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Handmade

Happy New Year!

My posting was a bit regular towards the end of the year, kind of like a deflating balloon. :B But I’m alive and hope to write more, but real life always seems to get in the way. I tend to avoid my lingerie blog when I’m feeling down and rough on my body, which unfortunately, was predominantly the 2nd half of 2015. I also took a break on my certification, but I’m throwing myself headfirst into that this year. It may be quiet for a bit longer, but I’m still around! (I’m somewhat active on Instagram, so if you want to keep up with me there, please shoot me a request. Unfortunately, due to the amount of IG spam and creepers, I put my account on private. I’m not super picky about who follows me, but if you look like a spam account or are a s3x account, I won’t approve.)

I haven’t bought much lingerie these past few months, but I’m okay with that! I’ve been working on a true budget in the sense that I account for every single dollar I spend vs. “I have a budget” where I treat my checking account like an expense account. I’ve actually saved about $1000 last quarter by significantly slashing all of my expenses and accounting for every single dollar in my pockets. Progress!! I’m pretty sure that most of the stuff I will be talking about will be covering brands and lingerie I’ve owned for awhile. I actually wear “boring basics” somewhat regularly by choice (don’t want to sweat buckets into fancy laces or silks, don’t want to tear anything while working out, etc.), so a lot of what I own always feels like new to me. :)

Onto more lingerie-specific things, one of the biggest highlights in 2015 for me was getting to know Melissa Taylor of Katastrophic Design. Melissa has this cool girl vibe about her, you know, that girl in school who you wanted to be! I love her look (she’s a chameleon!!), and I also love her work.

katastrophicdesignblueroseshopflat-2

(c) Katastrophic Design – Seafoam Rose Bralette Set, shop photograph.

Melissa got in touch with me to offer one of her awesome sets to me, but I couldn’t take it gratis, so we decided to trade. :D I sent her a set of handmade pizza felt badges and some other gifts while she sent and surprised me with her signature pastel seafoam rose lace organic cotton bralette and undies set. Total hearts in eyes moment, all.

I’ll get around to taking better pictures of myself wearing this set, but for now, here are some filtered to death pictures and my cat. :D

As worn by my little model. :)

As worn by my little model. :)

I’ve raved about this set on Instagram, but let me consolidate this information here…

The main reason behind my adoration of Katastrophic Design is the fact that Melissa is a true craftswoman! I really appreciate how hands-on she is with her business. In addition to drafting a pattern, cutting out the pieces, and sewing up each piece with her hands, she also hand dyes her fabric and laces. She also supports other niche markets by sourcing US grown organic cotton jersey for her base fabric and European organic cotton laces. I read on her Instagram that most laces are constructed with a backing that is dissolved in a chemical bath, but her laces do not undergo this process. For people with sensitivities, I feel that Katastrophic Design would be a wonderful consideration and option.

(c) Katastrophic Design.

(c) Katastrophic Design.

I sent Melissa my measurements, so I’m not super sure what size I received. It’s either a medium or a large or a medium-large. ;) If you have any questions or concerns about fit, drop her a line! She will get you quickly squared away.

Unlike most cotton jersey fabrics, Melissa’s fabric has a really, really good weight to it. It definitely lean towards a heavyweight and is much thicker than average t-shirt material. There’s also a good amount of firm stretch to the jersey and a certain plushness to it. The color is beautiful, similar to the crystalline blue-green waters you see in those perfect beach pictures. The fabric is comfortable on the skin and totally breathable, which is a MUST for hot humid summers! Fun fact: Melissa currently resides in Texas, so she totally understands the absolute misery, my pain, of Gulf Coast Texas summers.

The Seafoam Rose set that I received (pardon the incredibly yellow/overexposed picture - forever battling the night...)

The Seafoam Rose set that I received (pardon the incredibly yellow/overexposed picture – forever battling the night…)

The fit is spot-on. Due to the stretch of the material, I feel like my set fits me like a glove! Also, to my shock and surprise, this bandeau bra gives me some really great cleavage. I’m actually surprised at how much lift and support I’m getting from a bandeau bra (keep in mind, your mileage may vary!). Ahhh, I may never go back to underwires!

