Saturday, 13 December 2014

Secrets of Sewing Lingerie Babycakes Bra

After having a go at a few pairs of knickers I have really got the lingerie-making bug! I picked up Katherine Sheers and Laura Stanford's Secrets Of Sewing Lingerie book so I could have a go at a few different patterns.

The book covers all kinds of different makes and all the sections are really well explained and illustrated. The only thing putting me off getting started was collecting all the different materials needed. The lady in the fabric shop looked rather blankly at me when I said I wanted a swan-hook. Luckily for me I had a few old bras at hand so recycled hoops and sliders off the straps.

I was relived to find that the Babycakes Bra only required to pieces cutting out- the rest relied on careful alignment of lace and elastic! After having practiced darts over the past couple of months I felt quite confident with the cup darts. I was pleased to find they were a perfect fit!
The pattern suggested using rigid tulle, but it seemed a little difficult to get hold of round here. Instead I used a stretchier lacy tulle-type fabric. I'm not sure if I would need to make the next cup size up if I were to use a rigid fabric next time.

Another material I struggled to get hold of was 'strap'. The pattern suggests buying 2 meters of the stuff, but the strap I found in local haberdasheries was definitely no good for lingerie. There is a real lack of fancy elastic around here too. In the end I ended up buying a pair of ready-made detachable straps (boo) and butchering some old ones so they had hoops instead of detachable hooks. They were surprisingly easy to sew though which was a relief!

The centreback of the pattern features this snazzy gated swan-hook type fastening. This was really the only thing on my bra I wasn't really happy with. Firstly the strap I used was clearly different on the front and back so the folding of it looks really obvious. Secondly it was really difficult to get the angles of each triangle to match. it was important they were the same length and met in the middle. The positioning and the angling of the join to the back of the bra was also really important. I thought I'd done an okay job until I tried it on and found the end of the wings that join the strap both buckle up in the middle. I thought putting the final strip of strap over the top of the join as a kind of boning would help hold it down, but it just seems to have accentuated it! I am thinking about maybe finding some actual boning and seeing if that will help it keep the right shape.

I am really looking forward to having a go at some more of the things from the book. There is a satin shorts and cami set with my name all over it!


Currently listening to: Calexico, Trigger (Revisited)