Saturday, June 27, 2009
As I've written about before, I have a stash of underwear patterns that has been gathering dust for several years and I want to start using them. This time I did a bra, using the pattern Kwik Sew 3300. It's actually not my first bra - back in 1989 when I was in my young and enthusiastic "I'll try anything-phase" I made one too. The bustier pattern I used was from Burda and to get hold of the necessary notions and hardware I had to slaughter an old bra. I did the bra in black lace and it looked pretty good, but the stiff nylon lace made it a little itchy.
So here I am 20 years later, having just finished my second attempt at bra making. This time of course, I had a lot more materials and information at my disposal. There is no way around it - the net has really revolutionized my sewing. Now there are an abundance of bra patterns, easily accessible, and I was even able to buy a bra kit on-line from Germany, with all necessary notions included. Also there are several great resources were people share information on bra-making - I especially recommend Sigrid's tutorials.
Regarding the design I had to take into account that I prefer to wear seamless, heat molded bras. A style that is technically impossible to mimic at home. Also I don't like fussy bras. So the challenge was to make something that has smooth lines, but looks a little hotter than my regular flesh coloured t-shirt bras.
The black fabric and most notions are from E-lingeria. The bra kit include everything you need such as hooks, rings and elastic, plus fabric and stretch lace. The quality is very good, though I have a couple of minor complaints. Firstly the rings were in see-through plastic and not black, which I think brings the look down a bit. So I bought some black ones from a local notion store. And secondly the microfibre lingerie black fabric is thick with a rugged backing. Very soft and nice to the body but heftier than regular bra fabric. Perhaps a good thing if you are well endowed, but too thick and warm for me, especially since you are supposed to use two layers of it. So I lined the bra with power net instead to make the bra more streamlined, The contrasting panel is made of the same soft power net and I used foldover elastic for the finishing. For more info on the pattern and the assembly, see my review over at Pattern Review.