Sewy Rebecca: Conquering the Scalloped Band

In my last bra post, I said I needed to get up to five new bras this year. Well, I’m just about there now with the addition of these two bras. Both are made from the Rebecca pattern by Sewy (a German company) and kits from Summerset on Etsy.

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I did try this brown combo once before in a too small size.

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The brown lace is from Etsy and the white lace with yellow accents from dear Hilde when I went to Amsterdam two years ago.

What’s different about these two bras? I’ve finally conquered the scalloped band that I’ve dreamt of using guidance from Sigrd’s blog.

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On the yellow version, I just did the bridge with a scallop. Not a mirror image. The lace only came in one direction.

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On the brown, the entire front underband has the scallop. Hmm, I should have used brown thread on the lace bits, eh?

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Something else I’m doing different with my bras is using this super narrow elastic from etsy when I reinforce the upper cup instead of clear elastic.  I think it’s 1/8 inch and is also sold as elastic for ‘baby headbands’.

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The other thing with my bras (and why I like to sew my own) is that I have an extremely narrow bridge. You can see in these photos below that my underwire casing actually overlap (double click to enlarge).

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I’m very very pleased with these two bras. What’s next for me and bras? I have one more cut out in pink from Etsy lace.

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And two more kits waiting in the wings. My new goal is to get two week’s work of bras (worn twice each).

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Thanks for all the tips and advice regarding the sheer interfacing (known to me as ‘tulle’ via Sigird). Orange Lingerie has a stash of it and kindly offered to send me a bit. So, this year I’ll tackle some more sheer style bras. I’m not a huge fan of the exposed satin in the lower cup. Snags too easily.

There may be some clothes coming again from my sewing machine, lol. I’ve been really absorbed at work and can only handle smallish projects now. But, I need a dress for a graduation in May. And, over Memorial Day I’m officiating my second wedding for dear friends of mine. So, I need to get on the stick.

Sewy Rebecca: Valentine’s Day Edition

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So, I’m a month and one holiday too late. I thought I’d get this sewn in time for Valentine’s Day and at least inwardly celebrate the day. But, alas, I lost my mojo. I was lucky it came back in a spurt Friday night after meeting up with Norma of Orange Lingerie who is in town. After picking her brain about her custom lingerie sewing and asking questions about her upcoming book, I couldn’t wait to get home and sew some lingerie.

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This is my TNT Rebecca Sewy. I cannot get over how pretty my bras are now! I’m still experimenting with the all lace cup. I did ask her about ways I could go more sheer since I’m currently using lace, powernet and lycra in my lower and side cups. I’m going to be working on that sooner or later methinks.

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I’ve got my next bra already cut out. I’m going to play with some lace placement for interest. Hoepfully, a scalloped bridge. I would like to have five bras in rotation so I can retire my RTW ones that I got a few years ago. So, at least three more bras this year.

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I’m sure you all heard my scream when Google Reader announced they were closing. I’ve switched to Feedly for my blog reading. I like that I can add blogs with a double click in Safari and Chrome. It imported all my feeds and bookmarks from reader. And I don’t have to sort out what ‘Follow me on Bloglovin’ means.I like that you can chose the format your feeds show up in (this is ‘magazine’).  Finally, it syncs across the multitude of mobile devices I read blogs with.

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Long Lingerie Sewing Weekend: Pale Sea Breeze Rebecca Sewy Bra

It was February last year when I made my last bra. I guess sewing is a bit cyclical isn’t it?  What really happens to me is that Sigrid starts posting her incredible creations and I get a crazy itch to try again. My plan was to make like ten pairs of Melissa’s excellent Lacy Thong pattern. But, I got distracted halfway through and decided I wanted to sew a new bra. While the bust was about right in my two home sewn bras, I found the elastic in the cup flipping under when worn. It started to annoy me so much that I discarded the red bra and used the silver one on my dress form.

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I poured through Sigrid’s tutorials and posts on bra sewing. It finally occurred to me that maybe I needed to sew the channeling so that it flipped outward to be on *top* of the elastic instead of inward and away from the elastic. I dashed off an email to Sigrid with the subject ‘Dumb Question’. Once she responded, I sewed in the channeling correctly (outward) and had my almost perfect bra.

