February Bra: Make Bra Free Bralette & String Set Pattern

Hi everybody,

Today I have something a bit different for my monthly bra, the free bralette and string pattern from Make Bra:

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As this is difficult to photograph when it lays on the floor, and as it does not make sense to take a picture from the black bralette on my black dress form, and as I am not willing to model it for you, you will have to refer to the picture from the Makebra site to see how it looks on the body:










This is a really cute, little strappy set and I especially like the bralette. The fabric is sheer lace that is a leftover from my Ladyshorts.

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For the elastic I used foldover elastic. The pattern is for regular elastic. At some places I had to cut the fabric to make it work for the foldover elastic. I did not have the recommended wide elastic for the bottom in black so I sewed a casing for the elastic out of black cotton batiste that I had in my stash. I made sure that the length of the casing was the same as the elastic when stretched to its maximum. In order to sew the cup pieces to the bottom elastic I put the elastic around my dress form and pinned everything in place. While sewing I stretched the elastic so that the cup fabric would lay flat.

The inside looks quite messy at least for me:

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First I was afraid that I would feel all those raw edges, but I do not. However, after some hours it starts to itch. But this is not a set that you wear all day long.

I found the instructions not very clear at some points, especially for the string. This was such a nightmare to sew and somehow the elastic always got twisted. In the end I put it on and tried to lay the elastic how it should and pinned it in place. Somehow it was twisted again when I put on the string the next time. I think I unpicked it at least five times….I may also have misunderstood the instructions at some point, as one elastic is a bit too long while another one is too tight. Look at this mess:

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You also have to pay attention where each elastic belongs when you put on the string. I did not fix the elastic in the front where they cross each other. The instruction did not say anything about it and so I am still able to adjust them how I like.

The pattern comes in one size only. I did not find any hint for what size range it might be, but I think it is rather for small sizes. As the cups looked a bit huge to me, I made them smaller. I marked a point 1.5 cm below the upper corner and drew a line from there to both lower corners, keeping the bottom of the cup as is. I now think that it would not have been necessary. But on the other hand, it is totally appropriate for this teeny tiny bralette to have teeny tiny cups, don’t you think so?

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Work in progress: Vogue 8667

Remember when I said that I would make the Davina dress in a wool knit? Plans have changed though when the fabric arrived. The knit is from Anita Pavani and it is lovely but it  has onlysome mechanical stretch. So not a good match for the Davina dress pattern. Instead I decided to treat the fabric rather like a woven and searched my stash for a suitable pattern. I ended up with Vogue 8667:


I have made this pattern already twice a few years ago, that is in 2011.

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While I still love and wear the yellow dress, the other one does not get any wear anymore. When I cut the front skirt on the fold I did not notice that the fabric had some kind of flaw in weaving along the fold. Maybe you notice the line in the picture. Both dresses are a bit tight in the bodice, so I wanted to check the fit before cutting in my good fabric. I thought I would be clever and save some time by using the lining as my muslin. In the end I think it was a more tedious work, because I the lining is a white silk. I did not want any markings to show so I thread traced all the seams and hand basted everything together.

In 2011 I did a lot of changes to the pattern and this is what I started with:

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I do not remember what I did, and there were some strange things happening like the two side seams not being the same length. Also the notches were quite spare. So I traced the pieces, trued the seams and added some notches. I did not add seam allowances as I intend to thread trace the seams on my wool knit.

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The changes I had to make on my “muslin” were quite small. I added 3 mm to all seams and an additional 0.5 cm to the bottom of the side seams, tapering to nothing at the top. I also had to lengthen the front by 2cm to have the waistline at the same level as in the back. For the skirt I used the included version of the pencil skirt. I had planned for a flared skirt, but I did not have enough fabric for that. Only change I made here was to add a cut-on facing for the vent.

As this will be a winter dress, I wanted to have long sleeves. I used the sleeves from another Vogue pattern, Vogue 8787. They fit well to the armhole and when I tried the muslin on I was quite happy with the fit on me.

