Welcome to Burlesque

I feel like I am beginning to make a bit of a reputation for myself as a bit of a crazy remnants lady (not that that bothers me at all, mind you); I really can’t seem to help it, however, as even when I’m not even rummaging waist-deep in a remnant bin, remnants just seem to findΒ me. Case in point: I went to Spotlight a few weeks ago, with single goal and total focus – I needed more thread for Butterick 5882, and I was there to buy that AND ONLY THAT. But you can’t just go in and out of a fabric store; it would be positivelyΒ rude not to at least look at all the glorious wonders on display. So there I was, minding my own business just having a good caress of some velvet (as you do), when I spotted it: a loose bit of burgundy stretch velvet, snuggled up amongst the other bolts – a remnant in the wild! Well, as far as I was concerned, it was a sign…so I bought it. Which leads me to my conclusion – some just have great remnants thrust upon them.

The question raised of course, is, what does one do with forty centimetres of stretch velvet? Something delightfully impractical, obviously – so I present to you my longline velvet and lace Boylston, with matching Grace panties and suspender belt!

Red Velvet Lingerie Set

Longline bras are a look I’ve been drawn to since I developed an interest in lingerie; they’re such an inherently elegant, sophisticated and classic look. But RTW ones had long disappointed me – I could never find them in the right size, and sister-sizing up, the issue of a too-large band was only exacerbated by the longer length. So as soon as I successfully began making my own underthings, a longline bra was an aspiration of mine. There aren’t all that many patterns out there for them; the Watson has a longline view (which I love!) but unstructured cups and no underwires, and Merckwaerdigh has some longline and bustier designs. But I decided fairly early on that the best course of action would be to alter a bra pattern with which I had already got a good fit. So when the Boylston proved to be such a hit with me, I knew the time had come.

The three band pieces, altered for a longline look.

The three band pieces, altered for a longline look.

It’s not a difficult alteration, to turn a regular bra pattern into a longline; for anyone interested, Amy of Cloth Habit runs through the changes quickly in her bra-making sew-a-long. The main trick is work out at what angle to extend the lines – for example, your ribcage may not continue to narrow at the same rate below your normal bra line, so you might want to reduce the angle to prevent the bra from being uncomfortably tight around the bottom. I, on the other hand, have very narrow, tapered ribs, and so I decided to keep the angle the same and see how it turned out. My main decision was, how much to extend the pieces? I compared the pattern with the longline Watson band pieces, and decided on an extension of five centimetres. With that done, the fun could begin!

Longline Boylston

I’m pretty quick at churning out bras now; while I’m by no means an old hand, I’ve got the construction process pretty much down by now. However, this bra posed a number of challenges and took me about twice as long as usual. For one, the fabric choice; surprise surpise, stretch velvet is not the easiest thing to work with. Little bits of burgundy fuzz ended up everywhere, edges stretched by centimetres, and the nap meant that layers often got pushed out of alignment. I don’t think I’ve ever done so much unpicking on a bra! I also decided to use boning on the side seams and those under the cup, in order to keep it from riding up or buckling, so some extra time was need to add these in such a way that the ends were neatly covered by the elastics. Finally, I decided for the cups I wanted a lace upper and a foam lower, which also required some thought. I attached them with the lace sandwiched between the two lower layers. The effect isn’t bad, but if I’d thought to top-stitch the cross-cup seam and trim back before sewing the cups in, I might’ve reduced the bulk there. Oh well, we live and learn!

IMG_1841

Now, how’s the fit? Pretty great! I made a good call on not changing the angle of the band seams; for me, the existing angle is just right (no wonder RTW longlines are such a disaster on me!). The cups are again, pretty great, and everything is snug and stays where it’s supposed to. The bridge didn’t seem to come out as narrow this time (I blame the velvet), but I might try narrowing it a smidge in the next iteration anyway, as I think there’s room for a tad more overlap in my wires. The wide band feels very supportive, but the back sits super low, which I love. These narrow 3/8 straps aren’t as comfortable as the lovely fabric straps on my last Boylston, but I do love the delicate look they give. The stretchy velvet unfortunately didn’t go in perfectly smoothly, so there are a few bits that pull when it’s on, but I don’t really mind too much. I was a bit unsure about the look of front boning initially (it looked like it was pulling on the band); in fact I tried removing it on one side to see if it looked any better without, but I hastily replaced it, as it was clearly doing its job of keeping the band flat and not buckled. So I’m happy to call this alteration a success, and look forward to a future with whole draws full of longline bras πŸ˜€

Longline Boylston bra

Not much to say about the accompanying undergarments – another pair of Graces and the same garter belt pattern I posted earlier this week. I decided to leave the lace off the underwear, as it’s rigid and I couldn’t think of a nice way to use it, but I put it in the front panel of the garter belt – which I think worked out best, as it now really stands out when they’re worn together πŸ™‚ (and I am so proud of how well I mirrored the lace to use the scalloped edge in the front piece!)

Red Velvet Grace Panties

Red Velvet & Lace Garter Belt

It’s been a very productive sewing week for me (helped by my dedicating five hours on Friday just to cutting) – since last week, I’ve made part of my sister’s theatre costume (which will be making an appearance here in a few weeks!), four pairs of underwear, two garter belts and now a longline bra! I’m very much at the pointy end of the year now though – so whilst I’m determined to maintain a weekly post, exams and assignments might well get in the way! Still, I’ll be on summer holidays again before long (I can hardly wait!) and I’ll be right into it again!

