Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Aliens Love (Sewing) Underpants

Sewing Underpants to Save the Universe!


Sewing Underpants 

A few days ago, I started a very scientific experiment to compare 5 different panties patterns. For everyone of them, I will be using the same fabric, same elastics and one generic method to sew them all! At this stage, I will be sewing the 5 panties without modifying the patterns, in a size medium. I even found a way to post pictures of myself in my undies while staying prim and proper!?!


Preparing to Sew

Cutting Nylon/Spandex
Like any long outer-space voyage, you need a minimum amount of preparation to sew underpants. First, I decided to prewash my fabric (even if nylon shouldn't shrink) and my black elastic because I read that those might bleed dye. You will want to use the same methods to wash them as you will after with your finish underpants, even a little rougher! I machine washed and dried mine.

Before revving your sewing machine, you need to cut your fabric. It is a good idea to cut the elastic when the panties are assembled, so you could better gauge how long it needs to be. You want snug but comfortable elastic at the exact location the panties leg/waist is going to be.

I have cut all 3 low rise panties (and the side pieces for the Betty panties) in about 24 inch of my 60 inches wide nylon/spandex fabric - I fold it 3 times to save fabric. I recycle an unworn nursing top for the 5 crotch liners ; this took a itsy bitsy amount of fabrics. I needed 21 inches of fabric to cut the rest of the 2 high waist panties. It took less than 3h at my snailstress pace... OK raw material is all ready, now what?


Underpants Sewing Methods Comparison

I always take a tour of the web-sphere beforehand to gather several methods to realize my project. Here is a summary of my research :
  • Very Purple Person Tutorial : (I WILL USE THIS ONE) Novita sew the panties then apply elastic to the legs and waist. Her instructions are very good if your pattern has a crotch in shell fabric too - all the seams end up enclosed under the gusset. Plus her visual are perfect, her fabric has a visible wrong side. She usually set her zigzag stitch on 2.5 in width and 1.5-2 in length. She baste the FOE before sewing it with 3-steps zig zag. Her tutorial include visual instruction for 3 types of elastic finishes : fold over, picot or normal flat ones.
  • So, Zo Tutorial  : Zoe usefully note that to refashion an old T-shirt without lycra/spandex/elastane, you need to increase the side seams (SS) by 0.5 to 1 cm. She sew the crotch, then the leg elastics, then only 1 SS, then the waist elastic and finally the last SS. She recommend very gently pulling on the leg elastics while sewing for a snug fit. SA = 3/8 in.
  • MakeBra's Hipster Sewing Tutorial:  Annele step by step instructions are similar to So Zo as she sew the crotch, then apply legs elastic, then SS and finally the waist elastic. She recommend NOT stretching the elastics with her pattern. I added SA = 3/8 in
  • Indigorchid basic instructions : Brigitte uses the same sandwich and roll method as Novita (Very purple person). She use the recycles T-shirt hem as casing with flat elastic in it at the waist. Then sew the SS with flat felled seams. And finally, uses picot elastic on the legs and stretch it slightly as she sews. extra instructions : Brigitte shows 3 different elastic application : Fold-over, regular flat and stretch lace. She uses the same methods as Novita for the FOE and regular flat elastic. For the lace, she recommend 1 or 2 row of zigzag with threads the same color as the lace. SA = 1/4 inch. 
  • Ohhh Lulu's Betty Sew A Long Posts : Sarah sew the panties and applies the elastic last, like Novita. She finish the gusset front edge first, then sew the crotch seam, then the 4 SS (due to front and back panels), then you can topstitch if your seams feel bulky, then baste the gusset and finally apply elastic pulling gently. She recommend cutting the elastic about 2in smaller depending of its elasticity.   SA = 3/8 in
  • Vera Venus's Grannie-pannie instructions : Her instructions are in the pattern PDF page 2. Since her pattern is different (2 pieces only), she just sew the CB seams (SA=3/8in), then the crotch seam (SA=1/4in), then finish the front of the gusset, then sew the gusset at the back, then stay stitch the gusset in place and finally attach the elastic to waist and legs using your favorite method.


My Sewing Method

I chose to use Novita's (Very Purple Person) tutorial to sew my panties, but to account for the particularities (like SA and elastic snugness) of all the patterns I will sew. Please refer to Very Purple Person Tutorial for stunning visuals!

