Category: Construction

Adventures in Muslin Making

Let’s talk muslins, or as some refer to it, toiles. Do you hate making them or love it? Do you make it out of an unbleached cotton or do you use fashion fabric? How do you mark your corrections? Do you transfer them to pattern paper, oak tag or something similar, or do you use the muslin as the pattern for the final garment? Do you use a pen, pencil, pins ot safety pins? Do you take pictures wearing the muslin for a more accurate analysis? Do you have anyone chime in on the fit and silhouette (i.e. children, significant other, pet)? Do you use a longer stitch length to sew? Do you make the whole garment or just a portion (i.e. one sleeve)? I think that about covers all the questions that have been going through my mind as I truck through the muslin stage of the dress pictured above. Oh muslins!

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tags: Construction, Wardrobe Comments: 8

Madalynne Update

Outside of sewing lingerie (did you see Nina Warner? Love!), I have been working on many exciting projects. There are new things coming soon, so to give you a sneak peek, I’m sharing a few below. Stay tuned! Bra Making with Madalynne: Mark your calendars! Summer 2015 will hopefully bring 2 more bra workshops! In May, I am meeting with Anna, who co-hosted the inaugural workshop. Dates will be announced soon after. We have a lot of new ideas to make the next workshop so much better. This time around, we will hold it at Madalynne Studios. Because of heating concerns, the first was held at Love Me Do’s studio. You can check out all the fun we had on my workshop page and if you’re interested in attended, email me! I’ll add you to a list of ladies who will get first notice when registration opens. Portrait of a Seamstress: Remember that book I wrote two years ago and still haven’t published? I took a brief sabbatical after I was turned down from every single publisher. They wanted a tutorial-based book. I want to do something different. I picked it up at the beginning of the year and have edited it heavily. I’m somewhat glad I got turned down because the book is so much cleaner and refined after looking at it with a refreshed eye! In May, I’ll begin working with Shannon from Little Kids Grow, to self publish. Shannon specializes in self publishing and I’m so excited to work with her. If all goes to plan, 2015 will be the year! Madalynne Studios: Have you noticed that recent What I’ve Made posts have featured garments flat and not on body? I haven’t been at the studio a lot. Blame old man winter. The heating is not the…

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tags: bra making, cats, Construction, lingerie, personal, portrait of a seamstress, teaching Comments: 13

Using Woolly Nylon Thread

I go against tradition when I serge bra seams. The “rules” are to either press the seams open and leave raw (if the fabric doesn’t fray), press the seams to one side and topstitch (again, if the fabric doesn’t fray), or to cover the seam allowances with a tape like 15 denier nylon bias-cut (scroll halfway down the page). Unless it’s a design detail like reverse hong kong binding, I don’t like raw raw edges on the inside or the outside of a garment. So, I wasn’t a fan of rule number one or two. Even on a straight seam, it can be difficult to sew an even length away from the seam. Can you imagine the difficultly of trying to attach tape neatly over a cross cup seam? Sure, with some practice and glue (to hold the tape in place), I’d get the hang of it over time. It’s the finish most commonly used in RTW. But if there’s an easier method, why not save myself the trouble? Enter the overlock stitch, or serge. Because of my cup size, an A or a B, I don’t stabilize the cups with a non stretch fabric like tricot. I usually lined cups with a classic or light weight power net or micro mesh. So an overlock stitch, which naturally stretches, makes it suitable as well as easy finish for my bras. Normally, I use 100% polyester cone threads for serging. I choose it over 100% cotton because it has more give. I haven’t had a problem, but I’ve read that woolly nylon thread is a better choice for stretch fabrics. As the name suggests, woolly nylon is made from nylon fibers, which results in a thread that stretches and recovers, provides more coverage and has a softer touch. The increased coverage also makes it ideal for for rolled hems. It’s usually used in one or both…

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tags: bra making, Construction, knits, lingerie, sewing tools Comments: 14

Weekend: Tried and True Patterns

Quick question for all you sewers. How many times does it take to make a garment before its pattern becomes tried and true (TNT)? I’m sure it varies from person to person and garment to garment, but I asking for an approximate. Two? Three? Five? It’s along the same lines as how long does it take for someone to master a skill? Some say 2 years while others say 10 years. Adding to this, once it becomes TNT, do you push it further or leave it as is? This has been going through my mind as I work on a few “TNT” bra patterns. Should I take it to the next step (adding different trims, using different techniques) or move on?

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tags: Construction, Pattern Making, Weekend Comments: 11

What i Made: Nina Warner

I’m in a stage in my bra making where I’m sewing as many styles before finding my own. I started with Bra Makers Pin Up Girls, Orange Lingerie’s Malborough as well as my own, self-drafted bra. All were underwired and being the “traditional” silhouette, gave me a great set of foundation skills. I recently moved to soft bras such as Cloth Habit’s Watson and Merckwaerdigh BSH10. Between the two – soft and underwire – I wear soft most often and I see myself going in this direction. Since I’m small chested, I don’t need the support of underwires. I also like how brands such as Negative Underwear, Fortnight Lingerie and Elma Shop are proving that underwear doesn’t have to be va-va voom. Simple and natural is beautiful. Soft bras also celebrate who I am, rather than “pushing” me into something I’m not. I’ve got small boobs. So did Audrey Hepburn. Because making lingerie involves a lot of little bits and bobs, I broke it down to make it easier to follow. Let me know if you like this format! Overview: A halter, soft bra with a racerback. It is an evolution of the Kitri Bra from Elma Shop, which I made last year. It features princess seams, a bottom band with scalloped lace and ¾” straps. Fabric: Center front and side front: stretch, scalloped lace (gifted from Katy & Laney), matte jersey (Jack B. Fabrics) underlined with power net (Fleishman Fabrics). Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste fabrics together. Back band: stretch scalloped lace (gifted from Katy & Laney) underlined with a power net (Fleishman Fabrics) Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste fabrics together. Matte jersey is a smooth fabric that is wrinkle resistant and fast-drying. It is very versatile and I’ve mostly seen it in evening wear and high end t-shirts. Normally, I wouldn’t think to use…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie Comments: 15