Ohh La La Pin Up Sew Along Pt 2... Attaching the back of the corselet and Adding elastic to top and bottom

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anna posted on Sunday about how to line the short-version bra.  Her technique can be used on the long line version as well.  I often line just my cups using a technique similar to Anna's, but I attach my lining prior to sewing my side seams, and sew both my lining and self fabric into my side seam.  I love how many ways there are to finish a garment.  

Our side, and side back seams will be finished with a stitched down french, or flatfelled seam, just like we did on the side front seam.  You could also zig-zag or serge your seams.

To finish the upper and lower edge of the bra, I am using a 1/2" picot edged lingerie elastic.  Apply the picot elastic just like we did the bra elastic.  Baste the elastic on using a wide narrow zig-zag stitch, pulling gently as you go. Your stitching line should be about 1/2" in from the raw edge, and the picot edge of your elastic should be facing in towards the body of the garment.
Your basted on elastic should pull the fabric 1-2" shorter.
Stretch your elastic out to make sure it will stretch to fit.  Now is the time we will want to make any necessary changes to the snug-ness of the elastic. You may want to trim back your seam allowance at this point, to prevent any raw edges from poking through.
Folding your elastic under, zig-zag your elastic down towards the inside of the garment, pulling your fabric flat as you go.
Add your elastic around all raw edges of the corset, except for the center back seam where we will be adding hook and eye tape.

The inside of your corset should be nicely finished with no raw edges, and the outside trimmed with your delicate picot trimming!

Just a couple of steps left to go - adding the hooks and eyes, straps, and embellishments.

Who wants to sew a pair of panties after?

Non-lingerie related things I did this weekend...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ah... my almost weekly Monday Morning Post.

After having 3 & 4 day weekends while we were finishing up fixing up the house, going back to 2 day weekends is agony.  By the time I've finished cleaning, a bit of socializing (my best friend came up for a visit from the city), unwinding, it's time to go back to work again. I really feel like Ohhh Lulu has gone to the wayside a bit...

I've also taken up yoga, which is taking up my Monday & Wednesday nights.  This, I am happy about.  Working more... not so happy.  But that's life, right?  Yoga has been great.  I am doing Bikram once a week; every week I feel like I get a bit better, and I definitely have more energy to fit in more work! ( haha) Seriously though, I am so grateful for my life right now; a job that I mostly enjoy, the free time to slowly nurture a small business...

This weekend, I also snuck in some sewing for myself.  I'm working on a few pieces for my personal spring/summer wardrobe, and this is one: a Raglan Sleeve 3/4 sleeve tee which I am actually wearing today.

I added a lace heart to the back for a little interest.  When I wear my hair down, it gets covered completely, but when I wear it up in a bun, like today, it creates a little surprise in the back.  I really like it, and it was a breeze to sew!  Using the same basic pattern, I am making a cardigan out of a lacey knitted fabric.

How to deal with a big forehead...

The house that Dan and I bought is a pretty weird house, you definitely don't see many of this style around here.  In researching, I've learned that it is a Gambrel Front Dutch Colonial Revival style, which does a good job of making it sound much nicer than it really is. In reality, my house is "that barn house" with the big white forehead.

Our poor old house was a rental for many years, and you can really tell.  The yard was a wasteland, there is writing on the brick (there was even writing on the walls inside), cable wire has been randomly stuck through walls... the fence is falling down, the house number had been at one time written on the front of the house in chalk - someone later decided to stick a painted piece of plywood over that... So,as you can see, it needs a bit (ok, a lot ) of TLC.

So, we went out this weekend and finally bought some yard-work-equipment.  We got our first rake & shovel.  We cleaned up our yard, which is in very bad shape, put up a new house number, got rid of all of the random rocks littering our yard... It made a huge difference.  Next weekend I am hoping to get out to clean the brick a bit, so if anyone knows how to remove pencil and years of chalk build-up from brick, I'd love to know!

In the next couple of months we are hoping to paint our front porch and put up shutters to try to fill the empty void that is our gambrel-front (to me, looks like a big forehead, anyone else?).  There are beams in the front that are painted out white, that I have considered painting dark as a feature, but I'm not sure it might start getting too busy, or "barn-like".  Suggestions?  I would love to put clapboard or wood shingles up, but that is not in the budget right now! I think we've decided on navy (almost black), white/very pale grey, and charcoal like in the last picture....

