Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reader Question

From an anonymous reader: "When you have the multiple patterns listed again, would you be able to talk about the differences between them? I'm at the very lowest end of the size range, and was wondering which would be more likely to be flattering and fit."

I have both Elan 645 and Elan 511 available right now, which are good examples of the two basic band styles of bras. This is Elan 645, a full band bra. Note that the band goes completely under the cups:

This is Elan 511, a partial band bra. Note that the band stops at the wire line of the cup, the band does not continue under the cup and that the cups are connected at center front with a rectangle of fabric

As far as differences between the two styles, aside from the visual ones that I've already pointed out, there is a bit of construction difference concerning the attachment of the bands and bottom elastic and concerning which direction the wire channeling is turned and stitched (this detail is not shown in the pattern cover art).

I have made both of these patterns in various sizes, in the smallest size available, a medium size and one of the largest sizes. The tutorials on this blog for both Elan 645 and Elan 511 were made in the smaller sizes for each pattern, I believe I made 32A or 34A. Both were for my daughter, so they were fitted to and worn by a real person, and can be seen below.

If you're making a smaller size, you do not have some of the concerns of support that the larger sizes do. Both styles were equally flattering in the smaller size and fit fairly well with the only adjustments being made to the band. Either style is suitable, and would depend on your preference.

As far as fit, with any clothing item made at home, there is almost always some fine tuning that will need to be done to make it fit correctly. I have found that the fit of Elan patterns is consistent from style to style regardless of size, so if you make a 34A in one style, it fits the same in another style.

There are merits for either pattern, for pure looks and ease of fitting, I'd pick Elan 511. It needs wires and I'll be honest, I don't carry wires that small in the right style. That pattern needs a demi wire in those really small sizes. I had to steal wires from an old bra of my daughter's that we were retiring to get the wires. Elan 645 has merits in that the cups can be made in a non-stretch fabric, and can be made without wires. Many smaller sizes do not want a wire, and this pattern will work without the wires.

I hope that helps a bit for those of you who have a smaller size, yet want something pretty that doesn't look like a trainer for a 10 year old.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Few More Kits

All of the newest kits (Sunshine Yellow, Light Tangerine and Apple Green) are gone. Here are the next three, already on Etsy.

Deep Sea Breeze - an old favorite:

Amethyst - this is a gorgeous shade of purple! It is more beautiful in real life, and for me to say that is huge. If you know me, you know I am not a "purple person".

Valentine Pink - a nice deep pink, perfect for Valentine's Day!

I'm thinking of doing a few two tone kits in the next couple of days. Don't forget, if you've seen a color you like and the kit has already sold, just email me: summersetbanks "at" gmail "dot" com. I'm more than happy to dye one up for you and sell it privately.

Tomorrow: A post regarding bra styles, as requested by a reader.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Apple Today for Someone!

**Kit Has Been Purchased!**

I was dyeing those citrus sort of colors yesterday and decided to dye an Apple Green, too.

The only problem with this green is that the powernet did not come out as nicely as I'd like it to have. It has picked up some blue and a little orange dye faintly in spots. The good thing is that for the most part, these odd colors are only visible on one side of the powernet. Still it isn't quite good enough for the shop.

If you'd like this kit at the discounted price of $10.00 for the kit plus $5.00 for Priority shipping, please email me: summersetbanks "at" gmail "dot" com.

**Kit Has Been Purchased!**
By Request:

Sunshine Yellow and Light Tangerine!

I had a request for these two colors, so they were the first two I dyed up for this latest group of kits. I certainly can use a little color pick-me-up at this time of year, too! First, Sunshine Yellow:

Second, Light Tangerine:

I wasn't so sure I'd get a tangerine color, as it took a little mixing of dye powders. There is always a little mystery when dyeing fabrics as you can't always be 100% sure of the final color, especially when mixing your own colors. I'm actually pretty happy with the color and I hope one of you will be, too! These kits will be in the Etsy store tomorrow morning!

BTW, the new solid fabric, the liquid satin 1 way stretch spandex, is beautiful! It takes dyes beautifully and is more substantial than the tricot.

In the pot right now, a really pretty purple!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good News!

Almost all the kits in the Etsy store have sold, except for the Blush Pink one. That means that I'll be dyeing up new kits next week and getting them into the shop! I'll be dyeing up a variety of colors including some of the ones I had last summer. If there's anything you'd like to see let me know in the comments.

I am upgrading the fabric in the kits, so all new kits will have the new fabric. I have been using 40 denier tricot, but have ordered up some liquid satin spandex to dye. I'll have the yardage in the next couple of days so I haven't seen it in yard form, but the samples I've seen are really nice. It is more substantial and thicker than the tricot. It is a one way stretch fabric, so it is suitable for all parts, depending on where you want stretch and where you don't. This is a more expensive fabric, but I think it will make nicer kits and nicer end products. I will not be increasing the price of the kits due to this, but cutting the fabric a little differently, as explained below.

I will also be cutting the yardage for at least the stretch satin differently. Rather than cutting narrow strips the width of the fabric, either 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2 yards, I will be cutting more of what is known in the quilting world as a fat quarter. The pieces will be approx. 18 x approx. 26", which is an easier size to arrange the pattern pieces on. This gives you plenty of space in both the stretch and non-stretch directions to cut out a bra. I'm not sure whether I want to go to this method for the powernet or not at this point.

Last, but not least, I am going to open up shipping worldwide. Currently I only ship to the US and Canada, but the US Postal Service has made it a bit easier to deal with the customs forms and shipping online, so that's what I will be doing. All items will reflect the shipping change.

Stay tuned for new kits next week!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Few New Kits

After a couple of days of dyeing this week, I've listed a few more kits in the Etsy shop. This time I've dyed up: Blush Pink, Warm Nude, Light Violet and nice mix and match kit in Cranberry Red and Black. Read the listing carefully on that red/black kit as to what you will get! I did not dye the black, but I thought it would be nice to create a mix and match kit that would allow you create something in two colors.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another Flame Red Kit and Some New Laces

The first Flame Red kit in the Etsy shop is already gone, so I dyed up one more. So far, this is still my favorite color!

I also got some new lace samples this week and just ordered up some of the two shown below. These are stretch laces, but stiffer than some of the recent laces I've used for the kits. It should be interesting to see how they'll take the dye.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My *Favorite* New Kit!

There are a few new kits in the Etsy shop: Caramel Latte, Victorian Mauve, and my absolute favorite, Flame Red! Go check it out - this red is really, really beautiful and I almost kept it for myself, but I can always dye up another one.

*Skim Mochachino Kit is Sold**

Meanwhile, the dye I have for the Mochachinos for some reason gives a slightly mottled result. I tried dyeing up a kit that I'm calling Skim Mochachino, and it turned out a bit mottled, too. Here's the color, a shade lighter than Caramel Latte:

I'm not happy with this color at all, so I will not be dyeing up any more of. I've got other colors that dye up nicely and are prettier. So, once again, my loss is your gain! I am offering this kit for $10.00, plus $5.00 for Priority Shipping and I'll even throw in an extra 3/8 yard of nude colored, commerically dyed powernet! If you would like this kit, just email me: summersetbanks "at"

*Skim Mochachino Kit is Sold**