Foam Boobs (bra cup mini-tutorial) and the Last of the Summer Sewing - Part II

Another catchy title. I feel like I've made a hell of a lot of clothes this summer - and as previously mentioned, the ratio of summer dress to sunny day was way off. I have so much left over fabric that was intended for maxi dresses and various summer clothing but in the end it seemed a bit daft to make them just for the sake of it- to the stash they go for next year!

Just to tie in a little with last week's post and the self-drafting course -thought I would share this little dress I made for my holiday in France back in June. There were so many elements I'd not tried before (foam boob details coming up) so it was an experiment.

Using my self-drafted bodice pattern I modified the top to create a sweetheart neckline and low back - it was basically just a case of tracing the general shape of the sun dress onto the bodice and cutting the appropriate shapes out. 

 Now this is where it got crazy - I thought I'd have a go at sewing in some bra cups! As a small busted lady I rarely wear anything that I can't wear a bra underneath and tend to feel like a man in drag if going braless, ruling out most halterneck dresses. I also pretty much hate strapless bras aswell (except M&S - shout out there they do a great one!) but in hot heat figured that might get uncomfortable.

After someone suggested sewing a bra directly into the dress, I thought that was a bit DIY and less seamstress so figured I might just try bra cups and wing it...First I was a cheapskate and got some from eBay. That was a mistake. Thin and round, not shapely at all. I then discovered a website called GlamourSecrets which sells all things bra related and found these amazing bad boys! Bit pricier but the quality is fabulous and they are slightly padded aswell.

 To get the fit right just hold them up to yourself and then attach them together in the middle with a bit of bias tape - you can just see the purple band in the pic. I popped the mini-bra onto my lining pieces, pinned horrendously and just whizzed the machine around the edge.

 The pic above is the finished lining piece where you can see the stitching. Once done it was just a case of lining the bodice as usual! The result is great! Its incredibly comfortable takes away the stress of finding something suitable to go underneath.

I played with the idea of doing cross back straps but in the end a halter neck looked quite nice and stuck with that - the straps are trapped between the bodice and bodice lining. It was a good choice in the end as the day I wore it was 47 degrees C!!!

The skirt was simply my waist measurement and then free handed out to an a-line shape. As the material was floaty it skimmed the hips quite well and hung properly, a bit like a 1/4 circle skirt. It was a little snug at my middle - but by the time I wore the dress it was holiday week 2 and I had a lot of cheese by then heehee.

The fabric is a lovely soft viscose print from Anglia Fashion Fabrics - bright yellow covered with blue hummingbirds, I was really drawn to this and had to purchase!

 And if anyone wants an amazing holiday in France, check out Les Tulipiers run by a lovely lady called Lesley, then immediately book it - could not have been more perfect!

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin too :-) xx

Bright Aztec Self Draft

Et voila! The results of last week's post about trying to self draft a v-neck dress is this little number...

I can't hide the fact I'm slightly disappointed with it - having spent so long perfecting the toile, I had envisaged this to be a really well fitting slinky pencil dress. I'd saved the stretch cotton especially for the occassion - (awesome fabric though - found at Anglia Fashion Fabrics in Norwich).

When I made this dress the skirt was even wider like an A-line - this is a narrowed down version! I also forgot that my muslin was loads shorter than I wanted in real life and cut it as you see above. No big deal as its good for summer at least :-)

For some reason the shoulders also pull a bit awkwardly - no idea how to fix this - it didnt do it on the mock up version. Also the V gapes again - WHY DOES IT DO THAT??! I fixed it by nipping the very end of the V with a bit of stitching to keep it in place.

One thing I do love about this though is the invisble zip - see that?! - No...exactly.
Well - it was a first proper attempt so can't complain really!

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin too :-) xx

Pattern Drafting at Make Place

From trouser obsessions to fitting bodices...I've found another aspect of drafting to lose my mind over. A little while ago I went on another pattern drafting course at MakePlace led by the very wise Jo - and she created a monster!

Another fab day of measuring fellow classmates ("hi nice to meet you - now let me reach across your boobs") and technical drawing with tea and voila...!

A perfectly fitted bodice with a sleeve! I think this looks a bit like fencing attire (or straight jacket - which may be more appropriate in my case) but DAMN its like having the key to unlock a thousand patterns...mwahahaha.

I loved the course, it was mesmerising seeing how seemingly similar sized people could produce a wide variety of different shaped slopers...there's no wonder RTW doesn't fit most folks. Gotta have an average though I guess!

So off we trotted with our cardboard patterns....then the crazy started again.

We learnt how to manipulate darts so of course I instantly wanted to have a go at making a V-neck and see if it worked.

Then a bit of trial and error drafting and adding the skirt half (using ol' faithful Winifred Aldrich book) so that I could make a sloper for a fitted dress.

A well pressed bit of muslin

Once again holding down fabric with anything but normal items - bean cans this time. Could really do with getting some proper weights or something from a DIY shop. Check out these little beauties that Tilly and the Buttons made!