Natural lift!

Natural lift!

The cotton lace applique is sewn onto the jersey with a zigzag stitch, and the seams are neatly finished with an overlocker. The straps on this bralette are on the thinner side (I personally prefer thicker straps), but on the plus side, I haven’t had the straps twist on my shoulders excessively. I do get a bit of twisting every now and then, though.

Although I received my set from her via swap, you’ll be hard pressed to find a set of this quality, with this amount of attention, for $66, which is honestly a steal; however, if $66 is still a bit out of your reach, this is your lucky week! Melissa is currently raising funds for her trip to Portland for the Unmentionable Lingerie Show, so this week, through Saturday, enjoy 20% off your order at her Etsy shop with code PDXORBUST!

No affiliate links were used. Katastrophic Design did not ask for this review, nor was I compensated for it. The seafoam rose set was received in exchange for my own handmade goods. :)

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Colette Patterns launched Seamwork Magazine in December of 2014. I’ve always been a huge fan of Sarai and the work that she produces. While I have yet to sew a Colette pattern, I love how she makes sewing accessible and less intimidating, especially for beginners. I really appreciate all of the complimentary photo tutorials and guides she puts together, and it makes me want to sew my little heart out! (I finally have my Laurel fabrics laundered and pattern pieces taped. Tracing the pattern onto fabric and cutting it are the least enjoyable aspects of sewing for me, so this is where all the procrastination usually takes place…) I totally love the premise behind Seamwork: basic projects that don’t require hours and hours of sewing. Seamwork is available by subscription for $6/month, inclusive of two patterns.

What I like about Seamwork Magazine is that the content isn’t geared solely towards people who sew; the articles are thoughtful and offer insight into the garment making industry. If you don’t sew or have no interest in the patterns, I have great news! Seamwork Magazine is actually free. :) The $6 is really just for the patterns. The magazine can be downloaded or viewed online… for free!

Blah blah blah, so why mention all of this? Well…

February’s issue is actually their lingerie issue, and I would be remiss to not mention this to all of my readers! I have dabbled in sewing lingerie, am interested in general sewing technique, and love lingerie, so this issue is pretty much a dream come true for me. If you love lingerie, perhaps you’d be interested in reading about the creative and production aspects behind making it. :)

Seamwork Magazine Issue 3, February 2015. (c) Colette Media LLC.

Seamwork Magazine Issue 3, February 2015. (c) Colette Media LLC.

My three favorite contributions to this issue are
Choosing the right fabrics
Anatomy of a bra
Behind the seams: construction of a 1950s bullet bra

…But I’m in love with pretty much everything! I mean, how can you say “no” to dyeing tutorials or creating your own marbled fabric? I honestly hope to have some time to knock out the Geneva knickers and the Florence bralette, but we’ll see if home DIY precedes any recreational sewing (it usually always does…). Seamwork Magazine also has some gorgeous photographs within their articles which truly make it a pleasure to read. I hope that you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I did!

+ Seamwork Magazine
+ Colette Patterns

I’m so sorry if this post reads like an ad, but I guarantee you that it is 100% not! Colette Patterns/Seamwork Magazine did NOT ask me to write this (and I doubt that they know that this blog exists). I was just extremely excited about this issue and wanted to share it with other lingerie lovers because it’s just that good! I personally purchased my subscription to Seamwork Magazine.

My apologies for not writing more these past couple of months! I had this post typed out explaining a temporary sabbatical until the new year, but alas… Time evaded me. I spent most of November and December doing a lot of holiday sewing and handmade present creations… In addition to packing on some pounds. ;P

I’m in the midst of some new year’s cleaning, so before things die down even more quietly on my end, I wanted to share a small project I had been working on a few weeks back: handmade lingerie! (This post is super late, I know. I posted these on Instagram awhile ago, eeeeeeeep.)

