Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane



 I’ve changed my mind about bra and knicker making – woman’s prerogative, and I’m sticking to it!

The cat even made an unexpected visit to the sewing room to support and encourage me.

The good thing about making bras and knickers (sorry, but I really can’t bring myself to use the term ‘panties’) is that they take up so little fabric that it’s a productive way of using scraps. Actually, that’s not technically accurate – my knickers need A LOT of fabric!

The pattern I’m using also has only a few grain lines and when working with stretch fabrics does it really matter ? The pattern pieces can be placed in all directions to make them fit the fabric scraps. Excellent.

Why have I had this change of heart?

Well, when I calmed down after the first attempt and rationally analysed my methods, approach and results, I came up with a few (perhaps hard learned) lessons.

1. I am not an expert at everything
2. Use the right presser foot

With stretch fabric left over from the French house dress, I set to work with a pragmatic approach. I read the instruction manual that came with the new machine and discovered what foot C was for. Overlocking!

Whoppee, the fabric no longer gets trapped in the dog feed and it sews up just fine.

We have a saying in our house when someone is not very good at doing something “You need more practice at that”. You know, teenage son’s attempt at grass cutting, DH efforts at stacking the dishwasher, that sort of thing. So I put more practice into bra making. I tweaked the fit on the paper pattern from the fit of the first attempt and I lined the cups and the back band with self fabric. This time round I don’t mind showing you a full frontal close-up of the inside. Oh yes, could be tidier and neater, but way, way better than before.
The bit between the cups remains a little scrappy, but cleverly disguised by a well positioned button. This bra would be almost perfect if I was left handed (hooks and eyes attached to wrong ends of back band). Need more practice!

I made two pairs of matching knickers, alternating the fabric.

Lesson learned from knicker sewing – don’t stretch the elastic too tight when sewing. Doesn’t matter what size they look like – for proper usage they need to be able to go up further than the knees!

Anyway, I test drove the black and lace set yesterday and it was surprisingly comfortable, secure and smooth. This version has no padding or wires and I thought it would be a little ‘unsupportive’ of my newly discovered Ds but no, just the opposite. OK, I wasn’t running a marathon or anything but I kept checking all day to see if the bra was still there – I could hardly feel it at all.

Wired is the next challenge.

Is it weird to wear this under the French house dress? Too matchy-matchy?


9 thoughts on “Prerogative

  1. You are a riot, matchy matchy! What beautiful pieces. You are taking the scrap stash to a new level! Looking forward to your wired version as well.

  2. LOL – You just gave me a good laugh at the end of one long day! As for the matchy-matchy – just do it!!! Why not!!! Have fun!!!

  3. You're inspiring me to give it a try. Your "knickers" do not take a LOT of fabric. They are "knickers," proper panties, and not a thong!!!

  4. Well done on your perseverance this set looks great – and of course matchy-matchy's your dress. I am with you on the amount of fabric required for knickers – just think how many knickers we could make if we could wear those tiny tiny triangle g-strings lol in my wildest dreams. My one and only visit/ purchase at Rigby and Peller, the lady brought out a matching pair of knickers for my daughter's bra they were smaller than an A5 sheet of paper and she wanted £35 for them…………….

  5. We all need a laugh now and then.

  6. Go ahead, you're so talented you could do it.

  7. £35 for the label I'm thinking… I once wore a G-string and it was so uncomfortable until I realised it was on back to front!

  8. Look great! Total coordination is my motto! French house dress needs matching undies! LOL!

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