FREE BONUS PATTERN: Frenchy!

(Cleaner photos + schematics when I subdude my pre-meltdown data & retouch.)

A lot of people have been asking about this getup. Its photo was used in a chapter opener, but the pattern’s not given. So: ta da! It’s fast and fun!

Making fun of the French has become a national pastime, so no one wants to French it up anymore. But browse through any vintage lingerie catalog, and you’ll learn that in the good old days, the dirtiest things were always French. Tear the crotch out of some panties, snip the cups out of a bra, et voilà! C’est Français! One upon a time, invoking France made everything cosmopolitan, sexy, fun, and naughty, naughty, naughty. That ship has sailed, but don’t fret–you can still hump through your underwear—or even let ‘em steal 2nd without taking off your bra.

Presenting a reinterpretation of two “authentic French creations,” for your knitting pleasure. The Ooh La La Bra is based on a “French open bra,” while the Fancy Pants, an ever-so-slightly more demure take on crotchless panties, were inspired by the flap-front bottoms you see in old strip-tease costumes. Add some gloves, a boa, and pasties, and you’re ready to hit the stage with your best bump-and-grind.

Sizing

Women’s S (M, L, XL) + Custom, to measure
Where no parentheses are used, instructions/quantities apply to all sizes.

Yarn, etc.

2 (2, 3, 3) balls Karabella Empire Silk (50g; 90yds; 100% Italian silk), 503 red
2 matching 3/8″ fancy buttons (pearl or rhinestone, preferably)
shiny (silk, nylon, or rayon) sewing thread to match
Needles & Notions

US 5 (3.75mm) double-pointed needles, or size necessary to achieve gauge
US 5 (3.75) straight or circular needles, or size necessary to achieve gauge
F/5 crochet hook, or size corresponding to needle size (or simply use needles)
locking stitch markers or small safety pins
sewing needle
Gauge

To avoid heartache, ALWAYS CHECK YOUR GAUGE! Measure swatch unwashed and unblocked, just relaxed and patted flat (NOT smoothed out).
STOCKINETTE stitch: 4″ =19.5 st
Notes
• Since you make these separately, feel free to mix and match sizes between garments. These are actually custom garments, based on your own measurements; the sizes simply guide dimensions and placement of various elements.
• The nature of the silk cord-type yarn creates an I-cord that flattens prettily against your curves. Measuring properly and knitting to size (not too tight) will preserve this nice, flattened appearance.
• Frenchie does Vegas: Feel free to deck out the set to suit your taste: spangles, beaded trim, feathers, tassles, rhinestones—anything goes!
Instructions

Ooh la la bra
Built of flat I-Cord Straps, this long-lived design*, like the Coneheads, comes from France.

*Its distant cousins still grace the Frederick’s and Playboy catalogs.

Chest strap

• Measure your chest, under your breasts, where your bra band goes.
• CO 6. Knit I-cord until within 2″ of your measurement.
• Wrap around (bare) chest, checking for size, and continue to knit, checking every row or two, until edges meet.
• BO, leaving last live stitch. Insert crochet hook and ch 4. If using knitting needles, YO and pull through as if BO, repeat 3 more times.
• Sew down tail to right edge of BO end to form loop. This becomes the loop for your fancy button.

Cups (Make 2)

• Mark center of band, plus 8 (8.5, 9, 10)” from either side of center as well.
• With RS of strap facing, PU 5 st directly to the right of center marker and knit 6 (6.5, 7, 7.5)” I-cord, counting rows as you go. Break yarn and transfer to st. holders.
• Repeat directly to the left of the right-hand side marker. When you’ve reached the same row count, slide reserved stitches onto your needle as well.
• S1*K2tog K1 repeat from * to end—7 st
• Sl 1 K2 K1 K2tog K1—5 st
• Continue in I-cord 8″, counting rows as you knit. Break yarn, leaving 3 yd tail wound into butterfly.
• Repeat on other side of marker, using row counts from first cup.

Finishing

• Try on chest strap. Sew button into place to fasten properly (snug but not too tight).
• Pin unbound straps to back of chest strap, 4″ from center fastener. If the fit feels good, BO and sew down. Otherwise, continue knitting, or unravel ends for proper fit, then BO and sew down. If you knit on or unravel, keep the row counts constant so your straps stay the same size (unless you know from experience your shoulders aren’t symmetrical; then work independently).
• Weave ends into center of I-cord.
• Reinforce seams, including where chain tail forms button loop, with matching sewing thread.
Fancy Pants

• Measure high around your hips where you want your fancy pants to rest. To stay put, you’ll probably want to go about 3 – 4″ above the widest point—that way, they’ll hit a wide point instead of sliding off (that’s for later!).
Hip band

• CO 6. Knit I-cord until within 2″ of your measurement. Wrap snugly around (bare) hips, checking for size, and continue to knit until edges meet.
• BO, leaving last live stitch. Insert crochet hook and ch 4. If using knitting needles, YO and pull through as if BO, repeat 3 more times.
• Sew down tail to right edge of BO end to form loop. This becomes the loop for your fancy button.

Peekaboo flaps

• Spread out the hip strap on a flat surface. Using small safety pins or locking stitch markers, and working along the top RS edge, mark center. Now mark both quarter way points—halfway between center and edge, on either side.
• Finally, measure and mark 3.5 (4, 4.5, 5)” from either side of one of the quarter markers, and 4 (4.5, 5, 5.5)” out from either side of the other quarter marker. Remove both half and quarter markers
• With RS facing, rotate the strap so the marked edge is on the bottom, and PU and knit each stitch between the 2 markers that are closer together—7 (8, 9, 10)” wide flap.
• Knit flap in stockinette with a slipped stitch edge and 3-st garter border, starting with a purled row (WS/purled row: Sl 1, K2, P to 3 st from end, K3; RS/knit row: Sl 1, K to end)
• Work until 4.5 (5, 5, 6,)”
• Knit 4 rows in garter and BO.
• Repeat between opposite pair of markers—8″ (9, 10, 11)” wide flap.

Side straps

• On the continuous side, measure hip strap between two flap panels.
• 1″ down from hip strap on edge of flap, PU 5 st. Knit I-cord to the length you just measured, + 1″. Leaving 2′ tail, break yarn & transfer stitches to safety pin or locking stitch marker.
• Move 1″ down on flap, repeat, this time working I-cord to measured length + 2″
• Repeat on opposite side of flap.

Finishing.

• Pin all side straps to opposite flap in same position (count number of rows down for exact placement).
• Try on Fancy Pants for fit. The top strap should go snugly around your hips, and the side straps should drape down a bit. As a result, releasing the button makes the whole thing drop like a rock. Saucy! Mark button placement with a safety pin.
• If side loops don’t drape, knit on until they do slightly. If they’re too droopy, unravel for better fit. When they’re just right, BO and seam.
• Sew on button.
• Weave ends into center of I-cord.
• Reinforce seams, including where chain tail forms button loop, with matching sewing thread.

No Comments yet »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress with modified Hiperminimalist Theme design by Borja Fernandez.
©2006 - 2007 Nikol Lohr and Naughty Needles. Unless noted, all photos by Robyn Eden and Illustrations by Ron Miller.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS.