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What I Made: Theodora

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Who could forget Bo Derek’s famous beach scene in the movie 10? Pre Baywatch and Pam Anderson, her slo-mo beach jog instantly made her a sex symbol. I want to braid my hair into cornrows after watching her. Okay, maybe not. Drop dead gorgeous both then and now, she achieved her status wearing a one-piece. A flesh toned one piece. Sure, she’s got some cleavage going on, but she’s not overly provocative. A little come-hither… yes. Slightly suggestive… absolutely. Very hot… you got that right.

Whether it be a bathing suit or a bodysuit, there is something about a one piece that catches us all, men and women. It is the tiniest bit of racy, but in the nicest way possible.

I may have doubted Allegra, but I’m warming up to bodysuits real fast. Theodora isn’t everyday, but every women should have a feel good piece in her drawers.

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FABRIC + TRIMS

Cups: Black and silver stretch galloon lace from Tailor Made Shop and nude/beige stretch mesh from Fleishman Fabrics. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste self and underlining fabrics of inner cups together. For the outer cups, I did not spray baste so that I could clean finish the cup seam. More on that below.
Body: Cream, textured lycra, the same as Allegra, underlined with stretch mesh and lined with the same stretch mesh. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste self and underlining fabrics together and treated as one going forward.

3/8” cream stretch grosgrain ribbon from Pacific Trimming
3/4” silver rings and sliders from Bra Makers Supply

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CONSTRUCTION + PATTERN

The vertical seam on the cups are clean finished, which means the seam allowance are enclosed in the lining. Normally, I sew/serge this seam, like I did on Edie, but this piece is meant to be more special than a basic. The La Perla of my me-made lingerie. I also sewed a strip of stretch so that from the right side, the black seam allowances would not be visible.

For the panty portion, there is no elastic, again for the reason that this is meant to be an easy, wear at home only piece. Instead, the waist and leg opening are clean finished. I sewed the self and lining together at the waist and leg opening, then flipped to the right side. The side seams were sewn with a 3 thread overlock. I considered clean finishing, so all seams would be enclosed like in a jacket, but this would require me to hand sew a portion. Because of how tight bodysuits are and how much movement they endure, I decided not to. I’m not happy with the serge. Even though I tacked it down at the leg opening and the waist, it still peeks out. The fact that I didn’t finish it properly makes it even worse. Ooops! If anyone has a suggestion for a better way to sew the side seams, I’m all ears!

I finished the edges of the of the lace on the cups using a new technique. It was really quite simple – I didn’t finish them at all! Because the lace is so delicate, ziz zagging around the scallops caused tunneling between the stitches. I still haven’t figured out how to make it better. I’m not sure how I feel about this finish. Call me crazy, but I can’t seem to leave an edge unfinished without feeling like the sewing police are going to come get me and haul me off to sewing jail. I plead the 5th!

In order to get a close fit from the waist to the strap points, the vertical seams on the cups have shaping. Starting at the strap point and going down, the pattern curves inwards so that it hugs the hollow between the collar bone and the bust point. Around the apex, the pattern then curves outward for obvious reasons. From apex to waist, the pattern curves inward again.

Have you ever used stretch grosgrain as straps for lingerie? They’re beautiful and delicate and I love using them, but they’re not very supportive. Maybe it’s the quality of the ones I bought? Suggestions?

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COMMENTS

Theodora is a beautiful piece, the best in my lingerie drawer right now, but I’m not 100% happy with the construction. First, the contrast lining is a bit of an eye sore, but I used the beige on the cups so it would appear nude underneath. I chose the same color for the lining on the undies so it would match. I could have died the lining to match the cream like I did on Allegra. I also not happy with the finish on the side seams and cup edges. This is not the first one I made, there was a muslin Theodora. I might make one more, hopefully with your suggestions, to make this the ultimate bodysuit.

And just for fun, a peek into my sketchbook/journal.

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8 Comments

  1. Reply

    redflaminghair

    Another great piece of work! I never thought that I would be so interested in making bodysuits as well… you know, previously when I thought about bodysuit, I imagined those ones which have snap fasteners at the bottom. Still I don’t get the whole toilet-thing about them, but bodysuits are delicate indeed!

    And now I discovered Tailor Made Shop… the shipping price is horrible for me to here, but… those kits, those laces, they are soooo beautiful! 🙂

    • Reply

      maddie

      This shipping may be horrible, but it’s SOO worth it.

  2. Reply

    That Black Chic

    WOW even your journal is a piece of art. love this piece to pieces!

    • Reply

      maddie

      Thank you, thank you 🙂

  3. Reply

    Jade

    Ahhhh it’s so pretty!!! I know what you mean about the unfinished scalloped edges…that would drive me crazy! But still, this is super inspiring, such beautiful work.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Thank you! I’m still going to make another with different construction and compare how it fits/feels. Will be interesting!

  4. Reply

    MADE BY 6

    J’adore !!!!

  5. Reply

    Liz

    Beautiful work.

    Perhaps as an alternative to the stretch grosgrain, stretch petersham?
    http://store.ribbonconnections.com/stretchpetershamgrosgrain.aspx

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