Clothesmaking mavens

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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

It is what it is

The subject line from this post is one of my husband's favourite lines. The car explodes the week before Christmas and has to be replaced (it didn't this is just an example), the business partner absconds with all the funds (it didn't this is just an example), or the world is about to come to an end (it didn't this is just an example) and my husband asks what he can do and then says "It is what it is" and moves on.

This approach of course denies him the hours and hours, OK days and days, he could be spending on the phone with extended family describing What Went Wrong, and the sub-category Whose Fault Is It? 

Think of all he is missing.

There are times however when this is the most appropriate subject line.

Like now in reviewing the new Jalie soft sports bra.

It is what it is.

No, there is not a lot of support. How can it with no underwires, power net, and in cotton/lycra? This is a comfort bra, meaning it is comfortable. 

There is no lift and separate, there is no boost, there is no front and centre shape. This is not a going out bra, not a good shape under a sweater bra, not a my-god-it-looks-just-like-you-bought-it bra.

It is however the bra I am wearing now.

Excellent for wearing when you have to wash the dog's feet because the dummy finds the tiniest bit of muddy water under the ice in a puddle on the walk and then goes and stands on it and falls through and just looks at you until you lift him up and carry him 22 miles back to the car where he just snarls at you because you are taking him home when he still wants to go for a walk.

It's a good bra to wear then.

It is also excellent bra to wear knitting while watching Republican primary news (ask, me just ask me, anything I am totally up to date, too bad I don't vote there - once a politico always a politico), or reading a book called 1,500 family favourite slow cooker meals, because you are so busy knitting purses, sewing underwear, saying "holy shit, that's a lot of work" while you watch the videos for the Classic French Jacket PatternReview class you signed up for on that afternoon when you decided you needed to get your game back, to cook properly.

Good to wear when you do that.

Now here is the review with the disclaimer and a few introductory comments.

First in the interest of decency this is on the person who is not my clone and not on me. 

You are welcome.

She is sort of flatter than me but you get the idea. I have also cleverly pinned my Smoothie panties to her front. Use your imagine to figure out that on a person these pull flat and are in fact smooth.

One comment about the Lingerie Secrets Smoothie pants before we move on to the bra.

The instructions have you sew all the elastic in flat and then sew the seams. This of course makes for easier elastic stitching, not anyone's favourite part, but you do get this lumpy raw elastic thing going on at the top of the seams. The instructions say at that point to zig-zag a bartack to hold that down, but as you can imagine, in these hands, through four layers of elastic, that stitching is sort of messy, OK really messy.

So for most of the ten or more pairs I have made this week I have reverted to stitching the elastic into a ring and then inserting it. Much neater and I need all the neat I can get. Here is the beginning of what is now a large pile of underwear. This does not look much like French Classic Jacket :

Now the bra. Speaking of messy you might observe the topstitching around the cups is a little that way. That is because I creatively sewed the cups inside out and the basting shows. I could take it out but I am not. For sure I would rush and poke a hole with the seam ripper. Not what you want to do to your dog-feet-washing bra.

In actual fact there is more space between my bra bottom and the top of my panties. Thank goodness.

Note the excellent Koolaid dye job

The bra require fold over elastic which is helpful if you once went nuts and bought a ton of it and can't figure out where to use it. Particularly if you got a good deal on 500 yards.

Nice high sides - this is one of your secure units, aimed to hold back the jiggle more than represent 
Make up your own mind about this bra. 

My only advice would be if you are making it out of random cotton/lycra like I did consider going down a size. This fabric is really stretchy and I found the band in particular needed to be reduced at the centre back. Also in my next version I may even put Power net in as a layer between the two band layers to add some structure.

I think I am going to do the next version is Grape.

I will of course be making more Real Grownup bras but I admit to you to liking this one. It is sort of the garment equivalent to the lunch you make yourself when no one is at home - whatever your comfort food is. Tell me.

Before I take the dogs out again to a different park a few things:

1. Yes I am going to get into this French Jacket thing. Pattern going to get adjusted tonight. I realize I am a contradiction in terms on this. I am attracted to Channel jackets because they are supposed to be as comfortable as sweaters and this life needs comfortable. Also I like hand sewing and think I even remember how to do it. However as the videos revealed this garment requires some definitely non sweater like discipline. Might be character building.

