Category: What I’ve Made

What I Made: Nellie Warner (Nina Warner Part Deux)

I’m still in a stage where I’m making as many bra styles before finding my own. I’ve even created a Pinterest board… because who doesn’t love pretending you have more time than you actually have to make a perfectly curated lingerie wardrobe? With each bra, I’m refining the silhouettes, the level of support, the type of fabrics and trims that suit me. Surprisingly, this style has become my favorite go-to, casual bra. You would think that because of the high neckline, I would only be able to wear it under shirts with a high neckline as well. Not so. It’s super cute peeking out from underneath a button down blouse or an oversized tee with a low armhole. This bra, Nellie Warner, is an evolution of Nina Warner, and Nina Warner is an evolution of the Kitri Lace Crop Bra, which I first made last year. My goal was to add another variation/option to the pattern, which is a cutout racerback. Nellie Warner is an evolution of Nina Warner, and Nina Warner was an evolution of the Kitri Crop Lace Bra. My goal was to add a variation/option to the pattern, which was a cutout racerback. The bra also features princess seams and a bottom band. Center front, side front and back: Italian velvet-flocked lace knit (Emma One Sock), lined with firm/classic power net (Fleishman Fabrics). Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the fabrics together prior to cutting. Bottom band: stretch scalloped lace (gifted from Donna, a sewing friend who is a member of Bra Making Forum). This bra was a lesson of the importance of recovery in stretch fabrics. The fabric, a beautiful Italian velvet-flocked lace knit, has a lot of stretch (80% in one direction and 60% in the other) and little recovery. As a frame of reference, a high stretch fabric in lingerie…

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tags: bra making, Construction, knits, lingerie, What I've Made Comments: 6

What I Made: Eleanor Sykes

Just when I was doing a good job at staying on track on my quest to develop an entirely handmade lingerie wardrobe, I detour and sew something not on my list. Also, didn’t I write in my last bra post that I wanted to make more soft bras? Yep, this bra, Eleanor Sykes, has an underwire. Blame bra queen Beverly Johnson for releasing a new class on Craftsy, Sewing Bras: Designer Technique. Who else was blindsided by the launch? I first got word when someone posted about it on Bra Making Forum, a closed Facebook group Natasha and I started (haven’t heard about it? Click here to learn more and possibly join!). I HAD to take it. Within the first 15 minutes, Beverly demonstrates how to transform a full band bra pattern into a partial band. It’s an easy pattern alteration – which I wrote about here last week – and I had the perfect pattern to use. So I threw my plan out the window. We all have cheat days. Some involve high fat, high carbohydrate foods while others involve partial band bras. A partial band bra featuring horizontal cross cup seams, 3-hook and eye closure and 1/8” elastic straps. The pattern was drafted from Amber Rosalind using Beverly Johnson’s method in her new Craftsy class. Cups and band: Navy blue stretch lace (Arte Crafts) lined with power net (Fleishman Fabrics). Used temporary spray adhesive to temporarily baste the fabrics together before sewing. Bridge: Navy blue stretch lace (Arte Crafts) lined with two layers 15-denier tricot All trims were sourced from Bra Makers Supply: 3/8” plush/picot elastic at underarm, top band and neckline ½” plush/picot elastic at bottom band 1/8” strap elastic 1/8” and ¼” rings and sliders power net and trims were dyed royal blue using acid dye…

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tags: bra making, lingerie, What I've Made Comments: 10

