Welcome back! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to grab your pattern and think about the fabrics you want to use.
Since Ruby can be made with or without foam, I think it will be useful to include both styles in the sewalong so as not to limit your creativity 🙂 To avoid confusion, the foam version is going to be made in red mirror satin and the non-foam one in black cherry duoplex.
As I mentioned in the last episode, I’ve put together some kits that are specific to Ruby and these can be found in the Shop section. Version 1 is a full foam kit, including duoplex, powernet, cut & sew foam, sheer cup lining, stay tape, thread and a Ruby findings kit. Version 2 is more of a ‘bare bones’ kit so that you can choose your own cup and frame fabric (stretch lace would be nice …) and includes powernet, cut & sew foam, sheer cup lining and a Ruby findings kit. Version 3 is a non-foam kit with duoplex, powernet and a Ruby findings kit. The Ruby findings kit includes top and bottom band elastics, fold-over elastic, strap elastic, two pairs of rings and one of sliders, hook & eye and a bow.
Ok, that’s the sales pitch over – now to the bra! First off, let’s make sure we’ve got all the pieces traced off and marked up.
It is absolutely vital that you mark all the notches on all of the pieces – top and bottom cups and front frame. Sorry for all the bold but this will save you a lot of heartache down the line. It is really easy to flip pieces over and sew them back-to-front, upside-down or all of the above. Ask me how I know … 🙁
This is another thing you probably already know, but don’t snip-mark the notches! You only have teeny tiny seam allowances (none, in fact, on the foam pieces) – one false move with the scissors and it’s all over bar the shouting. I love Frixion pens for marking (I never put my bras in the freezer so that’s not a problem …) but your favourite wash-out marker is fine too. I don’t recommend tailor’s chalk because I don’t think it gives a fine-enough mark.
I’m making the foam version using stretch satin so I’m using the same BCD for the foam and the cover. If you are using non-stretch cup fabric – for example, duoplex (my personal favourite) or a bias-cut woven – please take note. It would be wise to trace off the next size up for the cover pieces. So if you are making a 4.5 cup, trace off the 4.75 top and bottom cup pieces. This is to allow some wiggle room when it comes to putting the foam and cover pieces together. You’ll see why when we come to that stage but, for now, trust me on this :).
Now we’ve have the pattern pieces for the foam traced off and marked up we can cut out the foam. This has to be done on a single layer of foam. I’m not saying you can’t cut it out double, it’s just not something I would advise! It’s pretty springy stuff and the pattern pieces are pretty small and curvy.
Ok – now you’ve cut everything out, let’s start sewing it together. First, the foam cups.
I’m making the non-foam version in my go-to fabric – duoplex. You can, of course, use your own favourite bra-making fabric. Beverly suggests going up a size (as described above) to compensate for using non-stretch fabric. Personally I use my actual size BUT I add a wedge in the upper cup to avoid the dreaded quad-boob. I have to do that anyway to my Shelley and Classic patterns, so that might just be me. Maybe make up a test cup (in the same fabric that you intend to use – ALWAYS), tack it to an existing well-fitting bra around the wire line and see what happens. Alternatively, go with the larger size and if it’s too big, stuff tissues down the cups! Only joking … 🙂
So off you go and sew the cup pieces together. The fabric cup pieces are sewn with standard 1/4in seams, pressed open and top-stitched in your favourite method. In the next session we’ll be dealing with the fold-over elastic for the cups. We’ll also be preparing the frame.
If you have any questions at any stage, don’t forget to leave a comment and I will try and answer it before the next session so you don’t fall behind 🙂
See you next time!