Whipping up a foam cup bra. I use an almost satin stitch to join the cups together. 5.5 stitch width and 1.5 stitch length on my Bernina. Gutermann thread #501 is a perfect match for our cut and sew foam available at Bramaking.supplies
When I was a student at FIDM in Los Angeles we were responsible for creating at least 1 pages of inspiration images per week. Now with computers this is made so much easier than before when it was magazines, scissors and rubber cement.
Here is what is inspiring me this week. I’m loving the strappy details this week. Which I feel can work for ALL body sizes.
I sewed the lower cup in upside down so then the cup didn’t fit the cradle but so determined was I for a finished sample I just trimmed to fit. I also didn’t bother with matching thread. Yet some how it still looks pretty and shows off the lace well.
It has no wires. It should have wires but it just doesn’t.
I was so proud this week that my Lipstick Red bra was featured on Kollabora’s blog. I also entered the bra to be considered as part of their Bernina brand ambassador search. I’m sure my chances are slim but I’ve been a ‘Nina fan since I got my Activa 145 in 2001
I don’t get much time to sew bras anymore since sales at Arte Crafts Bra Making Supplies have been through the roof and I’ve been packing orders like crazy and when I’m not packing I’m building the forum at bramakingforum.com but I carved out sometime to make another Marlbough.
I used a 7″ Red Galloon Lace with 3/8″ Navy Blue Picot Elastic, 1/2″ Navy Satin Strap Elastic with matching rings and sliders. I used Navy Blue 3/8″ Underwire Channeling and a 4 hook wide Red Hook and Eye Closure. I lined it with flesh non stretch cup and bridge lining and red bra bows.
I used the same pattern as last time but modified it to the scallop of the lace would conform to the bottom edge of the bra. If there is enough interest I’ll try and write a tutorial.
All supplies are available in my bramaking.supplies and Etsy store but I’ve put together a bra kit so you can make your own. Red and Navy Bra Kit
I get a little giddy when I get new products in but this elastic is divine and worth of it’s own post. 3/8″ plush back finishing elastic with a picot edge. Feels soft like velvet and dyes to the core. When you dye elastic with a high nylon content like this along with our strap elastic, channeling and hook and eye closures everything will be matchy matchy. It’s 90% nylon 10% spandex. Comes directly from the mill made to order for Arte Crafts. How cool is that. 1/2″ in this new elastic will be in stock too. But until then our current stock of 1/2″ plush back elastic is on sale for 50%. It dyes also but not as well as this elastic so all stocks must go to make room for the new and improved.
Not sure how each elastic will dye? Message me I test everything before I sell it and can give you details of what to expect. The elastic on the top was dyed with RIT dye and is the same color throughout.
This is an example of one of my testing sessions. All elastics in this photo were dyed in the same dye batch under the same conditions. A high Nylon content is important. If you’ve ever dyed an elastic and it came out half the color you wanted while the other half stayed stubbornly white then you’ve encountered the pain a poly/nylon blend can cause. The bottom 4 consists of my white dyeable strap elastic, white dyeable channeling and the new picot elastic. I have now organized my shopify store so you can view all our dyeable notions in one section.
I wrote about nylon vs polyester sliders a few months ago and how polyester slides are impossible to dye. For this reason I have switched to stocking nylon sliders so my customers can dye to match their other notions. Plastic findings can be the most difficult to dye and sometimes you might give up on them too soon. Here’s a few tips on how I dyed the slides in this picture. I used RIT Lemon dye and they came out fairly true to shade. But they took longer to take up the dye and a little bit of special handling.
I’ve done a lot of testing with dying these sliders with acid and RIT dyes. They are 100% nylon plastic not nylon coated metal. The secret to getting the color that you want is acidity and time. I recommend dying all your notions as usual but once you’ve taken out your fabric, elastics, channeling and hook and eyes out of the dye bath add more acid (vinegar) to the dye bath. Increase the heat to a slow boil and continue to heat them until they are the shade you desire. It will probably take longer than you want it to. Adding extra dye to the bath at this point helps also. If using RIT sometimes adding salt can help encourage them to take up the dye.
By using this method I’ve been able to get all the white rings and sliders that I stock to dye evenly. I’ve switched to stocking only nylon rings and sliders for this reason. This is the method I’ve developed through trial and error and your mileage may vary
This is the 5th Marlborough bra I’ve made. The first 4 were all in the same fabric so I only blogged the first one but it has quickly become my go to day to day bra. However I am continuing to shrink so the straps are now falling off my shouldres (indicating the band is too big) and the cups are feeling a little empty. I made my first versions in size 40DD but for this purple one I chose to go down one band size and one cup size to a 38DD. If you’re wondering why the letter size of my cup did change that’s because when you go down one band size in order to stay in the same volume cup you would normally have to go up one cup letter to DDD.
So how does it fit? Pretty well. The band is a little tight so rides down but I think this will be ok with another 1lb or two of weight loss. I really like how firm the cups feel with the non stretch lining. It’s different from using 15 denier tricot since it has virtually no stretch in either direction. It’s what they use in RTW bras and it really makes a big difference when using a very stretchy fabric. The lining is free floating but next time I might use spray or fusible web to create a more laminated style fabric.
You’ll notice that one of the powerbars is lined in black. That’s because when I dyed the lining I only dyed enough to cut out the pieces I needed. I didn’t count on losing a piece. Twice. I actually picked out the cup when I refound the missing piece only to lose it again. So I just have to be content to having a humility powerbar in a contrasting color. It is the same type of lining so there was not problem with compatibility.
Other touches was using a little white panty elastic to create some curve along the top cup to prevent spillage and using channeling on the sideband to create a bit of control. I used a size 44 regular underwire.
I plan to make matching panties out of this fabric with Merckwaerdigh’s MIX30 pattern. Because this bra is 50 shades of purple it was hard to find a matching thread color though I did use contrasting top and bobbin thread on the elastic.