UPDATE: Want to make your own singlet camisoles from my pattern? You can now buy the Wonder Unders Pattern (which includes knickers & slip) through my pattern line: Scroop Patterns. Get it here!
The empire of things that I am making for myself because trying to buy them makes me too grumpy is expanding…
I’ve already developed a pattern to make my own sewn-not-knitted socks/stockings (OK, so I still buy most of my everyday pairs, but the idea is sound!). And I make my own knickers.
And now, camisoles (or as they say in NZ, singlets):
Actually, come to think of it, I’ve been doing this one longer than either of those. It’s just that my first three years worth of singlets were boring black or boring white, so not really worth showing!
Buying singlets drives me absolutely batty. In Wellington your singlet choices are pretty much Glassons (but I hate the way theirs fit), Bendon (ditto), Kirkaldies (too expensive), Cotton On (OK, but rather poorly made and even though they get pretty good ethics ratings for a high street shop, I’m still not comfortable with their labour practices) and Farmers.
All but the last involve either going to a mall (my life goals include never setting foot in a mall again) or parking in the CBD (major hassle). I used to get mine at Farmers, because you could go to Farmers in Kilbirnie (a suburb) and parking is free and easy. Plus, as long as you’re in Kilbirnie you can go to Wellington Sewing Services, and Stitchbird, and three awesome op-shops, and it’s totally worth the trip!
But now I’m boycotting Farmers, because Farmers Kilbirnie persists in putting their lingerie section in a corner of the store that is all glass, and fronts right on to the sidewalk. So as you try to pick unders, the whole world watches you. Or at least the part of the world that hangs out in a dead corner of Kilbirnie, watching people pick lingerie, and let me tell you, it is NOT a happy experience.
For over 5 years now I’ve been complaining to Farmers Kilbirnie about the fact that the ONLY part of the store that you can look into from outside is women’s underwear, and every time I do they say “Oh, we know, it’s terrible, we’re so sorry about it, we’re working on a solution.” Sometimes they say they are looking into view blocking screens. But it’s been five years, and nothing has changed. You know what an easy solution would be? PUT A DIFFERENT SECTION OF THE STORE IN THAT CORNER. Like housewears. Mens clothing. Kids clothing. The twee gift stuff. Even women’s clothing. Anything but lingerie!
So anyway, I’m now totally boycotting Farmers, because even if it doesn’t change anything, at least it means I don’t have to pick out bras and camisoles while being ogled by the guy with the ‘Spare Change’ sign. (the fact that I voluntarily choose to share the ones I make on this blog is an entirely different thing – it’s a choice, and most of you reading are doing so for sewing interest!).
So, with no camisole supplier, I make myself lots of boring white and black camisoles, and the occasional exciting ones, like these:
The fabric is a Karen Walker print, and (in case you can’t see) it has paisley whales.
Also, it’s buttery soft and delicious and super fun to work with. And I got so excited about it that I bought about 6 meters, so I’m set for paisley whale knickers and camisoles sets for the next decade of my life!
I based the pattern of my favourite camisoles, tweaking the fit till I had it exactly where I wanted. I even make versions with built-in bralets, which theoretically could be used for days when it is too hot to wear a bra, but since it is Wellington, really get used for days when every single additional layer between you and the outside world helps.
Since this is Wellington, I wear these a LOT. They go under merino layers every single day of winter, to cut down on wool irritation, and in spring (and, lets face it, half of summer) having an additional layer or two under your T-shirt or blouse is helpful too.
I like that I can make these with materials entirely from locally owned businesses (Fabric Warehouse and Made on Marion), and that they cut down just a little bit more on our reliance on sweatshops. And they are fun and quick and satisfying to make.
And that is pretty much everything remotely interesting I can think of to say about camisoles!