Yesterday I promised some FOs so here’s the first instalment. I know some people think that making one’s underthings is kind of silly but I don’t. As the old body further ages it not only is hard to find items in the right size but it gets harder to find the types of underwear that I like. Definitely comfort rates over style for me. I have absolutely no need (or interest in) sexy lingerie. I mean, just who am I trying to please? My husband of nearly 43 years is already attracted! So that just leaves my own aesthetics and my personal taste tends to simple clean lines, no frou-frou laces or ruffles, and just about any colours besides boring white and beige. I also like good coverage so that means no thongs, tangas or g-strings. (Ewww…) And boyshorts do not work on my body shape. I’ve tried. One pair. Big fail.
So you might remember that I got a free bolt of white cotton interlock from my ex-neighbour when she moved out. I washed a small piece and scrunch-dyed it in Procion MX as a test piece. There was just enough for a pair of panties:
I call these “Clouds”. Yes, they are indeed Granny Panties! After all I AM a granny. Heh. I used matching blue plush-back elastics from Dressew and they are very nice. This fabric is comfy and soft with just a little give to it. There’s no lycra content so it wouldn’t keep its shape for something like tights but panties are fine. The pattern is the one where I traced a pair of silk panties that I liked. However I think I need to modify the pattern just a little to make them perfect. The front leg needs to be cut upward about an inch higher to follow my contour better. Next pair. And there will be more of these as soon as I dye some more of this fabric and buy some more elastics. It would make sense to buy enough for several pairs instead of one at a time, no? Plus I finally figured out the correct amount I need so as to waste the least. For 3 pairs I can use 2 metres of waistband elastic and 3 metres of leg elastic. I’m really most fond of the plush-back elastics here but maybe fold-over will work too. I have lots of the latter in the stash now.
And that’s not all! I finally finished the Black Bra:
The materials are all from the original kit I got last year from Bra-maker’s Supply. The pattern is the last version I drafted with a 4-piece cup including power bar. It’s nearly perfect. Unfortunately though the cups are a smidgen tight because this Duoplex fabric has absolutely no stretch whatsoever! The last bra that I made (the ivory one) when I was testing my first self-drafted pattern was made from slightly stretchy sport fabric doubled in the lower cup and front band and single in the top cup and it fits better. Obviously I need to allow in the pattern for the really super-non-stretchy stuff! I even had to use the shorter wires because the channels turned out short as well but they worked OK. It’s quite wearable but just doesn’t cover as high as I’d like at the side cup area. I’m just aiming for perfection and this bra isn’t quite there yet. Hopefully the next one will be just right.
Anyhow I now have 4 wearable bras in various states of close-to-perfection but of course I’m not done with experimenting. I still have the remains of another kit like the black one but in brown, plus the ivory Bravo Bella kit I showed you yesterday. Not to mention other fabrics that could be suitable including lots of powernet. I just have to order a few more items from BMS to supplement what I’ve already got in the stash. Remember a single custom bra can cost $250! So far I don’t think I’ve spent quite that much on everything, including the two videos by Beverly Johnson which were really helpful. I’ve learned a lot already – I can tell because each bra gets easier to make. Eventually I should have it down to a quick production line. That’s the plan anyway.
I also have to remember that my poor old Pfaffy sewing machine doesn’t like to stitch triple-zig-zag in the heat of summer. She kind of loses control when the foot pedal overheats and roars off on me! Which means I need to have a good supply of proper-fitting bras made by the time summer comes and it gets too hot in my studio. Right now she’s working just fine. Touch wood…
There’s one more item I haven’t shown off yet but I think I’ll wait for the next post. It didn’t quite fit here because it’s not underwear. More anon.