Bra vs Bralette {Orange Lingerie Marlborough Bra + Ohhh Lulu Romy Bra Part One}

This post may or may not be safe for work, depending on who is looking over your shoulder. No nudity, but I’m wearing underwear.

Ok? ok.

This past weekend started with me digging through my underwear drawer and having a giant cull. Too big, too small, too low, too high, too worn, never worn, too grandma, too uncomfortable etc. You know the drill. Which left me with very little beyond the undies I’d made for myself. A sign, I think. What’s a girl to do? Sew four pairs of knickers on a Friday night. Party animal.

Of course, sewing four pairs of knickers can be done pretty easily in a few hours. But when one decides that she must now have bras to match, well – that takes a bit longer. I get asked about bra sewing more than anything else ever, so I thought I’d share some with you. Yeah I’m being brave and getting my clothes off. Because it’s all well and good to sew my bras, but you’re curious about fit too, right? I get it. I always was when I saw home sewn bras too. Because they are home sewn. How could they possibly compare to store bought?

Let’s talk about the patterns I used:

Ohhh Lulu Romy Bra (bralette).

Orange Lingerie Marlborough Bra.

Knickers are self drafted using this class.

Materials are from all over the place, but mainly Booby Traps and The Remnant Warehouse.

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Lets talk about Romy first. I love Ohhh Lulu’s patterns and own several. I really love the mesh insert in the Romy and how you can use lace also. It’s pretty. When I bought it, I figured it would probably work as a bikini top, which it will (replace the picot with fold over elastic, the strapping with fabric straps and eliminate the back closure, or use a bikini closure instead). Not hard.

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Pros of a bralette:

  • It’s a much quicker sew than a wired bra.
  • Generally they use stretch fabric, which means it’s easy to match your bottoms.
  • You can line or not line, depending on the amount of support you like.

Cons ofΒ  bralette:

  • Less support than a wired bra for bigger busts.
  • I don’t feel the silhouette is as nice as a wired bra (on me – more mono boob).

This is the first time I’ve sewn Romy and yeah, I really should have waited and ordered some navy strapping, but I was keen to get it sewn and check the fit. Which is almost spot on, I just need to move the point where the straps attach at the back. They are too close to my shoulder blades, I need to move them towards the centre of my back. Other than that, I love it! It will definitely work as swimmers with a couple of tweaks. I lined the whole thing in powermesh for extra support. Even the back bands, which is different from the pattern. Actually using picot elastic instead of fold over is a bit of a departure too, but I made the knickers first and wanted them to match.

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I love how the Ohhh Lulu patterns teach you how to do enclosed seams. It looks so professional. What doesn’t look professional is that I totally forgot to trim back my seam allowance under the picot elastic at the underarm. Ooops.

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Now onto the Marlborough. This is quite a popular pattern and I can see why. It provides a tonne of lift. The powerbar (that piece of fabric that runs along the outside of the cups) is awesome at pushing everything front and centre. The pros and cons of the wired bras are pretty much the opposite of the bralettes – generally they require fabric with no stretch (I’ve used stretch mesh but lined with nude bra lining), they take much longer to sew but they are a lot more supportive for bigger busts. I prefer the silhouette on me.

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The Marlborough pattern directs you to use lace with clear elastic for those upper cups, but I’m a rule breaker and used the heart mesh (to match my already sewn undies, of course) and picot. I love using wide strapping too. Probably because I used to be an F cup and could never find the wide stuff on RTW bras. Unless they were, you know, beige, massive and boring as hell.

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I’ve already got another Marlborough and another Romy cut out to match the other pairs of knickers I sewed on Friday night. There’s nothing like a big old top up of a tired lingerie drawer to make you feel a million bucks.

Stayed tuned for part two…

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Not Sewing {Spoonflower Wallpaper}

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Booking in the concreter to update our floors sparked a bit of a cascade of intervention and I decided that we needed a feature wall of wallpaper in our loungeroom. Oh yes we did. I’d been eyeing off the Spoonflower wallpaper for a really long time and this was the perfect excuse to order. But what to chose? Oh GOD. Decision making is not something I usually agonise over, but this would be in the middle of our house. Will it make the room look smaller? Will it date really quickly? Will it be a nightmare to put up? Turns out I don’t care. Inspired by Pinterest, I was gravitating towards botanical prints, something leafy. I had planned on banana leaves, but didn’t find the perfect print. In the end, I decided on this monstera print by Charlotte Winter because I loved the watercolour vibe and also how vibrant it is (no muted tones in this house!).

Here’s a bit of my Pinterest Inspo:

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When the wallpaper arrived, I was bloody thrilled to be honest. The colour was really saturated and exactly as the website images showed. But alas, I had to tuck it away for a couple of months until our floor was done (the last thing I wanted was for it to get covered in concrete dust or damaged during the process).

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So yesterday was the day! Putting up wallpaper is definitely a two person job, so I made sure I enlisted the help of my husband to do the hard yards, while I stood back and checked that the whole shebang was straight. Hot tip: Most walls aren’t completely square. We lined it up with the side of the wall and it went above the ceiling at some points, but that’s cool because you just cut that off later. We used the smooth, water activated paper and here’s another hot tip: really wet that sucker down. It worked much better than ‘lightly dampened with with sponge’. Once the top was where we wanted it, we taped it in place with masking tape and rolled the rest down the wall, matching the pattern as closely as humanly possible (in some points it’s slightly off, but I really don’t think you can tell). Then using the wet sponge, we smoothed out all the air bubbles.

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I’m pretty damn pleased with how it turned out. My only niggling concern is that it gets so hot and humid here that the glue will give up on me (especially since the paper is removable). Anyway, time will tell. In other news, dress sewing for everyone else started again this week! Can’t wait to update the shop with all the new beauties, which will probably happen next weekend, all going well.