Monday, February 11, 2013

Liberty and crochet set


This is my new lingerie set, made in Wiltshire Liberty tana lawn, colour Cranberry.  I bought the fabric from Tessuti's in Melbourne whilst we were there last year, along with the Maker's Journal Tried & True knickers pattern.  This pattern is also available directly from the designer here.
The bra is a slightly modified version of KwikSew 3300; modified to take into account the fact that I've used a non stretchy woven fabric.
I've been dying to have a go making Liberty lingerie ever since I spotted the knickers pattern but have been nervous to adapt my bra pattern, at least until I had a bit more lingerie experience under my belt.
btw, readers might like to know that 60cm of Liberty lawn easily makes one 34A bra plus two pairs of size 10 knickers.  And there are scraps aplenty left over to make adorable little pot pourri pouches and things like that, if like me, you are not the type to throw away even the smallest scraps of fabrics as precious as Liberty.

I'ver written a review of the pattern below... but all you need to know is that I absolutely love these knickers!  They might look a bit bunchy and granny-like when pictured off-the-body, but seriously; these are the very definition of cute when they are on and particularly if you have chosen a fresh pretty print like this.  And, surprisingly for un-stretchy undies; very very comfy.
This piccie below is not of me but is the model pictured on the pattern envelope.  But naturally my derriere looks just like this too ...
 ;D
They are super easy to make.
I did make a knickers muslin.  Anyone who knows me will realise how slightly earth-shattering this is... but well. we are talking about Liberty here.  Hello??  This stuff is expensive.  Beautiful, but expensive!  But hey, you're worth it, right?
I made teeny adjustments to the pattern to fine-tune fit.  I also re-drafted the front and the back to have a longer crotch from the front, and accordingly reduced the crotch length in the back.  This allowed me to install a much more substantial panty liner.  That's just a personal preference not necessarily a critique of the pattern.


Above: at left; the amended pattern with altered crotch position and a longer panty liner: at right is the original pattern.  With fair dinkum miniature panty liner.  btw; trace the pattern then flip over to trace the other half to get a full back and full front, I did this for my amended pattern and it is much easier to get an efficient layout on the bias!
The bra:
It's actually pretty easy to adapt the KwikSew pattern to work in non-stretch fabrics too!  An underwired, cotton voile muslin worn for an hour about the house taught me that the stretch factor in a bra is best situated nearly all around at the back and only a small proportion of wearing ease is necessary at the front.  I found I like the front of my bras to be quite firm and structural, and using non stretch fabric here works well... but you do need some stretch and wearing ease at the back.  So I made a modified 34A and lengthened the back bands by roughly 4cm each at the centre back; and used the same lengths of lingerie elastic as recommended in the pattern, pinned in quarters, then gently stretched to fit whilst sewing to the lawn.
Above; the lengthened bands with the same lengths of lingerie elastic as stipulated for a stretch band... see, it doesn't look too oddly puckered.  While I am wearing it, the bands have a gently gathered appearance; obviously some gathering is necessary to avoid putting strain on this delicate fabric.
I wanted the fronts to have something white and lacey and not be all solid Liberty, so found some crocheted lace, another long term resident in my lace box.  I backed the lace centre front piece with beige voile leftover from this top, which is kinda invisible against my skin.  The obsessive in me demanded that I construct my underwire casings like so...
so that on the insides of the bra the underwire casing is camouflaged as much as possible
 and there is no bright Liberty peeking through the lace from the right side of the bra whilst it is being worn.
A layer of white cotton jersey knit of a low stretch factor is sandwiched between the Liberty cups and facings; for a small degree of padding.  The edges of the padding pieces are abutted hard up to the stitching lines and hand-basted to the stitching, before machine stitching inside the edge, to the seam allowances.  This ensures the thicker jersey edges abut each other but with no overlapping which would create "ridges", and no gaps which would create a "ditch".
The shoulder straps are stabilised with iron-on interfacing and topstitched down the centre lengthways, and the stretch factor is provided by satin stitching a length of ordinary braided elastic to the back lower ends.
I chose a narrow, navy blue satin ribbon to make little decorative bows for the set.  This picks up the tiny navy blue touches in this very pretty print.
So; the theme for February's stash-busting is Love!  I'm thinking this luvverly, sorta Valentine-y set fits the bill quite well, don't you??

