5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6

5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6

It’s been a while since I wrote one of these posts so let me put that right today and see if I can set your imagination going with some inspiration. I know it’s been a difficult time for many of us to feel motivated during these Covid times, so if I can give you just a glimmer of something to interest you then that makes me happy too. So without further ado let’s get cracking with 5 things inspiring me now…

Oh and just in case you want to see the other posts in this series so far here they are:

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

ONE: Bras/Lingerie

In all the years that I’ve sewn for myself I’ve never once made any type of lingerie. I’ve always steadfastly said “there’s no way I’m ever making a bra!”

…Until…Two weeks ago I realised that my shoddy dog-eared bra collection needed renewing. I ordered a load of new ones online to try and when they arrived none of them fitted…ugh! I felt so disillusioned and was starting to prepare myself for ordering yet more from a different company when suddenly, something switched on in my head and I thought…”I’m bloomin’ well going to learn to make my own!” So I now find myself eating my own words and devouring as much information as I can about bra making.

The first place I started was my pal Sarah’s blog. Sarah (Sew Sarah Smith) recently made her first two bras and I read her posts with interest. She made the Black Beauty bra by Emerald Erin and of course that lead me to Erin’s website where I read all of her tutorials. From there I moved over to Orange Lingerie and read all of their blog posts. They have a big range of patterns too. I started to feel very inspired by all of the possibilities of learning new skills but most of all after reading about bra sizes and wire sizes, etc I now realise just how utterly badly fitting my RTW bras are!

5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Black Beauty Bra by Emerald Erin

More inspiration for lovely bras is also to be found on the IG account of online sewist Bird (@birdy_sew_obsessed). I really hadn’t studied her lingerie projects in such detail before but remembered how she had saved a lot of her makes to Highlights so I also watched all of those too. She’s all self-taught and her makes are beautiful. Go and check her account out.

Sourcing all of the different materials needed for bra making is a bit tricky. You have to buy from several websites in the UK (it’s easier in the US I believe). So far I’ve found Sewing Chest, Fit2Sew, VenaCava, BWear, The Bra Shop (eBay), The Lace Co.,

In the US: Tailor Made Shoppe (Etsy…though at time of writing is closed due to lockdown), Bra Makers Supply , Emerald Erin’s Shop

Anyway, suffice to say that I’ve ordered a few supplies and hope to be making my first bras soon so stay tuned. Have you made bras or lingerie before? Let me know in comments of your experience.

These beautiful bras are so inspiring:

Devonshire Bra by Orange Lingerie
Berkley Bra by Orange Lingerie

TWO: Print

Yes, you read that right. Hehe…I’m well known for wearing very little print. In fact, I’m a bit print averse, however, I’ve found my self wondering about trying a bit more here and there in very small doses. My types of prints? No ditsy florals, no novelty prints(sweets, cartoon characters etc.) I’m not really a floral fan either… I’ve got just two floral pieces (here and here). “So what the heck does that leave?” I hear you ask. Well, I think I like unusual shapes, slightly larger scale designs maybe, clear contrasting shades. I like vertical stripes, checks and some animal print. So maybe I’ll try something new if the right fabric came along. In the meantime, I browsed Pinterest for a bit of inspiration and found a couple of images that appealed. How about you? What’s your print preference if any?

5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Lanvin outfit
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Armani outfit
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Victoria Beckham outfit
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Dolce and Gabbana

THREE: Russian Pattern Companies

I touched on this subject a couple of weeks back with my ivory tank top and I’ve found myself getting more and more interested in Vikisews patterns and I’ve also found out about Grasser.ru and Lekala. I’ve already tried a Vikisews basic design, but I’m keen to try more and have already bought the Britney pants PDF. I think they seem well-drafted and I like their modern styles. Grasser.ru take a lot of their inspiration from runway designs and they even have a Burberry trench design! For Lekala, I think you can even input your measurements to customise your fit.