How I will sew all panties :
  1. Finish all gussets front edge (except for Indigorchid)
  2. Sew and Finish all crotch seam(s) (SA=3/8in except 1/4in for Indigorchid and Grannie-Pannie)
    - Lay Front right side up
    - Lay Back wrong side up (Front and Back are right on right like a normal seam)
    - Lay gusset wrong side up (so the seam will be enclosed when flipped over)
    OR (just said differently)
    - Lay Front and Back right sides together
    - Lay gusset on top of Back, wrong side up.
  3. Sew and Finish all vertical seam(s) (SA=3/8in except 1/4in for Indigorchid only)
  4. Try on and cut elastics to desired length... (Hipster's elastic should not be sewn stretched)
  5. Baste and topstitch the legs opening with ruffles elastic
  6. Baste the FOE to the waist
  7. Change thread to black
  8. Topstitch FOE at waist.
Left : Finished seam + Right : RTW seam finishing and FOE

How I will sew my FOE to the waist :
  1. Right side facing up, put fabric on top of FOE, Align fabric raw edge to FOE middle
  2. Pins at strategic interval to distribute the elastic.
  3. Baste while making sure the fabric is attached all around.
  4. Close the FOE ; should not see stitches on right side.
  5. Topstich the elastic.
How I will sew the Ruffles or Picot Elastic to the legs :
  1. Put elastic on top of the fabric right side, ruffles/picot facing away from raw edge. Alight elastic straight edge to raw edge of fabric.
  2. Pins at strategic interval to distribute the elastic.
  3. Baste closest to the picot/ruffles edge.
  4. Turn the elastic under ; ruffles/picot should peek outside.
  5. Topstich the elastic.
Left to right : Ruffles elastic at legs + FOE with picot edge for waist


My Sewing Machine Settings

I always do a a test run with my fabric scraps to test the all the methods I am going to use and note the result down. I used a Schmetz stretch needle, size 75/11. I own a Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. Here are the stitches on my machine for references :

My Raw Material :
  • Fabric : Light pink nylon/spandex
  • Lining : Dark pink 100% viscose recycled top
  • Elastic : Black FOE-picot for the waist and Ruffles for the legs. 
  • Threads : Guttermann in pink and black. I sew everything in pink up until the last step to close the FOE elastic at the waist in black.
My Stitching Settings :
  • Seam : #7+ change length to 2.0 (instead of 2.6). Try to vary the length or the tension until your thread do not break when you stretch a seam with your hand.
  • Finishing : #16 + change length to 2.2 (instead of default 2.6) + Fabric rolls on wrong side.
  • Lining Finishing : Same as finishing, but for single layer use silk paper under the fabric.Tear away after sewing. I recycle the paper from gift bags and cut it in about 1in strips to use to stabilize lightweight fabric... Maybe starch would do the same?
  • Elastic Basting : #7
  • Elastic Topstitching : #12 + augmenting tension to 12 (instead of default 6). Try it on your machine because a too loose stitch will be very uncomfortable on your skin. 

Stitches #7, #16 and #12


Resulting Underpants

I finished to assemble all panties, but I decided to keep sewing the elastic after assessing the fit, since I still want to end up with 5 wearable pairs. Hence, I will compare them without the elastic first, adjust them and sew the elastics on to finalize my pant-tastic scientific experiment! Of course, in no way I am judging the quality of the pattern, just merely the size and shape of the half sewn pattern in my chosen fabric. It might help some readers to choose a pattern in particular if its closer to your favorite underpants! Here is the visual comparison :

Low Rise Panties Comparison

  • Make Bra Hipster, size M
  • So Zo panties, size UK12
  • Indigorchid T-Shirt panties, size M

Left to right : Hipster + So Zo + Indigorchid

Bottom to top : Hipster + Indigorchid + So Zo (folded)

High Waist Panties Comparison

  • Ohhh Lulu Betty High Waist Panties, size Hips 40-41 inches
  • Vera Venus Grannie-Pannie, size UK10-12
Below : Ohhh Lulu Betty + Top : Vera Venus Grannie-Pannie

Left : Ohhh Lulu Betty + Right : Vera Venus Grannie-Pannie

Photo Comparison on a Human

Here are my measurements, in case you want a better idea how they fits :
  • High Bust : 38 in
  • Bust : 40 in
  • Waist : 33 in
  • Hip : 40 in
  • 5ft 2in and 160 lbs

1: So Zo, 2: Indigorchid, 3: Hipster, 4: Vera Venus, 5: Betty

1: So Zo, 2: Indigorchid, 3: Hipster, 4: Vera Venus, 5: Betty

1: So Zo, 2: Indigorchid, 3: Hipster, 4: Vera Venus, 5: Betty


Did you miss anything on my Pant-tastic Mission?

    Saturday, August 24, 2013

    Save the date - Sunday Sept. 8 Afternoon!



