Pretty Little Things


I know what you're thinking?  Another bra?  Really, Carolyn?

I know, I know.  I have a sickness, although I'd like to justify this obsession by saying that I'm  going to be spending many days a week in scrubs this next quarter and I figured that a couple nice, comfy soft bras would be perfect for those long days.  But comfy bras don't have to be ugly, right?  In fact, they can be covered with lace and just as lovely as can be.

Like this one.

The bra is the longline version of the Watson bra pattern.  This is my second attempt at this version because me first one ended up huuuge, because I printed out the PDF pattern wrong and didn't realize it until it was all sewn up.  Not one of my finest moments.  This bra fortunately has a happier ending.

The lace is from the Arte Craft etsy store and the entire bra is lined in nude stretch mesh from JoAnn Fabrics.  On a side note, I've also purchased white stretch mesh from JoAnn Fabrics and it dyes beautifully, making me really excited about all the future color possibilities.  The trims and bra straps are dyed with ecru Jacquard Acid dye and while beige may not be the most exciting color to dye things, I'm happy with how they came out.  I used a 3/8" plush back picot elastic for the underarms and 3/4" plush back elastic for the band.  I didn't realize how huge it would be when I ordered it and I was pretty hesitant to use it, but it actually feels really nice on the band.  Also, I added some clear elastic to help support the lace front of the cup.  It was a bit of a pain to sew on, but lining it with Wonder Tape first made sewing it on, well, wonderful.  All the lace and mesh pieces were basted together with a basting spray before being sewn together and the sewing process was easy peasy.

As for the undies, I finally got around to trying out the Watson undies pattern and I'm really glad that I did.  The pattern makes it really easy to incorporate lace into the pattern which I think makes the final product extra pretty.  The rest of the undies are made with the same stretch mesh as the bra and the crotch is lined with a scrap of pink cotton which I think looks really lovely behind the nude mesh.  I used the same 3/8" plus back picot elastic for the waist and this picot elastic for the legs.  On a side note, I'm in love with this picot elastic.  It's held up great on every project that I've used it on and it takes dye fabulously.   It is definitely my picot elastic of choice!

Quilted Vest


Sometimes it takes me a ridiculously long time to start a project.

Intertia, man.  It's a real thing.

But once I finally get going, I'm usually so happy that I did.

Take this project for example.  I had it in my mind for weeks - ever since making my first Women's Hero Vest and seeing this gorgeous quilted version.  I knew that I had a significant amount of fabric left over from these shorts, but I didn't know if it was enough and I couldn't muster up the effort to actually go downstairs and find out.  Eventually I forced myself to lay out the pattern and I found out that with some creative pattern placement (and lining the hood in a different fabric), I would have juuuust enough to make it.  Did you know that I get extra pleasure when I finish a project and there's nothing but teeny-tiny scraps of fabric left?

In any case, I made a size extra-small graded out to a small at the hips once again, although as I was quilting up each piece I worried that I should have made one size larger in case the quilting made the pieces shrink a bit.  I think it ended up being okay, although I took the vest out of the dryer when it was still damp in case it was prone to shrinking up.  Speaking of the quilting, I quilted each piece with a diagonal pattern, 2 inches apart.  Quilting garments, by the way, is the perfect way to use up odds and ends of batting leftover from quilting projects.

The only modification that I made was to raise the armholes about 1/2-3/4 of an inch (I can't remember the exact amount).  The armholes were pretty deep on the first vest, most likely to accommodate whatever you wear under the vest, but I tend to wear pretty thin shirts and didn't feel that I needed that much room.  I also bound all the edges with the woven fabric rather than knit fabric and I love the way it looks.  I cut out all the bias binding the same length as was recommended for knit fabric under the crazy assumption that it would work just fine.  Turns out that bias binding does not stretch as much as ribbed jersey.  Duh!  So I had to add length to all my bias pieces.  No big deal.  I also now realize that I should have backed the pocket part of the front because as it is right now, the batting is left exposed on part of the inside of the pocket.  It's not visible and doesn't cause any problems, but I wish I had the forethought to address the issue.

Once again, I used the instructions on the Make It Perfect website to enclose the zipper in order to have a nice clean finish on the vest.  And I used a metal zipper this time rather than a plastic one.  All I have to say is "metal zipper for the win!"

Interestingly, despite my proud Pacific Northwest residence, before sewing up these vests for myself I had never actually bought myself a vest and really didn't think of myself as a vest person.  But now I find myself reaching to wear this vest all the time.  It's funny how things work out sometimes.

Also, thanks to the Pacific Northwest for starting to rain on me after I finally mustered up the energy to take pictures.  The slightly blurry photos will just have to suffice.