Journey into bra making

Being a stay at home mom and working in the fitness industry my whole adult life, the need for a “real bra” wasn’t there. Plus, have you seen the prices?!  A nice bra is not in my budget!  But every woman wants a nice bra at some point.  When I heard Phee Fabrics was going to start selling bra kits, I knew I had to give it a go! 04FB1C2F-F34D-4363-A8EB-9D1A29827407

 

 

All my my fabric and notions came from Phee Fabrics. I wanted to be sure I was using high quality material because we all know that materials can make or break your project. Also I wanted to be sure that it would last with all the work I was putting into it. The bra kits come with all the basics that you need. You will need to buy lace , fabric, underwire casing , and underwires. For me the supply list was the most overwhelming part, and Phee Fabrics simplified that for me. The rest is open for customization. I’m not lying, I was so stressed over what colors to get, what would look good, etc.  It’s really not bad once you get into it. I used the amethyst lace and the black denier tricot. . I also had to cut my wires to fit. Super easy!  Just use snips or bolt cutters and go over with either plasti dip or clear nail polish. 

 

I chose the Lansdowne Bra bra from Orange Lingerie.    I had heard great things about their patterns and I can say they lived up to the hype. The instructions are so well written. The whole thing was a breeze! This was my first bra I’ve ever sewn aside from sports bras. If I can do this, anyone can!!! 

The Lansdowne bra has an option for a “cleavage cookie”.  Who doesn’t want a cleavage cookie?? Basically you make a pocket on the cup so that you can put your “cookie” in there if you want more of a boost.  For the cookie, you just cut the cut and sew foam and serge the edges.  I did two layers but you can do as many as you’d like.  This isn’t part of the pattern but it’s on their blog.

Another great bit of info I got off the Orange Lingerie blog, is how to adjust your back band to fit whatever size hook you’re using. I did have to adjust that.

 

 

 

In the last month I have made 4 bras!!  However, I only have 1 that fits. Sizing is probably the toughest part about bra making. If you know your size, then you have a good place to start. The last time I was sized, it still wasn’t the right fit.  Also I’ve been leaning out this year and my measurements have changed so much.  The thing about making your own bra is you customize the entire thing. Mine is all different sizes fused together to make something that fits me pretty well and is really comfy. 

The fabrics are delicate and you will most likely have to do some seam ripping. One tip I picked up, use navy thread on black or cream on white so that it’s easier to see if you have to use Jack the Ripper. And not noticeable. This bra has TONS of imperfections!!  Don’t look too closely. By the time I got to this final one, I was a little tired of seam ripping. Plus for some reason, I couldn’t get the cups to line up perfectly on this one. I seam ripped 3 times, and after that, I left it. I didn’t have this issue on any of the others I made so I think it’s because I needed pictures of this one. Hahaha!!

 

 

As far as time goes, it’s a pretty quick sew. You could easily make one in an afternoon. The second one I made, took me 2 hours!  I’m hooked!! I want to make all the bras!

Here it is under a t shirt made with Phee’s rayon spandex. Honestly it’s the most comfortable “real bra” I’ve had in years. I’m so stinking proud of this bra, even with its imperfections.

 

 

 

 

With all these great blog posts this month, I hope y’all are inspired to go make your own. Thanks for reading!!

 

NOTE: There may be affiliate links that earn commission. But it all goes to my fabric addiction

A New Level

I’m one of those crazy people that LOVE to workout. I do not skip days, unless I’m sick. I pretty much LIVE in gym clothes. The only problem with that is athletic clothing is ridiculously priced. I’m sure you’ve seen those ads on Facebook and you’ve gone to check the price. Then you quickly back out of that link because that price is crazy. I know I do!  I found this ad for these super cool leggings with wide mesh insets on the sides….like racing stripes. And of course there was a matching sports bra. Why not take my gym attire to a whole new level?!  96E78B5E-B0AD-4D8E-AAB8-FBD62CF64670So here is how I did my recreation.