    Montreal Sewing Bloggers at the Museum

    This is the official invitation to the 3rd Montreal Sewing Bloggers Meet-up in 2013. All sewing enthusiasts are invited to visit the Montreal's Costume and Textile Museum together. Thanks to the little availability pool, SUNDAY September 8th afternoon was declared the winner.

    The Red Carpet exhibit is currently showing! Moreover, their collections of vintage costume should also be accessible. Depending of the size of our group, we might get a guided tour... The entrance fees are 7$ per person.

    UPDATE We are numerous enough to get a private guided tour of the museum and because of our background in sewing, they would give us the same technical tour that they give to fashion students! We would be learning more about the stories behind the dresses and construction details. The tour will be in English and with the group price, it would still be only 7$ to enter the museum and get the tour.

    So we will meet at a nearby Italian bistro, Bella Vita, for lunch and a friendly (and optional) patterns, notions and fabric swap. See their menu and pricing here. After the lunch and the swap, we will walk a block to the museum at the Marché Bonsecours to meet around 2pm.

    RSVP - Please send me an email to confirm your presence : cotc03 at hotmail dot com.
    I will update the bottom of this post with a list of the confirmed attendees.

    See you soon!


    Bloggeuses Couturières de Montréal au Musée

    Voici l'invitation officielle à la 3e rencontre de bloggeuses couturières de Montréal en 2013. Tout les passionés de couture sont invités à se joindre à nous pour la visite du Musée du Costume et du Textile de Montréal. La date faisant unanimité sur le petit sondage doodle est le Dimanche 8 septembre en après-midi.

    L'exposition en cours s'intitule "Tapis Rouge - La mode au musée" et il est aussi possible d'admirer les collections de vêtements antiques du musée. Selon le nombre d'intéressés, nous pourrions avoir une visite commentée du musée... Le prix d'entrée est de 7$.

    UPDATE : J'ai pris la liberté de réserver une visite guidée pour le musée puisque nous sommes assez nombreuses. De plus, avec le tarif de groupe, le prix reste à 7$ pour l'entrée et la visite. En raison de nos connaissances en couture, ils nous donneront les informations comme aux étudiants en mode, avec des anecdotes et détails de construction des costumes. La visite sera en anglais.

    Nous allons donc nous rencontrer à midi au Bistro Vita pour diner et un échange amical (et optionnel) de patrons, tissus et items de mercerie. Voir le menu et les prix du bistro Italien ici. Ensuite, nous marcherons un carré de maison pour débuter la visite vers 14h au Marché Bonsecours.

    RSVP - Veuillez m'envoyer un courriel pour confirmer : cotc03 at hotmail dot com. 
    Je vais tenir la liste des confirmations à la fin de ce billet.

    À bientôt!


    Sunday / Dimanche 8 Sept. - 12h

    Bella Vita - 12h

    Réservation : Caroline Côté

    Bella Vita - Italian bistro
    250 St-Paul E. (coin Place Jacques-Cartier)
    métro Champs-de-Mars
    Free parking can be challenging...


    Sunday / Dimanche 8 Sept. - 14h

    Museum / Musée - 14h

    at the museum door / à la porte du musée...
    Musée du costume et du textile de Montréal
    363, rue de la commune Est, Montréal, H2Y 1J3, 514 419-2300
    Métro Champs-de-Mars, Marché Bonsecours.
    Voir sur google maps.

    See the first and second meetups of 2013!


    1. Caroline @ Sew Eng.
    2. Vicki @ Another Sewing Scientist
    3. Rhonda @ PR and Rhotos Rag
    4. Julie @ SurMesure on Burdastyle
    5. Heather Lou @ Closet Case Files
    6. Catherine @ Ramble on Cat 
    7. Wendy @ Wendy's World 
    8. Suzie @ Fabric Maverick 
    9. Shannon @ The Finished Garment
    10. Claire @ 1 seam at a time   
    11. Terri, passinonée de couture! 
    12. Kitty Daly from Vermont
    13. Rachel Kurland from Vermont 
    14. Diane Côté, from Montreal Modern Quilt Guild
    15. Diane's friend

    Thank you! I am glad I fought my silly shyness to invite you all!
    Merci! Je suis bien heureuse d'avoir laissé ma gêne de côté pour vous inviter!

    Guide to Earth's Underpants Making Resources

    No spaceship needed, YOU can make underpants!

    Image source
    As we all know, Aliens loves underpants to make upside-down pants races... But because they never realized they could make them themselves, they come to Earth to steal our bloomers from our drawers.  Hence, to avoid any more Earthlings with an empty underwear drawer at 6am on a  frantic Monday morning, I decided to help the Aliens make their own. Of course, they will still need to buy (or zap from outerspace) some raw material and tools from Earth, but every Alien can make their own panties!