As some of you know, I enjoy sewing. While I’ve sewn things for my home, I like to hand-sew with felt or embroider. For those of you who follow me on my primary Instagram account or old, sorely outdated blog, you’ve seen some of my work. I figured that since I’m undertaking some handmade sewing relevant to lingerie, I’ll post some of my projects here!

First up, a pair of knickers using OhhhLulu’s Jane pattern. :)

Ohhhlulu Jane Knickers

Surprisingly, this pattern was pretty simple, even though I found the directions incredibly difficult to understand while perusing them; however, while actually doing the sewing, the directions magically made sense. I do wish that they were a bit more detailed and with better photographs, though. The pattern was not very hard, but the skills needed (like fussing about with elastics) makes it a bit more difficult. I really like this pattern because it uses woven fabrics cut on a bias, so if you aren’t familiar sewing with knits or have a machine that eats knits for breakfast, this is for you!

This is the first time I’ve sewn lingerie elastic, and it was mostly a success. :) Some of the stitching got pretty messy, but it looks good… enough!

Ohhhlulu Jane Knickers - Detail 1

I purchased the fabric from Hobby Lobby, and the lingerie elastic from Sew Sassy. I used the #E712 Narrow Pico Edge Lingerie Elastic in Boysenberry, which I recommend. (Quick note: the narrow lingerie elastic that they sell is honestly kind of crappy. It’s stretchy, but I would definitely not recommend purchasing this to sew lingerie with. It’s stretchy, but it doesn’t offer much support. In fact, I bought so much that I think I may make cat toys out of them or use them to wrap presents/gifts — anything but garment sewing.)

The bow was taken from a ribbon in my stash that came from a wrapped gift I’m guessing. In this case, hoarding really worked out for me since this came together as a nice match!

Ohhhlulu Jane Knickers - Detail 2

Next time, I think I’ll try sewing the elastic in the round. It might not be “right,” but I think it may be easier and provide a nicer finish – also, quicker since it took me hours to get the elastic sewn on correctly!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and here’s to a prosperous 2015! As always, I’m incredibly thankful to all my readers who continue to read this little blog. xx

All items in this post were purchased by me, including the pattern. Ohhhlulu did not ask me to write a review. None of the links used are affiliate links.

Hi, everyone!

Remember when I was whining about summer? The loose pocket of arctic air has turned the South into a frigid wasteland of despair! Okay, so not really, but it’s been super cold that my house without the heater turned on is 47 degrees! That being said, this weekend, temperatures should be rising back to the 70s (wtf) with an alleged high of near 80 on Sunday (double wtf).

In the mean time, I’ve been throwing on 10 lbs of layers until I cracked the warmth code by living in my Uniqlo ultra light down parka. Magical I tell ya. M-A-G-I-C-A-L.

Shopping on the lingerie front has cooled down significantly. The drop in temperature has me preparing for the holidays, so I’ve been busy with other projects. However, here’s a mini-project that I worked on not too long ago.

One of the loveliest lingerie ladies, Kitty, from Kitty in Tulle wrote a wonderful little tutorial to dress up some basic pieces with Swarovski crystals. I love my basics, but sometimes they’re boring. I love sparkly things, but sometimes they can be gaudy. Mixing basics and sparkles? Why, hello there!

I probably should've taken a "before" photo, but trust me, there wouldn't be much to look at it.

I probably should’ve taken a “before” photo, but trust me, there wouldn’t be much to look at it.

My base bra is a Chantelle Rive Gauche. It’s actually my first bra that I ever purchased that properly fit me. :) This is a 32D, but I personally prefer a 34C now for comfort and to maintain the structure and shape of the lace band. (I’ll write a review on Chantelle later, but I find myself preferring 32D for styles that are unlined.)

Detail to show lace pattern and close up of crystals.  (Colors not accurate.)

Detail to show lace pattern and close up of crystals. (Colors not accurate.)