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This all lace version of the Rebecca Sewy has been cut out for a year now. I went with all lace instead of just the upper cup. The lace is from an Asian market vendor on etsy and the lycra kit is from Summerset also on Etsy.

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I mean, it’s the gorgeous lace bits that made me want to start sewing my own bras!

Guys, the elation I felt when I put this bra on and it *fit* in indescribible. The entire time I was sewing it, I thought it was looking too big in the cup. It’s also frought with many little errors.

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I plan to sew one or two more straight away. My three RTW bras are about three years old and need to be retired soon. If my next two come out correctly, I will *finally* sew my complete kit from Amsterdam. I’ve been saving this one for when my bras are almost perfect.

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After all this, I will never begrudge the cost of a RTW bra. Especially one with all lace. Think, there are about five pattern pieces. I have them cut from lace, powernet, and lycra. There is a lot of little small seams and details. It’s a lot of work, but so worth the effort!!

Silver and Grey Rebecca Sewy

As hoped, (for once) I did in fact finish this bra before the Ravens win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. It’s so pretty in its non-beigeness that I kind of want to weep from happiness. I’ve been dogged about making these bras since I was financially invested from my Amsterdam trip. That, and my bras are expensive and boring. Soooo boring. Beige and industrial. Blech.

I don’t make matching bottoms yet.  I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to underpinnings.  If I am stingy with lace placement, I can get two sets of bras out of the lace I have from Amsterdam. I mix the lace with Summerset’s kits. It’s one way of making sure that I’m consistently working with similar materials. I’d rather use  the extra lace in a year or so and make a second set of bras. And, I’m not proficient with my bottoms yet. So, I’d rather wait until I have that skillset down.

I thought I would get a slew of sewing done this weekend.  I have three UFOs and desperately need some slips. My current frequent companion is on a ski trip in Colorado this weekend and I kept myself socially uncommitted. But, instead of just sewing,  I read. I ran errands. I got my dry cleaning done. I washed my car. I jogged in 30 degree temps. Twice! I stocked up on wine. I watched Merchant Ivory type films with lots of crying, tragic heroines and moody music (and the last two weeks of Downton Abbey, Project Runway All Stars and Brad, Brad World). I made two kinds of  frozen deserts (salted caramel ice cream and olive oil gelato). I took down my Christmas tree. I made two batches of Greek yogurt (yogurt maker for Christmas). I went to the Indian grocery store.  I cleaned my house. I’m talking the kind of cleaning that I freely admit my house hasn’t seen since we met. Hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor cleaning.

And, I sewed two $60 bras for a quarter of the price.

It was delightful. Seriously. Never taking my free time for granted again.


Learning From Your Mistakes

Folks. If you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them. There was going to be much wailing and gnashing of teeth if my sixth attempt at sewing the Rebecca bra from Sewy didn’t work out for me.

I am thrilled to report that wearing sack cloth and sitting in ashes was not needed!  This bra fits. Did you hear that? Angels cried with me when I finished this bad boy up.

This lace is from my once in a lifetime trip to Kantje Boord in Amsterdam last year. Why oh why did I not purchase a lifetime supply of lace and findings!? Oh. Yes. The crappy exchange rate. I forgot.

I must tell you. The road to this bra was not paved in milk and honey.

I received a new copy of the  Rebecca pattern from Sewy a few short weeks after my posted plea for help. They do ship to the US and they’ve fixed the bug on thier website that wouldn’t let me complete the order. Woo hoo!

Anxious to sew a litlle somethin’ somethin’, I traced and cut out a 70F. I used a bra kit from Summerset and lace from Etsy.

It’s hard to try on a bra mid-sew (sans straps and closures). But, am I ever glad I did! The bra was again too small! Why or why! I hadn’t done any alterations.  The 70F should have fit. Well, at least fit better. Except, well, I traced the wrong size. I know this, because I went back and read my original blog post from Jun 2011:

As I suspected in my last bra post, I did in fact trace and sew the wrong size bra. I made a 70F when I should have started with a 70G.

