Saturday, July 18, 2009


I will be on vacation for the next two weeks, and have decided to put the Etsy shop in vacation mode during that time. The shop will reopen Monday, Aug. 3. See you then!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Three More Bra/Panty Combos

Here are the latest bra/panty combo kits to go up on Etsy:

Carnation Pink - The children and I had an interesting discussion over exactly what shade of pink this is. While princess, baby and rose were suggested, we felt that carnation was the best description of the color.

Sea Breeze - This is a standard color, just in a larger sized kit. I realized I didn't have any kits of this color and I felt like dyeing this color today.

Lemon Meringue Yellow - This is a really pretty yellow - it reminds me of the yellow dress we saw Michelle Obama wearing recently. It also reminds me of lemon meringue pie - yum!

These kits are $25.00, not the $30.00 previously stated. I went back through the accounting and realized I had made a mistake, so we both win - my accounting is fixed and your kit is a bit cheaper!

These will be last kits made until after I get back from vacation in August. The store will remain open while I am on vacation and I will be shipping during that time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Edit: 7/14/09 - Pink Grapefruit Kit is Sold! Removing that content.

First Bra/Panty Combo Kits

There's Only a Few At This Point!

I have found a few sources for panty elastic and am waiting for a shipment. There are many styles of panty elastic, so the kits may contain different types. The three main types that will be in the kits would be the regular picot edge panty elastic, designed specifically for that application, foldover elastic which dyes really well, and 3/8" plush back loop edge elastic, which finishes the edges the same as the edges on a bra.

Meanwhile, there are some new large bra kits and bra/panty combo kits in the store. I did buy a small amount of yardage in NYC, and was able to make a couple bra/panty combo kits in Lilac and Pale Apple. They are up in the store now!

I've got one kit that I am going to offer here for sale at a discount price because of some mottling during the dye process. While it is not completely terrible, I prefer to get as close to a solid shade as possible when dyeing - things are always 100% perfect, but close. This kit is a bra/panty kit, with 3/4 yard of both fabrics, all in one piece. The mottling is not as bad on these pieces, but it still there. Note a few things about this kit: 1. the back hook only has two hooks, not three, 2. the panty elastic is white 3/8" loop edge plush back, not colored, it just isn't shown in the photo. This is kit is $20.00 (regular price is $30.00) , plus $5.00 shipping, again, first come, first served. I am willing to overdye this kit to make a color called Tropical Punch if you'd like, just let me know. The color will be similar to Pink Grapefruit, but darker.

Please email me at summersetbanks "at" gmail "dot" com if you'd like the kit and I'll email you an invoice through Paypal.

The really good news is that I know what the problem is and can now make the bra and panty kits up to my standards. There will be more kits in the future!

Friday, July 10, 2009



Once you decide which pattern company you will purchase your pattern from, the next question is generally, "What size do I need to make?" Like RTW and patterns for sewing other garments, not everything is sized the same. Bra pattern sizes may be slightly different from company to company, so to start with you'll need your pattern instructions and some accurate measurements.

How do I measure?

All you need to measure is a reasonably well fitting bra (I realize some of you may not have a perfectly fitting bra, and that's why you're making one!) a flexible tape measure, a pen and something to write on. Measuring is best done with a helper - this doesn't have to be anyone experienced in sewing, their main purpose is to help you make sure that the tape measure is level and horizontal across your back when measuring, to help hold the tape measure and to write down numbers. Lacking a helper, you can use two mirrors to check the position of the tape measure in the back and a binder clip to hold that tape measure together in the front while you adjust the back.

What do I measure?

You'll only need two measurements to find your size. Each pattern company has its own set of directions for measuring and its own size charts, but they all follow the same general pattern. That pattern is to find the underbust measurement, which will help determine your band size and to find the overbust measurement and possibly the high bust measurement which will help determine cup size.

How do I measure the underbust?

While wearing your best fitting bra, loop the tape measure around yourself and measure around the body, underneath the bust making sure that the tape measure is level and horizontal across the back. Be sure that the tape measure is snug and not loose for this measurement. Do not exaggerate your posture or puff your chest out. The bottom band of the bra is a major player in the support system of the bra and you don't want a band that is too loose. If your pattern uses American sizes, jot this number down, and then follow the instructions in the pattern to find the band size. Usually you will add 4" or 5" to this measurement to come up with an even number. For example, if your under bust measurement is 33", you would add 5" to equal 38". This is the band size. By contrast, most European patterns do not do the the add 4" thing, your band size is the size you measure in cm.

How do I measure the overbust?

While wearing your best fitting bra, loop the tape measure around yourself and measure around the bust, across the fullest part of the bust, making sure the the tape measure is level and horizontal across the back. Do not pull the tape measure tight for this measurement. Measure comfortably, but not droopy loose, either. Write this number down. You will need this number to help determine cup size.

How do I determine cup size?

This measurement really is pattern specific and there are two or three general ways of doing this via American sized patterns - use the method in your pattern! Here are few ways to do this. One way is to subtract your band size from the overbust measurement and then determine the cup size from the difference; a difference of 1" equals an A, 2" equals a B, etc. For example, if your band measurement is 38" and your overbust measurement is 41" then you have a difference of 3" and your cup size is a C. Some patterns (like Kwik-Sew) will have you measure what is sometimes referred as the high bust measurement. This measurment is taken above the bustline, right at armpit level, with the measuring tape level and horizontal across the back, with a comfortable tension - not pulled tight. This high bust measurement is then subtracted from the overbust measurement and cup size is determined the same way; a difference of 1" is an A cup, etc.

Measuring is not hard, but it is essential to put you at the right starting point for fitting. If you can get a reasonably close fit, then it will take fewer adjustments to get you to a great fit. Like all sewn clothing, you have to have a starting point and fit from there. The measurements are only a tool to help you get the right fit.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Update 7/06/09

Just a quick post to update you as to what is going on with the kits! I did get to go to NYC, but I was not able to visit all the stores that I wanted to. There was just too much too see in too little time. Because I did not get the all the supplies I wanted to in NYC, I ordered up more kit components and they should be here today. That means I can start dyeing kits tonight.

I am still on the hunt for panty elastic that is dyeable and at a good price. I have samples of two types, and I know one will not take the dye because it is mainly polyester. I am going to throw a length of the other elastic in the next dye batch and see what happens. Once I get the panty elastic, I'll start making bra/panty combo kits. These kits will contain all the supplies that the large kit contains, with a change to a larger cut of both fabrics - 3/4 yard each - and the addition of 3 yards of panty elastic. If I can not find a panty elastic that I like, then I could always put 3 yards of plush finish elastic in the kits for the panties as that is one way to finish the edges.

I am going to make some calls concerning patterns today, so I'll see how that goes. If it works out, I will make the pattern/2 bra kit available in August. I have two weeks of vacation at the end of July, so that project will need to be pushed out a little further.

Lastly, I did have enough supplies to dye up one Sea Breeze Large kit. It has the same lace as the Pistachio kits, and because it is thinner than I'd like for lace I've included extra power mesh in case you'd like to underline. That kit will be on Etsy by lunchtime today.