Saturday, April 23, 2016

Strawberry Love

I'm digging online fabric shopping.  It's the only place around here I can get quality bra-making and swimwear fabrics.  Tampa doesn't have a fabric store that sells printed nylon spandex for swimwear. The nearest store that sells swim fabrics is 36 miles from my house and it can take more than an hour to get there.  They have a pretty good selection of basics but only a few prints.  I love to go there for the adventure of it, I like to touch the fabrics, but it's disappointing to go home empty handed. Conversely, it's exciting to receive packages in the mail.
Swim Fabric
Nylon Spandex Swimwear Fabric

Swim Fabric
Nylon Spandex Swimwear Fabric
I made the cutest swimsuit for my daughter using the fabrics that I purchased online.  The modified Y-back was inspired by her favorite RTW bra.  I layered the print, powernet, and lining fabrics then sewed them together along the edges before I cut the keyhole.

Modified Y-back before Keyhole Cut
I need to remove 1/4" from the armhole because I decided to use binding for the edges instead of elastic.  Sew a zig-zag stitch next to the original line of stitching to be removed and save yourself from a headache later.
Keyhole Back
Zig-Zag before cutting off the seam allowance.
Remember to remove seam allowances from the edges that will be bound.
Remove Seam Allowance
Remove Seam Allowance for Binding Applications

I call this bikini Strawberry Love.  The high-waisted bottoms with heart buttons and rear seam are made from the Pin-up Girls, 3 Sisters Bikini, Violet pattern in a printed denim nylon spandex. The bikini top is a PUG Classic in foam covered with the cutest heart and strawberry printed nylon spandex.  This is the first time I used foam and it got a little squished.  The bikini back was self-drafted and features a modified Y-back with a keyhole opening inspired by my daughter's favorite ready-to-wear bra.

Strawberry Love Bikini
Modified Y-back with Keyhole

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Peachy Floral

Today's bra is a peachy floral Shelley from Pin-up Girls.   I made this one for a friend.

Peach Floral Shelley
Peachy Floral Shelley
Peachy Floral Shelley

Peachy Floral Shelley

Friday, February 19, 2016

Still Playing with Shelley

Yes, I'm still playing with my Shelley pattern from Pin-up Girls.  Frankly, it's the only pattern that has a great fit for me.  Let's have a look at the beautiful lace from Bra-makers Supply.  I've already got it cut and mounted on ivory powernet.

Back of Upper Cups and Back Band
Front of Upper Cups and Back Band

I've been tweaking the bra frame and band to get that narrow no band look because a super narrow frame and band means no band rollover.  

Bottom Band
Bottom Band Sewn Approx. 3/8" from Wire Line
Bottom Band
An Inside Look at the Bottom Band before Thinning
Thin Band
Thinned Bra Frame and Band

It looks like I could shave another 1/8" from the frame and get a partial band look.

  Look.  No band rollover.  Beautifully mirrored pink and ivory floral stretch lace.
Thin Band Shelley
Thin Band and Mirrored Stretch Lace

If you're thinking something looks wonky, well, you're right.  Something is wonky, it's me.  The left side of my body is different than the right and it is shifted upward at least 1/2".  Because of this asymmetry, I make two different sized upper cups. In my case, mirrored lace will never be perfectly mirrored.  To make the best of the situation, I choose to focus on the neckline edge and making sure it is mirrored as closely as possible.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bra Hook Replacement

Forget repairing that broken bra hook, you can't twist it back into shape, it just doesn't work.
Replacing broken twisted bra hooks is easy.  First, you'll need to purchase a new hook set from a bra-makers supply or re-purpose one from another bra.
Twisted Bra Hook
Twisted Broken Bra Hook

How to replace broken bra hooks.

1.  Remove the broken hook set with a seam ripper.
Bra Hook Sets
Bra Hook Sets

 2.  First pass.  Open up the new hook set and sew to the bra back.
Basted Bra Hook Set
Basted Bra Hook Set

 3.  Second pass.  Close the hook set, enclosing the bra back and top stitch.
Finished Bra Hook Set
Finished Bra Hook Set

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tweaking my Shelley

I haven't been as unproductive as my lack of January posts would suggest.  Holy cow, I've been busy mending, tweaking, sewing, and quilting.  Let's talk tweaking.  First, I added a pink glissenette mesh lining to the upper cup to reinforce and protect the stretch lace from finger poke through.  Then instead of using a 3/8" strip of duoplex as an upper cup stabilizer, I used a piece of 3/8" plush back elastic.
Glissenette Lining
3/8" Plush Back Elastic and Pink Glissenette Lining

Next, I thinned both the right and left bands to the narrowest possible width allowable.
Thin Right Front Band
Thinning the Right Front Band
Thin Left Front Band
Thinning the Left Front Band
Here is the finished thinned front band.
Thin Band
Finished Thinned Front Band
Here are the tweaked glistening upper cups. 
Pink Glissenette Lined Cups
Pink Glissenette Lined Upper Cups
Now you can't poke a finger through or see through the stretch lace.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016

2016 Bra-A-Week Challenge

Erin over at The Emerald Studio is once again doing a Bra-A-Week Challenge and I'm committing to a bra and/or swimsuit a month.  I entered late in the game last year and submitted 7 bras.  This year it is my intent to sew something for the challenge every month. Hopefully, posting my idea calendar will help me to stay on track.

JensWare 2016 Sewing Calendar

  1. January-Winter, Circus, Gasparilla
  2. February-Florida State Fair, Valentine's Day
  3. March-Florida Strawberry Festival, Spring Break, Easter, St. Patrick's Day
  4. April-Blueberry Festival
  5. May-Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Beachy Floral
  6. June-Father's Day, Summer Fun
  7. July-Independence Day, Patriotic Pin-up
  8. August-Dog Days Relief
  9. September-Birthday Treat, Labor Day
  10. October-Halloween, Corset or Costume
  11. November-Thanksgiving, Elections
  12. December-Christmas, Angel

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Bra-A-Week Challenge #7: Christmas Angel

Bra-A-Week Challenge #7:  Christmas Angel

Merry Christmas from the sweetest little angel.  Today's entry is a Pin-up Girls Shelley in white duoplex, white powernet, white findings, and the prettiest pink and purple stretch lace. 

JensWare Bra
Merry Christmas from JensWare
It's the pink thread and the sweet lace that make this angel special. I mirrored the cup lace, covered the bridge, and decorated the back band with the pink and purple lace.
JensWare Bra
Christmas Angel Mirrored Lace
JensWare Bra
Christmas Angel Covered Bridge
 Christmas Angel Decorated Back Band