November Bra: Malborough from Orange Lingerie

Remember that I said I would sew a bra every month? It seems that I already failed in the second month as I can not show you a bra today. I was on a good way, but then I made a big mistake (more on that later). I cut a second version which is nearly finished. However, yesterday evening I decided to take my time (and unpick and redo the underwire casing) instead of sewing in a rush, being unhappy with the result only to meet a selfimposed (!) deadline. So today I will show you my fitting alterations, and next month I can show you a pretty completed Malborough. Call it cheating, I call it effective stress management :-)

Choosing the size:

I have a weird bra size. My measurements put me to a 75AAA, but I need the width of a 75B cup. Most of the fullness is in the lower part of the bust. This means I will always have to do a lot of alterations to fit the cup to my size. I decided that chosing the size according to my measurements would not help me. Rather I looked up what US size corresponds to the European 75B. That is why I started with a 34A.


I made a test cup out of paper towels with a casing for the underwire as I had learned in the lingerie workshop I took in summer. This is such a great method to help fitting the cup, especially in my case. It is a bit difficult, though, to hold the cup with one hand and pin out the excess with the other hand. Here are my different steps:


The first cup is the original 34A without alteration. I do not know what happened with the second try….I was sometimes also a bit unsure at which angle the cup would sit in the bra, that is why I had to redo some of the changes again. I needed five tries to get the fit right (imagine I would have sewn five bras…I am sure I would have given up). As this process was all trial-and-error you can see the final changes best in comparison with the original pattern pieces:


I left the power bar unchanged. The lower cup is smaller at the sides, but the bust point is 1cm higher. The upper cup is also smaller at the side and approximately the same amount that the lower cup is higher it is lower.

Test Bra:

I used some knit scraps to make a first test bra. Everything went well so far, and I even added some lace scraps.


While cutting I forgot to add seam allowance to the bottom edge of the foam. I only noticed this mistake when I wanted to sewn on the casing. You may imagine my frustration: A bra messed up and I would probably not be able to meet my November deadline.


I took a deep breath and basted the straps and closure to the bra so that I could at least try it on and get an idea of the fit. It was quite good, as far as you can say with only one wire and a strap getting loose during the fitting. I noticed that the upper cup had a tendency to press the bust a bit flat. So I slashed the upper cup piece in the middle and spread it open 1 cm to give more width. I compared the length with the BHS10 cup piece, and this was the same.


The Malborough bra is very similar to the BHS10 bra, so I stayed to the construction order I learned. I only had a quick view on the instructions for the Malborough. The main difference is how the casing is sewn on. On the Malborough the casing is hidden under the elastic at the sides and closed in the middle with a bar tack in the end. I learned to close the casing at the end that will lay in the center with a bar tack before it is sewn in, so that the visible bar tack will be at the side. Maybe I will try the “Malborough method” in a future version and decide which I like more.

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This is not OK – The Catalogue

You remember that some weeks ago I wrote about the campaign from Susanne from mamimade. She wanted to show the world that we do not forget and still care about the fate of the seamstresses in the factories. Now the catalogue is finished. Nearly 300 blogger participated and show an outfit that is either self-made or fair wear. The catalogue is in German, but I think that does not matter as the majority are just pictures. My entry is on page 68.

Fell free to share this catalogue if you want to, and now enjoy!

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October Bra: Merckwaerdigh BHS10

In order to not forget my lingerie sewing skills I decided to sew a bra every month. For my October project I chose again the Merckwardigh BHS10. As it has already been a while since I have sewn the last bra, I wanted to keep it easy. And I know that the fit is good.  For the panties I used again the Watson bikini pattern.

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This is now the fourth bra with this pattern, so there is nothing new to say about the construction. The only thing I changed is that I sewed a satin ribbon on the inside of the bra cups. I have seen this several times and I think it looks quite pretty.

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For the band I only used the powernet because the nude fabric is …just nude fabric and would not have added anything to the beauty (I think this color is just ugly…but it is the most invisible color to wear under white garments….).  I like the little bow, however, that I put in the middle to hide some uneven stitching:

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For this set I used a skin-colored kit from Sewy. What I do not like about the kits from Sewy is that they sell these for their own patterns. So you have to make sure that your bra pattern is similar to one of theirs. The charmeuse that came with the kit was too small for my bridge but luckily I had some in my stash that I could use.

