Bra-fitters Speak: 5 Tips to Know Before You Shop

Here at myBratelier, the focus is on lingerie that we’re making ourselves, but I also want to include tips to help us all shop as more knowledgeable and informed consumers. And for those of us who do sew our own bras, there’s always something more to learn, right?

Help is on the way! This slideshow from Refinery29* reveals the top 5 tips to know before you shop— straight from professional bra fitters. If you’ve never had a bra fitting, reading through their advice, which ranges from how to fasten your bra to considering tailoring, will help you shop with confidence!


 Caution: Slideshow includes some illustrations (no photos) that could be considered NSFW.


 

How do you choose a bra?
With an overwhelming variety of bras available everywhere these days, where do you start? Refinery29’s slideshow will help you to see past all the color and lace to focus on fit. (Click the photo to go to the slideshow.)

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It’s a Blog: SewColormusing Joins the Family!

The first of my sewing-related blogs was Changing Your Clothes, covering anything having to do with making the most of clothes you already have: alterations, dyeing, repairs, wardrobe planning (via color palettes, natch), refashioning. Next in line: the blog you’re looking at right now, My Bratelier, which is focused only on sewing lingerie, including bras. So when I wanted to write posts for sew-along projects started in one of my workshops, I didn’t have an existing blog that was the right fit. What’s a blogger to do?

Silly question. Start a new blog, of course! Help me welcome SewColormusing into the Colormusing family!

SewColormusing blog
It’s a bouncing baby blog! SewColormusing will include sew-along series, special technique tutorials, and general sewing fun!

ColormusingWant to know more about Colormusing? Don’t miss all my color-palette-related excitement at the  A Musing blog! (Click on the dots above to visit my mother ship, Colormusing.com.)

Guess Who’s Featured in Seamwork Magazine!

Big news: I’m one of three bra-making experts featured in a hot-off-the-digital-press article in Seamwork Magazine!

With insights from UK pattern designer Zoe Edwards, Amy Chapman (of Cloth Habit fame), and me, writer Jessica Yen focuses on making lingerie from scraps of fabric— something I love to do!* Included are tips on everything from choosing patterns strategically to make the most of irregularly-shaped scraps to my own ideas for working with color palettes.

The making of a bra
Wow, am I glad I obsessively save my scraps of beautiful silks and laces! They’re perfect for repurposing into custom lingerie. (Click the photo to go to my first post in the series on making this bra and a coordinating panty.)

I’d love it if you would visit Seamwork Magazine and read this article, along with the rest of February’s issue, which focuses entirely on intimates. And tell me what you think! Oh, and I’d be interested to hear about your own experiences with sewing lingerie from fabric scraps.

*See my posts on the second bra and panty I made (bra pictured above) for loads of details and tutorials.


The blatant self-promotional part: Want to see my own DIY lingerie sewing kits? I design and produce them for Colormusing, and many feature materials and trims I’ve dyed myself; all include links to blog posts I’ve written with details and tutorials specific to each kit.

And while you’re visiting Colormusing, be sure to sign up to receive Hue News, CM’s free monthly e-mail newsletter, including discount coupon codes you’ll only find in Hue News!

Hue News, Colormusing’s E-mail Newsletter, Launches Nov. 1!

The Bratelier is now a part of Colormusing!

a Musing

Hot off the press! (You know what I mean.) On November 1, 2015, Colormusing will send out its very first monthly (and free) e-mail newsletter!

Colormusing's Hue NewsHue News, Colormusing’s monthly e-mail newsletter, will launch on November 1! (Click the logo to go directly to the sign-up page at Colormusing.com. And stay and browse the beautiful colors while you’re there.)

Called Hue News (natch), your monthly newsletter will feature:

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Free Color Palettes: What’s the Catch?

Wondering if/why to use Colormusing’s color palettes in your lingerie projects?

a Musing

Yes, color-loving folks, I’m going to let you in on a secret: The color palettes you see in the new Colormusing shop are actually available to you for free. When I create them I usually start on one of my favorite websites, ColourLovers.com. (You’ll find me there as — what else? — Colormusing.)

At ColourLovers, you’re able to download palettes, individual colors, and more, for your own use. Free.

Carmel Blue Fuchsia palette at ColourLovers Carmel Blue Fuchsia palette (by colormusing), free at ColourLovers. (Click the palette to see it at ColourLovers.)

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The All-New Colormusing Shop is Live!

Big, big news for myBratelier!

a Musing

This is the biggest newsflash item I’ve had the pleasure to post about so far: I’m actually creating my dream of a color-centric business, by combining several different areas of interest under a single name:Colormusing logoYes! Knittique (yarns, knitwear patterns, samples, & jewelry), Photo/Graphic Design (art on canvas, tutorials, & graphic files), and The Bratelier (lingerie sewing kits) are now all part of the Colormusing family— a reunion of sorts, where all the various relatives play together nicely because they all have one thing in common: color palettes.

Simply put, my photographs and montages inspire color palettes, which I apply to a constantly-growing range of projects, from dye recipes for hand-painted yarns and lingerie materials to travel wardrobe planning and custom-printed fabrics.

And the color palettes themselves, in their graphic-file forms, can be used in so many different ways, whether you need a great color scheme for your blog…

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But Wait, There’s More: The LBWB Project

Okay, okay, I know I said the Little White projects were all done. And technically, they are: this project is the Little Black & White Bra!

And it’s also my first front-closing bra; I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, mostly because I wanted to try making a bra with something beautiful on the back, a very popular lingerie look right now. So even though I’m starting with Elan’s B510 pattern, it won’t look much like that by the time I’m done! Or at least not in the back. Fair warning.

Here’s the back of my almost-finished LBWB:

LBWB back
This is the back of my LBWB, just prior to the final adjustment: shortening this white lace panel, because I feel it’s coming up too high on the back of the neck. (The chartreuse fabric is part of a bias slip I’m making; it was already on the dress form, and I thought it looked really cool with this bra.)

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I Asked, You Answered: It’s in the Bag!

In a recent post, I asked the question uppermost in my mind at the time: Underwear… Or Not to Wear? In which I confessed my hesitations about actually wearing my beautiful new hand-made lingerie. And your responses (thank you!) were overwhelmingly in favor of a laundry compromise: Wash in the machine, but protect my delicate pieces in a mesh laundry bag.

Lingerie wash bag
Shown in my 14″ x 18″ bag: My Ombré-Dyed Bra and solid Panty. I’ve found, though, that I can comfortably fit at least 2 bras and several panties in this bag.

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The Little White Project: A Brief Follow-up

I know, I know, I said the Little White Project was over. But here’s the thing: Even after all the lengthy tutorials, the sewing, the dyeing, and the finishing, there are still some notes about making the Little White Bras/Panties/Thongs that didn’t make it into the previous posts. I feel, therefore, duty-bound to offer these tidbits here.

The Sewing Part: Little White Bras

  1. The main difference between the first one and the second is the materials used for the cups. The first has lace on the upper/center cup pieces; for the second (the colorblocked one), I used the same Swiss dot/cup lining combination for all the cup parts. This meant that I’d have to finish the top (neckline) edge of the cups, though, so I used foldover elastic for this. (Click here for my post that includes a tutorial on applying FOE.)
  2. The other major difference is in the bridge. For the first LWB, I unintentionally shortened the bridge by sewing a seam at the top of it; this created a gap between the top of the bridge and the top of the underwires— in other words, the wires extended up the center on either side of the bridge, past the top of the bridge. (Click here to see what I did about that little issue.)
  3. I also decided to put the elastic trim at the bottom of the bridge; because I’d measured and cut my trim before dyeing it, I double-checked the length to make sure I would still have enough for the rest of the bra. (Notes to self: Good thing I always cut a little extra. This looks great! Must do again!) When I look at the bra as a whole, this really helps to make all the colors and trim work cohesively.

    Changes to LWB2
    The sewing differences in my second LWB. (For this, I dyed the separate bra pieces before sewing them together.)

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Dye-IY & the Little White Project: The Final Chapter

Yes, it’s that time. It’s the last part of my Little White Project, in which I’ll show you yet another approach to dyeing a bra and panty (okay, thong), using the same bra pattern (Kwik-Sew 3300), (mostly) same materials as the original Little White Bra, and the same 3 dye colors. But this time, I’m going to do something completely different with the dyes!

Before I get to that, here’s a quick recap of the various dyeing processes already done in this series:

  1. Dyed a finished panty in a single dyebath (combining equal parts of all 3 dye colors);
  2. Ombré-dyed a finished thong with a single dye color;
  3. Ombré-dyed a finished bra with 3 separate colors.

    Little White Bra/Panty/Thong
    My first 3 Little White projects. Clockwise from lower left: Panty dyed in all 1 color (3 dye colors mixed together), bra ombré-dyed with 3 colors, and thong ombré-dyed in 1 color. But wait— there’s more!

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