Saturday, 29 October 2011

Making your own lingerie

Not everyone conforms to the 'expected' rules for bust sizes, i.e. bust being in proportion with the rest of the body... small hips, small bust; big hips, big bust. There are some that, while being petite in the rest of their measurements, are rather fuller in bust measurements. And the lingerie department generally does not cater to these ladies. So what to do??
Well, one solution is to get out your sewing machine!
If you can cut accurately, stick to an accurate seam allowance, and stitch in a straight line - you can make lingerie. Pretty, fun, lacy lingerie you would expect to find in good lingerie shops - you will be amazed at what you can make, and how professional it will look.
I am busy making a bra for someone I met giving a sewing demonstration. She is one of those who breaks the 'rules' mentioned above, and has trouble finding lingerie that fits well.
I am starting in stretch cotton as it is a great way to get the pattern exactly right without the expense of lycra and lace. Also, stretch cotton can be purchased in fun colours and patterns & can make for quirky, fun lingerie.
Stretch cotton also provides great support, and I have doubled the bottom cup with stretch running in opposite ways to increase the minimizing effect. There are many tricks to making bras that compliment your figure perfectly!
Ladies that fit into this category often find themselves resorting to buying 'granny bras' as these are often the only ones that are available in their cup size. BUT these are generally made for ladies that have wider backs and more padding in general, so the shoulder straps are often too long and cannot be adjusted sufficiently. The back straps are often broader than these petite ladies require, and let's face it... are generally just not very aesthetically pleasing - picture the famous 'Bridget Jones knickers' in a bra form ;)
If ever there was a good reason to start sewing... this is it!
But it's not just well fitted bras you can make. Making knickers is quick & easy too! You can easily make a new pair by making a pattern from a pair that has passed it's 'wear by date'. So, once you have found a pattern that fits well, you can have them in every colour, stretch cotton or lace... the options are endless.
You will have an envious lingerie drawer, where every item fits well and is just your style!
Would you like to give it a try on a pair of Brazilian Lace knickers that are quick & simple to make?
Follow below...
How to sew up your Brazilian Knickers
**Please note: You will need stretch lace that is at least 15cm wide.
You will have 2 pieces that look like this (below) as well as a gusset piece.
Your pattern will be made to your measurements.
You will cut them on the fold like this
The top edge will be your lower waist measurement IN CENTIMETERS!!! minus one quarter for elastic stretch, divide by 4 + 1cm seam allowance.

The shorter side will be 4.5cm wide.

The bottom edge of your pattern is circumference of one top thigh, minus one quarter for elastic stretch, divide by two, add 1cm for SA

Curve the seam as shown - you can use a French Curve here if you have one.

The side measurement (on fold) is the width of your lace.  Lace with a width of 15cm at least is optimal.

The gusset piece is the rolled up piece you see in the top left corner of the above photo. Be sure to cut this from 100% cotton. It is shaped like an eye (an oval pointed at each end) and as wide as the crotch. It should be about 14cm long and about 5cm at it's widest.
Join each side – right sides together with a straight stitch at the crotch seam (where the pin is in the above photo). Do each piece like this
Place one inside the other with right sides together

ensuring the 2 sides meet perfectly at the centre line, stitch using a straight stitch & then zig zag the seam in one after the straight stitch

Then stitch in the gusset on the wrong side of the crotch of the knickers – using a small zig zag stitch.
If you should need the knickers tighter at the waist – add elastic with a zig zag onto the wrong side of the waist line – taking ¼ off the waist circumference & using the “quarter pin method”

That easy!!

And now you have a hand-made pair of very sexy, very comfy knickers!

Happy stitching

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