For the next bra I will try a new pattern and use a more appealing fabric. I already have a kit with white lycra with red flowers and red notions.

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Itch to Stitch Idyllwild Hack and Birthday Party

Hi everybody,

I always wanted to make the Idyllwild Top with a V-neck instead of the scoop neck that comes with the pattern. I just like the look of V-necks better on me. So as Kennis from Itch to Stitch asked me if I would like to hack one of her patterns for her birthday party I joined in happily.


As it turned out there was only a tiny alteration needed. I used the large scoop neck as a basis. I only had to change the last few cm to get a V. In the picture below you see the original pattern peaking out just a little bit in the center front:


I love how it turned out. The V is slightly curved.

A technique I always wanted to try is to sew the neckline band a little differently. I saw this method in the book from Lynda Maynard “Professionell Schneidern” (The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques), and it looks so pretty. It is easier than the classic V-binding and looks more interesting, so double win here. The only thing I should take more attention to is the turning point of the topstitching. Next time I will mark it instead of eyeballing….



There is not much to say about the construction. All seams are serged. For the hem I used the cover setting of my serger. I added some elastic to the shoulder seam to prevent it from wearing out.

The fabric is a rayon-spandex knit, at least that is what I assume, as there was no content given. I found this piece in the scrap bin of a fabric store. Does it ever happen to you that you do not know why you purchased a certain piece of fabric? Well, I do not like rayon knits. Unfortunately for me this is what you most commonly find in the stores. I do not like pink. And I am unsure about prints. So, I really do not know why I bought this in the first place. Now I like it a lot. It goes well with jeans or a bit more dressed up with black trousers.

As I was short on fabric I had to piece the sleeves. Do you see where I pieced them together? No? Me neither. Actually I already forgot about it until I wore it for the first time and felt the seam on the inside. With this busy print I thought it would not be necessary to make sure that the sleeves are symmetrical. I am not sure if it would have been possible due to my fabric limitations, but shame on me I did not even try….All in all I am happy with this top and I am sure it will get a lot of wear.


IMG_6963Now to the birthday part: Itch to Stitch patterns is becoming 1 year. If you follow my blog you may have noticed that I test a lot for Kennis. I just love her patterns, I love the testing process and Kennis is such a lovely person and I enjoy working with her. Now she is throwing a big birthday party with a blog tour, giveaways and sale. Check it all out below. You have to klick on the rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway (for some reason I do not understand only the link shows on my blog…). Make sure to visit the Itch to Stich blog everyday as there is always a new giveaway. Have fun!

Itch to Stitch Birthday Fun

(scroll to the bottom to enter to win!)

Follow these blogs to see their awesome creations from Itch to Stitch patterns:

Scruffy Badger Time | Call Ajaire | Wally and Grace | Sew Wrong | Bella Sunshine Designs
Seaside Notions | Made by Jaime | Sweet Little Chickadee | Inspinration | Friends Stitched Together
Stoney Sews | Just Keep Sewing | My Little Sewing Dreams | Allie J. | Creative Counselor
Love, Lucie | Girls in the Garden |  FABulous Home Sewn | Goddess of Sewing | Rebel & Malice
The Telltale Tasha | House of Estrela | Made by Sara | Sew Shelly Sew | Red Knits

Be sure to scroll to the bottom for your chance to win great prizes by these sponsors:

Itch to Stitch First Anniversary Sponsors

The Fabric Store – $100 Gift certificate

Elliott Berman Textiles – Fabric bundle from France & Italy

Craftsy – three online classes of your choice

Girl Charlee Fabrics – $25 Gift certificate

Indie Sew – $25 Gift certificate

UpCraft Club – $25 Gift certificate

Quarto Publishing Group USA – the SHIRTMAKING WORKBOOK by David Page Coffin

The featured designer of the day will give away 2 patterns to a lucky winner:

 Baste + Gather

Straight Stitch Designs

Megan Nielsen Patterns

Jamie Christina

Hey June Handmade

Wardrobe by Me

Filles á Maman

Follow Itch to Stitch’s blog closely to win these patterns!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Preparing for Winter: Wristwarmers and Gloves

After my success with the Myrna cardigan I wanted to try a more complicated pattern. However, it should not be a too complicated project. So I searched for something small. What better than to try some wristwarmers or gloves? They would also be of need, as my (only) pair of gloves was beyond repair. I found a lot of free patterns on Ravelry and I started with wristwarmes. As there are no fingers to knit I could fully concentrate on the pattern.


