Three weeks ago I took a weekend class for sewing lingerie and swimwear. I learned so much and have since then sewn three bras that fit.
I am mostly a self taught sewer, but I was reluctant to take the plunge into lingerie sewing all by myself. So I decided to get some professional help and signed up for a weekend class at the “Spitzenparadies“. It was the right decision. We learned so much and now I feel confident to continue by myself.
The class covered a lot of theory. I took 15 pages of notes in my notebook! Friday morning we started with the fabric and other material used in lingerie sewing and cut out panties. We did not have time to sew them because Friday afternoon and the whole Saturday were dedicated to bra sewing. First we learned how a bra should fit and which style is best. Despite being small-busted I should wear bras with an underbustband to avoid that the bra rides up during the day (Guess what you do not find in RTW? Yes, small sizes with an underbustband). Next and very important we all got measured and the correct underwire was chosen. Despite having some incredible small cup size which I did not even know existed, the underwire I need corresponds rather to a 75B cup.
After chosing our pattern we sewed some paper towel cups to get a feeling for the size. The underwire was also inserted. I think I needed 3 or 4 paper cups before the fit was good. Then we started with our bras. Most of us also needed the whole Sunday for finishing the bra. However, Sunday morning we all got a lesson regarding swimwear, what is different from lingerie sewing, how to sew straps and a lot more. Best of the day was that my bra fitted perfectly in the end and I drove home exhausted but happy.
As pattern I chose Merckwaerdigh BHS10, one of the fewer patterns which comes in small sizes and has an underbustband.
The bra has foam cups. The fabric is yellow Lycra with stripes. I bought this as a kit from Spitzenparadies a few months ago already, but never dared to cut into it.
Here are the corresponding panties that I finished at home:
Our homework was to sew a lot of bras to memorize the techniques. I made two further bras after all. The second bra is made from a kit from Sewy that I purchased already years ago. It took me three days to finish this bra. I had to look up every step in my notes and still made every possible mistake. The only alteration I made was to make the bridge a little smaller (about 4mm) and shortening the band by 1 cm. The bra is not perfect but looks so nice:
You can see that I had a lot of problems with this slippery fabric. Also, I did not align the lace so that the valley of the scalloped edge meets the bridge. Now the foam is not as high in the middle as it should be. The back of this pattern is rather simple:
The third bra was already a lot easier and it took me 5 hours. Our teacher said, with practice you can sew a bra in 2 hours…so still a long way to go. This bra looks rather boring, but I needed something in a light color and I had everything in my stash:
All in all this workshop was a great succes, I am so happy that I am able to sew my own lingerie. Of course, there is still lots of stuff to learn, but I am quite happy with my first bras. They are a lot more comfortable to wear than all my RTW bras. Still, I have to admit that those slippery fabrics and elastics are by far not my favorites to sew. Maybe this comes with practice, but at the moment I prefer sewing with wovens.
How about you? Do you sew your own lingerie?