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Topics - BrendaP

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In the wardrobe / Three dresses finished
« on: March 12, 2017, 13:10:39 PM »
Some of the fabric which I ordered whilst we were between forums is now made up, I've done the finishing touches, hems etc, this morning.

The black dress is a lovely piece of poly viscose Jaquard. 
Simplicity 1485
Not very clear from the photo but I put in a very narrow red piping, pleased with it except that it's slightly shorter than I would have chosen - I should have paid more attention to the pattern.

The pink and grey is Vogue 9145
It's OK but I'm not really hapy with it.  Pattern instructions said plain seams and then finish raw edges by hand!  I overlocked all the edges first, then did plain seams but in hindsight it would have been neater if I'd just overlocked seams.
I omitted the ugly shoulder opening from the beginning.  I did put in a side zip but took it out again when I had to make lots of adjustments to the armholes; the dress will go over my head without any openings.
Those panels are all cut on the bias and as with a lot of bias cut things they don't hang straight (it's the difference between the way the warps and wefts of the fabric torque.)  It won't hang straight on a hanger and it was very difficult to get both arms the same.

The purple/green/blue is a hack between NewLook 6370
and the overskirt of Butterick 4790
I had to take it in a bit because I didn't allow for the very stretchy fabric, which meant taking out the zip which went in perfectly, but again it's not needed so it's another pull over the head dress which I am wearing now and will wear it for the rest of the day (going for a pub Sunday lunch shortly).  It's the best of the three and the least expensive. :D

Patchwork & Quilting ... Welcome to the Darkside / Quilt sizes
« on: March 04, 2017, 20:44:28 PM »
Imi has asked me to post a few suggestions as to how big a quilt should be, so here goes:

Quilts intended to go on a bed usually have an overhang of 8-12 inches on each side and at the foot of the bed and reach to the headboard.  Thus the size of a quilt is dependent on the size of the mattress.  The table embedded below shows suggested sizes for the various sizes of mattress commonly available in UK and doesn't always match standard duvet sizes. 

I have used imperial measurements rather than metric because most patchworkers use imperial measurements.

Newborn babies usually sleep in a pram/moses basket size crib and are best covered with light blankets rather than a quilt, but a quilt may be used as a playmat placed on the floor.  The size to fit a standard cot, 36" x 45" is a suitable size for a playmat.

Lap quilts can vary a lot in size.  To cover legs and feet whilst sitting in a chair, 36" x 48" is big enough, but to snuggle right underneath 54" x 72" is a popular size.  Remember these are only suggestions, a few inches either way is OK, especially with the bigger quilts.

Wall hangings vary tremendously in size; it depends on the available wall space.  Just make sure there is a small amount of wall left all around the quilt when it is displayed.

Cushion covers are commonly 15" x 15", 16" x 16", 18" x 18" and 20" x 20", and remember that the pad inside should be 1-2" bigger so that the cushion is nice and plump.

Standard UK pillow cases are 20" x 30".

What lies beneath... / Sources of bra making materials
« on: March 02, 2017, 23:05:45 PM »
There are only a few retail outlets for the specialist materials needed to make a bra, and many of them are in America. 

If you start with Beverley Johnson's Craftsy course on bra making everything she refers to is available from her shop Bra makers Supply in Canada  Many of the products are also available from B-Wear in Sweden and recently Fit2Sew in UK started stocking the same products.

My red bra;sa=view;pic=11 was made with a kit from B-Wear.  It included more than enough fabric, channelling and band elastic but the strap elastic was quite short; they assumed you would be making the front part of the straps with fabric, which I wasn't planing to do, so I substituted different red strap elastic.  Also the red lace was IMO a very poor colour match so I didn't use it with the rest of the kit.  I did use it as a contrast with black;sa=view;pic=14 and I am glad I didn't use it with the red duoplex because with washing and wearing the red lace is now mid pink!

Another source of kits is Merckwaerdigh in The Netherlands.  My second bra was made from one of her kits, and although it looked nice the facric was a type of scuba and it made me really itchy and I couldn't wear it :'(  even after a couple of washes.  I am not usually allergic to fabrics.  I still have bits of a second kit (with lace and tricot fabrics) from there in stash.  Lovely bright colours but the elastics are all a bit flimsy and I didn't like the wires which are flat instead of the more usual round cross section.

Most of the fabrics, elastics and hardware I have used has come from The Sewing Chest.  The main criticism of there is that unless you want to stick with plain black or plain white it is unlikely that you will be able to find all the required elastics in matching colours.  My black and red bra;sa=view;pic=15 and my black and gold bra;sa=view;pic=13 are both made (mostly) from materials from Sewing Chest.  Both have upper cups made from embroidered edging which has a mirrored design so that the cups match.  My burgandy bra;sa=view;pic=12 has black wings because they didn't have any bugandy power net or substitute.  I also made knickers to match using lightweight powernet at the back and that really hasn't worn well, there are bits of elastane fibre sticking out all along the edges. :(

I have bought elastics from The Bra Shop in Liverpool and found they were very quick to post, but I haven't bought fabric or a kit from there.

