Hello Sewcialists, happy lingerie month to you all! I’m Ginny and I love sewing lingerie! Well, actually, I love sewing & making a variety of different things — but lingerie sewing currently tops the list of my sewing favorites :D. I blog infrequently at Ginpins, and also put some of my projects up on Kollabora. I’m an ambivalent blogger, but I do read dozens of sewing blogs and enjoy them all immensely and consider you all to be my uber talented virtual friends (even though the vast majority of you have no clue who I am LOL). I am posting here today in response to an invitation (aka sewing dare :P) from Crafting a Rainbow — thanks for the nudge Gillian!
Have you all checked out Orange Lingerie’s new Boylston Bra pattern? I purchased it very soon after Norma released it, primarily because the Orange Lingerie Marlborough Bra fits my niece, whom I sew for frequently, absolutely perfectly. I’ve yet to achieve an acceptable fit in the Marlborough for myself, but I do fall quite outside the cup size range. I wear a smaller band, require a narrow bridge and large deep cup — my experience with Marlborough has shown me that the bridge is too wide for me, and the cups much too shallow for my body type — but those cups, oh what a lovely shape they have! One of these days I’ll tackle the project of fitting it to myself.
Anyway, enough about me and back to the Boylston! As the Marlborough fit my niece so well, I was confident that the Boylston would be a hit with her and likely fit well. I made the 36B size in both cases. The Boylston is a sleek balconette style with self fabric straps, characteristics which should allow for an easy conversion to a swimsuit top (next up in the sewing queue!). One of the best things about sewing for my niece is that I can have the fun of making lingerie which is totally unsuitable for my body type while simultaneously spoiling my favorite financially strapped college student. I consider that a win-win! She likes to tell people that while she’s a poor college student, she does enjoy the luxury of custom made undies everyday :D. Way to flatter your Auntie into more sewing for you, Emma!
I waffled on fabric choice, but as this bra is designed to be sewn using “no to low stretch fabric for the cups / frame”, I decided to try making the cups, frame and straps from a pretty rose print cotton broadcloth that was lurking in my stash. This was my first foray into using a woven fabric as a component of a lingerie set and I feel it was successful. I think the bra turned out to be very summery and feminine and would be pretty worn under a translucent white top! The straps feature back elastic extensions (with rings & sliders) plus the the back of the bra is white powernet, so the required stretch factor is addressed. I decided to use foam lining in the bra as well, and it was extremely easy to do and looks quite nice. Typically, I zig-zag foam lining pieces together, but this time I used Emerald Erin’s satin stitch method and I absolutely love it (thanks Erin ♥).
The super clean finish at the top of the cups appeals to me though I had worried that the foam lining might make this area bulky or lumpy. However, that concern turned out to be unfounded. After sewing the seam, I carefully trimmed the foam very close to the stitching, then understitched the foam lining — it worked perfectly, is bulk free and looks darn good to me. The results bode well for the upcoming swimsuit top version, don’t you think?
Because I’m a tremendous fan of matching lingerie sets, I made a couple pair of coordinating undies too. I used Emma’s favorite panty pattern, Make Bra’s DL21 with sheer stretchy nylon/lycra mesh for the main part of the panty combined with the rose print cotton (cut on the bias) for the narrow front panel and crotch piece. These briefs hit right at the navel and are especially nice fitting for a pear-shaped figure (which my niece has) since the waist is smaller and the seat is roomy — they definitely have a snazzy retro vibe too. I edge stitched the panels and the crotch seams just to keep everything nice and tidy — plus I just adore me some nice top-stitching. I finished the waistline with foldover elastic and think that it gives a polished finish to the sheer mesh.
The second pair was made using Ohhh Lulu’s super comfy Grace panty pattern. The Grace is designed for bias cut woven fabric front and back panels and stretch fabric side panels, and I used stretch nylon/lycra lace sides on this pair. I love this versatile pattern and have made many pairs (for both Emma and myself) using bits & scraps leftover from other projects. I do deviate from the instructions for this panty though — I elasticize the entire leg opening (measure opening and cut elastic 10% shorter), while Sarah recommends folding under and coverstitching the leg opening sans any elastic. I have a rather flat behind and find that if I don’t add the leg elastic that the panties creep up — adding the elastic easily solved that issue.
I highly recommend the Boylston Bra pattern, particularly if your figure is on the average side. Both panty patterns are pretty awesome too, so give them a try if you have a chance.
I’ve enjoyed all the lingerie posts this month and am sad that July is drawing to a close — thanks to everyone who posted on the topic!