That’s how this set makes me feel. A million bucks. My favourite set I’ve made so far, even though the velvet was a bit of a nightmare, not only to sew with, but also to photograph (as you will see). But worth it.
Both patterns are by Ohhh Lulu, the knickers only purchased yesterday after my search for a lower leg. Ohhh Lulu nailed it, obviously. Links to everything I used here:
Cindy Bra – Ohhh Lulu
Ava Knickers – Ohhh Lulu
Main fabric – purchased an an Op Shop and hoarded by me for about two years.
Powernet – Remnant Warehouse (just as an aside, the pretty gold bits started flaking off after I washed this net. Very bloody sad).
Elastic, bra clips, casing, wires, boning etc – Booby Traps
Straps and tiny satin buttons were rescued from an old bra, may she RIP.
So the Ava pattern is simple and brilliant. A great place to start if you’re new to sewing lingerie. Three pieces, that’s it. Front and back go together with gusset cleverly tucked in behind the back (sounds confusing, but it works), side seams get sewn up and then I just used picot elastic for the waistband and legs because I find it much easier than fold over elastic. EASY.
The velvet looks like two different fabrics. What a trickster. Gusset is black jersey.
Picot gets sewn on the right side of the fabric, soft side up, picots facing towards knickers with a regular smallish zig zag, then flipped and attached again with a bigger three step zig zag. You can do it, I swear.
Hello pretty Avas. Finished in about 20 minutes, for real. Also, lingerie is a bugger to photograph flat. Much better on a body, but even I’m not going that far. Sorry.
Now to Cindy. I’m going to tell you a secret:
Bras aren’t that hard to make.
Don’t tell your non-sewing friends, they will seriously be so impressed to know you can sew a bra. Like mouth gaping floored. This Craftsy class taught me to sew bras. It’s amazing. You need it. Do it. I get absolute nothing from telling you that, by the way. It just changed my life and I’m not even kidding.
Alright, that said I put the Cindy bra together mostly by the instructions provided, but occasionally I veered off course and did it the way I learned in the Craftsy class. Because it makes sense. I think this is my sixth handmade bra, so I feel pretty comfortable with the process now. Cindy calls for more fold over elastic, but again I used picot elastic. This is the first time I’ve used the picot on the neckline and underarms of this particular pattern and I was concerned about it ending up a bit too low in the front, but it turned out absolutely fine and will be the way I finish it from now on. I love the three piece cup of this bra and the long line band helps smooth everything out too. What’s not to love about that, really. Since making bras with longer bands, I actually can’t stand wearing my RTW bras with the narrow back strap now. Something about it feels really uncomfortable.
I decided to line this baby with powermesh because the stretch velvet needs the extra support. It felt like overkill, but I’m so glad I did it because it definitely wouldn’t have been wearable without it – the velvet just has too much give and I need the support. You’ll notice I didn’t line the top cup piece because I sort of forgot and then was too lazy to go back and cut more pieces. It’s fine as is really, but would have been better with the extra support. Next time.
This bra has boning in it, which supports the band and stops it from rolling up when you’re wearing it. One of the comments I always get when I say I’ve sewn bras is ‘But with wire?!’ like it’s a really complex thing. But it’s honestly not. The boning and wire aren’t difficult at all. Even if you’re sewing a wireless bra, most will need the underwire casing in them anyway, as it covers the raw edges where the cups meet the band. Putting the actual wire and boning in is only another step.
Boning. Just boring plastic stuff. Sounds way more hardcore than it is.
Done. Look at the guts of this bra, isn’t it pretty? When I first started sewing, I would never worry about the insides of what I was making because pffffft, no one will ever see it. But now I’ve realised how good it makes me feel when the insides are as pretty as the outside.Fun fact: I had my first bra pattern stashed away for over a year because I was so intimidated by that thing I felt too scared to attempt it. Now I feel ridiculous. If you can sew a dress, you can sew a bra. I don’t even touch my over locker when I sew a bra. So if you want to, go for it. You got this, legends. A million bucks.