Archive | May, 2011

Bralterations- Cups

6 May

This week I took some orders home to work on. There were a couple of bustiers and a variety of bras that needed cups in the mix.  Sew-in cups can be used to fill up space, even things out, or just to give a garment a more rounded look.

These are three of the orders:

The one at the top is for a customer who had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. With reconstruction, no one ever fills out the apex of a bra. I can fix that with a hand dart or by sewing in cups. It is really hard to find non-underwire moulded cup bras in a 40C so we decided to make one by sewing in some DDD cups.

This kind of alteration also works for people who need a moulded bra but one is not made in their size. Or if they have nippleitis.

The black bra is for a customer who has about a size and a half difference between breasts. We fit the fuller side and built up the smaller side with a push-up pad sewn upside down.  I would say that 99% of women have a size difference between sides. Some women don’t care, and for the ones that do care, I sew a dart on the smaller side.  Darts are super common anyway because most people don’t fill up the space at the top of a bra, but thats a different subject all together. Since there was a big difference and she was self-conscious  about having the same projection on both sides, the pad was the way to go.

The bra on the right is for a customer who has had a lumpectomy and is more comfortable in a non-wire soft bra [she’s older]. I sew the pads in on the one side, and this gives her enough roundness to match her left side.  This kind of soft cup bra is kind of a pain to work with because the cup is a double layer of microfiber. It takes longer to sew the cup in because you have to be extra carefull about catching layers and the shell layer always has wrinkles after the lining layer  is sewn.  To fix this, the customer has to come in for another fitting to have the excess fabric pinched out and hand-darted.  Nobody likes coming in again and having to wait another week or so for alterations!

So, not all my posts will be like this but I wanted to share what I do for a living!!!  Everyone always asks “What do you do all day!?!?!”, “You can alter bras? Why?” And I thought that this could be an interesting forum to explain what I do and how I do it.


What I’m working on right now:

4 May

I’ve made Vogue 1225 twice now and I’ve decided to use the pattern again for a top.

I’m using the same bodice as the original pattern but with my alterations: raising the armhole 1″, lowering the waist 1″, but I’m going to come up with some other piece to attach to the bottom.  My original thought was to have it be very gathered, but fearing a pregnancy-scare look, I’ll just put this all together and then decide. 

I’ll have to post pictures of the other two dresses, but they are deep in the hand washing pile–and we’ve had lots of wet days.

The fabric is a jersey knit from G-Street Fabrics in Seven Corners, Va. I’ve had it in my stash for 4 or 5 years waiting for the right project. I got it on the clearance table [$2.97/yd]. It is so soft that I considered just wrapping myself in it every night as a blanket.  The lace is from Etsy and is a leftover from another project. 

I want to finish this for a party thats on Sunday but I have tons of sewing to do for work so we’ll see. . .

Simplicity 2584

4 May

Pattern Description: Misses Dress, Tunic and Headband Cynthia Rowley Collection. I made View B.

Pattern Sizing: 12-20. I made Size 16 and graded to an 18 for the hips.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, but I made mine a little longer. I wanted it to be a true dress, not a tunic to wear leggings with!!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. I only used them at the beginning, then I did my own thing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the versatility of the pattern, and I can imagine myself making this again in a fun colorful print. It is very boxy so I plan to add two small back darts for a little bit of waist definition.

Fabric Used: Embroidered Cotton and Cotton Plisse.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the width of the shoulder by an inch. This always seems to fix my rounded shoulders issue. I sewed the sleeves with a very narrow seam allowance because I have ginormous upper arms. I added a couple inches of length to the dress and didn’t do the tuck. I also wanted to add some body to the dress so I underlined the entire dress with muslin. I also doubled up the cotton plisse fabric and used the plisse for the facings instead of lining fabric.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! This pattern was perfect for the look I envisioned and I think the other views are cute as well.

Conclusion: I love this dress and plan on using it as my wedding dress this summer. Not a huge blown out ceremony- just a Justice of the Peace kind of thing. AND I love that I’ll be able to wear it again and again!!!

I can’t wait to find some awesome platform shoes to wear with this!!!!!!