Monday, December 1, 2014

The meandering path

So maybe its no small surprise that I have several blogs. None of which I can actually keep up with on a regular basis. I get very caught up in my non-digital life and its consuming nature. Its also no surprise to those familiar with fear, change, and anxiety how they impact that non-digital life and take you on a long winded "shortcut" aka detour through life.  I wrote on my new budding blog POMO about those disruptions and impact. While not a thorough analysis of how I feel and its total impact on my life, it is a short synopsis of where I am at and where I hope to go.
In the last post I mentioned my sewing funk and a class I took at NCSU. Well, to be perfectly honest, I stayed in that sewing funk for most of the rest of the year. On the plus side I also finished the certificate of Textile Technology at NCSU I've been working on since last year.
Depression and anxiety do weird things with your life. It alters how you interact with your reality. For me, where there once was joy, there was now pain. I did not enjoy many of the things that once were of great fulfillment. My feelings of frustration begat more feelings of frustration which begat even more feelings of frustration and so on and so on and so on. Fear of change prevented me from making advances and taking chances. Depression kept me from doing anything about it.
At some point being mad at yourself for being frustrated gets really old. I let myself linger in that place for way longer than I would have wanted (or most people would tolerate in others). I moved late in the summer after a long and arduous house hunt where I found the situation more and more isolating. I feel better now than I did for most of the year. I don't feel great but I feel I am on the path or at least on A path.
I am choosing to share this with the wider world in hopes that others can come forward about their experiences with fear, anxiety, and depression. I am also hopeful that by sharing I can help myself by seeking the help I should have months ago and that I can encourage others to do the same for themselves.
I am choosing to take the slow path for my POMO project as I still don't know what I want to make fully of it. As I carefully share my ideas with friends and family it seems to get a lot of positive encouragement. I think this will be a pretty cool ride.

I will leave you off for the time being with a fabulous shot of me in a pink jumpsuit that I threw together for a trip to New Orleans last May.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sewing Funk-a-delic

I'm struggling through a sewing funk. Actually, I'd have to admit it to more like a life funk. I got my patterns from Bra Makers Supply, my book, and all my supplies. I've been so amped to get it, and now that its here....
SO here's what went down. I sewed a muslin. It didn't fit. So I sewed another one. It didn't fit. So now I'm on my third. And I'm getting pissed. Bra fit is already awkward and then when you add in sewing it becomes a big mess. The first bra I made looked beautiful, but it pinched and prodded like I've never felt in my life.

I've been trying to read through bratabase to see if there was applicable advice and I've not seen anything yet. I've decided to put the project on the back burner while I work on a wool coat.

I've done some illustrations on style lines for inspiration into the next foray of lingerie. I like the illustration style, and it reminds me how much I like to draw.

I also got to go to NC State about a month ago to take a class on textile fundamentals. We got to explore the labs where I could see them spin yarn and weave fabric. Its a very cool class.

Cotton sliber going into the combing machine

Cotton sliber in barrels after carding.
While I'm not a fan of their basketball team (GO Tar Heels!) their textile school is incredible and I'm thankful I live very close by, especially when I take classes there for work.
Shuttle style weaving 
Its been a really rough winter for me. I feel tugged in many directions emotionally. All in the same day I got a promotion and stuck in my car on the way home from work for over 7 hours. I've been struggling a bit with personal identity and direction. Its been making larger impacts into many facets of my life than I am comfortable with. I am aiming to change that, but I'm not fully sure how.  One way is this project I've alluded to before (maybe?) and I'm hoping to share more publicly this summer. I'm excited and scared by it all at the same time. Its all been rough lately, but I'm hoping that as spring makes its appearance, so does my focus and energy.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

lil' lovlies - Bralettes

Its fun to ogle at all the pretties.

