Sierra Bra and more

The Sierra bra pattern, from Madalynne, was such a departure from previous bra patterns I have sewn, that I was eager to sew it up and see what it was like.


The pattern:  I had trouble getting the pattern to print at the correct size (not sure why), so I ended up using my photocopier to get it to the right size.

Fabrics and notions:
The stretch lace is from Lincraft.  It is pretty, so I went back to get some more, but it was not on the shelf.  This is so typical of my experiences with Lincraft...the staff must not know where to return items, and this is about the fourth time I've gone back looking for more of something and either not been able to find it or scoured the whole store for it or guessed where it may have been incorrectly put away.

The power mesh I used is a very firm power mesh from my stash (I suspect it is this one, but not certain).  This gives a firm fit in the size I chose.  The bra feels a lot like a compression style sports bra to wear, but I think it gives a better shape and lift than a sports bra because of the cross over front.  The down side of this power mesh is that it is hot.  This pattern has quite a bit of body coverage, so I do notice that the mesh is hot to wear.  Which is a shame, because this is the bra you need for under floaty, halter style dresses usually reserved for the heights of summer.  I will have to try this bra pattern again with a lighter mesh.

Elastic & findings:  The beige is from Bra-makers supply, the blue strap from Elingeria before they closed down.  Originally, I was going to use all beige findings and strapping, but when I went to make the matching knickers, the beige mesh I was going to use (lighter than the bra mesh) was much more yellow / brown than the other beiges, so I ended up ordering blue mesh for the knickers and going with blue straps.  The blue sliders are from stash, probably cut off from old bras.  I ended up goign with a pale lilac hook and eye, but may swap it out for a beige one yet.

Alterations:  It would be useful to have a halter strap bra, but in truth, halter straps give me a headache, so I added a ring and single centre back strap, which means that this bra will still be good for cut-away or racer style tops.  I also sewed a bit of ribbon under the elastic looped over the front rings, to minimise wear on the elastic.  I can't remember if I picked up this tip from Amy of Cloth Habit or Norma of Orange Lingerie.

Of course I made matching knickers, using my copy of an Elle Macpherson pattern.  I would have liked the elastic trim on the front to be more of a blush shade, so match the lace, but this set is a whole story of mismatched colours.

Here they are together.  Worn on the body, they are a closer match than this photograph suggests, because it is skin and not blue mesh behind the lace of the knickers.  A fun set...thanks Maddie for the pattern and inspiration :)

Whilst I am posting lingerie, it is as good a time as any to catch up on some previously unblogged makes.  The next bra is from a self drafted pattern for a demi cup bra.  I drafted this from a combination of flat pattern drafting and pulling apart some old bras that I liked.  The curvature on the bottom of the cups is a little different than my standard pattern, and seems to give a nice lift.  The sides are a bit lower, which makes it good for wearing with sleeveless tops that have lower armholes.

My first version is made from duoplex with a power mesh back and little bit of stretch lace trim, in a kit from Bra-makers Supply.  Elastics and findings from the same place.

My second version is made from non stretch lace and  Sensitive Classic Xtra-life Lycra.  I changed the upper cup piece a bit to accomodate the all-over lace.  The bottoms are based on my self drafted swimwear pattern for "cheeky bottoms" and have a CB seam.  This set has become my go-to every time it has made it back from the wash to my drawer.

I do want to try this pattern out in a range of different fabrics, but have been distracted by other projects.

I bought a sewing machine in September, and in that first week, I made a bunch of different things to test out the capabilities of the machine.  This next bra and knicker set was one of those things.  This was a kit, but I forget where from...possibly elingeria??  The pattern is my basic draft, modified to have padded cups.  I should have made the lower cup pieces in 2 pieces in the foam but only one in the fabric...with the outer stretching a bit to cover the foam...I forgot this and the outer lower cups sag from the foam a little.

I am wearing more cut-away shoulders these days, so I attached the straps of this bra with bra hooks at the back, so I can change from a regular back to a cross-over back.

The matching knickers turned out an absolute disaster.  I'm normally pretty good at adding elastic, but this ended up all wavy.  I took it off and put it on a second time, and I have done it a third time since taking this photo.  I'm not sure if the problem is getting used to a new machine or if the elastic itself is a dud.  The machine has an auto-tension setting, and I am wondering if I need to take that off and set my own tension??  I'll have to experiment a bit more with other elastics.   And can you see where I melted the top fabric, when I was attempting to steam the elastic back into place.  I can't remember what pattern I used, but these ride up...not sure if that is the pattern, or the elastic not holding its place.

On a positive note...I was cleaning out my underwear drawer and was going to get rid of a couple of pretty RTW lacy undies that I have rarely worn because they ride up and become uncomfortable.  They are made mostly from stretch lace.  I had the idea to sew elastic to the leg edges, behind the lace and found some matching elastic in my stash.  This worked a treat, and now I have 2 matching sets back in rotation...I do like matching knickers!  And I love a sewing rescue even more!

Happy sewing xx


  1. Love all of you lingerie makes! Gorgeous!

  2. How lovely!! Making lingerie well eludes me and I am in awe of your skill. Very pretty underpinnings.

  3. You have been busy making lots of lovely creations! I love the Sierra design and downloaded it too, just searching for some lace...

  4. Love all your bras. I love the Sierra design (and saw a swimsuit in the catalogues with the same design last week) but alas not suitable for me. I think it would be a terrific design for the low back floaty dresses that are so comfy in summer.

  5. Nice to see a Sierra made up and worn. I saw the pattern recently and downloaded it, but have been a bit leery of making it up as Madelynne said it suited smaller-busted women best, and I'm not really in that category. I'm thinking, though, because as you say, it looks perfect to wear under floaty dreamy cool tops, and it's that time of year here that those kind of clothes are all I want to wear. I'll take note about the lining needing to be mesh!

    I do undies-rescues like you describe all the time! It's great isn't it :-) I find it hard to find fabric suitable for undies, so I will often buy cheapy ones, slice them up and resew them in the required shape and add elastic - or stretch lace for prettiness, in the required places. It's been working really well.

    A question about self-drafted bras... once you have a self-drafted pattern, do you find that's all you really need pattern-wise, or do you still make other patterns? and if so do you use your self-drafted one as a sloper to help you fit the other patterns?

    1. Hi there Tropical Threads,

      I still make other patterns, just because that is what I like to do. I modify my self-drafted patterns to make other patterns, rather than use it as a sloper to fit other patterns. The Sierra bra does not have any bust shaping, so I did not compare it to my pattern. It is really just a wrap around compression bra, so I could have compared it to my sports bra pattern I guess.

  6. These sets look so professional and save you 100s of dollars! Personally the Sierra wouldn't suit me - I need underwire - but it is so pretty.

  7. Great collection of self made lingerie! As a suggestion for the planning of further undies: the Fehrtrade lacey thong pattern would also be a great matching panty for those bras!

  8. Beautiful work! I had a "hot" lingerie (heh) experience recently, too! I made a longline Watson in mesh and I'm just not used to that kind of coverage!

  9. Wow!! I really loved this bra. It’s really good. For my gym training I am using Carbon38 sports bras and workout pants from last few months and really happy with the flexibility. Will recommend my sister too as she also wants to have comfy tights.

  10. It’s nice sharing! The shop online have all kinds of bra set on sale.www.haoyii.com