It’s about to get intimate. Keeping it PG-13, at least in my opinion, I bared it all for the sake of lace and high waisted undies. Intimates look so much better on body than flat, amirite?
For many sewers, making a jacket is a defining moment in their career. It says, “I have arrived as a stitcher.” Before, they were a nascent maker, but after, they are an adept, able and competent craftsperson. Conquering lapels’ sharp corners and pivots, and bagging a lining, they can do anything from there on out. For me, it’s not mastering jackets that makes me a real sewist; it’s intimates. Getting the hang of and developing a hand for elastic, stretch fabrics and hooks and eyes requires a keen and a devoted personality. I can attest to that.
I spent half of 2012 and most of 2013 tweaking a bra and an undie pattern I bought when I first starting sewing intimates. But by the end of the year, that pattern had become Humpty Dumpty, broken and put back together again too many times. A frankenpattern. I needed to start clean and fresh. Mentally too. So, I took a step back from bra making for 4 months. Then, in early March, I met Norma for the first time during a meet-up Lauren organized in NYC. During the peak of my bra making, her book, Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction, could have been considered my wingman, piloting me in a potentially dangerous situation involving lace, underwire and zigzag stitching. She told me about the projects she was working on, and it pushed my tush to get back in the game. First stop when I got back to Philly – Free People to buy my favorite RTW bra so that I could rub off the pattern.
If you’re an intimates-maker struggling to find a pattern to fit your girls, write this down, copy a RTW bra that already fits you! I could have saved myself a year and a half of slashing and opening if I had started from an already made bra. If you don’t have an extra of your favorite bra, buy one. Forget about price. It’s worth it.
There are ways to create a pattern from an existing garment without cutting it apart, but I didn’t go this route. I get the most accurate shapes when I carefully take apart the article of clothing and trace around each piece. This is what I did for this set.
Both the bra and the undie are made with a 2-way stretch lace and underlined with satin Spandex (except for the wing of the bra, which is just lace/unlined). The waist and leg openings are finished with a stretch lace trim, which was set almost flat (without stretching). Who wants their undies digging into their skin? All notions for the bra were bought at Bra Makers Supply. I lined the cradle and bottom cup with micro mesh, clean finishing the bottom cup to the top cup. All other construction is standard bra making. No major callouts or major discoveries.
So, what do you think? Have I arrived or have I arrived? Thinking ahead, is this the kind of bra you’d like to see taught at a bra making workshop?