with my hands – Dream
My blush bra.
Sewing

Blush lacy bra

This bra took me months to finish! I bought this quite heavy embroidered tulle lace for bra making sometime last spring when I first started making underwear. However, nothing seemed to fit with it. I wanted to make a blush bra and not a white one with blush details. This led me into experimenting with fabric dyes and finding fabric from strange places! The pattern I used was again Pin-up girls Alyssa.

Dyeing experiments

I used to believe that you cannot dye man-made fibres. Then I found out that there are special dyes meant just for those. Some online sources lead me to try iDye poly dyes by Jacquard, especially as they are sold in the nearby Disc golf store in Helsinki. Why? Apparently disc golfer love to dye their discs with these dyes! You can find them on Amazon, too:

Of course, the packets are meant to produce bright colours and I wanted to have something that was super pale for my bra making project. Thus, I needed to break the sealed plastic dye packet and make my own mix. 

There was also the problem with the colour intensifier chemical that came with the dye packet. Was it needed and how much was the right amount? I contacted Jacquard and got very helpful advice. I was told that the colour intensifier wasn’t so crucial as I was trying to make pastel colours. If I still wanted to improve my dyeing results I could add a drop of dishwashing liquid to break the surface tension of water. 

How much dye was then needed to achieve blush colour? Very little. I mixed my dyes first to 2 dl of water:

Finally, I added only half of the pre-dye water to my pot where I also added 2,5 litres of water with a drop of dishwashing liquid.

As I started to boil my concoction I noticed the red dye sticking first, much before my water reached the boiling point, and the yellow only starting to stick near the boiling point. My first experiment had resulted in canary yellow fabric so the second time I was ready to take my fabric and notions away from the pot when the colour seemed right.

The fabric came out in very nice blush colour:

I also dyed my bra straps, the closures, the elastics and some duoplex fabric. I also dropped in my pressed foam cups. 

The bra straps, the closure and the elastics took the colour quite nicely. The colour was slightly uneven, especially at the closure. I think that if I would have dared to keep them longer in the pot, the result might have been more even, but I didn’t want them turning too yellow, so I took them out. The duoplex refused to take the dye. The result was very ugly light greenish yellow that was unusable. The foam cups then… I didn’t think that they would refuse to sink into the water. In retrospect, what was I thinking? The result was quite uneven, but at least they were not bright white anymore. When covered with lace, they still worked.

More sourcing of bra materials

As my duoplex dyeing failed, I needed some fabric to place under my lace. I searched in vain and finally gave up on fabric stores. Instead,I marched into the local mall and picked a pair of XL-sized panties with the exact colour I needed.

I got the push-up foam cups from B-wear. In addition, I got some 15 denier stabilizing tape and a findings kit in peach colour. (I ended up using half of the stuff I had dyed and half from this kit.) I also used very lightweight stabilizer fabric of which I have no idea where I bought it.

Making the bra

The problem with this lace was that it wasn’t symmetric. There was no way to make cups the mirror images of each other. The only thing I could do was to try to balance the lace so that the asymmetry wasn’t too distracting. Again I made darts to fit the lace on the cup. This time my lace didn’t have any stretch but it didn’t affect my sewing that much. I sewed the top edge by hand from the foam side and then covered the edge with the 15 denier stabilizing tape:

To bind the side edges of the cups, I cut strips from the panty-lycra.

I made the bridge out of three layers. The lace is the topmost layer, then there is a layer of lycra (from the panties) and, finally, there was the stabilizer against the skin. The wings then have a layer of my dyed powernet layered with the lycra. I had to twiddle with the side seams a bit since my lace didn’t reach all the way to the top. I also wanted to save the pretty edge of the lace. Finally, I fastened the bottom edge by folding the edge of the lace in and sewed the bottom elastic on. Then I sewed the top elastic on the lycra and the underlying layers of fabric only and appliqued the rest of the lace on top of the side seams. (I don’t know whether my explanation makes any sense!)

The rest of the bra making was simpler: Just fastening the cups to the bridge, adding the underwires and the straps. As a final step, I added this pretty little bow with a little sparkly thingie. Isn’t it pretty?

Now that I have made 7(?) bras and one failed one that I binned I finally start to make sense of the materials. I know which materials work together and which need support. Now I would like to learn to make different kinds of seamed cups, maybe without foam, too. But more of that later…

This is all for today. I hope you liked this post and I hope to see you back here soon! Happy sewing!

Katja

I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

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