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A different kind of lingerie success

14 June 2011, 13:05

I’ve made three bras so far, and despite winning the PR Lingerie contest last year, I’ve never been that happy with the fit of any of those bras. I mean, they were okay, but the style is different to the kind of bras I buy, and the underwires dug in, and well, the girls just didn’t look their best. So they’ve kinda worked their way to the bottom of my lingerie drawer, which makes me sad. I sew to wear, not to shove in a drawer!

As I mentioned last week, I got very excited about the notion of sewing a bra made with foam cups, which are the sort I always buy, and speaking to Kellie at The Sewing Chest, she got me all set up with the right bits to have my first go. I made a toile using her purple hearts foam cups over the weekend and the fit is so good I wore it all day Sunday and now again Monday!

I started the process by making a rigorous comparison of the Kwik Sew 3300 pattern vs two RTW bra backs and ended up drafting a back similar to a Ted Baker one that fits me well.

Here you can see the difference between the KwikSew back (in brown) and my newly drafted-from-RTW back (in white) –

The only change I’m going to make in my next bra (using this black lace lingerie kit and black cups) is to alter that front, triangular central bridge slightly to take a few millimetres out of the top, and a wider wedge of about a centimetre out of the bottom of the bridge. Now that the fit is good, it’s much easier to pinch and pull a bit to see how to improve the cleavage!

Come payday, I reckon I’ll be buying a bunch of her 34B foam cups. I can cover them with any stretch fabric I like and they’re difficult to find (you have to buy them in your exact size), so why not stock up! That, and they’re only £3 a pair so it’s a small price to pay to ensure I have well-fitting bras to hand. And honestly, these will mean I can make my own bras for under a fiver and 2 hours. HAPPY!

I have no affiliation or discount from the Sewing Chest, but as a happy customer I can recommend her lingerie kits, foam cups, and her toile kit (though it doesn’t appear to be in stock right now), and DO email Kellie using their Contact Form if you’ve got any doubts over which underwire you should buy for which style or whether this bit will work with that bit – she’s SO knowledgeable and super helpful!

Also, I had the realisation yesterday that the lingerie elastics from the Sewing Chest are half the price of the lingerie elastics from MacCulloch and Wallis. I stupidly bought more cream elastic from the latter when I was there two Fridays ago, forgetting that I’d just bought more from the Sewing Chest a few days before.

I don’t know about you, but I sure can’t tell which cost 45p a metre and which cost £1!

I was on a high with my bra success so I decided to carry on with the lingerie making and so I put the elastic onto these rose and lace panties I’d cut out a while back. You may recognise the fabrics from this wintry top

These are just made using my go-to KnipMode thong pattern I’ve made tons before, but you just just as easily trace a pair of your own or try EmilyKate’s Cheeky Panties on for size…

Other good stuff:

More on Lekala later this week, if I can actually get this photoshoot done! Oh, and the first fitting of my vintage dress muslin is looking surprisingly good…

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  1. I’m looking forward to your Lekala post. I’ve saved a ton of the patterns this time around. I’ve made a handful and always been pretty happy with the outcome, even if the directions are crap. As for the Kate Middleton dress, the A4 pdf seems to work for me, although I’d rather the full sized paper.

    Good to hear your feedback on the foam cups. I like making bras, but I seem to be horrible at fitting myself. I have a few pretty but unwearable bras at this point.

    — Cathy    Jun 14, 05:36 PM    #
  2. I’m always impressed by handmade bras – and yours is so pretty! Someday I’ll try it. Finding lovable vendors is also a very good thing. ;-)

    — M Kate    Jun 14, 07:13 PM    #
  3. Sewing lingerie is fun, isn’t it?

    So glad you have found foam cups and a supplier you love! I wish I had a local supplier…I pay heaps in postage and am never sure what I am getting.

    Hope these ones stay at the top of your drawer!

    Katherine    Jun 15, 07:17 AM    #
  4. I’m very impressed – lingerie making looks a bit daunting. Looking forward to the Lekala post too. They were quick off the mark with that Kate dress – it looks great. I downloaded a pile of patterns last time they had a freebie but haven’t tried any yet.

    Jacquie    Jun 16, 04:09 PM    #
  5. I’ve stayed away from bra-making so far, mainly because of the molded cups (also the only type of bra I buy.) But this I would consider. I’ll have to see if there’s a similar supplier stateside.

    Becky    Jun 18, 12:08 AM    #
  6. Hope you will like to wear this bra more than the others you made. They look good.

    Sigrid    Jun 18, 03:20 PM    #
  7. I wonder why you haven’t invested in making a pattern from one of your own bras? I have made 9 bras now. I designed my own pattern and have been teaching bra making. You are one of the best bra makers I have seen blogging. I love the way my bras fit and I won’t wear RTW anymore. You are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing. Jnetti.

    Jeannette Antry    Jan 4, 04:37 AM    #

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