My closet is made up of about 90% self made shirts and hoodies. This year I have two goals set for my sewing, #1 is to make well fitting pants, and #2 is to make myself some bras! So I was happy when Made for Mermaids put out their new Mama Bridgette pattern, I bought it right away and also bought two bra kits from Libelle Sewing.
The kits I bought included 5 meters of Wide Stretch Galloon Lace and 5 meters of Plush Backed Picot Elastic. I used my body measurements for choosing a size, not my rtw (ready to wear) size, this is very important. I always feel like I need to reiterate this because it is so important and people tend to forget or not believe it. When you sew for yourself or others choosing a rtw size does not mean that it will fit. My size was a 36 with an A cup. Honestly I cannot even compare to my rtw size because I have been pregnant, nursing, or both for the last FIVE years! Which is why bras are one of my sewing goals for 2018. My full and upper bust measurements are almost the same, however, my under bust measurement is 5 inches less than my full bust measurement. Because of this, when I cut the under bust elastic I measured it around my rib cage and took the most comfortable length rather than what the pattern listed. I also took length off the bottom lace band on my second bra since my first one was very loose.
If you are worried about sewing with lace, don’t be! These were so easy to make and I cannot wait to make more. Go slow, don’t start right on the edge, unless you are using an overlocker. I used my overlocker and sewing machine, you cannot sew this pattern using only an overlocker. You could sew it using only a sewing machine though.
I recommend using the Plush Backed Picot Elastic for under the bust and on the straps, since those areas need more structure and support. However for the back of the neck on the racer version and across the top of the upper back band I recommend using the Lace Picot Elastic or the Knot Decorative Picot Elastic, you can find everything you need at the Libelle website here. I found the thinner elastics more comfortable in those areas.
When I made my first one from the black bows galloon lace I left the edges to hang over by about a 1/4″ everywhere (except the straps). I find that the side cups dig into my arms as I move, so when I made my second bra from the nefelejcs galloon lace I placed the pattern piece right up to the edge of the lace on the two side cup pieces, and I found it made the second one more comfortable.
Something else I feel is important for a good fit with this pattern is once you have your cups, back band, and straps all sewn on to each other put it on and mark your best fit for the straps and the cup cross over. I pinned my straps then put it on, crossed over the cups, clipped where it was comfortable. Then adjusted my straps to the perfect length and adjusted the cross over again, if necessary. Then I used pins to mark the cross over points, took it off and sewed according to what fit me best. The pattern does give this as the best way to fit the bra and I strongly recommend doing it this way.
Laces have different stretch percentages. Libelle has stretch percentages listed on the individual product pages. I did not find that I had to size up using a lace with less stretch than the Mama Bridgette pattern calls for, but I do not have a large bust and this may have made a difference, I also used my own measurements and my body to get the right fit wherever possible.
You can buy the bundle for the Mama Bridgette (bra) and the Mama Victoria (undies) here, which will save you a few dollars or you can buy them separate if you don’t want them both. I used the Mama Victoria cheekies version in my sets.
Don’t forget to check out Libelle Sewing here. There are lots of other things she sells than just lace and lingerie elastics. Also Made for Mermaids has so many great patterns for everyone in your life! Even options for teacher gifts, free patterns and a blog with lots of great information. Check them out here.
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