A few weeks ago Norma of Orange Lingerie released a pattern and my world exploded in a flurry of elastics and underwires. Ok, explosion might be an overstatement but I’ve made four in the past two weeks and I have plans for so many more. SO MANY.
Bra-making was something I’d always admired from afar. I figured it was something I could probably learn but I had no idea where to begin. Most of the sewing projects I do require matching thread and maybe a zipper, occasionally buttons. Easy peasy. You go to Sew Sassy’s website and they have 8000 kinds of elastic and they each come in ten different widths. I decided the simplest way to dive in was to just buy a kit.
I found an Etsy shop called Hooks & Wires that sold bra kits in all kinds of amazing colors for $18 and emailed the lady about two colors I was interested in. She only had a few kits listed but I checked her sold listings and she was happy to dye the ones I’d requested. Two weeks later I had two gorgeous kits in the mail, including everything I’d need for the Marlborough bra (I checked with Norma first!). I also asked for materials for matching undies to be included (an extra $12 per kit). The Hooks & Wires kits are great! The only things I didn’t like about it are the bra closures and the channeling, which were flannel-y. I prefer the more substantial satiny ones I ordered from Sew Sassy.
My first bra turned out wearable albeit a bit messy, which I was expecting. I had lots of issues with the underwire channeling, which I later figured out was because I was doing it incorrectly. Whoops. My next bra turned out even better (although still had the same channeling issue because I hadn’t figured it out yet) and is my second favorite bra right now.
For my third bra, I did some experimenting. I had extra fabric leftover from the kits so I cut out all the pieces, dyed them black, and used some black Sew Sassy hardware (elastic, closures, sliders, underwire) to make another one. I’d also bought some black lace for the upper cup piece. This one is my absolute favorite.
The fourth one was also dyed from extra fabric from one of the kits and I also experimented with dyeing the hardware. As you can see some of it took to the dye better than others. I forgot to take a photo of the process but I mixed some RIT dye, boiling water, and vinegar in a mason jar. I dropped all the pre-cut pieces in, swished them around, and left the jar in the sun for a while. I added some more boiling water after about half an hour. I think it sat in the sun for about an hour. The color turned out pretty awesome, although there is some splotchiness. I need to get better at remembering to make sure the dye is completely dissolved before dumping everything in. Oh well, it’s totally wearable.
I don’t know if you can tell from the photos but I’ve been making these guys in two sister sizes because I can’t for the life of me figure out which one fits better. The black and blue/purple ones are 34C. The pink one is a straight 32D and the red one is a 32D with about half an inch added to each band piece (so technically a 33D?).
-I haven’t finished reading Norma’s book but so far it’s been a great help.
-I can’t remember why but I bought a yard of this stuff to use as bra lining ages ago and it’s lasted me forever. I’ve been using it to line the lace upper cup only (especially if I’m using a lighter weight lace) so I’ll probably never run out of it. I’m planning on doing an all lace bra next so I’ll probably line that whole bra with this stuff.
-For more crazy bra kits Merckwaerdigh does some with really gorgeous prints. I haven’t used them because of indecisiveness in the form of I-want-all-of-them.
-Also Sarah has recently started stocking gorgeous bra kits at Grey’s! I’m having a similar indecisiveness problem. I’m going to be that weirdo with 50 bras. My bewbs have never felt so supported.