Hey Everyone. Welcome to Series 2 of the Lingerie 101 - an exciting and hopefully slightly inspirational look at my complete obsession for creating your own lingerie.
Let me introduce myself. I am Carol, and I am completely obsessed with sewing, and in particular Handmade Lingerie. It started life as a practical quest. I had lost a lot of weight and it annoyed me that I couldn't get anything to fit - and when it did, often 'the girls' spilled out over the top....bad bad bad! and so, I foolishly decided to start my search for good lingerie patterns - and from there the rest is history!
For those of you who came with me on my initial journey with the first series, you will have seen a short introduction to a few of my favourite patterns. My main work is as a full-time ITU Sister on the Neonatal Ward so time is often short, and unfortunately, the first series hit just as the Corona virus was at its worst and my work exploded and time to sew had to take a back seat
I had so many people contact me for advice and for more information that I decided to write a much more in-depth blog about each of my favourite patterns, and a few I haven't tried yet, with the sole aim of giving you just a little more inspiration. The world of lingerie sewing is completely addictive. Once you get the fit right it is so compelling, I literally haven't bought a bra or pantie set for either my wife or me for the last two years!
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Disclaimer here, as I have said before this isn't my main job. I work full time so my spare time is precious. It is limited by what time I have left and also by how much overtime I am being asked to do. Sewing is my refuge. My break from the world of craziness. It's not just the sewing I love, I love the planning, the sketching and the selection of the right fabric and lace. And that brings me to Fabriques.
I literally stumbled one day onto the website and have been in love ever since. In terms of fabric, generally, I use between 0.25 and 0.5meters of fabric for each set. There are very few companies who will let you buy that small an amount and I have always been amazed by the butter-soft quality of the viscose jersey. Nothing has shrunk or washed badly and the delivery is always crazy fast. I am not telling you this because I have been paid too, or because I get anything out of this arrangement, I am purely sharing my passion for amazing fabric and I do still shop in other places depending on what I am looking for. This was more about supporting a small business, and I have most definitely never looked back.
"Now, take your sketch book or notebook in hand, and start planning your next make."
Write a list of all the findings, fabric and materials you will need and get them all ordered before you start.
Some of the main supply companies I use are:
fabriques.co.uk for all my fabric
sewingchest.co.uk for the findings, elastics
minerva.com for that hard to find the colour
evielaluve.co.uk for all my favourite advise and endless inspiration
I also love Etsy for sourcing materials: 'The only place for lace' is amazing for stretch lace in the UK and ship internationally an most of the smaller shops have Etsy sites too.
My one bit of advice (which I really seem to never remember to follow) is to make a list of everything you need to start before you sew. That way you don't end up with multiple garments which can't be finished or are waiting for the post.
So once you have planned your makes, wrote your shopping list and ordered your stock, you are ready to delve into the completely obsessive world of lingerie making, where literally the only limiting factor is your imagination.
My second tiny piece of advice and I hate people who constantly offer their 'advice' but sewing is about leisure time. It is supposed to be fun and relaxing. So if your project is turning out to be a complete nightmare from start to finish. Don't worry. Just chalk it up to a learning experience. But whatever you do, don't let it put you off. I have had so many failures, things which have gone in the 'to finish' draw and have never seen the light of day since.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your makes - and trust me, that day when you wake up and choose to wear your own lingerie over the (very) expensive stuff you bought, it is a great feeling that literally powers your day.
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In case you cant wait, come on over to my Instagram account. I post all my makes and other bits there as a kind of electronic journal. Its fun to look back. Some I loved, and some I very definitely haven't!! But each and everyone has a story behind or a new pattern or just some of my favourite material.
Simply click the link to follow:
Next week I will walk you through one of my favourite pantie patterns and how to mix it up. The Chloe thong from Evielaluve.com (Or she has an amazing Etsy shop too)
See you soon guys.......