Wednesday, December 2, 2015
The Secrets of Sewing Lingerie
Hello, hope you're having a fab week. Now that I've tried a few projects from The Secrets of Sewing Lingerie, by Katherine Sheers and Laura Stanford, I'd thought I'd share my experience in case it's something you're thinking of purchasing or putting on your wishlist. After all, there are a couple of major gift giving holidays on the horizon :). My husband gave this to me for my birthday in August after some not-so-subtle hinting on my part. I stopped buying sewing books a while back for two main reasons: 1.) Most sewing books I own are aimed at beginners and pretty much say the same thing. 2.) I tend to fall outside of the size range for books that include patterns. However, this book seemed like it had something new to offer, and I'm happy to say that I've already gotten a lot out of it.
Plus, the photos are just so pretty! While much of my underwear-making thus far has been about frugality and practicality, the book's visuals inspire me to just want to make pretty things, buy lace and silky fabrics, and add decorative touches like bows and buttons for fun. It's a nice reminder that everything doesn't have to be useful. And really, I can still be practical (which is good since that's pretty much how I'm hardwired) because it's an excellent way to practice and learn new techniques. Seriously, there are so many great techniques in this book such as inserting a lace seam, some basic embroidery info, sewing a reverse hem and a shell edge, and an excellent way of making a side vent that I will be using in future non-lingerie projects.
I started with the basic knickers pattern. The violet pair on top was my first pair. I made the largest size (a size 18 with a high hip measurement of 106 centimeters). There is a lot of basting (or "tacking") in the instructions, but some of the basting can probably be omitted down the road when skills improve. One thing that I had trouble with was basting the leg and waist openings and then attaching the elastic. Some of my unfinished edge shows in the violet pair. For the second (cream colored) pair I serged the edges before basting so I didn't have to worry if I missed a little bit of the edge. Overall, my woven knickers aren't perfect but they're still pretty cute. And more importantly, they fit well and are fun to wear.
Next up, I tried the jersey undies. There is only one jersey set in the book and while the pattern is pretty standard, it does have this really cool little detail on the side. You baste the side seams together and then topstitch a strip of lace on either side of the seam. Then you unpick the knit seam and cut away the seam allowance to reveal a see-through lace bit. I wish I had a picture to show you, but my camera battery died just as I was putting my blog pics together. The two-tone coloring for this pair is due to the fact that I'm working through a bunch of old clothes/scraps and couldn't find any matching pieces big enough. I actually like the look of it. As a note to myself, I need to make sure my stretch stitch for the foldover elastic is smaller. This one was too large for the elastic.
There's a nice variety of patterns in this book, including two different camisoles, one jersey tank, tap pants, french knickers, bras, and garter belts. While the bras are out of the question for me, I was able to fit the bias cut camisole pattern in the largest size with an FBA. I hope to have a finished one to show you as soon as I have the appropriate fabric. I'm also looking forward to trying the tap pants and french knickers for summer sleepwear. I really hope to have more finished projects to share soon.
I hope this information was helpful. Have a great week and thanks so much for reading!