I was looking for advice on how to improve on this thing which I made last year.
I also spent some time looking at repro patterns for shapewear (I know Mrs. Depew has a few, if you have other recommendations, please comment).
I really should try and order some samples of the fabrics which were suggested to me (and some more lingerie supplies besides that) and experiment with the pattern or try a repro one. Instead, I started with supplies from stash and a design which is between normal bra a retro shapewear: A longline bra.
It is strapless for now but I plan on adding straps. I put ribbons in the cup seam to allow for that but I am all out of rings and sliders.
I made it using non-stretch silk (for the upper cups and the center front), that mesh I also used for my body suits and some beige/pink lingerie foam for the cups. And I used my usual underwires and polyester boing covered in velvet ribbon along the bodice seams. Unfortunately, I only had fairly wide boning in black and proper bone casings would have been better with this sheer fabric...
And the use of interlocking rigid pieces like the bones and the underwires means the fabric between those pieces has to fit perfectly. The center front is just a tiny bit off in its center, below the underwires. It is nothing that can't be fixed in a new version but it would be much more trouble than it is worth to try and fix it in this finished product.
In a new version, I would also slightly change the angle of the cups, put a tiny bit more room in the upper edge of the cups and use wider elastic at the bottom edge of the bodice (note to self: Buy such elastic...) and probably lengthen the bodice by 1 to 1.5 cm to make it reach my waist.
Despite all that, I like this for a first try.