Red Velvet Lingerie Set

Until next time,

Miss Maddy x

Advertisements

33 comments

  1. Michelle · September 19, 2015

    Gorgeous and so luxurious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma · September 19, 2015

    Oh Maddy! This is amazing! You are the remnant queen. I actually bought some navy stretch velvet the other week so a bra with gold sequinned fabric as the detail fabric. I was also thinking the other week about altering a pattern to be a longline. I find the Watson tends to ride up on me when I wear it, so I may have the same issue as you. Seriously you are my bra inspiration! I love love love these!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · September 20, 2015

      Thanks so much Emma! That fabric combination sounds amazing, I can’t wait to see it πŸ™‚ you’ll probably find that boning will help keep it in place too. But I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

      Like

  3. embroiderpiccies · September 19, 2015

    Mary. Love the longline look – something I have on my list – ana as for velvet – well that word sold me. My favourite type of fabric. You are so right about having remnants thrust upon you – some of the nicest pieces of fabric I have come across have been velvet. By the way – LOVE the Butterick outfit too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · September 20, 2015

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚ the Butterick is one of my favourite things I’ve sewn this year!

      Like

  4. craftsanctuary · September 19, 2015

    This is so gorgeous! I’m a big fan of longlines as well, I feel like they give more support, but I have yet to find one that doesn’t roll up when I sit down…maybe I’ll have to make one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · September 20, 2015

      Thank you! Yeah, I think that any fitting issues you might have in a normal bra band are just taken to the max in a longline – I imagine the RTW ones don’t work for a lot of people! After the success of this experiment, I can definitely recommend DIYing it though πŸ˜€

      Like

  5. Tanit-Isis · September 20, 2015

    Oh, what fun! Also, you’re terribly brave—no fabric has ever made me want to hang my head in defeat quite as much as velvet (hand-basting was my salvation, and wouldn’t even take long on teeny bra seams, hmm…)

    I am curious about long-lines—I love the look, but I’ve only tried it in the Watson and the non-boned version definitely doesn’t work on my shape (my ribcage actually flares at the bottom front, so the long-line hem ends up rolled back up to where the short-line would sit). One of these days… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · September 20, 2015

      Thank you! It is pretty fun, I think – even if the construction wasn’t so much, haha. Hand-basting might definitely have been an idea, but I was already well into it by the time that occurred to me! Next time, maybe…

      Boning might help in your case! I’ve certainly found it’s keeping everything in place on mine πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. emeralderin · September 20, 2015

    ooohh this is so gorgeous and luxurious! And it really adds so much to have it in a set! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · September 20, 2015

      Thanks Erin! I’m definitely thinking that three-piece sets might be the go around here from now on… πŸ˜‰

      Like

  7. SofΓ­a · September 20, 2015

    What a gorgeous set! And the burgundy velvet… Well, that’s glamour!! I love longline bras too, and I agree: it’s better to alter a well fitting bra pattern that you already have into a longline, that way you know for sure that the cups are going to fit!
    The garter belt and the panties go so well with the style of this bra. I bet Dita von Teese would be jealous of your burlesque lingerie! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · September 20, 2015

      Thanks Sofia! Your longline Marie Antoinette one from a while ago was definitely an inspiration for me to give it a go πŸ™‚ and I’m having so much fun with the garter belt pattern I’m thinking there’ll be a lot of three-piece sets appearing on this blog from now on! (Also, Dita and everything she wears are love and life).

      Like

  8. Evie · September 22, 2015

    These are GORGEOUS, Maddy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cvetak Zanovetak · September 23, 2015

    Great, really have a refined taste.
    You write very well, I’ll have to read with vocabulary again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tina V · September 25, 2015

    You are so talented, what a beautiful set…

    Like

  11. Pingback: Testing Maya Bra Pattern – exhibit nr 6 / Sutien de test dupΔƒ Tiparul Maya – exponat nr 6 | AFI
  12. Pingback: Old World Charm & Burlesque Glamour
  13. Mrs Weaver · October 12, 2015

    I think this is beautiful – the colour combination is so sumptuous and luxurious and I adore anything in velvet.

    Like

    • Miss Maddy · October 13, 2015

      Thanks so much! Velvet’s a favourite of mine too πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. Rosa · October 12, 2015

    Just beautiful Maddy- Very inspiring!

    Like

  15. poppykettle · November 10, 2015

    Couldn’t agree more on the long line bra. Love the concept, have never found a ready to wear version that actually lives up to the expectation. Do you find you feel inherently more supported when wearing a long line?
    Again, your choice of fabrics is right up my alley. Absolutely adoring the red velvet with the grey lace – delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · November 12, 2015

      I think I do! Even more so than a normal well-fitting bra, it really does feel like the weight is off your shoulders. It’s a very comfortable style! I love the velvet too, but I think I need to make a slightly more everyday one now – it’s not quite practical to wear this one all the time πŸ˜›

      Like

  16. redflaminghair · November 10, 2015

    Wow, this is totally gorgeous! a Moulin Rouge feeling! πŸ™‚
    Congrats, this set is really cool, great work!

    And velvet is really trendy nowadays, how does it feel to wear it? Is it warm?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · November 12, 2015

      Thanks! That was definitely the vibe I was going for πŸ˜‰ it feels absolutely lovely on – I haven’t noticed it being too warm as such – but then I haven’t really tested it in Australian heat yet!

      Like

  17. Pingback: Summer Blossoms Part II – Miss Maddy Sews
  18. Pingback: Fancy a bit of meringue? – Miss Maddy Sews
  19. Pingback: Bra-A-Week [36]: Lift Lift Lift – Emerald Erin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s