Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Topsy Turvy

OK, I finished the 5th pair of pants and, woohoo, I think they're a go. To remind you of the history:
  • Original pattern in 14, in muslin (way too big everywhere but in the waist)
  • First wearable pants in modified 14 (narrowed side seams), in wool suiting, lined
  • Second wearable pants in modified 14 (see v. 1), in stretch denim - required additional reduction of side seams, the crotch and waist height were problematic, but the garment does fit fairly well...
  • Third wearable pants in a modified 14 (see v. 2), modified still further to reduce the waist height and dart depth
  • Forth wearable pants in a massively modified 14 (see v. 3), with even lower waist (3 inches lower than the original), extended darts and modified crotch depth, in non-stretch blue denim. Note: I'm pretty impressed with the crotch alteration!
Got it?

(BTW, I promise I'm going to take a photo of myself wearing these, hopefully tomorrow, but I have to wash my hair because I'm scary right now.)

The great thing is that, through a variety of iterations, I've pretty-well drafted my own wide-leg pants sloper. I'm sure that's going to come in handy on a regular occasion. And the next time I make these it's going to be with some special fabric that comes with a special story that I keep meaning to document but it hasn't happened yet.

Here's the bad part. I have systematically worked through every challenge I can think of (coats, pants, woven blouses) and now there are no more delay tactics. Friends, it's time to return to the bra project. Newish readers, you may not even know of this passion - my (so far) unsuccessful attempt to make a bra that a) fits perfectly and is b) sexy and chic.

I know I can go out and buy one. I know that most mega-crafty people think it's a crazy undertaking. But they don't love lingerie as I do. Or they're not insane. This is a code I've got to crack.

Of course, the combo of extreme frustration and disappointment (vis a vis my previous attempts), the fear of future failure (as I run out of fit options, at least in my own mind) and having come to the conclusion that, this time, I will have to start by ripping apart a new bra, purchased just for this purpose (it has a similar fabric i.e. very little to no stretch and it fits well) really isn't motivating.

But this bra isn't going to make itself.

Note: After the last set back, I did contact a well-known sewing studio in Toronto that purports to source and send out teachers of all varieties to help students of all levels to learn about whatever technique they desire. I spoke with a woman who sounded engaged and then never bothered to call me back. Can't say I'm blown away by the professionalism. (It isn't the first such experience I've had with this place.)

If this next attempt doesn't yield an attractive and wearable bra, I'm booking a weekend in Hamilton with the Bra Maker's people. But I really don't want to go to Hamilton.

So please wish me luck. Maybe 12th time is a charm? I am committed to achieving success. Really, really, really. Over and out.


  1. I got my bra in...it didn't fit. Not sure I'm going to mess with sending it back. The color is much prettier in person!

  2. How didn't it fit? Too big? small? back size? Can you adjust it for yourself (or are there too many pieces to mess with it)? Just to confirm, we're talking about the Doreen, right? I think you may have bought some others too? Or maybe that was someone else who talked to me about ordering from Figleaves...

  3. The back was fine, I ordered a 36 and while it was tight it was okay. I think I must have screwed up on the cup size. It's probably 3-4 sizes too small. I did order another set. It's by Pureda. I've never heard of them but I think it's a cheapy brand. The fabric doesn't feel very nice and I don't think it's going to last. I think I'll just stick to Freya and others like it!

  4. You brave, brave woman!

    Congrats on the pants, and good for you on the "sloper" :).

    I'm torn on the issue of bra-making. On the one hand, I usually want my bras molded and padded to heck, which seems like it would be hard to do myself. On the other hand finding a well-fitting bra is a b$&@$. On the third hand, I'm in the "why bother" size range (which brings me back to the padding ;) ). However I fully support the better-endowed in their quest for the perfect bra. Those who are about to bra-fit, I salute you. ;)

  5. Heather: I'm going to look Pureda up on the site - I've never heard of it! You know, that's the way I felt about the Panache Cleo line. It was designed to look good in the photos, and maybe on a woman with light D sized boobs, but not for actual breasts with heft.

    T: I don't think I'd be as motivated if I didn't have breasts that require architectural support :-) These days, it's pretty easy for me to find great stuff that fits, but it's pricey! And I want to know that I can solve (IMO) a true fitting challenge. :-) It's a lot of work to come out the other size with something that doesn't fit. Mind you, since I did the coat, I think I may cured of that feeling :-)

  6. I think I remember you mentioning the Cleo...? Maybe? Anyhoo, I just ordered another Freya Pollyanna (the exact copy of what I own now. Hey, I gotta stick with what works!) and 2 Panache Tango II's, one sky blue and the other a floral print. Have you tried that one? I got all three super cheap on ebay. Now I'm hoping they are the actual thing. My plans are to copy the Freya and if the others fit well, copy those too. I have all this lovely fabric I need/want to use up!

  7. Congrats on the pants sloper. I'm almost there with my pants fitting quest and hopefully, this last set of changes will be it.

    I'm so with you on the bra sewing. I decided to start the new year with a new bra pattern and renewed determination to sew a bra that fits me! I really like the Danglez bra pattern but I think I'm bigger than the largest size range. I'm using Queen Elite to get the correct size. Once that's done, I think I can alter the Danglez pattern to fit me. I would love to go to BraMaker's to take a class and to shop! However, Hamilton, ON is a looooong way from Atlanta, Georgia. Good Luck with the bra sewing:)

  8. Carla: It's amazing how many commonalities we have. Here's hoping we both have some good luck with the bras in 2011!

  9. Bras really aren't that bad to make. They only look intimidating, once you do it once or twice and realize that there's nothing freaky going on you'll make tons of them--especially because one that fits properly is so nice to wear! :-) Which patterns have you tried? I've used Kwik Sew 3300, as well as the Queen Bra Elite from Anne St. Clair of Needle Nook (I also took her class, which if you didn't live in another country I would highly recommend.) I've had good luck with both, and they are both easily customizable once you nail the fit (which if you are for sure wearing the right size of bra shouldn't be too big of a deal). You can check out Anne's blog (http://ndlnookfab.blogspot.com/) to find her contact information if you'd like to try the Queen Bra Elite (which looks rather like the Doreen bra you recently purchased). Good luck!

  10. CGC: I know they're not anywhere near as bad as, say, coats ;-) I've used the Bra-maker's Linda (horrible on me), Danglez DB4, a Maekwaerdigh (sp??). Most of the attempts are cataloged if you search on this blog by "bra" or "bramaking".

    I have checked out needlenook which I've heard really good things about. Her pattern seems to follow the same general sloper shape that so many of the bra patterns have - and that shape doesn't seem to suit mine.

    I have wanted to try KwikSew (which Myrna really recommends) but the sizing isn't good for me - the back sizes are too large in the cups sizes that would fit, and everytime I try to alter for that, it goes sideways...