August 7, 2013

Lady in red

So, I finally got around to re-trying that red bra last weekend. I'm grateful for all the good advice about cutting and re-tipping underwires but I didn't use it for this bra. Close-up and as a result of all the tweaking I had already done to try and make it work, it had several other little issues.
So, I got another meter of red lace and tried again.

I changed the pattern, to give it most space for the wire and made the various joining points easier to indentify so I would struggle less with "what goes exactly where" (millimeter-wise).

Before I got started on the bra, I made a lacey thong in red. I like have two pairs of matching panties with a bra. I have already blogged about the first pair here.

Then, it was time to try that bra again. I stuck with the unusual design I had originally made: A strong, low band made from 3,5 cm wide elastic covered in the red lycra, half fabric, half lace underwired cups and no bridge. 
This time, all my precise marking made sure the hole in the middle turned out perfectly. 

 Unfortunately, all the elastic from this set was bought in the same lingerie supply shopping spree (with Melissa at Kantje Boord) as that for the sage green set. And I had made the same mistake of not buying anything for the shoulder straps. For now, I've used a bit of the satin edge elastic as a temporary halter strap. 
I make stick with a halter strap. In this cup design, the straps are attached pretty near to the center of the top of the cup. This means it's not pulled out of shape by a strap going to the neck instead of  straight over the shoulder. And I like the completely open back the bra has this way.

Photographed like this, the bra looks absolutely fine. Unfortunately, it's less good when worn. The are still some weird lines in the lower cup which I don't want. I'm pretty sure I know what's causing them though. It's not my pattern, it's not my sewing, it's my choice of materials. The red lycra is fairly thin, quite stretchy and very drapey. In that lower cups, I've used non-stretch net to stabilize them. I made sure to cut the lycra a bit smaller and to stretch it over the netting stuff (a bit more so than with the first try) but apperently not enough. When the cups get filled, i.e. in wearing, it shows. I'm annoyed by it but I don't think I could have prevented this, other than by simply not trying to use two materials with such different behaviour in the same piece. It's not so bad that it makes the bra unwearable.
Maybe I'll just use padding again in the next bra. The stability of the stuff prevents issues like this.

P.S. I know a lot of us occasionally make lingerie, and even more would like to try. I have this link for all of those. 
Fellow blogger The Perfect Nose is unhappy with commercial bra patterns and wants to draft her own. Unlike me, she has the ambition to do this not only for herself, but for everyone. Oh yes, she wants to put a new, independent, bra sewing pattern into the market. And to do this properly, she has put together a survey to try and get a benchmark of the sewing community's sizes and wishes for a bra pattern. Of course, the more people enter this, the more useful the information. And she's offering a nice "thank you" for it as well.


  1. Wonderful! Thank you so much for the link: I've made a bikini and I'm pretty happy with the result, now I 'd like to try lingerie and I need some good advice to start with!

    Hugs from Italy,

  2. Lovely set. The little things like the different stretch can be so annoying. Let it not keep you from wearing it.

  3. I wonder if it would be worth it (for someone like yourself that sews a lot of lingerie) to make a bust form to test these things out on. At worst you could just tape the seams to the form to check for fit and make on the spot adjustments.. I don't know enough about this to make any suggestions at this point. I was about to recommend that you should check out the patternschool site-but it isn't up anymore =(

    And cheers for the link back, it's much appreciated!

  4. what a beautiful lingerie set! As far as I can tell, bra fitting and construction is the most challenging of all home sewing projects. I have been following along assorted bloggers progress reports, and am in the middle of attempting to create an fit a bra for myself, which is a hard project indeed. Good luck, and thank you for sharing your process!