May 9, 2013

More lingerie!

As promised in my Me-Made-May pledge, I made another bra and matching panties.
I am happy with the fit of my sage green bra but now, I wanted to use padding (the material: it's like a thin layer of foam between two pieces of lycra and it can be used to create something like a cut and sewn foam cup)  for the cup and try and draft a different style. Because I have the not very practical goal of making a corselette later this year, I thought it would be good to try making a strapless bra. 
For a strapless bra, you have to make the bridge a bit higher and use either a horizontally or a vertically seamed cup. A diagonally seamed cup, like I used before, doesn't work for this style. 

I cut the cup pieces from the padding adding seam allowance only for the underwire seam. Then, sewed the top and bottom pieces together using what I think is called a hinged seam: just holding the edges together and sewing a stitched zigzag over them. Worked like a charm.

I finished and stabilized the top edge by applying satin biais tape. Than, based on something I've seen in bridal lingerie, I decided to sew a piece of boning on the center line of the lower cup. I covered it with velvet ribbon. 
I cut the bridge and a the other parts of the band directly surrounding the cups from non-stretch net and lace. The edges on the outsides of the cups are sewn in place with another piece of ribbon covered boning. This adds stability to the band.
I had decided to make this bra entirely lacey, with the scallops of the lace forming both the tops of the cups and the entire bottom edge of the bra. Because of that, the elastic at the bottom had to be applied a bit different that usual: I sewed it to the net as normal, then turned it up and stitched it to the lace on the inside, just above the line of the scallops. 

I used another of the underwires from and some of their elastic (they also sell that padding material, I bought beige from them), black padding from Kantje Boord, lace from the market and lycra and other notions which have been in my stash for a while.

With the bra finished, I had very little lace left. Not even enough for Melissa's lacey thong pattern. So I adepted my earlier pattern for cheeky shorts/thong with a lace back. Basically, I picked the thong version because it has a narrower 
back pattern piece and then moved the side seams towards to the back, narrowing the back piece until it would fit my remaining lace. 

I've been wearing the set yesterday and it's quite comfortable. The silhouette of the bra is a bit pointy but I'm enough of a retro girl like it (under some of my clothes at least). It's a bit like the sweater girl look ;)
I know that those bits of boning I put in are largely to blame. No boning (or not all the way to the seam) and a tiny tweak to the pattern should give a much rounder shape. Of course, no sewn shape will ever be as round as a molded cup but then again, should we want that? 

I consider this bra a success and good practice for the corselette. It's just a pity I didn't have enough lace for a second pair of panties... 


  1. Wow, this is just stunning! What a Beautiful set!

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  2. This is amazing! Absolutely gorgeous AND functional. I love the little bits of boning you've added in for hidden support, too. Can you address why diagonally seamed cups won't work for strapless bras though? It isn't immediately obvious to me... thanks!

  3. I'm burdened with other projects but I can't wait to get back to it and try ,making a strapless like this... You could also add extra long removable straps and use it as a convertible (halter neck) for more use.

  4. wow, beautiful! i think im going to have to make some bras myself! you and so many other talented seamstresses are just too inspiring!

  5. These look really lovely. I love the little rose detail to finish it off.

  6. Gorgeous! All your sewing is so impressive and inspiring. I love the cut-and-sew bras made with thin foam, though they're hard to find in RTW. I wish I could get enough energy to sew some of my own.

  7. beautiful! Im just about to make some bra's in class so this popped up at such a good time to have a bit of a study of your construction! so lovely

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