Tuesday, 14 February 2017

2017 Make Nine, Success and failure. Onwards and Upwards...

At the beginning of January, Rochelle of luckylucille.com posted a hashtag, #2017makenine, that really caught on with dressmaking bloggers.  I've had my collage made, planned garments with the  patterns already purchased and fabric awaiting action and started sewing.  So far, two garments and one change of plans...

So far, I've made a maxi Darling Ranges dress in a dark chambray, and a Molly Top in Alison Glass jersey, so far so good.  Until I attempted the Euler bralette.  A simple shape, suitable for a smaller bust and comfort wear.  As usual, materials are always a little tricky with any bra making and couldn't source wide plush elastic for the lower band so I went with the pattern alternative suggestion for a fabric band with narrower elastic inside.  I'm not sure exactly what drove me a little crazy with this pattern but the band was impossible to turn through without stretching everything beyond what was acceptable and I found the apparently straightforward instructions very difficult to get to grips with.  This pattern has been largely used through workshops so maybe that was why it just didn't work for me and it was the final straw with bra making.  

Sewing bras takes time and concentration.  Many sewists who sew the best bras concentrate on lingerie above all other sewing.  I don't think I can do that, I want to quilt and dress make so each time I return to bra making, I need to get my thought process and materials ready and find my bra making groove again and it takes time that I don't have.  I've had some success with bra making - a couple of Watson's for myself and the daughter, plus Maddie's Simplicity 8229 pattern in workshop and at home but I haven't grown in confidence with fit and construction and I find the process stressful.   I don't have to sew everything, so I cut myself some slack and sold my books and supplies.    Many of my kits, fabrics and notions were bought at a very low point in my life, a sort of escape with plans of what I would and will make - I'm sure that is a familiar activity to many of you.  I often do it with quilting and dressmaking but those supplies have more flexibility and are more likely to get used.   No regrets and an empty drawer offering storage to all my other projects.  I'll continue to struggle to find fit in ready-to-wear but it was just as difficult sewing my own.  I've seen many sewists make pretty bras which although beautifully constructed, don't fit. It's a complex business that I'll leave to others!    I'll keep sewing knickers,  they do work for me, but my dreams of matching sets of nicely fitting undies are on hold, at least for the moment. 

Many of these patterns are ones I've made before so I don't plan to blog them all but some new ones will pop up as they are made .  Meanwhile, I'll be working my way through the rest of my #2017makenine...


  1. I feel the same way about sewing my own bras. I only made one, the Watson bra, and it turned out ok, but not great. Afterwards I realized I don't have the patience to make bra after bra making little tweaks here and there to find the perfect fit. Luckily I found a bra brand that fits like a glove so I'll be sticking with regular clothes making from now on as it brings me much more joy.

  2. Love your choices! I would make the Molly top too, but I can't justify buying the ebook just for that as I don't want any of the other patterns (and they won't be selling them separately ever, I asked!). I could see myself making the Helmi too, and I am in the middle of making my Melilot. I had some trouble understanding the placket instructions (I don't think they are written clearly and the pattern pieces don't help) but think I have got it sorted now

  3. I want to make clothes, and went through a period a few years ago of stocking up on fabric for it... but then I gained a lot of weight, and have been deluding myself ever since that it would magically vanish again! I've climbed back on the diet and exercise horse, and I'm down just over 1 stone already, but I've a way to go before I actually get those fabrics out to make something I'll wear! As for bras, I practically need scaffolding, that's definitely someone else's area of expertise...

  4. I saw you were letting go of your bra making supplies collection and I applaud you for getting to that decision and just moving on. I already know I'm not gonna make my bras and still continue to struggle to find ones that fit well. But I've gone down the rabbit hole on so many other crafty/sewing supplies. Thankfully, I find most of those unfinished idea supplies at estate sales so I'm not out a lot of money. But that stuff takes up space - not only physical space but space in our heads.
    But hey - you gave it a go and tried. Moving on....

  5. Much as I detest shopping for bras, I think I'd find attempting to make my own even more stressful. Are there any decent independent bra shops near you that you could visit? Or ask around when planning uk holidays so you can try on brands which aren't necessarily stocked in your local shops. I really admire you for selling the supplies you won't use, it's a big step to let go of the idea of being able to make something you struggle to find as ready to wear, but the freedom which comes from accepting that something isn't for you can be incredible. Onwards and upwards!

    P.S. I love the colour of that maxi dress!


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