Lace bra finished
I finished my lace bra yesterday. It looks pretty, although the fit isn't the greatest. I knew that before I started working on it again, so I do not feel too disappointed. I am getting better with the finer points of bra-making - I didn't have to refer to the instructions so often. It helps to make about one a week! The straps were my own invention. I have never found detailed information on making custom straps, so just did my own thing after looking at lots of photographs. I would make them less tapering next time though; the part across my shoulder is a bit too narrow. I think next time I will also add a layer of padding under the lace for more comfort.
Here you can see the bra on me. The real test, I always think! A bra can look pretty lying on the duvet, but it has to work ON you. I wanted to try using the lace edging on the bra band, because it always looks so pretty, and I cut the top cup edge and shoulder straps so the edging would be continuous. I don't know if I'll do the lace bottom edge again, though. It feels a bit scratchy. You can also see on the left side of the photo (click to zoom in) that the lace part "bubbles" and does not lie flat. I think this is because I have (again!) used non-stretch lining behind the lycra, and this is preventing the breast from filling the cup completely. Maybe I should do some surgery here?
Here is a close-up of the shoulder strap during construction. I cut the strap from lace and non-stretch lining (the kind you use for behind the centre front "bridge" piece). I basted them together and sewed the whole thing to the top of the cup. Then I applied picot elastic to the top edge of the bra and cut it long enough so I could apply it to the outside edge of the strap as well. Then I cut another piece and sewed it to the inside edge of the strap with a three-step zigzag.
More about the anatomy of this bra:
- Bottom and side cup pieces cut in lace, lycra and non-stretch lining
- Top cup cut in lace and stretchy lining (so it would not be too see-through)
- Centre front cut in lace (with centre seam) and non-stretch lining
- Side piece of the bra band cut from lace and non-stretch-lining (see-through!)
- Bra back cut from lycra and medium powernet (and I see the powernet needs to be smaller because it is wrinkling when I have it on)
I used a lot of machine-basting and also some hand-basting during construction to hold all the layers together. I still followed the standard Sewy Rebecca method of sandwiching the seam between the outer fabric and the lining, but I am thinking of using plain seams next time - I don't like the definite ridge I get with topstitching with this method. I recently saw a bra with lining made by Sandra using flat seams topstitched on both sides, and it looks very neat!