Prep School Bra

I recently finished a bra that reminds me of a prep school blazer.

img_20160206_164846.jpg

Funny enough when I googled “prep school blazer” one popped up that was the exact blazer I had in mind when I put the colours for this bra together. I totally want to make a blazer like this sometime this year, too.

 

img-thing

Yellow and navy are one of my favourite colour combinations. Others include: white and orange, hot pink and black, dusty rose and brown, grey and mauve, orange and hot pink, turquoise and hot pink, white and cerulean blue. I could go on but I will stop there. You get the idea. I have some favourite colour combinations. Apparently a lot of them…

This bra is made with a new cloned bra pattern. I used a different Elomi bra this time. When I was buying RTW bras, I was a huge Elomi fan. They fit me almost perfectly and I found their sizing reliable. This bra has a split upper cup with the top part in a sheer cup lining. It makes the bra lines really nice. I had two of these bras left in rotation: black and beige. My main issue with the Elomi bras was the boring colours my local store had available in the humungo sizes I needed. Recently, I retired my beige bra after another tear in the powernet. It was three years old and worn very frequently. I used that bra to clone. I followed my usual method with the pins. Check out the tutorial here. Here is the original bra:

20160323_225306.jpg

I had some issues with the pattern. I guess I didn’t walk the lines of the pattern enough and had some mismatching. I’ll be sure to remedy that for the next version.

20160322_192840 20160322_193108

My main fabric was a dark navy lace. It looks black in most of the pictures, but is navy blue. I used sheer cup lining from Arte Crafts to line the entire bra and for the upper cup. The sheer cup lining is nylon and needs a lower heat on your iron. It can be ironed on a low heat. I forgot to change my iron settings and melted the first two pieces I sewed. Easily cut out the pieces again and turned my iron down. Oops. The navy lace was horrible to sew with. I forgot how much I hate lace like that! It has heavy threads through the flowers and shapes to make them pronounced. My machine hated them and kept tangling the thread and eating the lace. I used a bit of a longer stitch and mostly remedied the issue, but found it was still occasionally catching. A ball point needle helped. I would have thought that a sharp would be better, but the ball point was better for this lace. The sheer cup lining on the other hand was a dream to sew with and went together very well. I used the ball point needle on it too and it worked really well. No catching or tangling or eating of the fabric whatsoever. I have to say the lining is amazing. It looks and feels exactly like the lining in the upper cup of my Elomi bra. I’m very impressed. I have this in white and black and think I might be lining all my bras from now on. For the lace bra, it does give extra support, but in any bra it would be a lovely finish.

20160323_192006

Other supplies I used are cream powernet and a blush hook/eye from Blackbird Fabrics, 3/4 strap/band elastic in white and rose gold rings/sliders from Arte Crafts and stashed yellow fold over elastic (from a shop on etsy that I can’t remember the name of and I am too lazy to look in my purchases from two years ago for…). The bows were purchased from eBay. Again too lazy to search for the seller. Both FOE and bows are easily found on those sites.

The straps and hook and eye went together a lot better. I’ve definitely stopped having trouble with those. Helps that I am being more vigilant about cleaning my machine. The switch to a zigzag stitch helps as well.

20160323_191911

20160323_191944 20160323_191927

20160323_191749

I just love the yellow details. It makes the bra perfect for me.

20160323_191845 20160323_191822

Let’s talk fit. The bra I cloned it from fit well but was a little bit small in the lower cup. I didn’t want to make an alteration to the pattern without trying it in this fabric. The bra fits okay, but it can definitely use more room in the lower cup to let the bridge sit against my chest.

20160323_173950 20160323_173932

It definitely wearable, but not perfect. I do love that split upper cup. I think it makes a nice push up effect. It will look even better with a bit more room in the lower cup and a little shaved off the upper cup in the horizontal line. The apex does need to be moved slightly, but that will be taken care of when I add more into the lower cup.

I really love this bra and can’t wait to make the blush bra with Emerald Erin’s kit copying her Parisian bra. Mine won’t have as low of a front, but there will be a gathered upper cup. The whole thing will be lined with sheer cup lining in white so this was a great test for it.

