Blue Lovelies

 Well this was a fun, little project to lift me out of the doldrums.

I visited a funny, little shop in Cairns recently.  It was one of those treasure-trove-emporiums.  Huge bolts of cheap (and nasty) fabric.  All sorts of weird and wonderful trims.  Elastics.  Zips.  Buttons. I suspect most of them were manufacturing left-overs.

In amongst all this I found some good quality bra elastics and laces, in navy and maroon.  I bought some of the navy odds and ends (though next time I visit I will go in and get the maroon).  They were a great match for the leftovers from the dress in my last post.  The fabric was Mary Nanna's fabric (and still available from EmmaOneSock I found today) and did not match anything in my remnant drawer, so I thought best to use up all the scraps.

Click on the next photo to get a good look at the stretch elastic I used for the sides of the bra.  It is very pretty.

I did not have a blue fastener, so I bought a black one from Spotlight.  This niggled me at first, but then when I designed the knickers, I made the back of them black, which made the black fastener a little less incongruous.

I did have blue sliders and rings, but something went wrong at the top of the bra (in spite of careful planning) and it was too bulky to turn over a ring.  Instead I sewed the elastic directly to the bra.  This means that it is not adjustable, but given that it is custom-made, that doesn't really matter.  It does stop the project being perfect though, which annoys me.  It seems every garment has one, little thing wrong with it. 

I had trouble cutting and sewing accurate seam allowances in the slippery charmeuse.  This led to a poor fit, so I had to unpick a lot of the bra and go again.  The second time around, I sewed a lining to the bridge before cutting it out.  For the main bra pieces, I cut them in Antron jersey and spray basted them to the charmeuse before cutting it out.  This actually gave the bra more of a plush feel, so I did not mind the unpicking in the end.

The pattern was made from an old Elle Macpherson bra from almost 20 years ago.  Those were the days when I used to buy lovely lingerie.  These days, my discretionary spending is all consumed by fabric. 

I'll show you a picture of the pattern, because the inner cup piece has an unusual shape.  I checked, and re-checked and checked again when I was making the pattern, lining up the grain, and making sure that the shape was not due to fabric distortion.

The neck edge is pulled in with elastic.

I like this pattern because I can use it to sew scraps of woven fabrics that I love.  Some time ago I made a version from Liberty print.  I don't think that I ever blogged about it, so here is a quick picture (this blog is my primary sewing record after all).

The knickers are my own design. The pattern is based on a swimwear pattern that I drafted myself.  I have used silk charmeuse cut on the bias for a centre panel, stretch lace for the sides, and a soft power net for the back.  The elastic was from a different place to the bra elastics and it caused me a lot of grief.  The thread kept breaking as I sewed it.  It was also tricky getting the elastic right when I was sewing it to 3 very different types of fabric with different amounts of stretch.  The photo of the flat garment shows the elastic all curling up, but my model shows that it sits straight on the body.  I'm very pleased that the scallops matched up on the lace at the front of the knickers.

They are very comfy to wear, which I am pleased about.  Mostly I avoid matching sets because I prefer all cotton, skin coloured knickers, but these are so soft that I will wear them.  And always under that dress.  What's not to love about a matching lingerie and dress set?


  1. What a gorgeous set. It's so fun when you ferrit out some treasures in a cheapy store. I'm feeling quite inspired to have a go at this myself, thanks :-)

  2. Oh very nice! I have not ventured into lingerie sewing and am very impressed by your pieces.

  3. ditto to the above. well done. Also impressed by your custom made body manequin as i have been considering doing one of these lately. How did you find the process and would you recommend it??

  4. Silk pretties - what's not to love! I have made swimwear and knickers but have not ventured into bra making. Seeing the sets you make, may just push me over the edge!

  5. What pretties! How clever to find sewing treasure at a discount warehouse. I bought a Kwik Sew bra pattern last week, my second pattern, but have not yet made one I can wear. This may be my sewing downfall. :( Looking at your success after nasty elastic behaviour and all is quite encouraging.

  6. Well done! Making your own lingere is ambitious- andk you really pulled it off.

  7. These are beautiful, glad the stitch ripping worked out!

  8. wow, how inspiring! Like you, I prefer cotton knickers in a skin-toned color and that keeps me from sewing many sets. But your success with this is very encouraging. Enjoy your matching, matching set!

  9. Hi Catherine, forgot to mention I have passed along the One Lovely Blog Award to you! Cheers!

  10. Pretty! Especially under a matching dress! I love the rose print one too. I'd love to make some lingerie, but don't have zig-zag on my machine. I must do something about that!

  11. Ohh, these are very lovely indeed. That stretch elastic is pretty isn't it! I'm yet to go to that shop. Must do so soon.

  12. A beautiful set and to wear with your dress how wonderful. Now I will be in Cairns for 4 days from Monday, please share the shop address.

  13. Hi Sharon,

    Here are the details of the shop in Cairns according to my friend who's been there a few times:

    Cozy Ma
    Up a little laneway next to Orchid Plaza on Lake Street in the city.
    Orchid Plaza is on Lake Street between Spence Street and Shields Street.

    Enjoy your stay in Cairns.

  14. Your dummy has cellulite! Seriously great work. I admire bra makers - such a fiddly process but worth it for the results.

  15. Pretty set. I like the use of the sheer on the back of the briefs, so sexy. Thanks for sharing the EM bra pattern pieces. Interesting cup seam, but I can see why the it would work really well on an oval shape breast (which many women have)