So here we are at Part 3 of my Lingerie 101, and I am sure most of you won't have been able to wait and are sewing up as we speak.
But just in case you haven't, and just in case you wanted to watch me go through it - here it is.
My plan is to start with the darcey bralette - so print out your pattern pieces and measure yourself. Not the version of you you want to be, the real no-frills version of who you are (lumps and all). Print out the size which best suits your needs and then you are ready to take the scissors or rotary cutter to you're fabric.
"For me - I love my rotary cutter. I am an extreme lefty. I am so left handed I am literally hopeless with my right hand, and as such have always hated scissors!! Anyway, enough about me! "
This bit will sound time-consuming, but only cut out one piece at a time. I have learnt my lesson the very hard way by doubling over the fabric in the vague hope it will make this process quicker - but trust me with this one. The most fabric you will use for lingerie will have some stretch, slip or movement to it, and even with a rotary cutter you always get some movement between the two layers and it can all get totally frustrating. So, although it feels longer I always cut out one pattern piece at a time.
The next part is to cut out the lace overlay sections. Hannah from Evie la Luve has made this super easy. The important bit here is to make sure the lace you have, is mirrored on each side. Cut out one piece, flip it over and layer it on top of where the next piece will be. You can see through the lace to make sure it is the same. But here is what it looks like.
The next part I have also tried to save time with....actually I tried missing out the next stage completely, but it has never worked well for me. So, although this bit is fiddly, it is well worth doing.
Using a small zigzag stitch I go over the main seam where the lace needs to be sewn onto the fabric to stop it moving and then tack stitch in an ugly thread to keep the rest in place whilst you sew up the seams. It can be time-consuming but I try to follow the beautiful scallop edge so it doesn't roll or come away from the top edge.
Once you have sewn and roughly stitched your lace in place - everything else feels like progress. The next job is to join the two centre front pieces. Remember to put both main fabrics right sides together and pin, then the same with both stretch mesh linings. Lay one on top of the other, pin and sew with a medium straight stitch. That way, when you have sewn your seam - you can open up the two front pieces and the two front mesh sections and the seams are completely enclosed.
I normally top stitch over the seam just to keep it lying flat, but this isn’t in the pattern and is by no means essential - I just like how it looks.
You might find the next section easier if you pin and tack the front and lining mesh together. Place the side front on top of the centre front and pin, then flip it all over and pin on the side front on top of the centre front lining too, and sew.
One of the things Hannah from EvielaLuve recommends is to grade your seams. It is where you trim the first layer of fabric slightly shorter than the next - it is well worth the effort and really stops the seams being too bulky.
Then when both side fronts are joined onto the centre fronts its time to move onto the back pieces. Again this is exactly the same principle. Make sure the back main and sidearm are right sides together and then the two linings are together and sew.
The other thing to look out for is that the stretch mesh from Fabriques is so beautifully soft that you have to ensure it doesn’t get trapped and sewn into the seam. It can be tricky to unpick it!! And if there is one thing I hate - it is my unpicker!
I am very definitely not perfect all the time, and this was me trying to write the shopping list with Siri at the same time as sewing...... the result, forget Siri and concentrate. All the seams can be oversewn to neaten but it really isn't essential.
Then Tah-dah, you have the makings of a bra.
Then it gets good!
Come and join me next week when I show you how to attach all the elastic and finish it so it looks perfect. If we have time we will also construct the panties.
There are always so many things in life which get in the way. School, work and horrible versus' to name but few; but for me, sewing has been about relaxing and creating and if it is all starting to feel a bit much. Stop. Most days I try at least to set myself a target. Half an hour sewing, or the overlocking, or even just one piece of elastic - that way if it gets too crazy, I feel like the things I love are still completely realistic
In the meantime, if you are looking for more inspiration, come on over to my Instagram page, click the link and follow me there:
See you all next week, and stay well!