Last week, we had a bit of a heat wave here in the Netherlands. I know, our heat wave may feel like a nice day in spring to some of you out there but in this country, 30 degrees Celsius or more really is very, very warm. I usually don't do well in very warm weather and my sewing usually suffers because my sewing room catches a lot of sunlight in the evening. In past years, I've made very light and airy little outfits to deal with this weather. This year, I decided I already had enough of those (heat waves normally don't last long here) but I still didn't feel like "proper" sewing, with large pieces of fabric.
Instead, I decided to make more lingerie. I like the set I made recently, but it could do with another pair of panties. And it would be a shame not to try and use up that lace and lycra...
I quickly realized that the aubergine coloured (and still very difficult to photograph) lace and lycra didn't just go with the matching elastic I bought for it (which was only enough for a second pair of panties) but also with the dark cream/light beige coloured picot elastic from my stash.
So, I made a pair of panties in my tried-and-tested lace back pattern to match the first bra.
And a modified version of Melissa's Lacy Thong using the light coloured elastic. I've made this pattern several times and I always thought the front could be a bit lower where the lycra meets the lace and I always had some excess fabric in the center back panel. So, this is my improved version but I think that has more to do with my specific shape than with the pattern.
Then, I looked at the amount of material I had left... It looked like a lot but it's always hard to tell when sewing lingerie. I was hoping it would be enough for another bra and two pairs of panties but I had my doubts. So, I decided to cut out and make that second bra first and then see how many panties I could still make.
The second bra was always going to be a racerback one. It's a shape I've loved for comfort and practicality in RTW and I'm still happy with my first self-made version. The great thing about this style is that you never have to worry about bra straps sliding from your shoulders.
This also makes it difficult to get good pictures of these bras lying flat on the table. So, considering the fact that the foam cups make this bra not very revealing, I thought it would be better to model it.
Like most of my bras, this one has cups made from cut-and-sew foam, covered with lace and lycra. I used plunge underwires and a front closure cut from an old RTW racerback bra. It's basically the same pattern I made before but I've changed the cup edge from a curve to a straight line and I've treated it covering differently. And I used fold-over elastic on the first one and normal lingerie elastic here. At the sides of the cups, I only cut seam allowance on the lycra, not on the foam. A its first pass, the elastic was only sewn to the lycra, then it was folded back over the foam and stitched down. It was fiddly but it worked and I quite like the finish.
Just for comparison, this is what the strapless bra looks like when worn. You can see the slightly pointy shape it gets from that bit of boning in cup.
I had to wait for a few days until I could finish this bra because I had order the underwires from lingeriestoffen.nl (different stores and webshops sell different brands of underwires and those can vary a lot in shape. Those sold by this shop have a combination of length and width which works really well for me. It's also great that they list all the measurements of all the underwires on the site).
And then, I had to see how much I could still make from the remaining materials... It wasn't enough for two pairs of panties. It was about enough for one and a half, no more.
So, I just made another version of my favorite design.
This set is now well and truly finished, however sewing lingerie is always a bit addictive... There's more to make. New shapes and designs to try out, both in lingerie and swimwear. And a lot of other bloggers seem to be making stuff like this as well now...