What do lobster claws, split rings and jump rings have to do with sewing.  When jewelry making and sewing meet head to head, a person like me is open to whatever comes out of the meeting.  I don’t mind learning new things and getting really great ideas to make my handmades look extra special with that little detail that causes it to stand apart in my closet.  Besides, I enjoy DIY in every form, when the mood strikes.  I’m feeling mighty accomplished because I took the time to learn a little something about jewelry making and how to apply it to garment making.  I know full well I’m not the first to add a little extra, but this is really kinda cool.  A little tedious, but all the same–cool.


TaaDaaa!!  ahem…I’m happy.  Jewelry supplies and findings may become another storage bin in my sewing cave for an additional creative outlet, when the mood arises.  Until then, jeweled additions to my sewing arsenal may become a regular occurrence.  The top was simple enough to finish in three – four hours because of the fine sewing needed to finish all the hemming and straps.  

Adding the jewelry took it to the next level, and I am glad I made the effort.  This was a learning curve.  First, I didn’t know that every little piece of the necklace was a different purchase.  What are jump rings, lobster claws, cable chains, and split rings used for.  I ended up going back and forth to the Joanns Fabric and crafts three to four times.  No one at the store knew what to tell me, so of course, I had to go to the trusty YouTube university to learn a little jewelry making 101.  My hats off to the wonderful folks who take the time to serve up a little advice and direction for trying new things.  I consider all YouTube videos an introduction to skills before I go to a college course and layout my money, only to discover it isn’t something I like to do.  I’ll dabble in YouTube videos all day.

Pattern Review:  Simplicity 1424 with several views.   Let us say…straight off the bat, I love love love this top!!!  So much so, that I need to hurry and make another version before I ruin this one with snags and makeup stains.  It is not silk, too bad.  I was desperate to find this color to go with my palazzo pants, but couldn’t decide on any other top than this one.  The fabric just cried out to be this blouse.  Lots of back interest, both mine and the blouse.  Great for daytime summer fun, or a great date with the mate.

The front has an overlay for you to add extra layers for modesty of the girls and to coverup and camouflage the “unmentionables.”  But I dare mention the “un-mentionables!!!  Adhesive Bras, bust lifts and the like are the thing for swanky tops, dresses and blouses, these days.  I love them, OMG, did I say I love them.  Yes, I did!!!  Anyhoo, moving on to the topic at hand.  No more avoiding certain styles because you don’t have options for coverage.  Check out what is out there.
The back has the cowl neck finish which could use a weight added to the center to help hold it down, if you use a light flowing fabric.  It falls really low!!!  My pants are high-waisted, it doesn’t get to the top of the pants because I pulled up the strap.  But, keep that in mind when you decide to make this.
The hem length is really long in the back and has adjustable strap rings that connect the cross strap as well as the shoulder straps together in one.  This helped, at least for me to pull up the under arm as well as the front to the height you want, and you can change it later for more room.  
Alterations:  My changes to the pattern were very minimum with this top.  I used the size 14 with a 3/4″ FBA using the pivot and slide method.  (I suggest if you want to know something about the pivot and slide method, to start with Nancy Zeiman…she is the originator of the technique, anyone else, may very well be watering it down.  I figure, learn from the best to understand the rest.) I usually use this technique when I need to make a very small change without lengthening the front.
Instructions:  Pretty straight forward.  The confusing part was threading the straps and sewing them down around the rings.  On the front I chose to leave off the strap across the chest. (it looked dorky).
Simplicity 1424
As always, thanks for visiting my slice of the world wide web.  Anytime you have any questions please let me know by emailing me or hitting me up on Instagram or twitter.  Also, most of my reviews are placed on the Pattern Review website in much more detail. 

 

I have always wanted to wear those cute little “no wire” Victoria’s Secret bralettes.  But lets be serious, those are like training bras, really! They are really cute, yet now support. What came along is this cute little doodad.

A pattern put out by Cloth Habit.  This thing fit me great straight off the bat.  You really have to follow the thorough “step-by-step” instructions to be successful.   

 For the panties I compared the pattern to my regular “sloper” TNT pattern Kwiksew 3238 which is actually a swimwear pattern.  From that comparison, I had to raise the back rise by one inch.  I did not change the legs or front, but next time I will just use my regular pattern.

 The straps are 1/2″ rings and sliders, with elastic bra straps.  I got mine at Hancock, it was just a “replacement kit”.  I bit the bullet on that because my other stock straps were 5/8″, so I will have to change the bra to fit the 5/8″.  If you are more blessed up top, I have found its best to use a 5/8″ or 3/4″ strap for support.

 The inside is not lined.  I will line mine the next time.  But, I was okay with the way it was drafted, since, for me, I consider it a casual set, especially, when using this cotton lycra.

