I took a detour to sew a red dress (it’s almost finished!) but I forgot to show you what I finished before I that. My best bra yet!
I’ve made many bras since I started sewing lingerie last summer but this is the first one I’m proud of and wanted to show you. In my opinion, this one looks somewhat professional and not completely homemade. The fit is almost there too – just a few slashes, openings, and closings and I’ll have a pattern that perfectly fits me (a perfect pattern is possible people!). I’m taking my time but super excited to get to this point because once I get there, the perfect pattern, I’ll have a bra block that I can manipulate into many different silhouettes.The band, cradle, and top and bottom cups were made with a cotton, silk, and spandex blend that I bought at Paron Fabrics. I stabilized the cradle and lower cup with a polka dot silk chiffon. I went against the grain by using silk chiffon as opposed to tricot or mesh but it worked, at least I think so. By cutting the lining with the straight grain running horizontally (around the body) for the cradle and vertically (up and down) for the lower cup, both were stable and had little stretch.
Because the silhouette was a longline, I attached casing at the side seam and seam below the cups. Neither had boning inserted. The casing around the cup seam did not have underwire inserted either.
I clean finished the cross cup seam by sandwiching the upper cup between the lower cup lining and self fabric. On all my previous bras, I trimmed the seam allowances to 1/8″ and topstitched on either side of the seam. For this bra, I didn’t and I like the cleaner look.
In her manual, Beverly Johnson’s writes how she doesn’t cut her elastic 15-20% less than the length of the seam or edge. Instead, she feels how much to stretch the elastic while sewing. I’ve noticed on a lot of RTW bras that the elastic hasn’t been stretched a lot. Also, when I undercut the elastic 15%, my bras look too shirred. So I took Beverly’s advice and stretched the elastic according to what looked right (I tested a few samples beforehand) and sewed that same amount on the top and bottom band. I stretched the elastic even less on the upper cup because it is supposed to be stable in this direction – since it is cut with the straight grain running horizontally, it isn’t supposed to stretch a lot.
But there are a few things that I am still having trouble with that maybe you can help me with.
If you look at the picture above, you will see that I attached the hook and eye closure using a straight stitch. I have tried every type of needle – ballpoint, stretch, denim, universal – and every size – 10, 12, 14, 16 – but the zigzag stitches skip. It upper and bobbin threads locks on the right side of the stitch but skips on the left side. So if I continue to sew, the stitch ends up being a straight stitch. What is interesting is that it only happens on the hook side and only when it’s not over elastic (I start stitching at the top of the band and it’s okay but when I continue past the elastic, it starts to skip). Any tips?
I’m in love with the shape of the strap scoop, especially ones like Fortnight, but mine look dopey. It doesn’t curve nicely and looks like a mistake. Any suggestions?
Does anyone know what width elastic Fortnight uses? It looks bigger than the width I used, which is standard (3/8″-1/2″), but I like the wider, sportier look.