Who needs a reason to make more lingerie!

I don’t but I have lost so much weight since I have been back in the gym that nothing really fits so August turned into a bit of a lingerie sewing marathon. Luckily I have a stack of patterns to work with but picked up a few more along the way. So here are a few of my makes.

Emerald Erin Black Beauty

Emerald Erin Black Beauty

Orange Lingerie Devonshire

Orange Lingerie Devonshire

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Having found my most recent make, the Emerald Erin Black Beauty, to be a perfect fit I thought I would make another version. I was intending to use one of the tulle kits in pistachio or rose with latte findings but Nellie Joans posted a kit with mint and seashell pink and I was sold. I checked my stash and was really pleased to be able to put together a similar look using a Tailor Made kit. I added the nude foam as I wanted a pretty day bra without any show through. For a set I made both an Orange Lingerie Montgomery brief and a plain Evie la Luve Binky.

The tulle comes specially cut and laid out in two layers, with opposing direction of stretch and soft sides out, ready to cut into as a single layer. So much attention to detail with both the kit and the pattern means you get a bra that fits as it should. I pretty much followed the instructions except I added an extra layer of nude tulle so I could enclose all the seams of the cradle.

Luckily I had bought some stretch tulle from Small Bobbins which matched perfectly. A bit wary of using such sheer material for underwear I first made the Montgomery brief. This uses two layers for a no vpl look. A big favorite of mine as you can use just a scrap of lace. The coral and pink lace from Fit2Sew worked perfectly but I only had a small piece meant for the upper cup of a bra. I lined the lace with some nude mesh.

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The stretch tulle was so easy to work with that I decided to try a very sheer Binky. All three look absolutely amazing. So I moved on to using the scrap of lace left. I wanted something to match the first Black Beauty and went back to another Emerald Erin pattern, the Tuesday boyshort. I ended up photocopying the lace to make sure I could get a match. Worked beautifully with the pink bamboo also from Emerald Erin.

Around the same time the Black Beauty was released Orange Lingerie released the Devonshire bra. The patterns description says “I wanted to create beautiful uplift with delicate lace… Vertical seams are great for uplift and the result of the cup structure with the lace scallop edge is just gorgeous!” And that is exactly what you get!

The timing was perfect as it was released just as my order from Tailor Made arrived. I made up a paper cup to check the size and worked with that. For a little more support I added the navy foam (Fit2Sew) rather than line. Again I followed the instructions except for the front strap. Rather than a fabric strap I attached navy ribbon to the gorgeous neon pink that came with the kit to stabilise. I didn’t have a bright pink fastener so I made my own from pink duoplex using another Orange Lingerie pattern - the Leverett. A little fiddly but but well worth the effort.

As with all Tailor Made kits there was plenty of lace to make both the Studio Costura Stella Panties and an all lace Evie la Luve Esme which I hadn’t done before. The colours are just amazing and fit beautifully.

Without making this too long I just want to add two more makes. The first is the free Madalynne Raquel bralette pattern using some some beautiful lace and dot stretch mesh that I picked in person when she came over to London! I added a middle strap to the centre front and stabilised all three pieces. This is just so amazingly pretty and looks fabulous.

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And I thought I would finish with another beautiful Bra-makers Supply Ruby. This is the third I have made to match my diminishing size and their BCD method works every time! So now I am three band and cup sizes smaller than when I made my first. It looks and fits perfect. What I like is that it is made using supplies from relatively local sources. Evie la Luve is now stocking soft foam in beautiful colours along with matching powernet. This is called shell and is perfect with the lace from Sew Your Own Wardrobe. This is for everyday wear and teamed with another Stella.

I adjusted the pattern for a lace upper cup as well as a lace frame. As this is a four piece cup I carefully marked all the notches as well as labelled the corners to make sure I got the right way up. The foam pieces matched perfectly.

I made the cups up first and then added a tapered short strap which I had seen on Beverly Johnson’s Bluprint (was called Craftsy) Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques class. For the cradle I permanently adhered the lace to the tulle using Misty Fuse, another Beverly tip. Then I had to decide on the actual strap as the colour I thought of using wasn’t quite right. So with Strap-tember Bramakers Challenge in mind I cut a strip of the lace wide enough to wrap the strap. I then attached to the strap along the raw edge using the overlocker so I could then wrap around leaving the scallop edge on top which I stitched in place. What a result!

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This took up a lot of lace so after much playing around with the pattern pieces I went with the configuration that left the smallest gap. I already needed a piece for the middle as the lace wasn’t wide enough (good tip from Studio Costura). I matched the corner with a scrap of lace. I stitched in place with a small zigzag and then trimmed back to the stitching with applique scissors. As it is close to the seam allowance and the fold of the waist elastic you can’t see it. With no lace leftover I made the gusset with the powernet and looks fabulous.

