Lingerie Trims

Like most creative people I collect things for future use.  In the bottom draw of my filing cabinet, inside two old boxes, is my collection of lace trims.  During a recent rummage I uncovered this beautiful piece of lace, just enough for trimming a bralette sample.

 Also included a long forgotten bag of tiny ribbon flowers, also perfect for lingerie.

If you have any bra making aspirations I highly recommend squirreling away any little trims you come across.  The patterns for the LITTLE 'GIRLS' BRALETTE and LITTLE 'GIRLS' TRIANGLE BRA are in progress; my lingerie draw never looked so cute! 


HOW TO attach fold-over lingerie elastic

Over the past few months I've been teaching myself to make bras.  I started by stalking the lingerie section of my local department store to see how they were constructed and then went hunting for bra making components.  Every time I found an interesting elastic I'd buy a bit and start experimenting.  

I'm designing two soft cup patterns specifically for smaller bust/ body sizes...mainly because I can never find anything I like and yes they will be made using light weight woven fabrics...perfect for Liberty prints!
The first is the LITTLE 'GIRLS' BRALETTE which requires the maker to attach a fold-over elastic around the under-bust edge.  It can be a little challenging and takes some practice so here's a step by step to take you through the process.

1. In the example below I'm using a 19mm (3/4") fold-over elastic with a picot edge that I found on-line at BRA-MAKERS (code EF-9); I highly recommend this on-line store!. Fold-over elastic has a fold knitted into it .

2. To work out how much elastic you'll need, measure along the under-bust edge and using the equation below calculate the length (This equation may differ depending on the end use, I highly recommend buying extra so you can experiment).

Length of fabric edge x .8 = elastic length

3. Open the elastic to expose the inside and place the bottom edge of the bra fabric close to the inner fold line right side up.  Using a wide stitch, attach the elastic and fabric together stretching the elastic to fit as you go.

The elastic should be stretched to fit; just a little at the back and sides and slightly more along the front directly under the bust.  This line of stay stitching will be removed later. 

4. Fold your elastic over the fabric so that the fabric edge is completely enclosed inside.  Using a *twin needle and with right side up, stitch along the entire upper edge of the elastic stretching the elastic to fit as go.

5. Finally, carefully remove the line of stay stitching visible on the wrong side and you're ready to attach your hook and eye closure. 

*TWIN NEEDLE - I prefer to use a twin needle for the under bust stitching as it looks more professional.  Rather than creating another HOW TO I found a really helpful video tutorial on-line which I highly recommend watching.


The Makers' Journal - Episode 1

Patterns in order of appearance....

JUMP PANT (coming soon)

Photography - Pamela Cupit

Editing - Sam Mapplebeck

Original Music - Hugh Davis


HOW TO attach swimwear elastic

  Sewing swimwear is so easy!

Apart from knowing HOW TO make straps you'll also need know HOW TO attach swimwear elastic...

1. Swimwear elastic is generally available in clear or solid colours and feels rubbery and smooth.  I recommend the solid coloured elastic, much easier to handle.

Of course since you're sewing a jersey fabric make sure to use the correct needles; select the pack marked jersey.

2. For my example I'm making a bikini pant for which the side seams are left open.  I've already overlocked my outer fabric and my inner linings together and joined the front and back at the crotch seam.

3. Measure around the opening to which the elastic is being attached and using the equation below cut your elastic to the correct length.

Total length of opening x .66 = elastic length

4. Using a zig-zag stitch, attach the elastic to the wrong side along the edge stretching the elastic evenly to fit, the fabric underneath should not be stretched.

5. Fold the edge toward the wrong side so the elastic is hidden underneath.  With the right side facing up zig-zag stitch along the edge stretching the fabric out flat as you go...all done!


HOW TO make narrow swimwear straps

Busy making lots of new patterns including one for the TEENY-WEENY STRING BIKINI.

Having never sewn swimwear fabric before I've been experimenting with different methods for making the narrow straps.  After a bit of trial and error here's my recommendation; super easy...

1. For my straps I'm using 6mm (1/4") wide swimwear elastic.  

I cut my fabric into 4cm wide strips; wider than I need but this makes it easier to handle.

2. Overlock or zig-zag your elastic onto the wrong side of the strap fabric.  You don't need to stretch either the elastic or the fabric.


3. Roll the fabric around the elastic and using your sewing machine zig-zag stitch down the middle.  Once again don't stretch the fabric, it's not necessary.

I used the widest zig-zag stitch and I also reduced the foot pressure just a bit due to the thickness of the fabric.  I highly recommend making some test swatches first.

4. Cut away the excess fabric taking care not to cut the folded edge, tie a knot in the end and voilĂ , it's ready to use!


Guilt Free Consumption

It was with great interest that I read the latest update from trendwatching.com GUILT FREE CONSUMPTION.

"Discover consumers' growing hunger for GUILT-FREE CONSUMPTION: a new kind of consumption free from worry (or at least with less worry) about its negative impact, yet that still allows continued indulgence."
  • SELF: Guilt about what one brings on oneself.
  • SOCIETY: Guilt about what one causes, directly and indirectly, to other people (and other living creatures).
  • PLANET: Guilt about one’s impact on the environment at large.