2. I love comments but wonder if responding in the comment section is where to do it. Would you read that, go back to it? I had an interesting one last post from a reader who said this blog doesn't sound at all like other writing I do. This is true. My blog is my personal voice, obviously unedited and irresponsible. I am even taken aback when I run into someone who I don't know very well who responds to something personal I have written - I sort of think "gee those were private thoughts" but then again I did put them out on the internet didn't I? It's an interesting experience.

3. Some of my favourite bloggers have suspended their blogs or written recently about a bit of road weariness. Truth is I never post as often as I want or share all I compose to you in my head. Always a lot going on around here. So I am just going to do what I can do and make sure my blogging is not an obligation to me.

It is what it is.


Karin said...

Please keep blogging! I love your posts.
I like it when people respond to comments in the body of their next post. Always interesting. Then again, I am to disorganised to do this on my own blog!
All my bras are comfort bras. Then again, I am nearly flat chested, so my bra needs are ...slight.

Judith said...

No, don't stop your blog - it is always a great read.
As for the comments, well, I try as hard as possible to read the ones on my blog and answer when possible.
But when I comment on other blogs I all but never go back to check on an answer. But I do like the blogs where people answer important questions in their next write-up....
As for the bras...comfort when seeing to the dog is important - great work on both 'inner layers'...

Jane M said...

Ah yes, if only I would write all the blog posts that I ruminate on while cooking, dog walking, driving, etc. I enjoy your writing since it reflects my thinking process as well. So, did you find making your own bra worth the effort? I tried the panties project and never came up with a result that I liked better or as well as my RTW favorites. I did buy the Smoothie pattern afterward but have yet to venture back to the experimenting. But the jacket project is worth the effort, IMHO. I haven't made the full blown version (yet) but even my faux ones are my favorites to wear.

sdBev said...

If I ask a question, I will return for a few days to see if I got an answer. I used to thank everyone for posting a comment on my blog. I do enjoy the interaction and feed back however superficial it might be. OTOH, I've quit posting many comments myself. I've found too often I post from the "I have something that could help" side of life-- which is recieved as "why would you say such a terrible thing to me". Not what I intended, so I just quit making comments.

shams said...

Always so much to respond to in your posts!

First I love, and use, "It is what it is." I also used it's close cousin on my kids, when little, "You get what you get." Especially useful when they complain that they didn't get the paper cup with a certain image on it.

Second, that bra looks pretty good! I don't make bras, and don't plan to, because I am so busty that I require more serious engineering in my support garments. I rely on modern technology. ;)

Third, I do think blogging shouldn't feel like an obligation. It should be fun, or satisfying, or feed some inner part of you. I do hope you keep blogging, but respect your needs.

And I also write a lot more in my head than I post. :D

Janine said...

I am always impressed by anyone who sews bras and these look comfy to be carrying dogs long distances. I really enjoy reading your blog and your musings so I second not stopping but I get confused when people apologize for not blogging enough - it`s your blog - do what you want. It takes a long time to do a blog post .

Alison said...

I think that bra would also be a 14 hour long haul plane trip bra. I must admit that on my last trip to the US, I took my bra off on the plane! OMG!!

Your blog is one of my faves but I hardly ever comment and am feeling a bit guilty about that.

Bunny said...

Your blog is one of my absolute faves. I love your writing style and you always make me smile.

Oh, the bra - that's what I call a house bra. I only wear them around the house. They save my more perkily engineered bras from everyday wear. And as long as no one comes to visit and says "how's it hangin'?" I'm good. You have to have a lot of house bras.

LC said...

I too, love your blog, but have never commented before. No offense to your husband but I have a real Hate-On for his favourite line. Probably the fault of my husbands best friend who uses it as an excuse to not take responsibility for his bad behaviour, of which there is plenty.

Beth H said...

That bra has interested me, so I'm glad to read about it. I'm not sure I have a need for such a bra,but I do like yours. As for comments, I would check back to see answers to my questions if I could ever remember *which* blog it was I commented on and what I asked...

Jodie said...

Thanks for the "not a review" on the Jalie Bra. I call that a Saturday bra (where I periodically have to wash dog feet too). Still, I may give it a try....comfort is never to be overlooked.
I always enjoy your blog and when I've asked a question, peek back now and again to see if it's been answered.
Take care, enjoy your sewing