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

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

How to sew the long Kyoto kimono robe – Sleeves and Neckline

how to sew the long kyoto kimono, lingerie sewing tutorials

Before we put the kimono together, we have to stitch the sleeves together and prepare the neckline.

1. Stay-stitch your neckline and collar

What is stay-stitching? Very simply, it’s a line of stitching that is sewn within the seam allowance to prevent the edge of your fabric distorting and growing in size!

Use a fairly large stitch length, so it’s easy to unpick afterwards (if you don’t unpick stay-stitching it can ruin your neckline!). And, if you’re using a delicate fabric like silk satin, it’s even more important to keep your stay-stitching within the seam allowance to avoid pesky littles holes being visible when you’re finished!

staystitch neckline, how to sew kimono, kyoto kimono pdf sewing pattern

 

2. Attach the sleeve sections to the front and back

Next, we attach the sleeve sections to the front and back bodice using beautiful French seams.

Start by pinning the wrong sides together and sew together 3/8″ from the edge or if you are using metric – 10mm from the edge. Press your seam and then make sure you trim closely to the seam! (We don’t want little bits of fabric poking through your seam at the end and this will happen if you don’t trim closely enough!)

Press your seam open. Then turn your fabric so that right sides are now facing each other and press the seam again. Stitch 1/4″ or 5mm from the edge and you have finished your seam!

oto Kimono sleeves, how to sew kimono, kyoto kimono pdf sewing pattern

 

And if you want to watch a little video on how to sew French seams (or you want to have a little giggle at my first ever YouTube video) take a little gander at this:

Next up: Sewing the kimono sides together and attaching the collar!

 

Making up the Short Kyoto Kimono – A little Guide…

So you’ve got your pattern and it’s all printed and cut out in the right size. Ready to go?

So before you start, it’s best to pre-wash your fabric the way you intend to wash your finished kimono jacket. That’s probably the most important bit out of the whole process – nothing’s worse than shrinking something after you’ve made it or find that the colour runs.

Also and in particular if you are using a pretty lightweight fabric like silk, make sure you are using a new, small machine needle (in size 70/10) so that you don’t have big gaping holes in your seams.

Once that’s all sorted and you’ve cut out your fabric out, you’re ready to go.

This pattern was designed to feature a dropped shoulder like a traditional kimono – what that means is that yes, the back bodice piece will be a little bit longer than the front bodice piece, so don’t panic!

  • Staystitch the front neckline and back neckline – These bits are essentially on the bias, so if you handle them a bit too much, you’ll stretch out the neckline and end up with a neckline that has grown much larger than the collar piece it’s designed to fit.

 

  • Sew the front and back bodice sections together at the sides and shoulder line, matching the seams and notches.
  • Press open your seams! – a little insider industry tip is that you should always press your seams open from the outside of your garment.
  • Then finish off your seams! Because of the curved armhole, a French seam isn’t the best idea because it won’t give a nice curve (although if you’re really determined and you trim your seam allowances really closely, you might be able to get away with it).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sewing Tips for Knit Fabrics

 

  • Prewash all your fabric and don’t forget to add any trims into the wash that you’ll be using too.

Stretch Jersey Knit Stretch Lace

  • Use the smallest sized needle possible in preferably a stretch or ballpoint needle. Failing that, a universal needle would be fine too.
  • Sharp fabric Scissors and a twin needle
  • Magic tape for putting together PDF sewing patterns or making alterations

Sewing Tools for Knits

  • Always use polyester thread – Polyester threads have a bit of stretch in them that natural fibre threads don’t have. Plus, polyester last much longer than other threads!
  • Knits stretch, so you need a seam that allows for a bit of movement. You can either use a straight stitch or a zig zag stitch to sew a seam together. If you use a straight stitch, make sure that your stitch length is a little bit longer than usual and the tension is relaxed a little. When you feed the fabric through the machine, make sure you stretch it a little as it is stitched.
  • If you use a zig zag stitch – play around with the widths of the stitch. A wide zig zag is good for hemming but a narrower zig zag is better for sewing straight seams. It’s always worth trying out your stitching on a scrap of your fabric before starting so you can adjust the tension and appearance of the stitching.
  • It’s also completely acceptable to vary your stitching for different seams i.e. a zig zag for the hem and a straight stitch for vertical seams.

Overlocker, Serger

  • The great thing about Knit fabrics is that they don’t fray, so if you’re feeling particularly lazy you don’t have to finish the seam allowances off – you could just trim them down. However, if you do have access to an overlocker (or serger), why not overlock your seams for a lovely professional finish.

Jersey Knit Seam Finish

  • Finally, when you’re finishing your hem – Zig zag or overlock (serge) the hem then use a twin needle to get a professional looking hem that looks as if you used a coverstitch .. Alternatively if you have a coverstitch, you could just use that too!