Summer Lingerie Part 2 - Ohhh Lulu Grace and Romy Purple Perfection

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).

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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!


Part 4 – Evie la Luve Darcey and Binky

Part 3 - Evie la Luve Rosie and Esme

Part 1 - Cloth Habit Watson and Evie la Luve Binky

Delivery from Emerald Erin

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.