I recently purchased this lovely stretch velvet in black and burgundy and on the same day, I discovered a new bralette pattern by Madalynne, called the Barrett bralette. You can find this free (yes, I said free!) Barrett bralette pattern here. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I am a big fan of Madalynne and her lingerie patterns, including those by Simplicity.
I knew I had to make this bralette right away. Luckily I had everything that I needed to make this bralette and matching panties, including the lingerie elastic, powernet used for the lining and findings. All are from the Tailor Made Shop. I love this on-line shop; it is a woman-owned, on-line shop which sells the highest quality fabrics, elastics, laces and findings for lingerie making. I’ve ordered from other shops and few places match the quality of the Tailor Made Shop.
Above are the Tailor Made Shop bra making elastics and powernet. Clockwise from the bottom right: black powernet, 1/2″ picot plush back lingerie elastic, 1/2″ satin plush back lingerie elastic, 3/4″ satin plush back lingerie elastic. Not shown: rose gold sliders and rings.
Pattern – Bralette
The bralette pattern detail can be found on Madalynne’s site. The pattern is printed out on two sheets of printer paper and there are just three pieces. It is a simple bralette pattern that makes a wonderfully comfortable and supportive bralette. As Madalynne describes on her website, the Barrett is a pull-on bralette that has adjustable shoulder straps, a triangle opening at the center front and an elastic band at the bottom. It is great for layering and it fits so well; I know I’ll be making many!
Pattern – Panties
The panty pattern is from Kwik Sew 3881. I cut size small and ended up drafting about four inches off the waist since this stretch velvet has a 50% stretch. This is a very easy pattern for panties. As with all Kwik Sew patterns, the seam allowance is 1/4″.
Construction Highlights – Bralette
I highly recommend going to Madalynne’s site to get the detailed instructions on how this pattern goes together. Madalynne’s instructions are very good. Because my two fabrics, a stretch knit velvet for the fashion fabric and powernet for the lining, are a bit tricky to work with together, I have a few pictures showing how I created my bralette.
It is important to note that you do not need a serger or a fancy machine to create this bra and panty set. The only stitches needed are a straight stitch, a narrow zigzag and a three-step zigzag. All seam allowances are 1/4″.
For the center front pieces, I did not use spray adhesive to attach the lining and velvet as suggested in the instructions. Instead I machine basted the lining and fashion fabric together at the bottom of the center front and the center point where the two center fronts are joined, and at the top strap points.
The picture above shows the center cups, right side up, with powernet lining. Lining and the fashion fabric are basted at the strap points, the bottom and center. Cups are joined at center with horizontal straight stitching.
Once the center cups are joined, preparations are made to join the center cups to the side cups. It is important NOT to baste or glue the side cup fashion fabric to the lining. The three pictures below show how this is done. The result is amazing – the center seams of the fashion fabric and the lining are facing each other inside the cups and you have no visible seams in the inside of the bralette.
With center cup unit placed right side up, place center pieces on top, right sides together.
Flip everything over so wrong side of center cup unit is on top.
Place side lining pieces on top.
The center seam is pinned together through all three layers and stitched using a straight stitch. The center seam is trimmed close to the seam. The cups are then turned to the right side.
This picture below shows the inside of the cups. Note how the seams are hidden inside the cups and the lining looks as good as the outside of the bralette.
The back band is joined to the cups in the same manner. Once this is done, I recommend hand-basting the entire perimeter of the bralette, especially if both fabrics are slippery against each other. This keeps both the lining and the fashion fabric together for the application of the plush back elastic. Plush back picot is applied around the neck and around the underarms, across the back of the bralette and in the triangle of the center of the bra.
The final steps are to attach the widest plush back lingerie elastic around the body and attach the rings and the shoulder straps, complete with sliders, to the back with bar tacks and through rings at the front strap points.
Construction Highlights – Panties
When making panties with stretch velvet, it is very difficult to apply foldover elastic as the sewing process tends to stretch the velvet as the elastic is applied. For the leg openings on these panties, I used a one inch wide plush back foldover elastic applied in the usual manner with the plush side facing out and then I turned in the elastic edge so it is not seen and sewed a three-step zigzag stitch.
For the waist band, I created a casing using a three-step zigzag and inserted 1/4″ elastic.
I used a fine cotton in black for the crotch lining.
If you have the chance to make Madalynne’s Barrett bralette and these Kwik Sew panties, I highly recommend both! If you’ve made either, or lingerie from stretch velvet, let me know if you have any suggestions for construction.
As always, thanks so much for visiting my blog! Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated! Merci!