March 5, 2013 by Janna Roznos
Sewing bras – I’m done. For a while, I think. I now have four new bras.
Years ago, I had sewn two bras which I have worn quite a bit and, yes they had become a tad bit ratty looking, too.
I had all the supplies to make several more bras stashed away in my fabric closet. I followed along the Bra Sew A-long that was happening over at The Cloth Habit. So what was stopping me?
I dislike sewing bras. Okay I admit it! I dislike – quite possible hate sewing bras!
The fabric is just too fiddle – tricot, which is what I use, is slippery, curls on the edges and I can never tell what is the right or wrong side and, more importantly, I am convinced that the tricot doesn’t really like me too much.
If fabric can hate than this fabric hates me.
The stretchy plush elastic is sewn to the fiddly tricot fabric via a zig-zag stitch while the elastic is stretched to fit the tricot but the tricot should not be stretched at all.
The pattern requires ¼ inch seams and only ¼ inch seams – not an almost ¼ inch seam or a just a little bit over ¼ inch seam but a ¼ inch seam!
And mostly, the bra pattern I have is very utilitarian. Sure it fits great. Sure it’s comfortable. Sure my sewn bras last longer than any RTW bra I have ever purchased. Sure they provide the most comfortable support and uplift and fit.
But they are so . . . . blah!.
I want to sew a lacey sexy bra like something from Victoria Secrets but built for the middle-aged gal that I have become!
So I decided I would! And, not only would I sew a bra with lace but I would also dye it, too.
Might as well jump in with both feet.
This didn’t work so well.
First, I didn’t realize that the lace was going to take more of the dye than the tricot and that the plush elastics took even less. And, I sewed the bra up with white polyester thread which didn’t take the dye at all.
I suppose next time I will know better or better yet, maybe I’ll just buy the bra components already dyed and just concentrate on that ¼ seam.
However here are a few comments on the pattern:
This is the Queen Elite pattern from Needle Nook Fabrics. I am a 38 E almost straight from the pattern.
I guess I must be boring that way.
Besides the pattern, I also used the accompany book, Intimately Yours: Bras That Fit in order to sew up by bras:
This book shows all the steps to sew the Queen Elite bra from start to finish. It has photos/information on fit (good fit vs. poor fit) and how to alter a poor fitting bra pattern. Also there are several sections on how to modify a bra pattern for a front closure, nursing bra, strap modifications, etc. The book is pretty comprehensive. There is even a section about dying a bra, which I should have read a bit more closely . . .
Sewing a bra doesn’t really take all that much time.
And, by the time I got to the last one, I was getting pretty good at the sewing (particular the ¼ inch seam allowance).
And, since I am flying high right now with my improved bra making skills. I decided to try another bra pattern:
This pattern is a three piece cup vs. the two piece cup of the Queen Elite- so far I have traced out the pattern and now must sew up a muslin and test the fit.
My bra making journey continues . . .