Back when I started organising July’s Lingerie month on the Sewcialist blog, I put out a call asking for anyone who’d like to guest post. I accepted everyone who offered, as I always do, and we had really fabulous posts. It wasn’t until July was half over though, that I realised one of our guest writers had literally written the book on lingerie sewing! I had a little fan-girl moment, and of course when she offered me a copy, I said yes!
The patterns are definitely on the fanciful side of lingerie – only one set is made with knit fabric. Lots of lace, satin, silk and sexy little nothings! As well as light bras and knickers, there are patterns for camisoles, suspenders, and giftable items like an eye mask or lingerie bag. What the book does really well though is describe techniques for finishing and adding detail. For example, here’s a peek at the pages on hems and seams, and making bows…
…and an excellent variety of options for straps! This is the kind of information I find really helpful and inspiring. For my first project, I picked something easy – I went straight for a pattern made in sturdy woven cotton! What can I say, I just don’t have scraps of silk satin lying around. I think to properly explore the range of patterns, you’d need a little stash of lux fabrics to use. (Oh no, not an excuse to buy fabric! :P)
I decided to make these “Summer Snoozies”, a cute pair of French knickers. I dug out some summery seersucker, traced the pattern, and really enjoyed sewing them up. I did my first ever French seams, people! I’m normally all about speed when I sew, but I enjoyed slow and careful sewing much more than I expected!
Here’s the problem though – I made them huge. I knew I was just outside the size chart, but I ddin’t bother to measure myself in cm and figure out exactly how much to add. So when I traced the pattern, I just added in inch here, and an inch there… and unfortunately ended up with giant diaper shorts! No way to pretend that’s sexy. Totally my own fault though – and not helped when I tried to take some of the extra width from the centre seam instead of the outer edges because I didn’t want to redo my nice split seam! Oops. Live and learn – learn to measure!
Overall, the book is a change from my usual sewing style, but I like it! I’ve heard lots of people complain that too many sewing books these days are for beginners – well, this one isn’t! The instructions don’t hold your hand but are clear and concise. All the techniques are well explained in the information sections, which makes it a great reference and resource for learning.
I don’t buy books often, but I do think that a good book offers a better depth of information than can be found on the web. Have you bought any sewing books or magazines lately?