Here is a little sketch of the dress:

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You see that my drawing skills are non-existent. I added a tiny bow to the neckline. Maybe I will also add a tie to the back, I have a bit fabric left. But first I am basting together the dress in the main fabric and will try it on again. If the fit is still good, sewing it up should be straightforward.


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January bra: Merckwaerdigh BHS10 in lace

What better way to start off the New Year than with a new lingerie set!

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This is again my go-to pattern, the Merckwaerdigh BHS10 and three different panties: Watson Bikini, Milano Slip and Lacey Thong from Fehr Trade. I decided to use a well known pattern for the bra as I wanted to sew it with lace and without foam and this meant a few new to me techniques. There was a lot of try-and-error, a lot of unpicking (I had the feeling that I sewed this bra at least three times), some mistakes and wonky stitches, but I am happy how it turned out in the end and I am really proud of it. It looks like a real grown-up bra!

When I asked my teacher last summer if I should make any changes to the pattern if I wanted to skip the foam, she said I should just use non-stretch lace. So I did not change my pattern. As the lace I used is a stretch lace I lined the cups with a non-stretch tulle in nude color. Despite labelled as “non-stretch” it had a slight give in one direction. I placed the pattern pieces so that the give would be in the horizontally direction. For the lace I made sure to have mirror images for all the different pieces.

I sewed the cups like this:

I put the lining and lace upper cup pieces together and finished the upper edge with small decollete elastic. I made sure that the lining edge ends at the lower edge of the lace scallops.

I sewed upper and lower cup together with the upper cup sandwiched between the lower cup pieces (as explained here).

I sewed the lining piece of the side cup piece to the cup.

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I clipped the lining at the point where the upper cup ends:

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I trimmed the seam allowances and flipped the lining piece over. I layed the lace side cup piece on top and sewed with a 3-stitch zig-zag along the scalloped edge. On the inside every seam was enclosed and neat:

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You see that I also finished the inner edge of the straps with a small elastic. On the outside you barely notice the stitching:

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I thought a bit how to finish the lower edge of the bra as I wanted the scallops to show off . I did not found any tutorial how to do this. In the end I first sewed the elastic to the lining in the first step, keeping the lace free:

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I did not have any elastic without decorative edge at hand, so I used one with a piping. Then I turned the elastic to the wrong side and sewed through all layers. In the same step I attached the end of the back straps to enclose this as well.

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I did forget to check the width of the band and compare it with my closure. Luckily this was a rather wide one, but I cheated a bit as my band was still a bit too wide. You see that I just turned the edge of the elastic to the inside:

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Look at that pattern matching of the bridge:

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The bra feels more tight than my foam bras but it is comfortable to wear. I wore it already twice and barely noticed it. And this is also the first bra that really stays in place the whole day! Even with my other bras I have the problem that they tend to crawl up a bit, although to a much smaller degree than the RTW bras.

Now for the panties. I used three different patterns. First my TNT pattern, the Watson bikini. I added some lace for more interest. I did not care too much about any pattern matching for the fabric.

IMG_7243_Bildgröße ändernI did forget to trim the seam allowance….

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The second pattern I used is the Milano from Spitzenparadies in size 36:

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It features a nice lace inset at the front piece. Else it is very similar to the Watson bikini.

IMG_7239_Bildgröße ändernLast I tried the Lacey thong pattern from Fehr trade. I found it a bit tricky to sew the lace to the crotch pieces and I did not get it right for the front.

IMG_7240_Bildgröße ändernIt should look like this:

IMG_7241_Bildgröße ändernI am not too happy with the inside, it is a bit bulky where the lace meets the elastic:

IMG_7242_Bildgröße ändernBut I still like how it turned out. Next time I will shorten the crotch piece a little bit, and also make a bit smaller. Else the fit is good.

Fabric and elastic: Spitzenparadies

Tulle and powernet: Sewy

Small decollete elastic: Wien 2002

Lace:  Elingeria (this shop does not exist anymore)



Posted in bra, lingerie | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

2015 Sewing Year in Review

2015 was a very productive year for me. I sewed around 34 garments: 4 T-Shirts, 2 culottes, 1 Hoodie, 1 jacket, 1 shorts, 3 dresses, 3 shirts, 2 pants, 2 tops, 8 panties, 4 bras, 2 lingerie sets, 1 camisole. That is a lot for me! In addition I knitted 3 cardigans and 2 pairs of gloves.

