Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to apply FOE to the Lingerie Secrets Front Closing sports bra

Needed:  fabric with two-way stretch, polyester thread, a ballpoint needle in a 10 or 11, and matching or coordinating FOE.

Cut out pattern pieces in your size.  This saves the pattern for later use.

Cut fabric pieces out.  Once you cut the pieces out, you need to mark the pattern and cut away ¼”  on all edges that will have FOE to compensate for not using the regular elastic.  If you don’t, you’re going to end up with a bra that is too big. 

I am also adding an underbust support – this is my own preference.  At this point I baste the underbust support to the back side of the bra front.  I’m showing this so you don’t wonder what those white pieces are as we progress through the instructions.

Sew the front of the bra to the back at the sides and shoulders.

Now it’s time to start with the foldover elastic.  For the smaller bra and cup sizes, you’ll want to use the smaller numbers in the instructions for how far to go and how much FOE to stretch; larger sizes use the bigger numbers.

First off, mark your fabric 1” in from one of the front edges.  Pin the FOE 1/4" in from the very edge and then at the 1” mark.

Next I measure and mark 4” in on the fabric, measure 3” of the FOE, and pin the FOE at the mark.  You can see the gap where the FOE will have to be stretched.

Find the center back of the bra, and measure the back amount you are using.  I’m doing the 5” so I measure 2 ½” on each side of the center and mark.  Now you need to pin the FOE to the bra from where you ended the first stretched section to the new mark, stretching the FOE slightly to prevent it from rolling.  The thing is, you need to stretch the FOE without stretching the fabric.  This does take a little bit of practice.

Next you work your way back around to the front.  Before pinning the front elastic, mark 1” in from the edge, and then the same distance you did on the other side – this will enable you to know when to stop pinning your FOE so you can gather it near the front edge.  Make sure you stop ¼” from the front edge.

Set your machine for a medium wide (3) lightning zig zag stitch or, if you don’t have that option, use a narrow ( 2.5 or 3 on my machine) and long (2 or 2.5 on my machine) regular zig zag stitch.  If your machine doesn’t do zig zag stitches, use a medium long straight stitch – 3.5 or so – and decrease your tension to prevent bird’s nest thread bunches on the underside of your stitching or puckering of the fabric as you sew.

Begin at the left front of the bra, with the fabric face up, and begin to stitch, anchoring or using a backstitch at the beginning to secure the thread.  Sew the first inch, removing the pins before you sew over them and risk damaging the machine.  How you will need to stretch the FOE to make the 3” (or whatever your measurement is) cover the longer section of fabric.  Continue up to the shoulder, gently stretching the FOE to keep it secure on the fabric and sewing slowly enough to make sure you catch the fabric inside the FOE.  Work down the back to the center; repeat the stretching portion; repeat what you have just done as you work your way back to the opposite front edge of the bra.

Measure around your armholes.  Subtract 2” and cut a piece of FOE that length.  Sew the ends together with a straight stitch, right sides together.  Pin and then sew the FOE to the armholes, stretching slightly to make the FOE fit the armhole.  Repeat with the second side.

Next you need to sew the band around the bottom.  Measure the FOE just like you would measure regular elastic.  Quarter the elastic and pin it to the bottom of the bra.  Now, anchoring the elastic at both ends, attach it to the bottom of your bra with the same zigzag stitch as you used for the front, back and arms.

Following the instructions, apply hook tape to the front opening of the bra, then fold it under and tack the opposite edge to the bra fabric so it’s hidden.

Now gather the other edge so it’s 4” long, then apply the eye tape to this edge as directed.  This next photo shows what it looks like after it’s been sewn right sides together, then turned under and tacked so the eyes face upwards.  This will not show once the bra is hooked since the fabric on the hook side will cover it.

The last photos show the finished product.  I hope this helps you understand how to apply FOE to a sports bra instead of using regular elastic.  I prefer the FOE myself.  While this tutorial shows a ¾” FOE being used, you can use 7/8” FOE or even the 1” size.  In fact, I prefer the 1” FOE for the bras I make with cotton lycra since the bra itself offers a bit more support and the wider FOE adds a nice touch to it.

