Make 9: Ororo Bralette

My first ever item of underwear! And I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. This was always supposed to be a prototype/test run but I’m sure I’ll get a fair amount of wear out of it.

a soft cup bralette in blue leaf and flower head print, with pink straps in a halter neck style and a turquoise band. The lining is bright pink. The bra is on a white surface. The bra is shown from the front.

Pattern: Ororo Bralette from Rad Patterns.

Fabric: remnants purchased from The Sewing Chest. The blue fern print is a mesh and the bright pink is a spandex.

Notions: Grey Gutermann thread from Jaycotts, pink straps and adjusters harvested from an old bra, waistband elastic and clear plastic o-ring from Minerva Crafts.

a soft cup bralette in blue leaf and flower head print, with pink straps in a halter neck style and a turquoise band. The lining is bright pink. The bra is on a white surface. The bra is shown from the back.

Notes/modifications:

  • Made XL cups with M back (as per the instructions at the end of the pattern) blended at the side seams
  • Decided on a matches nothing/everything grey thread for sewing
  • Omitted clear elastic at top seams as it was the prototype and I felt the fabric had fairly good recovery properties on its own.
  • Should have adjusted the bra straps before I sewed them down because they are massively too long! I might do that later if they really bother me.
a soft cup bralette in blue leaf and flower head print, with pink straps in a halter neck style and a turquoise band. The lining is bright pink. The bra is on a white surface. The bra is shown from the front and is inside out.
Not the neatest, but functional and effective!

This is sort of the second item on my Make 9 list completed, because I wanted to make some Lucky Booty Undies as well, so I’m calling it item one and half!

Make Nine 2020: Linen balloon trousers

A woman is wearing a black and white floral print top and trousers. The top is sleeveless. The trousers have slash pockets and are gathered at the ankles.
Moody because the light is terrible and it’s cold!

With bonus Sorbetto top (see end of post)!

First finished object for Make Nine 2020 are these linen blend “balloon trousers/pants” *, number 7 on my grid. I took the opportunity to join in with the Sew Fancy Pants sew-along hosted by Merritts Makes, Katie Kortman, Sierra Burrell, Brad Schultz, and Rumana.

*I use the term “balloon trousers/pants” because it’s more descriptive and much, much, less problematic than “harem trousers/pants”. If you ever see me using the phrase “harem pants” assume I have been kidnapped and am asking for help in a coded way.

They are based off an old Khaliah Ali Simplicity pattern I’ve had in my stash for years. I wanted a trouser similar to the Luna Pants, but couldn’t justify buying yet another pattern when I had one in stash I could modify!

A woman is wearing a black and white floral print top and trousers. The top is sleeveless. The trousers have slash pockets and are gathered at the ankles.
This corner of my in-progress craft room was the only place I could find indoors to photograph the outfit!

My aim was for a super lightweight pair of trews for the 3 days of hot weather we get in my part of Britain in the middle of August. And also pockets.

I made a muslin (toile) first out of a cotton/poly duvet cover to check the fit. I added an inch to the waistband, knowing that I wanted to raise that. As a result of the toile I added half an inch to the back crotch and a further half inch to the back crotch rise.

A woman is wearing a black and white floral print top and trousers. The top is sleeveless. The trousers have slash pockets and are gathered at the ankles.
Check out the fit on these babies!

Pattern: Simplicity 5074 – View D/E Pants

Fabric: very lightweight linen/cotton blend from Abakhan online

Notions: Gutermann thread, 1/2″ elastic for waistband, 1/4″ elastic for cuffs, interfacing for buttonholes (for ties)

Sizing: Measured as a 22W (what?! I think Simplicity sizing is out of step with a lot of the independent companies because that’s not my size in Cashmerette patterns! Just goes to show you shouldn’t go off your “Dress Size” but should use your actual measurements) but cut a 24W because I wanted a loose fit through the hips and thighs.

A woman is wearing black and white floral trousers with a plain black t-shirt. The trousers have slash pockets and are gathered at the ankles.
Just the trousers.

