I have been in need of some new underwear for quite a while now. Over the last 6 years I have been 6 different bra sizes between being pregnant, breastfeeding both my children and my Crohn’s flaring up. I recently decided to go through everything I had and get rid of everything that wasn’t the right size. I was left with 3 bras!
I had been planning on making some lingerie so this was definitely the perfect opportunity. My size is pretty hard to find in shops (30DD) so making my own was probably going to work out just as cheap as what I could buy.
I have made one bra before, the Willow bra (aflink) by Evie la Luve, at least 6 months ago. I purchased a kit from her Etsy store and it came together pretty quickly. It wasn’t the right style for me though, as there wasn’t enough support but it has been great for wearing on lazy days around the house.
I have always wanted to try the Black Beauty bra by Emerald Erin so this is were I started. I printed the pattern and began looking for supplies.
This is definitely one of the hardest parts. There are so many different elastics, findings, laces, duoplex, powernet… the list goes on, never mind trying to match the correct colours and sizes. It is difficult to get it all right and has been one of the biggest hurdles for me to get to this point. There are some great resources online to help you learn more about this, Orange Lingerie and the Emerald Erin blog both have helpful resources.
If this is your first time I would highly recommend getting a kit and an extra set of findings (rings and sliders) and elastic for your chosen pattern. The reason I am saying an extra set of findings and elastics is that you will more than likely want to make another bra after you have made the first so you can improve on the fit and techniques used. And I know personally if I didn’t have everything I needed to make another one it would be another 6 month gap between them.
For anyone based in the UK, the Sewing Chest and Fit 2 Sew have had the best range of supplies so far from my own experience. The Sewing Chest has kits for the Black Beauty Bra, although they don’t sell bra form if you would like to add this. Fit 2 Sew have a good range of kits and I have discovered the Ruby Bra kit with Foam has everything you will need for the Black Beauty bra but you will need to buy some extra Fold Over Elastic for View A.
If you are willing to pay for international shipping you can check out Emerald Erin’s shop on Etsy (aflink). Once I have mastered the techniques and fit I will be investing in some of these as her fabric choices are beautiful. (Emerald Erin’s Etsy store is closed for restocking but will reopen tomorrow, 25th September)
Another UK based supplier I have discovered for kits is The Bra Shop on Etsy. There are kits for many Indie bra designers, including the Black Beauty bra. Choosing to shop from a small independent store like these will give you the opportunity to ask the seller questions too if you have any problems.
One last tip (courtesy of @marie_stitchedup on Instagram)- if you have bras that don’t fit anymore or have seen better days, take them apart and keep what is usable. I have kept the under wires and casings from some of my old bra’s that were the right shape, and elastics and findings. This can cut down on the cost of starting out and give you more options to play about with.
I have recorded a YouTube video too to go along with this blog post.
I am so excited by the idea of making my own, perfectly fitting bras in the style I love. Have you made your own lingerie before? What’s your favourite pattern? Or if you haven’t what’s holding you back? I hope this post has helped in some way with navigating the endless list of supplies you need.