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What I Made: Riley

how to make a bralette

Can’t stop, won’t stop. Bodysuits. I’m on a kick, and I don’t believe this will be the last iteration.

I made my first me-made bodysuit, Allegra,  last fall and didn’t know how much wear it would actually get. It’s been about five months since I stitched her up, and I’ve worn it many, many times. Not so much as a show piece, but for warmth. Underneath dresses, blouses, and sweaters, she provides an extra layer that really does make a difference. The only issue I’ve had is wearing her with tight pants. As long as there is no VPL, she’s a go.

Fabric + Trims

Front, Back (undie portion only) and neckband: Italian velvet-flocked lace knit from Emma One Sock that I had left over from this project. I lined it with 2 ply stretch mesh from Fleishman Fabrics. Why 2 ply stretch mesh? Well, one, the fabric needed to be low stretch and the fabric was very stretchy with not a lot of rebound/spandex, I didn’t have power net, and I am trying to use what I have. Just an FYI – combining 2 layers of stretch fabrics reduced the stretch approximately 20%. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the fabrics together prior to cutting.

Upper Back: Not sure what this fabric is another than a stretch something. I purchased from Jomar, a fabric warehouse where you never know what you’re getting. The prices are fantastic, and it’s on my way home from work, which makes stopping by too irresistible. The fabric has a great pattern and texture, and I’m actually using it for several other projects. It has no recovery/spandex, so it must be lined with stretch mesh/power net so that it doesn’t stretch out of shape.

Trims: 3/8” picot/plush elastic at throughout from Bra Making Supplies by Arte Crafts.

Pattern + Construction

For the most part, sewing was easy-peasy. This was not my first version. I made a muslin, which was a rub-off of a RTW/store-bought bodysuit. The fit was spot on, but I finished the back opening with fold over binding (FOE). Haters gonna hate, and I hate FOE. I have never been happy with the end result. Usually, it moves while sewing, even if I use glue to hold in place, and it always stretches out. Maybe it’s the quality I’m using, or maybe it’s one of those fabrics/trims I’m not good at handling. Can’t be perfect, and perfection is overrated. So, for this version, the back is finished with 3/8″ picot plush elastic and looks WAY better than the muslin. If anyone has tips on sewing FOE or sources for a good quality, help a seamstress out!

The neckband is underlined with 15 denier tricot. Did you even notice the neckband? I struggled with how to stabilize it and I wasn’t sure if it even needed it. For a woven or any other “normal” garment, interfacing a neckband is almost always a must, but lingerie? A bodysuit? I’m not sure if it made a difference, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. I applied the neckband the same way as a waistband.

Can we talk about the cut of the leg opening? This bodysuit has a bikini-cut leg opening, and I feel like Bo-Derek wearing it.  A big trend in the 80s and 90s, I’ve noticed it coming back in style. This swimsuit being all over Instagram and Pinterest lately. Side note – I kind of want it, kind of don’t. It’s more flattering, but I am more comfortable in a boy cut. What are your thoughts? What do you like wearing?


I’m sorry to say (no I’m not), this is not the last time you will see this bodysuit. Riley is just a stepping stone onto the bodysuit I really want to make. I posted some bra-inspiration and there was a black Fleur De Mal bodysuit. It’s the simplest silhouette, but so sleek. I want it! Unfortunately, the price is cha-ching and there was no way in heaven or hell that I was going to buy it only to rip it apart (so that I could rub off the pattern). So I bought a similar and much cheaper one to start off. So I’ll sign off with… stay tuned for the next one. It’s going to be ow ow!

Skirt: Purchased at a boutique in Paris  //  Shoes: Free People  //  Necklace: Kate Spade  //  Watch: Apple

Gotta toot up my Spiegel 60609! This bodysuit was made using Spiegel’s newest sewing machine. Click here to read more about my partnership with them!

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  1. Reply

    Debbie Iles

    This is cute. I’ve got some black lace and ponte on my cutting table right now – with a tank style bodysuit in mind – although at my age, I need some back coverage for a bra ;-). Although I do really love the back of yours. Maybe I can work out a compromise…I’ve never sewn a bodysuit before so I’m going to wing it by merging a one-piece swimsuit pattern with a knit tank pattern I have. I’m thinking I might leave the leg holes unfinished though for a smoother line under clothes… time to experiment.

  2. Reply

    Christine chin

    Lovely. I have some if that flocked lace in my stash and couldn’t figure out what to do with it– a bodysuit is a great idea!

    • Reply


      You have some of this fabric? Lucky duck! This was the last of mine. Maybe you can make a matching bodysuit? Twinsies lol!

  3. Reply

    Catia Silva

    Looks really cute!
    Can’t wait to see the next one.


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