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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / I made a Bra! on: July 13, 2008 05:36:30 PM
My bra size is not the easiest to find and I have a very high bust, a funny shaped ribcage and the synthetic fibres most bras are made from often give me eczema, all of which makes finding a good bra nearly impossible. Ive often bought bras in cotton or with cotton lining and chopped them up & sewed them back together to get a good fit but the stretchy cotton fabrics dont really give good support so I decided to try making one of my own from scratch. The shaping was inspired by a corset pattern.



It took quite a while to get the size right but now that its done, I think Ill be able to run up a bra more quickly than Im able to adjust one. I can still see things Id like to change about the shape but the main thing is that its really comfortable and because its made from a woven rather than a stretch fabric, it keeps my bust anchored in place even if I jump up and down! Im wearing it here:



The single cup style eliminates the problem I have that most bras seem to make one side point out to the left and the other to the right like theyve turned their backs on each other.

Ive been asked by a few people who have seen it for instructions, so now that Ive finished writing them up, I thought Id see if anyone here would be interested. You can see what Ive put together for anyone hoping to make one

Bra Pattern

It has the calculations, a photo of the pattern pieces on my cutting mat, which is marked in inch squares and instructions to make it.

Id still caution anyone thinking of trying it, that a made to measure bra is only going to be successful after a number of fittings and reworking of the original as each persons body is a different shape. I dont want anyone to follow my instructions and be disappointed not to get a perfect fit at the first attempt.

Id love to hear about the results if anyone tries to make their own version and do let me know if there is anything confusing in the pattern.

2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / New Skirt from Two Ruined Skirts & Fitted Shirt from Large Shirt on: January 12, 2008 06:38:42 PM
I had a favourite skirt that wore right through over my behind (very embarrassing, as it happened at work). I think I must be sitting down too much! Another of my skirts in a similar colour, which usually goes through the washing machine quite happily, suddenly shrank considerably in the wash a few weeks earlier and the upper part could no longer fit over my hips, so, although the fabrics are quite different textures (the check is made from a thicker yarn & more loosely woven) I decided to see if I could make the two wearable again.



I didn't want to cut them straight across, as I thought that would just make it look like two skirts stitched together and my first thought was to follow the check pattern and cut an upside down V shape, until I noticed that the check sat slightly off-centre, so I decided to go for curved lines and was pleased with how easily the pieces went together because most of the time I was sewing along the more flexible bias edges. I do have an overlocker but for speed just used a stitch called tricot stitch on my sewing machine which sews and finishes in one and is very stretchy.



I love the type of cotton fabrics, with interesting designs woven in rather than printed, that are used for smart shirts, but I find that a standard fitting shirt looks like a maternity smock on me, because I have quite a difference between my bust and waist measurements and I need a shallow armhole on a more fitted style of shirt to avoid tearing the sleeves off when I lift my arms, so I find I can never buy ready made shirts that fit me well.



I couldnt find any of the type of fabric I wanted, so I bought a shirt in a fabric I liked at a charity shop and used a pattern I'd made to cut it to my size, lining the pattern pieces up, so I could use the buttons & buttonholes.



It was nice to be able to avoid the fiddly jobs like stitching the buttonholes & buttons and Iwas able to use the original cuffs too. The collar was more difficult because the original shirt was a larger size so I cut it at the back, which meant that I ended up with a seam at the back but at least I was able to match the pattern on it.

3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Crocheted Beaded Buttons on: August 14, 2007 06:37:02 PM
I didn't have any suitable buttons to put on a jacket made for a colleague's baby, so I crocheted some from the yarn I'd used for the jacket and some pink wooden beads from an old necklace I kept when my aunt was clearing out lots of her stuff.

It took me quite a while to work out the best way to make them, as I have never done any crochet with beads and I didn't have a pattern; I just pictured what I wanted in my mind and kept stitching & pulling out stitches until I ended up with something I liked but I'm pleased with the star shape I finally ended up with



In the same clearout, I also got the book from which I first learned to crochet. Here are the crocheted buttons in place on the jacket (which is knitted, I'm afraid, as I hadn't any crochet patterns that would suit what my colleague wanted)


4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Pink & Lilac Checked Skirt on: August 14, 2007 06:19:08 PM
I was pleased with the pattern I made to create this half circular skirt in pink, lilac & white Padstow check cloth, as it is so much less wasteful than my previous bias cut skirt pattern, leaving less than a handful of cloth from a piece of fabric twice the length of the width by which it is sold.



