Friday, February 17, 2017

Sewing Class : Soutien-Gorge 1 / Bra Making 1

knocked me outYesterday I started my latest sewing class, Soutien-Gorge 1 / Bra Making 1. I am taking it at Club Tissus in Laval with Mme Barnes. This class is only offered in French, but it is not an issue for me, and well worth it! Sometimes I get my terms mixed up, like paramenture and entoilage. But I write both terms on my patterns for easy reference.

So why a bra making class? I HATE, no I LOATH shopping for bras. They never seem to fit properly. I assumed it was due to having 2 kids, breastfeeding, loosing weight, etc. But after my first class I discovered it is due to the pattern. I need to adjust the upper cup and the placement of the underwire. And I need to reduce the space in the middle. Huhh, So not all women have the same standard shape? Not all women's ta-tas fall at the exact same place on their bodies? Who knew?

But seriously. I am very hopeful and confident that I will produce something of comfort, fashion and Za-Za appeal!

This course is a 5 week course and she provides the pattern. The bra takes 13 pieces to make. Now this may seem like a lot, but it really is not. The pattern we modify to fit us perfectly, as we always do in all of her classes. Seeing as the course if offered during a Thursday, the store is open during our class. This was marvelous as she went with us in the store to give us what we needed to buy. She had pre-made cut fabric and elastics ready for us. So easy. We will be making 2 bras. The first one is a standard white satin stretch. The second one will have lace. We will also learn how to die our materials. She has a binder of recipes using vinegar and food like fun dip and jello. I can't wait!

In the first class we learned how to take our measurements and where we need to make modifications. We also saw a demonstration of how to entoile / line our Satin stretch with Melonite. We traced our pattern, made modifications where necessary and cut the pattern out. Our homework is to cut out our fabric. Our homework is to cut the material for next class.

So here you can see the glory of having a carpenter husband! I was able to lay out the Satin Stretch and Melonite flat to iron it. I was able to fuse the 2 pieces together without having to move my material once.

Have I said I love my sewing table? I love it! Thank you Simon!

So Simon was playing XBox, he said something, I looked up at the TV and Wham-o! I made a mistake. Mme Barnes always said that you have to smooth over your material, you have to caress the material. Yup. I didn't here. Because it is fused together I can't smooth it out.

Now you can't really see, but up close you can. there is a hair stuck in between the 2 materials. I have long hair and it gets in my face when I lean over to sew. I placed my hair up when I placed my material, but a hair STILL got out.

Another lesson learned.

Last night I cut out the material. There were only 4 pieces to cut out. I laid out my material, I aligned the pattern pieces. Somewhere between the layout and placement I switched the direction the pattern pieces lay. Thank goodness I noticed it after cutting out only one. I was tired and silly. I mixed up the grain line with my stretch direction.

I panicked, I begged Simon to help me and double check what I was doing. He enjoyed this as he was able to take the pieces and lay them on me to double check which direction the stretch should go in. Win-Win, lol.

Lesson learned. I will never forget which way the stretch goes on this pattern. Just like the time I made Tyler his Halloween PJ pants and I put the pattern upside down. I will NEVER make that mistake again. Oh, how it is fun to learn!

Class #2

I am feeling a bit nervous after class #2. I have a head cold and am tired. The information just does not sink in the same. There are many steps that involve placing the pattern pieces in strange positions. The construction is simple enough though. I will approach it in small steps.

She cut up a sample bra and we go to take home one half of a bra. I will use this as a real sample to help me construct my next steps.

Reading over our class notes I am reassured. The steps are clearly laid out for me. The only trouble I have is with the translation of certain terms. I always confuse the French terms for "right side" and "wrong side". I will have to write it down on a sticky note as a reminder.

Now I can't wait to start the next few steps!

The nylon thread is very thin and lightweight compared to regular thread. So when you start your bobbin hold on the the thread while it starts or else the bobbin will not be would tight enough.

A trick we were taught when topstitching is to use your blind hem foot. This foot has a guide on it. Just align to the seam on both sides of your topstitch and they will be perfectly even! This is so much easier (and faster) than my double needle.

The next steps looked confusing. When I took the class I was tired and coming down with a cold (it always seems like I get sick during a sewing class!) I was afraid I would not understand the diagrams. However the class instructions as so well done. I had to write down the French translation for right side and wrong side (I have a mental block on that one - too much thinking!) I breezed through the steps with no problem (unless the review of my work tomorrow says otherwise)

As you can see it is really taking shape!

The bridge is where it should be. This is the step that I was worried about. I am not crazy about the stitch I chose for my topstitching, but this is my first one, my model.

I was really proud of myself for figuring out this step. Fingers crossed I did it properly, but it looks just like the sample.

As you can see we did not line the sample bra so you can see the interior design. I am so pleased that it is easy to follow our notes. I am not happy with some of my stitching though....

My sewing class was cancelled last night! Due to a major power failure there was no power, no lights and no heat! I did all this work, I was so excited and proud to show it off! I guess it will have to wait an extra week!

This latest class we really do see progress in the bra. We install the elastic under the arms, we created the straps comma we install the straps, and we install the clip at the back.

