Just like Cloth Habit’s Watson Bra, it seems like everyone has made Merckwaerdigh’s BHS10. There are numerous reviews on Pattern Review. I’ve been meaning to make one, it was on my list when I wrote about building a bra wardrobe, but well, life and other bra making got in the way.
Merckweardigh BHS10 is a mix of 5 different bras – a soft bra which can also be used as a bikini top, a luxury sport bra, a laced soft bra, an all lace underwired bra and a smooth padded bra. I made the luxury sports bra (the one at the upper left hand corner on the pattern envelope).
Upper cup, lower cup, side front and racerback: 5 1/2” teal and white galloon stretch lace (Arte Crafts), lined with stretch mesh (Fleishman Fabrics). Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste fabrics together prior to cutting.
Center front: same stretch lace as rest of bra, but lined with 15 denier tricot (Bra Makers Supply)
I’ve been looking for a soft, 1/8”- 1/4” elastic with no picot to use on the top edge of the upper cup with a scallop lace. I’ve seen it on RTW bras, but can’t find a vendor that sells it. The only kind I’ve seen is knitted elastic, which is not soft and is meant to be encased in a tunnel or turned under. I could have not lined the upper cut, but I like the additional support of the mesh. I also could have used clear elastic, but it’s really difficult to sew and in my opinion, looks handmade. So, I cut off the picot on a 1/4” elastic I had in my stash. This kind of elastic is not as strong as plush/picot and meant for the waist/top of undies. I was very careful not to cut into the elastic. It’s not a professional method, but I think it looks professional. What do you think? Do you know a vendor that sells a soft, picot-less elastic? Do you have another way to finish a scallop edge lace?
Cutting was standard – I spray basted the mesh to the fabric and cut. I used eucalyptus oil after to clean my cutting mat to remove any residual glue.
The instructions are roughly translated and do not include instructions. Because I have experience in bra making, I was able to figure out the order of operations, but if you’re new to sewing lingerie, I definitely think you should check out Sigrid’s series of posts. It’s basically a sew-along for this pattern.
To attach the side panel to the cups, you lay one over the other, sew with a zigzag, and trim close to the stitches. Even though lace and mesh don’t unravel, I don’t like the look of raw seams on the inside (I consider a zig zag finish raw). Next time, I might cover with a tricot bias tape.
I made this bra once before and there were only two alterations I made. I reduced the cup volume using this method and lowered the racer back so that I could sew a ring to it (which would attach it to the front straps).
This was a great exercise; another opportunity to sew a bra and use/develop techniques I hadn’t before. The bra doesn’t have much appeal flat, and when I finished sewing, I thought I would hate it on body. Surprisingly, I liked it. It fits well, is flattering, and has great seaming. But will it become a part of my bra wardrobe? Probably not. This bra was the last bra on my list (I nixed the sports bra a few weeks ago because to be honest – I just don’t want to make one!). Now that I’ve made underwires, soft bras, thongs, high and low waisted undies as well as more, my focus now is to make a bra wardrobe that is my style. When you first started sewing, you may have made garments just for the hell of it. To learn a new technique, to try a fly front zipper, to sew rayon challis. But once you reached a point where you thought you had a good foundation, you may have then started to consider your how what you sew would fit into an everyday wardrobe that was you. That’s where I am. I’ve created a Pinterest board and it’s clear that the silhouettes I’m drawn to are simple. I’ve also been spending a lot of time in RTW stores trying on and buying a few pieces that I could take apart and replicate.
If you haven’t checked out Margreet’s blog, you should! Look at her old posts to see a step-by-step process on how she develops a pattern.
The matching thong picutred was a previous made – click here to read all about it!