    Fabrics and Tools

    • Tools : A sewing machine with a  zig zag stitch and a stretch needle (works better than a ball point needle). A rotary cutter and self healing mat helps cut stretchy knit fabrics, but is not necessary.
    • Elastic : You have a lot of type of elastic to choose from, but try to keep them narrow. Fold Over Elastic (FOE) for a stream line clean finish, normal flat elastic to be hidden in a turn of cloth and/or some picot edge decorative elastic to peek-a-boo on the edges! Even stretch lace can be used to bound the edges.
    • Lining Fabric : The crotch pieces needs to be made of a soft and breathable natural stretchy fabric (per example, cotton jersey). Think about recycling those unworn T-shirt or stretchy cotton remnants! 
    • Shell Fabric : Depending on the pattern, the underpants can be made out of :
      - knits (jersey, interlock, micro knits, tricot, old T-shirt, etc),
      - stretch woven or lace or even velvet (with lycra/spandex/elastane mixed in)
      - woven cut on the bias (satin, charmeuse, chiffon, etc).
      Favored fibers are silk, cotton, rayon (viscose, tencel, modal, bamboo, etc), merino wool, nylon, microfiber and some sports underwear use polyester to keep the athlete dry. All those fibers accept dye well, except for polyester.
    Every pattern I found recommend about 1/2 yard (0.5m) of fabric 115cm/45in wide. For a wider fabric, say 150/60in wide, I could squeeze 3 pairs of low rise panties in 60cm or 2/3 yard.

    For the elastic, you need enough to wrap around both your tights and your hip/waist depending on the pattern. For a size medium, I calculated about 2m/ of elastic per panties.


    Underpants Patterns

    A lot of tutorial exist on the web to draft your own pattern by copying a pair you really love. Some offer tips to copy your favorite panties without cutting it apart (here) while other take the cut away approach (here). But if you would like to try a patterns, here are the some downloadable that I found lately :

    Free Underpants Patterns

    Independant Patterns Designers
    • Bra Makers Supply : Canadian Ottawa based one stop shop for your lingerie patterns and books!  Patterns about 20$. Etsy shop for patterns and online shop for everything lingerie related.
    • Merckwaerdigh sells lingerie patterns and supplies, like lace, underwires and bra kits. Pattern about 15$
    • Mrs. Depew : Californian vintage looking lingerie and garment pattern designer. She have about 50 vintage lingerie patterns as knickers, bra, corset, garter belt, slips, etc. Pattern bout 8$
    • Ohhh Lulu : Canadian Ontario based designer that offer more than 7 panties patterns on both Ohhh Lulu Etsy shop and via the Craftsy website. Pattern about 9-12$.
    Established Pattern Companies
    • Jalie : Canadian Quebec based company that offered patterns for more than 30 years! They are the only one with a family friendly multi-sized multi-style pattern that fit both male and female from 12 months to an adult size 22. Retails about 12$ per pattern, some can be downloaded. Their patterns are loved on
    • Kwik Sew : They offer a dozen of lingerie patterns, almost all with panties. Comments gathered around the webshpere says their crotch pattern piece runs wide. About 12$ per patterns, some can be downloaded.
    • Burda Style : Burda offers a little more than a dozen of lingerie patterns (2 panties) at a low price of 5.40$ each.


    Underwear Fabrics Sources

    Most obvious places to get suitable underwear fabrics are your unworn garment drawer, your local fabric store (Fabricville, Fabricland, Jo-Ann, etc.), thrift stores for used T-Shirt or bargain fabrics and online fabrics stores... Here is few of the stores specializing in lingerie:
    • Merckwaerdigh sells lingerie patterns and supplies like lace, underwires and bra kits.
    • Bra Makers Supply : Canadian Ottawa based one stop shop for your lingerie patterns and books!  Patterns about 20$. Etsy shop for patterns and online shop for everything lingerie related. Very good Canadian source.
    • Sew Sassy : They offer fabrics for lingerie, bra and swimwear as well as the Elan and Kwik Sew bra patterns. Very liked in the online sewing community I think.
    • Bravo Bella : They offers yardage but also bra and panties kits in cotton, satin or tricot in a rainbow of colors.
    • Booby Traps : An Australian company selling yardage and bra kits. I remember seeing their name in the websphere a lot, I love their name!
    • Dharma Trading Co. : They offer fabrics made of silk, bamboo, cotton, nylon, hemp fabrics and even pineapples!! Their prices are very low, but please note that all their fabrics are black or white. All white ones can be colored by their dyes and paints. 
    For more sources, please visit Dixie DYI website, she offers an extensive guide for bra making, with International fabrics and notions suppliers, recommended patterns, good tutorials and reference books!

