Monthly Archives: June 2015

Bamboo Tie Dye Knit Dress

I’ve been seriously drawn to all things blue these days. Denim, indigo, navy – give me all of it! So when I received this bamboo tie dye knit for the shop, I snagged some for myself immediately. Just couldn’t resist.

Bamboo Tie Dye Dress 2

I improvised a bit for the pattern. I knew I wanted to make a simple kimono dress with a gathered waist. I had Pattern Runway’s Easy Short Sleeved Kimono Dress in mind, but it needed some tweaking since it’s designed for woven fabrics, and I wanted a more relaxed fit in the skirt. So I used the bodice from this pattern, and drafted a quick a-line skirt to go with.

Bamboo Tie Dye Dress 3The pattern came with facing pieces for the neckline and armholes, but that wasn’t going to work with my knit fabric. I simply turned under and stitched my neckline, armholes, and hem. If I had more time I would have preferred to draft a binding piece for the neckline, but I was rushing a bit to have the dress ready for a quick trip to Montreal.  For some reason I always get the urge to sew the day before I travel. What can I say!

Bamboo Tie Dye Dress 1

This fabric is so soft and has a great drape. It really feels wonderful against the skin. I have worn this dress a ton since I sewed it up. It’s perfectly breezy for summer, and really comfortable. I pre-washed my fabric, and washed the dress twice before taking these photos, and the bamboo knit still looks and feels brand new. Inherently, bamboo does tend to pill a bit in areas that undergo some friction, so I am very pleased that this dress is not showing any signs of that. Magical bamboo knit!

Bamboo Tie Dye Dress 4

This one’s going to get a lot of love this summer. If you are into the fabric, it’s available in the shop here!

The Anatomy of a Lingerie Kit

Anatomy of a Lingerie Kit

I just added some lovely lingerie kits to the shop (including new lace bra kits!), so I thought it would be a great time to talk about them. When I first started sewing lingerie and began to buy kits, I remember scratching my head at times trying to figure out what each component was meant for. Different shops will offer different varieties and lengths of materials.

lingerie kits

At the moment we have three types of kits: our original Watson Bra & Panty Kits, Lace Bra Kits, and Findings Kits. So what exactly do you get in each of these kits, and how do you use these materials? Let’s dig into the guts of each Blackbird kit!

Lace Bra Kit

Lace Bra Kit - Coral & Blush 2

This one’s our newest kit, designed for an all lace underwire bra. It includes everything you need, except the actual underwires, which are sold separately.

This bra kit is really exciting because it’s versatile. The lace provided is a stretch lace. If a pattern calls for a non-stretch fabric or lace, then you can underline the lace with sheer cup lining, which is provided in the kit! This kit could work with so many patterns (I wish I knew them all). Here are some patterns I know of that could work great with this kit:
  • Merckwaerdigh BHS10 Bra & Merckwaerdigh Mix30
  • Pin-up Girls Classic Bra & Shelley Bra – you can modify these to be all lace (similar to what I did here & here) – all you need to do is underline your lace with sheer cup lining for the cups & bridge.
  • Orange Lingerie’s Marlborough Bra – as above, you can underline your lace with sheer cup lining to make it non-stretch as the pattern requires.
  • Another idea: skip the underwire and use this kit to make a lace Watson Bra. Ou-la-la!

Note: If you are a larger cup size, full coverage patterns like the Classic & Shelley Bra might require extra cup lining. Be sure to check your pattern pieces against the materials provided in the kit to ensure you’ll have enough for your size with the pattern you pick. 🙂


Kit Includes:

  • wide scalloped edge stretch lace (for the cups & cradle) – 59″-78″ (1.5-2 meters), depending on the width of the lace *You can also use stretch lace for the back band, but I suggest lining it with firm power mesh for support!
  • firm power mesh (for the back band) – approx. 9″ X 23″ (23cm X 58cm)
  • sheer non-stretch lining (to line your bra cups, and the cradle) – approx. 9″ X 28″ (23cm X 71cm)
  • clear elastic (to stabilize scalloped lace edge) – 30″ (75cm)
  • underwire casing – 30″ (75cm)
  • 3/8″ (10mm) plush back elastic (for underarm & neckline if required) -1 2/3 yards (1.5 meters)
  • 1/2″ (13mm) plush back elastic (for bra band) – 1 2/3 yards (1.5 meters)
  • 3/8″-1/2″ (10-13mm) elastic strapping – 39″ (1 meter)
  • jewelry quality metal rings & sliders – 1 set
  • hook & eye closure (you will be able to choose 2-row or 3-row) – 1 set
  • matching bow

Watson Bra & Panty Kit

Watson Kit - Ivory & Cloud Blue 3

This was the first kit we ever offered in the shop, designed for the ever popular Cloth Habit Watson Bra & Bikini. There are plenty of materials in the kits for one Watson set (you may even be able to fit in an extra bikini, depending on your size!).

As for other patterns that could work… I was excited to see a tutorial on Coletterie for a jersey Florence Bra – which would pair perfectly with this kit. This kit could also work with Jalie 3131, with the addition of some stretch lining and fold over elastic.

Kit Includes:

  • milliskin nylon lycra knit (for cups and cradle) – 1/2 yard (46cm)
  • firm power mesh (for the back band) – approx. 9″ X 23″ (23cm X 58cm)
  • sheer non-stretch lining (to line the cradle) – approx. 9″ X 28″ (23cm X 71cm)
  • 3/8″ (10mm) plush back elastic – 3 1/2 yards (3.2 meters)
  • 1/2″ (13mm) plush back elastic – 2 yards (1.8 meters)
  • 1/2″ (13mm) elastic strapping -1 1/2 yards (1.4 meters)
  • jewelry quality metal rings & sliders – 1 set
  • hook & eye closure (you will be able to choose 2-row or 3-row) – 1 set
  • matching bow
  • small piece of cotton knit (to line panties)

Note: We also have an all mesh variation for the Watson kit. In this one you’ll get 3/4 yard (69cm) of lighter power mesh, instead of the milliskin & firm power mesh. You just have to cut two layers of the mesh for the back band portion. (Sold out now but more to come!)

Findings Kit

Findings Kit - Orchid & Beige

The Findings Kit was designed to be truly universal. We include tons of narrow elastic so that you’ll have enough for your bra neckline, underarms, and a matching pair of panties if you’d like. It also includes band elastic, strapping, rings & sliders, hook & eye closure, underwire casing, and matching bow. Underwires are sold separately. Using a findings kit is a great way to stash-bust! This kit will provide you with everything you need for most bra patterns – just add the fabric, lace, mesh and linings as needed.

Kit Includes:

  • underwire casing – 30″ (75cm)
  • 3/8″ (10mm) plush back elastic (for underarm, neckline, and panties) – 4 1/3 yard (4 meters)
  • 1/2″ (13mm) plush back elastic (for bra band) – 1 2/3 yards (1.5 meters)
  • 3/8″-1/2″ (10-13mm) elastic strapping – 39″ (1 meter)
  • jewelry quality metal rings & sliders – 1 set
  • hook & eye closure (you will be able to choose 2-row or 3-row) – 1 set
  • matching bow

Hope this inspires you guys to sink your teeth into lingerie sewing! Using a kit makes the whole process way less daunting. You can forget about gathering all the supplies, and let us do that for you.

Happy sewing!