle on them. As in my overlocker does not like that particular angle round the pocket for some reason. I ended up reinforcing the pockets with a normal zigzag. You cannot see it and at least I know they will not fall appart.


I like these though. Love them. I have loved cullottes since my teens. I mean they look like skirts but have the practicallity of shorts. And this pair really do mimic skirts.

And very easy to sew. The waist band/ basque has no elastic and relys on the shaping to keep them up. It works perfectly. So they are extremely comfy and could be loungewear as well. Though I do want to wear these in the sun on weekends.

I suppose I could argue the original black cullottes kind of fit into my current faery theme though -being glittery. The orange shorts will as well, but more summer faery than spring faery I think, and a bit more leaning towards sport. Still versatility is good.

I like these despite maybe they are shorter than I expected. But they should make a nice change from my usual combat style shorts that I have been wearing for about 20 years, or cut off jeans which I have probably worn closer to 50 years!

So these will be good for me. A bit more dressed up than my usual shorts look but I think they will be nice and soft for summer because the fabric is really lovely and very soft and should be comfy too, so I suppose these would also have worked with my winter loungewear collection, which in fact was when they were cut out, but then it just was not the right weather for them. The next few months these should come into their own and I actually feel slightly ahead of the game with these - for once!

I have some white velvet so I may just make a top to go with them. Not sure of a pattern yet though................

Ah and they are worn here with a Noelle bra top which I really made as underwear but then it is lined and its a warm day today. And its camo!

See you tomorrow

Bracken


Tuesday, 31 May 2022

31st May 22, #MMM22

 

Well I have finished #MMM22 which I must admit this year started to drag a bit and I was thinking maybe I would cop out. I didn't. 

Though perhaps there is a lack of lovely dresses here. My wardrobe is full to the brim of dresses which I do wear but mostly when not working. It just seems so pointless wearing nice clothing for work. 

I also have two looks - well three really. I have my respectable work clothes which I wear to the office (and I need much less with hybrid style working). My track suits which I also wear when working from home, and my more interesting clothing which is the real me, that I wear when not working that tends more towards gothic/ hippy and this year Faery inspired.

 

My white fleece hoody - its on the list of should I chuck this? - because its not really me but on the other hand there will then be a hole in the warm clothing which I will need to fill so this might be staying a bit longer. 

I made this because at some point when buying online I had purchased 2m of white fleece because it was very cheap. I do love a bargain even when its something I normally would not buy. Despite the fact its white I do wear this. Buying things like this regardless of the price though is something I must stop doing. It just expands the already too large fabric stash. I need to control myself. You know how it is though: you are already buying £30+ of fabric and you see this fleece for £2 ( ish) a metre and its just so tempting to add a couple of metres to the order. And so the stash builds. 

Anyway for now I think I am keeping this hoody. Its just too warm and useful to get rid of. 

My camo leggings which are  actually very nice to wear though much less stretchy than proper exercise clothing. They are also much warmer and I wear these even in the snow. I have made several pairs of scuba leggings over the last few years and they are very good to wear. These despite supposedly having lycra in are less stretchy than most I have made but I do love them though I turned the waistband over - as the patttern tells you to do - and in future will add an extra waistband because these are a bit lower on the waist than I prefer in leggings. They tend to fall down. Thats something I may need to change when I have time. These also I am keeping. They need someting like a black waistband since I have no camo fabric left. If I use this fabric again I will also make them just slightly wider on the lower legs because they tend to wrinkle round my knees.

 


Ah and I am also wearing my hand knitted green socks. Thats how wet and nasty today is here. Its not really rainy just that light drizzle that if you walk long in it you get really wet.

Well I hope you have enjoyed #MMM if you have been taking part in it. I have.

Its certainly worth doing though maybe not every year beause you decide what you need to make for the rest of the year and also what you do not really wear. So a useful exercise as well and quite a bit of fun seeing what others are wearing and since it includes all me made - bags, jewellery, shoes as well as clothing its a nice way to see what others are making. I love #MMM. 

Though as usual by the 31st I tend to be lagging a bit.

Thanks for popping by and see you soon

Bracken

Monday, 30 May 2022

29th and 30th May #MMM22

 29th May

I seem to have got most of my photos for this #MMM22 when out dog walking!
This is my fluoro orange track top and my grey tracksuit trousers
And the dog is Roger.

 
Well this top besides its got a wavy zip so is very imperfect is a keeper. As in I am not getting rid of this one. If you have been following my #MMM adventure this year you will know I am having a major clear out of me mades - and also of RTW though I do not nowadays have much RTW in my wardrobe anyway.
 

30th May 

Well very boring today but to be honest I am not feeling very well and was luckily working from home so I slobbed in my glittery grey tracksuit - with a me made top under it that I forgot to get a photo of .

I am also wearing a me made hair band

Finally just because why not here's a photo with loads of baby geese of all different ages taken in the grounds of Warwick Uni. Lovely aren't they? 

Tomorrow is the end of #MMM22 and I have to say I am looking forward to not needing to remember to get photos. Though it is nice to do this once a year.

Take care and see you tomorrow

Bracken

Saturday, 28 May 2022

28th May and counting down #MMM22



  

It does start to get a bit difficult at about this point doing #MMM. Though I did manage one year to do most, if not all of June as well, but I think a month is long enough.

So I need a new challenge soon. I need to finish of the Fae inspired dresses and clothing and move on to something else - maybe with still having a bit of Fae influence though since for me its the year of Faery clothing. And I am enoying wearing what I have made so far. 

My new overlocker blades arrived yesterday so I need to change the old ones and finish off the Fae clothing I have cut out. Its currently in individual freezer bags so that I can find all the bits for each item easily. Since I cut it ut a month or two ago I canot even remember what is in those bags now. I tend to cut lots though and then keep safe in small plastic bags ( which of course I do reuse loads of times) because its just easy then. A bit like I would imagine a kit is to sew up.

OK so top picture is my black My Image top/ jumper with red comfy velvet joggers.

Below under the New Image top I am wearing my only ever version of the Angela Kane top I made for a BBQ last year. Its a bit creased since just this morning I got it out of storage after winter but it does not matter since its a weekend so I can be creased today. I will wash and iron for the next wearing. 

I just love the bow in the back of this!


So only 3 days left. I need to try and wear something more interesting each day till the end of #MMM now.

Thanks for popping over and see you soon,

Bracken