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What i Made: Nina Warner

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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!

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bra 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 this fabric for a bra. It’s very stretchy and would not be supportive enough. I was a hypnotized by its smooth-as-buttah hand while fabric shopping. We’ve all been there. Also, the store didn’t have the spandex I intended to buy. I made it work by underlining it with a layer of power net. Without the power net, the bra wouldn’t have worked.

Trims: All trims were sourced from Bra Makers Supply:
1/4″ picot elastic at neck
½” plush/picot elastic at the underarm
¾” strap elastic
¾” rings and sliders

Cutting: Lining up the lace pattern at the princess seams was the most difficult part. First, I placed the most dominant pattern at the center front and made sure that the top of the scallop was higher than my bust point. It’s more flattering. I spray basted the lace to the matte jersey/power net and then repeated the process for the side fronts, lining up the patterns at the princess seam.

Construction: Construction was simple. I used a 3-thread overlock to sew all seams. Next time, I’ll attach the bottom band with a small zigzag instead. The overlock was bulky, which made it very difficult to attach the elastic. I ended up not using elastic and pressed the seam allowance up and top stitched with a zigzag. On my next version, I’ll definitely need elastic for it to feel snug at the ribcage.

Pattern: Evolution of the Kitri Bra. Changed the back band to be racerback and smoothed the underarm curve. Before, the underarm intersected the center front piece at a sharp angle.

Resources: Some of my favorite Etsy shops that sell handmade soft bras are Elma Shop, Upside Down Kisses, Tatianas Threads, Egretta Garzetta and Luva Huva.

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undie
Overview: High-waisted undies with angled, lace side panels

Fabric:
Center front:
matte jersey (Jack B. Fabrics) underlined with power net (Fleishman Fabrics). Used temporary spray adhesive to spary baste fabrics together.
Side panels: stretch scalloped lace (gifted from Katy & Laney)

Although I wouldnt normally use matte jersey for a bra, its a great option for undies. It has a super smooth and soft hand.

Trims: All trims were sourced from Bra Makers Supply:
1/4″ picot elastic at waist, which is the same trim at the neck opening of the bra
1/4″ plush/picot elastic at leg opening

Construction: Because the width of the lace was not wide enough for the side panels to be cut in one piece, I added a side seam. I used a temporary adhesive to spray baste the lace over the front and back pieces, which made sewing much easier.

Pattern: Based on my undie pattern block. Altered into this pattern by adding angled seams on front and back.

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I’m still working on my bra wardrobe and I’ve updated it to be simpler. Simple has become my middle name! Nina Warner will go in the soft bra category, which is in light blue below. Still on the to-do list is a sports bra and a thong, which is in orange below. Not many sewing bloggers have made/talked about thongs (correct me if I’m wrong), but I wear them as much as full coverage undies. I hate VPLs, so if I’m going to create an entirely handmade lingerie wardrobe, I’ve got to get cracking on them stat. I’m working on perfecting a pattern – Merckweardigh SS1 – as well as another soft bra to go with it – Merckwaerdigh BSH10 and. After, I’ll move onto a sports bra and a bodysuit. Melissa was so kind and suggested a pattern and construction tips. Thanks lady!

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To end, this bra is a go-to, casual bra that I LOVE. How many women can say that about a standard, white bra? There needs to be more of that available (and sewn) today.

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17 Comments

  1. Reply

    Sophie

    So incredibly beautiful Maddie! I feel like I’m falling hard for these soft cupped, delicate intimates more and more. There’s something about them that feels more feminine and celebratory of being alive in a woman’s body!

    • Reply

      maddie

      I couldn’t agree more. Just because I don’t have a huge chest doesn’t mean my body isn’t “womanly. “

  2. Reply

    AFI

    What a beautiful combination of lace and jersey! Indeed, simple and beautiful!

  3. Reply

    thewallinna

    This set is so cute, feminine and sexy 🙂 I bet it’s much more comfortable than a wired bra!

    • Reply

      maddie

      I’m wearing it today and it’s the most comfortable bra I’ve worn.

  4. Reply

    Michelle E

    So pretty. Your photo styling is just amazing too. What a treat for the eyes. Thank you.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Thank you!

  5. Reply

    Wrinspiration

    beautiful!

  6. Reply

    dressingtherole

    lovely! I’ve learned so much reading about your bra-making adventures – thank you for sharing! You mentioned that you are liking soft bras without underwires. I, too, and small-busted and totally agree! However, do you think they are appropriate in a professional environment? I asked that question on my blog, and got a response that wearing anything that might “show the cold” unacceptable in some work places. What are your thoughts on this?

    (Here are my bra posts, in case you’re curious:
    https://dressingtherole.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/valentines-surprise/
    https://dressingtherole.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/watson-take-two-fancy-pants-edition/)

    • Reply

      maddie

      Great question! I work for a fashion retailer where there is no dress code. Flip flops and 5 inch stilettos are acceptable. Tattoos and piercings too. I’ve worked for the same company since college, so I’ve never been in a different work environment. It’s hard for me to give you my two cents when I’ve never been in that kind of scenario. Interested debate though!

    • Reply

      Ani

      I’m late to the party, but I’ve been making soft cup bras for myself for a little while now. Visible nipples ain’t cutting it for me, so I tried a few different silicone “shields” that I slip in. My favorites are by “Nippies”, whose name makes me giggle every time I wear them because I am 10 years old, apparently.

      • Reply

        maddie

        Never late to the party! Thanks for your input!

  7. Reply

    Stacia | Paper Swallow Events

    I adore the lace you used for this one!

  8. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    They call thongs g bangers down under

  9. Reply

    sallie

    Lovely! The white lace is gorgeous, and I love that the bra looks like it has a cool, modern cut with the high, halter-isn neckline and racerback. Definitely the kind of bra that would look great peeking out of a minimalist dress. My favorite bras are soft, minimal cups that give a very natural shape, but paired with underwires for a little ‘lift’ which looks best on my frame. But I’ve been completely done with the padded, push-up, molded bras that seem to flood the American market ever since spending a summer in Rome. All the gorgeous Italian women had such a different look that celebrated a very natural, even aging, shape, and let me tell you – it OOZED sexiness! Small busts, big busts, medium busts, old, young, it was all good! Just how it was!

    • Reply

      Jacqui

      I agree! Being of the busty persuasion, I’ve always felt like I had to keep ’em under control with a highly-structured, molded bra. Lately I’ve been wearing looser, softer styles and couldn’t be happier. Not only do they provide plenty of support (my initial worry), I also feel a lot more natural, sexy, and comfortable.

  10. Reply

    Katy

    Gorgeous!

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