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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The Making of The Little White Bra

My last post was an introduction of sorts to my current project: The Little White Bra, a.k.a. The Bra Before Dyeing (or just “Before”). Now, since this was the first time I’ve used this bra pattern, I’ll show you how I made it, including a few changes I made.

My pattern is Kwik-Sew 3300— I’m being adventurous and trying my first partial-band bra! For those of you who might not know the difference (and I’m not sure I noticed it myself before I started making bras), partial-band just means that, rather than a continuous band running all the way around the bra, including under the cups, the band comes around from the back to attach to the sides of the cups only, with a small bridge piece connecting the cups in the middle, like so:

Kwik-Sew 3300 bra pattern
The Little White Bra I just made, using Kwik-Sew 3300, View A with the lace upper cups and bridge. (Click the photo to see this pattern on Kwik-Sew’s site; right now it says it’s temporarily out of stock. Boo.)

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FLASH: A Versatile New Bra Pattern from Orange Lingerie!

Hot off my e-mail inbox this morning: Orange Lingerie has released its second bra pattern!

Meet the Boylston Bra:

  • PDF sewing pattern for an underwire bra by Orange Lingerie - Boylston Bra

(Illustration/design courtesy of Orange Lingerie. Click on the image to go straight to this pattern listing in the Orange Lingerie Etsy shop!)

In case this illustration isn’t enough inspiration, in the Etsy listing for this new pattern, you’ll also find a photo of a beautiful bra made from this pattern, in a lovely floral print; this photo makes it clear that this is a balconette style. And the description says (in part) that the Boylston Bra can be lined with cut-and-sew foam, among several possibilities. It really does sound versatile!

As you know, I’ve already made my first and second bras with Orange Lingerie’s Marlborough Bra pattern, so I can say with confidence that the pattern and instructions are professionally designed and executed— not to mention that the style and cut are just beautiful, and I already know the sizing works for me (I’m usually a 36DD, but according to this pattern’s sizing, I used the 40DD pattern, which is virtually perfect). And I love the new balconette style of the Boylston, so I’ll be showing you what I make with this pattern very soon!

Size Matters: What a Difference a Wire Makes

As you know, I made my first and second bras using the same pattern, the Marlborough Bra. Considering my lack of experience, I think they both turned out surprisingly well. But here’s a funny thing. Even though I used the same pattern, and the same type of fabrics (silk for the main parts, powernet for the back bands, as specified by the pattern), they somehow turned out different in size— different enough that, although I’ve worn the second bra several times, I can’t wear the first one at all. It’s just too tight around the band.

First bra size
With the back closure fastened on the loosest setting, my first bra measures 13″ across the bottom. And notice how the fabric is bunching up under the cups? More about that later.

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Flash! Orange Lingerie Introduces 2 Panty Patterns!

This just in: Orange Lingerie, the source of the beautiful pattern I’ve used for my first and second bras, has just released 2 sensational new panty patterns!

The first is called the Kingston Thong:

The Kingston Thong pattern
NEW: The Kingston Thong pattern from Orange Lingerie. Click the picture to see all the details in the Orange Lingerie shop. (Illustration is from Orange Lingerie’s pattern listing.)

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Shades of Excitement: An Ombré Panty!

This project really is exciting— a gorgeous, reversible fabric that’s solid blue on one side, and black-to-blue ombré on the other, a new panty pattern, and it’s going to match my ombré foam-lined bra that I just finished!

Let’s get right to it! First, here’s a look at the fabric, a 95% nylon/5% Spandex matte jersey.

ombré fabric
My beautiful ombré matte jersey. Yes, it’s reversible— it’s solid blue on one side, ombré on the other!

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And For My Fourth Trick…

Bra! I meant my fourth bra! For my third, I know I said that was something completely different, and it was, especially compared to my first and second, which were both made from the same pattern. But for this one, I went even further afield. I didn’t just try a new pattern, I made a foam-lined bra!

Blue ombré foam-lined bra
My first attempt at a foam-lined bra! I used pattern DL02  from MakeBra.com, a beautiful ombré matte jersey and some unusual elastic trim, and I dyed straps and channeling to match. (Click the photo to check out the pattern.)

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My Third Bra, Part 3: Making a Coordinating Bikini Panty

Now that I’m finished making my third bra, I wanted to do a quick follow-up about the bikini panty I made to go with it. I’ve used the same pattern as for my thong, Kwik-Sew 3881, which includes a total of 4 styles; hipsters and briefs are the other two.

After making some fairly substantial changes in the bra pattern, I’ve decided (for once) to keep this panty simple: just coral poly/Spandex (the same fabric I used for the bra cups) and foldover elastic. Oh, and I saved one of the little flower thingies to use as an embellishment!

Panty materials
What I’m using to make the panty that will coordinate with my third bra. 1. 1 3/8″-wide foldover elastic (for waistband). 2. Poly/Spandex fabric. 3. 5/8″-wide foldover elastic (for legs). 4. Cotton knit (for crotch lining). 5. Flower embellishment. And Kwik-Sew 3881, View B (bikini).

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My Third Bra, Part 2: Finishing Up

Now that I’ve got my cups sewn into my third bra project, it’s time for one of the main things I’m doing differently than the pattern (Kwik-Sew 3594): adding underwires. That is, at this phase, I’ll be adding channeling to house the underwires, which will get inserted a little later. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Ready to sew in channeling
With my cups sewn into the band, I’m ready to tackle the underwire channeling. (Note: The embellishments won’t get sewn in place until the very end; they’re just here right now for inspirational purposes.)

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My Third Bra: Something Completely Different

After making both my first bra and the second with the same pattern (the Marlborough Bra from Orange Lingerie), and making them both mostly out of silk, I’ve started to feel the urge to try something different. Completely different.

Here’s what I have in mind:

1. Instead of making the bra first, then trying to find stretch panty materials to coordinate, I’m going to pick my panty fabric first, then use that for the bra as well. This will mean using (gasp!) a stretch fabric for the bra, rather than woven.

Coral jersey fabric
Here’s the main fabric I’ve chosen for my new bra: a slinky, stretchy poly/Spandex jersey in a beautiful shade of deep coral pink. At left is narrow satin tubing destined for a bra strap idea I have, and at right is embroidered tulle I’d like to use, well, somewhere. These 3 materials form the starting point for my tonal color palette of coral, fuchsia, magenta, and rose-red.

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