    In Montréal : You can found pretty and inexpensive knits at GlobalText on St-Laurent and Chabanel, 2 notions and trims stores and several suitable stores on St-Hubert Street, North of Jean-Talon. See my Montreal's Fabric Store page for more info.

    You might find a little bit more on my "Sewing - Underwear" Pinterest board...


    Did you miss anything on my Pant-tastic Mission?

    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    Underpants, so Stretchy and Elastic, it's Fantastic!

    I must be an alien...

    Sounds crazy but it's true!
    Why? Well, because aliens love underwear, isn't it? My son's favorite books are "Aliens Love Underpants" and "Alien in Underpants Save The World" : very funny books about aliens stealing underwear on earth and saving our planet in the meantime! I love those books too, not just because they are well illustrated and funny, but because they helps tremendously in convincing my 2 year old to sit on the potty!

    Anyway, all that to say that I decided to sew my own underpants... I announced it casually to a friend of mine yesterday and she answered in disbelief : "But, why?" Well, it might be partly because I love to learn new sewing techniques or that I aspire to an entirely handmade wardrobe or because my under things drawers is looking very sad... But lets not go there!


    Order in my Madness

    So... How does my engineer mind, surely mixed with an healthy dose of OCD, approach this new challenge? By researching the subject extensively for a few sleepless nights ; I made a Pinterest board of the most promising patterns and tutorials. Then I settled on 3 low rise panties and 2 high waist panties patterns. Eventually, I bought 3m of very soft pink nylon/spandex and 16m of fantastic plastic elastic to sew and scientifically compare them all in the next few posts. I intend to use the picot edge FOE (on top) for the waist band and the ruffled flat elastic for the legs.

    Fabric, threads and elastic


    CF = Center Front
    CB = Center Back
    SS = Side Seam
    SA = Seam Allowance
    FOE = Fold Over Elastic
    UFO = Unknown Flying Object or UnFinished Object!



    I'm a Low Rider ♪

    I don't know if you are like me, but at the slight hint of a sentence being similar to some lyrics, the song starts to play in my mind! Lets not digress, here are the 3 low rise panties patterns I chose for my experiment :


    So Zo's Famous Pants

    So, Zo... Panties
    Link to Pattern
    Price : free, but link to buy her a coffee through Paypal!
    Format : PDF download, 4 pages,  test square included.
    Pattern : 3/8 inch SA at SS and gusset. Recommend FOE for waist and legs, so no SA there. Grain line included.
    Sizing : This pattern includes UK sizes 8 -16. A chart of the equivalence between international sizes is provided, but no measurements to help choose your size. I just compared the pattern pieces to my favorite panty and select the closest size.
    Suggested Fabric : 60cm/1y of jersey or recycle 1 large T-shirt, 2.5m/3y of FOE.
    Instructions : No instruction in the PDF, but at least 2 posts about how to sew them on her website : no serger and flat elastic and another post to build them using a serger and FOE.


    Hipster from MakeBra

    MakeBra's Hipster
    Link to Pattern
    Price : free
    Format : PDF download, 3 pages with overlaps, no test square.
    Pattern : No SA included. I added 3/8 inch to SS and gusset. The pattern pieces overlaps, so tracing or printing one page twice is in order. There is minimal text on the pattern pieces.
    Sizing : S to XL, a measurements chart is provided on her website (in cm).
    Suggested Fabric : 2 way stretch cotton jersey and lycra.
    Instructions : No instruction in the PDF, but a short list of steps is provided on her website.


    T-shirt Undies from Indigorchid

    Link to Pattern
    Indigirchid's T-Shirt Undies
    Price : free
    Format : PDF download, 4 pages,  no test square.
    Pattern : 1/4 in Seam allowances, but do not state where. No grain line. The crotch piece is different from the other pattern : larger shorter rounder and not to be cut on the fold.
    Sizing : XS to L. No measurements to help choose your size. I just compared the pattern pieces to my favorite panty and select the closest size.
    Suggested Fabric : Recycle 1 T-shirt. Stretch lace or FOE or elastic piping (picot?).
    Instructions : No instruction in the PDF, But at least 2 posts about how to sew them on her website : Sewing underwear the basics and the extras.


