Step 13 : the first design completed

After all the previous tests in quite boring white remnants I couldn’t resist to get more colourfull. I was pretty confident my new adjustments were sufficient to solve all problems.  Even did some research yesterday in the lingerie shops around town. It was finally very sunny after days of pouring rain and this research was a good excuse to get my vitamin D level up.

I tried on some different brands of long bras. All had a wide bustier type closure at the back. Through the years I’ve learned not to be shy doing this even though I would not buy anything at all. One of my students worked in a lingerie shop and she told me sales would go up just by seeing somebody in the shop or even better in the fitting rooms, buying or not. I should not be shy about this and her feedback made me very confident using shops to try a ready to wear design, just to see how it would fitt.

And to be honest, I did not like the fiit so much. The cups tended to move a bit since they were not held back to the body with elastic under the cups. As nice as they might look, the bras did not feel very secure.


Well, back to the sewing room … The band I have in mind will have to be in 2 layers now, a lycra ending right under the cups and a scalloped lace reaching over it to make it a long bra. The closure will only be where the lycra is and the second lace layer hangs down loose. I thought the effect of this idea would be best in contrasting colours so I got some remnants in petrol lace and stone red lycra, it was just enough for the bra.

The order of sewing turned out to be very precise working with 2 layers. First I finished the cups as before, only this time I top stitched all seams at 0,75cm from the edge. It might seem very wide but this way you do not stitch through all the fabric layers + extra layers of  seam allowance. You only stich just beside the seam allowance to keep the stitching flexible. And I do like the somewhat sturdy look of wide top stitching.

melting bone

Next was sewing the side seams of the band. There is boning in this seam to keep the band down. I used woven boning and always melt the ends to avoid itching from those nasty sharp rods piercing through. Melting can be done with just a simple tealight. Keep the boning in front of the flame rather than in it, it just have to melt and not burn. So no laughing, sneezing or open windows which will make the flame move. And don’t forget to squeeze the ends after melting because drops become very hard. The boning has to go in before the elastic so stitching the elastic will keep the boning in place as well.

Getting the elastic on the lycra just under the cups was quite a challenge. First both layers + lining had to come together to get the cups in. Getting these in after the elastic never turns out very well, the lycra will be too wrinkly. But now the challenge wa to keep the lace out of the way …

longbra inside

longbra outside

And all along I was making notes too, in the end there has to be a clear description what and specially when to do. My head was spinning overtime looking ahead every step of the process. But this was so much more fun to do compared to the basic white tests!

I also made padded straps to cover the shoulders, this is always so comfy to wear. And at the back the criss-cross straps had to go all the down to the bottom edge of the lycra band. I usually do this to avoid the fabric being torn but in this case it also provided connections for the lace overlay.

longbra straps inside

Well. all finished now and it looks just the way I wanted. Getting the bra on is not easy by getting the head through first but getting out is a bit more difficult. But of course there is always the option to make the straps in the regular way …

longbra back

longbra side

longbra front

It’s a good feeling having one design done. So far anyway …  Now the pattern has to be graded in several sizes. This bra was in one of the smaller sizes, so when the grading is done I will have to make another sample in one of the bigger sizes as well. Just to be sure it will still fitt too. Preferably in a size I can find a person for who will fitt it on for me and wear it for a while.

When it’s OK The colouring of the lines of each part will be the next step. And in the meantime I will work on another design because in my pattern collection there is always more than just one design for each pattern. still a lot of work ahead but this is a very rewarding moment!


For an overview of all the Merckwaerdigh internet activities take a look at


2 thoughts on “Step 13 : the first design completed

  1. Heel mooi is de bh geworden !!!
    wat een denkwerk heb je er aan gehad…en volgens mij is deze bh heel geschikt voor grote maten..
    Ook een slim idee om een longline te creëren d.m.v. het kant langer te maken dan de bh zelf.
    Hoe langer ik er naar kijk, hoe mooier ik hem vind…

    Liked by 1 person

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