I was somewhat bemused by the use of McDonald's as an example, (the Tecoma 8 I'm sure would take issue) but anyway this idea makes good business sense and consumers are an unforgiving lot so beware McDonald's!
 I've long held the belief that the cure for Climate Change lies with the individual as governments have proven themselves over many years to be largely useless.  I read with exhaustion this morning that neither our new Environment Minister Mr Hunt nor Foreign Minister Ms Bishop will be attending the Warsaw Climate Change Summit.  It's not surprising considering that our Prime Minister once described climate change science as "absolute crap

Even though my pattern business is tiny it's important to me that I make responsible choices. 

So what am I doing... 

1. Firstly all of my patterns are printed to order.  That means when I use resources (paper, power, ink, packaging) it's for something that you the consumer actually want. 

2. The paper I print on is 100% recycled and "made in a facility that is ISO 14001 accredited and with process chlorine free pulps; thereby helping to reduce harmful by-products"

3. Packaging; the post bags I use are tough enough to re-use (please do) and are also recyclable.  In selecting a plastic cover for the patterns I went with the tougher and thicker option so as to ensure it would last for the life of the pattern; I'm actively looking for a paper equivalent but so far without luck.

4. Inside each pattern is a card which is made from recycled stock and printed using non-harmful vegetable based inks by a Melbourne based company called Print Together.  I use this for attaching fabric swatches so instead of throwing away my offcuts I attach a small amount for you to use as a reference when shopping.  Hopefully this in turn prevents waste by helping sewers make better choices. 

5. I recycle as much as I possibly can which explains the many bits of pattern making card that I have lying about waiting for exactly the right shaped piece.  

6. If I need equipment for my business my first point of call is the local antique/op/junk shops.  It's another way of recycling and in most cases the objects are better made and tougher than any modern versions.  One of my favourites is the engraving stamp I found; very soon each pattern will be stamped with a seal marking it's authenticity.   

7. A couple of years ago I set myself a challenge - I decided I wouldn't drive my car for an entire year.  Now I love my car so this was a big deal but guess what, I survived!  As a consequence I now walk (great exercise) or take public transport whenever possible, if there are trains, trams or buses going to my destination (business or personal) and it's viable to do so then that's how I get there....so every single pattern is hand/feet delivered to the post office.
Yes, there is so much more that I could be doing but I've committed myself to actively seek out more sustainable practices for my business and life when ever possible...a challenge for all of us.


The retrospective FREDDIE

The blogger equivalent of stretching...whilst I toil away on a new pattern and the finishing touches to TMJ - Episode 1 THE MOVIE (add dramatic sound effect) a FREDDIE VEST retrospective.


As I sit in my studio, to my left is a....hmm lets say, neatly folded pile of samples from which I would have to select the FREDDIE below as my absolute favourite.



Booty Boot Camp

A friend said to me recently that she didn't want to make a pair of knickers because her rear view would never look as good as the example shown, yep mine either.  So I found something to torture ourselves with Virginia!
Genetically blessed or exercise obsessed?...regardless, my weekend Booty Boot Camp has begun!

This is exactly the kind of girl I'm thinking about when I design; strong and powerful, fit, healthy and just a bit sassy (body and soul)!

More workouts right here


Clumsy but cute

Ok, so my name is Pamela and I'm completely addicted to GIF Animation.  I've been living with my addiction for a total of maybe 48hrs now and I need sleep! 

On the up side look how cute the POWDER PUFF is!  For additional (and professional) GIF related fun check this out


Fun with Gif and Ra Ra

Fell down the GIF Animation rabbit hole and ended up crawling into bed at 3am...highly addictive! 
 I downloaded PhotoScape, it was free and super easy to use.  For my first animation I created a spinning RA RA SKIRT; if you want to spin for real the pattern is available right here.


HOW TO bind an edge with bias binding

A new skirt pattern I'm working on called the FLASH N' DASH (pattern coming soon) can be made up in four different ways.  Two of these involve binding an edge using bias binding...here's how you do it.

1. Using 12mm bias binding (mine is in a shiny satin finish) and with right sides together stitch the binding to the edge of your fabric just to the right of the fold line, in my example I stitched 1mm from the fold.  Don't pull or stretch your binding or the fabric underneath.

2. Clip the seam (body fabric only) around the curve at the top of your split or as required.  On the right side lightly press the seam toward the binding.

4. Fold and turn in the end of the binding and working from the wrong side slip stitch the binding in place.  Don't pull the sewing thread too tightly as this will cause puckering; the finished binding should sit perfectly flat.

In this version of the skirt I left the hem edge raw, however, if turning up a hem do so before step 1.

5. Press around the curved top of your split to help the binding form a perfectly flat edge, it should not stick out.

The skirt shown is made from a medium weight jungle print jersey found at Tessuti in Melbourne; the contrast binding in pale lemon came from Clegs.

The FLASH N' DASH also features a rolled elastic waist for which a HOW TO can be found right here.