Saturday, April 27, 2013

From Beefy Tee to Lacey Thong

This is a LOT of fabric! I always have a hard time finding 100% cotton knit and I love it for panties.  I have some new white Fruit of the Loom men's undershirts I am going to try some dyeing on. Then it occurred to me that I might find black tees to make panties with my newly dyed black lace. Enter my local Wal-Mart. This is a men's 4X and it is about 2 yards of great cotton for $4.97!
It's been many years since I've used fabric dye and now that I'm addicted to making lingerie it goes hand in hand with dyeing lace and bra components. The lace below was nude before dyeing black to go with my Beefy Tee fabric. I used Jacquard Acid Dye  purchased at Texas Art Supply . I used the stove-top method and it's very easy. Don't be scared away by the word "acid". It calls for nothing more than vinegar used to set the color.
Fehr Trade's Lacey Thong has become my all time favorite panty. It fits great, is so comfortable and makes up so beautifully with the addition of the lace:

I had enough foldover elastic for a second pair so I recycled this Vogue top from last season. This fabric is the softest rayon knit and I thought it would make a perfect thong.

The lace was up-cycled from a camisole. Can't wait to wear these!

I have white lace and foldover elastic on order so sometime next week I can curl up and dye. So far I've purchased the Jacquard Acid dye in black, teal, Aztec gold and violet. Lingerie drawer, get ready to rumble!

Friday, April 26, 2013

2013 Spring Pantone Color Contest

The spring Pantone colors are beautiful and stray just enough from my usual color palette to entice me into entering. what?!
Since I needed a two-piece outfit and the colors needed to adhere to the Pantone limitations, and also pass muster from our contest facilitator, the lovely Sigrid, I decided I'd better shop for fabric locally rather than online. Nothing floated my boat! I came home empty handed and discouraged.
Wait a minute, might there be something in my stash? Eureka! I had two fabrics that I thought might work; a polyester poplin I had purchased earlier this year from High Fashion and a knit from Gorgeous Fabrics. I photographed them and asked Sigrid to apply her "magic dots":


Yippee! Sigrid agreed that my fabrics have close representations of 7 of the 10 Pantone colors as shown below and marked by scissors: what??
Every time I go through my patterns I think of that scene from Gone With the Wind when Scarlett tells Mammy, "Go up to the attic and get Mother's old box of dress patterns!" She was on a roll with Ms. Ellen's portiers and so was I with my poplin!
The dress I decided to embark on is almost lost on the pattern envelope. Semi-boring, right?:
But wait!
The line drawing is awesome! For me, almost like making a long-line bra! I'm in!
It turns out the hard part was finding a pattern for a coordinating piece for my knit fabric, of which I didn't have very much. Then I found V8885. At first glance, rather , eh...
Grandmother-of the-Bride-ish:
Until I saw the line drawing of View A and then I thought it would be just the snappy little accompaniment that I needed for my dress:
The rest is sew, sew, sew. I have complete reviews of V8718 and V8885 on Pattern Review and here is my official contest flyer:

Thanks so much for reading about my contest adventure! And, please, let me know what you think of my interpretation of the 2013 Spring Pantone colors! Check out all the entries on Pattern Review and cast your vote!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Uber Upcycle


VOGUE 1250


MakeBra Balconette Bra DL101

Do you have things hanging in your closet that, while you like them, they just never get worn? I made at least 3 versions of Vogue 1250 and I never wear them. Rather than try to figure out the reason why I just decided to keep loving the fabric and make something else.
Enter into my life another fabulous bra pattern! MakeBra's downloadable balconette bra. It has a 3-part foam cup, side boning and underwires. The straps are attached to the cup and the foam lining provides good support, a beautiful shape for the cup and comfort on the shoulders.
This bra is basically my muslin for fit but I will definitely wear it!  For my base I used a nude bra kit from Fabric Depot. I also bought the tricot bonded poly filler from them as well as the foldover elastic. Their bra kits are so reasonably priced (This one was $12) that I use one for the spandex, elastics and findings and save the lace for a pair of panties. There is always a good amount of simplex left over, too, actually shown in the pic below.  
The foam cups (and straps) start out as these pattern pieces:
The construction of the foam cups was fascinating! The pieces are butted together and zig-zagged creating the shape of the cup. Here is the inside:

Working towards my goal this year to try new techniques and products, I was excited to use boning for the first time. Easy as pie! I bought mine at Joann and it is simply a flexible plastic strip cut to length and inserted into a channel. I found that using my pedi wand was perfect for rounding off the sharp corners. Here's a before and after on that:
The boning came with its own channel but it was a scratchy cotton and I did not want that against my skin so I used leftover channeling from my underwires. Here is a pic of the inside:
And the outside of the band:
The addition of the boning is really nice to keep the band from wrinkling up. I think I will add this feature on all bras from this point forward.
There is a lot of foldover elastic used on this bra and I need to perfect my application of that! It is seen here on the strap, which is oh, so comfy since it's padded:
Here's a view of the back. Yes, I usually use thread that matches but didn't feel like making a trek to get some and since this is basically a muslin for fit I didn't obsess over it like I usually do.
The most fun of this bra is that any fabric can be used for the cup cover; knit, woven, lace, it just doesn't matter. I had fun with fussy cutting this one from the Vogue 1250 fabric.
This was a fun project! Matching thong coming up next!
More info on the pattern and company on my Pattern Review.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ladies Who Lunch

I had a lovely invitation to join friends today at the annual March of Dimes luncheon and Neiman Marcus award ceremony honoring Houston's 10 Best Dressed. The FABULOUS runway style show presented the Fall/Winter collection of Emilio Pucci.
I wore my recently completed Vogue 1314 with fabric by Gorgeous Fabrics, which in itself, is rather Pucci-esque.
I felt great in my little spring-worthy outfit mingling with our town's "see and be seen" crowd. The March of Dimes is a great charity so I was happy to buy a $50 raffle ticket for a chance to win a $5000 spending spree at Neiman's. As the emcee was reaching into the bowl to pick the winner, I thought "I'd love to win it...but I sure wish they carried fabric."
I'm hopeless.