I'm pretty new to the idea of bralettes. I was, and still am, small chested to an extant, so you would think that I own and wear lots of this style. But when I was younger I disliked wearing the unstructured and notably unpadded bras my mother would buy me.  My mother doesn't like underwire bras and didn't think I should either.  She has always struggled with bra comfort and figured my sister and I would as well. I was restricted to wearing non-wired bras until I could afford to purchase bras on my own. I liked the look of a wired bra and I liked the padding that could come with it. Additionally, a wired bra was, at least when I was 13 years old made me feel I had a more mature body. To me a unwired bralette screamed small chested (oh the horror!) or even worse, uni-boob. Through college when I was a dance major I wore a VS bralette instead of a sports bra. It pretty much looked like one of those tank tops with the shelf bra, except without the tank top part. Also not very figure flattering. Ten years after my early college break-up with bralettes I am coming back around to non-wired bras as the styles have become more appealing and even sexier than I recall.
La Perla Vertigo Bralette $208

I like how the sheer beige cups are nicely contrasted by the black macramé lace. The way the lace extends down and playfully covers the breasts is simple yet elegant. This is far beyond my price range, but it is nice to pretend. The Vertigo bralette from La Perla is available here on sale and here in all black as well. 

Silvia Lace Bra  £42.75 (currently on sale)
I found this little bralette over at the Lingerie Lesbian's blog a few days ago. I like the square bow detail and the attention to detail in the small collection. While the company focuses on the smallest of the bust range, cups ranging from AA/A/B, I could see women with a larger yet more shallow shape finding their bralettes could work nicely for them (including myself). This lovely is currently on sale. 
Sophiehines Purple Strappy Cut-out Bra $45
This strappy color block gem is hand-made to order here in the states. The cut-outs on the chest really highlight your décolletage and draw your eye toward the center of your chest versus the projection. I like the color contrast between the band and straps.

luvahuva  Sweet Juliet Chantilly Lace Soft Bra and Panty Lingerie set $98
This chantilly lace set makes my heart pound.  The gentle gathers, the contrast elastic, the way the lace edging is used at the center front. I can only imagine how wonderful this bamboo and cotton set feels to wear.  Put a silk robe over it and I'm done. Did I mention it also comes in purple! Hand crafted in England, so its too late for V-day but a nice set for spring.

How do you feel about bralettes?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lingerie Drafting

I've been drafting some new patterns for myself the last few weeks. As mentioned in the last post I had drafted and made up a few pairs of undies. I feel like they fit really well. I'm really excited as this is the first set of patterns I drafted that was made for knits and close fitting apparel. I feel like this will help open up many possibilities for me. I'm hoping to develop a few more patterns for myself over the coming months including a lower cut, thong, and boy short.
Fabric is a cotton/spandex jersey from Spandex House and elastic was bought on Etsy.

My next project I wanted to tackle was a bralette for my brother's girlfriend. I had made her some Adventure Time undies using the Amerson pattern from Madalynne's blog. I was going to follow up with Beamo fabric using Spoonflower's new Modern Jersey, but it wasn't ready by the time I needed. Instead I used a some left overs from my tests with Modern Jersey. You can find the design here
Drafting the bralette

My new bralette pattern!

 I picked up a copy of Patternmaking for Fashion Design a few weeks ago, and while I'm not using it directly to make slopers, it is helpful in understanding some of the basics for contour patternmaking (close fitting garments). I've referenced a few different places for drafting a sloper, but the sloper for this pattern is based on Madalynne's instructions. I'm pretty happy with the final pattern, though my sewing skills and persistence to match thread could be better. Thankfully there aren't any photos of the back. I will definitely will be remaking the bralette as I think its adorable, but with some serious improvements to the back. I lined the bralette with some soft nylon power mesh, which I will definitely keep doing as it helps with recovery.
In the end I think she liked it, but I doubt it will fit. The pattern was based on a standard size 10 with a B cup and she is definitely not a B cup. I'm hoping to get her measurements soon so I can remake it with the Adventure Time fabric. I'd also like to make a long line version.

Drafting an underbust corset for Halloween.
Since we are on the drafting topic, I wanted to show the underbust corset that was drafted and built for Halloween. All the fabric was printed at Spoonflower as part of a group employee costume. We were a phantom circus and I was the sword swallower.
I really liked the way the corset turned out and would really like to make more. Next time I will use a metal busk for the center front. It was a huge pain in the ass to get in and out of this corset and the laces were hella long.

The corset fits me perfectly it just looks strange on my form because it doesn't have as large of hips like I do nor was it tied in the back. Please excuse the unfinished upper edge, this was an in process pic.

My buddy the bearded lady and me on Halloween
What are you doing this new year? What are your sewing goals?

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I made a pair of underpants last night!  The best part is that I drafted the pattern myself and they fit right off the bat. So excited to make more! Pictures to follow once a make a few more.

Resources to get you started:
the backed up version of Pattern School
Patternmaking for Fashion Design Book