Grrrr. Do you see that? That means I’d sewn the wrong bra size twice now. Twice! Why? Because I didn’t read the notes I wrote here on my very own blog.

That made  1 muslin, 1 slightly large bra, 1 huge bra, a teeny bra, and now this small bra. That’s FOUR bras I’d sewn and none are wearable (by me). I was *so close* the first time I sewed a bra. But, happily, I got the magic back!

The good news is, these are now a breeze to sew. I *love* how they look. I’ve got all the sewing tricks worked out. For me, that means shortened band, downward hike, some curvature out of the bust apex, a wing and a prayer.

So not to destroy the good bra making vibes, I plan to sew this silver / grey version today before the Ravens playoff game.

Rebecca Bra and a German Request


Between holiday parties, tree decorating, last minute gift shopping and such, I managed to work on my Sewy Rebecca Bra . I made a second go with this Netherlands material after the last time I made this bra.  Back in August an almost perfect bra was too large in the band and wide at the bridge. This time I had actual Enlish directions thanks to a reader and I used the downward hike technique so the band would not ride up in the back and I shortened the band by an inch or two. I also took some height out of the cup.

The result? Well, the band is great. I love the layout I used for the lace this time (directional change). The bridge is much narrower and a better fit. But, the cup is too small. The center bridge does not lay flush against my breastbone and it gives me a double breast.

I suspect this is about a C cup. I’m going to shop it around at the office and see if someone wants it. It’s too pretty to salvadge for parts.

Now, the bigger problem. I cannot find this pattern in my stash. Normally, it would turn up. But, I’ve managed to throw away some things in the past (a year’s worth of contact lenses, the sleeve to my tuxedo jacket, etc.) in fits of cleaning. And, I think this pattern is a casualty.

Not a big deal, right? Just order a new one? Well, they are only sold on a German language site. I’ve emailed them in English and was not able to get a response. I tried to register on the site to place an order and that didn’t work.  A KIND KIND member was going to Germany. She contacted them while there and they sold her the pattern which she in turn sold to me.  While there she spoke with the owner and she’s not currently shipping to the US.

So, my Christmas plea. Is there a reader in Germany (or in the EU) that is willing to order this pattern for me in a Group 1 and let me reimburse them? I will happily (and quickly) paypal you the money. Or, if there is something in the US I have access to we can work out and exchange.

I think I’ve worked it out! It appears the site’s bugs are worked out. It’s letting me order now and ship to the US. It’s no longer getting hung up on Paypal or requiring registration. So, fingers crossed. Thanks Ghainsom!


Sewy Rebecca Bra #FAIL

I took another go-round with the Rebecca bra  from Sewy this week. This time, after two muslins, it was time to break into my Amsterdam lace.

Big, fat, #FAIL. The bra was so big! One of several things happened:

  • I retraced the wrong size.
  • I stretched out the fabric while sewing.
  • Non stretch lace in the upper cup is different than stretch lace. The gods are laughing at me.

The version you see above is with some post construction alterations but generally, unsalvageable (too many enclosed seams and stretch stitches I fear). The bra was a good one to two inches too big in the band and just sadly baggy in the cup. After sewing (and trying on) I realized that the pattern seam allowances were about 1/8 inch bigger than the 1/4 inch I was sewing with. That definitely accounted for some of the problems.

The bust curve was also ridiculous. Rather than flatten that though, I’ve just taken some height tucks in the pattern pieces. I’ll try this one again. If the issue was just the seam allowance, then it’s easy to put the height back in to the pattern pieces.

So… yeah. I’m trying not to be salty that I cut into my ‘good fabric’.  Happily, I have *just* enough of the black and gold lace to eek out another set.  Here’s hoping the second version is better!

Again With the Rebecca Bra

Argh. As I suspected in my last bra post, I did in fact trace and sew the wrong size bra. I made a 70F when I should have started with a 70G. Boooo! In fairness, different websites put me in different European size bras.

