I spend a lot of time browsing online and looking for pretty lycra fabrics for bras and lingerie. There
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I found this Dutch shop called Pure Lady with a gorgeous selection of bra making materials. I ordered spotty and floral lycra and some lace trimming. There was also a big surprise package for me in the mix. #sewing #sewingblog #sewcialist #bramaking #fabricshopping #ompelu #ompeluelämää
I have been wearing my previous MakeBra DL04 bra a lot. It is super comfortable and fits perfectly. (Note that I have modified the pattern for shorter underwires that fit me better than the regular ones.)
Now I wanted to make another version with the polka-dot lycra and contrasting black lace. I found lovely stretch lace in Palttina, Outokumpu on my Christmas travels and I bought a lot of it. The wider lace went to decorate the bra cups and the narrower one to trim the matching panties.
Making the bra
The cups are foam cups that I pieced together by using cut and sew foam gifted to me by MakeBra. Then I covered the foam cups with the polka-dot lycra fabric.
I first finished the top of the cups with white FOE from MakeBra and then I sewed the lace on by hand using tiny stitches that are practically invisible. Finally, it didn’t take very long to attach the lace since the lace strips are not long and I found the sewing process very relaxing!
The band is made of the polka-dot lycra only with a stabilizer fabric at the centre-front to keep the cups firmly together. I hope that the lycra will not stretch too much without powernet underneath to support it. I have used lycra like this before, but this patterned lycra is slightly thinner than the fabric I am more familiar with. However, most of the burden is carried by the underwear elastic, so I think it will work.
I also got the black and white bra elastic as a gift from PureLady that I use at the bottom of the band. The top of the band has been finished with FOE that MakeBra graciously sent me. I love their FOE since it is very thin and soft and suits perfectly for bras.
I used the interesting black and white shoulder straps that I got from PureLady for the front straps but made the extendable straps out of regular white shoulder strap elastic. Now I still have enough black and white straps left for another bra!
The final touch was this white bow that I stitched on by hand.
Making the panties
Now I was determined to make a matching set. I have made one pair of polka-dot panties before, so I did actually have one pair. However, I wanted a pair with the black lace and I wanted to improve my panty-sewing skills.
I used my modified Megan Nielsen panty pattern, but I joined the crotch piece to the front piece to eliminate the front seam. Instead of lingerie elastic or FOE, I used stretch lace to trim the edges.
Woolly nylon thread and why to use it
Furthermore, I decided to use woolly nylon to make my overlocked/serged seams extra soft against my skin. This thread is familiar to me from the times over ten years ago, when I made cloth diapers/nappies for my children. Then it was important not to irritate baby’s skin with scratchy seams.
I have an Amazon affiliate status (…that might someday even pay me! Here’s me wishing someone clicks a link!) but I can recommend these threads that I bought. They really make super soft seams! The package comes with little tools that help you to thread the fluffy thread. I, however, just tie the end of the woolly nylon thread to my old thread and just pull the thread through my overlocker/serger. There’s no need to change the needle threads since it is enough to have the woolly nylon on the loopers only.
I used this thread to finish the front of the gusset piece and the side seams.
Sewing lace to the panties
Adjust the zig-zag stitch, so that it is about 3 mm wide and a bit less than 2 mm wide. Make a test sample and make sure that the stitches don’t break when you stretch the fabric. A tip here: If you use contrasting lace, it makes sense using different colour bobbin thread.
Place the scalloped edge inward and align the straight edge of the lace with the fabric edge. Zig-zag close to the scalloped edge while stretching the elastic about 10 %. (It’s easy if you always take a 10 cm piece and then stretch it for 1 cm as you sew.)
The finished panties
I am happy how my panties turned out. I think this is finally the method I will use to make several pairs for myself. I still have plenty of lace trim left.
Here is finally the whole matching set:
This is all for today! I hope I have inspired you to try making your own underwear. It’s super fun and you can personalise your projects very easily by adding little trims and decorations!
Thank you for reading and happy sewing! And happy new year 2019!