25 October 2015

Lingerie: White stretch lace Sierra bra

I have so much work to do for others at the moment that to make something for myself I carved out a bit of me-time this weekend while my daughter was at a birthday party. Despite having two other bra patterns that I want to try out, I decided to have another go at the Sierra bra. Although I can't really wear my last bra, as it is too tight, I wanted to prove that I could make it work. The Sierra is a free bralette pattern by Madalynne. If you're lusting after this bra and haven't downloaded your copy yet, you can get it from here.

The lace I used this time was one of the ones that I rejected for the last bra. It is a very stretchy white all over lace, and can stretch up to 75% of it's original width, which is one of the reasons I rejected it in the first place. The other reason I've been putting off using it is that I have 3 metres of it. When I bought it I only asked for 1 metre, but I think because it was the end of the roll, they gave me all that was left. Because there was so much of it I was pondering making some kind of lace dress with it, but haven't had the inspiration strike yet.

The Bra (and undies)
Once again I lined the entire bra with white powernet. I figured that would keep the stretch of the lace in check. I also made a pair of matching undies. In an attempt to make sure they didn't end up too big, I kind of flattened the lace as I cut them out, by putting a heavy weight in the middle of the pattern pieces.

As I pinned the two layers together for the bra (and as I sewed the elastic on), the lace kept stretching on me, so I just trimmed off the excess.

The Sierra is the large size, with all of the same changes that I made last time. I won't list them all again, you'll just have to go and read my last post again. My final alteration was to add some extra length for the back next to the hook and eye closure, 7cm to be exact , and made a subtle change to the curve as well. To work out if this was the right amount, I pinned the straps on so I could try to do the bra up without elastic, to see how much it would stretch before adding the elastic. I decided to go with elastic at 95% of the original length, as opposed to the 90% that I used last time. I tried it on again before adding the hooks and eyes, and decided to cut 2.3cm from both of the ends. So I ended up with an addition of 4.7cm to the pattern length for the back strap.

For the undies, I just made my usual pattern, but was a little worried about them being too big due to the stretch factor. I cut my elastic to my usual length, this time using fold over elastic, plush side out, and stitched it on with a 3 step zig zag stitch. I want to do all my undies like this, I love how it turned out!

My fears of the undies stretching too much were justified however. Although they're not excessively huge, you can tell that they're a little too large when wearing them. I'll make up another version of my pattern with a little less width to it, to use with super stretchy fabrics in future!

I know I've been very diligent at keeping track of the costs for all my bras, but honestly, I couldn't be bothered tracking down all the receipts to work it all out for this one. Once again, the elastic was the most expensive though, the Fold Over Elastic alone was $1.99 per metre from Lincraft, at least double the price I have seen it elsewhere. The most I have actually paid for FOE anywhere else was 50c per metre.

The fit
Whilst it doesn't offer any lift (nor does the pattern claim to), at least this version fits me. I'm still not sold on the style suiting my body shape though, but it's good to try something different. I wore it for a whole day, and wish I'd made an additional change. Where the bra crosses over at centre front, it is a bit too wide, and tends to bunch up. From the top edge, I recommend taking a scoop out, and making the band narrower from that point. Looking at the undies together with the bra, another thing that I should have thought of earlier (as in, when I was cutting it out), would be to remove the allowance for the elastic, and finish the bra with fold over elastic as well.

I did think of something else to do with some more of this white stretch lace, so watch out for that sometime in the future. I might need to find some cheaper white fold over elastic for what I have in mind though.


  1. The fact that you wore this all day means it must be much closer to being right - it would have been too uncomfortable otherwise. Pity about the pants - they look so pretty.

    1. Thanks Sarah Liz. I must admit, it was getting a little uncomfortable towards the end of the day, so I don't think I'll try and wear it for a whole day again. The undies are more comfortable than the bra is, so despite being a little on the large side (and I'm only talk about a centimetre or so), I think they'll get a lot more use.

  2. I’m Gail from http://myfabrication@blogspot.com. I have acquired free tickets for a guided tour of the Collette Dinnigan exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum this Sunday 1 November at 11.30am with option to follow on with lunch. The tickets were obtained for my sewing guild members, but I didn’t have many takers, so am extending the invitation to other Sydney sewers.
    Please contact me asap via my blog if you’d like to join us.

  3. It's a very pretty set, a pity about the undies but it's good that you'll still get wear out of it. I find my own sierra to be a very comfortable and casual little bralette.