How to Sew Yourself a Bra

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I am wearing a non-standard bra size which is not available in Germany in case I insist on a modern/ lacy/ not-you-grandma style within a limited budget. I usually order my bras from the UK where sizes for full-breasted women are a lot easier to find. But when it comes to stylish soft bras, things get a lot more complicated.

As this year’s WGT is approaching and I plan to wear some tops with extra large armholes, I need something nice to wear underneath. While browsing sewing patterns, I stumbled upon Emerald Erin’s Jordy Bralette which is a pretty simple design that showcases your cloth perfectly. I turned a non-stretch, olive cotton sateen into a stunning result that sadly is unwearable.

The two cups are attached to an elastic band which is closed with hooks and eyes on the back. In my opinion, this construction makes the pattern not suitable for larger breasts as it lacks the support needed. The straps cannot compensate this. Another weakness of the pattern is that you can of course try on the cups before attaching them to the underbust elastic and straps, but you will not know if this bralette works for you until you have finished it. What a pity!

Before I could work myself up into frustration, I decided to try out Madalynne’s Barrett Bralette pattern. Before starting, I had done a little research if it was suitable for larger breasts and had found some projects that looked quite good. First, I cut and sewed the cups only from leftover scuba cloth. The largest size had a good fit, but the scuba did not give enough support for a 34F bra size. Next, I sewed the cups in a glittery, black cotton sateen containing 5% spandex. This cloth is totally not intended for lingerie, but was the perfect solution to my problem. As the barrett pattern is designed as a pull-on bra without back closure, I had to improvise a back closure due to an intended lack of elasticity. This meant finding the right back band length for my hook and eye closure (the 3XL back band was way too long!) and reshaping the back band to fit the side cup seams on the one side and my closure on the other. In fact, I just drew a line and cut away a triangle for a fast and easy solution. And here it is, my custom-sized, dark disco bralette.

I know that there are a lot of visible mistakes. I also could have added a lining as the pattern suggests, but this version will do for the moment. There still is room for improvement, but I have enough fabric left to sew myself another one. This, by the way, leads to my conclusion on how to sew a bra: just start and iterate the fit until you like it. And please, start with leftover fabric as the first try might not necessarily lead to a wearable result. ūüôā

New Knitting Pattern: Sleeves

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I like the idea of shrugs to add sleeves to a sleeveless top on chilly summer evenings. The problem I have with them is that the connection between the sleeves covers the back of the top underneath. As it always looks ridiculous when you pair a shrug with a dramatic top, I decided to find a solution to my problem.

What I wanted was a pair of dramatic sleeves held together in a minimalist way. When I was still figuring out the details, I was given three balls of GGH Bambu for free at Yarncamp 2018 which turned out to be the perfect yarn with its wonderful drape. It was clear that I needed more yarn, so I bought seven more balls.

gathered sleeve

The result is a pair of extremely oversized balloon sleeves, held together by a steel chain at the neck and two i-cords to adjust the fit at your lower back:

© ggh-garn.de
© ggh-garn.de

You can buy the pattern on Ravelry. I am looking forward to see your interpretations!

The sample used almost ten balls of GGH Bambu in colourway 012 anthracite. Thanks a lot for providing the photos, ggh-garn.de!

skull cord ends

Sewing for WGT 2018

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This was my first Wave-Gotik-Treffen since I have moved to Leipzig and I have to admit, it also was the first one I survived without a vast lack of sleep. I even did not need to sew the last bits of my outfits during Wednesday night!

As my style is more or less futuristic/ minimal, I can always mix and match store-bought fashion items, sports wear and handmade garments. With the cropped linen sweater still in mind, I improvised a rectangular top from some black viscose jersey. It needs the viscose for drape and the jersey structure for weight. I copied the neckline from one of my favourite store-bought t-shirts. I wore it with a pair of sports leggings with mesh inserts.

My favourite garment this year was definitely the plastic half-skirt. I made it from a seat belt, a heavy buckle, eyelets, snap hooks and an ugly, cheap plastic tablecloth cut in stripes. It is super heavy, but nonetheless I styled it with my YRU Qozmo Hi 2 platform boots to make walking even more a workout. ūüėČ As the half-skirt is more an accessory than an actual garment, I wore black sports leggings underneath and a black laser cut sports body on top.

I try to see a lot of concerts during WGT, so I do not socialise too much over day which is why pictures of me taken by someone else are pretty rare. However, I have enjoyed the majority of concerts I saw. My top 3 concerts were Beinhaus, whose show is definitely a must-see with lots of scrap metal on stage, three people drumming on it and one of them screaming German lyrics over it, Jo Quail, an electric cellist and composer who plays intricate soundscapes that make my mind dive into it, and the solo concert of Einar Selvik from Wardruna where he also explained a lot about his approach to ancient Norse music and the historical instruments he uses.

Other remarkable concerts in my opinion were Boy Harsher, Mr. Kitty, Wardruna and Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld. As always, there was not enough time to see everything I would have liked to. At least, I am happy with my selection. And now it is time to think about the 2019 outfits.

The Black Metal Hoodie

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When I stumbled upon Pascuali‘s Nepal yarn last year, I knew I had to find an extraordinary project for it. I wanted something lightweight to wear directly on my skin, which would also showcase the yarn’s beautiful drape and texture. Sadly, I could not find a suitable pattern, so I designed my own. The idea was to knit an airy, sleeveless summer top to wear on goth and metal festivals. Combining some classic styles, the black metal hoodie was born. With its oversized hood, extra large armholes and a racerback, it is my perfect garment for this summer.

The yarn composition is 60% cotton, 28% linen and 12% nettle with a meterage of 180m per 50g. It is a soft, fingering weight yarn that knits up easily. I definitely recommend you to try it out, it feels very comfortable on the skin. It is perfect for summer garments and accessories.

The hoodie weighs only 321g, more than half of the weight is used in the hood. I’m really looking forward for this year’s festival season!

Taboo

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I hate blocking. I postpone it whenever I can as I lack an appropriate space for it. This time, I blocked my Taboo shawl very early in the morning on my bed. Of course, my plan did not succeed, it was still wet in the evening so I had to sleep in my guest bed. However, the result was worth all effort.

The pattern is Taboo by booknits, knit with Jaipur Silk Fino by BC Garn. The pattern is very well written, but you have to count a lot. Placing the beads was time-consuming due to their number, but they add just the right amount of glamour. I have chosen pale lilac, silver lined beads to give my monochrome yarn choice a little twist. The yarn itself is a pleasure to work with, although I am not happy with the way silk usually is produced from an ethical point of view. At least, BC Garn is GOTS certified, so they do care about the sourced of their products in general.

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

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For the first time, I finished all my handmade Christmas gifts on time! The last ones to be finished were a knitted hat and a crocheted collar.

The collar¬†is a super-easy pattern whose result depends heavily on the yarn used. This is why I chose Rowan’s Fine Silk¬†in cream, a fingering weight, single-ply silk/ wool/ viscose yarn with a light halo. The yarn was easy to crochet and the result is just stunning. A lightweight (12g), yet warming collar you can wear over almost any top or pullover. I will definitely crochet another one for myself!

The hat is, as announced previously, a Double Crossed hat. The pattern is easy to follow and not difficult at all as long as you are not afraid of cabling. I used 53 g of some leftover Rowan Kid Classic in smoke. As usually when I use this yarn, I am very happy with the result. To obtain a tam shape, I have blocked the hat using a huge dinner plate. Sadly, I did not have time to take a proper picture of the finished hat, but it turned out beautifully.

img_20161222_081119_309.jpg

Taboo, the Boo Knits MKAL 2016

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To begin with, I am rather picky when it comes to knitting patterns. Which is why I usually do not participate in any mystery knit-alongs (MKALs), particularly not in ones I have to pay for in advance.