Details:
Bra; KwikSew 3300, Liberty tana lawn and cotton crochet, my review of this pattern here
Knickers; The Maker's Journal Tried & True knickers; Liberty tana lawn




Pattern Description:
This pattern is by The Maker's Journal.
Everyday knickers; cut to sit low on the hip and cover the entire bottom.  This pattern has been developed for lightweight woven fabrics.
Pattern Sizing:
Australian sizes 8-14 (hips 88cm-108cm); I cut the size 10
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
Pretty much.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions are a bit simplistic; if you know how to attach knicker elastic already then you will be fine.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The fact that this pattern is for woven fabrics is marvellous, opening a whole new world of lingerie in Liberty.  I love that they are regular bikini knickers; and do not look baggy like bloomers or boxer shorts.  They look like real knickers.  As well, these are really very very cute!!
The panty liner piece was too tiny for my tastes, and I modified the pattern to allow a more substantial one.
The required lengths of elastic for legs and waist are not provided with the pattern and you have to visit the company blog to find out how to calculate this information.  Basically; it's the measurement of the openings, minus a third.
Kinda oddly, the instructions did contain directions on how to attach a patch pocket onto your knickers.  Yep.  It outlines how to sew a patch pocket to your undies, but nothing on the measurements of knicker elastic, and how to attach the same.  Hmmm, interesting priorities there...
Fabric Used:
Liberty tana lawn, cotton jersey for the gusset
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I lengthened the crotch on the lower front and accordingly shortened the crotch on the back.  This allowed me to install a much more substantial panty liner.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Definitely, I will be sewing this one again and again and again!  I do recommend this pattern to others.  Just bear in mind that the elastic measurements are not provided and you have to MYO  (measure your own)  
Conclusion:
I love it!!   I will use this pattern over and over again; no doubt about that.  I do love Liberty prints, but the cost of them here is prohibitive.  Being able to run up a pretty lingerie set in this very lovely stuff is the perfect way to add a touch of Liberty prettiness to your life, in a very wearable and useful form; without breaking the bank.  I'm happy!

56 comments:

  1. Liberty smalls, how divine and thank you for the detailed review.

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  2. Knickers out of non stretch fabric, I wouldn´t dare! but you always make such pretty, fabulous things. Love the details on the bra. Now my carnival break is over, I´ll continue trying to make mine.
    Liberty lingerie, what a dream!

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  3. Oh Liberty undies .... I want some!

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  4. I found that sandwiching the knit between the outer and inner layers makes great padding as well and is probably going to be a permanent thing with future sets.. Your fabric and lace combination makes for a pretty set.

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  5. oh my gosh. i can't imagine non-stretch undies, but i'll take your word for it! this set is just to die for, so pretty!

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  6. How fascinating! I'm totally into making my own knit undies, but since I've never had any comfy woven ones (or perhaps any woven ones at all?) it's hard to imagine. How does the pattern compare to a similar style for knits, just a bit larger and gathered into the elastic? All I'd ever considered in wovens were pre-war tap pants.. But the idea of divine Liberty on a hot summer day is soo alluring :-).

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  7. This is a cute set and I love that you make two pairs of undies to match your bra!

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  8. This is my favorite set so far! So pretty. The wiltshire print is my favorite Liberty print. I say this like I use Liberty all the time... *snort*!

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  9. Oh my gosh...so pretty. You really don't ever need to buy any clothing, do you!

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  10. So, so pretty, with all the extra touches like the casings. Very impressive work, lady!

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  11. Ooh, lovely! You are very quickly becoming an expert! I like the idea of making a larger lining. I often find that the linings are too far back - I just thought it was my body shape. Looks like I am not the only one with that issue.

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  12. Oh my, smalls from Liberty! They are just so cute and pretty. I had to laugh at the picture of the "derrière" :-) I just wish I were brave enough to have a go...

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  13. These are just too pretty, love them! All.the hardwares to make a bra look kinda.scary to venture into, but.this set really tempt me, Carolyn...

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  14. Wow, super cute!! I really admire your lingerie sewing!

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  15. Clearly these are my FAVOURITES!!! Obviously. I might need to pick up a pattern for those knickers.. though the bloomer pattern looks cute too.

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  16. What a lovely underwear set, I do like small prints. Ive just bought my first bra pattern, excited and apprehensive at the same time about making a bra. I believe Liberty also make stretch jersey fabric, which is another option, I would never have thought of using Liberty fabrics, thanks

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  17. Love the pretty print of this set and such an impressive way to stash bust! Out of curiosity, do you know roughly how long it takes you to make a bra? I was wondering as all the small details look quite time consuming.

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    1. Philippa; thank you!
      Once you've worked out your correct size and gathered all the bits and pieces then it really takes no more than a few hours to make the bra. Not as long as it looks!

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  18. So very cute! And amazing construction detail - thank you Carolyn!

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  19. Another beautiful set - I think your attention to details really makes a difference. :)

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  20. This is my favorite underwear set ever. It's so pretty!

