Friday, July 6, 2012
I've kept to my Wardrobe Refashion pledge of 3? years ago to make all my own clothes, but always exempted myself from underwear; reasoning that I was doing enough in the handmade department already and that I could allow myself a small break here and there. Also, up until a few years ago Bonds were still manufacturing undies in Australia, and I was OK with supporting a local business by buying them. But then they went to the dark side, and started moving all their manufacturing to China. When the last Bonds factory in Australia closed down a few years ago I knew my days as a Bond girl were numbered (wipes a sentimental tear from the old eye) I liked being able to say I was a Bond girl! And now my current smalls collection is... well, lets just say it is an absolute wonder my husband still finds me attractive.
One of my favourite bloggers Novita makes the most exquisite lingerie sets you have ever seen, each more lovely than the last; and her latest Red Lace Set finally tipped me over the edge and I decided that I just had to start making my own too. I rushed out to Fabulous Fabrics for some pretty lace and bra bits...
The knickers pattern is Tanga, a free downloadable pattern from Burdastyle. I had seen this on their site before, but the wonky mis-matched lace scallops in the blue sample pictured with the pattern were so distressing I never took it any further. Novita's set is beautifully constructed and so perfectly pretty, I woke up to the fact that this is actually a darn cute little pattern after all!
They are super-easy, and take all of about ten minutes to make from go to whoa; even if you do take an extra few seconds to match all the lace motifs... ;) which of course I did.
Because I am a woman of a certain age and my lace is partially see through; I extended the panty liner piece up to make more of a full lining at the front of the knickers.
My bra pattern is self-drafted, with the help of an old bra. This was, ahem, not super-easy :D I looked at a commercial pattern but decided in my usual foolishly gung-ho, can-do manner; how hard could it be? Well, it turns out, it is quite hard to put together a self-drafted, well-fitting bra after all!
My bra looks pretty from the outside, but the insides are far from perfect. It would not bear up to close inspection! Unlike the first two bras I made years ago which were fairly basic, I tried to get all fancy with this one, lining and underlining it, with moulded cups and underwires in their own separate channels. Putting it all together was a jigsaw puzzle! So I have decided to buy a pattern for any future efforts, if anything just for the instructions on the correct and proper assembly!!
One "easy" feature I incorporated: it doesn't have adjustable straps, because honestly; I feel like that feature is only on RTW bras because they have to fit the different over-the-shoulder lengths of many different sized women. Since the bra has to fit only me, I decided that to have self-lace covered elastic straps would be fine. And it is. I did this for my first two bras too, and they were always perfectly fine. When the elastic does eventually stretch out a bit through wear, I just unpicked the straps at the back, shortened them a tad, and re-sewed them back into position, easy peasy.
The bra also has a purchased hook and eye closure at the back.
So; after struggling through fitting and assembling this thing and half expecting it to turn out hideous; I was pleasantly surprised when I had the final try-on and discovered it to be beautifully easy to wear, soft and yet still supportive, fits perfectly; the most comfortable bra I own. A very unexpected win!
Seriously; I have no idea how that happened.
So I will definitely be getting a proper pattern for next time.