Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jacket Sleeve and Bra Workshop

I am almost ready to cut out the sleeves for my jacket. I made an alteration to the original sleeve to eliminate the puckers, but that just caused almost more problems than it solved. The sleeve on my right (your left) is the altered original sleeve. It isn't hanging too well. You can see it twisting and hanging weird. The sleeve on the left is a pattern I took from Simplicity 3672. Since it was a plus size and two piece, I was hoping it would work. First I laid the original altered sleeve pattern on top of the Simplicity pattern tissue to see which one I would need to cut out. The size 20 was then picked. I folded it at both petite-able lines and then cut my muslin.

You can see the original sleeve better in this side shot. It's so bad it is even distorting the armhole. It also is a bit larger around, which my arm doesn't need.

Here is the Simplicity sleeve. While it's not perfect, it's a whole lot better than the altered original sleeve. You can't really see how much better it is because I didn't do the easing in the way the pattern called for you to where the elbow bends. I just tucked the ease and the sleeve has the seam allowances on the outside, since of course, I sewed up the same side sleeve as the one that I had already inserted. I think it looks like I need to interface the sleeve cap. I don't want to interface the whole sleeve because I don't want it to be board-like. I want it to hang softly. The only alteration I will do is to add a little bit more cap height to eliminate the drag lines.

I wanted to show you the pocket, which you can't see very well. I drafted it from a drawing I made of another jacket I saw on TV. I thought it was a cute, easy pocket to add to any princess seamed jacket.

Now for the Bra Workshop update. It was a long, hard day. The only saving grace was that so many of my friends were there. I got to know some new friends just a bit better too. Sewing with me were Cat MacGregor, Kathi Rank, MaryAnn, Janna, and Jeanette Swanson.

It was an interesting class and while I had a good time, I was disappointed with the final bra.

I hate the shape it gives me and it's deadly uncomfortable. I think it gives me too much of a flattened projection up front with too much side bulge. It doesn't have much coverage at the front of my arm, yet it has too much coverage at the neck edge. And look at that rippling across the front. The apex is too high for me and the bra band is too tight. Of course, they said it looks great. In fact, when I complained how the side bulged out and the underwires were poking the front of my arms, her solution was to reach down into the bra and start bending the underwires in toward my body. Ouch! I don't think that should be the solution. The underwires should lay flat against my body, not have to be bent into submission. Which, of course, just made it more uncomfortable.

It doesn't look too bad from the sides except that you can see that it doesn't have enough coverage at the front arm area. That should come up much higher, IMHO. And doesn't my opinion count?

You can see how tight it is on the band in this picture. It gives me a lumpy, bumpy back, as if I didn't already have lumps without the addition of a too tight bra adding to my problems. I didn't bother to buy this bra-maker's book. I already own the Bra-makers Manual by Beverly Johnson. I'm hoping I can find pointers on how to alter this bra, or another pattern to fit me better than this one. I have a few patterns for bras in my stash. However, bra making will have to wait until the jacket is done. I don't want to wait too long or else I'll forget how it's done.


  1. I think your jacket is looking fabulous! It's too bad the bra is not comfortable. I totally agree with you that the wire should not be poking into you and the bra band should not be tight. I've purchased a bra kit and manual, but there aren't any workshops near where I live. I hope that the bra I make will be comfortable.

  2. I never got brave enough to attempt a bra in my sewing career. The back does looks really tight. Of course I have never bothered to look at mine in the mirror in the back so it may be the same. I can no longer wear underwires as they actually hurt me digging in. It would be wonderful to get a pattern fitted. When I get one I like I buy all I can find then it is an expensive venture finding another model since the one I like has been discontinued. Btw the jacket is looking great. mssewcrazy

  3. Your jacket literally is shaping up beautifully. The second sleeve is much better. It is amazing, the eye you have developed for a great fit. It really shows in your results. Too bad about the bra. It made me feel that mine was tight just looking at the back of yours. I know you will meet this challenge too!

  4. Jacket is looking terrific! Love the pockets, thanks for the close up picture.

    That bra does not fit at all. You are absolutely right re the wires and the band fit.

    But technically, it looks like a good sewing job. It does not look home made, just like badly fitting RTW. And at least you learned the techniques! You can keep plugging away at it if you want.

    Continued good luck with the jacket.

  5. Second comment - boy are you brave to post pictures of yourself in your underwear! My computer sits right next to my husband's, and he had to ask what I was looking at!

  6. I agree with you about the bra. The front neckline could be lowered- the side cups raised slightly & tapered to the bra back-extra length put in the band.The centre cup seams need a little shaved off them in the apex for a better fit & you need to add a support piece to the sides so you don't get underarm boobs.Underwires are for better definition & support- you shouldn't even know they are there-if you do, they are the wrong size or shape for you.
    I have lessons online, free, on my friends website & I'll be more than happy to help you. I also blog under oz-tralien.

  7. I have exactly that same problem with RTW underwire bras where the wire sticks into my arm! Kudos to you for being game enough to post the pics.

  8. I can see your gripes with the bra, but I think it looks technically fantastic! I am so impressed with your sewing on it! I hope that you can work out the pattern to get exactly what you want, because you have definitely got the chops for it.

  9. I'm saying the same, Sherril... WELL constructed bra. Just needs tweekin', eh! ;)
    Soft hugs,
    Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

  10. I agree with the others, it's a well made bra, just not fitting. And wires shouldn't be felt, and certainly not poking in you!
    You might consider a bra that consist of 3 part cup. Like the Sewy - Rebecca bra. Then you could give the side an extra layer of interfacing (did you use it at all?). With me that helps to prevent bulging to the side.
    Another thing that could help with keeping the side of your (too small) band straight is adding a piece of boning to the side. Here this is sold as a plastic boning, which you encase in a piece of wire channelling.
    Good luck with sewing the next one!

  11. Your jacket is fitting so well! And like everyone else has said, it is a well made bra. I was just having the bra conversation with a friend. It's not fair it requires so much looking to find a good fitting bra. I think once you find the style you need you'll be able to make the perfect fitting one.


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