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  21. Qué bonita te ha quedado la ropa interior con esa tela, es preciosa.

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  22. Gorgeous set Carolyn. Love the fabric and crochet combo.

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  23. Gosh you're good. I still remember seeing the Elvis movies with the girls wearing their bikinis made in woven fabric, way before knits were around.
    You're set looks devine and way better than any woven bikini in an Elvis movie:)

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  24. I love that bra! It's just beautiful! I've never made underwear, but that bra is almost convincing me to try!

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  25. What an absolutely delightful lingerie set. I love that you used such a delicious fabric. You really are becoming an expert at these. Is the cotton comfortable to wear?

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  26. These are too cute for words. I had a bikini not unlike this when I was a little girl.

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  27. I love these sets you make, this especially. I am just about to embark on the KwikSew 330 bra pattern - and will pay special attention to your comments on this.

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  28. You have perfected the art of making lingerie and this is a lovely ensemble! I never thought I wanted to make underwear until following you. Thanks for the inspiration!
    PS..... I also love your writing :)

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  29. this is such a pretty set, and your attention to detail on the underwire casing is very good and a lot less visible than if you had used the print. I have used the non-stretch lace in the front, but incorporated a powernet for the sides to compensate - perhaps I'll have to try this out.

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  30. Oh Carolyn, these are lovely. So pretty! I am still licking my wounds at the moment but you've inspired me to give it another go..

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  31. These are just too cute for words! Your lingerie sets look so professional. I think each set you make has got better and better in terms of construction and these are just perfect.

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  32. Love your set! I am so inspired by your lingerie sewing - I just got in a Jalie pattern and am excited to get working on my first soutien-gorge :-) It is for a wireless bra and a cami with a shelf bra. Perfect (I hope) as I cannot wear an underwire. More please, love your fabric and lace choices and appreciate all the tips and pics.

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  33. What a pretty lingerie!!! I love the mix between liberty and crochet. It reminds me that I have to sew some knickers this year...

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  34. I would have never thought of using non-stretch fabric for under garments, but why not? THe good thing about lingerie is that it doesn't require much fabric -- a little Liberty goes a long way!

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  35. How beautiful. Seems funny to be saying that about underwear, but very true.

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  36. this is gorgeous! and thanks for sharing how to alter a bra pattern to suit woven fabric. i really want to try that out, as the stretch fabric i have for bra is giving me headaches. still trying to make a decent bra...

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  37. This is brilliant! I never thought of making a lingerie set out of a woven fabric but I do have a few Liberty prints in my stash; I will have to try this! Thanks so much for a detailed review and instructions. You are truly inspirational.
    Ingrid

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  38. Carolyn this set is so beautiful - almost too cute to be hidden! I have really got to have a go at making lingerie.

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  39. This is the prettiest set so far, just gorgeous. I am very tempted to try non stretch knickers all of a sudden.

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  40. Carolyn, this little set is absolutely divine, I think everyone will want a set like it. I'm sure the pattern will now sell like hotcakes! Tana Lawn is expensive - I tend to use it for scarves because you get a Liberty effect without too much damage to the budget. They will be so cool to wear in the heat.

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  41. So beautiful - the white lace and navy ribbon are beautiful little touches.

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  42. This is really pretty! I love this delicate print with the lace. I have one yard of Liberty that I've been so nervous about cutting. One of those situations where the expense is making me wishy-washy! It's so smooth and lovely, though--I bet these feel really soft.

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  43. There is just something about the juxtaposition of 'Liberty' and 'underwear' that makes me think 'contradiction'... they sure are pretty though!

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  44. *sigh* I love Liberty prints, and this is such a darling set of lingerie! The crochet trim adds the finishing pretty to wonderful fabric. And good for you making a muslin - I'd do that for anything Liberty, too!

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  45. These are just stunning, I am now tempted to give lingerie making a go! Now to find a pattern in my size.

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  46. I love your lingerie set! I'm curious about the bra's woven cups. Which way did you place the straight of grain?

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  47. Wow! just lovely Carolyn. Love what you did with the casing. Clever idea!

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  48. C'est génial. I've bought this pattern yesterday after so many hesitations. I'm happy to see how beautifull it is. I'm not sure to do as well ... Your blog is fantastic. Sandrine from Bordeaux (France).

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  49. so, so lovely. i'm hoping to start sewing my own pretties & underbits soon, and i keep coming back to your blog for the pattern recommendations & the straight-forward way you talk through why you do things they way you do. this fabric is so pretty! and i simply LOVE the cranberry + navy + crochet lace. yum. thanks for sharing!

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