Finally, the last of my Christmas sewing posts! Though my sister knew that she was getting bathers for part of her present, and had actually helped design them, I also wanted to give her something that she wasn’t expecting. I decided to give her another me-made gift, partly because they’re so thoughtful and personal, and partly because I can make much nicer things than I can afford to buy 😉 I’d shown her the Sierra bra pattern by Madalynne a couple of months ago and she’d loved it (pretty bralettes are definitely her lingerie aesthetic), and as I was trying not to go too overboard on the budget front, I couldn’t go past a free pattern. My sister and I had both thought the illustration was pretty as, and the finished product did not disappoint!
This was a delightfully quick and easy sew, but also a nice change of pace from the bra patterns I’ve sewn in the past – the unusual way the pieces came together made it as interesting a sew as it was straightforward. It’s a well-drafted pattern, and the instructions are unusually good for a freebie – Maddie has put a lot of love and attention to detail into this pattern 🙂
Though I generally don’t rely on instructions much at all for lingerie these days (as it’s usually almost self-explanatory once you’ve made a few pieces), there is one step which I will highlight as being important specifically to Sierra: spray basting the lining and lace together before sewing. It’s often recommended in bra construction if you’re underlining, but I usually don’t bother, as I haven’t usually found it necessary (that, and I haven’t found the spray anywhere locally and can’t really be bothered buying it). But for the Sierra, where the pieces are so much longer than usual in lingerie, it’s so much easier for the two layers to stretch and push out of alignment. So if I was going to make this pattern again, I would probably try to find a way to secure the two layers better. Not that it made too much of a difference here! The bra still turned out just fine, and it’s completely wearable. There’s just one or two points where the lining pulls a bit, or the edges don’t quite align, that I think could be eliminated by doing this.
So, the fit! I had to guess at the size a little, but I’ve made my sister a couple of bras now and knew the measurements roughly. As the support given by this bralette is mainly through compression, Maddie recommends going down a size if you’re in between; this is basically what I did here, and it came out perfectly, so it’s a good point to note! My sister has also given her seal of approval on the comfort factor too – who’d have thought that such an chic, designer looking piece could actually be pleasant to wear??
I think it’s a very versatile pattern too. The combination of halter strap and low back means it could easily go under tops or dresses where a normal bra might not work; I think it’s also pretty enough that if it shows a bit, well, so much the better (I personally think it’s a crime to always completely cover up beautiful lingerie) 😛 I have to say, I think the lace really makes this bra. I bought it online from my favourite eBay lace vendor, J&K Lace, and I loved it so much I bought five metres of it – so expect t see it popping up here on the blog again very soon!
I think possibly my favourite part of this project was getting to make something that was amazingly gorgeous despite the fact I’d never wear anything like it (the Sierra just doesn’t work for E cups; I know this because I sneakily tried it on and was very disappointed). So I’m glad I’ve got a little sister who I’m sure will be the grateful recipient of as many Sierras as I care to sew for her!
I’m actually taking a little break from sewing lingerie for myself, I’ve decided. Not because I’ve tired of it in anyway (believe me, I haven’t), but because if I keep sewing at the rate I have been, I’ll run through my entire stash of nice lingerie making things, and there’s some new patterns on the horizon which I really, really can’t wait to try (e.g. the one Amy of Cloth Habit teased in her last tutorial!). So I’m going to focus on garment sewing for now (probably a good thing in and of itself), and look forward to diving back into bra-making once some tempting new patterns arrive on the scene!
Until next time,
Miss Maddy xx