Once again, it is a while since I have written a blog post. That's because I have been busy, as you have probably worked out. I have managed to do a bit of sewing and have made a few bralettes. I will share them with you over the next few weeks.
I know some of you are interested in making bralettes but have no idea where to start. Sewing bras andbralettes at first seems rather daunting, because you will come across unfamiliar terms like band elastic, strap elastic, plush elastic, rings and sliders, fasteners. You probably do not have a clue what all these are. Of course, you probably do...I suggest you have a look at one of your RTW bras and you will see all of the above elastics - straps, with rings and sliders, band elastic (bottom of bra) and plush elastic around the armhole, front and back edges. You may see other elastics instead, such as fold over elastic. I really wish someone had pointed out just to have a look at a bra when I was trying to understand what all these bits and pieces and elastics were.
There are a number of simple patterns on the market, and there are also a few free patterns available for download. These are quite good to start with, because you start to get a feel for the fabrics, sewing, notions and terminology.
For the bralette pictured above I used the Hyacinth free bralette pattern, by Ohhh Lu Lu Lingerie.
It can be found at https://www.ohhhlululingerie.com/tag/free-pattern/
This is a very simple bralette with just a front piece and a back piece. It is a pull over the head bralette, so no fasteners are needed. The top is finished with lace. I cut size 34 (OhhhLuLu sizes for about a B cup), fabric used was a stretch cotton/lycra, lace a stretch nylon. Gutermann thread used for sewing. Fold over elastic for top edge, band elastic and strap elastic. Rings and sliders are clear plastic (they go with anything). Size 75/112 stretch needles and you are ready to cut and sew.
This is my first attempt at this bralette, so it's more a wearable muslin to test fit in this particular fabric. I tend to use the same type of cotton/lycra jersey for all my first attempts at new bralette patterns - if they use a similar fabric of course.
In fact, I am rather proud of how neat this looks! Beginners luck maybe.
One side seam is stitched and then the top edges are finished with fold over elastic. The pattern suggests a two step process for this, but I zig zagged the fold over elastic over the raw edges of the bralette in one step. I think this is better, because there is less likelihood of stretching the elastic out too much and making it wavy. This is the first time I have applied fold over elastic, and I didn't find it difficult. I decided the shiny satin side worked with the lace.
The band elastic is straightforward to apply. Face down first, zig -zag in place then turn to wrong side and 3 step zig zag. Or zig zag, if you don't have 3 step zig zag. The second side seam is closed with band elastic enclosed in this seam.
The last step is adding the straps. I altered the pattern here and added the ringd at the front. The pattern had the rings at the back. I just preferred the slightly more airy look that the ring provided at the front - it seemed to go with airy holes in the lace. I just attached them by folding the elastic back on itself, I didn't add a separate bit.
The elastic is just stitched in at the back:
So that is that. My first little Hyacinth bralette. It's a low support bralette and not suitable for everyday wear, more for loungewear or sleepwear unless you have a smaller, self supporting cup size. I do. So I may even wear this in summer when it is very hot. Just for a little support and modesty. I think the slight curve in the centre front of the bra band helps to provide this support a little - just perhaps the slightest cantilever effect.