Category: Construction

What i Made: Nina Warner

I’m in a stage in my bra making where I’m sewing as many styles before finding my own. I started with Bra Makers Pin Up Girls, Orange Lingerie’s Malborough as well as my own, self-drafted bra. All were underwired and being the “traditional” silhouette, gave me a great set of foundation skills. I recently moved to soft bras such as Cloth Habit’s Watson and Merckwaerdigh BSH10. Between the two – soft and underwire – I wear soft most often and I see myself going in this direction. Since I’m small chested, I don’t need the support of underwires. I also like how brands such as Negative Underwear, Fortnight Lingerie and Elma Shop are proving that underwear doesn’t have to be va-va voom. Simple and natural is beautiful. Soft bras also celebrate who I am, rather than “pushing” me into something I’m not. I’ve got small boobs. So did Audrey Hepburn. Because making lingerie involves a lot of little bits and bobs, I broke it down to make it easier to follow. Let me know if you like this format! Overview: A halter, soft bra with a racerback. It is an evolution of the Kitri Bra from Elma Shop, which I made last year. It features princess seams, a bottom band with scalloped lace and ¾” straps. Fabric: Center front and side front: stretch, scalloped lace (gifted from Katy & Laney), matte jersey (Jack B. Fabrics) underlined with power net (Fleishman Fabrics). Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste fabrics together. Back band: stretch scalloped lace (gifted from Katy & Laney) underlined with a power net (Fleishman Fabrics) Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste fabrics together. Matte jersey is a smooth fabric that is wrinkle resistant and fast-drying. It is very versatile and I’ve mostly seen it in evening wear and high end t-shirts. Normally, I wouldn’t think to use…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie Comments: 11

What i Made: Ava Geraldine

Confession. This was supposed to be my holiday skirt. Oops! Time flies and so does the holidays. So, new year, new you, new skirt. No one mention that it’s February, okay? Before I get to the details, I’ll preface with this is an exciting post. It’s my first me-made as a Bernina Ambassador! So, I’ll give you an overview of the skirt, but if you want to learn the particular details, like how I constructed the waistband, you’ll have to head on over to their blog for the tutorial. In December, I went on a quest to live a semi-handmade holiday by crafting at least a portion of my gifts. Not all gifts because the holidays are chaotic and crafting everything from scratch was unrealistic for my schedule. I believe that gifts don’t have to be tangible. An experience such as a trip to Europe as well as knowledge such as a sewing lesson can be gifts too. For two women I work with, this was my gift to them. Sara and Ashley always wanted to learn to sew, and after work on two occasions, I helped them cut and sew a skirt to wear to our company’s holiday party. I was originally part of that equation, but I dropped out when 85% of the way through it, I tried it on and it didn’t fit over my hips. At some point, I did something that I still can’t remember, which made it too tight for my lower half. Oh well! You live, you learn, and you make more garments! Going into this project, my goal was to sew the best waistband. About a year ago, I watched a video by Susan Khalje where she demonstrated how to “build a better waistband.” Around that same time, Heather commented that a proper waistband acts like a belt –…

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tags: Construction Comments: 5

Bra Making with Madalynne Recap

I realized many things at my first bra making workshop last weekend, one being how willing women are to undress and show off their self-stitched bras in front of other women they just met. It happened! Maybe it was their excitement to have completed a bra or maybe it was being around other women who were as enthusiastic about sewing. Who knows? There were many other light bulb moments that day, but the most potent, inspirational, you could even say emotional takeaway was this – if you create an environment centered around giving back, which I think the sewing community does ver well, people will come out to support you tenfold. Throughout planning, Anna said there would be a few surprises. She wasn’t lying. When I arrived at the venue the night before, Anna told me that my favorite Philly vendors – a beauty salon, a calligraphy, two bakers and more – were supporting the workshop with their skills, services and products. It meant a lot that these people helped me make this giant leap. Another testament of the power of our community goes back to the first sentence. By the end of the workshop, the 9 ladies were chatting with each other as if they had been friends for ages. The day started at 9:00 AM with light breakfast – cinnamon crumb bread, banana nut bread, strawberry and blueberry salad, yogurt parfait, orange juice and coffee. After a quick meet and greet and introduction, we started making bras by cutting out our pattern and assembling the cups. Lunch quickly crept up and before we knew it, it was time to eat. We sat together, chatting while enjoying a vegan super food salad (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale chicory, cranberries, pumpkin seeds), ham and gruyere squares, quiche, mushroom tarts, tabbouleh…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, teaching, Weekend Comments: 19

What I Made: Another Watson Bra!

Another day, another bra made. The marigold number you see above is my third Watson bra. Even before I get to the deets, I’ll preface with a fourth is definitely on the way! I’ve been studying power net, regular stretch mesh, and micromesh, investigating how it’s made (on a Raschel machine, which is a specialized warp knit machine), how to dye it (the right temperatures, how the PH of your local water affects dye potency), and how and when to use the three. One reason is that I’m a geek and I like learning about new things and the other is that not lining beautiful lace with the proper materials would be like making a jacket without the proper interfacing. The first Watson, which was not blogged because it was a muslin, was lined with power net. I couldn’t get it over my head – remember that I eliminated the back closure. The second was lined with a micro mesh. While I wear the heck out of it, it doesn’t provide a lot of support, even for my size A bust. For this Watson, I lined it with a stretch mesh, which is in between powernet and micro mesh when it comes to stretch percentage. The lace, an excellent quality that I bought from a local fabric shop, has 30% stretch in all directions. Underlined with the mesh, it had about 25%. So the addition of the mesh reduced the stretch by approximately 5%, which is useful to know in the future. If I ever have a stretch fabric that is too stretchy, I can underline it with another stretch fabric to reduce the stretch. I tested the stretch before I fused the two fabrics together using a permanent spray adhesive and I suspect bonding the two fabrics together reduced…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, What I've Made Comments: 7

What I Made: Marlborough Bra

Say hello to Malborough, a ray of sunshine and the newest addition to my bra wardrobe. The author of Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction, Norma Loehr released this pattern last year. It took me until now to make my own and the reason was that I was perfecting the fit of Amber Rosalind. I’m a one project at a time type of sewer. Available in approximately 40 sizes (30A-40DD), the pattern is geared towards smaller busts. I cut a 32A and with one alteration, which was related to design (adding ¼” to the top of the upper cup since I wasn’t using a scalloped lace), it fits perfectly. Perf-ectl-y! The PDF contains 9 pages for directions and 2 pages for your bra pattern, which are printed onto one page. No taping – woot, woot! The pattern suggests a stable, non stretch fabric for the cups and the bridge, but from successes from previous bras, I used a yellow, stretch lace for all pieces and lined all pieces with a nude stretch mesh. The lace has 30% stretch in all directions, and underlined with the mesh, the fabrics together have about 25%. All notions were dyed to match the fabric using RIT. I normally using Dharma Trading’s acid dyes, but I ordered the wrong shade of yellow. Most all purpose dyes such as RIT contain two kinds of dye that are mixed together – a direct dye which does a fair job of dyeing cotton, and a ‘leveling acid’ dye which will dye both wool and nylon. It is best to use pure acid dyes on nylon – which this elastic is made of – because you avoid wasting the direct dye portion that cannot stick to nylon. However, I didn’t want to wait for another mail order, so RIT it was! The dye…

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tags: bra making, Construction Comments: 17