I know I don’t tend to share underwear photos on this blog much (since I now have Big Cup Little Cup for that), but these ones are a bit different so I chose to share them here: I made this set myself! So rather than this being a review/fitting post, it’s more of a sewing one, which fits here better at the moment, although I may do a fitting style one at BCLC too.
This is probably my biggest achievement of late, this bra and knickers set, because who would have thought when I bought a sewing machine nearly a year ago that I’d still be sewing now and making even my own undergarments?! I found the Watson bra pattern on Pinterest just before Christmas and immediately emailed it to Ben to ask him to buy it for me as a present since we were both a bit stuck on what to get plus it was available in a size that would fit me!! I read through the pattern booklet straightaway after receiving it, but was a little overwhelmed by all the different types of fabric you could use – I just didn’t get all the stretch and different names, especially since the UK isn’t particularly big on stretch fabrics or lyrca which this pattern calls for. A few days later though, I discovered that Amy at Cloth Habit was doing a sewalong just for this pattern – amazing! I immediately joined the Facebook group and have been reading every bit of info I can find on the pattern.
If you’re interested, I’ve also now sewn a lot more lingerie pieces and blogged about them – here’s my Cloth Habit Harriet bra, plus a video I filmed on making it!
Following Amy’s recommendations, I bought all the bits and pieces I needed from an English website called the Sewing Chest and a few extra pieces for future bras or for “just in case” – in case I’d chosen the wrong things or messed up the first time! Obviously, I only used a few of things I bought for this bra, which was these:
Stretch Nina Stripe (sherbert pink – 50% stretch each way) | White Powernet | White Tricot (lining) | Bra Strap Plush Back 13mm | Plush Back Elastic 8mm | Gold rings/sliders | Hook/eye fastener
I decided to start with making the bra, since that was the main part of why I’d chosen this pattern. It is an unlined, soft cup bra pattern without underwires and you have the choice of longline or normal band. It is available in sizes 30B-I, 32A-H, 34AA-G, 36AA-F, 38A-E, 40A-D – if you’ve been around here (or BCLC) a while, you’ll know I struggle to find well fitting bras in the small band, large cup size range. In UK sizing, I’m currently a 28GG/H, but as you’ll notice (and you must take note!), this pattern is in US sizes without double letters. Amy provides a size chart for this particular pattern and I did use this to an extent, but I am a bit of an anomaly to it, since I’m a pretty full on top shape, however I made this in the smallest band size and largest cup size available: 30I. For reference, I measure around 27.5″ underbust and 37″ full bust, and 34″ upper bust.
The pattern was easy to cut out and use – I weighted it down onto my fabrics with tins of tuna, obviously! And traced around it with pencil, although I now have an air erasable pen I used for the briefs which is much easier. I’ve since made a couple more sizes from the pattern, and while it’s easy enough to print off and cut out more sizes, I’ve also traced out the main sizes I use (I bought this MASSIVE roll of tracing paper on Amazon) as they’re slightly longer lasting, plus it’s easier to make and keep any small alterations on tracing paper (I haven’t needed to fortunately!).
The above picture shows the bra in progress – I’d sewed together the cups, sewn the elastic onto the cups, the lining onto the cradle, and the powernet (band) onto the cradle. I did have a bit of trouble attaching the cups in the middle where the elastic was a bit bulky where it overlapped, but I think it’ll get easier with practice (apparently Amy has some tips coming up on this anyway), and I definitely need to practise my elastic sewing – this was my first ever time, so there are parts that are a bit iffy, some parts where I overstretched it or didn’t stretch it enough, and a couple of tucks (oops!), but this was really just a practice to learn how the pattern works.
And here’s the finished product – the lighting changed between when I started and finished, took me that long – oops! And I’ve also taken some pictures of it on me since I know others are wanting to know how it looks on, especially in a larger cup size (oh and I’ve got some old swimwear padding in under it as a cover up – it was slightly see through! – so sorry about the strange bumps!):
So you’re probably wondering how well it actually works in this size – pretty well I find! I have a self-supported shape anyway, so despite my size, I don’t actually need a huge amount of support – I’ll sometimes go out without a bra. I do find though that this gives me a small amount of lift, pushes me into the middle a bit, and has a nice supportive band – the longline helps very well with this. My band is a little on the tight side at the bottom, possibly because my elastic was a little bit firmer than it should be – technically I think it’s strap elastic – and because my rib cage flares out significantly. But it’s loosened over a couple of wears, so it’s now very comfortable.
And finally the briefs – I made these in a size small, but using different elastic which I picked up in a local shop I found, Barnyarns: so amazing, it’s a 5 minute walk from work and had everything I need, including stretch needles in the right size and iDye which dyes stretch fabrics and elastics but I couldn’t find anywhere else except online! Anyway, I finished the briefs this afternoon and they fit perfectly and are really comfortable – so pleased! I did have a few issues with skipping stitches in these, but as soon as I swapped the needle, it was fine – I didn’t think my needle could have gone blunt after just sewing one bra but apparently so, just goes to show!
So that’s that – what do you think? I’m really pleased and can’t wait to make my next set – maybe blue mesh next time, and possibly the normal band option.