Hi there, readers. It’s hard to hear you from down here. I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of lingerie making. What’s that? Echo, echo.
I wanted to start off nice and easy with this adventure, so I bought a lingerie kit from Blackbird Fabrics and used the recommended Watson Bra and Bikini Pattern. Since discovering Blackbird Fabrics, I intently follow their Instagram feed swooning over new arrivals. My kit arrived from Canada(!), complete with a hand written thank you. The kits seem a little pricey, but the prices are in CAD, so they are actually cheaper than they seem.
The kit came with everything I needed, from the three types of fabric to the metal strap parts and hook and eye closures, to yards and yards of two different kinds of decorative elastic. Everything except thread was included. Fortunately, I had some matching burgundy and black spools in the stash. I have lots of leftovers from the kits too. There is not enough elastic left over to make a second set, but there is plenty of fabric, so I may just have to go out and find some elastic myself.
To guide my adventure, I heavily followed the Watson sew-along. I probably would have gotten by just fine without it, but since this was my first stab at bra making, I appreciated the extra hand holding. As other bloggers have noted, I found the zigzag stitch length and width recommendations to be helpful. Sometimes they were inconsistent between the pattern and the sew along, but they got the general idea across.
I was a little intimidated by bra making at first, but I found this set surprisingly easy to sew. I sewed everything on my sewing machine, using both straight and zigzag stitches. The joining of the cups in the middle came together so neatly that I haven’t even sewn on the decorative bow typically used to cover up mistakes. I like the contrast added by the bow, though, so I may still add it.
The thing about making a bra, I’m learning, is that it’s impossible to try on a bra until it’s completely finished. A lot of effort goes into little details without ever knowing if it’s going to fit. Fortunately, this story has a pretty happy ending. The fit is not perfect, but I’m satisfied with it for a first try. The band is actually a little tight, which is a problem I almost never have with RTW. A nice change I suppose.
There’s not much to say about the bikini bottoms. I have made two pairs of underwear before, but these are far superior. I sewed up the bikini before the bra to get accustomed to working with the fabrics before diving into the bra. It came together pretty easily once I figured out how gently to “gently stretch” the elastic. There is a learning curve with lingerie sewing, but it’s not too steep. More of a hill than a mountain.
My confidence is pretty high after this project, and I may be feeling brave enough to try a pattern with an underwire next. Gasp!