Next up is the purple contrast. I think I have spent more time thinking about what to make than sewing but the deliberation was worth it. Another stunning set.
For this set I wanted to make use of the purple powernet from Sewing Chest. I scoured my lingerie pattern folders as I still have some not yet tried. But in the end went with the Ohhh Lulu Grace Hipster and the Romy soft bra. Previous makes that had fit well.
The Grace is good for scraps of fabric and you can use woven fabrics on the bias for the centre front and back pieces. Although I have used non stretch lace cut on the grainline when I didn’t have enough left from making a bra. Fit a bit snug but still worked.
This pattern is for regular elastic so the first job was to print out the pattern again and take off the elastic allowances off the waist and leg openings as I wanted to use fold over elastic. The pattern has 1/2” seam allowances so I trimmed down to 1/4” making sure I marked this version of the pattern in red for when I use again. This is where my plethora of rulers come in handy. And, where no line I can use on my curved rulers I have the little seam allowance guide and I just join up the marks. I bought the rulers after taking a lingerie pattern drafting class with Lorna Knight. They have proved really useful both in drafting my own patterns and making adjustments to others.
This time I fussy cut the pieces a little to make sure I got some of the dark purple in each of the pattern pieces Took a bit longer to cut out but worth doing. I used a frixon pen to draw around one side and then flipped the piece over and drew around that so I could see the pattern piece in full. If wrong just steam the mark and start again!
The first step is to finish the front edge of the gusset lining as it is not enclosed in a seam. I did this with what is called a double overcasting stitch on my sewing machine. Not as good a coverage but I have taken to doing this on small sections when I am too lazy to get out the overlocker and/or not wanting to thread bobbins if I want the thread to match the fabric. Then on to the side seams. I didn’t want the fabric to be seen through the powernet so I used my cover stitch with woolly nylon in the looper to keep the seam to the centre. Then I just trimmed the seam as close as I could to the stitching.
Just the fold over elastic to apply I have found Evie La Luve’s guidelines to be a good fit. I measured around the leg and waist and took off 1 1/4” for the leg and 1 1/2” for the waist. My way of joining is to use a straight stitch over Stitch N Tear starting and finishing in the middle so I have no threads to cut off at the ends. I then use a fabric water soluble glue pen to keep the seam allowance in place whilst I attach. To finish I steam the elastic - it makes all the difference. A great tip from Norma (Orange Lingerie).
Moving on to the Romy. The earlier version I made did ride up a little because the band elastic was not strong enough for purpose so I was going to use some wider and stronger elastic. I meant to allow for this but I got carried away with fussing cutting the cups that I forgot to do. However, the band elastic I used this time was much better quality. BWear, one of the suppliers I use, does indicate the % stretch which is useful to know. Looking lovely already!
The previous version I made was a lace neckline edge so this was a slightly different make. You enclose the front upper cup edge between the front lower cup fabric and lining. Although I matched the notches I was a bit concerned whether I had them in the right place but looked find when turned the right way. The option is to understitch the seam allowance to the lining but I just trimmed the seam allowance down to 1/4".
Then you enclose this front cup between the side cup fabric and lining. Again I trimmed the seam allowance as very bulky with all the layers.
The bands are then enclosed using the burrito method. You pin the band to the right side of the fabric then bring the lining over like a sandwich. Then you turn to right side so all enclosed.
The cups are then joined at the centre seam. The instructions recommend basting by hand first as you have to sew from the very bulky fabric to the relatively thin mesh. This can cause movement and the look depends on these points matching.
You can either press this seam open or overlock and press to one side. Pressing to one side, for me, is not aesthetically pleasing when using mesh but I didn't want to leave without finishing so I stitched a short line either side trimming back to the stitching line. Not yet done in the picture but I then changed thread and did the same in white for the fabric keeping the seam flat and neat.
There are no guides for the length of fold over elastic just a gentle pull. I am now getting a feel for what this means and the v of the neckline went well. I am a little more enthusiastic along the underarm as fold over elastic is not as supportive as normal plush back elastic.
Then I had to make decision at to what colour strap, band elastic and fastener use as I couldn't source the right colour purple. A very difficult colour to gauge on a computer screen. I went with white and it was the right choice. Give myself a little pat on the back!