I think I did it, I think I finally achieved the fit I want with Nina/Nellie/Nicole/now Noelle. As excited as I am about getting to this point, I’m sure you’re excited that I won’t be coming up with any more cheesy names.
Looking back at the process, it’s funny that I almost did a 180, ending up close to where I started. This bra began when Elma from Handmade by Elma allowed me to use her pattern for the KITRI bra to make my own version. It had princess seams, and at the point where the side front meets the center front, there is a sharp corner. On the second version, I changed this by blending the underarm curve so it transitioned smoothly at that intersection. The resulting bra was super comfortable, but wasn’t flattering. Using several Pinterest images as inspiration as well as your feedback, I tweaked and fine tuned the front neckline until I arrived at what you see today.
Front, top back band and front bottom band: black and white printed lycra lined with stretch mesh (Fleishman Fabrics). GASP! I did NOT use temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the fabrics together prior to cutting. I treated the layers separately, and I’ll tell you why below.
Bottom back band: black stretch scalloped lace (Bra Makers Supply)
A couple of updates to how this bra was sewn. The first was that I lined instead of underlined the front. Previously, I used my serger (Juki MO-654DE – seriously affordable and seriously awesome) to sew most of the seams. It’s fast and clean, but lining is much cleaner. It takes more time, but the interior quality of the bra is much better, at least in my opinion. (black is super hard to photograph, but I hope you can see how the interior is lined in the photo above)
Second, I undercut the elastic at the top back band. A problem I had on Nina, Nellie and Nicole was that the back bottom band fell down while wearing. To fix, I undercut the elastic by approximately 15% (the length of the back band was 12”, so I cut the elastic to be 10” and stretched while sewing). This created slight ruching, which doesn’t make the bra not as appealing when flat.
Also, I used two separate strap elastics. Previous versions had one elastic that was threaded through a ring at the top of the racerback. The reason for this was that I wanted to add sliders so that the length is adjustable. I also eliminated the rings at the strap points and sewed the straps down at those points. Not sure if I like it, but it may be the contrast color of the straps or how wide they are.
The only change I made to the pattern was to scoop out the neckline and underarm slightly. With more shaping, the bra is slightly more feminine. You can see the pattern correction here.
Additionally, I recently came across this bra at Urban Outfitters. Wouldn’t it be an easy alteration using the pattern from Noelle? Love the square neckline!
No comments on this bra, but I want to share a lingerie brand I’m really digging these days – harmonica design. The owner, Monica, is based in New York and has an impressive background working at top retailers. Instagram is my jam and I found her and her company while browsing the #handmadelingerie hashtag. I hopped onto her website and loved everything she was doing – using sustainable fabrics and manufacturing locally. She had a trunk show down the street from my house and you bet I was there to support her. So, if you haven’t heard of her, check her out now! I want to use Ohhh Lulu’s FREE biker short pattern so make a short similar to this one.
Oh, and I’ll leave you hanging by giving you a sneak peek on the next bra I’m working on. It’s based on Make Bras free strappy bralette. Gettin’ strappy with it y’all!
Okay, one more thing! I had some fun after my workshop and painted one of the walls of the studio a silver metallic. My intention was for it to be a faux (read: easier) venetian plaster. Not sure if I like it; I look somewhat fake standing in front of it. Like I was photoshopped in. I will say that for photography, if I painted the adjacent walls, it would do a hell of a job reflecting light.