Well, we all now how much I like Hannah’s patterns so I was thrilled to be asked to be a pattern tester for the new Evie La Luve Havana bralette and Ember panties. I had been following the progress of the patterns and had even bought some Spoonflower fabric for when they became available. This is just so gorgeous. A little thought into the straps but other than that a really quick and very gratifying make.
Strappy lingerie is not for everyone but if you get the fit right it can look amazing and still be comfortable. So with the Jamie bodysuit, Keyhole Darcey and a Frankie with a strap back under my belt I thought I would go the next step and go double straps. For the Havana the choice is plain front or with mesh and then single or double straps.
There are endless possibilities for the Ember but I wanted to match with the Havana so I went with version 4 front and then version 2 back with double straps. Then I had to check that I had enough strapping, rings and sliders as they are all used in large quantities. Good to go!
Not a lot of fabric required but I did need to fussy cut my little cat faces. The pantie front panel was easy enough. I just folded the fabric through the middle of the nose and made sure the face filled the widest part of the pattern. The Havana front was hard to judge as cut in one piece on the fold I didn’t want the two full on faces so I went with whiskers at the centre front with gave me two full faces at the sides. The alternative would be to have a centre seam but that would add unnecessary bulk.
I chose a very soft stretch mesh for both the lining of the Havana and the contrast fabric. After sewing the darts in both you baste together. I prefer to do this by hand with a silk thread which is easier to remove and doesn’t put any strain on the fabric. I then applied the contrast piece, pressed the seam down and topstitched in place before trimming back to the stitches for a neat finish.
As my mesh was very stretchy I applied the fold over elastic at this point. Personally I like to measure out the elastic and mark the middle and pin to centre front. This ensures I have matching sides. I then applied the plush elastic band followed by the underarm elastic and again, to ensure matching sides, I measured out the elastic for the underarm and matched the quarter points making sure I left the 2” at the top for attaching the rings.
For the front you use rings the same width as your strap elastic and the larger 5/8” rings are used for the sides. The third large ring is attached to the band at the centre front, leaving around 1/4” of the elastic showing. I marked both the centre of the elastic and the 1/4” as I am very fussy about accurate placement. I used a Frixon pen and with a quick shot of steam the mark is gone. Next, the shoulder straps are added. As always, I use a fabric glue pen to hold the strap in place, start in the middle, go forward to the end, reverse back and then forward back to the middle. This means I can snip the threads really close and the edges are really clean. I always fold the same amount and stitch in the same place. This pattern has a lot of straps and this helps the finished product look really professional.
Then on to those snazzy double straps! I used both the technical drawing and the photos to ensure I had the fourth strap in the right place. It also helps if you attach the straps in the same direction as the photos ie. which side you attach first. I did not think this through on the first set and then had to mentally mirror the look as I had done the opposite side first! The finished product was well worth the effort. I knew the bralette would fit but wondered about the support and the fit of the straps as people have varied body shapes. There was no need to worry as the support was great and with the sliders on the straps you can fine tune for a fabulous look.
So on to the Ember. Either front 3 or 4 would match the Havana but I went with 4 as this had a little more fabric coverage especially with the very stretchy mesh. First you attach the sides to lower front. For finishing the seems I used my new Janome Air Thread which is a dream to use. After pressing the seams downwards you topstitch in place.
The FOE is applied to each side of the back cut out before stitching the centre back seam, again finishing with the overlocker. This is quite a bulky seam where the FOE meets but I gave it a good press and followed the pattern instructions to sew a few stitches to hold in place. The leg elastic is applied next. Personally I like to measure and cut the same elastic for each leg and match at the quarter points. I now have enough experience not to do this but I am a creature of habit.
Next you stitch the side seams. I first hand stitched the FOE in place as it is quite bulky and likes to move. Again I pressed well and used a few stitches to secure. Then you add the waist elastic leaving the tabs for the attaching the large rings to the back. I had just 3” of FOE elastic left!
Just the straps to finish. These are done just like the Havana so it was much quicker this time. I was coming to the end of the roll of strap elastic so I measured it all out before cutting. I did have another batch but a slightly different white. Unbelievably there was just enough but I had to use the alternative for the 2” for the tab centre front but as you see so little it is not a problem. Then for the big try on.
My verdict? I know what size to make for myself so this is advantageous. However, as with all the other Evie la Luve patterns, this fits true to size. I have very wide shoulders so bralettes without fasteners are harder for me to get on but the strapping is easier to get on than a full back band as there is more stretch. I made medium with 1/2” strapping and I thought that combination worked well. The look is absolutely amazing. Can’t wait to try the other versions. Next I need to find a friend who would like the Ember full strappy version. I have some gorgeous pink bamboo which would look fantastic with black elastic and findings.