Hand-made lingerie is a hot topic, no doubt about it. All over the world, bras and panties are being sewn, patterns are being tested and reviewed, advice is sought and given, and the results are being photographed, talked about, and blogged about. And yet I’ve seen very little mention of the actual wearing of our hand-made lingerie. (Maybe they really are unmentionables?) Yes, there is plenty of discussion of fit issues, sewing techniques, and pattern pros and cons, but what I mean is, are we really wearing the underwear we’re making? Or just making it?
Ever since I finished making my very first bra (hard to believe that was just in March), I’ve noticed something curious: a strange reluctance to wear the pieces I’ve made. I can’t remember ever feeling anything other than eagerness to get into garments I’ve sewn, so why the difference with my lingerie?
I can think of a few possibilities.
- For some unknown reason, I feel like I have to treat my pieces more delicately than ready-to-wear lingerie. This is patently ridiculous, as I know every fabric, elastic, and stitch that I put into each piece with a pretty obsessive level of TLC, but there it is: I don’t want to wear them out. It’s like having gorgeous jewels, and keeping them locked up in a safe.
- I’m determined to treat my hand-made undies to nothing but hand-laundering. Unfortunately, since I’m not yet in that habit, I tend to put off wearing them so as to minimize said hand-laundering. Oh, the quandary.
- Okay, maybe the fit is not absolutely perfect on some of the things I’ve made. And even though I’ve been compromising on RTW bra fit for, um, ever, I basically won’t tolerate imperfect fit in my own hand-made undies. Such is the effect of having custom-made things at my fingertips.
Who knew a seemingly innocuous occupation like making my own lingerie would stir up so much angst?
At this point, I was going to address each of these issues, but the truth is, I know what I need to do— just put on the damn things already! Wear ’em loud, wear ’em proud! I have, in fact, worn almost all of my bras and panties at least once; my third bra is the only piece that’s really just too small (a pity, because I really like how it turned out— see the coral/fuchsia bra, below).
But I haven’t yet gotten to the point of thinking of my new bras as everyday lingerie— in my mind, they’re still in the special-occasion-wear category. And yet they’re all prettier, more comfortable, and better-fitting than any other piece in my underwear rotation! Not to mention that hand-made lingerie takes the satisfying experience of wearing something I made myself to a completely new level.
Guess I just need more time to adjust mentally to the idea of no-compromise undies being an everyday luxury. After all, isn’t that why I’m making my own lingerie in the first place?