I got all my materials from Phee Fabrics. The quality is always outstanding, all the fabrics are made in the USA, prices are reasonable, customer service is outstanding, and shipping is fast. https://pheefabrics.com/?aff=6

There is a discount code for today 2/24/2019 only! Get 1 yard of supplex and 1/2 yard of wide mesh for $21.50 so you can create your own pair! Discount code is JessBundle

https://pheefabrics.com/jessica-bundle/?aff=6

*Olive supplex.  It’s 18 oz and totally squat proof. If you’re looking to make leggings, or pants in general…look no further. It’s also great for dresses, hoodies, and anything else your heart desires. It has 75% 4 way stretch, antimicrobial, and it’s moisture wicking. https://pheefabrics.com/olive-supplex-18-oz/?aff=6

*Black wide mesh.  This stuff is really versatile. It wasn’t too bad to work with either. Just add a little extra seam allowance to be sure you get all the little points, and use lots of pins or clips. Wonder tape is also a big help. It’s really stretchy and looks super cool! It’s got 4 way stretch and so many different things you can do with it! https://pheefabrics.com/black-wide-mesh/?aff=6

*Camo powernet.  I couldn’t resist lining this bra with this camo powernet. It’s so soft that it doesn’t bother me to have it directly on my skin. It has great holding power. It’s the best quality powernet I’ve seen. Plus the camo color makes me feel like a badass. https://pheefabrics.com/camo-powernet/?aff=6

*Plush bra strap elastic.  I’m in love with the fact I didn’t have to deal with making straps! This stuff is super plush and feels amazing! https://pheefabrics.com/plush-bra-strap-elastic/?aff=6

I did also use fold over elastic that I grabbed at Joanne fabrics. 

For the leggings I used the peg legs from Patterns for Pirates. https://www.patternsforpirates.com/product/peg-legs/

It’s a free pattern and if you download the add ons (also free) then you are set!  I really love the contoured waistband that’s on the add on. It’s amazing. I shorten it because I’m short. I take 1” right off the top.

For the side panels, I measured how big it was and figured out my measurements to fit the mesh, supplex, mesh in there. Make sure you add seam allowance to all pieces. After putting the side panels together, I topstitched the seam to the supplex so it wouldn’t stick out under the mesh. Then add on the front, back and waistband. Don’t forget to hem! Or if you’re like me….you’ll just fold them under. Lol!

 

For the bra, I used the powersports bra from Greenstyles Creations. https://greenstylecreations.com/collections/fitness-clothing/products/power-sports-bra-in-cup-size-a-h-and-bands-28-46

First I made the front all one piece. So overlapped then 3/8” to eliminate the seam allowance and traced. Then I lowered the neckline to have a little more of a plunging effect. The racer back option, doesn’t need to be changed at all. Except you don’t need to cut the straps.  So you can cut that quite a bit shorter.

 

To get the wide mesh center piece, I kinda winged it. I’m an out side of the box thinker.  I measured how long of a piece I needed from where the front straps go to the back piece. Then I added an 1”. I wanted extra wiggle room.  Then I guessed on the neckline too. This wide mesh has a lot of stretch to it and it worked out perfectly.

 

The construction is the same except you’re going to add that wide mesh in when you sew the front. I blasted the layers together before serging, to be sure I had it all and that it was in right. It’s hard to tell in the picture but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about  if not, leave a comment!F9970017-7C67-4B45-B47F-74BC81624D7C

I used the bra strap elastic instead of making straps. Now I want to make all the bras since I can just grab some of this stuff. 

To attach the wide mesh to the back straps, I did it just like the front. Just follow the directions. I was expecting to have issues at this point but I did not.

 

 

To finish it off I use FOE (fold over elastic). It all went smoothly until I got to the last few inches on my last seam. So frustrating!!!  Took it all out and re did it with no problems.  I think the FOE was a good choice because it seems to add some support around the wide mesh. 

Now I have a really hot outfit that I can wear to the gym, or at home and I didn’t spend nearly as much money.  Thanks for reading!!

96E78B5E-B0AD-4D8E-AAB8-FBD62CF64670.png

 

Let me tell you about my best friend…

Valentine’s Day….you either love it or you hate it. As kids we give all our friends valentines and it’s really exciting. As an adult, it becomes more about a significant other. And then you become a mom…..

To me, it’s a day about love. Whether it’s your significant other, best friend, child, parent/s, or pet….it all comes down to love.  There is nothing better than having someone show that they care. For the most part, we all love to feel “loved” and “wanted”. 

