Yes, I have a cheeky smile on my face, because today is April Fool's Day. And this post looks like it is going to be about a t-shirt, but no, I'm actually doing my first post about lingerie. I've just completed my first bra, and was not going to post my opening picture showing me in a bathroom selfie, wearing my first bra attempt:
I've actually change the picture a bit, by using photoshop - this is a water colour rendering of my original photo, which was a little too candid for my liking!
The pattern I used was one I stashed some years ago, with the idea that one day I would be made enough to attempt to make these things! It's Kwik Sew 3594.
As you can see, it has been drafted by Kerstin Martensson, so it is a nice little make. Before I made this bra, I watched a Craftsy course called Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit, by Beverly Johnson. This class really takes you through the materials and steps needed to make a bra.
I had already purchased a few odds and ends a few years ago - elastic, closures, and so on. I used a cotton lycra knit for the band, and scraps of cotton jersey for the cups and self fabric straps.
Now, I do not always learn things easily, so I had a bit of a practice run with pink scraps:
Now, the stitching across the bust and down the centre of the front is my adaption - I used a stretch stitch here, you are supposed to use a straight stitch. But as I was playing around, I wanted to see what this stitch would do. Yes, a poor student of technique I know, but I love the idea of this stitch for use somewhere one day!
I'm glad I did this practice, because I hadn't quite got the gist of what Beverly had shown us. So then I did my first practice run to completion.
Measuring and fitting a bra is quite complex. I could be a 32A, 32C, 34A,34B or 36A depending on a number of factors - you can use high bust, full bust, underbust and cup depth measurements. In the end I plumped for 34B as a starting point. It has come out a little too large, I think too deep in the lower cup, and I could take a tuck out of the centre of the cup. The band feels right. So I think I should try an A cup, but stay with the same band size. However, the bra is quite wearable, and just oh so comfortable, so I think it will be worn in the evening when I want to wear something comfortable. I also need to test how it wears for a day, and how it stands up to wash and wear.
I'll quickly show you what the bra looked like - and bear in mind that I am a beginner, so this is not my greatest work:
I find that this is very fiddly sort of sewing, but I sort of enjoy it, as I often get what I call fragmented time. Much of my sewing is done 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there, which is not a very enjoyable way of sewing and gets frustrating. So I think sewing little things like this will actually be good way for me to keep a sewing rhythm. I think I would also get fed up doing little seams for a long stretch of time, but a small run while having morning coffee will be really nice way to tackle this sort of sewing. And ordinary garments can be done when I have half hour blocks.
So, with this plan in mind, I have purchase bits of similar stretch and weight cotton jerseys in different colours, along with lots of elastics, casings, closures etc from a supplier in Australia called - wait for it - "Booby Traps". They are the number one in Australia for lingerie supplies, but I have not found this on any of the blogs I have read about bra making.
And next week I will tell you about the striped t-shirt :)
Bye for now,