After the long process of finding and fitting a great bra pattern it seems only sensible to make a few in the same style. Once a bra pattern fits well it is actually a reasonably quick (and incredibly satisfying) process to make one. The pattern in question is the Harriet by Cloth Habit, which after a few adjustments now fits so well I don’t want to wear anything else.
On the other hand, it is nice to keep challenging yourself and learning when making things so for the first time I tried using jersey fabric.
The jersey is from Nosh and was leftover from making this dress for my youngest daughter. By itself it has too much stretch for both the cups and cradle of this style, but perfect with a foam lining for the cups and a stable tricot lining for the cradle.
The upper cup was made with stretch lace for contrast and the wings are black power net both from Elise patterns.
Even with a walking foot and brand new ball point needle my machine really seams to object to sewing jersey – skipped stitches,stretched out seams and swearing seems to occur on a regular basis so to make things easier I used a lightweight interfacing on all the pieces and avoided topstitching wherever possible.
In my previous post on bra making I described my method of cutting down the wires to fit the pattern. This time I managed to find the exact wires that the Harriet pattern is drafted for. They are standard wires from Bra Makers Supply which I think is a Canadian company so shipping is far too expensive to bother trying to get them direct. There is however a UK stockist who sells online and can be found at Fit2Sew.
Of course the great thing about using jersey for bra making is it’s really easy to make pants to match. These pairs are both made from the same self-drafted pattern but I played around with different materials, included black mesh and lace on the second pair. I am still learning when it comes to getting the tension on the elastics right. These pairs both fit well on but the hems wobble a bit when laying flat. I’m not quite sure what I have to do to avoid that.
I taped the bridge and cradle pieces together (after removing seam allowances!) and created a single pattern piece which I then lengthened slightly and straightened out the bottom edge so I could use as much of the embroidered tulle as possible.The lower cups and cradle are lined with tricot but the upper cup is unlined. I also skipped the step of adding clear elastic to the top cup as I thought the tulle was rigid enough to do without.
The only other change was to add channeling and boning to the side seams as the bra had been lengthened. I probably also should have added some channeling under the cups going down to the underband elastic as there is a tendency for wrinkling there. For the pants I ordered some incredibly well matching power mesh from Tissu fabrics in duck egg blue. Annoyingly they only sell whole metres so if anyone else needs half a metre let me know. Again the elastic looks wobbly when laying flat but stretches out fine (and without cutting in) when worn. Still, I think more practise may improve this.