An online source of bra patterns is Orange  I have used their Marlborough;sa=view;pic=14 pattern a couple of times.  Because bra pieces are small, even with the bigger sizes, it's not usually necessary to join any bits of .pdf patterns.

VeryKerryBerry  has a list of other suppliers, but as I haven't used them I can't comment.

A couple of other useful websites with bra-making info are:

Edited to make the links work properly!

What lies beneath... / Materials for bra making
« on: March 02, 2017, 22:15:07 PM »
A bra is anly a small garment but it needs a lot of different fabrics, elastics and hardware.  Buying a kit is one way of getting all (or most!) of the bits needed but in time you will amass a stash of some things and need to stock up on other bits.

Drawing of bra anatomy attached so that it's clear which bit I'm referring to.
Sometimes the wing and the outer part of the cradle are cut as one, sometimes there is a dividing seam.
Cups have at least two pieces, often three or more pieces.

Generally it is recomended that knit fabrics are used for bras rather than woven fabrics.  IMO that is probably as much to do with the non-fray properties of most knits and the narrow seam allowances (1/4"- 6mm) used.

For comfort in wearing the wings need to be stretchy, but at the same time quite strong as much of the support actually comes from the wings.  Firm/heavy powernet is best, or a heavyweight lycra but if in doubt use your lycra fabric double.

The bridge, and the rest of the cradle if not cut with the wing piece, needs to be rigid; ie non-stretch.  The fabric often recommended is duoplex.  Other fabrics will need to be underlined with a non-stretch 15 denier 'bra lining'. Plain net curtain fabric will also work so long as it doesn't fray.

The lower cup also should be non-stretch and underlined with 'bra lining.
The upper cup can have a little stretch in smaller sizes, but larger sizes should be underlined.

If you want to use lace for the cups use skin coloured bra lining.

The lower band elastic is the most important.  It is plush on one side and usually with a picot edge.
The under arm elastic is similar, but usually a bit narrower

Some bras have a neckline elastic which is narrow with a fancy edge.  Often it's the same sort of elastic which is used around knicker legs.  If the upper cup is lace it's more usual to sew a very narrow (2mm if you can get it) soft elastic, or transparent swimwear elastic,  along the inside of the cup just below the dips of the lace scallops.

Strap elastic, also sold as suspender elastic, is quite firm with only a little stretch.  It comes in a range of widths from about 8mm up to 25mm.  The bigger the bra/cups and the more support that needed the wider the strap elastic should be.

Wire channelling is a fabric tube which is stitched around seam between the cups and the cradle and into which the wires are inserted.  It is usually a plush fabric but occasionally smooth knit.  A non-wire style bra still needs either channelling or a seam tape stitched over the seams.

Hook and eye fastenings are the usual back closure.  They can be 1, 2, 3 or more hooks deep and usually have two or three rows of eyes for adjustment.  The hooks are always attached the right back and the eyes to the left back.
For a front fastening bra either a bikini clip or hooks with a single row of hooks can be used.  The difficulty is fitting it into the width of the bridge.

The straps are usually made with one end passing through a ring and then to an adjustable slider.  The ring is attached to the back of the wing, usually by means of a short piece of strap elastic.  The diameter of rings and sliders should match the width of the strap elastic.  Wider straps use a second pair of sliders in place of the rings.

There are a number of different styles of wire depending on the style of bra and it is important to but the right style and the right size.  Here is a lot of useful information about bra wires.

Tutorials / Dresden Sunflower
« on: March 01, 2017, 10:13:25 AM »
In preparation for a workshop I will be leading at craft club in a few weeks time I have designed a panel uusing a Dresden plate applique with a few other bits added that could be used for a cushion cover or maybe a bag.

All the instructions, which say hand or machine stitch because we don't have machines to use at club, are on my website:

Chrysanthemum has already had a go and she says it took her 2 hours, 20 minutes which sounds about right for the 5 hour workshop day which will include lots of chat, coffee and lunch breaks, then show-and-tell and raffle at the end.

To Celebrate the grand opening of The Sewing Place I would like to run a little competition and to winner I will send three Fat Quarters of fabric in the colours of your choice.

All you have to do to enter is tell me how many words (English Language) you can make from the letters.

Proper nouns (names which usually have a capital letter) not allowed.

Don't post your words, just the number.  If you post and then think of a few more you can enter again - and again.

Closing date will be midday on Saturday 4th March after which I will ask the poster of the highest number to post their words here.  In the case of that entry containing a lot of non acceptable words I might need to ask the poster of the second highest number to post their words.

I will be guided by the Oxford English Dictionary but the final decision will be mine.

Corsets / Name of child board
« on: March 01, 2017, 09:29:34 AM »
Dear Admin

Would it be possible for you to change the name of this child forum to Bras and Corsets rather than just Corsets.

IIRC the old TSF had more postings about bra maing than it did about corsetry.

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