Mystic - Another Orange Lingerie Pattern Release!

No sooner had I finished the Orange Lingerie Lansdowne when the Mystic bra pattern flashed up on Instagram. It is described as a seamless t-shirt bra providing invisible shaping and support underneath even the most fitted garments! Never mind the numerous other projects I have stacked I just had to try. A busy work week so I had to wait until the weekend. So just in time for Strictly I managed another gorgeous set.

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The pattern is based on pre-formed foam bra cups. Luckily, I had a pair in my stash purchased from BWear when I first attempted making bras. I had used two sets for the Pin-Up Girl’s Anita/Amelia Foam Cup Bra Pattern. This offers both a lace and fabric cup option with a lace full band. I had bought the pattern after watching Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy Class Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond. Then I had tried a self drafted partial band which I found hard going because of the bulk of the foam on the bottom edge of the cup. So I was intrigued to see how Orange Lingerie tackled the issue.

I knew from previous makes that you need your fabric to be really stretchy so I looked around for some soft jersey scraps and there on the pile was this super organic cotton from Jelly Fabrics I had just used to line my Charlie Jacket. I only had black foam cups but when I stretched the fabric over slightly it looked fine so I went ahead.

I read the instructions and the trick is to to attach a seam allowance to the inside of the cup. I struggled to find something appropriate and I ended up with some tape. Once you have the tape in place you have to place your fabric with the greatest stretch direction in line with the upper edge and then manipulate until you get out all the creases.

This does take some time and patience. You just need to keep moving the pins around until the creases eventually are stretched out, taking care not to distort the foam cup. Once you are happy with this you then mark a line on the upper cup as well as a notch in the middle on both the fabric and cup. You then need to take out your pins and put the right side of the fabric against the cup with the line matching the edge as well as the notches. You sew an 1/8” seam along the edge and then roll the fabric over and then start the placing of the fabric all over again. When all the wrinkles have gone you sew the fabric to the new seam allowance and cut the the underarm fabric back to 3/8”.

I did one cup and decided to try something different with the second for a smoother look. I left attaching the seam allowance until after I finished the upper edge and got the fabric back in place. Then I basted the fabric in place along the side and bottom edge. With the fabric in place I butted fusible tape along the edge of the cup and fused to the fabric only and then trimmed back to the 1/4” seam allowance.

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With the cups done I had to choose what fabric to use for the rest of the bra. I had some matching red jersey as well as some aqua marine stretch mesh from Costura Secret Shop. Then a decision between red findings or a Fit2Sew findings kit in turquoise. Too much choice but I decided on using the same fabric for the bridge and side band with two layers of the mesh for the back band. With this combination the turquoise findings looked best.

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On to the bridge. The pattern does say to stabilise if using your cup fabric. This is really important as I found out in previous makes. The jersey stretches out and causes creases when used with a stable lining. So I used an ultra soft fusible to stabilise. Initially I was going to use black sheer lining to match the foam cup but changed to beige. Attaching the bridge to the cups is quite fiddly to get right but worth the effort.

The elastic is added to the cup at this stage. On the first pass the elastic is attached to the fabric seam allowance only. You then attach stabiliser to the end of the elastic so that it is not stretched out by the strap. The pattern has you hand stitch the elastic in place using a fell stitch. However, I just used a machine zigzag as thought a stronger finish and my hand stitching is not very neat.

After stabilising the side bands I used temporary adhesive spray to attach the beige lining to the back and also to keep the two layers of mesh together. The back band is then attached to the side band. This should be pressed towards the side band but my fabric preferred to sit the other way because of the bulk. So rather than overlock the seam and add extra bulk I topstitched close to the edge and trimmed back to the stitching. I think it is worth saying it would be hard to pattern match the cups. I started with two different flamingos in the middle of each cup and this looks fine. However, with so much moving of the fabric you could struggle to be anymore precise.

After attaching the top and bottom elastic to the bands you make the strap. Before attaching the strap I checked the fit of the fastener. The band was too wide so I pinned the two sides together and reshaped to fit. This ensures the bands are exactly the same.

The bands are then attached to the cups. There is an awful lot of bulk where the two elastics meet on the underarm but thankfully not an issue for the sewing machine. Just the chaneling to do before attaching the strap. Before sealing off the ends I made sure that the wires fit through . All done and on to making a matching set.

The Orange Lingerie Montgomery brief is a perfect match as it has an innovative design that eliminates elastic from the bottom for a smooth profile under clothing. I have made this pattern a number of times as it is a really comfortable fit. Although a pattern for a lace front there is a great guide on Norma’s website for a simple adaption so you can use fabric.

You just need to add the seam allowance for the waist elastic and because you are not using the edge of the lace you can draw a light curve for the waist. To make sure it was symmetrical I folded the pattern piece over and used on the fold rather than cut on one layer. To use as much of my fabric as I could I also added the gusset to the panel, rather than use the mesh. So you need to eliminate the seam allowance . This would mean I wouldn’t be able to enclose the front seam but not a big issue for me. I overlocked the front edge and basted in place.

