Well, I was going to share some more actual clothes makes today, given that I’ve finished exams now and a storm of creativity has ensued (I’ve got quite the garment post backlog going on now, I can assure you). But I was WAY too excited to share my new lingerie make: a matching Merckwaerdigh MIX30 set!
Isn’t it PRETTY? Both a bra and two underwear patterns are included in this set, so I made view C to go with it. Most of the materials are from a Merckwaerdigh kit; it was sold as a bra kit only, but with some
clever legendary cutting (and the bonus advantage of my underwear not needing much material) I managed to get a pair of matching underwear out of it too 🙂
Of the three bra patterns I’ve sewn so far (Watson, Marlborough and now the MIX30), this one assumed the most lingerie making experience. This is signposted in the pattern description in her store, but I was still a little surprised to find barely half a page of instructions accompanying it. I didn’t even glance at them once I started though, as the assembly was not really different to any of the other bras I’ve sewn. The pattern also used a different sizing method from what I am used to: basically, the pattern only comes in B cup sizes in back sizes 32-44 – in order to get your size, you simply add or remove two centimetres per cup size i.e. add two to get an A cup, add four to get a D cup etc. This worked really well for me, as I am technically out of the pattern’s size range (it’s advertised as 34A-44A to 30D-40D), but by simply removing additional centimetres from the back piece, I could easily create a 30E.
This was also the first pattern which I have traced. If you have not traced a pattern before, like I hadn’t, a piece of advice – DO NOT TRY AND TRACE YOUR PATTERN USING PRINTER PAPER. I thought it was probably not the best idea, but it was the only paper we had in the house and I wanted to get started. But man, it was tough going! What I would give for some proper tracing paper…or any paper that is not almost 100% opaque, really (or some of that fancy carbon or wax stuff you use with a tracing wheel…the stuff dreams are made of, really). But hey, I got there eventually! And I think the results were worthwhile.
I think the part of this bra I am most proud of is the construction. This is the 12th bra (and second underwired bra) that I have made, and I’m starting to feel a bit experienced in sewing lingerie! This is probably one of my neatest efforts yet – check out the inside. See that? Not a single exposed seam! I’d chosen to underline the stretch lace with light powernet, as it just seemed a bit too flimsy to be an unlined cup and band, which was a good move, and it also let me “sandwich” the seams and hide them all away. It takes a little more thought to assemble in this way, so it’s only now that I feel confident in my basic fit and construction that I’m putting the extra effort in to get a really nice finish.
Now, the most important part: the fit! I am pretty happy overall with this one. Like my Marlborough, the bridge sits nice and flush to my chest, with a very slight overlap in the underwires at centre front. The cups are pretty good, there’s a very slight overspill, in the left cup more so than the right. Given that this was also a problem in the Marlborough, I’m starting to think that I’m just a bit fuller on top than most patterns are designed for, and that I might need to start thinking about adjustments for this (or trying a balconette style!). It’s not as supportive a bra as the Marlborough; but it’s not designed that way. The Marlborough has a nice wide band with a three hook closure for D+ cup sizes, and a scoop back. The MIX30, with its narrow, delicate stretch-lace back, doesn’t quite do the same amount of work. It’s still very comfortable though – I probably just won’t be running in it!
At first, I’ll admit, I was a little underwhelmed with the shape; seeing myself in it didn’t really do much for me. But I’ve definitely come around to it! Under clothes, it gives a very nice, natural, rounded, but slightly lifted shape. I think it’s more that I’m used to a lot of lift and cleavage in my RTW bras, and seeing myself in a style like this takes a little adjustment. But it’s nice, and definitely a silhouette I can see myself wearing more of.
I don’t really have much to add about the underwear, other than, have you ever seen a nicer underwear pattern? I LOVE the use of lace in this design! They’re a good fit and very comfortable, too.
As I mentioned before, most of the fabric and notions in this bra came from a Merckwaerdigh bra kit, and it’s undeniably gorgeous. I think the pink lycra and the stretch lace are stunning, and great quality, even though I thought the lace was a bit insubstantial for the band and underlined it with white powernet from my stash. The pink non-stretch lining used on the outer cups and bridge is also beautiful quality, very soft and rigid, much nicer than what I’ve worked with before. The elastics…eh. They’re very pretty, sure. The kit only included one width of picot elastic, which was fine for the underarm, but I subbed in some slightly wider, firmer white picot from my stash for the bottom band. The straps are very cute but very very stretchy, so much so that they’re almost doubled up along their width I have them adjusted so tightly.
I was also a little disappointed that the pretty little pink back closure was far too narrow for the band. If I’d thought of it at the start, I could have adjusted the pattern piece to accommodate this, but I’d only made scoop backs before and with those, you can adjust the hook and eye height right at the end. Fortunately I had a white closure the right size lying around (from the now-infamous Grey’s Fabric Watson kit. Will I ever be done with it??). The underwire casing was a dream to work with though, very flat and nicely fluffy against the skin.
Also, as I chose to make underwear, which the kit was not designed for, I obviously had to add in some white cotton jersey (for the crotch lining) and extra picot elastic from my stash. All in all, I was happy with the kit, especially given that they’re fairly inexpensive – you just might need to be prepared to make some substitutions if what’s in it isn’t quite what you need. I’ll definitely be buying more though!
Overall, I love this bra. It’s very pretty and delicate, and I can definitely see myself making it again. I think the real winner here is the underwear though – I don’t think I want to make a different pattern ever again! But life is too short not to try as many as I can, so I’m sure we’ll still be seeing *some* variety.
This break is proving very productive so far, so expect to see lots more makes (including some which are NOT underwear) very soon!
Miss Maddy x