Monday, August 6, 2018

Wearable Muslins - The Jasmine Bra and the Watson Bra

I decided that I needed small sewing projects in my life for a few  reasons.  The first is that I have plenty in my wardrobe so I do not need to frenetically sew casual basics.  The second is that demands in my life have increased and I have less time.  Small projects like bras and panties can be fitted into small time slots. The third reason is that I like making pretty things as I used to make wedding dresses and as a teenager loved making dolls and doing needlework.  The latter two hobbies left my life when I left home to undertake my nurse training at age 17.  Making wedding dresses happened somewhat later in life but I stopped making these after a personal change in my life circumstances that saw me ending up in a different city.  So I thought that it might be fun to echo some of my earlier sewing likes and I think sewing lingerie might just capture the essence of these former pastimes.

And another reason - it's BRAugust, hosted by  This is a fun event being held on Instagram throughout the month of August and I am taking part.  And I have pledged to make a few bralettes during this challenge. The Jasmine is my first make for this challenge and is the second bralette in this post after the Scuba Watson.

I have already played around with bra making as an exploratory process.  I managed to finish two bras - one a Watson which I have nearly worn to death even though it was rather imperfectly made. You can see my original post here:  I made my original Watson in a cotton/lycra 4 way stretch knit.

The  other was a Kwik Sew bra - which did not fit well and has gone into the "to visit later" pile.

The Watson Bra, for those of you not familiar with it:

Watson Bra & Bikini Sewing Pattern

This is my latest Watson made in a stretch micro Scuba knit:

I had a few goals in mind with this version.  I decided to use a micro scuba knit which is fairly thick. I had read on various bra blogs that scuba makes up nicely into bras.  I have never sewn with scuba and was very concerned I would find this bulkier knit a little difficult to sew into a bra and to finish nicely with edging elastics.

I also wanted to only partially use a firmer tricot in the bridge section of the front band, although I did line the whole front band in mesh to cover the edges of the tricot.  You can see the zig-zag seam if you look closely at the photo below:

I also used mesh to line the cups - the original Watson has unlined cups, and I wanted a nicer looking finish.  I also had never lined a cup so this was a another learning exercise - how to fully enclose, seam  and then topstitch the seam and lining at the same time.

The next challenge was covering the underbust seam. This is just zig-zagged down in the original pattern, but I wanted to cover the seams so they looked finish.  I thought about this and then though I would use some stretch lace, which seemed to work:

 I did have difficulty applying edging elastic to the underarm and neck areas.  I just found the scuba too thick and unwieldy.  Next time I will try a fold over elastic in these areas - this was suggested to me by a lovely Instagrammer by the name of Linda Merigo. She makes lovely lingerie and is quite an inspiration to me.

Next challenge was the straps. I followed the instructions which ask you to fold the front seam down over the ring and zig zag.  I tried this but the scuba was quite thick and the resulting effort was a mess.  In the end I undid this area and just attached the elastic by bar tacks to the fronts of the bra cups and put the rings at the back.

The back is closed with a three hook and eye closure - I forgot to take a photo of this, but it really is a pretty standard looking bra back closure, so I am sure you can imagine it:).


I am pretty happy with my new Watson bra in micro Scuba lined with mesh.  The cups feel a little firmer than those on my original cotton/lycra Watson. The band is a little larger - I am not sure if this is because the elastic is longer, or whether it is because I used Scuba.  But with the three hook closure this is easily remedied.  I am concerned that the Scuba may pill and pull quickly.   Now I have to put this to a road test to test it's wearability and overall performance (and if you are wondering, the size I used is 34B)

My next make is the Jasmine Bra.

For those of you not familiar with the Jasmine Bra (by Ohh Lu Lu)  here it is:

This is a simple little Beginner's Bra.  I want to work with simple patterns over the next few weeks because I feel that I need to just to get the hang of various techniques and fabrics.  And also because I like some of these simple little styles!

I made this up in size 34-35 (sized for about a B cup)in a cotton/lycra knit.  I checked the pieces against my Watson pattern and was pretty sure the size was right.  I quickly basted the pieces together by hand and checked - yes, okay!  Then it was a straightforward sew - except this pattern has half inch seam allowances which I found awkward when attaching elastics.  I may alter the pattern in future so that it has 1/4 allowances.  The seam allowances did not really bother me that much but I did have to trim them back.  Unfortunately, I did this after I had sewn the straps onto the back band, and misjudged, so my straps are now slightly differently spaced from the CB.  Only noticeable if you really look.

I did break with the pattern and opened my seams up and topstitched them.  I wanted to keep the CF seam strong so I covered with mesh folded in three.  Bit tricky, but it was all I had to improvise with!  It worked, that's the main thing, although not my neatest effort at the top. I need practice with these fabrics.

For those of you new to bra making, here is a view of the straps - they are really quite simple to do, although I am still learning to trust my machine to stitch these.

I am wearing this today as my first wearing.  It's very comfortable and more supportive than I thought it would be, although not as supportive as the Watson.  I think this will be a fantastic little hot weather bralette.  When you need something but you don't want to wear anything because it is too hot.  And s it is so simple to make a few may end up in my lingerie drawer for hot weather wear and frequent washing.

That's it for today's post.

Bye for now,

Sarah Liz


  1. So interesting! I have the Watson pattern, but have not been brave enough to step into the bra-making journey. I appreciate all your tips and techniques. Beautiful!

  2. I am working up the courage to start working on bras and your post certainly helped in getting me a step closer. Yours look lovely.

  3. I've been waiting this post, Sarah! I am interested in making bras. I love how you used the stretch lace. It's so lovely. Thank you for sharing the details.

  4. I'm so interested in making bras, but am a bit intimidated by the process. Your post makes me feel like I can do it - - :).