I hate shopping for items that never fit right anyway. It’s what lead me to start making staples like t-shirts and jeans. Being embarrassing low on undergarments now has me on a mission to master some new basics like bras and panties. When you think about it–they’re pretty small, use minimal supplies, and should make for quick work.
For me, these items are very utility. I honestly don’t care how attractive they are, just that they do their job well–hold up the girls comfortably. I almost didn’t even add the bow to the center of the bridge because it seemed superfluous and cutesy. You’ll notice I did though. I figured since I already had it, I would. That will not be a detail I keep doing.
My KC friend Jamie suggested I check out Ann St. Clair, a woman based out of Wichita. Jaime has taken Ann’s workshops and was very successful with her adventures in bra making. Sarai also began making bras; she started by using a Canadian company, Bra-makers Supply. Just out of sheer laziness (because I could place the order online late at night), I went ahead and ordered the main handbook, pattern, and two kits from them. When you search online there are several websites and companies that supply resources and patterns. I’m curious to hear about other’s favorites.
So, it’s not perfect but that’s okay. The elastic kept slipping as I was working on sewing it to the upper portions of the bra so my straps are little uneven. I thought I could get away without pressing. WRONG. I think that would have helped when I turned the elastic to the wrong side. I was definitely rushing so maybe if I slowed down and took my time…however it’s totally wearable and does the job. I’m so glad I had my FHS and needle up/down–this allowed for frequent stopping and never having to take my hands off the work. Invaluable! As for specialty presser feet, the next time I want to use a #34 Clear Reverse Foot (it’s like a regular #1 foot, but clear!). That way I can really clearly see where I’m going. I used a #10 for edgestitching my channeling on and a #18 for attaching the bow. No hand sewing required! She recommends utilizing both a zig zag and a running zig zag. I’m tempted next time to try using the coverstitch machine…
The kit came with fabric and hook and eye closures as well as all the elastic and channelling I needed but I stole underwires from an old unwearable bra and plan on taking strap findings and underwires from all my older or ill-fitting bras now.
Next time I’m also going to adjust the cup ever so slightly. The apex is just a smidge pointy and buckles when it’s on, minimally but it’s there. I think if I round out the lower cup, this should fix it. Not only do I have another kit to play with, I feel pretty good that I will be able to continue to make others utilizing supplies available in local stores like Bolt (where I know I can get channeling and great variety on picot edge elastic), Mill End, and Rose City Textiles. I’ll photograph others I make too–black is so hard to photograph!
Next up, panties!