Also, on the request of my husband, I bought a new container for my nail polish collection (which previously was in an exploding shoe box, which worked for me but for some reason bothered Dan). I organized and threw out old colours.  I also tried out  a gradient manicure, using a make-up sponge (as seen here).  Is it just me, or do they remind anyone else of popsicles?

Long story short, it was very easy to do, but took some time to get it just right. It took me about the entire Pilot of Twin Peaks to finish top to bottom.  I still feel, up close, it looks a little too 1990's-sponge-painted, but from afar it looks pretty cool.  I'm not sure that I will keep this polish on for long, or that I'd ever do this look again.  I far prefer a glitter gradient over a colour gradient.

Phew! So it was a busy weekend afterall!

Ohh La La Pin Up Sew Along Pt 2... Adding a little extra support

Saturday, March 24, 2012

 I am a curvy petite girl, and I always find that I need a little extra support under the bust, so I am adding some plush-back bra band elastic to the seam allowance between the bra and the corselet.  This will create a shelf bra effect and will prevent... ahem... slippage.

I took a length of 1/2" wide bra elastic, no specific length... Using a long zig-zag stitch, I basted the elastic onto my seam allowance, carefully stitching about 1/16" in from my seam line so as to not disrupt the exterior of my bra.  In a nutshell, stitch as close to your original stitching line as possible, without going over.   Gently pull the elastic, creating some tension as you go...

Select a long zig-zag stitch that is short in height.
Gently pull the elastic as you baste it onto the seam allowance.

 When you have finished basting your elastic on, your bra should now "scrunch" in a little bit under the tension of the elastic.  You have created a gently gathered effect by pulling the elastic as you baste it down.  You don't want to pull too much.  At the end, the elastic should pull the bra only 3/4" to 1" shorter in width than it had been previously.

Elastic basted onto the seam allowance of the bra and corselet.
 Now we are going to top stitch the bra elastic down, onto the corselet, using a zig-zag stitch again.  This time, use a wide zig zag stitch. It is very important that you pull your bra flat as you stitch the elastic down.
Elastic pulled Tight - fabric is flat

Elastic not pulled tight - fabric bunches
 Now we have a bra with a band under the bust to prevent a heavier bust from slipping.    Your fabric will gently "wrinkle" or gather under the tension of the elastic when laying flat, but when pulled around the body, will give some support under the bust.

 The elastic also helps us finish off the inside of the front of our bra so there are no ugly seams showing.

I should really trim my threads more carefully!

Here it is pulled tight on my mannequin.  Is this something you will incorporate into your bra?
If you do not wish to do this, you can finish this seam off with binding, by zig zag stitching, serging, or folding under.

Ohh La La Pin Up Sew Along Pt 2... Assembling the corselet and attaching the cups

We have assembled our lined, half lined, or unlined bra cups and can now star working on the lower half of our long line corset.

Start by stitching the centre front panels together, with a 1/2" seam allowance.  After I have done that, I have folded my raw edges under, and stitched about 1/4" in from my seam line.  This creates a clean finish inside, and gives me decorative top-stitching outside.

I attached my side front panels to my centre front panels with a flat felled seam (stitched down french seams).  If you are not sure how to do this, I added a tutorial HERE for our corset section of the sew along. 

 Sew your two bra cups together down the centre line.  I folded under the seam allowance, just like I did for the center front of the lower half, making sure my stitching lines would match when I sewed the two pieces together.

Now you can stitch the front bra and front corselet together.  To keep a sharp corner at the centre where the corselet comes to a point, as you are stitching, leave your needle in the down position at the point, carefully snip the stitches of the centre front seam of the bra, so you can pivot around the corner and get a sharp edge.
 Now is a great time to hold it up to your body or your dress form to make sure nothing weird is going on with the fit!
It's really starting to look like a long line bra! How is yours coming? Next I am going to show you an optional finish for your bra cups, to add a little support under the bust.

Ohh La La Pin Up Sew Along Pt 2... Assembling your Cups

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Anna wrote a great post yesterday on sewing your darts.  She is also adding a pretty lace overlay to coordinate with the amazing vintage-look corset that she made in Part 1 of our sew along.  Anna is essentially making 2 bras, then sewing them together, to end up with a beautifully lined bra.

