New bra: The Darcey bralette from Evie La Luve

I made a bralette! I hadn’t intended to make a bralette – as opposed to a full-on underwired bra – as my first piece of upper lingerie, but it came up in #sewmystyle for November and, well, I always like a challenge. By challenge, I of course mean a gravitational, Newtonesque type of challenge where I taunt the cotton lycra gods with the enigma of keeping my DD breasts in a vaguely upright position without the aid of any form of wire or cup. In other words, can I even wear a bralette with a 38D/36DD set of melons?

20181130_142332There are some other subreasons: Evie La Luve has an amazing video walkthrough on her site for all 4 versions of the Darcey bra and it really made it so much more straightforward to make. Plus, and I don’t think I’m alone here, one main reason I haven’t knuckled down to my “proper” bra construction – and I have a fantastic Orange Lingerie pattern and kit just waiting to be assembled – is because of all the bits and pieces of mesh and powernet and elastic this and that. It makes my head spin just thinking about it. Oh – and, finally, it’s also one of my #makenine projects this year! πŸ™‚

 

darcey bra

The Darcey bralette is fairly simple for a bra, relatively speaking, and it goes up to a D cup. So I thought, well, let’s start at the very beginning (as Maria von Trapp once said) and go for a simple pattern with minimal accoutrements and see how it holds up. Yes, literally. From there, I can figure out what I like, what helps and what hinders me when it comes to bra-making. As I mentioned, there are numerous different versions of the pattern and I decided to go for Version 1, which is the basic version, in size XL.

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I chose to use the strongest power mesh I had in my stash for the lining. It’s from one of my bra kits and is pretty firm. For the “pretty” fabric, I chose a piece of cotton lycra I had in my scrap box that had a decent weight and stretch. It’s a little heftier than some of the others in my stash, with good recovery thanks to the lycra, and still a decent stretch. There are only three pattern pieces: a front, a side and a back piece and one set of each for both the cotton lycra and the lining.

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There are really complete paper instructions that come with the pattern, but I must admit I only really used the video walkthrough. It’s exemplary – broken into different parts for the 4 versions and each step is shown really clearly and slowly. It’s a fantastic resource if you’re a lingerie newbie. I started by sewing all the pieces together in such a way that all the seams are enclosed between the lining and the cotton lycra.

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Then it was onto the dreaded elastic sewing, that I think is the part everyone gets nervous about. Well, the video really makes light work of it. It does take a little handling and I can definitely improve a LOT, but I was pleasantly surprised for a first attempt. The pattern uses the three-step zigzag stitch, but you can use a regular zigzag too if you don’t have that stitch. After attaching the picot, it was time to apply the fold-over elastic and I really didn’t have a good colour in my elastic collection. So I ended up using this cool rainbow coloured trim elastic, which was slightly thicker, but I think it worked out well.

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After putting the elastic on, all that was left was to add the straps and back connectors. This was easy and fun, but I did realise that I had the wrong size sliders and also the wrong width back connectors. Urgh. I considered driving all the way to the nearest store (not so near) to pick some up, but then I remembered my drawer of badly-fitting bras that I haven’t gotten around to throwing out yet. I rifled through and – yay! – found a slightly off-white bra from which I could harvest the correctly-sized notions.

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So I have a bit of a mixture of hardware as well as some been-in-the-wash-a-few-times greyish back connectors. They’re clean – I promise! Just try and ignore them, ok?

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So does it fit? Well, look, no – not exactly, to be honest. BUT – I’ve heard so many times that you need to make at least two or three bras before you get a good fit unless you’re very, very lucky – and the truth is that this actually fit a lot better than I was expecting! My boobs are too big for it, and I had a suspicion that would be the case as I finished up the FOE and thought the cups were looking a tad more petite than my usual bra cups. It’s probably just one size too small I reckon. The back is a little too long for me and also too narrow in the back straps I think. I compared them to the only non-underwired bra I have that I wear regularly and that has much more width around the back, which I suspect I need for support.

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Taking all that into account though, once I’d shortened the straps to the right length, it was pretty comfortable and even a little, dare I say it, supportive? Definitely wearable (once the issues were fixed) and a darn sight prettier than my RTW bras. πŸ™‚ So I think I’m going to compare it closely to my RTW bralette and make some adjustments and then try again. I think this might be doable! As I was hoping, my brain is now whirring with: “What if I add this here?” and “Maybe this would work better like this?”, and now I feel like if I read about some common adjustments I know what they’ll be referring to better.

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All in all, the sewing of this bra only took a few hours, so it’s a good investment of time for the knowledge gained. Evie la Luve offers tutorials on how to increase the cup size amongst other things on their website, so I think I’m going to go and check that out next. I also have a new appreciation of which hardware, in which sizes, I need to look out for in the future to make sure everything goes together nicely. This was a good bit of education all round (I wonder if it will fit my sister? Better get new back connectors though!!!).

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4 thoughts on “New bra: The Darcey bralette from Evie La Luve

  1. Good going you! (Speaking as a bra phobic sewist.) Harvesting brassiere parts is brilliant! They don’t accept underwear donations in my neck of the woods, so I’M IN!
    Thanks also for letting all of us wannabes in on your lingerie journey. You persevered, and live to bralette another day!

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  2. You know, I put of reading this one, thinking it won’t be to my interests! πŸ˜‚ but it was a great read! Thank you! … maybe I should make a bra…even if just to find out what FOE is! πŸ€£πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ™

    Like

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