Since I first started making lingerie I have struggled to source supplies here in the UK. There are a small number of suppliers who I use but they don't always have the range I need to complete a particular project. Until now I have sourced mostly from B-Wear in Sweden, who are the European distributor for Bra Makers Supply in Canada. Scouring the internet for patterns and ideas for swimwear I recently came across the Emerald Erin blog and Etsy shop and bought swimwear fabric, lining and elastic as well a grey bamboo knit and black/blush bra kit. All this was in a custom order from Canada. The items arrived promptly, were beautifully wrapped and looked gorgeous. This is what I made!
I apologise for both my model who is a little smaller than me and my photography skills. I can only get better. I am also trying to source a lingerie dress form in my size!
The swimming costume was a bit of a journey. I purchased the Beverly Johnson Craftsy class (I now have the complete set) and bought some practice fabric, sold by weight, from Abakhan in the UK. The first pattern I tried was Beverly's Denise pattern as she uses this in the class. A good basic pattern but I was looking for something more sporty. Then I moved onto Jalie 3134 which looked a little too sporty. The one I decided to make up in my lovely fabric was Jalie 3350. I chose the twisted front, the open back and adjustable straps. The front is lined with pockets for optional swim cups. The pattern requires a little concentration to get the twist right but looks and fits beautiful. It stayed put during swimming and washed well.
Moving on to the black and blush bra kit which I bought because the colours looked beautiful, I had then to decide what bra to make with it. Having read good reviews I decided to try the Marlborough bra pattern from Orange Lingerie. I already have both the Boylston and Fenway patterns which have clear and concise instructions. I usually make a trial bra in any new pattern but after mocking up in paper I decided to use the size I made in the Fenway, My lace didn't have a scalloped edge so I used fold over elastic instead. I lined all pieces with bra tulle and also added cut and sew foam to the power bar enclosing it in the side and bottom seam only (having seen this on a RTW bra). I was amazed at the fit and it looks stunning.
Then I had a small amount of non stretch lace left so off I went to look for a panties (or whatever item specific term I should use) pattern that could accommodate this. My search brought me to Ohhh Lulu and the Grace pattern. The lace front and back panel are supposed to be cut on the bias to give the stretch but I didn't have enough fabric to do this so the fit is a little snug. Again I lined the lace. For the sides I used stretch mesh which was a little awkward to hem . Overall I think this is the prettiest and best fitting set I have made. A bargain for the cost of the bra kit.
The metre of bamboo I bought to see how soft it was and once again I had to decide what to do with it. The fabric is really soft and lovely to touch so I decided to make a soft bra - something I hadn't done for myself before. Having just bought the Grace pattern I remembered the Romy soft bra pattern. There is no cup size just XS to XXL. I made the medium and had to cut a little off the back to get a snug fit. I used black powernet for the back band as the fabric was a little too stretchy for proper support. Again I was amazed how great it looked. The only issue for me was that the band elastic was not quite wide/strong enough but it was all I had.
To complement the look I used the Claudia pattern in the lace version, again in medium. Another amazing fit.
With more material over I made the Watson bikini in a medium which came out a little on the large side but I think some of this is the stretch of the fabric. I also made my husband the trunk version of Jalie 3242. Still more left but undecided what to do with it. Another day.