Another week has flown by and it is time for the next challenge. This week has been a bit tricky. I work as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse and life has definitely been busy with tons of extra hours.
But if I am honest, that is why I love to sew - even half an hour a day leaves me feeling calmer and more passionate about the beauty of the fabric.
This week's plan was to cut out and sew up the Ogden Cami from @TrueBias. Now I know I am a bit of a latecomer to the Ogden and you only need to do a quick Pinterest or Instagram search and you will be amazed how many people are already converting. But for me this was about showing you how to create a collection of underwear that you can mix and match depending on if you are at work, at play!? or simply on holiday.
It was actually a challenge to me really. To start with a basic bra and panties then work from there, so naturally the cami top felt like a good place to start work this week.
Now slight disclaimer here - all my sewing is generally underwear. Yep, that's right, I have never successfully made anything to be seen on the outside. Silly I know, but I love to know my lingerie is a hidden surprise. A treat to myself (And my wife for that matter!) But the Ogden Cami is a nudge towards outerwear - so we will have to see where this takes us.
Also, I am an Intensive Care nurse, so if work gets horribly busy which is threatening too, I may not get as much done as I would have liked. But I won’t pressure myself. If I don't get as much done as I would like - it doesn't matter. Sewing is for me, my calmness and my creativity. So if like me you are crazy busy, take the pressure off. What will be, will be. Some weeks you will be able to do more - and others less.
"And on that happy note lets make a start!"
The Ogden Cami is a PDF pattern created by True Bias. They are an American company so you will need to be careful with the sizing. The other interesting part is that when I printed the pattern, my printer printed it double-sided. I know, I know.....
For those of you in the known, this is very definitely not the way to do it. Make sure you set up the printer to print on one side of the paper only. Anyway, I am impatient and rather than print out another copy (which is what I should have done) I decided to trace the pattern pieces onto another piece of paper, which took FOREVER!!
Also it is worth checking that your printer isn't making them bigger or smaller and there is always a test square at the top of page one. So measure it and make sure that it measures what it should!
So now you should have the pattern pieces cut out. Just for information I cut out the size 8 (American size) which translated roughly to a size 12. I am quite long in the torso and around 5ft7" with a chest measurement of 36B-C, but for the first toile I didn't want to alter any of the pattern pieces. In hindsight, it would have been better to cut out a size 10 as the satin is a little unforgiving across the back.
I also have quite broad shoulders. If I ever go back and make the Ogden, I will definitely cut out the size 10.
I love the fitting part as much as I love sewing. So tiny bit of advice. Always make a wearable toile out of cheaper or leftover fabric first to check for fit - as was another epic example of how little time and even smaller patience made my life hard. Yep, you guessed it, I cut straight into my beautiful tulip satin.
"Today I am cutting into my fabric......... I love, love, love this part. My sewing room has been cleared and tidied and each new project feels fresh and positive!"
The material I picked was this sumptuous tulip printed satin fabric. Now, word of warning, if you are not used to satin, it is highly slippy and can be tricky to work with. For everything cut on the fold, I always pin the fold in place on the top edge. I find it helps the fabric to hold whilst you are cutting. I also always use the rotary cutter rather than the scissors - I just find it so much easier.
"Note to self: I definitely need a much bigger cutting board if I am going to start making bigger items."
Once you have your fabric cut out, you are ready to start. The first job is to stay stitch all the arm holes and top, back openings.
There are a couple of options here. You can just sew in a narrow row of stitichs remembering to sew towards the front V from the top of the shoulder straps separately. Don't be tempted to sew down one side and back up the other, this will warp the fabric and make it crazy difficult to work with. The second option is to sew a line on runnig stitches onto fusble facing, cut it into strips and then iron on - so I am opting for this method.
Once all the pattern pieces are cut out and the over sewing is done you are ready for the next part.
