Sunday, August 3, 2014

Undies and Other Things



Prepare yourself for a lot of green in this post. I wanted to experiment with wooly nylon, and once I got the machine set up it seemed logical to maximize my sewing time by combining projects.

So this top pic is a beach cover up - a freebie from Sew Caroline. I know it doesn't look like much on the hanger, and I'm supposed to be trying to be more brave and body-confident and model my makes, but...not this time. Maybe I'll get a shot when I'm in Hawaii in a few short weeks. It's meant to go over my new bathing suit from Mod Cloth. A polka dotted Esther Williams number that looks similar to this one, but mine is green with navy dots.

Speaking of body confidence, my upcoming vacation, and bathing suits, I would love to share some recent inspiration: I'm a big fan of the Curvy Sewing Collective and was initially motivated to give sewing another try partly due to awesome blogs such as Cashmerette, Idle Fancy, Mrs Hughes, etc. It was heartening to see women sharing their passion and looking so cute and feeling so proud. It's empowering to make clothes that fit us instead of berating ourselves for not fitting into RTW clothes. Sewing garments really does change how you look at your body. Anyway, I've been planning this trip to Hawaii, but I wasn't going to buy a bathing suit because I just couldn't face the shopping experience.  Yes, I know - ridiculous.  I was willing to miss the opportunity to swim with pretty fishies and hang on beautiful beaches because I felt too fat and ugly. Unbelievable. Then I read Mary's article on curvy swimwear recommendations, which basically helped me pull my head out of my ass.
So...happy ending...I've got a cute new bathing suit and plan to do lots of swimming in a couple of weeks, which will be a welcome change from July in San Francisco - i.e. blustery, foggy, depressing, un-summer-like weather where you just want to stay inside the apartment and bake muffins and sew leggings and t-shirts.

Okay, on to undies...

I had this green cotton/rayon knit earmarked to make a light Julia cardigan - a summer version of this, my favorite make so far - but plans change. Since I was going to attempt another rolled hem for the cardigan, I had all this green wooly nylon. I decided to try sewing with it and, of course, experimenting with all those leftover scraps of green. Here are my notes:
  • I think I like the three thread overlock better for undies. It seems less bulky.
  • I haven't worn these yet, so I have yet to see if the stretch thread helps. I used the wooly for both lower and upper loopers since I had two spools. Tension settings were set low: 4 for the needle and 2 for both loopers.
  • My previous undies were comfortable to wear, but I fear that they are not long for this world. I think the tension was too loose. The green ones already feel sturdier.
  • Hand winding a bobbin is SO not worth it. Maybe if you set up a bunch of bobbins while watching a movie, it would be bearable. I used the wooly when sewing the elastic on a test pair, but the result didn't seem to match the extra effort, so I used regular thread for these. 
  • Thank God for the internet. Otherwise I would still be trying to thread the wooly through those loopers. The trick is to push some regular thread through the needle's eye, tie a loop and loop your wooly onto that, and then use the regular thread to pull the wooly through.  
  • The free IndigoOrchid pattern makes a nice brief for me.
So that's all I can think of. I'll continue to practice making undies - and other forms of sewing - and log any helpful tidbits. By the way, expect to see a lot of undies with the blue picot edge elastic. I found it on sale at my local shop (Discount Fabrics) for ten cents a yard!

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