Why Bra-Making?

Recently, I can’t help but notice that there is a flurry of interest in sewing bras. My curiosity is piqued, so I am posing a question to you all: why bra-making?

why bramaking watson bra in cream silkWatson Bra in Cream Silk & Embroidered Lace 

Sewaholic: First and foremost, I was inspired to take a bra-making class after reading Tasia’s write-up of Johanne Brousseau’s Bra-Making Class at A Great Notion. Bonus: I took the very same class and I found that everyone in it signed up because of Tasia’s post.

Fit and Lack of Options: To date, I have never seen a 30AA bra in the wild. The closest fit is 30A, but I have trouble filling out the cups and the underwire is often too small for my broad frame. 30A is a fringe size for most retailers, so  design options are pretty limited and lackluster. Sewing my own bras meant that I could control the design, material, fit, construction, etc.

So why bra-making? Is it due to the increasing accessibility and availability of bra-making resources? Is your bra size impossible to find at the retail level? Were you inspired by a certain blogger? Share in the comments below!

Continue Reading

DIY: Mallori Lane in Black and Silver

Announcement:

I took a long hiatus from my blog, because I was no longer sure about the content I was generating. It took a while, but I think I now know what direction I want to take this blog. In the coming weeks, you will definitely see a marked shift from a fashion blog to one focusing on the development of a core style with a strong DIY flavor. 

Madalynne Mallori Lane Bra Black Silver DIY Bra-MakingIf you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I’ve made quite a few Marlborough Bras and Watson Bras by now. I was ready to try a new bra(lette) style and Madalynne‘s release of her Mallori Lane Bralette pattern could not have been more perfectly timed!

Construction for this bralette style is very straight forward (made even easier by the fact that I eliminated the longline band). Unlike the original instructions, I opted to finish the top and bottom edges using fold-over elastic. I did not trim away any allowance before applying the fold-over elastic, so the bra has more coverage.

Madalynne Mallori Lane Bra Black Silver DIY Bra-Making

The only issue I ran into with this style is getting the side seams to lay flat on the body when worn. The side seams are stabilized with channeling, as instructed by the pattern so I’m not sure if it is a sewing issue or if the side seam needs more support in the form of soft boning.

If you have any ideas on how to get the side seams to lay flatter on the body, I would love to hear your suggestions.

Details:

Bra Pattern: Mallori Lane by Madalynne (free downloadable pattern)

Fabric (Self): Black & Silver Lace from my shop (coming soon!)

Fabric (Lining): Power Net from Merckwaerdigh

Elastics (Shoulder Straps): Shindo Elastic from my shop (coming soon!)

Elastics (Back Straps): Satin Elastic from Vardhmam Inc.

Elastics (Top Edge & Bottom Edge): Foldover Elastic from Daytona Trimmings

Hardware: Silver Rings & Sliders from my shop (coming soon!)

Other Notions: Channeling (used to stabilize side seams) from Pacific Trimming

Continue Reading

DIY: Black Lace Marlborough Bra

black-marlborough3

As mentioned in this post, I will be making a lot of Marlborough Bras in the coming weeks. This one is a belated birthday gift for my co-worker. Her favorite color is purple so I dyed the elastics in that color to use as a pop of color against the black lace.

black-marlborough2

Sizing: I cut a 34A for her. Her measurements are as follow:

Underbust: 30″
Bust: 34″
Overbust: 33″

The bra ended up fitting perfectly with no adjustments needed.

black-marlborough1

For more coverage, I lined the bra with black stretch mesh. I will probably be lining all lacy bras in the future. It makes the finishing much more clean.

black-marlborough4

Continue Reading

DIY: Plum Marlborough Bra

Plum DIY Malborough Bra

Confession: This is actually the third bra that I’ve made. The first two will probably never see the light of day on the Internet because the sewing is pretty embarrassing. With that said, I present you the Marlborough Bra in plum.

Plum DIY Malborough Bra

The Marlborough Bra is designed and drafted by Norma of Orange Lingerie (a custom bra and lingerie business). This is my first time sewing this particular style and I’m in love with it. The cut is is what I look for in an everyday bra. The style lines make it really fun to experiment with different materials. I will probably be making a lot of Marlborough Bras in the coming weeks (spoiler alert!).

Plum DIY Malborough BraPlum DIY Malborough Bra

Bra Pattern: Marlborough Bra by Orange Lingerie
Stretch Lace: Etsy
Elastics: Personal Stash (dyed to match)
Hook & Eye: Daytonna Trimmings (dyed to match)
Sliders: Personal Stash
Channeling: Steinlauf & Stoller (dyed to match)

Continue Reading

Hiatus Update and Bra Making!

westham island sunrise bc canada View from Westham Island Bridge during sunrise. Almost like a watercolor painting.

