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How To Reduce Bulk When Sewing Lingerie


When working with thick fabrics such as fleece, wools or double knits, bulk is an obvious issue. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but bulk is also an issue when sewing lingerie. Generally speaking, lingerie is made with thin fabrics – lace, mesh, powernet and the like. Lingerie is also made with elastic, which is thick in comparison. When two seams or edges intersect that have elastic (example: strap point), it becomes very noticeable – an unsightly lump that is a red flag for homemade. Even with the help of something like a hump jumper, it’s difficult to sew over without getting skipped stitches and/or your machine getting stuck. I have started using a (very easy) method, which I’m sharing with you today, that reduces bulk at these points, and has taken my me-made lingerie up a notch.

For this tutorial, I’m using the strap point of my latest bra, Anita, as an example, however, the method can be adapted for many other uses/cases.

1. First, I sewed the first pass of the elastic on the neckline. I always leave a tail at both edges, which helps me when I start sewing – it’s something to grab onto. I start and stop stitching approximately ¼” from either edge, and sew a straight stitch.
2. Leaving the elastic at the neckline as is, I sew the first pass of the elastic at the underarm, folding the neckline elastic back as I sew past it.
3. Then, I trim the neckline elastic along the straight stitch.
4. After, I fold the neckline elastic down, and the underarm elastic back and over it (you may have to trim off the “dog ears” or extra fabric sticking out).
5. Last step is to sew the second pass of the neckline elastic and then trim so the elastic is flush with the edge.

Ta-da! See how smooth and thin it is! Easy-peasy.

Your turn! Do you have any tips for reducing bulk when sewing lingerie? Share in the comments below or tag me on Instagram: #bramakingwithmadalynne

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  1. Reply


    Hi Maddie, I was wondering do you sell the pattern for Anita anywhere? I’m a yoga teacher and love the high neckline especially for plank:). I’d like to try to sew it in a supportive, moisture wicking fabric. Thank you for any direction!

    • Reply


      Unfortunately, I do not ;(

      • Reply


        Ok. Thanks for letting me know!

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