In the same vein of everything else I try to make, I just made an ultra comfortable halter bra! As a disclaimer, I don’t have an ample bosom and subsequently don’t exactly need a lot of support, so this was very comfortable for me. I’m also not a fan of lace, so it was out of my element to even make this, but I am so glad I did, because I now finally have a cozy casual bra to wear when I’m just lounging around! I walked around Target today and noticed something very similar to this pattern, and I was like–I just made that! I did look at the price for the one at Target ($12) and I thought to myself, that’s less than the cost of my supplies but mine fits me to a t… and that’s priceless!
Pattern: Simplicity 8228 (Madalynne)
- 6″ White double stretch galloon lace (the pattern specifies 8″, but I had no trouble with 6″)
- White powernet
- White Gutermann polyester thread
- Dritz basting spray (I couldn’t find the recommended 505 basting spray at my local craft store)
- 3/8 inch plush wide elastic (I didn’t have picot unfortunately)
- 1/4 inch elastic
- Ballpoint needle size 12 (I must say I love how the recommended needles were specified in the pattern, something I haven’t seen before!)
- Distance between apexes: It looked to me that there was too much space between the apexes of my bust, and since I’ve made very similar adjustments in the past, I took off 3/4″ off the front cup piece and then added it to the side cup piece. I can’t tell if this was a necessary adjustment since I’m not sure if if the bra cup seam should rest on the apex (making it look aesthetically better to me) or not (thereby making it a bit more comfortable). Looking at random pictures of lingerie seem to indicate it should rest on the apex… oh well, it’s comfortable regardless!
- Band height: I didn’t make the change to this particular project, but next time I may just shorten the band slightly as I am short-waisted and the band looks just a little thick on me.
- Fusing lining to lace: I didn’t have 505 basting spray (which is what is recommended), I instead found Dritz basting spray at my local craft store. I must say, I wasn’t a fan of the stuff since it got everywhere (my hands and parts of my table that I didn’t cover) and the smell was so strong and toxic smelling that I had to air out my apartment. To be fair, Madalynne suggests covering your work table but I covered just a little fragment of my table and of course–I got little dots of glue everywhere. It took quite some time to do it, and I think maybe later I’ll just baste the powernet to the lace. And there will be a next time since I want to make a lot more of these halter bras.
- Topstitching: The biggest challenge for me was fighting with my machine to get nice, even stitches. Especially the zig zag stitching. Since my machine only had a left and center position, I couldn’t do a zig zag stitch with my edge joining foot, so I was forced to do a straight stitch 1/8″ whenever I could, and then I had to sort-of eyeball the distance whenever I had to do a zig zag stitch for the elastic topstitching. You can see all of my topstitching is terrible, and I don’t exactly like posting this terrible topstitching, but there it is, in all its glory. I tried very hard to walk the foot very slowly over the thick seams (can you imagine what 2 layers of wool will do to my machine?) but everytime, my machine just couldn’t feed the fabric through and when I’d pull at it (which you really shouldn’t do), it would naturally skip stitches. Quite frustrating! I currently have a very beginner sewing machine (that has had rave reviews on Amazon), the Brother CS6000i, but this particular project made me want to upgrade to something more mid-range… My sewing machine is honestly great for a beginner and I learned to use so many feet that it came with, but alas–I think I’m starting to outgrow it!
What I found Helpful:
- Cutting: Before you start cutting, please look for your size! I cut out several pieces before I realized I was cutting the wrong size (42 instead of 32)! Good thing I was doing this in the background while watching The Crown so I wasn’t completely annoyed I had to redo it all.
- Rotary cutter: I found it incredibly helpful to use a rotary cutter (as Madalynne suggested in her videos). I normally use shears to cut my fabric, but I really loved the precision of the rotary cutter. I have since started using a rotary cutter for all of my sewing projects. I picked up an 18mm rotary cutter, but I find my larger rotary cutter to be sufficient.
- I don’t know why the pattern tells me to get a hook and eye for View B; there seem to be no instructions to do anything with it. It seems to only apply to View A. Perhaps I’m missing something…
- I used a serger for sewing pieces together and my sewing machine (with a walking foot) for all topstitching.
- If your lace is 8″, the pattern suggests to cut the powernet in 8″ strips. However, I found that if the scalloped edges are very pronunced/deep, you might want to make the powernet strips less wide. If you don’t, you’ll see the powernet come through the edges. In my case, I cut out 5 1/2″ wide strips of mesh fabric for the 6″ wide lace.
- I had a very difficult time finding this double stretch galloon at JoAnn’s. I was almost tempted to buy 45″ wide stretch lace and just use the scalloped edges, but that would result in a ton of fabric. The only stretch galloon lace I could find was 1/2″ wide at JoAnn’s. I found this gem of a fabric store near me where I found yards and yards of lace! I only found it in white and slate blue (greyish blue?), both of which I picked up, and whenever I make this again, I’ll use white lace and then dye it with Rit Dye. I’ve dyed my clothing before, and so far I’ve been very happy with the results. If I hadn’t found this fabric, I would’ve purchased this stretch galloon lace from one of the many etsy shops that sell this type of lace.
- Lining up center seam: Either I didn’t do the center seam very skillfully or the white makes the seam very obvious, but I wasn’t really a fan of how the center seam on the bodice is pressed one way, and the center seam of the band faces the other way. The pattern says this is to reduce bulk, which I’m sure is important but it just looks a little bit too obvious to me and doesn’t look great (again–this could be due to my terrible stitching). Maybe if I used a zig zag stitch it wouldn’t be as obvious.
- Powernet: My powernet fabric was very see-through. Next time I’ll check out the other fabrics (stretch mesh or micro mesh) to see if they feel a little less “naked.”:)
Mini Sewing Victory:
- I made lingerie for the first time!
- I worked with lace for the first time!
- I worked with wide plush elastic for the first time!
- I reorganized my sewing space to better facilitate cutting fabric on the table (rather than the floor). I’m way happier with the results because now I can get an accurate cut with my rotary cutter (another first for a sewing project)!