The prices of the patterns are soooo reasonable too (dare I even say inexpensive). I think I paid about ยฃ2.50-ยฃ30 for my Vikisews patterns.

I’m definitely keen to make more in the future.

5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Vikisews Avelyn Jacket
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Vikisews Deborah blouse
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6

FOUR: Structured Sleeves With Volume

I’ve seen a few of these type of sleeves around lately and I like the structured shape a lot.

This McCalls pattern has darts above the cuff to create a lantern effect:

5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
McCalls 8039

And I adore this Vogue top!

5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Vogue 1704
VOGUE 1704
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6

I think what I’m drawn to is that the volume is shifted off the actual shoulder line and either out or down toward the cuff. I may have to hack one of my blouse patterns and have a play and as soon as that Vogue design becomes available in the UK I might get it. What do you think? Tempted by big sleeves? I think the year of the sleeve has turned into the decade of the sleeve as it’s been a ‘thing’ for at least two years now ๐Ÿ™‚

FIVE: Alex “Sewrendipity”

Following on from previous posts I’m featuring a sewing blogger/Instagrammer and this week it’s the turn of Alex from Sewrendipity blog. I’ve followed Alex for a few years now and I’ve always been a fan of her style. Based in London, she started sewing over 10 years ago. And the eagle-eyed amongst you may also recognise her from season 3 of Great British Sewing Bee.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Alex in person 2 or 3 times now. The first time was at the GBSB Live in London and I’m very happy to say that we hit it off immediately and have kept in touch ever since. Love her bubbly personality ๐Ÿ™‚

Alex has long been interested in sustainability and also works within that area too. So it makes sense that this is what shapes her sewing practices and the subjects that she talks about on her blog.

I love that she remixes existing RTW wardrobe pieces with her self-made items and makes the process of creating capsules look like absolute child’s play…oh, and did I mention that she has killer style?

Here are a few of her fabulous outfits. You’ll see plenty of neutrals, mostly solids or stripes, pops of strong colour with bold dramatic silhouettes and all accessorised with self-made statement earrings. I hear that she’s a big Audrey Hepburn fan too which influences some of her outfits. Enjoy the photos (kindly given to me with her blessing to use in this post)

PS: You can also find her on Instagram here: @sewrendipity so why not give her a follow?

5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Alex from Sewrendipity blog
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Alex from Sewrendipity blog
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Alex from Sewrendipity blog
5 Things Inspiring Me Now Part 6
Alex from Sewrendipity blog

I hope you enjoyed all of this weeks inspiration and hopefully, you feel inspired too? Let me know in comments.

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll see you on Friday.

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  1. Monika
    May 31, 2020 / 9:13 pm

    These my favourite posts..the inspo ones. I just love them,you’re so good at these! That trench oa so epic,I love it. I also want to try vikkisews patterns. Enjoyed this one a lot..can you tell? Monika x

    • diane
      June 1, 2020 / 10:04 am

      Aww, what a lovely thing to say! Thank you, Monika xx. It’s comments like yours that make it all worthwhile for me.

  2. June 1, 2020 / 10:59 am

    Iโ€™ve just ordered the Vogue top (and some others ha ha) they are on Sew Direct now. I think Iโ€™ll be browsing all these Russian sites later…x

    • diane
      June 1, 2020 / 12:02 pm

      Ooh, thanks for the heads up Alex. I’m going to order that Vogue pattern! Enjoy the other Russian sites too. I should say that for Vikisews the instructions are in Russian but each step has clear photos, so I found them fine to follow.

  3. Sam
    June 1, 2020 / 11:38 am

    I think I might go and browse those Russian sites too! And funnily enough until a week ago I’d never had any interest in sewing lingerie either, but I found myself looking at bra patterns and supplies too. Sew Wardrobe seem to do quite a good selection of lingerie supplies, so they might be worth looking at if you haven’t already.

