I think we've all had bad experiences with the purple Dritz fabric marker with disappearing ink. So much time spent carefully marking all the important points on your pattern pieces, only to find them gone the next day. Or, you plan to use a purple fabric and the ink blends right in! What to do?
Now, I can't take credit for this. I read it in some sewing forum, but I can't remember which one. The cheaper alternative: Crayola Washable Markers.
Yes, the same markers your kids use. For about the same price as one of the Dritz markers, you can get a whole pack of the fine tip Crayola markers. I have used all the colors, and in my personal experience I have not had a problem getting any of them to wash out. I even used the red marker on a quilt with a white background, and found that my water bottle leaked inside by bag. The red ink was smeared all around, and I was afraid it was going to stay that way. When the quilt was finished, I washed it as I usually would and all the ink came out!
Of course, always do a test swatch, iron and wash it to make sure the ink will come out.
Another good marking option are the Pilot Frixion pens. I bought a 3-pack with red, blue and black, and someone gave me the pink pen. These make a very fine line, so they are good for very precise markings.
These markings disappear under heat, so once you iron over them they are gone. Well... not exactly gone... I read a story of a quilter who used one of these pens on her quilt top. The quilt was flown to a quilt show, and lo and behold the pen markings had returned!! How?? Apparently freezing temperatures brings them back, even after washing. So I would recommend using the frixion pens for markings that will be hidden in the finished garment, or just don't go into below freezing temperatures? And if you do accidentally erase your markings, try putting your fabric in the freezer--they might just come back!
Do you have any unusual tools for marking?
Awhile ago I made this set, and I forgot to share it! I thought of it again when I was writing my post about joining strips of lace.
Bralette: Bambi Bra by Ohhh Lulu
Panties: Hellebore Hi-Cut
This is my second time using the Bambi Bra. It is an interesting pattern because you can use knit or woven. I used bias charmeuse the first time and it turned out too big. The only measurements indicated on the size chart are the full bust measurements, and a note that Cup Size 1 is for A-B and Cup Size 2 is for C-D. I'm around a 32D, so I used Cup Size 2 and a size Small, but the band still felt quite big on me.
The panties are one of my samples for my Hellebore Hi-Cut pattern. I enjoy making coordinating sets and wanted to use this pretty lavender lace again.
Fabrics & Trims
Main fabric: Lavender heavy cotton-spandex jersey. I'm not sure of the weight or content because it came in a grab bag. Not terribly soft, but it has very good recovery, so it must have a high amount of spandex.
Back band: beige powernet. The pattern doesn't actually say to use powernet for the band, but the first time I used this pattern it was too big, so I made the band smaller and definitely needed firmer fabric in the back.
Lavender lace: 2" wide, two pieces joined together. Also from a grab bag.
Elastic (upper edges): Lavender matte elastic. I love matte elastic for panties, but this is probably not the best choice for a bralette. Mostly I used it because it matched well. It is thin and soft, but not very firm.
Band elastic: 1/2" beige scallop elastic
Do you ever find the perfect lace trim for a project only to find that it is too narrow? It has happened to me a few times now, and I wanted to share a trick with you. Using a zigzag stitch (and a bit of patience and slow sewing) you can join strips of lace together to make a wider lace.
For my first Knicker November project, I wanted to make a pair of Daisy Briefs to match a new bralette. I have decided to combine both Style B & D, so I need some lace overlays for the sides. As you can see in the photo above, my lovely coral lace is just a bit too narrow for the pattern piece.
Here, I have laid two strips of lace side by side. With the scallops perfectly aligned, there are big gaps at the lowest points in the lace.
But if I offset the lace, with the big scallops over the lowest points, it fills in the gaps much better.
Slightly overlap the lace. I have it laying on my cutting mat, but you might want to do this while you are at your sewing machine. It is a bit difficult to pin the layers, so you won't want to move very far with the lace.
Use a medium width zigzag, centered over the overlap. Be careful not to stretch the lace while you are sewing, so that you don't get any ripples. In the photo above you can just barely see my stitching. A bit of steam from the iron will help the lace lay very flat; be careful not to have the temperature too high!