Blush bra kit

In other news, I made new curtains for our kitchen:

20160312_161313

The material is a cerulean blue polyester. When the sun comes through this window, it makes the whole room look purple. It’s wonderful.

I also made several pairs of Barrie Briefs.

2 pairs of these:

20160312_193236

Made with leftover merino wool jersey. These are super soft knickers!

2 pairs of these:

20160312_182144

Same pink spandex material as the first pair but with mint lace this time.

1 pair of these:

20160312_173456

I used the cream lace leftover from my wedding dress, a wide black lace for the band and narrow black lace for the legs.

1 pair of these:

20160323_214627.jpg

Made with a poly spandex jersey and white lace. I also made some tights with the same material:

20160310_072241

Unfortunately, my toes tore through them on the second wear. Sharp toes, I guess… I do trim my nails… Anyway, I am planning on mending and reinforcing the toe. I’ll tell you more about the tights another day. I plan on making some more and talking about how to make them.

This weekend I am planning on working on my Three’s a Charm jacket. Hopefully that will be done and ready for review for you next week! ūüôā

Garden Bra

Yep, more lingerie. I am not sorry for this! I love it! That being said, I will have a v-neck Jenna cardi and a Jenna top to share with you soon.

20160218_220639

This is my latest cloned bra, the Garden bra.

Why the Garden bra?

20160218_220454

I have an entire garden of little flowers sewn to the bridge and some lovely floral lace.

For this version, I added some to the power bar. Big mistake. I thought this might help with lift and push the girls forward, but it didn’t sadly. The good thing is that I still have my previous pattern pieces and can go back.

20160218_221442

It’s a little bit of a frumpier look with the girls going a bit more sideways. There is very little vertical stretch in the lace, too, which causes that horizontal line to look a little bit wonky. I look fine wearing this under a dress, though:

20160218_221602

I probably would have been better off to line the power bar with a sheer cup lining for extra support. For now, though, I am moving forward. I recently had to retire a different Elomi bra from the rotation and decided to clone it, because I am having trouble parting with it.¬†The upper cup is split into two pieces with the top half in non-stretch sheer cup lining. Since I want to copy Erin’s Parisian bra, I will be using this pattern and putting the gathered bra tulle into the upper cup. I’ve made a “test” version in sheer cup lining and navy lace and will be sewing that up before CSC lingerie month is up.
image

Then I am taking a break from sewing bras, because that will make 7 bras this year… I do want to sew a couple more before the honeymoon, though, but those can wait. I’ve got my pepernoot coat to work on. I’m almost done the flat pattern adjustments and ready for the muslin! There were a lot of pattern pieces to adjust.

I’m happy to announce that the hook and eye installation went so much better for this version after all the feedback I got before. I cleaned out my machine. There was an entire dust bunny in there! I put on a new needle before sewing this part.¬†I’m using a zigzag stitch now and it looks great.

20160218_220730

I made another bra after that (my third Maya bra) and it went even better. The strap elastic also went on better there and I got much better in the Maya bra (review for that will be posted on the Curvy Sewing Collective this week) as well. I’m feeling pretty confident after all this crazy bra sewing.

20160218_220441

Of course, no bra of mine is complete without at least one sewing error. Look at that wonky shit on the power bar above the lace. Hahaha. Oh my!

20160218_220431

How weird do these¬†bras look hanging on a hanger? My band can’t even close because it’s so much smaller than my cup and the wire is huge in comparison, but somehow this thing looks just fine and is comfortable as a pillow on.

 

Desert Sunset Bra

Do you remember long ago I asked for a name for this bra? Nicole came up with Desert Sunset.

wpid-wp-1437655767910.jpeg

I cut out the bra back in August and then it sat around for quite a while….

I made some modifications from the last bra: increased the lower cup, moved the apex slightly to match my apex (edit: up and to the centre).

What results is the best fit yet for my cloned bras. I really love this pattern and am excited to see the fit improve with each adjustment.

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before and show you how it fit after I made it. I didn’t put the bows on it yet in this picture.

fb_img_1453995181915.jpg

The bridge sits nice and flat against my chest, the cups are perfect, and the band is perfect. After wearing it for a day, the bridge does come out about 1 cm from my chest. May be due to the fabric stretching out as I wear it.