    Low Rider Patterns Comparison 

    I took pictures of all the 3 pattern pieces for each of the 3 low rise panties patterns (click to see a bigger image). Note that Indigorchid T-shirt panties will have 2 seams around the crotch on the outside. So Zo version will be a bikini style with narrower crotch. And finally, the MakeBra pattern, being a Hipster style panties, offers more coverage for the behind and a lower cut for the legs.

    Crotch : So Zo, MakeBra, Indigorchid.

    Back : So Zo, MakeBra, Indigorchid.

    Front : So Zo, MakeBra, Indigorchid.


    Sexy Pinup High Waist Panties

    Not as glamorously also known as the granny panties! In spite of few sewing bloggers stating that those panties where not enthusiastically admired by their partners (evidences here and here), I love their vintage vibe. Moreover, they are just perfect under a skirt/dress with a waist seams and I dream of a bikini with an high waist bottom and a top made from a real bra pattern...


    Ohhh lulu's Betty High Waist Undies
    Ohhh Lulu's Betty Undies

    Link to Pattern
    Price : 9$ (from Craftsy, soldout on Etsy) I bought this one because I love the lines drawing so much...
    Format : PDF download, 12 pages,  no test square.
    Pattern : 4 pattern pieces. 3/8 inch SA. I had more trouble assembling this one as the line are not the same width and sometimes forms an indent...
    Sizing : XS to L by hips measurements interval. Go up a size if using woven in CF/CB panels.
    Suggested Fabric : Jersey knits, stretch lace, interlock, tricot, stretch satin, powernet, 4 way stretch fabrics. 1/2y in Stretch knits for sides and 1/2y of stretch knits or bias woven for the CF/CB panels. 1/4y jersey knit for crotch lining. 2y of elastic.
    Instructions : Provided in the PDF - font is too small for me in print form. She also offer a Sew Along:
    1- Supplies needed
    2- Sewing your muslin
    3- Sewing seams and crotch lining
    4- Finishing edges with elastic


    Vera Venus Grannie-Pannie

    VeraVenus Grannie-Pannie
    Link to Pattern

    Price : free
    Format : PDF download, 8 pages, no test square.
    Pattern : Only 2 pattern pieces, solo seam at the CB. SA included, not indicated how wide. Direction of the most stretch indicated.Lots of useful annotations.
    Sizing : One size, UK 10-12 (hips 37-39 inches) I have 40 inches hips and 33 inches waist, I figured I could make them work... She offers a link to a Threads "Pattern Grading" article.
    Suggested Fabric : 50cm/20in of 112cm/45in wide fabric in 1 or 2 way stretch fabrics. Approximately 160-170cm of lingerie elastic. Silk,
    Stretch lace/mesh, cotton, nylon or rayon jersey. Woven on the bias will NOT work.
    Instructions : She included a short steps list in the PDF.


    High Waist Panties Patterns Comparison

    I cannot make a comparison of the high waist panties for each pattern pieces since they do not have the same lines drawing (Betty 4 pieces and Grannie only 2). But I will show each of them separately and once partly on top of one another. The gusset piece is similar to the T-shirt undies from Indigorchid. The Grannie-Pannie by VeraVenus is interestedly drafted with one CB seam ; but I am not sure how I would grade them... Next step, cutting and sewing!

    VeraVenus's Grannie-Pannie (with Indigorchid gusset)

    Ohhh Lulu's Betty Panties

    Betty (top) vs Grannie-Pannie (under)


    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    Montreal Sewing Bloggers at the Museum - Tentative invitation...


    Visit at the Museum

    I had so much fun meeting sewing bloggers from Montreal last weekend that I would like to organize a visit of the Montreal's Costume and Textile Museum. The Red Carpet exhibit is presented until October 6th 2013, so anyone interested and available in September, let me know! Their collections of vintage costume are also accessible. Depending of the size of our group, we might get a guided tour...


    To help set the date, please state your availability via the poll at Doodle...
    I will set the date and time around September 4th 2013.
    You do not need a Doodle account to leave your availability or to comment.

    UPDATE : 
    The visit will be Sunday Sept. 8 2013 at noon.  


    Visite du musée

    J'ai eut tellement de plaisir à rencontrer des bloggeuses couturière la fin de semaine passée, que j'aimerais organiser une visite du Musée du costume et du textile de Montréal. L'exposition en cours s'intitule "Tapis Rouge - La mode au musée" et il est aussi possible d'admirer les collections de vêtements antiques du musée. Selon le nombre d'intéressés, nous pourrions avoir une visite commentée du musée...


    Pour m'aider à choisir une date, veuillez préciser vos disponibilités dans le sondage sur Doodle...
    J'annoncerai la date et l'heure d'ici le 4 septembre 2013.
    Aucun besoin d'avoir un compte doodle pour participer ou laisser vos commentaires. 