Like Kitty, I used Gem-Tac adhesive. I bought mine at Michaels, but you can probably get this at Joann’s or Hobby Lobby as well. Or if you’re lucky, your local craft store! I didn’t want to deal with an industrial glue like E-6000, so I opted for Gem-Tac. I purchased my crystals on eBay from the seller bestfinding. I purchased flat backs in Golden Shadow in the following sizes: SS5 and SS7. For 200 stones (100 of each size), I paid $12.15 inclusive of free shipping. (For the record, I was very happy with my purchase: the seller shipped my crystals quickly, and I received my order in one week from Hong Kong.)

I followed the lace pattern and used a toothpick to dot the glue and then topped it off with a crystal while using tweezers. At first, I was afraid that the Gem-Tac wouldn’t hold, but the glue seems pretty sturdy once dry/cured. Just make sure you get the edges, so that the crystals won’t pop off if the edges get snagged. As for care and cleaning, I would recommend handwashing.

What else can I say? I love my bra even more now! In the light, the Swarovski stones just sparkle and glitter. It reminds me a deep nighttime sky with stars! I’m a HUGE fan. I got to do my knickers now, too… :)

Thanks for the awesome tutorial, Kitty!

(All items were purchased by me. I found bestfinding on eBay while googling for affordable Swarovski crystals that didn’t require me to buy 5000 of them; I was the happiest with her selection and prices. Seller and Michaels did not ask for a review or compensate me for one.)

One of my favorite new brands this year is Flash You and Me. Handmade in Latvia by the talented Liva Steina, Flash You and Me offers so many flirty, romantic designs that are extremely well-priced and equally well-made.

I’ll be honest: as much as I love the strappy, S&M/bondage details in lingerie, I feel that they’re now a cliche with most brands producing similar things. To me, Liva’s brand is super refreshing. I love her assorted palette of colors, and her lingerie is just pretty. She also offers matching underwear for couples if you’re interested in that. Unfortunately, my cat doesn’t wear underwear… ;)

I received my order in less than two weeks. The wait time is entirely reasonable, and the post office was relatively quick with delivery from Latvia. My lingerie came to me in fun, silver ink screenprinted boxes:
Flash You and Me Boxes

I purchased this gorgeous crop top and with matching knickers when I saw this on Etsy. This cost me ~$50USD for both pieces. I love how you can buy sets for ~$50USD!
Flash You and Me Floral Mesh Set (Front)
Wrinkled sheets are wrinkly. :)

The floral mesh has some stretch, but it isn’t overly stretchy. It has a bit of stiffness to it; it feels sturdy. I have no doubt that it will hold up in the wash! I ordered the crop top in Small, and it fits me and my broad man-shoulders well. It is just a bit short in length, but some readjustments avoids underboob spillage. The panties are Medium.

I really adore all of the little details in the lingerie. The bra strap is a gorgeous mint green that nicely complements the floral print. Seriously, it’s just pretty.
Flash You and Me Floral Mesh Set (Back)

Here’s a closeup shot of the floral mesh and the adorable ruffle on the bottom of these knickers:
Flash You and Me Knickers Closeup

I also purchased the Karmen harness in mint. There are a total of 7 colors you can get this harness in! If this isn’t a steal, then I don’t know what is. Seriously. $25.11USD for this harness?! I swear that you will not find another handmade harness of this quality at this price. Liva also offers other styles of harnesses – none are more than $30USD.

The elastic is silky soft, and the gold hardware has a nice weight to it. The product feels luxurious. You can wear it by itself for sexy times if you prefer:
Flash You and Me Karmen Harness (Mint) - Solo

Or layer it over other pieces! Perfect over the crop top. Would look amazing over bras as well or form fitting clothing.
Flash You and Me Karmen Harness (Mint)

Here’s a full-body shot. All the pretty pretty princess feels. ;)
(I’m wearing a white thong underneath the knickers for modesty.)
Flash You and Me Set (Worn)

I’ve had really great customer service from Liva, too. In my first package, she also included some adorable green teardrop stone earrings. They matched my lingerie set quite wonderfully! There was initially a mistake with the wrong size being sent out to me (Medium crop top which was way too huge on me), but Liva was wonderful and sent me the proper size without any delays.

