VPL inspired sports bra

I love the look of the VPL insertion bras, and have been wanting to create a pattern for something similar.  I drafted my own pattern last year, but it didn't quite work out.  I had literally pushed it to the side of my sewing bench whilst I got distracted with other sewing projects.  Then, when I was looking for something else, I came across a bra pattern that I had never used, but I thought had good potential as a starting point. Ezi-Sew 104.  This pattern has horizontal cup seaming, but when I get all the kinks worked out, it shouldn't be too difficult to change it to the vertical seaming used in the inspiration bra.

I changed the back band closure to a fold.

I trimmed off the strap portion of the upper cup, and after a muslin, changed the angle of the front neckline slightly.

The resulting bra fit pretty well, though I think it would fit me even better if I removed some of the cup depth for next time.  Sadly, the bra pictured at the top of this post is too small for me.  The power mesh I used on the back is much stronger than the lycra I used for my muslin.  Which is a shame, because it would have been the perfect match for my last running capris.  At least I don't have to worry about unpicking the twisted straps and resewing them.

This next one was made using power mesh on the back (I increased the back band pattern) and wicking cotton spandex for the front.  I dyed the power mesh.

It is a bit tricky working out where to sew down the elastic that wraps from the front strap round the side.

Of course, the defining feature of this bra is the wide coloured elastic used for the strapping.  Locally, I don't have a lot of elastic to choose from, and mostly it is polyester, and I have not bought dyes suitable for polyester.  Then I found this "fine lines" nylon elastic in Lincraft, which I presume is an underwear manufacturer discard.  It dyes well with acid dyes.  I used this elastic in my first version (not pictured) and have been wearing it for a few months and the ealstic has held up well.

I was going to continue with my bra sewing, but in the meantime I have been distracted by the Sudoku Wardrobe challenge aver at pattern review.  It sure is hard to maintain focus in the sewing room!


Jalie 3131

The Jalie 3131 set that I made back in 2014 is still on high rotation, even though the back band has always been too big.  The cotton lycra bra is comfortable on hot, sweaty days when I am working outdoors.  Usually I prefer underwires, but this bralette has more support than many bralettes, possibly because of my addition of underwire casing (even though there are no wires).  I have finally got around to making a new version, with a shorter back band.

The main fabric is remnant from a dress that I haven't shown you yet.  I made the dress late last year, and wore it a couple of times when I traveled a little further south in December, but since then, it has been way too hot to put it on.  I do love the dress, and can't wait to show it to you when the weather cools down a little.

I am really proud of the dyeing that I did on this set.  The parts I dyed were the pale blue fold-over elastic used on both the bra and the knickers, the pale blue lingerie elastic on the knickers and the hook and eye.  I only have a handful of dyes and nothing in the way of pale blue.  Actually, now I can't remember if I used True Turquoise, or Caribbean Blue, but I massively diluted it and then used quite short dipping times.  It worked out a better match for the fabric than I was expecting.  The fold-over elastic is from Lincraft.  It is quite wide, and possibly meant for sewing elasticated bed sheets.  I had to improvise with the straps.  It seems I have a lot of 10 mm elastic strapping, but no 10 mm rings and sliders.  Consequently, these straps are not adjustable.

The pattern for the knickers is traced off a RTW pair of Calvin Kleins.  This fabric is not as stretchy as that used in the RTW pair, so these have a much closer fit than the RTW pair, but are still totally wearable.  And now that I have finally blogged them, I am looking forward to wearing this set!


Vanilla Cream Polka Dots

I have a large box of lingerie supplies.  Mostly it has been collected ad hoc and is more what I could get hold of rather than what I may like.  I don't feel like I can go and buy beautiful kits, because I have this large box of stash (not to mention, shipping from distant lingerie suppliers can be exorbitant), but often I look in the box and wonder how I could possibly come up with something that I want to wear from its contents.  I bought a bunch of acid dyes a while back, which helps me tie different bits and bobs together.  This set is courtesy of the colour "Vanilla Cream".

I dyed the lace, and some of the elastics, and paired them with ivory mesh and some ivory elastics and findings.  I am worried that I have just about bought my local Lincraft out of their supply of white piping elastic.  I suspect that it is not something that they will restock when I buy the last of the roll.

The bra is my own pattern.  The cups have a vertical seam. 

I often admire sheer bras, both in RTW and on other sewing blogs...they require such precision sewing...but I have never worn a sheer bra before.  After I tried this on, I thought that maybe I didn't need the matching knickers to be quite so sheer, so I lined the lace with a nude lining.

