Friday, June 12, 2009

my latest "miracle" with knits

As has been established (in my household anyway) I am a miracle worker with knits.
*just kidding*
Here is what I sewed last weekend. I wore it several times this week, and let me tell you: This is a game changer! I am serious. This may be the only area where I actually can save money by sewing. This cost me about $10 to sew.
My sample (this little number below) cost $80 if I recall correctly. Hey, when you want a good fit and your shape deviates from the standard, well, you are going to shop in a high end specialty store and it will cost you.
Yes, I took it apart so I could make a pattern. I used a Kwik Sew pattern to help me determing grain lines and for the instructions. But I had to make my own pattern, to make sure it would fit. If I wanted to, I could sew this back together. All you have to do is butt the foam pieces together and re-attach the pieces with a zig-zag stitch. Once you cover the cup with the nice pretty stretchy fabric, those seams won't show. And yes, you can buy foam if that is your preference.
And here is the back. I actually copied the back from a different example (which I did NOT cut up- I just traced it onto paper). So my new version is a frankenpattern - my favorite kind of pattern!
I will be very honest - I cursed my way through this project. But it's only because the techniques were so new to me and I had to stop and think so much. I gave up on pinning and I basted every seam first. Still, it only took a few hours. I used a tutorial found on Sigrid's blog and that helped a lot.
The minute it was finished, and especially when it was so comfortable to wear, I rejoiced. I will need to buy a good thorough book and I am leaning towards this one by Beverly Johnson.
I have enjoyed this sewing - what a great challenge and wonderful results. But I am bashful to post much more than this.
OK back to stuff that is suitable for public consumption!
Happy sewing!


  1. Thanks for bravery posting this! As soon as I finish the PJs for the kids, I am going to start on some bras for myself (I have a hard to fit size too) and am looking forward to something that will feel comfy and look attractive. Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing; it is certainly encouraging, especially as other bloggers are similarly enthusiastic. Sigrid has surely started something! I am already in the process of very carefully dismantling a bra that (almost) fits hoping to improve on it. OllieV

  3. But (possibly stupid question alert!), the bra you deconstructed was seamless and the bra you made wasn't. Why? I'm not brave enough to do this yet, but I'm definitely working my way there in the next few years...

  4. Hi Erin, I had to sew a seamed bra because I did not have any molded foam cups on hand. You can buy them, though. You can buy foam cups that are molded and you can buy flat foam "material" which you would cut and stitch together to create a cup. Check out Bra Makers Supply (

    I have not bought from them yet, but I hear only good things about them.

  5. Ha ha, I recognize the one you used for a pattern. I have its twin on right now! Yes, they are pricey. You and Liana are making me think about this project...

  6. Now you start with sewing your bras as well! I see such great results everywhere these days... but somehow feel it is too fiddly for me yet. Bravo to you for tackling this and having a perfect piece for you! I really like the broad backstrap.

  7. I bought stuff this weekend for bras too!

  8. You won't regret purchasing Beverly Johnson's book, from what I'm told it's very thorough. Also consider the book/video from "Making Beautiful Bras" by Lee Ann Burgess. She covers using your favorite bra to make a pattern so you can clone it as you have already done. She also details all the steps and for sewing it up (with some helpful tricks). She also covers selecting fabrics and notions for various needs. Some styles need more stretch, some need none at all - that depends on the pattern. There's also directions for fusing knit interfacing to your fashion fabric to make a stable fabric. In addition, she explains how to turn your bra pattern into one for a nursing bra.
    Her site is: Beverly's site sells Lee Ann's book but it's much cheaper buying directly from Lee Ann in Australia. Lee Ann also has a book/video about sewing swimwear.
    Another Resource is the lady who has been so generous with her time and knowledge on many of our sewing email lists - Anne St. Clair
    Anne will send you sample bras made from her pattern so that you can try them on to see which size you are. Then she will customize the pattern and send you a kit with everything you need to complete one or two bras from your new pattern.

    There are also a few different pattern and fabric notion sites specifically for bra making that have cropped up since I started making my own about 10 years ago. There was nothing then. There used to be a site for Elan bra patterns (the patterns are still available and a couple are exactly the same style as some Victoria's secret bras)

    Oooops did I get carried away or what?? LOL Hopefully some of this info is new to you and helpful

    I just remembered two more.
    Jan Bones:
    Karen Morris:

  9. Great job! I am always impressed with sewists who make lingerie.

  10. You did an excellent job! I haven't made lingerie in quite a while, but you and Liana are making me reconsider. When I realized how easy and inexpensive they are to make, I could have kicked myself for not doing so earlier!

  11. That's impressive!
    That's look so hard to do...

  12. I'm impressed, and maybe one of these days I'll get on the bandwagon. Maybe....


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