These are the Fishtail Wristwarmers by Alexandra Brinck, a free download. This pattern needed my whole attention. I often had to unravel a part because I made a lot of mistakes. With time, though, I recognized the pattern and it was a bit easier. I love how they turned out. I am not sure if I will wear them very often, but the look so pretty. The palmside is a twisted, broken rib.


2015-10-03-Handschuhe-2Next came the gloves. I chose a more easier pattern as I would have to figure out how to knit the fingers. These are the Knotty Gloves by Julia Müller and I thought this would be perfect as the main pattern is finished before the fingers start. This was indeed ok for knitting, but the downside is that the pattern is hidden under the sleeves of my jacket when I am wearing the gloves. Nevertheless, I like them. I do need more practice with the fingers. There were some holes where the fingers start that I tried to close afterwards. I read different tutorials, and there are obviously different methods how to deal with this, so I will have to find the method that works best for me. Also, I noticed that you can see where I put the work down and continued the next day. These parts are always a bit uneven.


2015-10-03-Handschuhe-5I finished both projects already some weeks ago, and I am glad I did because I do already wear the gloves on a daily basis in the morning. With under 10°C I do need gloves for my bike-ride to work.

The wool is used is LANA Grossa Cool Wool, 100% lambswool I purchased in our local store. The color is a perfect match with the scarf I bought last year.


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Itch to Stitch: Davina Dress in Red and Blue

By now you can say that I have become an Itch to Stitch addict. When Kennis announced her new pattern and called for testers, I had to sign up. This dress has everthing I like: Fitted bodice, flared skirt, pockets. And it is for knit fabrics, so fitting issues are reduced and it will be comfy to wear. What more could you want?



The fabric is a rayon/spandex. I tried to match the print as best as possible. Both center front and center back seam are curved, so a 100% match is not possible, but I tried to keep the rows at the same level.


I lenghtened the shoulder by 2 cm. This is the same alteration I made for the Idyllwild Top. I also lenghtened the skirt of the red dress about 10 cm. I find it is a more balanced look with the 3/4 sleeves.

Construction Notes:

I followed the instructions which are very clear and detailed as always. As the body is fully lined I used a lightning stitch for the seams. All seams of the skirt are serged. For the hem of both sleeves and skirt I used a zigzag stitch just because I was short on thread.

I also made a second version. Actually, this was my muslin, but then I liked it so much, that I finished it.


2015-09-11-Davina8The waist is a bit higher on this version. I did not change anything in the pattern, this is just due to the diffferent fabrics. The skirt of the red version is much heavier and pulls the whole dress down. I like both looks, but the blue dress is more like the pattern is intended to look. I added a side zipper as the fabric has not a lot of stretch. In the end, it would not have been necessary. I also lined the skirt to add some opacity. I stitched in the ditch of the bottom of the waistband to add a bit stability and to join the lining to the outer fabric. At least, I tried. Despite pinning the fabric shifted a lot and the inside looks quite messy. I think I should have basted this before sewing. My attempt at sewing the lining to the zipper with the machine was also not very successful. In the end I sewed the skirt lining to the zipper tape by hand. So much neater and without cursing.

For the hem I used the “rolled hem” settings of my serger. I love the wavy effect.

No print matching for this dress, as I was short on fabric.



I love this dress. It is easy to sew and so comfy to wear. With the different sleeve variations and skirt length it can look quite different. I already have an amazing dark red wool knit to make a version for fall/winter.

This was my last summer sewing. Last week we spend on the island Usedom in the north east of Germany. We had a really nice weather and is was still quite warm. But now fall is already here with chilly mornings and a lot of rain. I have already made some sewing plans and started the next knitting project, a warm woolly cardigan.

Are you still sewing for summer, or do you already make plans for fall/winter?



