Friday, February 26, 2016

Wrapping it up

Aka the Appleton Dress. I love the looks of a wrap dress, but never have gotten around to making one. I'm a little scared of them, the exposure that is.  But after reading the pattern description - different cup sizes, no gaping in the neckline, play up your curves! Yes, please.

It still took a little bit of time to get around to sewing it. In the interim, I read all the reviews I could find. I found them mostly favorable with several mentions of being short-waisted. Since I am short-waisted, I decided to sew as is the first time to determine where it fell on me.  I should have done some measuring and math to figure it out before I cut, but I was tired and in a brain fog.

For the record I am 5' 10" and my back nape-to-waist measurement is approximately 14.5". My other measurements put me pretty squarely in the a size 12 C/D cup and size 14 from the waist down. There is a suggestion in the directions that to get more coverage in the bust area, go up a cup size. After checking out how much negative ease is built into this pattern, I went with a size 14 E/F in the shoulders and bust, and graded out to a 16 from the waist down.  I also added about 5" to the length at the hem.

Overall I am pretty happy with my dress.  Even for as short-waisted as I am, I felt like I was constantly needing to tug the ties down into a more comfortable spot.  So on the next make I will add about an 1" just above the waist to get it in the right spot. And I made the long-sleeved version, which was not quite long enough. It's okay, because I tend to shove my sleeves up, but it's something to keep in mind.
The most difficult thing about this dress was the fabric I chose.  It was probably the most slippery, thin, and rolled on every edge.... maybe a slight exaggeration.  But I will look for a slightly beefier fabric next time.  The pattern went together very well otherwise.

I think it is a flattering fit and I have received several unsolicited compliments while wearing it.  Can't beat that and I am off to make at least one more.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

P.S. I am still scared of them.  Thank goodness for tights, while crossing the parking lot and catching an unexpected gust of wind, I probably showed quite a few people more than they wanted to see. So next time I will also see about extending the "wrap" portion of my dress.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Maya Bra

Whew! It's been awhile. All those good intentions I had at the beginning of 2015 were derailed by a health issue that zapped all my physical and mental energy. So I am rolling them over to 2016 - reduce, reuse, recycle, hehehe. 

I actually finished the Maya bra in January. It's a new to me pattern and it's free! A very nice pattern that goes together well.  The only issue I ran into was in the way the sizing is chosen.  You measure for your band size and then you use your wire size to determine the cup size.  I am evidently one of those people whose breast base is wider than my actual cup size. Which would explain a lot of my trouble in RTW even though I am not that odd a size. I settled on size 85E.


She is made from some left over ITY and a sheer non-stretch lining for the cups and the bridge.  I added some straps that I saw on Beverly Johnson's Designer Bra class on Craftsy. They are also ITY and I interfaced with a lightweight fusible to remove the stretch.  Black powernet for the back. I also modified the back for a leotard back instead of the straight one that was drafted.

I made her without the cut and sew foam, mostly just to see if I could and how it would work.  I think it worked pretty well.  So far this has been one of the most comfortable bras I have worn. I am still trying to decide if I prefer the foam or not, but in the meantime you can't have too many bras in the lingerie drawer, right?

I enclosed all the interior seams in a method similar to this one.  And I wish I was organized enough to tell where all the notions, elastics, etc. came from but they have been accumulating in my stash for a while and I really don't have a clue about most of it.

Sorry, not brave enough to post pictures of me wearing the Maya, but I do really like the nice round shape she gives.  The girls are well supported and hoisted front & center.

And while I was at it, I made a fitting band, she's not neat or pretty, but she sure has been helpful. And I wish I could claim credit for the idea, but I read about it here. I modified it a little, but it is the same basic idea.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne