Sunday, April 22, 2012

Busty Post, Bra Making Kits, and Miscellany

Several heart sculptures are located in different areas of San Francisco — a reference to the song, "I Left my Heart in San Francisco." Union Square features this sculpture with flames shooting from eyeballs. I love it, but have no idea what it means.

Several things I wanted to mention.

Uber Busty Post

Kathy F noticed that I had the name of the Palmer Pletsch fitting book wrong on the Uber Busty post. I've corrected it. She also noticed that it was in the second edition of the book that the Y-dart was introduced. I added that info to the post as well. Thanks, Kathy F!

Kathy also asked me to clarify how I "convert the dart to a curve" in knits. So I pulled out some patterns and took pictures. I added a section, Pictures of Alterations, to the original post.

The results are in: Folks love having a response to their comments. I will do that from time to time. I'll just get over any minor aversion I have to the inflated statistics on the comment count. ;)

I added a new header called Negative Ease with another picture and a bit more text.

Finally, I added a TOC to the beginning of the post, which is now quite long!

Bra Making Kits

I have zero interest in making bras. It is great for those who are less gravitationally challenged, but my lap dusters require serious architecture. I favor La Mystere bras, which feature molded cups and are up to the challenge of my physiology.

However, if you like to sew your own bras, you might be interested in this opportunity. I learned about it from Don McCunn's yahoo group.

Would you like to buy fabric from a dyer who sells to Victoria Secret? Here is what Don says (printed with permission):

I have linked up with a specialized dying service that dyes all the components required to make a bra. Basically their business is dying for manufacturers such as Victoria Secret, etc.

The last year or so they have also been offering custom dyed bra kits to consumers. They have been trying different ways to offer this service which to the best of my knowledge is unique. The market for this service is not huge. But Craig, the owner, is not giving up on us one at a time bra makers.

I corresponded with him recently when I got a notice he is planning a new dye lot. The way it works is you order in advance so he knows how much to dye, then he dyes and ships out these individual orders. He tells me he is planning to do this twice a year. So if you want some colorful fabric to make bras, now is the time to order. Specifically before May 1st. The current color offering includes the following:

  • Light Turquoise
  • Marina Blue
  • Lavender
  • Camel
  • Rum Raisin
  • Sky Blue
  • Baby Pink
  • Strawberry Pink
  • Black
  • White

For more information and to order, use the link below.

Bra Making Kits

Note that if you want to order extra yardage to make matching panties or slip, you probably can, but talk to Craig.

Sewing with Knits: Ponte

I have received some emails that have mentioned sewing knits for the first time. I want to say that if you are nervous about sewing knits, I highly recommend that you start with the easiest of knits: ponte.

Ponte is a double knit made from a blend of fibers - usually rayon, poly, nylon, lycra. Quality of ponte varies enormously. I have found that ponte high in polyester content tends to pill, so I prefer my ponte to have little-to-no polyester. Some pontes are beefy and very stable (ie. they do not stretch much), so they will need more pattern ease and are well suited to pants. Other pontes can be lighter weight and drapey. For example, the Sophia brand of ponte tends to have more drape and would be good for a top or dress. I tend to favor the pontes that are higher in rayon — they have a nicer feel and drape.

Eileen Fisher, for example, uses a lot of ponte in her line. Start reading garment labels to see what kind of ponte you prefer - note that the labels won't say ponte, but you can recognize the double knit and read the blend of fibers on the label.

I have had very good luck with the ponte fabrics sold by Emma One Sock. They are expensive, yes, but the quality is fabulous. You can't necessarily judge ponte by the price. I have bought expensive ponte that pilled like crazy and ran at the seams. I bought very inexpensive black ponte at Fabrix that has worked well for me. (They do not have any currently and, by the way, if you ask them for ponte, they won't know what you are talking about. Think of it as a doubleknit made from synthetic fibers. Also, when they had it, it was only in black.)

When I re-sold some of my Fabrix ponte to a sewing friend, it pilled like crazy for her. I can't explain it because I'm very hard on my ponte - I always throw it into the dryer. Why did it pill for her and not for me? I have no idea. I only charged her the price I paid, $2.39 per yard, so I didn't feel too badly. ;)

I find that I can successfully use ponte in patterns that call for wovens or stretch wovens. It travels, and washes, well, except in those cases when you have the pilling type.

Unrelated to Sewing: Music

Have you heard of the music group, Walk off the Earth? Very fun musicians and performance artists, they became well known when their cover of Goyte's song Someone That I Used to Know went viral on youtube:

I just love the bearded dude!

I also love the instrument switching they do:

And here:

They sometimes play unusual instruments (they now have more money for production):

They have a lot more videos on youtube and I spent several insomniac hours watching them. Yes, a bit obsessed. In fact, I plan to create a Pandora stream around these guys. ;)

I bought tickets to see them on their upcoming tour. I'm taking DD1 and DD2 (who also plays several instruments, such as piano and ukulele). These impressive musicians write their own music as well as perform covers. They are performing in a small venue - an SF club - and I hear that their shows are visually interesting and include audience involvement. Plus, the tickets were dirt cheap!