This year most of my makes got a lot of wear. These are my 5 favorites:

The garments I wear not very often are:

These are not loved mostly because of the fabric choice. I did not wear my dresses very often, but this was due to the rather cold summer. I hope they get more wear next year.

RTW Fast

I participated in the RTW fast this year, and I can say that I was successful. The only item I bought was a sports bra. I mastered two of my personal challenges: sewing lingerie and wearable pants. I am not sure if the RTW fast will officially continue next year, but that is not important for me. I know now that I can sew my complete own wardrobe. The only exception will be functional wear like rain coats and of course tights and socks! Sometimes you see self sewn tights or socks but the results have not yet persuaded me to try it out.

Pattern Testing

I did a lot of pattern testing for Itch to Stitch. I really enjoyed this even if it was stressful sometimes. I would not have finished so many garments without a deadline! On the other hand I noticed that sometimes I sacrificed my own standards due to time restrictions (I was very reluctant with unpicking anything). I will continue with pattern testing, but to a much lesser extent.

My goals for 2016? I am not sure. I sewed a lot of basics last year and I am drawn to more dresses, skirts and blouses. I am also tempted to work through the pattern making classes from Suzy Furrer on Craftsy. I have still a lot of unfinished projects lying around and an infinite todo list in my head. We will see what the new year holds for us.

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McCalls 6796

I lied when I said I would not sew anything before Christmas. I just could not stand it one weekend and sewed McCalls 6796. I made this pattern already last year and did not change anything except for the collar.  I did not want to make the same collar, but did not like the second collar version that comes with the pattern. First I just added a neckband but this looked just boring. Then I decided to add the collar from an old Burda pattern (Burda 10/2005 No 114) I had sewn some years before.


I cut a size 10 tapering to 12 at the hips. The fabric is again form The Smuggler’sDaughter. As I was short of fabric, I had to piece the sleeves and also the collar. But with this busy fabric it is barely noticeable. There is nothing to say about the construction as this is just an easy pullover top. All seams are serged. Hems are turned under and hemmed with a cover stitch. Here is a picture of the piecing of the back collar:


I wear this easy top nearly everyday together with the Liana Stretch jeans. It fills a gap in my casual wardrobe and goes with nearly everything.

This was a bit of excessive posting in the last days, but now I am done. Yeah!

I wish you all a Happy New Year!


Posted in McCall, Top | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Andy Satterlund Hortencia Cardigan

This is the Hortencia Cardigan from Andi Satterlund. I chose this pattern as one of the prices for the OAL 2105. Please excuse the bad pictures, it is so hard to photograph when it is not getting light outside.



I used Big Merino Hug from Rosy Green Wool in ruby. It is a dark red that I was not able to catch on the pictures. The yarn is GOTS certified, so the sheep were happy and the yarn is dyed environmentally safe. And I am happy how soft it feels, and it keeps incredibly warm.


I lengthened the cardigan a few cm. I am really proud of myself that I managed to do this (I still am a newbie with knitting). I followed the instructions until the bottom band would start. Then I just increased at the same stitches where the decrease was before and with the same sequence.

2015-12-31-Hortencia-3For the collar I had to do some calculation and a bit try and error to take into account my longer cardigan. But in the end it worked out really well (but please do not ask me what I did). I love how nearly invisible the increase at the collar is:


I am still unsure if I cast on of the sleeves correctly. There is always kind of a ridge and I do not know if this is correct or not:









I was a bit unsure with the pattern. I would have liked it more closed. But I wore the cardigan once and the wool is so warm that I was glad it is how it is. Because the weather is still so warm here it sits now in my closet waiting for the real winter to come. I am also not quite sure about the length. I wish I had made it still a bit longer, especially if I pair it with pants.


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Itch to Stitch Irena Knit Top

This is the last Itch to Stitch pattern I tested, the Irena Knit Top. It is meant to be worn with a shirt or cami.



I used a heavy weight knit from my stash. It is thicker than I thought and keeps quite warm.


