6.5.17

Soft bras

I have been sewing so long now, that I have plenty of clothes and mostly just sew where my whims take me.  Only now and then am I sewing something to fit a wardrobe need, but this was one of those projects.  For a couple of months now, I have been having issues with tension in my back muscles.  Some days, I can't wait to get home and rip my bra off.  I read other blogs where women are celebrating the freedoms and joys of going bra-less.  What I want to know is, don't these women sweat?  Because 5 minutes of skin on skin and I am back to putting a bra on.  So I decided to sew a couple of lounging bras.

Meanwhile, I sewed a bunch of undies a while back when I decided it was time to get a better fit.  I had sewed up Madalynne's Noelle, after seeing other people make it up, and I didn't like how it fit me, which set me on a path to getting a fuller brief to fit.  I ended up preferring a Sew Easy pattern, published in Australia in 1987, that I picked up in an op shop.  Then I decided that I don't like full briefs and cut them down to midi size.  At the same time, I tested the Watson brief in a few other sizes than then one I had been using.  I paired my lounging bras with some of these tester undies.

The first set is a Watson bra and brief, made up in a soft knit fabric.  The briefs are a size too big, but still wearable.  The straps are a grey strip.  I tried dipping them in a blue dye, but the dye didn't take.  I don't mind the grey with the blue.  I dyed the hook & eye and knicker / bra edge elastic to match.



The second set is the Noelle brief, cut down in height, and hack of Jalie 3671.  The fabric is a very soft and stretchy lingerie lycra.  It is so stretchy that I had to take in the Jalie pattern by inches (and usually I size up for Jalie).  I dyed the bra elastic months after I made the knickers and am really annoyed that I couldn't get a good match.   I have been having trouble dyeing my last few times, getting the dyes to take, especially if I mix dyes.  Sometimes only one colour will take and the other will stay in solution.  I don't know why.  Perhaps because the dyes are older now and going off?  Or maybe because I bought a new kettle and now am boiling my water in a metal kettle rather than a plastic one?  I'll have to go back to the old kettle for dyeing and see.


The third set  is the Sew Easy pattern and a bra pattern of my own draft.  Again, it is made up in a soft, stretchy lingerie lycra.  I dyed both the lace and the notions.  I adapted my demi cup bra pattern for the stretchy fabric and as a partial band bra, but I didn't realise how much the fabric stretched out as I sewed the wire channeling in, and the channel ended up quite a bit longer than my wires.  Being a partial band bra and not a full band bra means that i didn't have a stable base to sew the cups into. The stretching problem was one of those things that are obvious in hindsight!  Tricky.  I really like this bra though, so I will have to come up with a way to sew it so it works.  This set looks pretty on, and is my favourite of the three.


Wardrobe needs met...lucky I can sew, hey?

2 comments:

  1. Love your version of the Watson. I have smaller "girls" myself, and wonder: Did you line the cups of your Watson? Or simply double needle the center seam? And how much lycra do YOU recommend for the best performance in this particular pattern?

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    1. Hi Bette, I didn't line the cups. I just top-stitched the seam allowance to one side.
      I don't like using double needles. I have made 4 Watsons now, and my fabric has typically has had a medium amount of stretch. I don't find this bra pattern to be particularly supportive...no uplift! That is why this pattern is more of an at-home bra pattern for me. I would like to make it up in a fabric that has horizontal stretch but no vertical stretch, as I think this would make for a better final shape.

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