The findings kit was just for a bra so there was not enough 3/8” elastic for both the legs and waist. The kit does contain a neck edge elastic which is rather decorative so I used this for the waist instead. I always put my waist elastic join on the side but the match on this was so good you can’t see it! The guide does say not to stretch the elastic over the front panel as it is meant for a rigid lace. However, this jersey is very stretchy so I calculated my usual deduction and distributed the elastic evenly. Worked perfectly.

Another fabulous make. It is a time consuming process but worth the effort. It did help that I had used a similar method before and knew what size cup, wire and back band works for me and all made from my stash.

No Stopping Me Now - Orange Lingerie Lansdowne and Blossom4Binky

A rather selfish weekend of sewing but I have so many beautiful kits stacked up I just had to use one of them. So as we head into Autumn I thought I would use the strikingly colourful kit from CosturaSecretShop. Then I had to decide what to make with it. Orange Lingerie has just released the new Lansdowne bra pattern so that decision was made. Then Evie la Luve posted a fabulous Blossom set on Instagram and having bought the add on pattern as soon as it came out it was time to give it a try. Feeling quite smug for a number of reasons.

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I have made all the other Orange Lingerie patterns using the same size but as the Lansdowne is a partial band bra I thought I would make my usual paper cup and check. I really like the fact that the PDF pattern has a set of pieces for each size and that the seam allowances are marked. I just cut off the seam allowances and tape together along the cup seam. Looked fine.

The positioning of the lace is made easy as the seam allowances are marked and you can see exactly where the lace will join the bridge and where the strap ring will be attached. I lined with a nude bra tulle from my stash and used clear elastic to stabilise which I attached using a three step zigzag.

Then I had some decisions to make. The kit came with white sheer lining, nude picot elastic, blue strap elastic, black powernet and a black fastener. I hadn’t really picked up on the coral from the pictures I had seen of makes from the kit. I really love the contrast of the coral and the blue and remembered ordering some notions from Madalynne. Wow! So I swapped the elastics.

The outer cup requires stable fabric but as the scuba has some stretch in one direction I lined with the white sheer lining to stablise. This also meant I could enclose the cup seam for a neater finish. I decided against using the fabric for the band as thought this would be too much and used some navy powernet from my stash rather than the black from the kit. Rather than overlock the band to the side band, which creates bulk, I just did two rows of straight top stitching to keep in place. This is fine with scuba which doesn’t fray.

On to the band elastic and the usual dilemma when using different colour elastic and fabric. What colour thread to use? So I did the first pass in beige/nude which blends into the coral really well. However, the colour wasn’t good enough for the contrast on the navy powernet. So had the blue on top and kept the beige in the bobbin, sewing the second pass with the fabric right side up. Also, for a better colour match I used navy duoplex for the lining of the bridge. As with my previous partial band I attached the bands and bridge in one go, sewing from one side of the cup to to the other, to leave a guide for attaching the channeling. Looking pretty.

Applied the channeling as with the previous make. The photo shows how I mark the channeling once the first pass has been done. Once the second pass has been done I applied some iron on seam tape to the end of the elastic to provide stability for the ring attachment. Easier and less bulk than sew on.

I still couldn’t make my mind up about the strap elastic as the coral was a little narrow but looked so much better. I chose the coral and then switched to rose gold findings. Before applying the strap elastic I checked the fit of the fastener. As I had used slightly narrower elastic I had to shave some off the band to fit. As always I reshape the bands pinned together so exactly the same.

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Bra finished and on to the Blossom4Binky. The big issue I had was how I was going to cut out the scuba neatly. Then I had a brain wave. I would see if my Cricut Maker could cut the fabric. No setting for scuba but thought I would try the spandex setting. I made a little design with half circles and watched carefully as the rotary blade cut a perfect circle. So next it was how to get the design into Circut Design Space. I played around taking pictures of the pattern piece, uploading and trying to clean up. Unfortunately this was not good enough as this didn’t give clean edges. So I spent a very worthwhile Saturday morning googling and came up with a free package called Inkscape. I opened the PDF in the program and basically traced using the Bezier pen. You make straight lines from point to point and then shape the curves. Amazing, within a short while I had an SVG file for the Cricut. When I opened in Cricut I had to resize as some SVGs do not import the correct size. Easily done and a perfect cut!

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For the main front I used a stretch mesh I bought in the same order from CosturaSecretShop. I used temporary spray adhesive to keep in place whilst I sewed very carefully around the scalloped edge. It was really hard to see the edge in places but I went really slow. I then enclosed the front seam between the gusset and gusset lining. I even pattern matched the gusset so well you can’t see the join in the picture.

I used the lace for the back. The Binky has two options - full back and half back. The lace wasn’t quite wide enough for the full back. So to make life easier I just used a scrap of fabric behind the lace and used a small zigzag stitch along the scalloped edge. Then I trimmed the fabric back to the stitching. Just the elastic to apply. I didn’t have enough coral for both waist and leg so used the coral on the waist and the blue on the leg.

I know the Binky fits well but this Blossom version is gorgeous. It just looks fantastic with the Lansdowne. The fit and shape of this bra is all I expected from Orange Lingerie. With all the new skills where do I go next!

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