    • diane
      June 1, 2020 / 12:00 pm

      I’m sure you’ll love those patterns Sam. And what a coincidence about the bra making. I had heard of Sew Wardrobe…I must take a look. Thanks!

  4. June 1, 2020 / 11:50 am

    Thanks so much for the shout-out, Di!! And the kind worrds!!

    • diane
      June 1, 2020 / 11:58 am

      Cheers Alex. You’re very welcome!

  5. June 1, 2020 / 2:21 pm

    I love these posts too Diane! So much inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know what happened with Serendipity but reading about her, I realized I hadn’t heard from her in an awfully long time – somehow I must have slipped off her mailing list! I rectified that so thank you for reminding me ๐Ÿ™‚ You might want to investigate 2 patterns I purchased lately – really FUN – just sleeves by Simplicity – 8695 and 8506. Between the 2 patterns you get 15 sleeve options ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t used it yet but I’ve been playing around in my head with a couple of plain tee patterns (the sleeves are for wovens but that easily adapted) with one of these crazy sleeves ๐Ÿ™‚ You also might want to check out Bra Maker’s Supply here in Canada https://www.braandcorsetsupplies.com/ she has a course on Craftsy for making panties that I took and it was fabulous. I look forward to seeing the bras you end up making! I know for sure they will be amazing just like everything else you make ๐Ÿ™‚

    • diane
      June 1, 2020 / 7:26 pm

      Thanks for such a lovely reply Kathleen. I’m most definitely going to look at those two patterns that you mention. And how funny that you should mention the course on Craftsy/Bluprint as I’ve actually bought a couple by the same lady on bra making and thoroughly enjoyed them. So informative! Did you know about Bluprint closing down in a few months though? Apparently any purchased classes will be available to download and keep but no more are being sold now.

  6. June 1, 2020 / 3:30 pm

    Love this post Di! I’ve always felt the same about bra making until the last couple of months. All my bras are so uncomfortable! I can’t wait to try the Mara bralette and the Black Beauty bra. That Viki Sews jacket is divine! I taped it together today!

    • diane
      June 1, 2020 / 7:22 pm

      Aww, thank you, Emma. What a coincidence about the bra sewing and I can’t wait to see your Vikisews jacket!

  7. June 3, 2020 / 8:44 am

    I love that Vogue blouse. Donโ€™t know when Iโ€™d wear it but I really want to have a go. Iโ€™m about to start bra making desperate to find a comfy bra somehow! Liz sews on YouTube makes loads and has tutorials which you might like.

    • diane
      June 3, 2020 / 2:20 pm

      It’s a fab blouse isn’t it Mags? And thank you for the YT recommendation!

  8. Joan
    June 3, 2020 / 11:38 pm

    My problem with making my own bras is that I always prefer a seamless cup…
    Love the fuchsia and beige Armani cropped jacket with tailored ruffle!
    Thanks for the inspiration and intro to new pattern Co’s.

    • diane
      June 4, 2020 / 1:53 pm

      I love that Armani jacket too!
      Regarding bras…I usually have seamless cups too but I can’t seem to find the right size moulded cups to fit me for making my own. I’m going to attempt a cut and sew foam plus some unpadded ones instead. Wish me luck! I just ordered a load of supplies and fabrics for making bras…I obviously mean business..lol.

  9. June 5, 2020 / 11:54 pm

    I just MUST have that Armani jacket someday!!! The McCalls sleeves were a nice change too. I too have been following Alex for years. I love her blog! So lucky of you to be able to meet other sewists and sewing bloggers. I live in a rural area and the reason I started blogging long ago was because I just had to find some other fabric/pattern crazy people like me! LOL! Stay Safe!

    • diane
      June 6, 2020 / 12:09 pm

      It’s a bit special that Armani eh?
      It IS lovely to meet other sewists though it doesn’t happen enough sadly and now even less with this lockdown. Thank goodness for our online connections eh Linda? Thanks as always for your kind words x

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