For the next one, I want to add a little more to the power bar on the side to push them a little further to the front as I have a bit of splaying to the side. Doesn’t bother me, though, since you can’t tell the difference when I am wearing a shirt.

20160127_211008.jpg 20160127_211237.jpg

I find photographing my bras to be weird, because of that stretch lace upper cup and the fact the cups are so large. Inflated vs.¬†deflated balloon. Ha! It’s also kind of why I wanted to show you how it looks on me. You get a better idea of the fit.

20160127_211158.jpg

Here is the inside of the bra.

Instead of using the band elastic from my BMS findings kit (material links below), I chose to use 5/8 strap/waistband elastic. It’s a firmer elastic and less stretchy. It made the band an even better fit due to the lower stretch. The main reason for the switch was because the band elastic was rolling after a couple of hours of wear. Now, there is only rolling at the end of the second day of wear.

I made so many mistakes when making this bra. Ripping out stitched from duoplex, stretch mesh/lace, and lingerie elastic is basically a horror movie. The fabric gets torn apart so easily. Some mistakes I just left because the bra itself was secure.

20160127_211129.jpg 20160127_211141.jpg

My machine is seriously hating attaching the hook and eyes lately… I’ll get there and figure out the trick of not having my machine break five needles at that point and the hook and eye not moving about so much… I’ve been looking at tips and tutorials left and right for that. I just got so frustrated with all the mistakes and ripping out previously that I kind of just shrugged my shoulders at this point and said that is good enough. I’m not changing it now, but going forward… I really hope that area doesn’t look that shitty. I was getting better and then this…. UGH.

20160127_211052.jpg

I added some florescent orange bows to the bra. Originally, I want to overlay the power bar in a florescent orange lace, but affixing it to the fabric turned into a nightmare and I decided to leave it off.

I’m not sure why, but this bra makes me want a Sunset Margarita:

sunset-margaritas-0511-l_zps271cdb2a

Which fits in great with January’s Monthly Stitch Challenge! Originally, I was going to make a Mint skirt and top ensemble and site my drinkspiration as a mint milkshake…..but that never happened with all this bra making. But I kept thinking about Sunset Margaritas and it fit in well. They are so tasty.

Desert Sunset Materials:

Lilac large findings kit (KF-34) from Bra Maker’s Supply

Fuchsia duoplex (FJ-6) from Bra Maker’s Supply

5/8 inch black strap and waistband elastic from Porcelynne

Lilac and fuchsia lace from Arte Crafts

Black Powernet (FP-1) from Bra Maker’s Supply

Black Stretch Mesh (FP-7) from Bra Maker’s Supply

Florescent ribbon from stash

Up Next:

I have another cloned bra about halfway done along with my second Maya bra. I’ll be posting my Maya bra review on the Curvy Sewing Collective for Lingerie Month in February. I will also post my review here as well. I’ll be modelling the bra again (!) to show you how each one changes with fit. Check out the beautiful materials I am working with for my next few bras:

20160123_205255 Blush bra kit

20160123_210211

Speaking of materials, Megan and I have some bra making materials tips and shopping lists that will be posted on CSC next week to help you start your bra making journey. I’ll be listing all the materials from the above and talking about large busted material tips. Keep your eye out for that!

The Wedding Lingerie

Well, my plans for the lingerie ended up all over the place. I did make the bra and I will be making the camisole, but left out the tap shorts and the underwear. I just didn’t want to fiddle with the bottoms and have been feeling stressed by it and not wanting to do it. Instead, I bought some white stretchy shorts with lace on the bottoms and some lace underwear to match my bra. I will blog about the camisole another time and include a review. The pattern I am using for the camisole is the Savannah camisole from Seamwork mag. So, this post just includes my bra. Oh the grand plans that come down to one thing while I co-plan a wedding…

The Bra:

Since making my cloned Elomi bra, I was pretty psyched to get to making another bra with the tweaks to the pattern. Before making the bra for my wedding, though, I had to make another test bra.

From the last bra, I shortened the band, narrowed the bridge, increased the lower cup and accounted for the stretch in the lace for the upper cup. I also shortened and narrowed the straps.