But¬†do you know Boo Knits? She is a British designer whose work consists mostly of delicate lace shawls. I have stored the vast majority of her designs in my Ravelry favourites or queue although I have not knit any of them by now. Taking a closer look at Boo’s former MKALs, what could possibly go wrong? All of them are gorgeous!

Now, what makes an MKAL so special? In fact, you are buying a pig in a poke. Here, you know you will knit a Shakespeare-inspired, crescent shaped, beaded lace shawl and get a yarn suggestion¬†from the designer. It may be a point to be one of the first people to knit a newly published pattern. Another point might be the discussion of¬†your personal progress with many other participants. My personal motivation, however, is to finally start knitting one of Boo’s designs. As¬†Kathi Knits¬†will participate as well, I am pretty sure we will battle our way through the unknown successfully together.

Back to choosing a suitable yarn. In this special case, the yarn suggestion sounds very tempting. We are talking about¬†Miss Babs Wild Silk, which was sold in yarn kits for the Taboo MKAL. Well, the picky I am with knitting patterns, the picky I am with colours, so the colourful yarn kits in Miss Babs’ online shop were not an option. Not to mention the price of the yarn as such plus shipping to Germany plus taxes. However, I have made my choice. I will knit the shawl from¬†BC Garn Jaipur Silk Fino, which I bought at one of my favourite local yarn shops,¬†Maschenkunst¬†in Cologne. It is a pure silk yarn as is the designer’s suggestion, although it has a different yardage. I have chosen black as main colour and grey as contrasting colour and am confident to get a beautiful result. I am not sure about the beads yet, but fortunately, there is still time to think about that problem.

The Taboo MKAL will start October 1, so you can still sign up and choose your yarn. Will you participate? Share your plans with me!

Holey Purple

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This sweater has quite a history. When I first stumbled over the Coldwave Sweater pattern on Ravelry back in 2014, I wanted to make one instantly. Sadly, I did not know how to crochet that time, so I postponed the project and decided to learn how to crochet first.

I have to admit, that until I actually started crocheting my Coldwave Sweater this March, I did not find any crochet pattern I wanted to use as practice. This was a very bad idea. The pattern is rather complicated and poorly explained at once. Nonetheless, I succeeded thanks to a lot of help from another Raveler. I am sure I would have despaired of it otherwise. This was learning how to crochet the hard way.

However, I have¬†finished it and I love it! My first intention was¬†to wear it at this year’s WGT or at least the¬†Amphi Festival¬†indeed, but I had too many problems understanding the pattern. Did I mention already that I love that sweater? Although it is not black? Well, I will always wear black underneath, so this actually is no point.¬†The big holes make it a great finger trap when you (try to) put it on, by the way.

I have used a really cheap DK weight cotton yarn I found deep down in my stash. My finished sweater, crocheted in the smallest size, weighs 342g . As this pattern has only 15 projects since 2014, of which only 6 are finished, be adventurous and crochet it! Once you get the hang of it, it will turn out a quick project. In case you succeed, you will get a wonderful layering piece you can wear both to goth events and in public.

Crocheted Leis

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I am not entirely sure how it happened, but my boyfriend and me were invited to a Hawaii themed party and accepted the invitation. Of course, we would wear black as we usually do, but how to incorporate those horrible fake plastic leis the host would hang around our necks upon our arrival?

As I felt the urgent need to avoid this, I decided to bring our own leis in acceptable colours. With less than one week preparation time, the idea to crochet 80 flowers and make them into two leis seemed ambitious but feasible. In the end, I succeeded and am very happy with the result!

The yarn used is¬†Schachenmayr Bravo, a 100% acrylic yarn that excels only by its low price. I followed¬†Corina’s tutorial¬†on how to crochet a Hawaiian lei. The tutorial is well written and easy to follow. Nonetheless, it takes a lot of time to crochet so many flowers. Each one took me a minimum of¬†8 minutes. And please do not ask why I know…