Firstly, I apologize for the lack of posts in the past two months. I disappeared into my workload for both work and school this summer and neglected to update regularly. (Fortunately, my summer attire is pretty uninteresting…I primarily live in soft tees and short shorts.)

My absence is also prolonged by aggressive, back-to-back trips out of town after an exhausting summer based in the city. One of my recent adventures is a week-long excursion to Vancouver, where I spent the first two days of the trip in a bra-making workshop at A Great Notion. I got the idea to take a bra-making class after seeing Tasia of Sewaholic post about her bra-making experience with Johanne Brousseau here. I struggle with buying bras that fit at the retail level, so I was definitely interested in taking up bra-making so I can customize the fit (and details, of course).

Initially, I checked for class options locally…and was surprised to find that New York did not have any offerings (or maybe my googling skills are questionable…?). I emailed the team at A Great Notion to see if they are offering the class again…and it turns out they are! I booked the class and decided to cross Vancouver off my travel bucket list at the same time.

bramaking diy sewing

(Incidentally, there are now suddenly a slew of bra making classes being offered! Craftsy now has a Bra Making Class and The Sewing Party will host Bra Making with Madalynne on November 8th, 2014.)

Continue Reading

Complete: Peter Pan Collar Chambray Dress

Peter Pan Collar Chambray Dress

My first complete sewing project for the year is this peter pan collar chambray number for a friend.

Peter Pan Collar Chambray Dress

I find sewing for others to be a good exercise in fit. Everyone’s build is different and it challenges me to try new fitting techniques. In addition, it’s fun to create a garment that is unique to the wearer. I personally would not wear a peter pan collar dress, so it was an opportunity for me to draft and sew a style of dress that I would have otherwise avoided.

Peter Pan Collar Chambray Dress

I’m pretty bad at taking WIP shots, but in terms of construction I chose to finish the inside with french seams. As a result, I did not put pockets in the dress. (Although I did find this nifty tutorial which allows for one to have french seams AND pockets simultaneously after I finished the project….) The armholes and neckline are finished with piping and then turned under and topstitched. The hem is done with a rolled hem foot.

Peter Pan Collar Chambray Dress

Confession: This is my first time sewing a circle skirt…!

Continue Reading

Metallic Leather Tote

DIY Metallic Leather Tote

In addition to shoemaking, I’ve also decided to try my hand at making handbags. So far, I’m experimenting with simple tote shapes. My friend, Joy, is in the market for a basic tote so I offered to make her one.

Metallic Leather Bunny Fabric

Here’s a shot of the two primary materials used. The metallic leather is from Global Leather. Jot picked up the bunny print upholstery fabric when she was studying abroad in Paris. (As a side note, I did make a test tote out of faux leather first.)

DIY Metallic Leather Tote

For the straps, we decided on this contrast tan colored leather from the scrap bins at Global Leather. As you can see in the photo, I have not yet figure out how to achieve an industrial finish with the straps.

Bunny Fabric Lining

For the lining, I used the wrong side of the fabric. We thought the “X-ray Bunnies” looked rad with the metallic leather.

Metallic Leather Tote

And check out that inner pocket. Here, I used the right side of the bunny print fabric. All in all, it was a good learning experience. For the next few projects, I might tackle something simpler. I’m thinking a zippered leather clutch.

See it modeled on me here.

Continue Reading

Lilac and Leather: Cream Top and Pleather Leggings

cream top pleather leggings

Cream Wool Top w/ Lilac Collar
Materials Used: Leather (Collar), Wool (Shell), Silk Habotai (Lining)
Design By: Tailor Made
Pattern Drafted/Draped By: Tailor Made
Construction By: Tailor Made

cream top pleather leggings

Pleather Leggings
Materials Used: Pleather
Design By: Tailor Made
Pattern Drafted/Draped By: Tailor Made
Construction By: Tailor Made

cream top pleather leggings

Fun fact: I actually drafted the top in Joy’s size so she would be able to keep and wear it after the show. This led to an interesting problem….

cream top pleather leggings

For the original look, we had paired the cream wool top with the tweed shorts. Visually, this pairing did not work for our model. Kat is long-waisted and she is significantly taller than Joy, so the waist line of the top comes up too high on her. The look could be salvaged if we had made the top longer to compensate for Kat’s longer torso length. Instead of sticking with this look, we switched the shorts out for the pleather leggings. We paired the tweed shorts with the leather vest as shown here.

cream top pleather leggings

I really like the top and have plans for making it in my size in the near future. I’m thinking cream leather collar on cream wool as well as black leather collar on black wool?

cream-top-pleather-leggings6

Modeled by: Kat L.

Continue Reading