Here are my pattern pieces cut out.
Here it is all sewn up! My first pair of panties for Knicker November! I think it looks good, and I don't think the join is very obvious.
Have you ever wanted to use a lace that was too narrow for a project? How did you solve the problem? Happy Sewing!
Have you heard about Knicker November? I found out about it on Instagram from Kirstin @smallbobbins. Kirstin, along with Laura @thespeckyseamstress and Romy @romy.kate are hosting a challenge to sew at least one pair of knickers (or undies, panties, underwear, whatever you call them!) during the month of November.
I already love to sew my own undies, but there is a chance to win prizes! As if I needed any more motivation! You can find more info here on Kirstin's blog.
I'm already making plans to sew up at least one new pair of Daisy Briefs. Something fun with lace to match one of the bralettes from my upcoming pattern.
Are you going to join in on the fun?
Here’s how it usually goes: my bra project goes swimmingly well until the last step of joining the bra strap. All those layers of fabric, elastic and seam allowances make for a bulky join, and inevitably I break a needle. Doesn’t seem to matter if the join is in the front or the back, I never seem to get it right.
I’ve been trying a few new techniques, and I really like this one. This is for a bra strap with rings at the back, a strap extension built into the cup, and uses a picot elastic for the underarm edge. I am demonstrating this technique with my upcoming bralette pattern.
We will begin after the neckline has been finished, and before the underarm elastic is added.
Do you save your lace scraps? I have a small bag filled with odd-shaped pieces of beautiful lace, just because I can’t bear to throw them out. I love little lace details, so I try to find places to add in small pieces of lace.
I had some long narrow pieces of lace left from panty project that didn’t work out, and decided to make up a bralette. This is one of the first few prototypes of my bralette pattern that I have been working on behind the scenes for the last couple months. The shaping of the cradle is a bit different than the final pattern.
I added lace overlays to the inner and outer cups, and at both ends of the back band. Intially I had added in a piece at the center front of the cradle, and realized that it looked like a lace box, so I removed the center piece and ended up with something like a butterfly.
While I mirrored the scalloped edges, I can see now that the lace pattern itself is not symmetrical. Oops! Mirroring the lace pattern takes some careful attention, and isn’t always conducive to using up scraps of lace. I still love how it turned out, and have been wearing this bralette frequently.
Do you save your lace scraps? Where do you like to add them in on your sewing projects?
Are you interested in trying out a harness style? This trend seems to be going to the extreme with whole-body harnesses, but I wanted to just dabble with one at the waist. If you can make a bra strap, you can easily make this sexy add-on to the Dahlia Hipster for Styles C & D. Watch the video below to see how it's done.
Do you prefer the contrast insets over the lace for the Dahlia Hipster? Come along with me, and we'll go step-by-step through the sewing instructions for Style B.
Confused about cutting lace? Wondering about how to sew the insets? With a few carefully matched points, I'll show you how easy it can be.
Learn how to cut mirrored lace pieces, and go step-by-step through the instructions for sewing Style A of the Dahlia Hipster.
Today I am happy to share with you the Dahlia Hipster panties made by my lovely pattern testers. I always love to see the fabric and trim choices of my testers, they are a source of inspiration!
Do you make clothes to match your flowers? I love this beautiful pink floral with black contrast.
More pink and black here, plus tan and white lace by Jeanne.
Marina is ready for Halloween! Though she joked that it's always Halloween at her house. I love the bright purple pop of elastic. She also made a lovely Style C with the waist harness.
Heather used black fabrics as well, making a Style B with mesh insets. I really like her use of fold over elastic sewn flat.
Katrina used beautiful blues that sparkle for her Style A.
More beautiful blue from Shuba with black contrast insets.
Aren't these sweet? White with white lace and a pop of red.
Floral, lace and pink elastic? All my favorites! Love Sarah's Style A.
Striped black and white print with fuschia lace. Love it!
Many thanks to my pattern testers! Their hard work helps my patterns come to life!
I design lingerie sewing patterns for everyday comfort and feminine style in an inclusive size range. Fill up your underwear drawer with beautiful custom made panties in your favorite fabrics and trims, designed to fit your body.