I was suspicious because I didn’t have the coverage I wanted. When I went to compare pattern pieces, I saw I wrote ’70F’ on the pattern. Doh!

I also added an uneeded seam allowance to the bridge. This made the bridge way wide. So, my hot pink muslin really was just a muslin. In addition, I didn’t have enough coverage in this version because it was an F cup.

For my second go- round I sewed the bra in Summerset’s Twilight Blue. I’m putting peer pressure on her for a deep chocolate brown. It’s the only color I can wear under light colored tops.

The color is beautiful. I was hoping to use a lesser loved color of the 5+ kits I own, but there isn’t one. I really quite like them all!

If you can belive it, I made this bra from trace  to finish on Friday night while watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Say  Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss. I started around 7 or 8 p.m. and even stopped to mix up a mojito and have my Friday night phone date with Trena. We talk most nights, but we have a standing Friday Night Phone Date. I looked at the clock when I was done and it was just after midnight. So, yes. It’s possible to sew a bra in four hours.

My techniques were better on this version. And I’m quite proud of my finishing.

But, it’s still not sewn totally correct. I have a few mistakes and several tweaks I still need to make.

The back is riding up. And, I think it’s because the band is still too big on me. This is not a new problem!

When I in college I wore a 36 band. I went down to a 34 two years ago and was sized into a 32 recently. All this despite weighing 15 lbs more than I did when I was wearing a 36!

My cup runneth over in the hot pink F cup. But, it’s not quite snug enough in the G. I accidentally stretched out the lace during pressing and fitting. But, I have made a slight adjustment to the upper bust pattern (taking out 1/8 – 1/4 inch). Hopefully that will work.

I’m also reducing the width of the bridge by 1/4 inch. Not quite sure how to address the band. But, I’m going to post on the lingerie sew along blog with photos on my persons. Hopefully I can get some feedback. Oh, I also need to reposition the bands. I kind of have narrow shoulders and forget that this is why I don’t like spaghetti straps!

There’s a bra making class in Baltimore this October. If I can’t get the hang of this in my next two, I’ll sign up for it. But, I’m really pretty happy with this!

Langham Pink and Bra Progress

Ugh. I had a whole blog post written about 11 last night and it disappeared just as I went to hit print. Grrr. I was just too tired to re-create it. The good thing is, I realized it was too long and will split it into a few different posts.

Here’s the current state of the Rebecca bra from Sewy I’m working on. I’d say this is about four hours worth of work. There are a few things I’ve already done wrong

  • Don’t need powernet in the upper bust (was copying my RTW bra)
  • Need tulle / stable fabric at least in center front 
  • Bottom band not wide enough for my elastic

This is really a muslin. I don’t read German. I’ve gathered from some reviews online things I should have done. But, again. This is a muslin. It’ll all sort itself out.

Sigrid has warned me that I won’t love the fit the first time around. I’m sewing the 70G in one of Summerset’s Hook and Wires kits. Hmmm, for some reason I thought I was sewing the F cup (I’m using the equivalent DDD underwire). But, when I just ran the European converter, I see that I should be making the G. Meh. I’ll figure it out when I’m done! I find converting European bra sizing like converting temperatures. I just cannot wrap my mind around Celsius. I just spend all my time when traveling converting the temperature. I should tell you about the time I tried to roast chicken at my parents’ house in Panama and I didn’t realize the temps were in Celsius. Not Fahrenheit. Oh. Well, I guess I just told you. Needless to say, it burned.

I'm really annoying. I'm constantly on my Blackberry when working.

Right. So, one of the reasons I was tired was working several evenings at a conference. Right after they left, we had / have an international tourism convention with an evening reception. Not that I’m complaining because it’s been fun. But, I’m just pooped. I was almost relieved when I didn’t get to go to the U2 stadium concert last night. Almost.

A great little gift I picked up  at the convention is this Langham Pink OPI nail polish. Langham Hotels are known for their signature pink. You can only buy the polish at the hotel. Or beg their reps at meeting and business planner conventions to give you a bottle after explaining your affinity for both pink and nail polish. Such a great marketing tool!!

You can see here how the polish matches their business cards and luggage tags.