I have some exciting news to share with you this week: my lovely friend Kelly of Sewing Unaffiliated just released the first pattern from her new brand, At First Blush Patterns! Be Bashful is a pretty pair of bikini-style knickers and I got to sew them up in advance of release, so I wanted to share them with you today, the day Be Bashful hits the virtual shelves.
First of all let me tell you about Kelly. You can read about her in her own words, but I wanted to add a few words of my own. Kelly is everything I love about the sewing community: passionate, generous, kind, and talented. She left a career working in the fashion industry to pursue her dreams, and for as long as I’ve known her she has been learning pattern drafting with a focus on lingerie and activewear. I first “met” Kelly a few days after I had opened my Instagram account last year. We were both doing the “Sew April” challenge and we started commenting on each other’s posts. It was the first proper connection I made, and has evolved over the months outside of Instagram and blogs. I’m proud to call Kelly my friend, and I’m thrilled to be able to share my Be Bashful Bikini with you today:
It’s always a bit scary when a friend or family member wants your honest opinion on something they’ve done that’s important to them. What if you don’t like it? How do you tell them? Fortunately that wasn’t an issue here. I knew Kelly’s work would be careful and professional because I know how hard she’s been working towards this. But there was one big thing I was crossing my fingers for when I opened the instruction file: I hoped that the gusset would have a clean finish, because that’s one of things I look for in a knickers pattern. I held my breath, read the instructions, and there it was: a clean gusset finish. Hurrah!!
I love the branding Kelly has chosen: it’s clear she’s thought about what she wants her new company to represent. It’s feminine and understated, as you can tell from the name she chose for her brand and for her first pattern.
The construction of Be Bashful is straightforward: first you attach the front and back pieces to the gusset and gusset lining, so that when you lay your panties out flat, they look like this:
Next you sew the side seams and then cut your three lengths of elastic (which are the circumference of the opening minus 2 inches), sew the ends of the elastic together to make a circle, then attach the elastic circles to the waist and leg openings.
The instructions are clear and concise, and there was no difficulty at all in the method. The elastic is evenly attached, and cinches the pattern pieces in to make a snug-fitting bikini.
I started out with the waistband, and then once I’d sewn the elastic on, I realised that having carefully put a burgundy thread in my top reel and a white thread in my bobbin to match the fabric and lace respectively, I’d got them the wrong way round and my burgundy stitching would be visible on the lace inside. Not that it matters, it’s just that I’d gone to all that trouble only to get it the wrong way round! Plus there’s a bit on the top right where the stitching is uneven. That was when I knew it was time to call it a night and go to bed…
So the next day I attached the elastic to the leg openings, topstitched my elastic down, and did the final finishings to the garment.
It looks pretty, right? But I bet you want to know whether it’s comfy too… so I’m happy to confirm that it is! As you can tell from the pictures, it’s a high-leg pattern with a low rise, and the butt coverage is enough to stop it from (how can I say this politely?) verging into wedgie territory (there’s just no nice way to say that but you need to know it, right?!)
I made my Be Bashful in a cotton jersey, but there are plenty of other recommended fabrics (just make sure that if you use a synthetic fabric, you do the gusset lining in cotton or other breathable jersey).
To find out more about Be Bashful you can read the launch post, which contains instructions on how to download the pattern. So join me in wishing Kelly every success in her new adventure: Kelly, I’m so happy and excited for you, and I hope you will have the success you so richly deserve.