I cut a size 2 tapering to 4 at the hips. First, I added 2 cm to the shoulder seams as this is an Alteration I had to make for the idyllwild Top and the Davina Dress, but in the end I did not need this and changed back to the original pattern. I did cut the collar in the wrong direction by mistake, but this seemed not to have any impact.


The construction is straightforward. The only difficult step is to get the bottom of the V-collar even and without puckering. You need a bit of patience and you should definitively first baste everything in place and check before sewing it permanently. I serged all seams and also finished the seam allowances of the collar with the serger. I think this is maybe not the best thing to do, as this resulted in a very bulky and stiff seam. You can see that in the picture above. At the bottom of the V-collar you have five layers of fabric. Maybe it would have been better to grade them and finish separately or just leave unfinished.



I like the high back collar as it keeps you warm. I think the fabric choice is really important for this style and a fabric with more drape would have been better.

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Itch to Stitch Mila Shirt

Hi everybody,

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday. Mine were quite uneventful which was a bless after the last two years where we had to deal with stroke and the loss of a family member.

Now to the next Itch to Stitch pattern, the Mila Shirt. This is a loose fitting shirt with different cup sizes, a center-front button-down placket, a front pocket and sleeve tabs. I made two versions, one in a lightweight cotton from The Smuggler’s Daughter, one in a cotton flanel from buttinette. The white shirt is still a bit different from the final version as it was the first test version. In the final version the collar is smaller, the shirt a bit more fitted in the waist and the length is shorter. I like both versions, though.




I cut a size 2, A-cup and made no alterations except of shortening the white shirt a few cm.


The instructions are detailed and easy to follow. It was the first time for me to sew a button down placket. I marked all details on the right fabric side with a self erasable marker (Trickmarker from Prym). The color fades away with time or you can wash it out. It felt like cheating but made sewing the placket so much easier. I made sure not to iron over the marks as I was afraid this might make the marks permanent.


White Shirt:

As I was a bit short of fabric I used plain white cotton batiste for the collar and sleeve cuffs. I interfaced both with a very lightweight interfacing to keep the softness of the fabric. I made French seams for the side seams and for the sleeves.



2015-12-29-Mila-13Flanell Shirt:

I wanted to make flat felled seams, but the seam allowance included in the pattern (1 cm) was too small for that. Next time I will decide how to make the seams before cutting the fabric. So I just serged all seams. I used a thicker thread for the topstitching, but the quality of the thread was rather bad and the result is not as I thought it would be.



I love both shirts. The white cotton is so soft and lovely to wear. As it is a crinkle fabric I do not have to iron it after washing! It looks great layered under a cardigan or pullover top or alone. The flanel shirt is so warm and cozy and great with jeans for a casual outfit.


Posted in Itch to Stitch, pattern tester, shirt | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Itch to Stitch: Liana Stretch Jeans

Itch to Stitch released three new patterns end of November, and I was happy enough to test them all. The first one I want to show you is the Liana Stretch Jeans pattern. This is a real winner. I wear my version nearly every day!

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This season is just not the best for taking pictures….


I used a stretch corduroy fabric from my stash. It has a bit more than the recommended 25% stretch. For topstitching I used Gütermann topstitching thread (Zierstichgarn). The fabric tended to stretch out when I topstitched so I always made sure to press it back to its original shape afterwards.


I started with a size 4. However, it felt a bit tight so I added 1cm to the side seams as well as to the inseam. In the end, I am not sure if this would have been necessary as the fabric stretches when wearing. But I am not used to the skin tight fit (which is what the Liana Jeans are designed for) and feel more comfortable with a bit of ease. I scooped out the front and back crotch a little bit. Next time I would lengthen the legs a few cm and maybe tweak the waist band a bit. There is no real gaping in the back but it feels a bit like that when I am sitting down. I also could take out a bit of fabric below the seat to reduce some wrinkles. And there is still too much fabric at the front crotch.


The instructions from Kennis are detailed as always with tips for topstitching and distressing your fabric. I followed the instructions step by step, not only because I was testing the pattern. This was the first time that I sewed a pair of jeans so I was happy to have someone hold my hand.