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Two weeks ago I visited an exhibition at the “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg” called FastFashion. We all heard about the collapsed factory buildings with hundreds of dead and the awful working conditions of the seamstresses. But there is a lot more. Farmes literally bathing in pesticides while spraying the cotton plants with the capsules already open. Many of the workers have contaminations and some die on the way to the hospital. The farmers can not read and depend on what the dealers tell them who, for their part try to sell as much as possible else the big companies stop using them as dealers. The cotton is soaked with the pesticides so the women who work with it later on also have health problems. And so it goes on. Rivers changing their color several times a day due to the dye factory…I never realised that shearing of sheeps or angora rabbits often goes along with cruelty to animals. It was really depressing.

But there is also hope, as the second part of the exhibition “Slow fashion” showed. There are companies that try to manufacture environmetally sound and under fair working conditions. Fibers that are fast growing as bamboo or do not need as much water as cotton (there is an incredible amount of water needed for one single T-shirt) like linen or hemp. I will try in the future to be more thoughtful with my fabric purchases.

But we tend to forget again during everyday life.

With all that still going on in my mind I stumbled over the campaign from Susanne from mamimade, a German sewing blog. Susanne is going to make a catalog with entries from sewing bloggers to show the world that we did not forget and still care about the fate of the seamstresses in the factories. I did not have to think twice about joining!


Unfortunately, I did not have the time to make a photo especially for the campaign so I have to use old ones that fulfill the specifications: all garments shown have to be selfmade or fair wear, also the shoes. That is why I am barefooted.











Shirt: Simplicity 1849

Shorts: Angelia Shorts from Itch to Stitch

Edit: I just read that bamboo is always made to viskose/rayon as the natural bamboo fiber can not be used as it is. This means that a chemical process is necessary to manufacture the fabric. So bamboo may not be the first choice if looking for environmentally sound fibers.

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OAL 2015 Outfit: Myrna and Vogue 8726

Today I am showing you my OAL Outfit. For those of you who do not know what the OAL was all about: It was hosted by Lladybird and Andi Satterlund and the goal was to finish a complete outfit, dress and cardigan, until end of July. The official OAL dress was McCall6887 with a sew along with LLadybird, and the cardigan Vianne with a knit along with Andi. However, you could use any pattern you liked and just submit before the deadline. Last year I was very inspired by all those beautiful outfits so that I decided to give it a try. Sewing a dress would not be too difficult, but knitting a cardigan is (still) something new to me.


The Dress


The fabric is a cotton batiste, checked yellow and white. Usually, I line my summer dresses with cotton batiste, but here I tried some silk. I used “Pongé-Seide 08”. I think this is habotai, but I am not quite sure. Pongé is often used for silk painting and comes in different weights, is quite tightly woven and not too expensive. It behaved rather well while sewing and what can I say, I LOVE it as lining fabric. The feel on the skin, especially on hot days, is cool and smooth. I might change from batiste to silk for all my dresses now.



For the dress I used Vogue 8726 as a pattern. It has been in my stash for a long time already. Despite marked as “easy” the dress had a bit of a difficult time. It started all very well, though. I made a small bust alteration before making my muslin. The fit was good, with some ease. I tend to overfit my dresses, so I left it as it was. As this dress was meant to be worn on hot summer days I did not want to have it too tight. The front did look a bit boring and shapeless, so I added two small darts. Happy with the muslin I started sewing.  Originally I had planned to make the version with sleeves and wear the dress on my birthday end of June. But, first, I just could not get the sleeves right, and secondly, it was way too cold on my birthday for this dress.

Unfortunately, I did not muslin the sleeves. I thought that I would not need a muslin for those short sleeves. Big mistake. I had wrinkles at the back and when I raised my arm the whole dress would raise as well. I tried a lot of alterations. I raised the bottom of the armhole as far as I could, I draped the sleeve into the armhole on my dressform, I set the sleeve in turned forward a bit, nothing worked. It was a little bit better, but as I had already cut into the seam allowances I was very limited with the alterations. Finally, during one of the hot days this summer, when I tried the dress on, I decided to make it sleeveless. I wanted to finish, and such a lightweight dress was better without sleeves anyway I told myself.