Outside:

DSC_1159

Inside:

DSC_1160

The “test” bra is in fuchsia duoplex, black powernet, and fuchsia elastics/findings from Bra Maker’s Supply and black and fuchsia stretch lace from a local store. The fit is almost perfect. The band ended up tighter than I expected, but still okay. Not uncomfortable unless I eat a big meal. The bridge still doesn’t sit flat in this version. It’s a little difficult to understand how this bra works in the flat version. The stretch lace is narrow at the top so the bra looks like the straps are close together. On me, however, they are in the correct position. To give you an idea of that, I put the bra cup on a balloon:

DSC_1166

It’s hilarious to me that the balloon is still not big enough for that cup and I still find the cup a little small…

DSC_1169

Unfortunately, the lace in this version got a couple little holes in it when I washed it.

DSC_1167

The other thing I realized was how bulky the bottom cup seam is where the powernet of the band and the duoplex/lace of the bridge meet. I doubled the powernet in the band, which also meant that the bra was more supportive, but I also doubled the duoplex in the bridge, as well, to ensure the support there, too.

DSC_1162 DSC_1161 DSC_1163

Super bulky seam that I didn’t trim down. The sewing is less than stellar in that area. The problem with sewing with duoplex and powernet and lace is that ripping out seams is almost impossible without destroying the fabric so I left it. My technique only gets better with every bra so I know this will be remedied in future versions.

The other issue I seem to have with the sewing is in the straps:

DSC_1172 DSC_1171 DSC_1170 DSC_1173

The straps are sewn to the powernet with a double lightening stitch. This one is actually better than my wedding bra version, but you can see that I didn’t quite catch the powernet in the second row. In spite of using pins, the three layers move about a lot. I need to figure out how to improve my technique there. It works, but I am worries about the longevity of the bra in that area.

The other thing to note is how narrow the bridge is:

DSC_1165 DSC_1164

The underwires actually overlap in this area, but I have no issue with comfort from that.

For my wedding bra, I left out the lace on the bridge and made sure I clipped the seams to reduce the bulk. I clipped one side of the doubled duoplex and powernet so that I was only sewing over one of each within the 1/4 inch seam allowance. I also further increased the lower cup and the upper cup. I decided not to increase the band, but I have done it for the next version, including increasing the upper cup and lower cup again. Geez, how big are my boobs?!

You can see the seam is much smoother on this version:

DSC_1175 DSC_1174

This version is an even better fit. The bridge is almost flat against my breastbone (only a 1/4 inch out now). I haven’t spent a lot of time wear it, because I am saving it for my wedding mostly. I did wear it for a day last week to make sure I wouldn’t have a problem for my wedding day, though. It fits will and is very pretty. The only issue is I derped and put in the hook and eye wrong so I will be fixing it this weekend, because I can’t hook it very well this way since I am used to the other way.

DSC_1158 DSC_1157

Here are more balloon pictures:

DSC_1149 DSC_1151

You can see that the cup is even bigger in this version, because of the bagginess in the cup against the balloon.

Here are some lovely detail shots:

DSC_1155 DSC_1156 DSC_1154 DSC_1176

Oh and the crappy job I did on the straps (even worse than the last time!):

DSC_1153

The interesting comparison here is this bra to the original cloned one:

DSC_1147

It’s pretty similar in terms of length.

Here are all my cloned bras so far with the most recent on top:

DSC_1146

I feel like they are getting a lot better with every step. I’m really pleased to see my skill increase. So much more room to grow (damn straps), but it’s getting there.

From here, I basically want to make all the bras. I will hold off for a while, though…cuz wedding…and see how these wear. I have enough materials for another two bras minus one pair of wires. Then in the future, I’m hoping to try foam bras and bras for my swimwear plans.

Also in the series:

April: The Wedding Dress, pt. 1: The Design, the Muslin, the Fabric, and the Outfit

May: The Wedding Dress, pt. 2: Construction and Details

June: The Flower Girl’s Dress and Sash

Stay tuned for:

July: Wedding!

The Wedding Dress, pt. 3: The Reveal and the Day.