Odds and ends and bad photographs

While I didn’t accomplish a lot on my summer vacation this year (other than the Jutlands), I did end up tackling a bunch of quick projects, several of which had been sitting for months or years.

The oldest is this Sewaholic Patterns Dunbar sports bra. I had cut it out pre Christmas… at least two and possibly three Christmases ago. It was meant to be a present for Syo, but I somehow got completely befuddled with all the pieces and it just seemed way too complicated.

This is too bad because when I finally did sew it up it only took about an hour. And it’s using some really nice fabrics—a wicking activewear, some proper power mesh for lining, with a lighter mesh for the sheer part.

The construction was complicated compared to the other sports bras I’ve made, which is not actually complicated in the grand scheme of things. The lining seams and the outer seams don’t line up because the outer layer has the side panels. This is actually nice because you don’t have as much bulk at the seam lines, but it confused the heck out of me (especially picking up the pieces years after cutting out.) I skipped the optional pockets for foam inserts, which made my befuddled brain happy but made me a little disappointed in myself since I had cut the pieces and everything.

The only other tricky bit was figuring out whether the top and bottom edges had seam allowance (they do), which I trimmed off from the top because I wanted to use fold-over elastic.

The soft mesh I used for the sheer part is a bit flimsy, maybe, but the look is perfect. So I’m pretty happy overall. And it’s one less thing sitting in a box! Bonus: in the same shoebox I found our handwritten family recipe book that has been missing for two years. WTF?

Last fall I had cut out a pair of Eléonore pants from a black denim-print ponte. I had issues with the topstitching and wound up stuffing them in a bag in frustration. Well, I finally put on my big girl pants and took another stab at it. I had to abandon the actual topstitching thread and use a triple straight stitch with regular thread instead. The only problem is that none of my machines will do a long stitch on this setting, which annoys me. But at least it’s done, and you have to look pretty close to notice the difference.

I have been doing all my topstitching lately on an old (80s) Elna a friend gave me. It doesn’t blink at topstitching thread (except with this stretchy fabric) but more importantly it’s got this weird air-bubble foot pedal that gives amazing control—the best I’ve had in a non-computerized machine—and an adjustable speed that goes from painfully slow (perfect for topstitching) to so fast you have to adjust the tension because the thread is getting pulled so quickly (perfect for topstitching with a triple stitch, which seems painfully slow otherwise)

They don’t stay up terribly well; I should probably put belt-loops on.

After getting those out of the way, I stumbled upon a remnant of black lingerie knit (nylon tricot) I picked up shortly before the store closed down. I’ve been meaning to make a black slip for a while—basically since I made this one, um, four years ago.

I’ve had this vintage Basic Knits pattern in my drawer of “patterns I’d like to make” for, well, quite a while. And, of course, I went with the version that’s almost identical to the Kwik Sew 717 I made before. Actually because I was lazy and didn’t want to have to trace and cut out two separate cup pieces for the princess seam version.

I cut the 36 bust grading to the 38 in the hips, and I took the bust in a tiny bit at the side seams. I could’ve gone another size larger in the hips. I’m not sure how I turned into a pear shape but apparently I have. I think I like the bust shape in the Kwik Sew pattern a little better, but this one will be perfectly functional, and I’ve needed a basic black slip for a long time. Oh, and I shortened the skirt by about 6″, because as drafted it would’ve been well below my knee.

That may have been a bit excessive, as it’s pretty short, but it’s easier to wear a short slip under a long dress than the reverse. Anyway, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a good addition to the wardrobe come slip season… which is getting distressingly close here.

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5 Comments

Filed under Sewing

5 responses to “Odds and ends and bad photographs

  1. What joy you must have felt to find that hand-written recipe book!! I can imagine the whoop 🙂 Love your old slip pattern – sometimes you come across these in a thrift shop and what a find! I’ve found several Stretch & Sews that have turned out to be just the best patterns.

  2. Well done on actually finishing old projects! I’m really guilty of stuffing projects in to a bag when I get frustrated so it’s nice to see someone actually getting stuff done 🙂

  3. That bra is very pretty, I’m glad to read more about its construction. I’m making family members tell me exactly what they wanted from the thing they left on my sewing table. I want to clear out the unfinished guilt objects before autumnal sewing work begins again.

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