October 19, 2012

Lingerie sewing supplies inventory

Tomorrow, Melissa will arrive in the Netherlands for the Amsterdam marathon. This event is held on Sunday, which gives her time to go to Kantje Boord with me ;)
She was wise enough to take inventory of her stash of lingerie sewing supplies before walking into the cave of temptation, which Kantje Boord is even to the very occasional lingerie seamstress...

So, I thought I'd better do the same. To be honest, I have made one bra and some pairs of panties, but I've never been happy with the fit of those. On the other hand, I have made a bathing suit and some bikini pieces which I am happy with. Sewing 'normal' lingerie never makes much sense to me. For my, rather small, cup size, the best fitting bras are made by H&M which means I can buy bras for less than the supplies to make one would cost me. Providing I can even find the right things. 
However, if I want to include unwired cups in swimwear, evening wear or (lingerie)corsets, I really should get my pattern right once and for all... I think I got pretty far this summer but the proof would be in actually sewing a bra.
So, I think my lingerie sewing plans for the reasonably near future are for a proper normal lingerie set: bra and knickers. After that, I may move on to a 'merry widow' style lingerie corset and/or a nice retro suspender belt. 

So, keeping that in mind, let's take a look at my supplies:

- picot elastic in black, two variaties (about 3 m) and nude/cream (4 m)
- double picot elastic for shoulder straps (about 6 m)
- thick tape to hold the underwires (about 6 m)
- elastic with one decorative edge, three variaties, short frill, long frill and loops (4 m in total)
- elastic with two frilly edges (1 m) 
- elastic lace narrow, lilac (3 m), black (1 m)
- elastic lace wide, black (1 m), grey/green (3 m)
- FOE black (3 m), cream (2 m)
- swimwear elastic (5 m)
- underwires, 6 pairs (all scavanged from old RTW bras)

And these fabrics:

- three pieces of black lycra in different weights and qualities. I've cut from all of these when making swimwear and one is really only suitable as lining. There is plenty left for a lingerie set though.
- 0.5 m of back lycra with a woven stripe
- 0.5 m of red lycra. This stuff is fairly thin and delicate, definately a lingerie fabric, not a swimwear one.
- 2 pieces of powernet, about 0.5 m each but more narrow than the lycra.
- 2 m of red stretch lace. Widthwise stretch only. This sort-of matches the red lycra. 
- 1 m of super thin cream lycra lining. 

Oh, and I've got poly and (little bits left of) steel boning and this heavy duty hook and eye tape.

It seems that, apart from the obvious black, my supplies are ill-matched. This comes, as usual for me, from buying this stuff if and when I find it at the market or Stoffenbeurs.
I think it would be wise to plan carefully this time...
- I'd like to take a look at foam cups. My normal RTW bras have foam cups and my bra fitting efforts over the summer have revealed that a B cup hardware might be made to work for me after all. 
- I also need the little stuff: bra closures, sliders.  
- If I find some lycra to match that green/grey lace, I should be able to make a very nice set. 
- I'd like some of that very thin non-stretch net you find in RTW lingerie (usually as bra cup and center front lining). 

By adding these things to my stash, I should be able to actually make some lingerie. Of course, there are other things I have an eye on as well:

- I hope they sell end spiral steel boning by the meter, and end caps for it (although I think they only sell pre-made lengths...)
- When I was there before, they had a neoprene-like material in the basket with off-cuts. You know, lycra with a 0.5 cm thick layer of foam on it. If I can get a little piece of that cheaply, I'd like to try and make my of foam cups that way.
- If they sell metal suspender clips, I'd like those too.

And of course, I might be tempted by a nice kit... (usually, that's just not what I do. I mean, why take the easy way? but it might be a healthy change, just this once...)
Any advice?


  1. Oooh, lucky you---both for having such a resource at hand and for the chance for a blogger meetup! And a good idea to inventory what you have vs. what you (might) need. I think I would be tempted to go for a bra-making kit, myself, at least to start with---if only to lessen the considerable brain power required.

    Have fun!

  2. Attemp at making lingerie, brave you. I will be visiting Amsterdam during Christmas as my sister,who is on a work project has planned for a holiday.. I have a request, can you please let me know of places where I can get sewing notions and fabrics in Amsterdam, amstelveen, it would be of great help. Also aim small busted 32b and would like to know as to where to get quality padded, push up bras. Thanks

  3. Véronique in MontréalOctober 20, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Thanks for the tip concerning Kantje Boord. I live in Canada but my husband comes from Arnhem. When we go back there, I like to shop for fabric but their nice fabric store closed a few years back, sadly. I'm always looking for fabric resources while in the Netherlands and can't seem to find anything nice in or around Arnhem, if anyone has a tip, I'd be glad to hear it; also in Amsterdam. Any excuse is good to shop for fabric, and stop by every fish shop to sample fresh haring :) Love your blog and following your sewing adventures.

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