Hello Califabrics blog readers (and anyone else who’s stumbled upon this blog)! How are you doing today? I’m back with a post about underthings. Woo hoo!
I have a lot of me-made items in my closet, in fact, I pretty much wear exclusively me-mades now, but one thing I am lacking in, is underthings. I’ve made a few bras here and there, and I have a couple of pairs of undies, but nothing I really love. So when I was brainstorming a project for this blog (and by brainstorming I mean, texting Gillian and asking her what I should make and she said hey, why not a bra? Ha ha), I thought it might be cool to explore what Califabrics has to offer in terms of lingerie fabrics.
So to start, I needed a pattern. I’ve been really struggling with wearing underwire bras lately. They’re just not comfortable. I don’t know if my shape is changing, or maybe it’s hormonal, but about halfway through the day I’m ready to tear my bra off and chuck it out the window. Not overly appropriate when you’re in public. Ha ha! Anyway, I’ve always been a bit apprehensive about making a soft, non-wired bra, but after watching this video, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I have followed Sarah of Ohhhlulu Lingerie for quite sometime, and I’ve always admired all the beautiful things she makes, so it seemed natural to try some of her patterns. I decided to start with the Jasmine Bra, and the Claudia Panties.
The Jasmine Bra and the Claudia Panties can be made out of pretty much any knit fabrics, so when I spotted this floral double-brushed poly spandex knit, I thought it would be perfect. The colourway I used is currently out of stock, but there it is in a slightly different colour here, and there are a whole bunch of other great double brushed polys here. If you’ve never felt double brushed poly knit before, you need to! It’s sooooo soft and spongey, and stretchy and is perfect for lots of things, not just bras and undies. Think luxurious leggings, cardigans, t-shirts, pretty much any knit project really. It’s got both vertical and horizontal stretch, and recovers beautifully.
I had some half inch plush elastic in my stash which I used for the band and also for finishing the top edges, and then I also had the rings and sliders, the closure and strap elastic too. So this project came together really quickly. I know that sourcing lingerie elastic and findings can seem a little bit intimidating, but I assure you, it’s not as tricky as it sounds. You can even find most things on Amazon now. Isn’t that crazy? Just follow your pattern’s supply list, and you’ll be fine (you can also check out Tailor Made Shop, BraMaker’s Supply, Blackbird Fabrics, Evie La Luve, and Sew Sassy, just to name a few sources).
So I’m really pleased with how this set turned out. The panties fit really well, although they are a little low rise, and the bra fits great too, but the band is slightly too long. Still completely wearable, but I wanted to make a couple changes, so I made another set right away.
I should also mention, that while this bra is incredible comfy, it’s not super supportive. I do have some ideas to add a little bit more support though. One is to line it with a fabric that is a little bit less stretchy, like stretch mesh (which I’ll talk about below) or a fabric with less vertical stretch, and another thing that would probably help is to use a firmer and slightly wider band elastic. That being said, I have still been wearing my Jasmine bras around like crazy, but you won’t catch me running any marathons in them (well you won’t catch me running any marathons anyway, but you know what I mean LOL). But let’s get on to the next set.
For my second Jasmine & Claudia set, I used some black power mesh to start. So the power mesh that Califabrics carries, is more of a stretch mesh. So what I mean is, in the past if you have worked with power mesh, it’s really quite firm and not super stretchy, and probably not overly soft either. This power mesh, is soft against the skin, and really quite stretchy. You can also see right through it. A firmer power mesh has a tighter weave/mesh, do you know what I mean? Anyway, the Califabrics power mesh was just what I wanted (it comes in some other colours too in case you’re interested).
Then I headed to the trims section of the website and picked out some really pretty ivory and gold stretch lace trim. It’s 6″ wide, and it worked really well for this project. I cut out all my pattern pieces and then used the lace as an overlay. I used the pattern pieces to cut the lace out, then I just zig-zag stitched it to the mesh to hold it in place. If you use a thread that matches the lace, the zig-zag stitches will just disappear.
I used black FOE (fold-over elastic) to finish the legs of the panties, and the top edges of the bra, and I really love how that finish looks. I’ve actually never really worked with FOE and was surprised at how easily it went on. I think my elastic sewing, still needs a bit of work, but I’m still happy with the result.
I also cut the back band piece in a double layer of mesh to add support. I think it helped. I had this wide black elastic in my stash, that I thought was FOE but it didn’t have a line down the centre, so I’m not 100% sure what it is. Anyway, I used it for the bra band and the waistline of the panties. I finished the waistline edge and the bra band edge with my serger, but you could also use a zig-zag, and then just zig-zagged the wide elastic on. I think it looks really good and ties the two pieces together well.
I ended up adding 1″ to the rise of the panties and I’m really happy with where they sit now. The stretch mesh is comfy for undies, but is extremely sheer in one layer, so if you’re looking for a bit more coverage, you might want to double it up as well.
So there you have it, some pretty new lingerie for my knicker drawer. If I’ve left out any details, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. I’m always happy to help!
Heather is a self-professed sewing addict, fabric hoarder, and lover of pugs. She also blogs at www.thepugandneedle.com.