    MISE À JOUR : 
    La visite sera le Dimanche 8 septembre 2013 à midi.  



    Musée du costume et du textile de Montréal
    363, rue de la commune Est, Montréal, H2Y 1J3
    Métro Champs-de-Mars, Marché Bonsecours.
    Voir sur google maps.

    à bientôt!

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

    Montreal Sewing Bloggers Meet-up Recap

    Lovely afternoon in marvelous company!

    Hello! A short post to thank Vicki from Another Sewing Scientist for the wonderful afternoon I had yesterday in Montréal! It was so much fun to meet lovely ladies with the same passion! Sharing a meal, talking about sewing and shopping for fabrics was very fun. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the superb day since I was too busy taking it all in!

    I even had the pleasure of finally meeting Rhonda after months of facebook friendship! Thanks too to the sweet Carmen who made us lovely gifts and even convinced Jalie to treat us to a retractable measuring tape! She is full of resources! Finally, a warm thank you to everyone present, Vicki, Carmen, Katherine, Renée, Rhonda, Shannon, Tammy, Rachel and Julie for making this afternoon memorable!

    My Floral Birthday Dress

    Simplicity 1882 with piping 

    My 36th Birthday Dress!

    I am so proud of this dress, inside and out! Made for the Montreal's Sewing bloggers Meet-up and my family's big party for everyone born in August ; a never ending day of fun!


    Project Overview

    My measurements :

    High Bust : 37,5 in
    Bust : 40 in
    Waist : 33 in
    Hip : 40 in
    5ft 2in and 157 lbs


    Pattern sizes used :

    Making Simplicity 1882, no collar, no sleeves, size 18, D cup but with an altered V neckline at front and back that I designed. I think it is more flattering on my wide back.

    Back V neckline variation


     Pattern alterations :

    • Modified Bodice front and back to have a deep V opening and the top of the armholes to slim the shoulder straps. 
    • Trim to taper the side seems :
      - 1 1/8 inch underarm,
      - 1/2 inch at top of midriff,
      - 6/8 inch at waist
      - 1/2 inch at bottom midriff,
      - 1/2 inch at top of skirt to size 16 skirt under the pocket.
    • Shorten by 5 in at the hem.
    • I used french seams to finish the bottom of the pockets.
    • I omitted the facings and lined the bodice and midriff. 
    • I retrace all my pattern piece and reduce the seam allowance to 3/8 inch. 
    S1882 v2 - Quilting Cotton Muslin

    I like to sew 3/8 inch SA because it is exactly as wide as my favorite sewing machine foot and the same width as the piping and zipper seam allowance. I found it easier to sew princess seams with smaller SA too... Moreover, I do not need to trim the SA before using my overcasting stitch to finish the SA edges! But beware as it gives no chance to make fitting adjustments ; which was OK for a 3rd make of the same pattern in this case...


     Fabrics and notions :

    • Fabric : Stretch Cotton Sateen floral with royal blue, turquoise, lime and avocado on white background (2m at 9.60$/m = 20$)
    • Bodice lining : White soft lightweight cotton poplin. (less than 1m at 12$/3m = 3$)
    • Notions :
      - Dark royal blue piping (4$)
      - 22 inches invisible zipper (4,50$)
      - Single fold bias tape from stash to finish the hem (0$)
      - Thrifted vintage royal blue rayon tape to hem the lining (0$)

    Cost : about 32$
    Time : less than 10h


    Project Sewing Order

    To sew Simplicity 1882 dress without piping, the general idea is to sew all front and back pieces separately. Then assemble the whole front to the back by the shoulder seam. And finally, sew the side seam (SS). This method is also the best to alter the dress to fit as the SS is continuous.

    But if you want to use piping, the general order for sewing it is : sew all bodice, midriff and skirt pieces separately. Then baste the piping at the top and bottom of the midriff. Finally, assemble the 3 parts together ; bodice, midriff and skirt. That is why it is best, IMO, to add pipping when the fitting issues are resolved ; else, any adjustment to the SS might result in misaligned piping at the side...

    Construction Order

    Sewing Lining, without piping :

    A good alternative to tossing your muslin could be to do a muslin of your pattern to assess the fit and make alterations. Then to use your muslin to line your real version in your main shell fabric! I decided not to line the skirt as I was afraid the cotton poplin would made the skirt ride up.