Front Closing Sports Bra pattern courtesy of  Lingerie Secrets Sewing Patterns

Blessings to you and yours - may the love of God reign and rule in your life.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I would have despaired

I was reading Psalm 27 last night and it struck me again how awesome God is.  He keeps us safe in His hiding place when we choose to hide there.  Now sometimes we go out from under His covering and do things we know better than to do; and though there is forgiveness and grace in His Love, there is also the knowledge that what we sow, we will reap.  Consequences still have to be paid for defiance and sometimes we have consequences for things we do when we don't know better.  It's the way of the balance He established.  Still, in the midst of it all, His hand will stay the enemy when he gets to a certain point and say, "No.  That's enough.  Back off now.  This one is mine." 

I did some pretty dumb things when I was younger.  I also had some pretty mean and nasty things done to me.  Even then, though, I felt the Father step in and stop the evil surrounding me and put a stop to the attack; I also sensed His presence at a point and knew I had gone far enough and that it was time to come back to my senses.  That's not to say I didn't have a choice, that I couldn't have decided to keep going in my sin and deny my new family heritage; but the same Holy Spirit that convicted me and drew me into the family of God also knew how to nudge me and remind me that my Heavenly Father wasn't going to be real thrilled with what I was doing, and that as His child this wasn't exactly the best activity to engage in....and, with the sensitivity He put in me even as a little child, I ached at the thought of disappointing Him more, so I usually stopped.

I did make some lasting mistakes.  I'm still paying the consequences for those mistakes today.  However, I've been forgiven and I no longer feel guilt - guilt is, you know, a tool of the enemy to immobilize us and prevent us from going forward for the Father - so I accept what I have brought into motion and I move on from there.  Some things cannot be changed.  Some decisions will have a lasting effect.  There is no changing that.  However, the love and forgiveness of God the Father through the gift of His Son Jesus reminds us that we no longer need to carry the burden of those sins around on our backs or strapped to our arms and legs, but that the debt for those errors has been paid and we are free to live without the nagging voice of the enemy inside us that says over and over how rotten we were to make such a stupid decision.  God doesn't condemn, remember....the Holy Spirit convicts, leading to repentance.  His goal is never to make us feel little, or stupid, or like we've failed.  His aim is repentance, which is to accept responsibility and to decide not to go that way again....and forgiveness, which lifts the burden...and restoration, which brings us back to Him and re-establishes our relationship with our Father.

Then, further on in the Psalm, I read the verse that hit me like a brick this time around....
"I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." [verse 13]

See, for a lot of us, we think the only time we're going to get a glimpse of the goodness of God when it's relevant to "our miserable human existence" (not my words, but those of a few pastors I've heard here and there) is once we get to heaven.  Not so.  This scripture says we're going to see His goodness "in the land of the living."  That means in this lifetime!  That means that while we still draw breath, while we still inhabit this earth-suit, we are going to see the goodness of God the Father of all.  That means we aren't going to be condemned to walking this life wishing only for the time to come, when we can see Him face to face and worship at His throne...but that we will see Him in the here & now....that we will feel His Presence, sense His Glory, and experience Him in a dynamic and intense way in our lifetime.  It's not all about the future, about's about now.

Isn't God great?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Great green idea

I was looking for patterns for reusable Swiffer cloths this morning online and came across an incredible tutorial for the related duster.  I wanted to share it in case there's anyone else out there who loves the Swiffer and hates to pay for the refills or who would prefer one they don't use once and throw away.  It looks relatively easy to make.  I have plenty of flannel, microfiber, and fleece to play with before deciding which one is my favorite.

Here's the link to the tutorial: Reusable Swiffer Duster Cloths

and here is a picture for you:

I just finished making and using the sweeper cover this morning.  This will make the duster easier to use.  Once I get the mopping piece done for the sweeper, I'll be all set.

We have family coming in this weekend so I'd better get to work.  Have a blessed weekend!