Christmas is almost here, and what a perfect time to use some of my luxurious and sparkly fabrics! Stretch panne velvet and gold stretch mesh are made up into a longline hack of my Iris Bralette pattern. This pattern hack is super easy, and creates such a pretty silhouette!
For the best fit on the Iris Bralette, you will want the vertical seam to fall in line with the apex.
What is the apex?
The apex is the fullest part of the bust, usually where the nipple lies. In the photo above, you can see that the vertical seam aligns with the fullest part of the bust, and also aligns with the vertical seam on the dress form.
Here is the second part of the Iris Bralette tester roundup. Enjoy!
Working with pattern testers not only helps me improve the quality of my pattern, but also provides me with a source of inspiration from all the lovely projects they create. Below are some of their Iris Bralette projects, and I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I do.
I am so happy to share with you my new pattern, and first ever bralette pattern, the Iris Bralette!
What do you look for in a bralette? I want mine to be comfortable, supportive, and pretty. Unlike many of the stretch knit bralette patterns out there, Iris has separate cups and cradle to provide the best fit and support. A variety of front and back style options let you create something beautiful to fit your personal style and needs.
Awhile ago I made this set, and I forgot to share it! I thought of it again when I was writing my post about joining strips of lace.
Bralette: Bambi Bra by Ohhh Lulu
Panties: Hellebore Hi-Cut
This is my second time using the Bambi Bra. It is an interesting pattern because you can use knit or woven. I used bias charmeuse the first time and it turned out too big. The only measurements indicated on the size chart are the full bust measurements, and a note that Cup Size 1 is for A-B and Cup Size 2 is for C-D. I'm around a 32D, so I used Cup Size 2 and a size Small, but the band still felt quite big on me.
The panties are one of my samples for my Hellebore Hi-Cut pattern. I enjoy making coordinating sets and wanted to use this pretty lavender lace again.
Fabrics & Trims
Main fabric: Lavender heavy cotton-spandex jersey. I'm not sure of the weight or content because it came in a grab bag. Not terribly soft, but it has very good recovery, so it must have a high amount of spandex.
Back band: beige powernet. The pattern doesn't actually say to use powernet for the band, but the first time I used this pattern it was too big, so I made the band smaller and definitely needed firmer fabric in the back.
Lavender lace: 2" wide, two pieces joined together. Also from a grab bag.
Elastic (upper edges): Lavender matte elastic. I love matte elastic for panties, but this is probably not the best choice for a bralette. Mostly I used it because it matched well. It is thin and soft, but not very firm.
Band elastic: 1/2" beige scallop elastic
Here’s how it usually goes: my bra project goes swimmingly well until the last step of joining the bra strap. All those layers of fabric, elastic and seam allowances make for a bulky join, and inevitably I break a needle. Doesn’t seem to matter if the join is in the front or the back, I never seem to get it right.
I’ve been trying a few new techniques, and I really like this one. This is for a bra strap with rings at the back, a strap extension built into the cup, and uses a picot elastic for the underarm edge. I am demonstrating this technique with my upcoming bralette pattern.
We will begin after the neckline has been finished, and before the underarm elastic is added.
Do you save your lace scraps? I have a small bag filled with odd-shaped pieces of beautiful lace, just because I can’t bear to throw them out. I love little lace details, so I try to find places to add in small pieces of lace.
I had some long narrow pieces of lace left from panty project that didn’t work out, and decided to make up a bralette. This is one of the first few prototypes of my bralette pattern that I have been working on behind the scenes for the last couple months. The shaping of the cradle is a bit different than the final pattern.
I added lace overlays to the inner and outer cups, and at both ends of the back band. Intially I had added in a piece at the center front of the cradle, and realized that it looked like a lace box, so I removed the center piece and ended up with something like a butterfly.
While I mirrored the scalloped edges, I can see now that the lace pattern itself is not symmetrical. Oops! Mirroring the lace pattern takes some careful attention, and isn’t always conducive to using up scraps of lace. I still love how it turned out, and have been wearing this bralette frequently.
Do you save your lace scraps? Where do you like to add them in on your sewing projects?
Here it is, my first bra made with my custom bra sloper using the drafting method from Bare Essentials Bras, 3rd Edition by Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks.
Pattern: self draft, 2-piece vertical seam cups with full frame.
Underwire: Carmen by Emerald Erin
Fabrics: Grey duoplex and powernet I think from Bra Maker's Supply.
Elastics: 3/8" & 1/2" black picot elastics from Fabric Depot Co. Piping edge elastic along the neckline from Sew Sassy.
Straps: 1/2" ruched strap elastic. Can't remember where I bought it, sorry.
Bow: 1/4" satin ribbon, heart charm from Joann jewelry department.
While I would not say that sewing a bra is hard, there are always a few parts I struggle with. Every time I sew a bra, I try out a new technique or two to see if I can improve my sewing experience.
This time around, there were two areas I wanted to try something new: encasing the ends of the channeling at the front, and making a strap attachment less bulky.
For the channeling, I'd normally have the ends extend past the edge of the cradle, then close them off and trim them at the end after everything else is sewn. I think I learned this method from the Harriet Bra instructions. But after seeing a few Emerald Erin bras that use the neckline elastic to finish the top of the cradle as well as the cups, I decided to see if I could get the ends of the channeling under the edge of the neckline elastic. I started the channeling 1/4" down from the edge, since I was using 1/4" elastic. I didn't quite get the ends under the elastic, but at least they aren't sticking out past the top of the cradle.
I usually attach the ring to a strap attachment that is part of the cup. So far that has led to a very bulky seam that usually breaks my needle with several layers of fabric and elastics all coming together. This time I decided to just let the armhole elastic extend past and thread the ring through that. I probably should have made a tighter loop against the cup; it stretches out a bit when worn, obviously because it is elastic. But this join was much easier for me to execute and left me with a much smoother fold.
Do you have any tips for sewing channeling or attaching the straps? I'd love to hear them, leave a comment below. Happy Sewing!
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.