Notes/modifications:

  • Omitted patch pocket on leg
  • Added elastic to leg hems
  • Raised waistline by 1″/2.5 cm front and back
  • Made “large bum” adjustments to back by extending back crotch seamline by 0.5″ and raising back crotch by another 0.5″ using “slash and spread” method on paper pattern
  • Switched the pocket and fronts around to create a slash pocket so I didn’t have to pattern match a patch pocket!
  • Edged the pockets in the same grey bias binding I used for the Sorbetto Top

Bonus Sorbetto top from Colette!

A woman is wearing a black and white floral print top and plain black trousers. The top is sleeveless.
Yeah, I’m pretty pleased.

I made this top as a test of the fabric. I squeezed it out of the meter of fabric I had left over after I’d cut out the trousers by adding about 1.5cm to the centre fold line of the back piece and seaming it. This had the added bonus of making sure the print was in the correct orientation!

I cut a straight size 16 but after sewing the side seams I tried it on and discovered I needed to massively increase the bust dart. This improved the fit immensely.

The trousers have slash pockets and are gathered at the ankles. She is staring out of the window.
What’s out there? Suburbia!

I chose to leave the pleat unstitched to give more of a breezy swing top.

When it’s tucked in to the trousers it gives the effect of a jumpsuit, but with none of the toilet-related panic!

To conclude? I’m really pleased with how my first ever pair of trousers (we’re not discussing the sh*tty stripy shorts of doom from many, many, years ago) turned out. With the help of my “Fast Fit” book I think I got exactly the fit I wanted. I’m keen to try a more fitted pair at some point, but my sewing to-do list is going to take me in a different direction first!

Make Nine 2020: Underwear plans!

I never thought I’d be confident enough to sew my own undies but here we are in 2020 and I’m ready to give it a try!

As I posted previously I’ve slightly revised my Make 9 grid to add a vague “underwear” square so I thought I’d expand on my plans here.

line drawing of a bralette top. There is a front and back view.
Ororo Bralette line drawing. Image (c) Rad Patterns

I’ve bought both the Ororo Bralette and the Lucky Booty Undies patterns from Rad Patterns.

three pairs of boy short style underwear lie on top of a wooden surface (maybe a floor).
Lucky Booty Undies. Image (c) Rad Patterns

The bralette is a princess-seam soft bra top with adjustable straps and a racer back. The undies are a “boy short” fit which is my preferred style.

Most of my fabric stash is woven so I’ve had to buy some suitable stretch jersey fabrics in.

My first bralette will be in this hot pink spandex as the lining and blue leaf print mesh as the outer. This will act as my test piece as both the fabrics were inexpensive remnants from The Sewing Chest.

Blue mesh fabric with light blue fern leaves and flowers on top of a bright pink fabric.
No need to adjust your screen, it really is that pink!

The next versions will be in cotton/elastane fabrics. One will be in this soft black and white chevron print from Girl Charlee, backed by a plain black fabric from Minerva Crafts.

Black and white chevron fabric on top of plain black fabric

The (final for now) iteration will be a reversible top in these two fabrics, both from Girl Charlee UK. I’m also going to make matching knickers for this set (hopefully one pair each in the stripe and floral if I have enough fabric left).

Large floral print jersey fabric lies on top of a black and white striped fabric.
Yes? Yes!

However, my first pair of kecks will be out of this striped print (again, from Girl Charlee).

close up of a striped jersey fabric. The stripes are variable widths and are purple, blue, white, cream, orange, brown, and black.
Love the combo of colours.

Have you made your own underwear? Have you got any tips and tricks for me?

Make Nine 2020 – Revised

Yes, already!
I’m still probably going to make the same kind of items as previously posted, but maybe not the exact patterns?

a 3 by 3 grid reading, from top left to bottom right: trousers for me, a maxi dress, loose blouse, underwear (knickers/bralette), pyjamas for mum (two sets), sleeveless tops for mum, Lagenlook style dress for me, gathered slash pleated skirt, shortie pyjamas for me.

