Getting in the Mood

Sewing slumps.  They happen to the best of us.  I make plans, gather materials, and even cut out patterns, only to be hit in the face with a lack of enthusiasm.  That pretty magenta wool that I petted and cooed over just a few weeks ago now barely gets a glance.  Who wants to make a fussy coat?  Not me.  Bah.

I’ve realized that when I get in a slump, I just have to let go.  Believe me, I’ve tried to press on with my already made plans before, even though I wasn’t feeling it.  It sucked.  And the outfit sucked.  And now it’s in the scrap pile.

No, a sewing slump is not the time for practicality.  It can only be cured with something new and fresh.  Something frivolous, even.

What’s more frivolous than sewing lingerie?

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This here is a set I made using two patterns from Ohhh Lulu.  The bra is the longline bralette (I believe it’s called Sarah), and the bottoms are the Betty high waist panties.

I’ve made the bralette twice before, but this is the first time it’s actually comfortable to wear.  My first version was made entirely out of a thick neoprene that kind of suffocated me.  It was really pretty, but there was just not enough stretch in the fabric.  My second version was made in a super stretchy swimsuit material, lined with a thin stretch mesh.  That one just made me feel like I was “spilling out” the whole time I wore it.  Not a good feeling!

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For this, my third iteration, I decided to go up a size (from medium to large) to see if that would fix both breathing and spillage issues.  You may recognize the fabric from my previous post – it’s the same black embossed scuba!  Seriously, this 3 yard piece has now made 5 separate garments (I also got a pair of leggings out of it).  To account for the low stretch of the scuba fabric, I opted to use black power mesh for the side and back panels.

I tried it on mid-construction and realized that, while the cups fit PERFECTLY, it was waaaay too wide.  (In retrospect, I should have anticipated this and measured before I cut.  This is really a lounge bra and there is no cup+band sizing like a regular bra would have – you just pick your size based on your full bust measurement.)  To fix this on the fly, I took both side seams in by about 1/2″, and then sliced the back open and took out about 2″.  I contemplated placing hook and eye tape at the CB, but since I didn’t taper it before putting the elastic in, I’d need the tape to be 5 hooks long.  That seemed a bit excessive.  So now I have a seam down the back.

All in all, it’s super comfortable.  I’d wear it around the house every day if I could.  It doesn’t offer a lot of support, but it’s totally fine under thick sweaters.  Third time’s the charm!

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Now for the bottoms.  These are REALLY high waisted.  Like, really.  As you can see, I used the scuba fabric for the CF and CB panels, and power mesh for the sides.  Again, a very comfy combination.

I cut the largest size based on my hip measurement, but it turned out to be a little too wide at the waist.  That’s just due to my pear-shaped body, but it seems like an easy fix.  I plan to make these again, and for the next version I will take a little wedge out of the side panels and lower the rise a smidge.

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(Side note: I bought a spool of Gütermann “bulky nylon” thread a while ago, thinking it was the same as “wooly nylon” that a lot of blogs have been raving about.  I looked it up, and it appears that it is either another beast entirely, or just a cheaper, less bulky/stretchy version of the same thing.  I used it for this set, in the upper looper, and while it’s super soft, it doesn’t look like the pictures of wooly nylon I’ve seen online.  It was also kind of a pain to sew with since it kept slipping out of the tension disc or breaking. You can see it on the inside shots of the bra.)

If you’re wondering, I got all of the elastics and rings/sliders from Sew Sassy.  The bra calls for fold over elastic for all of the finishes (except the bit of elastic at the underbust seam), but I used a 3/8″ picot edge plush-back elastic.  The panties used the same 3/8″ elastic, and the straps on the bralette used 3/4″ strap elastic.  I’ve barely made a dent in the stash of lingerie sewing supplies I’ve accumulated in just two orders from that place.  I’m trying to remedy that by sewing up some more underwear.  I’ve got a Pinup Girls Classic bra on the cutting table right now, and I’ll hopefully have some time to get it done in the upcoming week.

I also may or may not have just purchased a bra kit on Etsy . . . Anyone else got the lingerie sewing bug?

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6 thoughts on “Getting in the Mood

  1. This embossed scuba is DIVINE!!! Beautiful makes here, Henna. Glad you were able to figure out the fitting issues and finally get the bralette to be really wearable.

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  2. I do NOT have the lingerie bug but I do have a sewing slump like whoa. It’s take me a month to get through two projects I cut out in early January.

    I have a spring list, but I think I should maybe just see up that stripey shirt tail hem dress I started having sewing fever dreams about this morning instead.

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    • Gah I hear ya, I’ve been writing posts to avoid my project pile. This is the most I’ve ever blogged in one month. I say let your fever dreams guide you – lists be damned.

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  3. I adore this set you’ve made! I have a definite weakness for tone on tone texture or print, and I find your set to be uber snazzy! I’ve used both those OhhhLulu patterns, as well as several of Sarah’s other patterns, to make lingerie for my (23 year-old) niece and she loves them. Sadly, there just isn’t enough ooomph (aka support) in the Ohhh Lulu bra patterns for my 50-something G cup self :/. Though I have made myself oodles of her Grace Panty — wonderful pattern and great for scrap busting!

    I’ve had the lingerie sewing bug for about 3 years now and it shows no sign of fading! I’m constantly prowling the internet for lingerie notions and fabrics. You too? I’m lucky enough to have nabbed a spot in next month’s week long “Boob Camp” taught by Beverly Johnson, Craftsy class teacher as well as the proprietor of Bra Maker’s Supply. I’m super excited to attend. I could never really justify the expense of traveling from California to Hamilton, Ontario for a sewing workshop, but this one is being held in Salt Lake City — so much closer!

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    • Thank you, Ginny! I totally agree, I’m usually an underwire bra kind of gal, but this kind of bra is perfect for lazy Sundays around the house 🙂 That’s so awesome that you’re going to Beverly Johnson’s Boob Camp! I used her kit and pattern for the first bra I ever made. You must be so excited – I’d love to know what it’s like to learn from the master! Sadly, the last time I visited Canada (I live in Virginia), I had not yet been exposed to the lingerie sewing bug. (Oh and I just saw your amazing galaxy watson set and realized I have the same fabric in my stash. I think I need a set exactly like it!)

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