Prep School Bra

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

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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.

 

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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:

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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:

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

2 pairs of these:

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

1 pair of these:

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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:

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

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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! 🙂

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:

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Inside:

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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:

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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…

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

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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Here are more balloon pictures:

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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:

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

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

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It’s pretty similar in terms of length.

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

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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.