My homework is going very well. I like to take things slowly and that seems to work well with the delicateness of the fabric. Because I have limited amount of time I get about a step or two done per evening. I take about two nights to do my homework. It is very satisfying being able to reproduce what I saw in class.

Sewing the straps and back clasp was a cinch! I am almost afraid it was too easy and I made a major error, lol. Tonight's class we put in the wire and check the final pattern adjustments.

We also will learn how to sew the upper cup in lace, and then on to dying our fabrics! I am really amazed at how easy and quick it is.

I have to say that I was pleased with my sewing this week. When I arrived at my course I noticed I forgot to flip over the tab for the hook section. But this is something I can easily do. I also noticed that the tubing for the wire was sewn improperly at the top when I did my topstitching. These are mistakes I will not make again.

So the moment of truth: the fitting, the trying on of said bra with an underwire in. Ok, here we go. And S**t, it is f-ugly! Sorry for the bad language, but I was close to tears. The reason I took this course is because I can no longer buy a bra that I feel good in, feel feminine in. The years of breastfeeding has sucked the life out of me and the girls. The fit was horrible. And the worst part is there is only one class left. I not only have to redo the whole bra, but if there are any MORE modifications there is no time left. Not only that, but this week is the week we sew a bra with lace. Now I have to redo it with something new, new procedures and lace. I am panicked, annoyed and disappointed.

I have to sew in padding, the upper cup has to be modified and the bridge has to be modified. F-me! Simon is like “don’t worry… I love your boobies.” Be quiet! Let me be annoyed, stop being so damn supportive! Men don’t get it.

So sewing the bra with the modifications is not easy for me. The lace and the padding has turned me upside down. My bra was used as the sample during the class. It was NOT ME that cut my material. The pieces were not cut properly and some areas miss lining. Oh, and Club Tissus STILL DID NOT receive the tubing for the underwire. Seeing as I was the smallest in our class I got to purchase the remaining tubing. There was only enough for 1 bra - 1 bra. The never received anymore. Now, when you know MONTHS in advance that your store is hosting a sewing class and you have the list of necessary materials, you stock up for those materials. Every course this happens to me. I am getting fed up.  Fabricville does not carry it and there are no other stores. I had to drive to the South Shore - THE SOUTH SHORE!

I am sewing the bra, complaining the whole way - and I have my doubts it will fit. I am sure it is too small now. This class has sucked all my sewing motivation - to the point I want to throw in the towel. I am starting to hate sewing and I want to give away all my machines.

So I finished the bra in lace. I am not happy with the fit. Seeing as this is the last class and we are dying the fabric, I am not feeling confident. I am angry that I do not have a pattern that fits yet and I am 5 weeks in. I should have something that resembles something nice. Nope. Can you tell I am not happy?

Ok, so looking at it in the light of day, after the rage has time to settle, the bra itself is not too bad. The person who cut my lining did a poor job, there are parts that are missing. The lining does not line up properly at the seam of the upper and lower cup (once again not my fault, I did not cut the fabric).

My biggest issue is the fit. Tonight Simon and I will be meeting up with the instructor and we will do one together. I am hopeful I will have a bra I am proud to wear.

The padding went in well with the lining

I have not trimmed anything as I have not completed the bra, there may be a way to salvage this or reuse the straps on another one...

This pattern we modified to have a straight strap

and the upper cup in lace was modified as well. The strap portion of the pattern was modified as well.

Simon and I went to Mme Barnes' Tuesday sewing class. She took a look at the bar I did and gave me some pointers. The bra I did was very good. There was one step I forgot when sewing the lining, but other than that it is a wearable bra. The fit is very good, and I was panicking for nothing. I guess I am just not used to a bra that fits.

We worked on a bra together in the class. All I have to do is the straps, clasp and the elastic under the arms. I will see if I have enough time to complete it tonight, but my video game just got an update and I have been waiting a week to be able to play.... Priorities, priorities. But which one?

Here is my third attempt. There was a fabric that was prelined at $5 a meter. Everyone in our class bought this fabric. I have enough for a bra, underwear and a shirt!

I have to install the elastic on the underarm, do the straps and hook and eye, then it is done.

During the class we out together the bridge on the wring side. We were so tired that we did not notice. even the instructor did not notice. Thank goodness I had Simon with me. he is my expert seam ripper. He removed everything and the power mesh was saved!

Simon sewed the channeling on this bra. He did an excellent job.

So now that I am done with my Soutien Gorge 1 (Bra making 1) class, I am proud of my efforts. I now have one bra that fits lovely. It is decorative with lace and all fancy and feminine. I am working on a second one in a funky pattern. I have all the supplies, new pink and black lace, black and white elastics, and I am ready to go!

Here is the finished result from Simon and I working together.

Only the lower cup has padding, and I used the slanted pattern, with a straight attachment for the straps.

Simon does not like the way I attached my straps. This is a test pattern, so I am not too picky.

I am not sure if I am comfortable with the lower upper cup with the straps starting more to the outer edge. I will make the other model and compare.

I was sick for 4 weeks with a massive cold, but I persevered! With the help of Simon, of course. Once I am done trimming and sewing the last bits I will post pictures of the end results. 

Next week Simon and I start our course together, Lingerie fine. We will be using the pattern Jalie 3242. And we have this pattern in our stash already! And I have extra lace in Pink and in white.