I am lining only the lower cup of my bra to reduce bulk in the upper cup, add support underneath the bust, and reduce bulk around the long-line band.  There is no right or wrong way to sew a garment, so do what you think looks best and works best for you!

I started with 2 lower cups cut in Self Fabric, and 2 lower cups cut in Knit lining.  I transferred my dart markings, and sewed my darts.  Anna is using a sheer-ish fabric, so she cut her darts.  I pressed mine towards the side seam.

Now that we've sewn the darts, we can start assembling our cups.

 We are essentially making a bra cup "sandwich." First layer is the lower cup, second layer is the upper cup (right sides together), third layer is the lining (wrong side out).

Pin your delicious "Bra cup sandwich" together, and stitch 1/2" in from the raw edge.

 Now clip your curved edge to prevent bulk when we turn it inside out.  Always clip seams that curve out, and slash seams that curve in.

 Now that we've stitched our cup together (easy!), we turn our cup right side out and give it a good press.

 Here's what the inside looks like, cleanly finished!

 I understitched the seam allowance to the lower cup lining to help the lining lay flat in place.  To under stitch, stitch 1/16" to 1/8" in from the seam line, sewing the seam allowance only to the lining fabric.

 After I understitched my bra cup, I added some decorative stitching to create a quilted effect.  Following the line of the darts, I sewed 4 stitching lines, parallel to each dart line.

Now, do it again to your second bra cup!

You can also line your entire bra cup by simply sewing 2 cups, and sandwiching them together.  You will either bias bind or add elastic around the upper edges, so the top edge can remain raw.

How is the assembly going? Are you having any problems with your bra? This is definitely the trickier part of the sew along!

Ohh La La Pin Up Sew Along Pt 2... Cutting your Fabric

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

 Now that you've made the necessary adjustments to your pattern, you can cut your fabric! I am using the same pink satin I used for the contrast on my corset.  It has the slightest amount of stretch to it.

 As I mentioned before, I am cutting my cups on the bias.  The reason I am doing this is I find the cup forms better this way.  You can really stretch the fabric around a pressing ham to get a shape you like.

I am using a knit lining in a light beige colour.  I am cutting my lower cup only.  You can line the entire cup if you like.  I am lining only the lower cup, because it adds a bit of support, and will help me create a quilted effect with the decorative stitching I plan on doing.

I am also using a stretch lace for the centre back and side front panels of the corselet. I've cut these, and the rest of the corselet pieces on the straight of grain.

What fabric did you choose? Are you planning on lining your garment?

Ohh La La Pin Up Sew Along Pt 2... Sewing Your Muslin

In order to get the right fit, which is very tricky and specific with bras, it's really important we sew a muslin.  You can use any scrap fabric of your choosing, so long as it is a similar weight as what your final garment will be sewn in.  If you plan on using any stretch fabric in your finished bra, do the same with your muslin, or you won't get the same fit. I am using a stretch fabric for the centre back panel.

Cut out your pieces, and assemble as called for in the pattern.  Remember to mark your darts! I always forget to do this...

Sew your bra together, leaving one side open (or open at the back if you plan on using a back closure).  Try it on over a fitted shirt and no bra, or an unpadded bra.  Pin it in place and see how it fits!  I use a pen to mark any alterations that need to be made, directly onto my muslin.

Pin and mark any alterations.  Mine fit pretty good, but needed to be taken in along the upper side seam.  I suspect I added a little too much during my original pattern alteration!

Transfer your markings onto your pattern.  You are now ready to start cutting your fabric! Are you having any trouble with the fit?

If you are finding that the cups are too small, increase the curve of the upper and lower cup.  If you are finding the cups are too large, decrease the curve of the upper and lower cups.  Anna has demonstrated how to size down the cups Here. If you need to size up, do the opposite of what she does.  It's really that easy.  You can also play with the darts to alter the depth of the cup.

After sewing my muslin I decided to change mine from a side close bra to a back close bra.  I did this by simply removing the "cut on fold" indication and adding 1/2" seam allowance along the center back seam.  I also decided I would add a panel of stretch to the side front, under the cups.  What changes are you making after sewing your muslin?

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