For the knickers, I used the Orange Lingerie Montgomery Brief

I made a few changes.  My lace did not have a scalloped edge, so I added a seam allowance to the top of the lace panel.  I changed the construction order to be more like my Elle M knickers, so that all the seam allowances were enclosed. 

Sadly, these knickers are a bit too big, which will be fine under skirts and dresses, but not so much under jeans (I tested...they bunch up).  The size chart for this pattern is a little odd, in that the measurements for one size do not match up seamlessly to the next size.  My hip and waist size is bigger than the measurements given for M but smaller than those for L.  I went with L, but my mesh is very soft, so perhaps M would have been a better choice.  I would have had enough fabric to cut a smaller pair, but I made a cutting boo boo with the lace and can't fit another front out of it.  I might  take in the side seams, which will result in exposed seams when I was so careful to enclose them, but will make them more wearable.  I haven't given up on this pattern though, and want to test it again with some fitting changes.

I'm really happy with this set and my previous set.  I don't have as much time fore sewing these days, but am finding that bra sewing fits in quite well in 10 minute blocks, so my limited sewing time is still fun.  For this set, I gathered the bits together and did the dyeing on the weekend, with cutting and sewing during the week.  Of course, it helps to have TNT patterns and not to have to muck about with fitting.


Much needed sports bra

I have been sewing for so long now, that I generally have way more clothes than I need.  Lately though, I've had to go digging through the washing for a sports bra, as several of mine have bit the dust.

This is my TNT sports bra pattern, and was drawn up by cutting up a Berlei compression style sports bra.  This time around, I used a wickable cotton spandex, from Bra Makers Supply, for the main fabric.  I know lots of people don't like to wear cotton for exercise, because it is heavier when loaded up with sweat than synthetic fabrics, but I prefer the feel of cotton.  I have run in this one a few times, and it does feel better than my regular cotton spandex sports bra made from the same pattern.  It is thin for a sports bra, but I have doubled it up with a fairly substantial power mesh.  I dyed the power mesh to match. 

I bought the wickable cotton fabric in 3 colourways, and hopefully I will get the others sewn up soon.  I did start on a Sewaholic Dunbar sports bra, but the pattern sizing is way off and I put it to the side a few weeks ago.  I need a few clear hours to get back to it.


Pretty Liberty Bra Set

I have been clearing my sewing room of all the sewing projects lying around the edges.  Ages ago, I dyed all these notions to go with a remnant of Liberty, but I never got around to sewing the bra because I wanted to sew a top with the Liberty first, and use the left-overs for the bra.  Only, I didn't have quite enough fabric for the chosen top pattern, and it has been sitting around for months waiting for me to get back to it.  This week, I decided I wanted the bra more than the top and that it was time to ditch the top plans and get on with it.

I had forgotten how much fun it is to sew bras. 

For this set, I dyed the elastics, channelling, 2 weights of power mesh, hook and eye closure, and the rings and sliders.    I am still new to dyeing, but I love it!  I have to remember to use tiny amounts of dye, as my first few attempts invariably end up way too dark.  I really need to buy elastics in bulk so that I can play around a bit more.

The bra pattern is my own.

This time, I changed the way I sewed the channelling, and sewed it such that it sits on top of the elastics.  I have seen this done in RTW.  My hand made bras are way more comfortable than any RTW bras, but they do not last as long because my wires end up poking out.  I think one of the reasons may be that I do not have enough "wire play" - room for the wire to move around a bit.  Sewing the channelling this way gives me a bit more room without having to adjust the pattern.  It will also make it easier to  open the channelling and re-insert the wire if it does come out.  I'll see how this goes.  

I remembered to attach the straps early enough that the end is caught in the bottom elastic.  Yay!  I always mean to do this but often remember too late. In this photo, you can also see that I have sewn the side seams so that the mesh is in between the two layers of the frame.  This means that there are no raw edges, which can itch a bit.

For the knickers, I used the Watson Bikini from Cloth Habit.

I hadn't dyed enough of the power mesh for the knickers.  I did the initial dye months ago, and it takes so little dye and I mess around with the colours a bit, so I had no way of dyeing more to match.  So, this morning, I dyed a small piece of stretch lace that pretty ballet shoe colour, to use in conjunction with the Liberty for the front.  The Liberty has no stretch, but it is okay to use in small amounts where stretch is not so critical.  The cotton gusset lining is a little brighter than the rest of the set, but that is not really visible when you are wearing the bikini.

I am really happy with this set.  I love the colour combination, and it was so fun to sew that I am off to see what else is in my lingerie sewing box.