For about a year up until I went to Paris, I had this thing against buying ready-to-wear lingerie. My thinking was similar to Me-Made-May’s mission– to motivate me to sew more (don’t want to go commando!), to push me to wear the intimates I made, to use leftover fabric and to celebrate the hard work I put into crafting unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. My intentions were good, but it wasn’t conducive to me learning more about making lingerie. When I was shopping in Paris, I inspected trims, felt fabric, looked at the different hardware and took cell phones pictures of details I liked. From that buying trip, I learned new techniques. A LOT of new techniques. So, I’m switching up my game plan. I’m going to start buying from the market, duplicating methods along with developing my own to make something that’s me. This is the first of two bras you’ll be seeing this week that I copied. Stay tuned for the other one in the next few days!
F a b r i c + T r i m s
Front and back (one piece): Black and hot pink stretch galloon lace from Bra Makers Supply. Underlined with black stretch mesh from Fleishman Fabrics. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the fabrics together prior to cutting. I treated the layers as one going forward.
P a t t e r n + C o n s t r u c t i o n
This bra was based off of this Urban Outfitters bra, and rubbing off the pattern was ridiculously easy. I laid one half of the front and the entire back piece on oak tag paper, outlined the shape and then added seam allowances to the neckline and underarm. I didn’t add seam allowance to the bottom because of the scallop lace. The only change I made was to eliminate the tie closure and add a hook and eye.
Although the pattern was exactly the same as the original, construction was slightly different. The original bra was lined and clean finished on the front and finished with elastic on the top and bottom on the back. Having no elastic on the neckline and the underarm caused the bra to shift a lot during wearing. There was nothing with tension to “grip” my body and anchor it in place (I wore the bra for a day to see how it felt during wearing before making the pattern). So, I added 1/4″ stretch piping, which acts and is sewn the same way as regular plush/picot elastic.
C o m m e n t s
Before wearing the bra, I thought there was NO WAY IN HELL it was going to stay in place. I assumed that the bottom strap, the one that wraps around and is underneath the bottom band, would slide up. On the original bra, it did, and that’s because there was no elastic to “grip” my body. On my version, which has elastic, it stays in place. Yeppers, it looks like it does in the photos all the time and there is not shifting during wearing. If I had a bigger chest – sigh! – adding elastic with silicone gripper would help the bra stay in place even more.
This bra is also a demonstration of how impactfu a simple design can be. It’s one piece, and took me about an hour and a half to cut and sew. Additionally, this is the most flattering bra I’ve made. I feel incredible about myself, my body and my outfit while wearing this bra. Whoever said bra making has to be hard is WRONG!