I was going to write about HTV’s but honestly, y’all probably know more than me. I’m kind of late to the game. Any thought I have that I’d like to put out there, most likely isn’t appropriate. However, now I’m a mom, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon. 

Phee Fabrics now has cutfiles on the site. This “Best Friends” cutfile is perfect!  I’m so in love with our matching shirts. You can get it here https://pheefabrics.com/best-friends-valentine/ I used the cherry rayon spandex. Here’s the link https://pheefabrics.com/cherry-rayon-spandex/I’m also in love with the fabric. The color is gorgeous and the fabric is to die for. Soft, thick (13 oz), and it doesn’t stretch out as you wear it. Also, it’s made in the U.S.A.  And it’s great for HTV! Go check out all the new amazing fabric, lace, notions, and cutfile listings!  Phee has you covered with great supplies to make the best gifts for all your “valentines”.

For the pattern I used the Mama Stella and Stella by Made for Mermaids.  I just omitted the waist band on both. On mine I added thumbhole cuffs. You can read how I did that here https://pheefabrics.wordpress.com/?s=Thumbhole+cuff

While it’s a few weeks early, I’m celebrating all the amazing people I have in my life, especially this little firecracker here. She may look just like her daddy, she acts just like me!  Happy Valentine’s everyone!!!

Thumbhole cuff hack

Now that winter is in full swing, my hands are always cold. I seriously think all long sleeve shirts should have thumbhole cuffs. I find them more functional than gloves and they are always right there. No need to search for the lost match. Luckily this is super easy to accomplish with any pattern. 

My goal is to have an entire wardrobe made from Phee Fabric’s Rayon Spandex. Not even joking!  I feel like I’ve written so much about it, and for good reason. It’s thick and has great drape. Easy to work with, buttery soft, and doesn’t lose its shape by the end of the day. It’s very affordable AND it’s also Made in the USA🇺🇸. I used the cherry color and it’s absolutely gorgeous!  I can’t wait to buy more!  If you’re thinking you need to give this rayon spandex a try, here’s the link:https://pheefabrics.com/cherry-rayon-spandex/

I hacked the cuffs on the Mama Stella by Made for Mermaids. Here’s the link to the pattern: https://www.madeformermaids.com/product/mamastella/I already shortened the my pattern piece by 1.5” I believe. I used the “banded top” length. You could use the tunic length and make it a little longer if crop tops aren’t your thing. I made the shirt per the pattern instructions except I left off the waistband and hemmed instead. 

For the wrist cuff I kept it the same width but added 3” to the length. I’m petite with small hands. You could easily add more. I would suggest putting the shirt on to see where the sleeves hit and measuring how long you want the cuff to go. Then double that number. 

First I folded in half lengthwise and put my hand on it to see where I wanted my thumbhole. Yes I know…not very scientific but MY brain does best without math.  I marked where I want the thumb hole to start and end. I usually make notches instead of using pins. You could also mark with chalk. Once you unfold it, you will have 4 notches or pins, two for each side of the thumbhole. Then you’ll fold it over width wise and mark on that side where the marks are on the other side. So it should look like this. a5113dda-2440-45a4-a8da-e3ab97715a10

Fold it widthwise so that right sides are facing. Mentally label the marks 1,2,3,4.  You’re going to sew, using a stretch stitch, from point 2-3.d0197d46-0c72-4698-913b-2c67b748e7f7

This is where it gets confusing. From there, you’re going to fold it, right sides together still, so that point 1 and 4 line up, on one side. I did the right side first. And you’re going to sew between those points. Be sure that nothing is getting caught up in this. Keep all the other pieces pulled to the side. I like to overlap a little on all of these different points. You want to try and keep all the different stitches in one straight line.

 

Then you’ll do the same on the other side. 

So you still have these little tail pieces. 6b6f2007-16ca-46d2-841a-7cc5d2cc09a2You’re going to stitch them up like so. Be sure to start on the existing stitch line, then go out towards the end.  From there you’ll turn it out and you’ll have a thumbhole cuff with no exposed seams. Attach to the sleeve like normal. 

If you’re a visual person like me, here’s a great video. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=awxGJ0ugV1s

Here’s to us all having warmer hands for the rest of the winter season!  Thanks for reading!

