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1  I made a Bra! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by janaana 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.

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2  Re: Cable Luxe Tunic KAL? in Knitalongs by janaana on: January 12, 2008 06:57:07 PM
Although I'm making the dress instead of the top, it's been really useful reading everything posted here, while I've been knitting. I love seeing the ones people have made too; they're making me wish I made a purple one instead!

Here are my results so far:

I made a couple of changes, including a button fastening through the yoke and using the 4/4 central cable in the centre of each arm. I also lowered the waist shaping and used smaller needles around the waist, so it is more fitted there.

All the fiddly bits are finished now but I know the long skirt will take ages.
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3  New Skirt from Two Ruined Skirts & Fitted Shirt from Large Shirt in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by janaana 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.

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4  Re: Baby set ( Sweater, hat & maryjane booties)Pattern for baby maryjanes in Knitting: Completed Projects by janaana on: October 07, 2007 02:00:29 PM
Posted as a response to this post:


which asked "adventurous knitters out there to make up a prototype of a pic-less pattern, sight unseen!

I was looking for a nice baby slipper pattern for a colleague's daughter, so this caught my attention right away. It was really very quick and easy to make and the pattern was quite simple to follow but I did have to make a couple of changes to the pattern to make the stitches add up and to ensure that the purl stitches are on the same side throughout. I have put them in red below:

Cast on double strand w.weight 15 st
Row 1 - K5, P1, K1f&b, K1, P1, K5 ....
Row 2 - K
Row3- k5, P1,K1, Kf&b, K2,P1,K5
(you should now have 17 st. from increasing )
Row 4 - K

I have made them in cotton yarn (Sirdar Pure Cotton Double Knitting) and used 2.5mm needles. When I got to the part that reads "change to seed st ( k, p ) for another 1-2inches" I did 1 1/2" and at the end they measure 4" in length.

Here are my pictures:



I think it's a great idea to get members to add pictures of patterns that are without photos. I've often looked through and wondered whether it is worth trying a pattern and been put off because the picture no longer shows up.
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5  Crocheted Beaded Buttons in Crochet: Completed Projects by janaana 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)

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6  Pink & Lilac Checked Skirt in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by janaana 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.

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7  Re: Making Your Own Corset? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by janaana on: August 04, 2007 05:17:35 PM
There is so much wonderful information here. I wish I had read it all before I had tried my hand at making a corset! I really wanted one as a possible alternative to a bra as I am not keen on the synthetic fabric and elastic used in most of them so, I made the 1860s Corset from the Tudorlinks website http://www.tudorlinks.com/treasury/freepatterns/index.html, which was extremely easy to construct. I haven't seen anyone else here mention it, so I thought I'd share my experience in case anyone else wants to try it.

I didn't expect to get a perfect fit straight away and am now on my second draft, which is wearable.

My first draft, following the pattern exactly, was too short as the bust part started far too low down leaving me with empty cups halfway between my waist and my bust and too wide (it closed completely without reducing my waist measurement) plus it created a horrible bulge in the front, just below the waist, so I adapted the pattern to:

  • increase the length an inch each at the top, the waist and the bottom
  • reduce the width at the side seams
  • straighten the front stomach part by changing the darts there and make it possible to cut this as one piece, as I don't mind lacing at the back so I don't think I need a front opening

The first draft is on the left in the photo and my second draft is on the right. I hope I have managed to keep decently enough covered to avoid offending anyone in the other picture; it never occurred to me to put it on over a dress for the photo!

I used 100% cotton for both corsets but was happier with the ticking I used for the first one than the softer cotton used for the second one and went to a place near my work to have metal eyelets fixed at one inch intervals on a length of cotton tape to use for the fastening. The "bones" are in fact plastic and cut from the cover of a broken folder; on my original, I left their corners square and they wore away the linen fabric on the tapes when I washed it, so on the second one, I've rounded them off slightly and they are quite happy to go through a boil wash in the washing machine with the rest of my white & cream cottons.

I am going to make a third draft with a few extra changes:

  • increasing the length of the waist by a further inch
  • reducing the depth of the bust cups
  • giving the bust area a more curved top, like a sweetheart neckline to avoid a horizontal line being visible on my clothing
  • strengthen the boning in the back where I stitched the tape with the eyelets as this starts to crease inwards if it is pulled tighter.

Has anyone who uses steel boning put this in the washing machine? I'd like to use it but I think I have heard that using it means the corset must be hand washed and I'm really lazy about doing my hand washing.
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8  I made my own sandals! in Shoes: Completed Projects by janaana 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.

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9  Re: 2007 Color Craft-A-Long in Craftalongs by janaana on: August 03, 2007 01:50:42 PM
Those orange beads look wonderful together!

I'm afraid I'm only just posting my yellow item. It's a scarf I crocheted for a friend's birthday right at the beginning of the month but I completely forgot to add it here.

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10  Re: 2007 Color Craft-A-Long in Craftalongs by janaana on: June 06, 2007 10:43:55 AM
That's a lovely bag; the way you've made the straps seems like they would be nice and and comfortable to hold, even if the bag was full of heavy items.

I'm afraid I'm posting my metallic for May and my pink for June at the same time.

I had a lot of trouble with my metallic item, which is a present for a friend. It was originally supposed to be just the beading & ribbon to be worn as a belt but the friend it is for often has variations in her size due to some medication she takes and I couldn't seem to make an adjustable fastening that suited it, so I ended up sewing it onto the edge of a shawl for her.

My pink item was much easier to make.

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