I thread basted the seamlines to the fabric. All seams are French seams and the dress is fully lined. I did not underline the outer fabric as I did not want to add weight. In order to be able to handstitch the lining to the dress, I added facing for the neckline and armholes. As I did not found a zipper in a matching color, and did not want to use an invisible one, I made a lapped zipper for the center back. Until now, I only made a lapped zipper once, in the side seam of a skirt, and I was not sure if this would work, especially at the top, but everything worked out well.


I used this tutorial from “Handmade by Carolyn” how to set a zipper in a Fench seam. It was a bit fiddly and I definitively need more practice.


I had some issues with the back straps. I do not know why, but they just did not want to lay flat. Instead, the top edge was gaping a lot. In all pattern reviews I read nobody seamed to have had this issue. After inserting and unpicking and inserting again countless times I added a small ribbon at the inner top edge. The ribbon is 1 cm shorter than the edge and sewed in by hand. The straps are now a bit ripply, but I can live with that. It is not as bad as the gaping.



The hem is just turned over twice and sewn in place.



I have worn the dress a few times and it is really comfy. I like the back view, but I am not too sure about the front view. I think, I like dresses with princess seams more.

The Cardigan


Now for the Myrna. This was a real adventure as I had to decipher the English knitting instruction without knowing too much about knitting at all. But thanks to You Tube I learned a great deal and managed to finish this. And it actually looked like it should. Amazing.

As I wasn’t sure at all how this would turn out, I bought some wool that was on sale. It is a cotton/rayon/something blend but feels very soft. My gauge was a bit smaller than it should be, so I chose one size larger than according to my measurements. Only issue I had was with the button band. I just was not able to cast on as many stiches as the instructions told you to do. Maybe that it because I always slip the first stitch in a row instead of knitting? But I do not know. I also sewed a ribbon under to give the band some more stability. I am not too happy with the result, but that is more because I could not find any matching ribbon and the buttonholes came out quite messy.


Also, I miscalculated something and knitted one buttonhole too much. I decided to sew on the corresponding button and just leave this unbuttoned. Honestly, I do not like it buttoned very much. I would prefer a more looser fit. For the next cardigan I would also make it longer and add long sleeves. But this would have been too much to figure out for my first try. So I am just happy as is.


Posted in dresses, knitting, Uncategorized, Vogue | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Itch to Stitch Carey Top

I am a bit behind with blogging, and before I write about my OAL outfit, I wanted to write about my last make. Kennis from Itch to Stitch released a new pattern, the Carey Top, and I was one of the pattern testers.


This is a great top in the “throw-on-and-feel-good” category. It is easy to make and easy to wear. I sewed this up in an afternoon.


I used some cotton eyelet crinkle fabric I had in my stash for a few years. I never was sure what to make with it, but for this top it is perfect. It is drapey enough and not too thick. And it goes well with my Angelia shorts.

There is a separate shoulder panel which is great for color blocking. Some other testers did this and it is really nice. I did not have any suitable fabric for colorblocking, so I stayed with my main fabric.



None. As this is a loose fitting style I did not make a muslin but relied on the finished measurements that are given in the instructions. I made a size 2 and the lenght is perfect for me. However, as many testers lengthened the shirt, Kennis added a few inches to the final version. So be sure to check the lenght before sewing (there are shorten/lenghten lines included in the pattern so this is an easy fix).

Construction Notes:

As always the instructions from Kennis are clear and detailed. The most time-consuming part was sewing the drawstrings, but you can skip this and use purchased ribbon, twill tape or cording.  What I really liked is that in the instructions is a separate section how to make a narrow hem with three different methods. I used the “serger and sewing machine” method. This means I first serged the edge and then used this as a guide to double fold the hem over and stitched it in place. This worked really well.



First I was a bit unsure if I would like the shape. Usually I am for a more fitted look. But now I love it. I have also worn it tucked in with my long Emily culottes. This is a great and versatile top that I wear very often at the moment.

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OAL Winner 2015

Hi everyone,

I am so excited, I got chosen as one of the 4 random winners of the OAL 2015 that was hosted by Lladybird and Andi Satterlund. How awesome is that! This is my outfit:


The dress is Vogue 8726 and the cardigan is Myrna from Andi Satterlund. I will write a full blog post soon, so stay tuned!

Also, check out the other winners here and all of the entries here. There are so many lovely outfits.


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