 

 

Tulip Back Hack

I happened to come across this really cute tulip back, cropped sweatshirt on Pinterest. I didn’t even bother looking up the price. Sweatshirts are always so expensive and well…I’m super cheap. I always need long sleeve shirts for the gym, for most of the year. I gotta keep my muscles warm and my gym isn’t exactly the warmest in the cooler months. 

I chose to do then Centerfield raglan top from Greenstyle Creations. I love raglans!  I’ve had this pattern for a while and just haven’t gotten around to sewing it up. Greenstyle Creations patterns typically fit me really well without any adjustments. Also there is an add on pack to add a hood or a cowl neck to the Centerfield Raglan.

I decided to do this shirt in rayon spandex from Phee Fabrics. The drape is amazing. It’s buttery soft and oh so comfy!  If you haven’t tried their rayon spandex before, do yourself a favor and give it a try!  It is not like any other rayon spandex. It’s heavy, 13 oz to be exact. It has great recovery so it won’t stretch out during the day. I used the emerald color and it is gorgeous!! Pictures do not do this color justice! You can get it here. https://pheefabrics.com/emerald-rayon-spandex/

The first thing I did was take off 3.25” out of the length of the front and back. I wanted it shorter but not too short. As much as I wanted it cropped length, I just couldn’t do it. I am still fighting the post c section mom tummy. Then I cut the pattern like normal. Except I cut out two back pieces. You’re going to lay those pieces right sides together, so that you will get a mirrored image. If you have a tulip style pattern, you can definitely use that to cut your back pieces. I just kinda winged it, because that’s just how I roll. I drew a barely visible line on the fabric so I had a guide when cutting.

Then I went ahead and hemmed the curved back pieces and basted the shirts together with both right sides facing up.ed1a9451-0be5-4359-8736-541098fa8e96

From there you just follow the instructions, treating those two back pieces as one. And don’t forget to hem the front. 

I love how it turned out!  It’s cute and stylish but also kinda loose for hiding those holiday pounds until they are gone. I already made a second one out of supplex….with a hood!  Thanks for reading!

Diana Dress Hack

With all the Black Friday sales, I found myself checking out some less known pattern designers. No better time like a sale to try something new. I bought the Diana dress from Sew Sew Def with the idea of changing it up. I love the look of the full or pleated skirt with a crop top so I decided to do that. This pattern doesn’t really come with many options. Lining is optional, but I did line it because it’s cold here in the winter. 

 

While this pattern is written for wovens, I chose to use burgundy supplex from Phee fabrics. It has good recovery, it’s thick, it does show ever lump and bump, which is important with all the holiday feasting. 

7E5EA77B-04D6-4BD4-8835-C195CA888B3E

As far as choosing your size when sewing a woven pattern with knits, compare your measurements to the finished measurement chart. This will be a good starting point. I still ended up sizing down one more and could’ve sized down again, if the pattern had that option. I ended up sizing down 3 sizes and it was still a little big in places. 

For the bodice, I eliminated the zipper since I was using stretch fabric. So I subtracted that extra bit that was needed for the zipper, when I cut it out. I lined it with the same fabric. Now I did make a muslin of the bodice and still ended up with fit issues. It was a little big and I didn’t think it was that noticeable until I topstitched the neckline. Yikes! It was huge. But it was already put together. I decided I didn’t care if it had exposed seams at this point. Yes! I totally took the easy way out on this part, not gonna lie. So I ended up taking half an inch off each side and then I added a seam down the middle of the back, and took out a whole inch. I then topstitched that seam.  I then hemmed the bottom. This way I can either wear the skirt over the top like it’s a dress, or I can expose a little skin, depending the the occasion.

 

For the skirt, I wanted a lot less fullness on my petite frame, so I only used the front piece. I did pleats instead of gathering. I messed around found an even measurement for the pleats and the space between them. Basted the pleats, Then I added a waist band. I took 3-4” off my waist measurement and did 5” In height. I did eliminate the pockets.  

BD4FDB88-AB3B-4A33-AE65-AEC111B58E64I was very discouraged throughout the making of this pattern. The pattern itself is easy, and well written but I had to do some work to make it what I wanted it to be. Honestly I’m in love with the final outcome!  Once I tightened the bodice up a lot more, it all came together. 

  You may end up loving what you find on the other side of it.