Flash You and Me currently has a 15% discount available at their Etsy shop. If you fill out this survey, you may redeem the code. (The code is available through their Etsy website at the top, but please remember to do the survey before using.) If you were wondering about trying out this brand, now’s the time with this great deal! Discount is valid until September 1. I love my Flash You and Me lingerie, and I cannot wait to make more purchases in the future. :D

All items were purchased by me.

I swear I have other brands that I love and adore, but since Liya (La Lilouche) only has a few more days left on her Summer Sale, 30% off everything in her shop, I wanted to post one of the newer pieces I purchased a couple months ago.

In my previous life, I swear I must’ve been a magpie. If it’s shiny and covered in sparkles (glitters/sequins – I don’t discriminate!), chances of my wanting it are increased by 75%. I’m also a huge fan of bodysuits; there’s just something so sexy about them. Thank god for Mila, an homage to badass women of the 70s.

I just love everything about this piece. Harness and bodysuit in one? I’m all over it.
Lalilouche Mila Harness

Black and gold sequined panel.
Lalilouche Mila Harness (inset)

Gold-toned hardware + smooth, high-quality elastic.
Lalilouche Mila Harness (hardware)

Okay, so when it comes to bodysuits, I need a way out. Literally. Bodysuits that do not allow me to easily relieve myself are not going to fly, nor am I going to get naked and crawl out of a bodysuit while in the toilet. For me, bodysuits must come with crotch snaps! (Let’s call them what they are.)

After sending Liya a note, I asked if I could get my bodysuit made with snaps, and she happily obliged for no additional charge. I really love the small requests that you can make with handmade companies, especially since everything is made to order; it allows room for reasonable customization without absurd up charges. I was concerned that the snap area would be bumpy, but Liya ensured enough snaps were sewn, so that the bodysuit would lie flat at the crotch

By the way, these snaps are also super cool. They don’t snag and snap shut together easily.
Lalilouche Mila Harness (snaps)

I am wearing a Medium. Liya had my lingerie made within a few days, and I received it a few more days later.

I think this piece is flattering on all body types. The leg openings are cut modestly, and the lines of the piece draw’s one attention through the center of the body to the collarbone. I have broad shoulders, and I don’t feel that they’re a point of focus. This bodysuit balances nicely on the body. Love!

Lalilouche Mila Harness (worn - full) Lalilouche Mila Harness (worn - partial)

Bra is DKNY in 32D (more on this later – I actually wear 36A in La Lilouche and what would be most British brands), and thong is Blush in Medium. All items in this post were purchased by me.

I remember the first time I saw this robe: the cascading black silk, the heart-shaped cut-out, the understated sex appeal.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (front)

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (back)

It was love at first sight! After obsessing over this piece for a few weeks, I pulled the trigger. I ordered a size medium through Bella Bella Boutique. I received notifications as my order processed, and within a couple of weeks + shipping from India, the kimono was delivered into my hands.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (sleeve)

La Lilouche is a “designer handmade luxury & bridal lingerie” brand. Liya Amar is the lady behind the label. My robe was still made to order – cut and sewn by Liya herself! You can tell by the construction and stitching that this lingerie isn’t mass produced or finished with so-called serged perfection. I like seeing all the human touches that go into handmade goods: the care, the attention, and the couture finishes.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (shoulder seam detail) Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (back seam)  

The kimono is lightly interfaced at the collar, and a thin, grosgrain tie ribbon is sewn inside.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (bias tape)  Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (front ties)

It’s hard not to feel super glamorous while wearing this.  The cut is very comfortable and equally flattering! I prefer wearing this during autumn through early spring since the silk is a bit too warm for the humid South. I love the black version, but since I purchased this, Liya has released a powder blue version, Livia, for those who love the color as well as brides to be. :)

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (worn; front) Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (worn; back)

Liya is currently offering 30% off her Etsy shop during her summer sale, which ends 24 August. Now is a perfect time to snag up some pretties. :)

All items in this post were purchased by me.