Pepernoot Coat – Pattern Alterations and Muslin

It’s funny how I feel like I’ve been making the Pepernoot coat for a while, but I haven’t even cut into my final fabric yet!

I started with the largest size – 48. The measurements are:

Bust 43.3

Waist 36.2

Hips 45.6

Between the two largest sizes, the pattern grades differently. Between size 40 and 42, there is a 1.78 inch difference or a 4cm difference in the bust, but between size 46 and 48 this difference jumps to a 6cm or 2.3 inch difference. I chose to grade up based on the 2.3 inch difference in the bust. Grading up two sizes meant the following changes:

Bust changed from 43.3 to 47.9 inches

Waist changed from 36.2 to 40.6 inches

Hips changed from 45.6 to 49.8 inches

These are not finished garment measurements, though. The finished garment has about 5 inches of ease across the bust. The finished measurements are not listed for the waist or hips.

With 22 pattern pieces, I had a lot of flat pattern alterations to do. I graded up two sizes on 19 of the pieces (3 were for all the sizes and didn’t need alterations: sleeve tab, pocket, and pocket facing). I used this method on the Curvy Sewing Collective to grade all those pieces up two sizes.

For the bodice pieces and the bodice lining pieces, I also chose to to an FBA of 1.5 inches, which adds 3 inches to the bust for a bust size of 50.9 just short of my 51 inch bust. Finished garment should have 5 inches of ease and have enough room underneath for layers and wearing ease.

I also graded up the waist and added 2 inches there for 45.6 inches just short of my 46 inch waist. The 2 inches was added by darting from the waist, but in my final pieces I will be slashing and spreading instead for the front skirt pieces to make them proportionally fuller since my muslin didn’t have enough flare to the skirt. The method I used for the muslin will be fine to get an idea of the final fit in the waist/hip, but slashing and spreading will be a better way to get that flare. I will just have to imagine the better shape I want in the final garment when trying on the muslin.

For the muslin, I just used a thrifted sheet. I used it last year for my winter pictures. I didn’t have a space for that this year without sacrificing my sewing area so I decided to repurpose the sheet into muslin material. It’s not really final garment worthy material.

Here is my muslin:

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Fits pretty well, but there are some issues. The armsyce needs to be widened. I’m not sure what happened there. Possibly lost some with the FBA, but I am not sure. The sleeve doesn’t fit into the armsyce. It will need an extra inch or so. It’s likely it was an issue with grading rather than the pattern itself, but I can’t verify that. Sleeves also need to be shortened by a few inches. My hand is somewhere in there on the right.

The waist needs to be raised by about 2 inches. The FBA lowers the waist. Sometimes I need to take that length out and sometimes I need to add more length in. It really depends on the pattern. Shortening the bodice will mean shortening the front band, but both are easy alterations.

Here is an idea of what the bodice will look like shortened:

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It’s a much more flattering fit on the right. It’s just pinned up here. The left side got pinned a little too high, but the right side is perfect.

 

The back fits really well, too.

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To sum up:

  • Started with a size 48
  • Graded up 19 pattern pieces 2 sizes
  • 1.5 inch FBA on bodice main and bodice lining pieces
  • Lengthened front band and facing for FBA alterations
  • 1.5 inches added to waist

Next alterations:

  • Shorten bodice main and bodice lining pieces by 2-3 inches
  • Shorten front band and facing for bodice alterations
  • Redo waist grading for slash and spread method
  • Widen armsyce to accommodate sleeve size
  • Shorten sleeve by 2 inches
  • EDIT: Narrow shoulder adjustment (See Kathy’s comment below)

After I do these alterations, I’m cutting into my final fabric. I’m excited to see the final results with all the details of the pattern highlighted. I think it’s going to be a great Spring/Fall coat.

A reminder on my fabric choices:

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Main fabric: medium weight brushed cotton pink plaid

Contrast fabric: Medium weight wool suiting

Fur trim for hood: faux fur (I will be making this a removable fur trim)

 

Seamwork’s Florence Lounge Bra

Disclaimer: there is swearing in this post.

florence

I sort of knew going into this project that it might fail horribly. I have huge boobs, after all, and the phrase “lounge bra” as Seamwork calls it doesn’t really fit with huge boobs, even if my measurements are within the pattern’s specifications. I wanted to try it out, though, because I had some scraps lying around and it doesn’t hurt to try things and watch them fail. It’s all a learning experience.