As with the Angelia shorts the zipper went in smoothly. Kennis has you put twill tape to the top of the waist band to prevent it from stretching out. This is really such a helpful technique.

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With all the topstitching the construction takes time. I always had to change the thread in my machine. If you are lucky and own two sewing machines, it would save a lot of time if you set up one machine for topstitching and the other one for construction.

I tried to get creative with the back pocket topstitching:

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From the right side I like the result. From the wrong side it does not always look neat. I especially had problems with the belt loops. The thread often made a real mess. Any tips how to avoid this?

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Also my front button hole did not come out as it should. The thread bars were too narrow and I cut the thread when I tried to cut it open. My machine had problems as the center of the waistband is hollow and the fabric is moving up and down while stitching. I have this problem also when sewing the buttonholes in sleeve cuffs. Next time I will try to insert a piece of fabric so that the place where the buttonhole will be is even with the edges.

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What I learned:

  • use a good quality thread
  • you will need more thread than you think, so buy two spools
  • increase your stitch length (I used 3.5 on my Pfaff)
  • loosen your thread tension (for me the best was just below 4)
  • always make a stitch sample
  • note your setting, you will forget them when you can not work on your project continuously


I am just happy with this project. I always get a lot of compliments when wearing this pair of jeans. I love the fit (and this is the first time I say this about pants!!). Due to the stretch fabric the pants are very comfortable to wear. This will definitively not be my last make of this pattern.

Have you sewn your own pair of jeans already?

Posted in Itch to Stitch, trousers, Uncategorized | Tagged | 8 Comments

Style Arc Kerry Cargo Pants

Do you remember my attempts at sewing some pants last year? I was not very successful and do not wear any of these makes. But I decided to try it again. I just need pants and finding RTW pants that fit is also not an easy task.

So I started with the Kerry Cargo Pants from Style Arc. I actually made them back in September but somehow never got around to take pictures. They are loose fitting with a drawstring at the waist.


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IMG_7116_Bildgröße ändernIMG_7112_Bildgröße ändernFabric:

I purchased the fabric in a local fabric store. I am not sure if it is a cotton, linen/cotton blend or linen. I looked for something lightwight and drapey, but unfortunately the fabric wrinkles easily. I ironed the pants before taking the pictures….So my fabric choice is not the best.


I thought that with the rather loose fit I would get away without any or only small alterations. But in the end I had to change a lot. I started with size 8.

  • shortening the legs by 6 cm (3 cm above the knee and 3 cm below).
  • lowering the waist by 3.5 cm in the center back, tapering to nothing at the side seams
  • lowering the waist in the center front by 1cm, tapering to nothing at the middle of the front piece
  • adding 1 cm at the side seams at hip level, tapering to nothing at the waist
  • slashing both front and back piece just below the crotch and adding 1 cm at the side seam (I think I did this to reduce wrinkles at the back leg)
  • scooping out the back crotch by about 0.5 cm
  • taking in the center front seam starting with 6mm at the waist, 1cm at the crotch curve tapering to nothing at the inseam

Pocket placement:

I read a lot of reviews for this pattern, and in nearly every review it was mentioned that the pocket placement of the back pockets was too high if you follow the markings on the pattern. Therefore I tested the pocket placement after basting everything together. I lowered the back pockets (5.5 cm), and I adjusted the leg pockets so that they would end just above the knee as in the Style Arc picture. In many pictures I have seen the leg pockets are at or below the knee.

Construction Notes:

The construction is straight forward and easy as there is no zipper to deal with. I serged all seams. The top of the pants is folded to the inside and stitched in place to form the channel for the drawstring.  I added lining to the patch pockets, just because I wanted to.


The pants are OK, but I am not happy with them. One reason is the drawstring closure at the waist. They fall off until you have tied the string. I was aware of this before sewing, but I did not think that this would be so impractical. I always have to adjust the side seams and gathers after putting them on. Together with the suboptimal fabric choice I will wear them only at home. The one feature I really love are the pleated patch pockets. They give the pants an interesting look.

Posted in Style Arc, trousers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments