Size Matters: When Thongs Go Wrong

I should trust my instincts. Even while I was making my lace-trimmed thong, I was thinking that I’d cut my lace band too big. But being so new to lingerie-making, how could I have known? And how can I fix this? What’s a girl to do when her thong goes wrong?

Stretch lace for thong
Pretty lace… but how much will it stretch when I wear it? (Click the photo to go to ArteCrafts, where you can purchase this lace.)

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What Lingerie Do You Actually Need? (The Panty Edition)

After sifting through the sale notices, sweepstakes offers, and the inevitable invitations to “claim my inheritance”, I found this in my e-mail inbox this morning, courtesy of Refinery29:

6 Undies Every Woman Should Own & Why

r29pantytypes
What types of panties do we need? Refinery29’s slideshow has the scoop. (Image credit: Refinery29.com)

Was I intrigued? Curious? Skeptical? Yes. Yes. And yes.Read More »

It’s a Thong Story… And Now It’s Done

After doing all my thong pattern modifications and getting the fabric and lace pieces cut and ready, I’m so excited to actually sew it together! I have a feeling this part will go faster. You know that saying, “Measure twice, cut once”? I think that applies perfectly to sewing projects— taking the time to prepare the patterns and fabric pieces maybe won’t guarantee a perfect result, but it does give you a heck of a head start.

Here’s where I left my thong:

Final mock-up of thong
All mocked-up and ready to sew!

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Final mock-up of thong

It’s a Thong Story…

I’ve now made 2 versions of Ohhh Lulu’s Betty High-waisted Panty pattern, including this lace-overlay beauty, and I’m ready to try something new! The other day, I fished a lace thong out of my panty drawer (okay, it’s more like a bin), and it occurred to me to try modifying a thong pattern to make something similar. In this post, I’ll show you how I made the modifications, and get my pieces cut; next time, I’ll sew my thong together!

Here’s the pattern I’m starting with, Kwik-Sew 3881, which includes patterns for several basic panty styles:

Kwik-Sew 3881 panty pattern
Here’s the panty pattern I’m starting with; I’ll be modifying the thong (View D). Click the photo to view this pattern on Kwik-Sew’s website.

My idea is to replace the upper edge of the thong with wide stretch lace. Here’s the plan:Read More »

My Second Bra/Panty Project: Thoughts & Observations

Now that my second bra is finished, along with its coordinating high-waisted panty, I thought this would be a good time to collect my thoughts about this whole lingerie-making experience, and share a few things that have occurred to me along the way.

2nd bra & panty set
Yes— Why did it even occur to me to try making my own bras? Good question.

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My Second Bra, Part 5: Making a Coordinating High-waisted Panty

My daughter came back from several years in Paris with the firm conviction that every bra should have at least one matching panty. And that every piece of lingerie should be the best quality you can afford. It took a little convincing, but now I quite agree with her. And I must say that, even in the short time I’ve been making my own under-goodies, I’ve noticed that there’s something about setting a matching panty down next to a bra that seems to make the bra look even better. Especially a beautiful, unique, hand-made bra!

So today I’ll show you the steps that go into making a color-blocked, high-waisted panty; I’m planning this to coordinate with my newly-finished second bra. I’ll be using my OhhhLulu Betty High-waisted Panty pattern (the same one I used when I made my first bra and panty).

Here’s my second bra, with some materials I pulled out to see if they’d coordinate:

Materials for panty
The materials I’ve chosen to make my high-waisted panty. 1. Turquoise hand-dyed nylon/Spandex. 2. Black elastic trim (the same used on the bra). 3. Black all-over stretch lace fabric.

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My Second Bra, Part 4: Finishing!

In Part 3 of my second bra project, we ended after adding the back bands. Now all we have to do is add the finishing touches: elastic trim, straps, and the back closure. Then we’ll slip the underwires into place, and finish off the ends of the channeling. And I just may add a little embellishment to the center front (we’ll see).

I’ll start by adding my elastic trim to the underarm/back band edge. This technique, which you’ll see on virtually any ready-to-wear bra or panty, is done in 2 separate steps. The first is to attach the elastic, wrong side facing up (very important) to the right side of the bra, using a small zig-zag stitch, and sewing very close to the inside edge— the edge closest to the picot loops.

This piece of elastic will go from the top edge of the back band (not including the scooped-out area near center back) to the end of the outside edge of the power bar.


 Tip: You don’t want to stretch the elastic much while attaching it; a slight stretch going around the curve of the underarm helps to smooth that curve, but don’t stretch the elastic on the back band portion.


Elastic trim: sewing the first pass
After making sure your elastic side is placed with the wrong side facing up, you’ll want to align the non-picot edge of your elastic with the fabric edge. Then zig-zag-stitch as close as possible to the inside edge of the elastic. (Since I’m sewing here with black thread, it’s nearly impossible to see my stitches, so I’m representing them with the small white vees by the green arrow.)

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My Second Bra, Part 3: Putting It Together

Finally! After choosing my pattern, deciding which fabrics to use, and dyeing notions and more fabrics to coordinate, now I’m on to the really fun part: sewing it all together! Today, I’ll show you step-by-step how all the major parts are sewn together, and next time, I’ll complete my bra!

Let’s jump right in! Here, I’ve cut all my fabric pieces, and laid them out in a rough mock-up of my new bra.


 Note: In the interest of keeping this post to less-than-novella length, it’s not going to be a tutorial, exactly; it’s more in the nature of a quick overview of the steps involved in constructing a bra. In posts to come, I’ll go into a lot more detail about specific aspects of bra-making. (Remember, this is only my second bra!)

Another note: In this photo, the pieces with the print fabric, which is sheer, have already been basted to a second layer of silk, for stability as well as opacity.


Laying out my bra pieces, along with straps and other notions, helps me visualize the finished bra.
Laying out my bra pieces helps me visualize the finished bra. You can also see the blue straps, black elastic trim, and green underwire channeling (this will be on the inside of the bra). 1. Back closure (looks like this will need to be trimmed down). 2. Back band (powernet fabric). 3. Frame. Along with the bridge (6), the frame supports the cups. 4. The 3 parts of the cup: power bar (extending into strap), lower cup, and upper cup (lace). 5. Trimming the selvedge from the lace, leaving a scalloped edge for the top of the cup. 6. Bridge. This forms the support for the center of the bra, as well as under the cups.

 

Tip: Laying out the pieces in this way also helps avoid the possibility of forgetting a vital part! Don’t ask me how I know this.



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All the Pretty Pieces, Postscript: Dyed to Match

Yesterday, I dyed some bra notions (plus possible panty fabrics) in various shades of blue and green, to coordinate with the printed silk I’d chosen for my second bra project. Personally, I think that using this related-but-not-necessarily-matching approach really helps all the colors blend with the sort of watercolor-y abstractness of the print:

Dyed pieces with print fabric
Using several shades of blue and green helps all these parts blend with the print of my silk fabric (1). 2. Stretch lace fabric. 3. Bra straps. 4. Channeling. 5. Back closure. 6. Panty Spandex.

If I’d chosen just one solid color for the coordinating bits, I would have had to work harder at making that color “match” one color in the print.

And then I got to thinking…Read More »

All the Pretty Pieces: Dyeing to Match (or Not)

At this point in my second bra project, I’ve chosen my pattern and assembled fabrics from my scrap stash, incidentally creating a color palette in the process.

Materials for my second bra
The main elements going into my second bra: 1. Sheer silk print, to be layered over 2. Silk snakeskin print (the same fabric I used for my first bra!). 3. Black stretch lace fabric, to be layered over 4. Bamboo/spandex for coordinating panty. 5. Black picot-edge elastic trim for both bra and panty.

Now I just need to add the remaining bits and pieces that go into making a bra: channeling (this is what houses the underwires), strap material, elastic trim (for both bra and panty), powernet fabric (for the back band), and the back closure for the bra.

And here is where I come crashing right up against the dreaded, frustrating, tear-my-hair-out question:Read More »