Monday, November 5, 2012
Seafoam and sand set
Remember my self-drafted bra? Well this was bound to happen. Once I had started producing some bras with nice, properly finished interiors; the days of that far-from-perfect bra were numbered. When I learnt how things were supposed to be done, thanks to KwikSew 3300; those cobbled-together insides became painful to my eyes...
So, ta da! I've made a new(ish) set.
Y'know what? I absolutely LOVE the fact that the two undies both match the bra, but are not identical to each other! You can tell that they all go together, like one happy family; but each has its own personality. Like; they are sisters, but not twins.
Will definitely do this again :)
I took apart the old bra, and re-used as much of the lace as I could, as well as the half-sized padded bra cups and the hook and eye closure. I bought new underwires since the previous ones were too short for this pattern.
For the supplementary fabric I used some lovely soft sand-coloured bamboo jersey leftover from my scrumpled leggings, and had just enough to cut out another pair of undies, using McCalls 2772. I added little scraps of the lace in at the sides of the new knickers before sewing on the elastic; to tie them in with the rest of the set.
Both the fabrics are originally from Fabulous Fabrics.
Y'all know how I like complete and matching sets in my lingerie drawer .... hey, we all have our quirks right? Mine is to have matching lingerie sets; and the two matching knickers per bra combo is pretty much mandatory to my continued sense of balance and order in the world. I'm quite particular in that way :)
Now this set matches my criteria.
And it is finished nicely.
I am at peace.
the nitty gritty...
For the first time I made view A of KwikSew 3300 (my review of this pattern here), with the lace upper cup and a stretch knit lower cup, and once again altered the pattern slightly to allow me to sandwich the padded half-cups inside the lower cup pieces. I used a bit of skinny ribbon for the stabiliser on the lace upper cup. It has no give, and the piece doesn't fit the top of the bra exactly; so I found it necessary to first baste this, easing the lace to fit, then to stitch over my basting stitches.
The underwire casing was made from ice-blue shot cotton, leftover from this top.
The jersey lining of the lower cup "looks" funny; a bit bobbly and boinging out like a trampoline over the concave inside of the moulded cup, but obviously the soft stretch fabric moulds to your body when you are wearing it. I can't think of any way to force it to follow the curve; short of gluing it or quilting it down to the cup. And there's no way I'm going to go to those lengths when it actually fits and feels fine when it's on!
Now for the Tanga lace panties; although they look virtually identical to how they did previously...well, I hope they do!... these too have been taken apart and altered...
This is kinda hard for me, since I absolutely hate to bag a pattern, particularly an independent little pattern from someone kind enough to put a free downloadable pattern up on the internet, from the goodness of their heart, for everybody to enjoy. Such a generous gesture does not deserve a bagging. But the pattern, as it was, did not totally work for me.... why? because the crotch has a front-to-back central seam, combined with NO elasticated leghole edges to help keep the crotch edges... er, out, and apart from each other. It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate; and see that that makes for an enormously uncomfortable pair of knickers, that necessitates one having to snatch plenty of inconspicuous moments in one's day to hoink that wretched crotch seam out from where it has no business being. The liner is one-piece, but is too flimsy to make a heck of a lot of difference, unfortunately.
Moral of the story; beware of knickers with a central crotch seam.
So I removed the old crotch and constructed a new one. I used the one-piece liner pattern piece to cut a new knit liner, and also for a new, stretch elastic crotch. I salvaged some more of the decorative stretch lace border from the old bra, cut two pieces to fit the length of the inside lace edge on the crotch which translates to about 1cm short of the outer edge measurement and sewed it along, stretching it along the outer edge to fit, gathering the side edges in a touch.
I didn't have enough of the original lace to cut a new crotch piece or I would have used it! I had to improvise, using white stretch lace with a over-layer of pale blue poly chiffon; the latter cut a bit bigger all round and sewn on loosely to account for the fact that it does not have stretch in itself. I think it blends in ok. Would you even notice that the fabric was different without this close-up shot?
And y'know what?
Using the liner piece to cut a one-piece crotch, and sewing border strips of stretch lace on at the sides to pull them in a bit.... it's a very tiny adjustment to the ultra-cute lace Tanga knicker pattern, but one that renders them a heck of a lot more comfortable imo. In future versions I will definitely be doing this again! :)