A little bit lacy...

I was hoping to have these finished to show you, but today was parcel day, and the underwires I ordered didn't arrive.  The parcels only come in here once per week.  So you will see that the channeling at the CF of this bra is not trimmed and sewn in place.

This set was made using the Gabi kit from Elingeria, though I have used black power mesh and black mesh from my stash instead of the black lycra supplied.  I have some lace left over, so I will use the lycra in another project.

I am making my way through the chapters of my book "Patternmaking for Underwear Design" by Kristina Shin.  In this chapter, I modified a previous draft to create a 2-dart bra cup, which enables lace to be used without being cut into pieces.  A new draft for the foam lining was also drawn, using a 3 piece cup, which you can see in the next photograph down.

Actually, if you look, you will see that I did not do a good job of assembling the bra, as the cups are uneven at the centre front.  I'm not sure why this went wrong, except maybe that the black was difficult to see as I was sewing.  Normally I would unpick and re-do, but the lace was so fine, I feared that I would damage it during the unpicking.

The other trick that I learned in this chapter was to mark the low point of the lace scallops on the patterns, to enable more accurate cutting.  In the diagram above, you can see that I wanted a low point at the CF of the cups and where the strap extension joins the main cup.

Last year, I had a splurge on an Elle Macpherson underwear set.  Being the thrifty sewer that I am, I made a pattern from the knickers before I started wearing them.  The design and construction is quite unusual.  The front is made from lace.  The back is made from a double layer of mesh.  There is a CB seam.  Each CB piece is cut on the fold, with the fold-line being the leg line.  There is no elastic along the back leg line.  The original pair had clear elastic supporting the lace along the front leg line,  I used narrow beige elastic on my version, because I always struggle with that clear elastic.  The crotch has elasticated sides, but you cannot see the elastic.  It is encased between the mesh outer crotch and the cotton inner crotch, with stitching only visible on the inner side.

(Edited:  Audrey asked me what the fit of these was like.  You can see the net-a-porter model wearing the same style here.)

It took me a little bit of brain power to work out how to assemble these, so I have documented the steps taken

Cutting - lace for fronts, 2 back pieces cut on fold in mesh, one crotch in mesh, one crotch in cotton.

1.  Assemble the fronts (front pieces will depend on the design of the lace used).
2.  Elasticate the front legs.
3.  Lay the left back on top of the right back and stitch both the CB seams (one seam will be the outer CB seam and the other will be the lining CB seam) in the mesh.  Mesh does not have a right or wrong side, but turn to "right side out".
4.  Stitch crotch lining to outer crotch along leg line, right sides together.  Attach elastic within the seam allowances, on the cotton lining side.  Turn in the right way, and zig-zag the elastic to the cotton side only (this is a little bit fiddly).
5.  Turn crotch back out the wrong way.  Sandwich front between crotch and crotch lining and stitch.  Turn crotch right side out again.
6.  Line up CB seam on mesh lining and mesh outer back.  Sandwich back crotch between mesh back and mesh lining and stitch.  Turn right side out.
7.  Stitch side seams (I encased mine between the two layers of mesh, but the original pair were overlocked together).
8.  Stitch CB seam of outer mesh and inner mesh together, as far as practicable.
9.  Elasticate waist.

You can see that they are a little more work than your average pair of knickers.  The result is both comfortable and pretty though.


Unknown said...

What a beautiful set:)

Audrey said...

Another pretty lingerie set. Interesting construction on the back of the panties. I am curious if the mesh on the leg line (the fold) cups the butt or fits like a boy short.

katherine h said...

Hello Audrey, I guess it is more like a boy short. You can see the net-a-porter model wearing them here


Bernice said...

Looooooooovely! These look so professional, The colour combination is quite exquisite.

Robyn said...

I love the colour combination, another lovely set. Thanks for the run down on the construction of the undies - they sound very similar to a pair I've just treated myself to.

Amy said...

Oh Katherine, you really outdid yourself here! I saw this kit before but didn't realize how beautiful the lace was! That bra, that bra--wow. Good idea for the two-dart cup. The demi-cup I want to make has a very strong lace design that I don't want to break up and I was thinking I could get away with one dart. Hmmm, I might have to try this! I also like the scallop strategy. I started putting a little notch at those points so that when I cut I know exactly where to end the scallop. (Elle Macpherson bras are also my splurge--they really fit me well.)

fabric epiphanies said...

I am inspired! These are beautiful!

poppykettle said...

I was going to say hw much those knickers looks like a favourite elle macpherson pair I own, and where the hell do I get the pattern for it! What a great idea... copying it hadn't even occurred to me. This is a truly gorgeous set!!

melissa said...

I am SO late in replying, but I originally read this (cached) while I was on a plane! I squealed with delight when I saw that you used the same lace that I also bought from eLingeria! Great taste! ;) And if whatever I do with mine looks half as good as these, then I'll be thrilled. Seriously, your lingerie making is just fantastic, I really appreciate that you post what doesn't work as much as what does, as it's encouraging to those of us that sew hit'n'miss lingerie! That pattern book has been on my Wish List since you first mentioned it, too.

katherine h said...

Thanks Melissa! I was so late in moderating my comments that I missed this until after you sewed yours...which turned out fabulous! It is very generous of you to share your lacy thong pattern. Lingerie sewing is very addictive, but I am glad that I have more hits than misses these days.