Summer Blossoms Part I

It’s a funny thing; how one longs for the holidays for a respite from the daily grind, and then finds that one is just as busy during the break! I’ll happily admit, however, that I’m busy with far more agreeable things than constant study and work – though I am really beginning to wonder exactly how I managed to find time for sewing during semester, especially considering how well I ended up doing on my assessments! 😛

I really have been sewing up a storm lately, and this means I’ve finally had a chance to work my way through some projects I’d been sitting on for quite some time. For example, I’ve finally almost sewn up all the Merckwaerdigh kits that I bought during the year – the one I’m posting about today, is in fact the last of them (though not the last you’ll see of this particular one…). For this set, I decided on a Boylston bra, with a Watson bikini to match:

Blossom Lingerie Set

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Marlborough Fair

I’d apologise for the terrible play on words in the title of this post, but I’m not sorry at all.

I finally did it! I present to you, with much pride and delight, my first me-made underwire bra!

Marlborough bra in pink milliskin, 32DD

Marlborough bra in pink milliskin, 32DD

I made up Orange Lingerie’s Marlborough bra in size 32DD, from pink milliskin from my Grey’s Fabric Watson Kit (man, I must have gotten about $200 value from that kit by now!). And I am so delighted with it! It might not be perfect, but it’s a good-looking, reasonably well-fitting, wonderfully supportive bra MADE BY ME.

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The Big Question

Okay, so we’ve not arrived at any of my actual garment makes yet – again! Now that I have a bit more time on my hands (finished semester, if not exams), the weather and the availability of my family to act as photographers still thwarts me. I have the post all written up and everything – just no photos, damn it! So for now, you’re going to have to enjoy some more of what I CAN photograph myself – underwear!

Watson Bikini (XS) and Rosy Ladyshorts (Size 2) by Cloth Habit, in milliskin

Watson Bikini (XS) and Rosy Ladyshorts (Size 2) by Cloth Habit, in milliskin

Being part of a couple of bra-making forums on Facebook, and following the blogs of many talented and accomplished sewers, I see many, many beautiful pieces of handmade lingerie on a daily basis. We hear about the construction trials and tribulations, the fitting successes and failures. But my big question always is – how wearable is it? I think we all know the experience of finding a lovely piece of underwear that fits well – but discovering after a day or two that it is completely unwearable; it rides up, it digs in, it does not stay where it is supposed to at all. And so often, I think, we rush to blog about our creations as soon as we’ve finished them, keen to share our sewing journey and success; when we know they fit, but before we knowhow they fare in daily life.

So what I’ve set out to do today? Report on wearability!

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The Great Lingerie-Making Adventure

Ever since I was little, I have had a keen interest in the way I dressed myself. As a child, I wanted nothing more than to array myself in the ballgowns of Disney princesses (who am I kidding, I still do); as a young teenager, I both desperately wanted to follow latest trends, and stick stubbornly to my garments of choice, generally oversized black t-shirts (I for one, am glad this era is behind me). While I have always adored historic and classic fashion (too many period dramas as a child), it was not until this last year that I discovered my passion for vintage and retro fashion, and embraced my now favourite silhouette: that classic 50s hourglass, epitomised by Dior’s New Look.

It’s only fairly recently too, that I rediscovered my love of sewing. I’ve been sewing on and off since I was about eight years old, making many little bits and pieces over the years with much enthusiasm and little finesse, including a rather shapeless dress which I nonetheless adored at fourteen. But all things crafty rather fell by-the-by as I got to the serious end of high school, and I’d rather forgotten the sewing machine sitting rather forlornly in my cupboard until the end of last year. Over the last summer though, through my interminable uni holidays, trying to both cut down on shopping and distract myself from a broken heart, I made a simple cotton circle skirt, and I was instantly re-hooked.

Over the last few months, I’ve sewn skirts, tops, shorts and dresses (which I intend to share as soon as I’ve taken some decent photos of them), but the majority of my makes of late have all related to my current sewing obsession: lingerie. At first when I saw bloggers around the net whipping up their own bras and underwear, I was amazed. Could you really sew something so complicated on your own machine? Surely you could never produce really functional undergarments yourself? But soon enough all the pretty lacy creations, usually too far out of my budget and size range, proved too great a temptation, and after picking up Cloth Habit’s Watson pattern and a bunch of notions, I launched straight in. And here’s the results of my first attempt! Read More