This week I made my first lace underwire bra! I learned two new techniques in the making of this bra and the earlier prototype bra, which I refer to later in this post. First, I altered a full-band Pin-up Girls bra to make a partial band bra that fit me. Second, I used rigid lace for the cups and the sides of the band. This lace bra was a fun pieces of lingerie to make – I know there are many more lace bras in my future!
I recently made two bras using the Pin-up Girls Full Band bra pattern from the Fairy Bra Mother, Beverly Johnson. They turned out really well – both in fit and form. I’ve never had bras that fit so well. I love them!
Next, I followed Beverly’s instructions for drafting a partial band bra and I made a prototype bra from a stretch satin and power net that I found at an estate sale (yes, I’ve found some great material at estate sales here in the San Francisco Bay Area!). This prototype turned out well, too, except that the band was a bit too long. I knew that when I made the bra again, I would need to reduce the length of the band by one inch overall. Everything else about the fit was spot-on.
So when I gathered the pattern pieces for this lace partial band bra, I knew that I needed to do three modifications, as follows:
First, I divided the band in two parts, one part for the rigid lace and the other part for powernet. Next, I reduced the length of the band by one half inch on each side to make one inch reduction in the overall circumference. This is the drafted pattern pieces for the band.
This is the band with the seam finished with a tricot bias tape that I made. More about how I finished the seams later in this post.
Finally, I had to alter the upper portion of the cup to remove an attachment for the shoulder bands, which would be strap elastic and not the rigid lace. Here is a picture of the altered top cup.
Because this was my first lace bra, and a mockup, I used a sample of lace that I purchased at an estate sale. This was the same estate sale where I purchased the black materials for the prototype bra. I happened upon an estate sale one day this spring while taking a walk in my neighborhood. The previous owner of the home had many lace samples – it appeared that she was a wedding dress designer. This is a picture of the lace sample.
I had very little of the scalloped edge to use for the top of the upper cup, so I knew I had to be very careful how I laid out the upper cups. Note that the low point of the lace scallop was 1/4″ (seam allowance is 1/4″) in from the edge of the cup so that the Low Point of Lace (LOPL) is at the edge of the cups. I positioned the patterns for each cup in a manner so that the cups matched each other. This lace design did not allow me to mirror the cups.
I lined the bra with a very shear tricot from my stash. I used the “stitch and flip” method to attach the lining to the top of the cup, avoiding lining on the top of the scallops.
I also made some bias tape from this lining and covered all of the seams inside the bra. I really like the way it turned out. Just as pretty on the inside as on the outside.
In the next post, I will write about the panties, which were made using a Kwik Sew pattern, and the same lace as the bra. Thank you for reading about the making of my first lace bra!