    Here "Sew" = sew, finish and press the seam.
    1. Staystitch :
      - Bodice Front neckline, from CF to shoulder
      - Bodice Back neckline, from CB to shoulder
      - (if lining skirt too) Skirt Front, from SS to CF (left and right)
    2. Sew the Front :
      - Bodice Front and Bodice Side at princess seams
      - Midriff Front and Side
      - Bodice Front to Midriff Front
      - (if lining skirt too) Skirt Back Darts
      - (if lining skirt too) Midriff Front to Skirt Front without yoke/pockets
    3. Sew the Back (left and right) :
      - Bodice Back Darts
      - Bodice Back to Midriff Back
      - (if lining skirt too) Skirt Back Darts
      - (if lining skirt too) Midriff Back to Skirt Back without yoke/pockets
    4. Sew Shoulder seams
    5. Trim 1/8 inch from neckline and armholes. (if you are not using the dress without piping as lining, sew the side seams, zip and hem and Voilà! All done!)

    Bodice lining, missing zip and hem.

    Sewing Shell Dress, with piping :

    1. Staystitch :
      - Bodice Front neckline, from CF to shoulder
      - Bodice Back neckline, from CB to shoulder
      - Skirt Front, from one SS to CF, then the other SS to CF.
    2. Sew the Bodice :
      - Bodice Front and Side at princess seams
      - Bodice Back darts
      - Shoulder seams
    3. (if lining) Assemble Shell and Lining :
      - Sew and finish neckline
      - Sew and finish armholes (left and right)
      - Turn through the shoulder and press
      - Sew Shell and lining SS in one go (tack under the armhole for perfect matching)
      - Finish lining hem.
    4. Sew the Midriff : (steps 19 to 21)
      - Midriff Front and Midriff Side
      - Midriff Back and Midriff Side
      - Baste piping to top of continuous Midriff (raw edges together, piping just showing outside SA, using a zipper foot to get as close as possible to the cord)
      - Baste piping to bottom of continuous Midriff
    5. Sew Skirt
      Vertical seams alignment
      - Skirt Front darts
      - Skirt Back darts
      - Sew/finish/understitch Skirt Front to Yoke/Pockets (steps 8-9)
      - Pocket bottom French seams
      - Bast top and SS or Yoke/Pockets to Skirt Front
      - Skirt Front and Back SS
    6. Final Assembly  (pin vertical seams for perfect matching)
      - Sew Bodice to Middriff
      - Sew Midriff to Skirt
    7. Sew Zipper (steps 24 to 26)
      - Finish raw edges at CB
      - Press invisible zipper open
      - Baste one side of zipper
      - Mark horizontal seams for perfect matching
      - Baste the other side of zipper
      - Verify alignment with zipper close, rectify.

      - Sew both side of zipper
      - Sew CB below zipper
      - (if zipper was cut) Cover the bottom edge with fabric pouch to avoid scratchiness.
    8. Hem the dress (step 48)

    Related Links 

    • How to line a sleeveless bodice : Slapdash sewist tutorial to line the bodice : I chose her method because it would have allowed to put pipping in the neckline without any joints at the shoulders. I chickened out of putting the pipping in the neckline at the last minute, but enjoyed doing the lining her way. Another option was found here, where the shoulder seams are sewn at the end, instead of the side seams. The fashion incubator suggested tips to avoid bulk when sewing facings and lining ; mainly leaving spaces where the seams are joining and sewing those joints in a second pass.
    • Invisible zipper tutorial : from Sew Serendipity and the Coletterie. I found it easier also to reduce the SA to 3/8 inch which is exactly the space between the raw edge and the zipper teeth. Also, do not be afraid to press the zipper until it lays very flat and you can see the sweet spot just next to the teeth where you want your stitches to fall!
    • Hemming Tutorial : Very interesting vintage booklet on How to Hem.
    • Link to my review of S1882 on my blog
    • Link to my review of S1882 on

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Sewing Meet-up in Montreal !

    Saturday August 17th - 12:00

    I am so excited to be able to join this time around! :D

    Vicki from "Another sewing scientist" is organizing a sewing meet-up in Montreal this coming Saturday August 17th 2013. Meet us at noon at  El Chalateco at 520 rue Beaubien E for a pattern/fabric swap and some fabric shopping around!

    Vicki, une autre scientifique couturière, organise un rassemblement de couturière bloggeuse Samedi le 17 août prochain... Rendez-vous à midi au El Chalateco at 520 rue Beaubien E pour un échange de tissus et/ou patron et une séance de magasinage de tissus sur St-Hubert après!

    Invitation from Vicki here...

    Invitation from Vicki here...

    OK, I will close the computer all week in order to finish my current rendition of S1882 in time for the meet-up!!

    Vente trottoir sur St-Hubert!