I cut the fabric into two squares with sides equal to the original fabric width and used a piece of string the same length, starting from one of the corners, as a rough compass to turn each of the squares into a quarter circle forming the main body of the skirt. The remaining corner pieces, edged with some piping, became the upper side hip pieces, which overlap across the front and back and fasten with hooks and eyes only, to avoid the need for a zip (my least favourite thing to sew). I put darts in the waist as it was quite a bulky fabric and bound the edges with the same scraps of lilac cotton I'd used for the piping.



Something still seemed to be missing, so I added bows to the sides.


5  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / I made my own sandals! on: August 03, 2007 02:53:43 PM


It had been in my mind to make a pair of shoes or sandals for a long time, with the idea of creating the soles from rubber table mats, as I am vegetarian and don't like to use leather but I hadn't wanted to waste any of my really nice fabric in case it didn't work out well.



I traced the shape of a shoe I liked to make the sole the right size and used the skirt part of a blue & white checked dress, which I had kept when the fabric on the bodice was worn out, to make the sandals in the picture and created a matching handbag and shopper with the remainder of the cloth.



I'm sorry my photos are a bit unclear; I seem to have mislaid my camera and only have my phone to take pictures. My next plan is to make a closed shoe, similar in appearance to a picture I have of an eighteenth or early nineteenth century evening slipper, using the same sole shape and construction technique but I can see I shall have to be much more careful in ensuring a good fit with a closed shoe.

6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Gifts for Babies: Knitted Jackets & Other Items on: April 14, 2007 04:47:56 PM
Lots of my colleagues are having babies this year and I've found baby clothes are fun to make as they can be so much quicker than full size clothes and you know the recipient isn't going to grumble about not liking the colour or the design!

I am more familiar with making sewn garments than knitted ones, so I worked out the pattern for the jackets by creating a paper pattern and laying it over a top I had knitted for myself in the same yarn, then counting how many stitches it covered. They are all the same apart from the way their fronts fasten and were sized to fit a 3 month old baby, in case I didn't finish them on time!

A green jacket in wool (moss stitch & stocking stitch) with brass buttons on a wrapover front and matching boots and hat. I crocheted the blanket with the leftover wool for a colleague who was told she is having a boy.



A white V-neck jacket in cotton (moss stitch & stocking stitch with a few yarn-overs on alternate knit rows) with a matching hat and shoes, all trimmed with dark blue bows for a colleague who was not told whether she is having a girl or a boy



A dark blue crossover cardigan in cotton (moss stitch & stocking stitch with yarn-overs to thread a pink organza ribbon threaded round the back of the neck and along both diagonal edges) with a dress made of dark blue satin ribbons and white cotton cloth, which I embroidered and beaded round the hem. I also covered the hanger in felt and decorated it with a flower for a colleague who was told she is having a girl.



And just as I was congratulating myself that all the baby stuff was finished another colleague announced she was pregnant!

7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Small White Bag on: April 14, 2007 04:23:56 PM
I knitted this small bag for my mum. I had an idea of what I wanted to create but was too impatient to plan out a pattern before I started, so I just worked it out as I went along.

I knitted down the front, then the base, which is shaped like an eye (wide in the middle and tapering at each side) then I continued knitting up the back at which point I was caught out by my lack of planning, as I had to work out how to knit the cable in reverse! The handles are bangles covered with the same cotton yarn and I made the flower from a pattern I found in a book.



My mum said she liked it and she keeps her quilting thread, needles and scissors in it, for her current project, so I think it will get a lot of use.
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Pink Hot Water Bottle Cover on: April 14, 2007 04:01:28 PM
I learnt how to crochet a couple of weeks ago from a book that my aunt was throwing away and I am really enjoying it.

This hot water bottle cover is for a friend who has just returned to the UK after living in warmer countries for the last ten years and has just redecorated her room in pink & purple. Even though it is already quite a warm spring here she really feels the cold and each time I visit her, she has her hot water bottle dressed in an old pillowcase alongside her, so I made this to welcome her back. I realise I should have bought the hot water bottle to put inside it before I started making it, as I made the bottom corners square and the hot water bottle has rounded corners, so it curls up a little there.



Thank you for looking.


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