Make up the straps by folding both pieces right sides together and sewing up. Trim off the excess and then turn so right sides are out and iron well. There are so many ways to turn over thin straps, loop turners seem to be what any professional sewer uses here. For me I have my good old safety pin - its never let me down, but feel free to use whatever makes the job easier for you.
The next job is to secure the straps to the right side of the front piece, pin and run a row of stitches over the top to ensure it stays in place.
If you follow the pattern the next job is to sew up both sides. I have tried this both ways - and I have found it is easier to do this last, but it might just be me.
Join your front main to your front lining right sides together. Take your time and sew over the strap carefully but making sure they don’t get caught up anywhere.
Hem the inside of the lining fabric. This is the first version I made and I opted for an edge seam but when I went back to remake the size 10 I overlocked it then rolled over the hem and hand stitched it in place.
Join the two back pieces, the lining and the main again right sides together. Remember to leave open at the holes to insert the straps. Sew up the under arm seam and stop. Sew down each of the back v sections independantly to prevent stretching and again down the final armhole seam.
Turn everything the right side out and press all the seams well. Now all you do is sew the complete side seams from the bottom of the lining, all the way down to the bottom on the main cami.
And this is where I had to stop this week: I havent had the 5 minutes I need to finish the second version of my Ogden cami's side seams and hem the bottom. This was my first version and you can also see where is over sewed the front V incorrectly. Thankfully this was the size 8 and was too small. But yes - this is going to have to be remade!!
I am sure you have seen yours way better than I did so last but no means least, finish the bottom of the garment with a hand stitched rolled hem and you are ready to go!
You don’t have to do this, you could just hem it with a machine stitched rolled hem or edge stitch - it is just something I love to do.
And now your matching panties....
In order to use up the last of your material a matching pair of panties is called for. Satin has little of no stretch and so you need be careful which pattern to attempt. Again the best option here is from @Evielaluve and I am simply in love with her Lyla pantie. It has been specially created for just these types of fabric.
Making the frontCut out all the parts for the front of the pantie and sew up first. It is a great way to use up left over stretch lace or some of the butter soft viscose jersey from your darcey bralet.
Remember here: to cut out the satin on the bias or diagonal otherwise these gorgeous panties just won’t work. Once you have done that - add any lace trim or overlay. Don’t forget here to make sure you are mirroring your lace, and pin on the side panels.
Finish off these seams however you like. I tend to overlock them because they are visible from the inside.
Making up the back Piece
Joining the crotch seams and adding the lining
"Gusset is such a horrible word - it makes me titter like a school girl"
The leg openings are now nearly finishied. Take your pieces of pico edged elastic - there are instruction for how long to cut them and apply exactly the same as in the bra method from the last blog. Make the half way points of each and the quarter mark - and do the same for each pantie leg. Then slowly using a three step zig zag sew on the elastic. The straight side of the elastic against the pantie edge, the plush side facing up and the crown edge picos pointing in towards the centre of the pantie.On the second pass - roll under the pico elastic and over sew again with a three step zig zag to secure the picks onto the outside.
The top edge needs its pico treatmentContinue with exactly the same process with the top elastic. Divided both the elastic and the pantie into quarters and sew them together.. Flip under the elastic and do the second pass of the three step zigzag.
Finishing off with a teeny-tiny yet some-how perfect fushia bow.
I love this last stage. It feels like a rite-of-passage somehow. Once your bow is on - you’re finished.
Now stand back and admire your work x
Don't forget to come on over and follow me on instagram for some more inspiration. My top draw is growing at quite an alarming rate at the moment - but trust me, it becomes completely addictive.!
Click the link below x x
Next week I will put up a picture of my finished Ogden, and show you my plan for the next weeks. At the moment I am planning a lace underwired bra to use up my spare stretch lace.
The best go-to pattern for lace is the Devonshire Bra by Orange Lingerie. So take a look at the pattern if you are interested and I will start working on the next Blog today.
See you all next week x x x