I had a little too much fun yesterday pretending I was a Bond girl while photographing my bustier. You only live twice...or so they say...so why spend it sewing frump?
Pattern: Burdastyle.com Bustier 02/2011 #113
Size: 40/14 Bust 36 1/4", Waist 29 1/4", Hip 38 3/4"
Challenge: Sew Sexy Sew Along 2014
Fabric, etc.: 1 yard stretch pleather from Spandex World and 1 yard hook and eye tape from Mood Fabrics
Needle Size: #9 microtex, #14 microtex
Thread: Poly/cotton wal-mart brand thread, then coats and clarks universal and topstitching
Time: I accounted for the first 10 hours but that was mostly the muslin. I would estimate close to 50 by the time I'm truly done.Notes:
- I cut out a size 40, but even accounting for a little ease doesn't excuse how large this came out. I had to take in 4" in the center back seam, which is why the straps ended up buried in my armpit. However, the cups fit, which was my biggest worry based on other people's makes, so I guess it worked out in the end. I wear a DD cup so if you're larger than a B you should take this into account.
- I still need to put boning in the cups. I thought the stability of the fabric would mean no boning but I was wrong.
- I didn't add a lining.
- For regular stitching I used a #9 microtex needle, universal thread, stitch length of 2.5/4 and a tension of 3. Topstitching worked best with a #14, topstitching thread, stitch length of 4/4 and a tension of 5.
- What did take me forever was the topstitching. I started with a #9 microtex and doubled up on regular thread. Because I had such a small needle, it wasn't making holes big enough in the fabric. I had to sew every topstitched seam at least 3 times (and then rip it all out) before I might get a good row. By the time I got to the back "yoke" my machine was so upset I tried about 10 times, then finally did it in sections. Part of this is that I had cheap thread with fuzzy lumps in it and that my machine's take-up lever doesn't have a hole through which you thread it, just a hook. One or both threads would jump out and tangle around it and grind everything to a halt.
- The cups were very fiddly to assemble. You cannot just stretch to ease in pleather spandex - it creates ugly bubbly puckery seams.
- The instructions, which are the reason I never sew from Burdastyle patterns, were as awful as ever. There are about 4 pieces that have to go in the front closure in a certain order and I had to develop a diagram for myself to figure it out. And because of my wonderful fabric, it meant extra work. I did the hemming/trimming/folding over, then the topstitching and then I handtacked the front bands down and finally handstitched the hook and eye tape on. The underlap (so you don't see skin when the band gaps) has yet to go on.
- If I were to sew another, I would move the hook and eye tape to the back, and probably change it to a zipper as well as eliminate the "front bands". It would make the construction easier and better and less of a gapey fit in the front.
But really, despite all the extra effort I had to put in, I'm really excited about it! I think it is one of the coolest things I've sewn and there is no doubt it is a sexy sew. While I made it for the motorcycle, I actually want to pair it with a midi-length black tulle skirt, like this, for dinner dates.