 I use medium power net to line the back bands, which is required by the pattern.  The rest of the band, I doubled for support.

The fabric was from a kit I bought from Needle Nook fabrics.  They have wonderful sets with a wonderful array of colors.  You just tell them what you want and they will oblige.  BONUS…they are in the states..yeepee, low shipping.  The rest I always buy at Fabric Depot Company because I can dye them any color, and they have a terrific selection of cotton lycra.  All the sample sets are $2.00 and include a bundle of samples.
All-in-all this is an excellent pattern in my book.  I particularly like the long-line version.  However, next time I make I will make a few adjustments to tweak the fit based on my Bra Class from Craftsy.

 Bra making is quickly becoming my new love.  Its quick and satisfying all at the same time.  Especially when you are certain to come out of it with a perfectly fitting bra.

One might wonder, why it would be ok to publically talk about, let alone disclose the interworkings of your foundation garments.  Of couse, any woman would admit “albeit” in private, that she has always wanted to be open and discuss the problems she has with the undergarments.  We all look for the perfect fit in clothing, whether it be pants, blouses, t-shirts, dresses, and the like.  Who doesn’t want their boobs to fit “inside” the bra cups.  Tara Banks was candid enough to have a show about the “bra”.  Oprah Windfrey discussed it and women listened.  There spawned the bra fitting craze so to speak.  Even pattern companies increased their offerings.  What is so illusive about fitting a bra or underwear?

 Tara knows how to make us feel comfortable about the requirements of the body.

Moving forward…I remember last month spending 3 hours in the Dillards lingerie department getting fit for bras.  It was horrible, I was tired, my hair was a mess, and nothing fit.  You say, I’m small in comparison to the average woman with bra problems… Yes, I have a small chest area, 1/2 inch is all it takes to cause a bra to sag, and I hate saging.  I want my bra to hug my chest, not sit away creating a ridge under my clothing.  “It does matter.” 

After taking my bra class in Atlanta last year, I have only made two additional bras, but during this time, I have been complaining about the ill fitting bras.  I just don’t want to get rid of so many bras. However, when inventorying my stock, and I do have a large supply, I found that I am wearing only a select few the most, including the ones I made, which are my favorite.
  So, I look over all these bras and clean house…..
After all that I still saw that I need more of the nice ones.  The ones I learned how to make that just fit me, and me alone.  In comes my trusty pattern drafted especially for me…Intimately Yours, Bras That Fit, by Anne St. Claire. Needlenook fabrics 
I like the kit idea, because I can just work on any item I want anytime because I know all the pieces are there for me.
I made the matching panties from the panty kit provided by Needlenook Fabrics using Kwik Sew 2908, view B- bikini.  The fabric is a wonderfully satiny nylon.  The size may seem off, but trust me, when you really have the correct fitting bikini panty they may appear big.  I was shocked, however, I did not want to change the size until I was completely finished so as to get a true “fitting” of the final garment.  They really fit, with full bottom coverage and a low ride.  No panty lines.  Yee Pee!  The crotch will be narrowed an inch in the next pair, but really these are some great fitting panties.  So if you have buns that cup under a little, these have a nice curved bottom that catches all that rump. 
 Compared to the first pair I made, in which I used vanity sizing, I cut a small, because I figured the pattern has to be wrong.  I got a really good pair of panties that I had to give away….
I used some of the blue panty fabric to line the lace area of the bra for a little more coverage.  Although, the bra kit came with a lightweight nude tricot lining. Anne told me I could have dyed it brown using some strong coffee.  duh  I didn’t think of that. More about the bra…  When I first learned to make these bras, my first complaint was that I donot want a “line” to show through my clothes.  But as you can see, the line isn’t really that prominent.  I found that the slight curve in the sewn cup actually causes it to sit just a little off and properly fitting clothes just hang past the line.  Aaannnd…the bra isn’t pointy, like it might appear.
I especially the way the band covers the side of the body…
…and how the back has the 3 hook/eye combination.  This is much more comfortable and supportive.  Anna has a reason and really good explanations for the structure of the bra.  The whys and why nots are important for someone like me.
Of course, you are not seeing the pesky little rings in these bras.  Thats because you don’t need adjustible straps if they were made just for you.  Why do you need to adjust anything? Right? 
For my straps on this one, I tried one of her variations talked about in the book.  I made a 1/2 version.  Although, I really do like the suggested 3/4″ or 1″ versions.  I will not be making the narrow strap again…it hurts.
You should probably get used to the idea of making your own bras.  My Mom already told me she absolutely loves hers and that I should make some more right away.  “Mom, I will, I am on it for sure.” Love you…
Thanks everyone for reading my blog…I really enjoy sharing.
Andrea