It’s a funny thing; how one longs for the holidays for a respite from the daily grind, and then finds that one is just as busy during the break! I’ll happily admit, however, that I’m busy with far more agreeable things than constant study and work – though I am really beginning to wonder exactly how I managed to find time for sewing during semester, especially considering how well I ended up doing on my assessments! 😛
I really have been sewing up a storm lately, and this means I’ve finally had a chance to work my way through some projects I’d been sitting on for quite some time. For example, I’ve finally almost sewn up all the Merckwaerdigh kits that I bought during the year – the one I’m posting about today, is in fact the last of them (though not the last you’ll see of this particular one…). For this set, I decided on a Boylston bra, with a Watson bikini to match:
Isn’t that print divine? Doesn’t the lace coordinate beautifully? How gorgeous are those coral pink elastics??
I made a few pattern alterations from my previous two Boylstons: I narrowed the bridge a little further, and added a centimetre to the back band. I also constructed the straps a little differently; instead of only finishing the outer raw edge with elastic, I also finished the inside edge, prior to their being sewn into the cups. There were a couple of reasons behind this – one, I was using a stretchy knit fabric, not a woven, and I thought the straps could benefit from the extra stability, and secondly, for aesthetics; I wanted to see how the bra looked with slightly narrower straps, and I couldn’t resist showing off a little more of the wonderfully-coloured elastic. I shorted the back straps too, to compensate for the extra stretch, cutting them at eight inches rather than the specified ten. The slight give they have makes them a nice hybrid between fully elastic straps and rigid fabric ones; more support than elastic alone, but less stiff and more comfortable than having a completely rigid front half. And I really love the look!
This method of using lace was also a new one to me. I see it fairly often in RTW and was keen to give it a crack. I simply used the upper cup pattern pice but cut the lace at only half the width. It got sewn in at the same time as the outer cup was attached to the foam cup. I then hand-stitched the scalloped edge onto the lycra layer after the bra was completed. I love the look of it, and I think it’s a great way to incorporate the delicate look of lace without sacrificing any support or stability.
Construction proceeded pretty much as usual, with all seams enclosed using my normal sandwiching technique. The stretchiness of the fashion fabric meant that I could use it on the back band, though there’s a layer of powernet (from my stash, as is the foam) there as well for support. There’s not a lot more to say here, other than I can really tell my lingerie sewing has improved a lot since I started – I’m used to getting the odd overhang or slight misalignment, but this time virtually every seam lined up perfectly! This means either a) my cutting is getting more accurate, b) my seams are getting more accurate, or c) both of the above – but whichever it is, I am certainly very proud of myself 🙂
Not much to say about the matching Watson bikini either, other than, as per usual, the sizing is spot on and the fit super comfortable.
Now, as I hinted above, there is more to come from this kit! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you’re in the fortunate position where your lingerie doesn’t need much fabric (as I am), the Merckwaerdigh kits are fantastic value. From both of the bra kits I’ve sewn in the past, I was also able to make a matching pair of underwear – but this kit was for both a bra AND underwear. So there was more than enough fabric for two complete sets! I was forced to do a little divvying up – the nice elastics went to this set, and the pretty straps and casing to the next (which is almost finished!), and then I supplied the extra needed from my stash. There’s still some fabric and lace left over besides…so I’m thinking garter belt? I guess we’ll see 😉
I’ve got quite the backlog of projects waiting to be blogged about now, as well as many more to be made (including quite a few Christmas gifts for lucky friends and family). So I’ve no doubt at all you’ll be hearing quite a lot from me in the next couple of months. How is everyone’s festive sewing going? Anyone else planning homemade presents this year?
Until next time,
Miss Maddy xx