One of the biggest rewards for me in creating lingerie patterns is helping sewists tweak patterns to get the perfect fit for their bodies. I think many of us turn to sewing our own clothes when we can't find what we want or need in the stores, and sewing at home can be a lonely and sometimes frustrating experience when our projects don't turn out right.
Over the last couple of years I have created quite a few blog posts for pattern alterations to get the perfect fit in bras/bralettes and panties. I have a blog category in my sidebar where you can find them all, but with so many now it is a bit cumbersome to scroll through them all. So, I have created a single page dedicated to the pattern alteration posts, and you can find what you need more easily. I hope these alterations are helpful for you to get the perfect fit.
If there are any other pattern fitting topics for bras and panties you'd like to see, leave me a comment below.
Until next time,
Today I am going to share with you two ways to adjust the gusset length. There are two possible issues when it comes to gusset length, and each has a different solution. The gusset length can either be too short, and extra length is needed, or the gusset position on the body is incorrect (but the overall length is fine) and the position needs to be readjusted.
Problem: The gusset length is too short
Today I am sharing with you the beautiful creations of my pattern testers. Not only do they help me iron out problems and inconsistencies with the instructions, they inspire me with their creative choices in colors and fabrics. I hope you enjoy seeing their work as much as I do.
I was so happy to see my UPS man today when he delivered my Ditto Form! Here she is, modeling a bra I've been working on.
My typical gusset lining for panties is white organic cotton jersey. But when working with lace and other sheer fabrics, the lining will be visible and white is possibly not the best option. I draft my panty patterns with the gusset seam higher up in front than typical RTW panties, so the gusset is more easily seen on the body. If nobody else is going to see your undies, then maybe a white lining doesn't bother you. But if it does, I wanted to share with you three other options. (The panties in the following photos are the next pattern I am working on! Stay tuned!)
Match the lace/sheer fabric color
This example uses red lace and red mesh fabrics, so I used a red cotton/spandex jersey for the gusset lining.
Use a contrast color
In this panty, there is green lace for the front and black mesh for the back. The lace has such a beautiful floral pattern I really wanted it to pop, so I matched the black mesh back and used black cotton/spandex jersey for the gusset lining.
Match your skin tone
Here I have a lining in a light tan color behind the coral lace. Finding a fabric relatively close to my skin tone was harder than I thought it would be. I eventually found this bamboo/cotton jersey from Koshtex on Etsy. If you can't find a fabric close to your skin tone in yardage, look for a cheap t-shirt. I have seen cotton camisoles in Walmart in light beige and brown, so that could be an option.
Do you like to adjust your gusset lining fabrics to match or prefer a white gusset? One of the things I love about making my own lingerie is having the chance to not only get a perfect fit for my body but make all the choices for colors, fabrics and trims to fit my personal needs.
Until next time, happy sewing!
First off, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. I asked for ten measurements, which I know was a bit detailed and took a few minutes of your time. Thanks to your help, I can expand my size range.
The results of the survey were surprising to me in several ways. I am even more glad now that I put out this survey, because it proved that some of the assumptions I had made were completely wrong. I thought I’d share with you some of the findings. I have no formal scientific training, so data analysis is not my specialty.
I would like to expand the size range for my bras/bralettes going forward, and to do that I need your help! I need more size data to increase my size range and also improve the fit of my current sizes.
If you would like to help, please fill out the sizing survey. All answers will be anonymous, and only viewed by me. I need only 10 measurements and your underwire size. This survey is for open to all sizes; every bit of data helps me!
Thanks so much for participating.
I have a friend who broke ten (!) ribs and her collarbone last December after being thrown off her horse. Since then her bones have mended, but she still has a lot of pain and swelling in her abdomen every afternoon. She told me that wearing a bra is very uncomfortable, and has mostly resorted to wearing only a camisole under her shirts.
Now, my friend is about the same size as me, and she previously took a lesson from me in bra-making, so I knew she wouldn't think it too strange for me to make a bra for her. So a few days ago I issued a design challenge to myself, to design a bra that put only a minimal amount of pressure on the back.
I was inspired by some of the wrap bralettes that have just come out, like the Gemini Bra by Gravity by Grandy, the Wrap Bralette by Merckwaerdigh, and also some triangle bras like the Jordy Bralette. I love the look of these bralettes but I was concerned that the multiple layers of wrapping and wide elastic would cause my friend too much pain. I wanted to stick with 1/2" band and strap elastic and see how much support I could get.
Here is my first prototype. Cups slightly wrapped at the front, extended onto the back. An adjustable strap for the torso with a front-bra closure. I originally had the straps attached straight down, but it just pulled up the torso strap, and I thought a halter neck would put too much pressure on the upper spine. Straps the crossed at the back and connected at the side rings seemed like the best option. I tried it on and was surprised that it did have a good amount of support. The closure at the back was unnecessary, and the cups needed to extend a little more to the back. The wrap front wasn't a good look on the body, the wrap mostly pulled apart and sagged, so that detail needed to go. I also needed to fill in the curves at the neck and armhole a bit. The fabric for this one is nylon tricot, two layers, with opposing stretch in each layer. I decided to try a stretch fabric in the next version.
Much better! I love how it turned out. The back is simpler without the closure, and the shape of the cups is better, and the wrap front was changed to a v-neck. For this one I used two layers of pantie spandex by Sew Sassy. It is an 80/20 nylon/spandex knit with 75% stretch in both directions. The cups fit very smoothly, but I noticed the apex seems to be a little too far towards the side. For now, I will give this bra to my friend to try out and see if it is comfortable for her.
I want to make another bra for myself, and I'm thinking to try lace, and probably change the dart to a two-piece cup. I know someone will ask if I'm going to make this a pattern for sale. I'm thinking about that, and I honestly don't know if this style would really work for larger cup sizes. I would probably increase the width of the elastics as the sizes get bigger, but I'm not sure if that would be enough. I have gotten feedback on the bra patterns I have already published asking to increase my size range, so I definitely don't want to release a pattern only in small sizes because that really isn't fair. What do you think? Any interest in a pattern?
I design lingerie sewing patterns for everyday comfort and feminine style in an inclusive size range. Fill up your underwear drawer with beautiful custom made panties in your favorite fabrics and trims, designed to fit your body.