What I like most about Merckwaerdigh’s patterns is that one pattern comes with several different variations of essential the same bra. I’ve been toying with my patterns to do the same, so that fronts, backs and strap details are interchangeable. At least somewhat. I really like the cutout back on Nellie Warner, so I tried to recreate it in a different way for this bra, Mallori Lane. I also added a bottom band that channels Fortnight Lingerie. To top it off, I made it with sequin mesh. Every woman NEEDS a sequin bra. Not wants, needs!
I hate to leave you hanging, but stay tuned later this week for an exciting announcement about Mallori Lane!
The sequin mesh had enough stretch/recovery to be used on its own, but the wrong side is very scratchy, so I lined with a soft, matte jersey. I’ve worn it on many occasions and the only time I can feel the sequins is when I wear a sleeveless shirt and under part of my upper arm rubs against it, but it’s not enough to cause a rash or prevent me from wearing it.
3/8” plush/picot elastic at top and bottom band (Bra Makers Supply)
1/4” strap elastic for vertical and horizontal back straps (Bra Makers Supply)
2 metal rings and sliders (Bra Makers Supply)
3/8” channeling for side (Bra Makers Supply)
I drafted the front piece using my measurements and this Pinterest image. It was a pretty straight-forward, simple draft. Because there is no seaming (i.e. cross cup seam) or underwire, this bra is best for chests that have little projection/volume – sizes A-B. Anything bigger and you’d need a vertical or horizontal seam to give shaping.
I’ve made this bra before using scrap fabric from Nellie Warner. The first iteration had a stretch lace trim at the bottom front and three horizontal back straps (there was no bottom band). While there were no issues with the bottom horizontal strap riding up (the vertical straps were only attached to the bottom strap; not the top two), I added a bottom band as an experiment. My thinking was that for larger chests, having that band would serve as an anchor. Between the two, which one would I choose to wear? Probably Mallori Lane.
My standard method of cutting is with a rotary cutter. Due to the sequins, I used my 8” Ginghers. It wasn’t hard to cut, but be prepared for sequins to be everywhere! Even after making this bra a few weeks ago, I’m still finding sequins in various crevices, nooks and crannies.
Sewing sequin mesh was a lot easier than I thought! It’s like sewing knits – once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze! I posted to the Bra Making Forum asking for tips and as always, I received great advice. The biggest being to use a leather or jeans needle so it wouldn’t break. I did and it worked. No broken needles! I was nervous that there would be skipped stitches since it wasn’t a ball point / stretch and my fabric had spandex/Lycra, but there was no issue! After sewing, my biggest tip is when attaching the elastic, do not use any tension, meaning SET THE ELASTIC COMPLETELY FLAT. My first go, I stretched elastic just slightly as I do on most bras, and it caused unsightly bunching/puckering. And no, I did not remove sequins from seam allowance. God bless the sewer who has patience for that! Thankfully, the sequin mesh I purchased did not come undone once I cut.
I love this bra! It channels two of my favorite soft bras – The Watson and Fortnight – but has its own tune. In real life, I wouldn’t channel Mark Walberg a la 1990s and wear my undies hanging out like in the photos.