As you can see, I’ve simplified my grid. A lot.

Pretty much everything will be the same patterns/fabric as before.

One thing that will absolutely change are the pyjamas for my mum. I’m not happy with the pattern I chose (the top is massively oversized and the bottoms are too small) so I’m changing that. I found a free pattern from 5 Out Of 4 called, rather simply, “Pajama Pants” that look ideal. I’ll probably pair it with a simple sleeveless or short sleeved pull-on top pattern from my stash (Mum does not do well with buttons on sleepwear!). I have some very narrow vintage cotton in my stash that will be used for the first, semi-muslin, version and I’ll need to buy some cotton voile or lawn for version two later in the year.

I bought enough fabric for my Level Up Loungers shorts to make a top to go with them, so I’ll make myself a simple set for the warmer weather (should it arrive this year).

I’ve also changed the “Lucky Booty Undies” entry into “underwear” because I bought the Ororo Bralette from Rad Patterns and I’ve got plans to make at least 3 versions of this in various fabrics. I may even, for the first time in my life, make a matching set!

a woman stands next to a grey wooden door and facing the camera, looking down towards her hands, which are raised to waist level. She is wearing a tunic top, the body of which is an ocher llama print fabric and the yoke, collar and cuffs are a navy and cream stripe. She is in the act of adjusting her right cuff.

Tobin Llama Sweater

Talk about an impulse project!

I saw the “Same Pattern, Different Bodies” post about the Tobin Sweater on the Curvy Sewing Collective blog, noticed the discount code, bought the pattern there and then. It took me a few days to find the right fabric online (thank you Fabric Godmother) and another few days to make the top. For me, Queen of the UFO, that’s quite an achievement!

a woman stands next to a grey wooden door and facing the camera, looking down towards her hands, which are raised to waist level. She is wearing a tunic top, the body of which is an ocher llama print fabric and the yoke, collar and cuffs are a navy and cream stripe. She is in the act of adjusting her right cuff.
A small adjustment!

Pattern: Tobin Sweater by Cashmerette

Size: cut a straight 18 C/D cup to fit 44″ full bust.

Fabric: Navy/cream striped and ochre llama print French Terry from Fabric Godmother plus some thin single jersey from my scraps stash for the pockets.

Notions: seven 20mm triangular prism buttons, all thread Gutermann, clear elastic for shoulders and front pocket opening (all from stash)

Prismatic triangular buttons are sewn on to a navy and cream striped fabric cuff. The cuff is attached to a sleeve of an ocher-coloured fabric with llamas and cacti printed on it.
Buttons! And llamas! And stripes!

Modifications:

I chose View A for the awesome collar and the colour blocking, but liked the back hem length of View B so I copied that for the front to turn it into a tunic.

a woman stands next to a grey wooden door with her back to the camera. She is wearing a tunic top, the body of which is an ocher llama print fabric and the yoke, collar and cuffs are a navy and cream stripe. She has her hands in her pockets.
The fabric hung up on my hips is because of the leggings underneath, not the fit!

Added in seam pockets (mostly successfully) because as it’s a warmer-weather outerwear that I intended to wear over leggings I knew if it didn’t have pockets I wouldn’t wear it!

Because I was keen to get this finished, I made a few mistakes (cutting two left sleeves, getting half the back piece off grain and having to cut a new one) but I’m sure I’ll forget about those in time!

I sewed the buttons through a single layer of fabric only so I could wear the cuffs turned up and not have the thread show through.

a woman stands next to a grey wooden door and is side on to the camera, looking away into the distance. She is wearing a tunic top, the body of which is an ocher llama print fabric and the yoke, collar and cuffs are a navy and cream stripe. The cuffs are turned up. She has her hands in her pockets.
Ignore the bunching under the arms – it just rode up with wear!

Overall I’m very pleased with how this turned out and I’m keen to try View C as a plainer, more sensible, version in the future!