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Thoughts About My Lingerie Journey

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The me-made lingerie world has changed significantly the past few years. With more modern silhouettes available – Watson, Malborough – many sewers including myself are considering their bras and undies as much as tees, skirts, dresses and jeans when creating their self-stitched wardrobe.

I’ve been asking myself two questions lately. One is why? Two years ago, I wouldn’t want to make a bra. I was thinking of the next dress to make! Maybe a part of me felt shy, especially if it came up in a conversation with a man? Now, I tell people I make my own lingerie with nonchalace.

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Unlike a necklace or a bracelet, lingerie is a necessity for most women. Any lady with a decent size chest wears a bra. And unless you’re going commando for whatever reason, undies are also a must.

Then, there are technological advances. While lingerie doesn’t resemble what it was in the 1950s, spandex is the same technology it was when it was invented. But what is different now is that it’s readily available to home seamstresses. The same goes for lingerie notions. Yes, the initial hunt to find good quality elastic and other trimming is intimating and frustrating, but once you find vendors you like, sourcing is not hard. It gets even easier when you start dyeing.

Okay, so necessity and fabric availability are to blame. What else?

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Men? No conversation about lingerie can leave out men! I’m single; would I be as intrigued by lingerie if I had a boyfriend, fiance or husband? Would I pose in me me-made lingerie if I was taken? I don’t know. While I’m not naive enough to think that men wouldn’t be partly to blame, I don’t believe they are fully to blame. Why? Because lingerie is much more personal to me. I may think, “Will he like it?”, “What does he think?”, blah, blah, blah… but in the end, I (try) to put myself first. If the pair of underwear I made gives me a constant wedgie, I ain’t wearing it, no matter how pretty it is!

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I believe all of the above have influenced my journey, but I also believe there is something bigger driving it all – my thirst to learn more. I don’t want to be stagnant, so I dreamt the unimaginable and then invested in research to make it a reality. I never thought I’d make a bra because a part of me didn’t think I could. I sewed bras as a challenge. I sucked at first, but I slowly became better. That was two years ago and today, I consider myself only at an intermediate level bra maker. I’m thirsty, I want more and I will strive for more.

Those are my thoughts lately. Nothing definitely, just ruminations from an aspiring bra maker.

If you recently started making bras, my question to you is why?

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10 Comments

  1. Reply

    thenerdyseamstress

    Ah, the why. I started making bras because the what was available we’re not pretty and expensive for my size. even if they were, something was off, such as the straps were too wide. I took matters into my own hands. After reading blogs, making, and wearing a few, I know what to look for in terms of fit. I dream of having a drawer full of handmade bras and matching undies. For some reason I never had matching undies. One day, one day.

  2. Reply

    Michelle

    I’m sick of paying so much to be uncomfortable and I did a bra course and its the most comfortable bra that I have

  3. Reply

    Shelly

    If only I had the courage! I am hard to fit being barrel chested, large chested (size d) for my size (an even 5 foot tall girl) and I treasure the bras I find that fit me well and are comfortable. A very good reason to sew for myself, but also an even scarier thing to be done. It would be so very easy to do it wrong, over and over again. If I start, I won’t want to quit until I learn it, and so I don’t start, because I feel it will be a very long thing to learn.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Don’t let fear keep you from pursuing an interest. In bra making, there are many parts to mess up on, but it’s no more than a jacket or collared, button down. If anything, having that determination to not want to quit would make you a great bra maker!

  4. Reply

    Mary

    I’ve started making my own lingerie because nothing out there fits me. I’m on the opposite end of the scale from your other commenters–I don’t have a “decent sized” chest and really have no “need” for a bra,,,but sometimes a girl likes to feel “pretty” even if she’s a member of the IBTC (Itty Bitty Titty Committee).

    • Reply

      maddie

      I’m a part of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee too! Capitalization absolutely necessary.

    • Reply

      Desirée

      Me too… I haven’t made any yet- but it’s definitely on my short list! It is impossible to find something in my “size” (which actually doesn’t even exist) that isn’t beefed up with inches of padding or unnecessary underwire. Yuck.

  5. Reply

    jennie caminada

    I have only ever owned a decent fitting bra every now and then. Mostly I make do. And I’m sick of tugging at straps or falling out at the end of the day. Hitching my boobs back in halfway through the day. I also, like you, love a challenge. I’m not challenged by dresses any more. I am challenged by bra’s and I’m challenged by jeans and am also on a journey to make the perfect pair of jeans!

  6. Reply

    natashaestradalvn

    I started making bras for the sewing challenge. At the time I didn’t have any fitting issues

  7. Reply

    newmodellame

    I hope to sew a bra this year, I have the pattern and the kit, but we’ll see how long it takes for me to pluck up the courage. I love seeing what other people make though, so thanks for the inspiration.

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