24 February 2015

I Made a Bra!

If you'd been a fly on the wall during the creation of this - my first homemade bra - you would have heard a repetitive stream of frustrated "doh!", "aaarrrgh!",  and "I'm so stupid!", interjected with the occasional "ooh!" exclamation of delight.

This baby is essentially a wearable toile, a tool in the learning process as I figured out how to make a bra. I don't think I've ever used the seam ripper tool so much in my life, as I sewed things together in the wrong order, used the wrong stitch setting, left holes in places where there really shouldn't be holes, and came to realise what a huge difference one single mm makes when working on such an intricate scale. But when I trimmed off the loose threads and admired my work, I felt that immense sense of pride you get when you make something with your own hands... I made a bra!

This was the result of a course I've been doing at Morley College on lingerie construction. We started with a pattern from the book Bare Essentials: Bras - Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design and adapted it to a strapless shape (purely because strapless bras was the focus of the course this term). We made a rough toile and fitted it to our own bodies. It was at that point that I realised I personally don't like the shape of the cups on this pattern. You could call them "vintage", but they just remind me too much of Kermit the frog's mouth. But I persevered with it, the plan being that once I grasp the construction methods I can play around with the seam lines and shaping of the cups, adapting it to something I like better.

I know some of you are looking for lingerie supplies, so here's where all the bits are from:
- turquoise cup lining, black power mesh, underwires, hook & eye closure bought from Sewing Chest
- black stretch lace, stabiliser fabric, underwire casing and two different types of lingerie elastic from Freya (thanks, Freya!)
- satin-covered boning bought from Minerva
- padding scrounged off Carol at Morley College.

I enjoyed learning a new skill so much that I've signed up to the next six weeks of the course too. We're going to do moulded cups next, and I'm going to ask if I can go off piste and make a bra with straps. I can't wait!

Have you learnt any exciting new sewing skills lately?