New bra sewing patterns to the shop! New UK stockist for Bra Elite Patterns and Élan bra patterns

I’m pleased to announce that I am now selling bra sewing patterns!

I am now stocking the Bra Elite and Queen Bra Elite sewing patterns from Needle Nook Fabrics in the USA. Whilst they’re not my own patterns, I’m excited to be bringing a bit of variety to the UK making bras.

These two sewing patterns are for underwired bras with a cup that is split in two. They are designed to be made from more stable fabrics like tricot and simplex. But don’t let that stop you if you if you don’t have the exact fabrics – bra making is all about experimenting! Each pattern is printed on thick paper and come with black and white instructions complete with photographs. Both patterns have multiple sizes and cover a massive amount of sizes from 30-44 A-E for the Bra Elite and 34-48 D-H. Click here to have a look or buy a pattern.

The next lot of patterns that I’m pleased to be stocking are the Elan sewing patterns, also from the USA. I’ve been happily making the #645 for a few years now – you might recognise this little number below which is based on the Elan #645.

elise patterns pink lace bra

 

The Elan bra sewing patterns are designed for more stable fabrics such as tricot and simplex with the option to have a lace trimmed edge. These patterns are printed on tissue paper and come with a comprehensive instruction sheet that include diagrams. #645 is for sizes: 34-42 A-DD and Style #520 is for sizes: 42-48 C-FF. Style #645 can be either underwired or non underwired and style #520 is underwired.

And if you’re wondering where my sewing patterns are… I have a few in development but they are taking a while to perfect!

Part 2: How to make a Lace Bra – A quick step by step guide…

Continuing on from yesterday’s post Part 1: How to make a Lace Bra

This post will cover:

  • Sewing underwire casing to bra cups
  • Attaching elastic to the armhole
  • Attaching the hook and eye bra fastener
  • Making and attaching your straps
  • Inserting the underwire and sewing that casing closed
  • Adding a final embellishment

Step 5: Sew underwire casing to bra cups

Step 6: Attach armhole elastic to the sides and to top of back wing

Step 7: Attach hook and eyes to wings

Step 8: Make and attach adjustable straps

 

Step 9: Insert underwire and sew underwire casing closed

Make sure that you are inserting the right part of the underwire into your casing and insert it into the casing and not underneath it!

howtomakealacebra28

Insert your underwires into the underwire casing and stitch the casing closed with a bar tack or satin stitch.

Step 9: Attach embellishment

howtomakealacebra20

And for that finishing touch, add a little bow to the centre front or to the beginning of your straps…

 

 

 And you’re done!

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Part 1: How to make a Lace Bra – A quick step by step guide…

Want to know how to make a beautiful lace bra? Here’s a brief guide on how to make one.

This post will cover:

  • Making up your bra cups
  • Attaching your cups to your bridge
  • Sewing the wings to the frame
  • Attaching underband elastic

Please note this set of instructions is for a bra with cradle. Don’t know what that is? Well, it looks like the image below. The bridge extends underneath the cups and quite literally ‘frames’ the cups.

Framebraimage

Before you start:

Cut out all your fabric pieces as accurately as you can – I’m using the pink bra kit available here.

To give the lace stability, I recommend lining it with a rigid sheer nylon. This is a lightweight, soft to the skin nylon mesh that has little stretch.

Trace or cut out your bra pattern piece – I recommend tracing your pattern onto card as it greatly improves your accuracy when cutting out your fabric. I used lead weights to hold my pattern pieces down, alternatively you can pin it.

Howtomakealacebra

 Step 1: Make the bra cups

This method of constructing the lace cups is slightly different to some bra sewing patterns out there i.e. it does not have a lace edge. Why does that matter? A lot of bra patterns have an upper cup piece designed to use fabric with a lace edge and therefore do not have any seam allowance included on the top part of the upper cup piece. Therefore, you may need to modify your bra sewing pattern slightly to allow for this. i.e. you will need to add a little bit of extra seam allowance to the top edge of your bra cup. It’s a very simple modification. If you don’t your bridge and cup will not fit. After any modifications, it is always a good idea to double-check your pattern by ‘walking the seam’ or measuring pattern pieces at the seam line to ensure a perfect fit.

