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Weekend: Labor Day

weekend laborday Weekend: Labor Day

If you live in the U.S. of A., then you will be celebrating Labor Day this Monday. Surprisingly, the holiday has been around longer than your probable hunch. Older than both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, it was implemented in 1882, and since then, there’s one major thing that’s changed – the very nature of labor. As written by Peter McGuire, one of the founders of the American Federation of Labor, the holiday was meant to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” We Americans don’t do much carving or delving anymore, unless it’s into a McDonald’s cheeseburger. On that same note, labor isn’t as rude as it once was. Let’s be real, Labor Day today is simply a respite for everyone with a Monday job, and for us sewers, an extra day to stitch up what’s been on the backburners (UFOs!).

For me, Labor Day is the line between summer and that in-between season that loiters just before autumn and winter breeze in. It’s not a semi-colon like Christmas or Thanksgiving – we don’t put our lives on pause for a week or two to celebrate. More like a comma, we pass it in a short breadth with no preparation, which I like. So, while the motive behind the holiday has changed, the holiday has taken all its full meaning, a day without labor. Good or bad? Who knows? That question may be too much to cogitate.

I’ll end on a positive note and say that if you’re in America, I hope you enjoy the day as I am – sewing!

And Lauren, be on the lookout for your care package (pictured above), which I put in the mail this week. No pressure, but I hope it makes a beautiful bra one day!
post footer weekend Weekend: Labor Day

Fabric Giveaway with The Smuggler’s Daughter

cup seam tutorial 16 of 17 Fabric Giveaway with The Smugglers Daughter

There’s nothing blasé about florals. From Aussie Sophie to purple-haired Lauren, sewers from all continents have made their own verdant iterations. With so much inspiration, I hope you’re ready to make a flourishing dress or pant of your own and scour for the next garden party or something similar because Susan Liane from The Smuggler’s Daughter is offering a very luscious fabric to 1 Madalynne reader. To those on the northern hemisphere, squeeze in one more make before pumpkin spice latte season begins, and to those on the southern hemisphere, prep for the hot days that are fast approaching.

To enter, like Madalynne and The Smuggler’s Daughter on Facebook. Then, in the comments below, specify your method of entry and where I can contact you (email, Facebook). If you’re already a follower, don’t worry, just tell me so. Contest opens immediately and will close Thursday, September 4th, when a winner will be chosen, notified and featured on this blog. Last, contest is open internationally. Good luck!

Also, Susan Liane is also offering free shipping on this fabric to everyone who enters the giveaway, which some of those who don’t win may like to take advantage of. Win or not, head on over to Smuggler’s Daughter and take a tip from Susan herself when shopping – fabrics are added on most Fridays and fabrics are marked down on most Mondays.
cup seam tutorial 17 of 17 Fabric Giveaway with The Smugglers Daughtercup seam tutorial 15 of 17 Fabric Giveaway with The Smugglers Daughter

post footer smugglers daughter Fabric Giveaway with The Smugglers Daughter

Bra Making: Alternative Way to Finish a Cross Cup Seam

cup seam tutorial 13 of 1723 Bra Making: Alternative Way to Finish a Cross Cup Seam

In many ready-to-wear bras, there is a bias binding finishing the cross cup seam. Made of tricot, it is both hard to make and hard to source. Believe me, I’ve spent way many hours trying to fold, iron and refold the delicate fabric into the origami-type trim. I’m not one to give up on something, but in this case, I found an alternative method that produces the same look visually and is much easier to sew.

While the tutorial below is for a bra with a horizontal cross cup seam (it’s a variation of Pin-up girl #1200), the method can be applied to bras with other types of cup seaming (diagonal, vertical, etc). Also to note, you will need to line one or both of your cups in order for this technique to work. For the bra below, the upper and lower cups are made with lace and underlined with powernet for coverage and support. The upper cup is unlined, and the lower cup is lined with 15-denier tricot.
cup seam tutorial 1 of 17 Bra Making: Alternative Way to Finish a Cross Cup Seam
Step 1: With right sides together, sew the upper cup to the lower cup using a straight stitch and a stitch length of approximately 2.5 mm (note that I am also using a size 12/80 stretch needle since my fabric has spandex in it).
cup seam tutorial 2 of 17 Bra Making: Alternative Way to Finish a Cross Cup Seam
Step 2: With right side of tricot lining facing wrong side of upper cup, attach lining by sewing on top of stitch sewn in step 1.
cup seam tutorial 4 of 17 Bra Making: Alternative Way to Finish a Cross Cup Seam
Step 3: Trim all seam allowances to approximately 1/8”. Then, grade the lower cup’s seam allowance so that it is slightly shorter that the upper cup’s seam allowance (this will reduce bulk).
cup seam tutorial 5 of 17 Bra Making: Alternative Way to Finish a Cross Cup Seamcup seam tutorial 8 of 171 Bra Making: Alternative Way to Finish a Cross Cup Seam
Step 4: Turn down lining and with wrong side facing up, topstitch 1/8” away from cross cup seam. Use a slightly longer stitch length – approximately 3 mm. The seam allowances look a little messy in the photo above, but down worry, we’ll trim them in the next step so everything is super clean.
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Step 5: After, turn back lining and trim as close to topstitch as possible.

Step 6: Last, pin all layers together along cup seam and machine baste through all plys. Treat as one going forward.

post footer pattern making Bra Making: Alternative Way to Finish a Cross Cup Seam

Weekend: Bra Making Series Begins Monday

bra making series 1 of 1 Weekend: Bra Making Series Begins Monday

For all of the internationally folks who are unable to attend my online bra making class, I have good news for you! Beginning Monday, I will be starting a new series that will cover tips and techniques that I have developed over time. While I will not cover making a bra from start to finish like I do in the video, the posts will be all the little details that raised my bras from looking homemade to professional. Next year, I’m hoping that the conference will be available to sewers around the world, but in the meantime, I got your back. First up is an alternative way to finish a cross cup seam that mirrors a RTW technique. Stay tuned!

Also, if you live in the tri-state area and are interested in attending a bra making workshop in winter here in Philly, email me!
post footer weekend Weekend: Bra Making Series Begins Monday

      Did you hear that I'm teaching an online bra making class? In 1 hour, I walk you through constructing a bra from start to finish, and I'll cover choosing a bra pattern, finding your size, tracing and cutting tips and construction. Click HERE to sign up now! If you can't attend the class, I will be teaching it in person this winter here in Philadelphia; EMAIL ME to be put on the waiting list.


      MORGAN joined the matchy matchy club and made a coordinating set. A little linen ensemble, it's a surefire victory.


      Have you heard? SARAI and the ladies and Colette Patterns are dedicating the entire month to hems. Called SEPT-HEM-BER, they will cover how to make sure a hem is even, everything you need to know about stabilizing hems, several options to finish the raw edge of your hem, how to stitch a hem by hand, how to sew basic turned hem by machines (and a few different options for doing it), how to sew a machine rolled hem, how to sew a faced or shaped hem, how to sew a baby hem and how to sew a mitered corner. Whoa! That's a lot!


      The newest pattern on the indie sewing market is one by the lovely ladies of BY HAND LONDON. The Holly jumpsuit is an extremely versatile silhouette that flatters almost every shape.


      NOVITA inspired me 2 and a 1/2 years ago to get into bra making and she's done it again by constructing a sports bra. Not just any sports bra, but a hot pink sports bra.


      Totally loving KATE'S blouse back tee.