What I Made: Thongs + Free Pattern Download

My mother told me never to use the word “hate.” Well mom, I hate VPLs. Unless it’s the brand VPL, the acronym (visible panty lines) is a no-no in for my wardrobe. One way to avoid VPLs is to wear full coverage undies, and I’ve developed a high-waisted, bum-covering undie that is my TNT for dresses and loose fitting pants and shorts. But if I’m to achieve an entirely handmade lingerie wardrobe, I have to start making thongs because I wear tight pants, Ohh la la, here I go… Merckwaerdigh SS1 – blue and cream thong pictured – a lovely mix of 5 different thongs, some with scalloped lace and some without. RTW rub off – pink and white thong pictured – rub off from a RTW (ready to wear) pattern sent to me by a sewing friend, Di. We “met” on the Bra Making Forum Natasha and I started. Before PDFs, Di made a ton of thongs using patterns from McCalls and Kwik Sew. She hated all of them. They were either half way up her back or they were too wide in the thong part and folded up uncomfortably. Frustrated, she bought a bunch of RTW thongs and when she found the ones that fit well, she rubbed off the pattern and made a composite of various parts. She tweaked that pattern until she got exactly what she wanted and hasn’t bought a RTW thong since. Merckwaerdigh: front / back and crotch piece are 2 ply white matte jersey (Jack B. Fabrics) and waist is a scalloped lace (Arte Crafts). Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste matte jersey plys together. I used 2 plys because 1 was too lightweight and sheer. RTW rub off: front / back are pink matte jersey (Fleishman Fabrics) and stretch lace (Spandex House). Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste together. Crotch piece is white matte jersey (Jack…

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tags: lingerie, Pattern Making, Wardrobe, What I've Made Comments: 8

What I Made: Another Watson Bra!

Another day, another bra made. The marigold number you see above is my third Watson bra. Even before I get to the deets, I’ll preface with a fourth is definitely on the way! I’ve been studying power net, regular stretch mesh, and micromesh, investigating how it’s made (on a Raschel machine, which is a specialized warp knit machine), how to dye it (the right temperatures, how the PH of your local water affects dye potency), and how and when to use the three. One reason is that I’m a geek and I like learning about new things and the other is that not lining beautiful lace with the proper materials would be like making a jacket without the proper interfacing. The first Watson, which was not blogged because it was a muslin, was lined with power net. I couldn’t get it over my head – remember that I eliminated the back closure. The second was lined with a micro mesh. While I wear the heck out of it, it doesn’t provide a lot of support, even for my size A bust. For this Watson, I lined it with a stretch mesh, which is in between powernet and micro mesh when it comes to stretch percentage. The lace, an excellent quality that I bought from a local fabric shop, has 30% stretch in all directions. Underlined with the mesh, it had about 25%. So the addition of the mesh reduced the stretch by approximately 5%, which is useful to know in the future. If I ever have a stretch fabric that is too stretchy, I can underline it with another stretch fabric to reduce the stretch. I tested the stretch before I fused the two fabrics together using a permanent spray adhesive and I suspect bonding the two fabrics together reduced…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, What I've Made Comments: 7

My Bra Challenge

The word proactive is fairly commonplace, but really, its core definition is obscure. Proactive means more than just taking initiative. At its roots, it means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. A proactive person’s behavior is not a result of their environment, but a conscious decision based off their values. Regardless of their external stimuli (weather, social environment), they feel a responsibility to make a change about an unquestioning, unstinting and wholehearted belief. My belief is the handmade. Being proactive can dump us into our most difficult situations, but these experiences are what become the crucibles that forge our character and our skills to tassel out and blossom. It also helps us handle similar situations in the future more effectively and inspires others to take on a challenge as well. In my opinion, Project Sewn is more than a competition, it’s an example of being proactive. Marce was a competitor in a previous season, and in each installment, she accented the ranks of seamstress. At the end, she had graduated from home sewer to couturier (she deserves a crown, emirate?). Asked to make a garment based off a pair of shoes, she hand pieced a guipure lace bolero to fit her shape. Damn, that was good… I’m going to be proactive and take on a self-imposed challenge. My bra making skills have developed slowly but surely. I’m at a place now where I confidently show off and intelligently speak about what I make. But I can be better; I know it. What I need to do is dare myself into “can’t” land. I think I can’t sew 3 sets of lingerie in one weekend, but that’s only because I don’t think I can. So, on top of all my other projects, even if it means…

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tags: What I've Made Comments: 18