Natalie crop top, take 3

I think I have perfected the Natalie crop top/bra from Ooh Lulu (available as a PDF download on Etsy). But first, let me give a quick summary of take 2. Despite my intentions of making a size L with the second bra – I made the original size. It was less successful because the fabric was a rayon/spandex blend that was stretchy but wanted to hang – not a good combination for a bra only half filled, especially if the side that has a breast is still kind of large (I was 38 DDD before mastectomy). So, it’s better constructed than the first bra, but fits worse. It is now the property of my mom.

Version 3 is made with a very spandex-y fabric. I don’t know it’s exact composition, nor where it was purchased because it has been in my stash for probably four years. All I know is it is a pretty neutral color (taupe?) and was nice and stretchy without being saggy. I made size L as planned and I shorted the shoulder seams by taking them in 1.5 inches from the outside. To change up the construction, I skipped the neckline fabric bands and used clear elastic to hem the neck. I sewed a single fold with zigzag for the armholes. For the underbust I did use a band. THe band is wider than the previous versions and also a little smaller in circumference. I also modified how I stretched the band to attach to the bra. I am not symmetrical – losing one breast will do that to you – so why should my band be symmetrically attached. I chose to attach it without any stretch on the side where I have no breast. I thought that might minimize pressure on that side of my body because it still feels heavy sometimes and I can’t have things too tight on it. I tried it on and it feels great. I will wear it all day tomorrow to see that it is still comfortable before making as many as I can from the remaining fabric.

Thanks for tuning in!

Jim’s belated Christmas gift

I decided to try purchasing custom fabric from Spoonflower for a couple Christmas gifts. One still has not been completed, so I won’t say what it is yet, but the other one was a cotton/lycra jersey that was printed with chthulu babies. I had never heard of chthulu until I met Jim, and I still don’t know much, I know the word and know that it looks like/is an octopus. I usually purchase Jim a funny pair of underpants for Christmas every year, but this year I chose to make him underpants with this custom fabric.

I chose the Thread Theory Comax trunks pattern for this project. I have had it for about a year, so I figured it was time. 🙂 According to his measurements, he was at the max size of 45 so I traced it out. I decided to make a muslin using some light gray jersey I had in the stash, because I didn’t want to cut into my $27/yd fabric if it wasn’t going to fit!

I’m so glad I made a muslin. As I was sewing it I kept shaking my head because it looked so big… and it was! I pinched about 3 inches from his elastic waistband so decided to make the spoonflower fabric with size 42. They turned out nice, but are still a bit too big. Next time I’ll make a size 39, but before I do I’m going to do what I should have done in the first place – measure a pair of his comfortable underpants to compare the sizing. I have enough fabric leftover to make a second pair.

Check out some pics (pinned on my dressform – Jim refused to model for me).

The picture on the left looks like it has a soggy bottom, but it’s not that bad. It’s a gusset to go from front to back. It looks normal when it’s on the body.

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My only imperfection with the construction is that I flipped the elastic to the wrong direction when attaching to the waist so the visible part of the elastic seam is visible on the outside of the underpants. Oh well, they will get worn and no one will see it anyway.

 

RTW Fast 2018

A couple months ago, a blog that I follow (goodbyevalentino.com) announced that it was hosting a year of no ready-to-wear (RTW) for 2018 and was encouraging readers to join in. This came at a perfect time for me, because I have been wanting to have a handmade wardrobe for quite some time, and I have an asymmetric body (temporarily until my second mastectomy) and therefore ready-made clothes don’t seem to fit well.

So this is my first post about what I have sewn in 2018. I’m not brave enough to post a picture of me wearing this garment for the whole world to see.

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I made the Ooh Lulu Natalie Crop top that I purchased from Etsy. I have been eyeing this pattern for a while but bit the bullet a couple days ago and purchased it. My intention with this garment is as a soft bra. I am still tender from my radiation wounds after mastectomy and wanted something snug but not too tight around my chest.

Size wise, I made the XXL based on what my pre-surgery measurements were and my current waist size, however, it is looser than I would like. I modified the assembly slightly. I didn’t care for the fold over elastic (FOE) so I cut it off after sewing it on and then made self-fabric bands for the underbust and the neckline. I also just turned the armscye under once and zigzagged it. I topstitched with zigzag around the band placement also. It’s not perfect – note some irregular thicknesses of the neckline band – but overall I like it. I’ll have more control with the next one I make!

Next time I will be making size L and I’ll also take in the outside of the shoulder by 1 1/2 inches because it was loose and flapping over my shoulder and down my arm.

I’ll definitely be wearing this bra though because it is comfy despite being a bit too big.