Earlier this month, I posted that I purchased a Janome CoverPro CP1000 cover stitch machine, but at that time, I hadn’t even threaded the darn thing. Since then, I’ve had time to mess around with it, and I’m here to tell you today, it is fantastic! FAN-TASTIC! This machine is like my duck-billed scissors – a tool that I knew would make sewing bras much easier, more professional and more efficient, but didn’t make the investment for a long time. While a couple weeks is hardly enough time for me to post a full review, I do have a simple tutorial to share with you – how to attach a bottom band to a bra like this one. I’m a novice when it comes to cover stitching, so if you think I could have sewed it a better way, let me know in the comments!
ELASTIC: I suggest using elastic at least ½” wide. Anything smaller will be super hard to sew (the width of a cover stitch is between 1/8”-3/8”) and won’t provide support. Half of an inch provides only a little support, but 3/8” or ¼” won’t provide any. The band would surely ride up in the back. For this tutorial, I’m using ¾” plush/picot elastic from Bra Makers Supply, but you could use braided elastic. It’s usually encased inside a tunnel, but it can be used for this application. A Princess Tam Tam bra I bought in Paris uses braided elastic this way. Also, braided elastic is easier to source. Joann’s sells it.
STRETCH SCALLOPED LACE: Galloon or full yardage is fine as long as it’s at least double the width of the elastic. I am using a black metallic lace from Tailor Made Shop.
Cut the lace to be a little more than double the width of the elastic (1/8”-1/4”). Cutting it this wide makes sewing and getting a clean finish a lot easier. You’ll see why later. Since my elastic is ¾”, I cut my lace to be 1 ¾” wide. Also note that this is from the highest point of the scallop edge.
Apply a think layer of glue to the non plush side of the elastic (the plush/fuzzy side goes against the skin). I usually use temporary spray adhesive, but I ran out. Because I wash my bras in the washing machine (on delicate cycle) and hang to dry, washable glue works as well. Never put lingerie in the dryer. It’s the devil!
Place the wrong side of the lace on top of the non plush side of the elastic (the side that you just glued), aligning the highest point of the scallop with the bottom edge of the elastic. If you are using picot elastic, this is the non picot edge. Press in place with your fingers.
Flip the elastic over so that the plush side is facing up. Apply a layer of glue on the top edge. If you are using a picot elastic, this is the picot edge. Then flip the lace over and press in place with your fingers.
With wrong sides facing up, I pinned cups to band, with cup overlapping ¼”. Then, baste with a zigzag stitch using your regular sewing machine.
With right side facing up, use a cover stitch machine and sew along top edge of elastic, securing lace and cups in place. Instead of a cover stitch, you could use a regular sewing machine with a zig zag stitch.
With wrong side facing up, trim the lace close to the cover stitch. Trimming after sewing, especially with duck-billed scissors makes it a lot easier to get a clean/neat finish.
Finished band/bra by attaching hooks + eyes and straps.
See, not too hard, right? Whether you have a cover stitch machine or a regular sewing machine, I think you can do it too!