Thursday, August 24, 2017

Racerback Cami-- Summer of Basics

Speaking of basics, what is more basic to a woman's wardrobe than a nice woven cami? 

This is a basic that I've been sorely lacking. I do have several spandex yoga camis that have taken on this role when necessary, but that's the best I've been able to do in the RTW world. 

To get a bit personal about it, I just don't prefer to be bra-less in public. I didn't care for it before I had my kids, and I really don't care to show off the saggy-boob look after having kids. Then, there is the added complication of my sloping shoulders. I am convinced that I have some of the slopiest shoulders since Botticelli.

I've tried every non-slip bra known to commerce and the only ones that aren't down to my elbows by 11am are racerbacks or cross backs. I could just embrace the "show off your bra" look but my RTW racerback bras are just not so lovely that I want to parade them around in public. 

The True Bias Ogden pattern that has been all over the blogosphere is sort of a brilliant pattern. If you wear a traditional bra, the Ogden looks to be cut generously and modestly enough that you can at least attempt to camoflauge your bra. However, it wouldn't work for my racerback bras, obviously. 

I could have tried to modify the Ogden, but I thought that I'd have better success just starting from scratch. So I pulled out the muslin and the tracing paper and came up with a pattern of my own. It took quite a few generations of muslins, but I eventually came up with a usable racerback cami.

Once I was reasonably pleased with the fit of my muslin, I dove right into a scrap of silk crepe I had left over from a recent project. It is 14mm silk crepe from an Etsy seller. It doesn't completely hide my bra straps on this particular bra, but at least it doesn't showcase them. 

It is totally lovely to wear, the drape is gorgeous and the crepe texture doesn't cling. 

The edges are finished with what could be considered long facing or a half-lining. I considered just making a double layer cami, but this seemed unnecessary. For the black crepe cami, I did the facing in rayon lining since I was out of silk fabric. I finished the edges by understitiching, so it has a very smooth finish.  I think the use of the rayon lining also helped to control stretching on the edges. 

I quickly made a second one up in a rust colored charmeuse. This is a nice, thick charmeuse that got a lovely sandwashed texture when I pre-washed it. I think it was originally from Mood. 

I topstitched this one, and I sort of regret it... the topstitching stretched the edge just slightly, and I prefer the understated look of the understitched black one. With the understitiching I was worried the facing would flip out over time, so we'll see which finish I prefer in the long run. 

The charmeuse one doesn't hang quite as well in the back. I'm not sure if that is because the pattern needs tweaking, or if the charmeuse just stretched out despite the staystitching. Whatever the issue, it is minor and I love it anyway, it is really fun to wear and the color goes well with my current wardrobe.

I'll just have to make some more and see how the turn out. I think I could do with a few in linen, and I wonder if I have any more silk scraps around...

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