Happy New Year! I don’t know where the first week of the year went, I was sick the last few days of 2016 and it crept into 2017 making the start of the year a little rough. I don’t get sick very often, and most of the time I work through being sick because it might be a slight sniffle but this time I was completely knocked out. I couldn’t even think of sewing so all my time was spent on the couch watching tv and sleeping. Sometimes your body just needs a break.
For the past few months, I’ve been focusing on sewing basics. It’s always been a goal of mine to have a handmade wardrobe, completely fit to my size and taste. The basics always seem to get pushed aside for something “fun”, like pieces I’m not going to wear very often because of my lifestyle.
I also push the basics aside because they tend to be more intimidating than a pretty dress. I mean, jeans are pretty easy to buy, but to find the right pattern and buy appropriate and quality fabric can get so. freaking. expensive. and you just don’t want to mess it up. I know this goes for all sewing, but it is so scary sewing something new. It’s like becoming a beginner all over again. And you start to get that panicked feeling that you are doing it all wrong.
I had this feeling with swimsuits, jeans, t-shirts and now undergarments. I actually sewed two pairs of underwear and can’t wear them. They don’t fit. Even after alterations and googling how to fix it. That was last year, and I thought, if I can’t make a pair of underwear fit, how the heck am I going to get a bra to fit? But I was determined. And I went into this year knowing that my sewing focus was going to be on pieces that are going to fit into my life. I bought a kit from Tailor Made Shop on etsy, so I wouldn’t have to fuss with getting all the right pieces. This is something I totally recommend for beginners. If I had to source all the materials for my first try I would have cried. Once you make and understand where all the pieces are going, I’m sure it’s easier to shop but I’m one of those, “well I can substitute this for that and it won’t be a problem” people. (This is also why I don’t bake, and hate to cook- substitutions don’t always work out)
I made a first version of the Watson Bra for my bathing suit. And it worked out well, so I thought I would be fine going straight in. When I completed the bra, I have to be honest here, it does not fit as well as the first time I made it. It cuts too low, and I feel like the coverage is not as complete as I want it to be. My bra is still totally wearable, and I do plan to wear it, but the next time I make it, I may go up in size. I also think I’m going to make the regular version, not the longline. I wanted to try the longline because I love the look but ultimately think the everyday version will be more comfortable.
I also added foam to this bra, which probably aided in the fit not being perfect. I feel very uncomfortable without a padded layer in my undergarments. It’s just my personal preference, and something I’ve grown up with, so making a bra with just a layer of fabric and no protective padding was a little scary. I looked up adding cups to the Watson, and since it wasn’t written in any tutorial, I was on my own. The only thing I could think to do was cut out the cups from foam and sew the foam directly to the cups before constructing the bra. It worked – and yes I know it’s not super professional – but again this is my first bra.
I most definitely want to try the Watson again, but now I’m looking into the Boylston Bra by Orange Lingerie. This bra is meant for foam and underwire, so it will be very similar to the store-bought bras I wear now.
I am very happy with my first bra making experience. I know what to do differently and I know the basic construction, so its easier to wrap my head around making more. I also found a new pattern for underwear from Orange Lingerie that I am super excited to try, and hopefully not mess up. I am so tired of buying undergarments and I’m finally one step closer to not needing to buy it ever again!
Have you made any undergarments? How was the experience for you? Any tips?
Also, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I have major love for Seamwork Magazine and have made a bunch of patterns from them. This month I am featured in Seamworker’s Closet! You can read my interview here!