Hi guys! I originally had a tutorial post planned for today, but I wanted to share a UFO that has been languishing in my underwear drawer for over two years first. This is actually one of my earliest bra makes–I made this maybe a month after I started my bra making journey.
To be honest, this self-drafted bra was actually mostly done. It was just missing the straps and the hook & eye. I had set it aside, because I didn’t have a matching hook & eye in a cream color. And here’s the kicker: I still don’t have a cream colored hook and eye, but I made do with off-white.
I had forgotten about this bra until I started organizing my underwear drawer in preparation for Me-Made-May 17. In a nutshell, Me-Made-May is a month-long challenge that encourages makers to wear the garments that they’ve made and wear them more. Everyone has a different amount of me-made pieces, so it’s up to the participant to set their own criteria for this challenge. You can learn more about Me-Made-May here and you can check out the #MMMay17 instagram hashtag here.
I finished this bra over Mother’s Day Weekend, and I thought it would make for an interesting post to see how my style and construction has changed (or not changed) in 2.5 years of sewing bras.
Well it’s good to know that in 2.5 years, my style hasn’t changed all that much. My current lingerie wardrobe favors cream and ivory pieces heavily and bralettes are still my jam. This silhouette is actually different from my current rotation of triangle bralettes and balconette bralettes so I want to revisit this pattern soon (provided I can locate it. If not, I will take this one apart to redo the pattern since the band is a smidgen too small.)
In terms of construction, the most obvious difference is the way I finished the upper scallop lace edges. Instead of using a narrow elastic or clear plastic elastic, I actually turned under the lining top edge and then used a 3-step zig zag to secure the lining to the lace. I haven’t used this technique in a long, long time.
Another difference is the elastic I used for the band. This is a soft satin strapping elastic and not a firm picot plush elastic. I used a 3-step zig zag stitch for this part and these days, I favor a tiny one-step zig zag stitch.
If I remember correctly, I was mostly concerned with covering the seam allowances and was less concerned with the supportiveness of the band. This was why I chose to use a soft strapping elastic.
Luckily for me, I don’t actually need a lot of support so this finish works fine for me. For those who do need the support, please use proper band elastic. There is a way to hide all the raw edges even using picot elastic. I didn’t figure that out until later in my bra making journey. Some of my other early bralettes also use strapping elastics as the bra band, but I haven’t done so recently.
The one thing that has remained consistent throughout my bra making journey is my obsession with clean finishing everything. As you can see, the side seams are neatly enclosed by the lining and self fabrics. The center front is covered by a piece of soft strapping elastic to hide the raw edges.
A Comparison Post?
It would be fun to revisit this pattern and then do a side by side photo comparison post to see how I would construct the bra differently now (provided I don’t take apart this bra because I can’t find the pattern). There are a few things I am already thinking of changing in terms of construction if I were to make this bra again.
How about you? Do you find yourself using different construction techniques now versus when you first started your bra making journey? Share in the comments below!