And now for a break!

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.

Emerald Erin Jordy Bralette - Lace overlay version

Just a quick look at the making of the lace overlay version of the Jordy Bralette along with the Orange Lingerie Montgomery brief.

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This time I used the lovely Emerald Erin kit.  Everything I have ordered from the website has been great quality. 

What I like about the pattern is that seam allowances are marked which is particularly helpful when cutting out lace.  As you can see from the second picture I have the point at which the lace cups meet at the low point of the scallop edge.  I then flip over and match for the other side.  I have also placed white paper under the lace so I can actually see the pattern and also helps with a clean cut.  

There was enough of the bra tulle to line the cups.  So for the inner cups I used temporary spray adhesive to keep the lace, tulle and tulle lining in place.  For the outer cup I used the spray to keep the lace and tulle in place.  You can use either a small zigzag or straight stitch along the scallop edge of the lace to attach to tulle.  Then I sandwiched the inner cup between the outer cup and lining.  Perfectly matched cups!

The fold over elastic is then applied to the inner cup first, then the outer cup leaving a tail to attach straps.  I also used some stabilising tape to the tail.  The cups are then attached to the band.  I like to draw in the line along which I can pin the cups.  I sew along the bottom of the cup first on the wrong side and then flip over and sew along the top of the band so all perfectly straight lines. I then trim any excess back to the zigzag.  I did think about overlocking the bottom of the cup but didn't want to create any uncomfortable bulk.

Just the straps left to do,  I like to use a glue pen to keep the straps in place as I sew. 

As I always like to make a set so I went for the Montgomery brief as only a small amount of lace. I used the tulle to line the lace as it does have stretch in one direction.  I attach the clear elastic along the scallop edge with a three step zigzag.  

Back and front prepared, leg elastic added and nearly there.  Just the side seams to finish.

Lingerie Weekend - Tailor Made Order Arrived

I waited in eager anticipation for my order from the Tailor Made Shop to arrive which included the Orange Lingerie Marborough bra kit.  I order as soon as Ying posts new kits on Instagram as they seem to get snapped up in minutes.   I have been so busy so had to wait until weekend to start making.  Good job it was cold and wet all weekend!

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There wasn't a bra and underwear kit available but from previous experience there is always enough to make something to match the bra.  I was not disappointed!  Plenty of the charmeuse and probably enough lace.  I had also ordered a pink findings kit, blush stretch mesh, wires and various other bits.

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As I wanted to make a matching set I decided not to use the peach findings and powernet that came with the kit and used blush from my stash.  Then I had to decide what underwear patterns I could get out of the fabric I had.  The first issue was that the charmeuse is a woven and most of my patterns call for stretch.  Then I didn't have a huge amount of lace.  So I got out my lace patterns.  I went for the Ohhlulu's Claudia as I could just scrape out my size and I had enough fabric to cut the front panel on the bias.  As I had just bought the blush stretch mesh I thought I would make up the Montgomery Brief which is designed to match the Marborough Bra pattern.  

I have made all three before and had the pattern pieces ready.  The bra went together beautifully but I was not too fond of the charmeuse as it does fray quickly.  The construction process allows you to enclose all seams between the fabric and the non-stretch lining.  Before topstitching each seam I did have to tidy up the fabric in the seam allowance.  I also line the lace as well as attaching narrow elastic as it gives much better support.  Although the hook and eye should fit I always check before attaching the strap.  I had to shave a little off the back band.  When making and attaching the strap I switch to my walking foot.  I also use a water soluble glue stick to keep the strap in place whilst I sew.  This way I always get perfectly aligned straps.  I had to cut down my wires which  I then re seal with some plastic tubing and use a heat gun to shrink wrap around the end.  A bit of fray check on the wire casing and I was done.

The Montgomery brief is such a quick and satisfying make.  The pattern is for a lace front panel.  Although online shows a picture with a fabric front details are not included in the pattern but there is great blog on how to make the adjustment.. As my plush elastic colour wasn't just right for me I used some blush FOE instead of using the plush along the whole of the waist.  

Then onto the Claudia Panties.  Another great fitting pattern for me and lots of options.  I had to squeeze the lace panels out so couldn't match up but you don't really notice because of the design.  I chose some pretty decorative elastic for the leg line in white which I thought would look better against the white gusset lining than the multi colour fabric.  Also, although I do have a cover stitch machine, I was worried about the fabric fraying on such a narrow seam.  The blush FOE was perfect to finish.  The best ever advice from Norma, Orange Lingerie, is to steam you garment when finished as this relaxes the elastic after the sewing process.  It makes a huge difference.

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Thought I would finish with a picture of the back of the briefs and the inside of the bra.  Just so pretty!