Make Your Own Sewing Pattern Weights!
Photo from Tilly and the Buttons

Next came the fitting and then eventually a finished prototype!! Now lets see what we can do with this now.....the possibilities are endless.....

Drawing on myself - bloody love that bit...massively overestimated side bits.
Ready for dismantling back into pattern format!
Get ready stash you're about to get CUT
How have your drafting adventures been going? 

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin too :-) xx

Sponsor post - Minerva Crafts!

I just wanted to introduce Minerva Crafts as the latest sponsor to the blog! I absolutely love Minerva (hence why it is on here, wouldn't be here if I didn't use them :-) and they have a fab selection of fabric and crafting goodies.

If you follow the link (and yes I do get a mini percentage if you buy) there is currently 50% off Simplicity and New Look patterns. (I've grabbed a few already).

You may even see Crafty Clyde making a little appearance on their blog and tutorial page soon....!

Named Inari

I had been curious about this pattern for a while but after coming into some good eBay luck in the form of neon and black Aztec print Jersey thought it would be perfect!

It's my first go at a Named Clothing pattern which I purchased from Indie Sew. My only issue was that the Inari Tee Dress pattern comes in different PDFs depending on what size you are. According to the chart I spanned between 38 on top and 40 at the hips - the lazy sewist in me did not want to cut and stick 2 files just for the sake of grading a bit.

The pattern is describe as a 'loose cocoon-shaped dress' - I was a little concerned at the word 'cocoon' as there was potential to look like I was wearing a sack or have my ass look the size of Canada.

After a bit of Internet research and reading other reviews I saw a lot of people had opted for the 38. Rachel at House of Pinhiero kindly assisted me on Twitter with some invaluable feedback - cut the size that fits on top as the bottom is very forgiving! Size 38 it is then. And it worked! (Thank youuu)

Apologies for the massively over exposed pics
All in it took about 30 mins to cut out - and 15 mins to sew up! I pretty much did the entire thing with the overlocker. In the end I do really like how the back piece comes round to the front, its a really interesting shape that I wouldn't have normally tried.

There are some fun little details too - love the little side splits. They were the only seams I had to do on the normal sewing machine to get the edges right. Its also got little sleeve cuff bands. I chose not to turn them up though. I also didn't do the neckline as per the pattern - just tidied up the edge with the overlocker and turned under to hem - no facings used.

Another super comfy addition to the wardrobe! However I do now have more summer dresses than there are sunny days in a UK summer - excuse for another holiday?!

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Bettine - Tilly and the Buttons

I tried my first Tilly and the Buttons pattern! I was a big fan since Great British Sewing Bee 1 however I had never tried one of Tilly's patterns before - its not that I have anything against them - but ordinarily the designs are just not things I would wear as my style. HOWEVER in stepped the latest Bettine pattern and that definitely grabbed my attention.

The pattern is described as "an easy-peasy throw-it-over-your-head dress. It has a blousy bodice with scoop neckline, kimono sleeves which hang softly around the underarm, turn-up cuffs, elasticated waistline to cinch you in and flattering tulip skirt."

Tilly you had me at "easy-peasy throw-it-over-your-head" - this is all I require of my clothes. Easy comfort. Oh yeah....and the lack of having to put in a sleeve (::shudder::) After having a little Pinterest stalk to see some versions it was clear that the pattern had great potential for effortless style.

This was the kind of dress I envisioned for my blue liberty fabric - in fact it looks a lot like the example dress used on the Liberty website to demonstrate the patterns.

As I have a massive fear of chopping into 'special' fabric - I did a test run with some very cool Glow in the Dark Sugar Skull fabric by The Textile Centre (via eBay). I didn't expect to love this fabric as much as I do - it glows in the dark dammit!! Here is the result:

I followed the pattern and sizing chart exactly to see what it would turn out like - this one is cut size 5 on top and graded to size 6 for the bottom half. As it was a test version I went for all the bells and whistles (well, cuff tabs and pockets).

Firstly the pattern itself is beautiful - a very bright packet, full booklet of colour photo instructions and high quality paper for the pattern itself. In true Tilly fashion I traced it onto Swedish Tracing Paper (which by the way is AMAZING).

The instructions are very clear and easy to follow at every stage. I really liked how the construction was very simple but effective and how neat the insides turned out too.

Constructing the pocket
Inside out!
 The ONLY changes I made to this pattern was to lengthen it by about an inch for a better length (I'm 5ft7) and then when making the elastic casing. Instead of pressing and sewing it down onto the skirt and pockets, I pressed it up onto the bodice. I found that pressing it downwards obscured the clean lines of the pockets a bit as they get gathered aswell, plus the skirt rode up a bit and made it look quite 'hip-py' which was not very flattering. A very simple change though, made a lot of difference.

It really is a fab little dress - incredibly comfortable and as promised, easy to throw on and go.

Here is a few close up pics of the details:

cuff and cuff tab
pocket and waist
bodice - I hadn't pressed the neckline at this point!

So testing done - onto the Liberty Lawn! Come and say hi on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin too :-) xx