Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bees on white cotton

(to be sung to the tune of Knights in White Satin, of course  ;)  )
I was quite taken with the grub roses kbenco has been embroidering onto her knits, and was inspired to follow suit...  so for my latest lingerie set I delved deep into my memory banks and dredged up a few rusty ol embroidery skills...  
There is a single fat little bumblebee on each item.
Tres cute, no?!

The bra pattern is KwikSew 3300 (my review of this pattern here), and the two pairs of matching undies are made using my swimwear pattern, McCalls 2772 view E.  Yup, exactly the same as my previous set.

I used a soft ivory cotton knit from Spotlight.  It is absolutely lovely stuff, but I have only the smallest issue, in that the fabric only stretches one way, so while it all fits just fine it is ever so slightly less easy and comfy than my grey jersey set.   I positioned the pieces so the stretch went where it counts, but I definitely feel a bit more firmly held in place, so to speak.  Maybe that's a good thing.... :)
The fabric is quite soft and spongy, almost with a brushed quality; so to embroider my bees onto those fronts of the undies with just that single layer of the fabric, I ironed a small square of iron-on interfacing onto the back where I wanted my bees positioned.  Then I embroidered the bees, and then ironed a second small square of iron-on interfacing over the back for a neat finished look, ironing carefully so as not to squash the embroidery too much.  I realise the second squares will probably disappear in the wash some day, that iron-on stuff is notoriously prone to unsticking pretty quick.  But it will be fine for a while and I can always iron on a new patch.  The bra joiner bit, having a piece of woven cotton as interfacing sandwiched between the two layers of knit, was easy to embroider on just as is.
For the top-stitching I tried out another of my machine's decorative stitches... I like how those jagged spikes sorta references a row of bee's stings.  It's funny, I use these decorative stitches on my machine like, barely once in a blue moon? and now I've used them twice in the past month!  A record!
Oh, and in response to an email question from Sue...  thank you for the interest Sue!  I do all my sewing on these two machines, and in the picture of my Janome in that post you might just be able to make out the small selection of embroidery stitches I have on my machine.  It's not a fancy machine at all, but it has served me very well for me for many many years and has everything I could want in a sewing machine  :)

28 comments:

  1. You inspire me so much Carolyn!! Thank you for following my new blog and I hope to one day sew as good as you AND sew my own undies hehe Thanks:-)

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  2. Those bees are entirely too adorable! Maybe I need an idea like that to get me motivated (aka over my irrational fear) of making underwear! My undies drawer is slowly getting depleted to the point where the time of necessity will soon arrive....

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  3. Hi Carolyn, I am inspired by your lingerie efforts and have bought the kwik sew pattern....now to sew!!! Question though, after the bra has been assembled it mentions a strip of stabiliser across the top of the bra, what did you use for this? Thanks for the tip about the bra cups too!
    Andrea

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  4. Tres tres cute... how gorgeous. When I saw the title I was actually singing it to these are a few of my favourite things.

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  5. HI Andrea, the stabiliser is for when you make View A which has the top half of the cup from lace, and you need to apply the stabilising strip along the upper edge of the lace at the back, to stop it from stretching out (step 10). I have only made view B of this pattern so far, which doesn't have lace and so it skips the stabiliser step.
    However, I think though the best thing to use would be a very lightweight cotton in a colour that "disappears" behind your lace; fold the long sides in as directed in step 10 and iron them down before stitching.
    A length of of thin ribbon would be an easy and good alternative to use too. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

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  6. I really like both of your sets. The embroidery was a fantastic idea to jazz up an otherwise simple set.

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  7. I was totally already singing it to that song in my head; too perfect. :) I love, love, love the bees!

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  8. Soooo cute! Agree with others re my own depleted undie drawer and the need to get into making some!

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  9. I really, really want to sew some bras, but I just can't find a pattern that doesn't have a wide band in the middle. Yours look great and I'm very envious.

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  10. The bees are just fabulous! You are so good at the important details.

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  11. The bees are awesome - another great set. Every time I see great lingerie sets I think about trying my hand at bras, but I'm not ready yet.

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  12. Love the whimsy!
    Also, great underwear!

    Brenda

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  13. Those embroidery skills do not look at all rusty - you must have very high standards! These are just gorgeous...

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  14. Adorable! Your embroidery isn't looking too rusty from here... ;-)

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  15. Love your bees! I admire anyone with the skills to make lingerie.

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  16. Cute bees! My Russian sage is loaded with bees from the neighbor's hives and I look forward to some sage honey. I absolutely love bees. Wait, is this a sewing blog? oh. :-)

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  17. What a busy bee you've been!

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  18. They Bees so cute :O) tee hee

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  19. Lovely bees. You are making some very pretty underpinnings.

    My standard baby present is a collection of singlets or bunny suits with a few bullion bunnies,bees or roses - I use pinked cotton batiste on the back, whip stitched with a single strand,to keep the knots off the baby's skin. It doesn't come off in the wash.The interfacing is a terrific idea, I will be using that one for a quicker finish on grown up garments.

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  20. Sweet. The bees and jagged stitches do complement one another perfectly!

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  21. I can't believe you embroiedered bees on your undies. They were already perfect before but with that cute detail...Oh my! Fabulous. Clearly a fancy machine doesn't make a better seamstress!

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