 Step 2: Attach cups to bridge

 

Step 3: Sew main part of the bra to the bra wings

Step 4: Attach underband elastic to bridge and wings

Tomorrow: Part 2 of how to make a lace bra

Bra Making: How to adjust your bra pattern to fit your hook and eye bra fastener

How to adjust your bra pattern to fit your hook and eye bra fastener

You’ve bought your sewing pattern and your chosen hook and eye bra fastener is too big (or too small) for your sewing pattern – what do you do? Don’t panic! It’s pretty easy… Grab a pen, some paper and a ruler, this will take you less than 5 minutes.

Step 1

You’ve traced out your pattern pieces and the back wing pattern piece looks a little bit like this… Before you cut into your lovely fabric, you need to alter your pattern pieces to fit.

How to adjust your hook and eye to fit your bra sewing pattern

Step 2

Measure the length of the back section where the hook and eye fastener will be attached. Subtract the seam allowance from this number.

Measure how long your hook and eye fastener is and calculate the amount you need to add or subtract.

How to adjust your hook and eye to fit your bra sewing pattern

Some bra sewing patterns do not have a seam allowance along the curved section of the back wing. Generally this depends on the type of elastication that your bra pattern uses, if your bra pattern suggests you use zig zag stitching along this section, you know you will have a seam allowance there. If your bra pattern asks you to sew elastic directly to this section along the curve, you will most likely not have seam allowance here.

How to adjust your hook and eye to fit your bra sewing pattern

Step 3 – Enlarge your pattern piece

Increase the back section by the amount you need including your seam allowance(s) and using a French curve or something similar, draw in a smoothly shaped curve.

How to adjust your hook and eye to fit your bra sewing pattern

Step 4 – Decreasing your pattern piece

You can follow this method to decrease your pattern piece too. Follow the above steps, calculate the difference and reduce the back section accordingly – remember to account for your seam allowances. Draw in a smooth curve with a French curve or something similar.

How to adjust your hook and eye to fit your bra sewing pattern

Announcing the launch of Bra kits to Elisepatterns.com!

Bra Kits, Bra Making, Lingerie supplies, haberdashery

I am super excited to announce the launch of bra kits to the Elise Patterns website! I have been working super hard on tracking down the best materials to put together in my bra kits. (Honestly, I never knew how time-consuming this process would be!).

As somebody that is super passionate about making lingerie and bras, I’ve always felt a bit let down by what’s available to the home sewer and I really hope to be able to change that.

I don’t want my bras to look cheap or look like they won’t last more than 1 wash. As a home bra maker, I’ve always wanted to be able to make my bras with the same materials that are available to commercial manufacturers and passionately believe that better quality haberdashery and materials should be available for people who want to make their own bras.

I have a couple of different bra kits available. All of the trims/bra findings are in black. You can choose from 5 different coloured laces to match or contrast with the black trimmings. If you don’t fancy the leaf print lace (it is seriously lovely though!) you can opt to buy the kits without lace as well.

I’ve separated the bra kits into two different sizes – one for smaller cup sizes and one for larger cup sizes. What’s the difference? Well, the larger cup size kits have wider elastics and a wider hook and eye fastening at the back because it gives more support. (The sizing is only a suggestion as some people prefer wider elastics/hook and eyes as they can be more comfortable.)

Fancy trying your hand at bra making? Get your kit here. The smaller sized kits are available for order today and the larger cup sized bra kits are available for pre-order today with delivery from next week.

Keep tuned – I’m hoping to announce another new pattern soon…. (this one’s taken a bit longer as I have been having artwork done for it!).

