Welcome back to the Sierra sew along! Today, we’re getting to the good part – sewing! If you’re a little behind, click back to day 1 and see what you missed.
The first step is to attach the two front pieces to the back. We are going to clean finish this seam, which means we are going to sew the seam in such a way that the seam allowance is encased in the lining. To do this, sandwich the front (which are glued together) between the self and lining of the back. This is why we didn’t glue those two pieces together – because they have to be separate at this step. In the photo below, you can slightly see the back lining underneath the front piece and back lace piece, which is on top. Sew with 1/4” seam allowance and turn to the right side. For the opposite side, it will be a little difficult to sandwich the front between the back lining and the self, and I suggest using pins. I rarely use pins when sewing a bra, but in order to visualize how to get the seam allowance clean finished for this particular seam, I have to. Note: the last photo below shows the inside of the bra after both side seams have been sewn.
Next is to attach the picot/plush elastic to the front neckline, armhole and back. With right side of fabric facing up, place elastic on top, The pattern has ¼” seam allowance throughout, so if you’re using ¼” elastic, you will align the flat edge of the elastic with the edge of the fabric. If you’re using 3/8” elastic like I am, the elastic should extend 1/8” beyond the fabric edge. In both cases, the picot should face inward towards the fabric. Then, sew along the picot edge with a zigzag stitch. Stitch width and length will vary from machine to machine, but a good rule of thumb is stitch width should not exceed half the width of the elastic. Also, try to stitch as close to the picot as possible without going off the edge of the main elastic.
Once you sew the first pass, flip the elastic to the wrong side of the bra and sew along the edge opposite to the one you just sewed. Repeat until underarm, back and front necklines are sewn.
Tip when sewing elastic: Elastic comes in different widths, quality and amounts of stretch, but in general, I sew my elastics flat (with no tension). For this bra, all elastics are set flat as well.
Now it’s time to finish the bottom edge of the lace. This is a super easy step and all you have to do is outline the bottom edge with a zig zag stitch. Width and length of zigzag is up to you. The only problem I ran into at this step was the fabric tunneling in between the zig zags. If this happens to you, try reducing the zig zag width, pulling taught on either side of the zig zag stitches or using a water soluble stabilizer in between the lace and the lining. Also, I suggest stitching 1/8-1/4″ in from the edge to avoid the lace being sucked in to the black hole called the feed dogs/bobbin case. After, trim close to the stitching, just inside from the lace’s edge.
If you’re worried about underbust support, an option is to finish the bottom edge with elastic instead. I won’t be demonstrating, but you can see check out Ying’s version to get a sense of how it would be applied. If you take this route, be sure that the front edge of the bra wing still matches a 2×3 hook and eye closure.
That’s it for today! Please share your bras on Instagram with the hashtag #bramakingwithmadalynne. Also, enter to win $25 to Bra Making Supplies by tagging both of us (@mmadalynne and @bramakingsupplies) with your Sierra. Winner will be chosen at the end of October.