I really like the idea of Florence, I do. I also have a major crush on the model, Sierra McKenzie. Most of her stuff is nsfw, fyi, btw. So google her carefully or don’t, whatever. 😉 Anyone else giggle when they say they are googling someone or is that just me? It sounds oddly dirty.

Anyway…..

I was pretty excited for the lingerie issue of Seamwork and the two patterns. The Geneva knickers are also really cute, but I had a good pattern already. Florence, however, took me in. I want a lounge bra: something to wear at home or to bed and feel supported but not restrained. Florence isn’t really that unless you do major changes for larger cup sizes.

In the larger sizes, the cup increases length-wise, as well as in the width. It’s a significant increase length-wise. Based on the line drawing, I wouldn’t have thought that it would be such a long cup, but in the larger sizes it is very long.

The instructions have very little information in them as well as an odd instruction or two that made me question the process all together.

First off, there is no instruction on stretch percentage. The fabric is simply listed as 6″ stretch lace, but there is no guidance given in terms of stretch percentage. I have four stretch laces in my stash that vary from 20% – 150% stretch. That’s quite a difference. Not all stretch lace is considered equal, either; some can be higher quality than others and have perfect recovery while others have shit recovery. I decided that my lace was either too stretch or not stretchy enough and figured for my first Florence I wouldn’t risk using any of it and instead went with a spandex that had a good stretch/body to it. You saw it before with my gold Moneta.

Second, there is a far easier method to creating the adjustable straps than the one listed in the instructions. Here is the easier method via Madalynne. I was taught this way in my bra class and the method in the instructions, which is here, kind of makes my head spin. You can still attach the extra bit of elastic to the other side of bra ring after or before, but why go through the trouble of sewing the slider bit around other bits of elastic, when you can make a much neater bar tack without all that crap in the way?

Third, I find it very unlikely that they tested this for the larger sizes.

Fourth, I think the band runs really large. So test your fit before you put the elastic in. In comparing the Geneva knickers to my pattern, I also see those run rather large….and there might possibly be an overall issue in both patterns and how they are graded up.

Of course, I know I am not a typical size in my chest, but I doubt this works for larger bust sizes (1X-3X). That’s the problem with lounge bras, I guess, they cater to small busted women, which is great…for small busted women.

I guess I have a problem with creating a pattern for a certain size when it won’t work without proper guidance on stretch percentage or possibly reinforcing with powernet or etc.

If you want the Florence to work for you and you have a large bust like me, be prepared to do a ton of shit to make it work.

Things you might want to do to make the Florence work for a larger bust:

1. Line it with powernet.

2. Add in a closure at the back so that you don’t have to stretch it over your head, because the powernet won’t be as stretchy as the lace.

3. Extend the bridge length slightly so that the cup is more supported underneath.

4. Shorten the cup length, if you have to. I would have to, because I have short shoulders (wait, is that a thing…. I dunno how to describe it…) and the bra cup extended to the back….

5. Drink lots of wine.

6. Repeat #5 until you forget what you are doing.

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*please drink responsibly*

I think I will just get a sports bra pattern from Pin-Up Girls and toss this in the garbage. The nice thing is that I didn’t use much new material for it. No big loss there. 🙂

Honestly, I am glad for fuck-ups like this, because they help me learn. I learned more about sewing with spandex and using elastic in lingerie. It was a nice learning experience even if the pattern didn’t work out for me. 🙂

Here is a picture of my Florence. I literally got to a point when I didn’t care about creating a perfect finished product….so the sewing isn’t great, because I just used it as an opportunity to try new stitches and play with elastic methods…

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork’s Florence lounge bra
  • Pros: Great for small busts….maybe? Not for large boobs…
  • Cons: Errything. Too much to put here.
  • Make again?: NOPE.
  • Rating: white-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md o/5 stars