Choosing the right lace for your Lingerie



How to choose Lace
Confused about all the different types of lace out there and when to use them? (Or did you watch the Great British Sewing Bee and are now terrified of Lace?! Don’t worry, it’s really not that frightening!) Here’s a quick little guide for the best types of lace to use when sewing lingerie.

Tips for choosing Lace

  • If you want to dye your lace, look for lace with natural fibres like cotton and viscose or nylon. These will take up dye a lot better than polyester.
  • Be wary of really cheap lace especially when you are using this to sew lingerie with, there’s nothing worse than scratchy, itchy lace touching your skin!

Knickers!

Stretch Lace Edging

Perfect for making stretch lace knickers with – if the stretch lace is good enough quality, there’s no need to add any other elastication!


how to choose lace5

 

Bras

Stretch Lace

Stretch lace can be used to make up the cups of bras as long as you line it with something rigid. Stretch lace is great for covering laminated foam.


How to choose lace3

Rigid Lace

Great for making bra cups. If your lace is fairly stable, there’s no need to line it with anything. If it’s more delicate, you can line it with a rigid sheer nylon for a bit more support.

The design of this lace is often called a Galloon Lace – If you look carefully enough, you can see that both sides mirror each other.

how to choose lace4

Slips and Camisoles

Lace edging trim 

Great for edging the bra cups of slips and for finishing the hems of slips and camisoles…

 

Tulle embroidered lace

Delicate lace that is embroidered onto a tulle background. Look out for lace like the one below where you can get coordinating widths of the same lace. It’s really useful if you don’t want to have a wide lace trim dominating whatever you’re making.

 

how to choose lace6
Are you terrified of sewing lace? What’s your favourite lace to sew and work with?

Have a look at my Pinterest board – Lace Inspiration – to inspire you and your lacey creations!

How to sew the long Kyoto kimono robe – Sewing up the sides

how to sew the long kyoto kimono, lingerie sewing tutorials

Sewing up the Side Seams

Continuing with the Kyoto Kimono posts, today’s post is about sewing the kimono front and back together.

Because of the obvious underarm curves, a French seam is not ideal as a seam finish. However, it’s still a great option to use when sewing the shoulders because that’s relatively straight.

So firstly sew the front and back sections together at the shoulder with a French seam (If you’re not sure how to do a French Seam, check out the last post on sewing the sleeves).

Once you’ve finished the shoulder seams, with right sides facing each other – match the seams and edges of the front and back at the underarm and all the way down to the marking for the opening near the bottom of the side seam. Using a straight stitch, sew 5/8″ or 1.5cm from the edge all the way round.

Sew the Long Kyoto Kimono, Side Seams. Turned + Stitched Seam

Press this seam open. When you get to where the slit opening is, turn the edge under by 5/8″ or 1.5cm.

Sew the Long Kyoto Kimono, Side Seams. Turned + Stitched Seam

Then turn under the seam allowance of the side seam about a 1/4″ or 0.5cm and press this (you don’t have to press it, but it’s a lot easier – I sometimes pin it to the ironing board to help me press it!).

Sew the Long Kyoto Kimono, Side Seams. Turned + Stitched Seam

Using a straight stitch, carefully edge stitch close to the fold from the start of the underarm sleeve all the way down to the bottom of the hem.

Be careful when you’re edge stitching that you don’t stitch onto the garment by mistake. Some machines have an edge stitching foot that help with make edge stitching easier.

 

Sew the Long Kyoto Kimono, Side Seams. Turned + Stitched Seam

Finally, fold back your seam allowance and trim away the excess with a small pair of scissors for a lovely neat finish.

If you don’t want to use this seam finish – you could also use bias binding to encase the seams, overlock the seams or pink the edges of your seam and then press the seam flat.

And finally – don’t forget to clip into the curves of your underarm!

Next up: Attaching the Sleeve Bands and Collar