Monday, December 15, 2014

Two Orange Lingerie Marlborough Bras + A Pair of Cloth Habit Watson Undies

Now that I've perfected the fit of my Orange Lingerie Marlborough bra pattern, I am freakishly compelled to make like, a thousand of them.  Here is my history of my sewn Marlboroughs. Plus the laundry blackhole in my house has sucked up my very cute pink Marlborough... I can't find that bra, it's sooo weird.  And I made another pair of Cloth Habit's new Watson Bikini undies. Here's my first pair of those.  Both bras are 38B with my personal alterations (which can be seen on this post.)  The undies are an altered XL.

I used this nylon graphic floral lace.  It has no spandex so I cut the back band on a bias for a tad more stretch.  I hand dyed the lace, elastics, powermesh, tricot lining and hooks in a weak dye bath of brown RIT dye, hot water and vinegar for all of a minute or so.  Although it came out quite pink and less pale brown/beige then I expected, I really like the pale pale pink results.  I took the silver hardware from an old RTW bra for the bra straps.  The button in the center is from my vintage collection, I made a little organza bow to sit under it.

The elastics here are from Lace Heaven (I'm in no way affiliated with them.) The site is a hot mess IMHO and difficult to navigate and find what you want, but with patience I've found loads of plush back elastics that are perfect for lingerie sewing.  Click on the Elastic Trim button on their main page and it will take you to a jumble of elastics in various widths and styles-- but many listed there do not have the plush backing, so note that.  Although the lace I used here was in my stash from elsewhere, there's lots of lace on their site ideal for lingerie sewing.  I have been using a 1/4" stretch lace from them as well to stabilize the top edge of my bra cups, on the inside along the lacey edge.

I used a heavyweight powermesh on the band.  So between the non-spandexy floral lace fashion fabric and this powermesh, the band isn't very stretchy, creating a pretty firm fit.  I lined all the rest of the bra with nylon tricot I had in my stash.  That 1/2" lower band elastic is likely made with polyester so it doesn't take my RIT dye well.  And because there's no spandex in the floral lace, I didn't make a pair of Watson undies to match.  But how cute would that have been?!

Now for Marlborough brassiere numero dos and the matching Watson undies. I used a 4-way stretch nylon/spandex mesh with this crazy fun abstract design.  I lined the cups with two layers of a black tricot.  The tricot has a one way stretch, so I layered it in opposite directions under the mesh to give it a stronger foundation.

I like to spray a temporary fabric adhesive to each layer prior to cutting any patterns pieces so they stick to each other through the whole sewing process.  Machine basting and rumply layers of fabric... no thanks.  I used only on layer of tricot under the mesh for the band allowing it to stretch comfortably while wearing.  This bra is stretchier and has a less firm hold in comparison to the floral one above... but still a comfortable, casual firmness sorta bra I will wear a zillion times.

All the elastics are from Lace Heaven and the purple upper cup lace is from Porcelynne.  It's amazing I can recall where every bit and bob is from.  If there is anything I don't mention ever, just ask and I will tell you exactly where it came from.

Now these undies. The Cloth Habit Watson Bikinis.  They are a breeze to sew.  I made the XL again.  But I reduced the waist down a half size (could go a full size really) and added 5/8" (1.6 cm) height to the rise (could go higher, just for personal taste.)  You can see my muslin here.

I did not line them with anything. Well, I used a scrap of black cotton for the crotch to line. Otherwise... gross!  I put them on display for the neighbors to see just how sheer my fancy new undies are.

I've never used a such a thin, lightweight sort of mesh for lingerie sewing.  I was nervous it was get eaten alive in my sewing machine.  Nope.  Not at all.  I used a ball point needle and my walking foot.  It was fine.

Here's how they fit.  If you wonder how I alter my bra pics to remove the person from them, I just use this very simple web app called Pixlr.  I am way too lazy to get my poorly running Mac out to Photoshop anything ever, so Pixlr Editor is the easy way out.


  1. Oh so very nicely done Kathy! Love that crazy print mesh so much :D

  2. These are all so pretty. Do you happen to know what the largest size the Marlborough goes to?

  3. I am NOT going to sew myself a bra this year. Or maybe next year. But I now have two yards of beautiful floral print nylon mesh that will have right sized leftovers after the tights......NO.

    You are making this inevitable!

  4. Your bra sewing always inspires me. That mesh is great.