Monday, December 10, 2012

A Tale of Two Patterns: Lingerie Update

Over the weekend, I worked on two lingerie projects.

In addition to the vintage slip I started last week, I've been making a sleep bra from remnants of my kimono fabrics. I'm using McCall's 5651, an out of print "diy style" pattern.  I think it looks gorgeous.


Beautiful to look at; awful on.

Too bad it doesn't fit. Not at all.

I made the bra in a size M (34-36" bust).  It was pretty difficult to try on while it was half sewn, but try I did. I thought things were going well. But when I tried on the near-finished bra, there were some distinct problems. I love how the fold over elastic (FOE) looks on the edges of the cups. However, it makes the edges, which should lay flat against the bust and sides, stiff.  So, the cups are gaping on both sides. Additionally, they are just not quite the right shape and size, and the band is 3-4" too big. I should have made a size S with an FBA. I'm really not sure where to go from here. Ripping out the seams on this lace and with the FOE sewn on seems like it will be a nightmare. So, I think a complete and total do-over might be a better option if I want to try again. It isn't really wearable as is.

Once I was thoroughly frustrated with the sleep bra, I turned my attention to the vintage slip, which is also a McCall's pattern. I was expecting more frustration. Convinced that it would not fit in the end, I decided that I would quickly baste all the seams and then try it on before I wasted any more sewing time. I didn't even bother to press out the creases.

And guess what...


Carelessly basted, perfectly fitting.

The fit is nearly perfect! I'm utterly shocked. Shocked!

I'll have to take in the side seams just a scooch at bust-level. Aside from that minor tweaking, there are no other changes to make as far as I can tell.  Amazing, no? I think this was the best first try on I have ever had for a garment or muslin. Truly.

Since I basted it very poorly, I'm going to have to rip it all out and then sew carefully. There's a lot of fullness to distribute along the princess seams. But I'm feeling so optimistic about how this may turn out that it makes up for the disappointment of the sleep bra.

So, that is my tale. Another lesson on the merits of vintage patterns? We'll see, I guess.

18 comments:

Karin said...

Shame about the bra, it's lovely! Then again, you really hit the bull's eye with the vintage dress. What a sizzling red, and it might even be done in time for Xmas, fingers crossed!

Norma said...

Since you can not try on a bra during construction, I always make a toile of the bra from the fabric I plan to use to work out any fit issues before sewing the final one up. It takes no time to baste one together for a fitting!

Clio said...

You are 100% right. I'm normally an avowed muslin-ite. But since this was a "what should I do with these neat scraps" project, I just went for it. Lesson learned.

Clio said...

Thanks, Karin! Isn't the bra just lovely to look at? It's killing me that the fit is so bad. Sigh.

theperfectnose said...

Sorry to hear about your bra-fitting despair =( I find the best way to check if something fits is by placing the pattern (seam allowances folded in) over something that does fit (and the same for the elastic i.e. holding/ pinning it around the elastic waist/ bottom of a pre-existing garment that fits).
I bought the Jalie 3131 bra pattern yesterday because it looks easy (for a first go), it's seamless and their sizing fits me pretty well (I tried and loved their tights). I will be drafting a version from the bra essentials book because I want to compare the fit between their draft, their included patterns and the Pinup and Jaalie patterns. I'm also in the process of tracing an RTW (Anita rosa faia) bra that fits me perfectly (seamless joy) I'll post on the comparison sometime early next year though..

theperfectnose said...

hahaha avowed muslin-ite XD Just donate it to an op-shop someone'll find it go 'omg the only bra that fit perfectly-ever!'

Lisette said...

Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose ;-)

Clio said...

Hmm. I'll have to give the Jalie a look. Thanks for the thoughtful comment - I look forward to your thoughts on all the different patterns and drafts.

Clio said...

Ha! Someone, somewhere is that shape. Sadly, just not me.

Clio said...

Bingo.

Bunny said...

Leave to a piece of clothing that will mostly hidden to come out with a perfect fit!

Mimi Jackson said...

That bra is just lovely. Whatta shame. Congrats on the red nightie, though!

Tia Dia said...

Too bad about the bra - all that work and it's so pretty! But what a lovely surprise about the slip! And it's going to be gorgeous in that red!

Clio said...

Right!?!?!

Amanda Adams said...

Always the way- the piece you work tirelessly on treats you badly but the quick tack together works like a boss. On the plus side- slip win!

Maddie Flanigan said...

I'm very sorry about the bra! You know I LIKE good bras and undies. I'm with you that i THINK you should start over rather than try to resurrect it. It looks pretty, if that means anything! :)

Ginger said...

Aww man, what a bummer about the bra! It's gorgeous! But the slip is so, so pretty! I'm glad that it's turning out to be a no-fuss project!

Laura Mae said...

Sorry to hear your frustration over the lovely bra, but that slip looks fantastic! Can't wait to see the finished product!