A Lacey Watson Bra Set

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Popping in for a quick post to share the latest addition to my lingerie wardrobe. I’ve sewn up another long line Watson bra, this time in some lovely cream lace, with some matching high-waisted panties.

I’ve had the lace hanging around my place for over a year before I knew what to do with it. It was bought during one of those indulgent Garment District shopping trips that end in a flurry of lovely fabrics with no end goal in mind. I’m sure every home sewer can relate.  I can spend hours just strolling row after row, looking for inspiration for that next project. Honestly, the Garment District may be my favorite thing about living in NY.

Sidenote: There’s a blog dedicated to this neighborhood that I’ve found very helpful to navigate the dozens of stores to find whatever you’re looking for. Definitely check out Shop the Garment District blog.

This lace was picked up a couple of years go at Spandex House or Spandex World. It has been too long for me to remember and I often mix up the two. If you’re ever in NY, you should definitely check out both if you’re looking for fabrics for lingerie or activewear. The selection is really great. As for lingerie fabrics, you want to make sure that you don’t go for a lace that’s super stretchy or fine. That will just lead to a bra that lasts about one wash and all  of your hard work in the garbage. Ask me how I know…

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When the Watson pattern was first released, I knew this lace would be perfect to make the delicate and comfortable type of lingerie that I love. I wanted to keep that romantic, vintage feel so I decided to sew up a pair of high-waisted panties to match. I went for MakeBra’s hipster pattern after seeing a couple of really beautiful versions over at VeryPurplePerson. Her fuchsia bra set is to die for. You should check out her lingerie sets in general. I love how playful they are and they definitely make me want to get a little more adventurous with my pieces. Maybe some matching bra and panties in a fanciful ice cream cone print is in order? My fangirl tangent aside, the Makebra hipster pattern provides great coverage, especially for those of us with a little extra in back. 😉 It’s also free and that’s always a plus in my book.

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On this lace Watson, I decided on some hot pink elastics to contrast the delicate lace. It needed a bit of spice to keep it youthful. I’m really digging the look of neon on cream.

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I lined the cups in some white 15 denier tricot for a little additional support and lined the bridge in sheer stabilized tricot that I ordered from Fabric Depot over in Texas. I’m impressed with this stabilizer and it provides a great amount of structure. I may have cut the band too small since this is the first Watson that I made with a truly non-stretch frame. My last version was made of just red stretch mesh and the fit was more flexible. Next time around I’ll be sure to add some width (maybe half an inch) to the band to keep it from digging into my sides. I will say that the stabilizer works great in my other underwire bras, so it’s definitely a keeper.

Full set

I’m super happy with how sweet this look and I’m a sucker for matching bra and panties. I won’t be satisfied until my drawers are full of romantic, lacey things and maybe not even then. I’m officially obsessed. Would a lingerie closet be too much?

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Run It: My New Workout Pants

I’m sooooo excited about this one, you guys!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetLike a lot of people, my relationship with exercise can be described best as “on-again, off-again.” I wasn’t particularly athletically inclined in high school or college and I often feel pretty lost in a gym. The one thing that I have been able to turn to when I’m feeling less than fit, is running. I personally get a little accomplishment high after every run (no matter how much I struggle through it…).

Recently, I’ve been trying to get in shape and I’ve been craving some hot new exercise gear. I’m part of the camp that thinks wearing real workout clothes will make me a better “athlete”(…still unproven, but it does make me feel like a BOSS). Still,  I’m not into the crazy price tags that come with the hottest stuff out now. Soooo I decided to whip up a pair of my own running pants.

It’s incredibly simple to make up your own workout pants and the color/pattern options are endless. For this set, I chose a polyester spandex that I picked up from Spandex House here in NY (One of the perks of living in the city, but this store does have delivery available). I love the underground rave/zebra print thing this fabric has going on. It’s a great chance to wear crazy patterns that I normally wouldn’t touch for my day-to-day outfits.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetI decided to start off with this awesome leggings tutorial over at One Little Minute blog to draft my pattern. It’s really easy to follow and the results were just what I was looking for. I especially liked the tips on drafting a crotch curve. I still needed to tweak the fit a little bit after getting the basic shape down, but it got me to a really good starting point. After drafting up my pattern, I altered the length to match the cropped style that has been my go-to look.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcamWhen it came to the band, I opted for a wider waistband for added cinching effect. I used a technique from ready to wear for applying the elastic. I took a peak in a pair of torn workout pants by snipping into the waistband to see how the elastic was applied. These also have a wider waistband, but the actual elastic is only 3/8 inch wide. I cut the waistband so that the width was double the desired finished width. I positioned the elastic so that the top edge was right below where the band would be folded horizontally when finished.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI then zigzag stitched the elastic, while stretching ever so slightly, all the way around the band. Then I folded the top of the fabric over the elastic and sewed the waistband to the legs as usual. This provided the wider band that I wanted while ensuring that it doesn’t slide down or shift from my waist.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetAfter that, I sewed the pants together as usual and Voila! Sick new workout gear.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI’ve worn these pants to a killer spin class at Monster Cycle and for running short distances. They’ve held up great! I love that they’re one of a kind and me-made. I went on a shopping spree in the Garment District to pick up a bunch of colorful spandex to add more pants to my workout  wardrobe.

I also think I’ll start working on adding some matching sports bras to the mix. Bra Maker’s Supply offers sports bra patterns  inspired by the Indian sari  and one with a modern front zipper that I’ve been DYING to try. Can’t wait to snag a couple copies and test them out!

Have you had any luck making your own workout clothes or sports bras? Any pattern recommendations?

The Watson Bra: My New Obsession

I’m hopping on this train a little late, but I’m absolutely in love with Cloth Habit’s Watson bra pattern. I’ve made two in the past week.

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I started making my own bras last year because I love the natural shape that comes with soft cup bras, but the current taste for molded foam cups made it almost impossible to find what I was looking for. I’m not a fan of the round beach ball shape and shelling out $40 bucks a pop for Free People’s Cheeky Lace Bra got old really quick (I do still love this bra, but my wallet was not feeling it).

When I started researching what actually goes into sewing intimates, Cloth Habit was the holy grail for lingerie construction knowledge. Amy’s lingerie-making journey has been incredibly inspiring to me, so it’s no surprise that her first bra pattern would be the subject of my first post.

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I’ve had a bit of red stretch mesh hanging around my sewing corner for a few months that was just begging to be used, so I decided to make my first Watson.  I stocked up on some Jacquard acid dye and made like a mad scientist in the kitchen. After dying a bunch of notions, I eventually decided to use some ice blue elastics to contrast the red mesh fabric. I’m loooving this look.

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All of the other bras that I’ve made have underwires, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly this bra made up (only a few hours). It’s a great break from fiddling with underwire channeling. I do need some work on sewing in my elastics. The stitches aren’t quite close enough to the edge, but I’m getting better with every bra.

Now, I’m not usually a casual bra person. I’m either wearing underwires or going free, but this bra changed my mind. The ladies are definitely lifted, but it still feels incredibly comfortable while keeping my natural shape.

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The one thing that I will have to change on future versions is moving the center cup seam further inward. They are a little too wide-set for the center of my bust. This fitting alteration is something that I’ve seen mentioned on Clothing Engineer as well, so it’s good to know that I’m not the only one.  Other than that, this pattern is definitely a winner! I’m so excited to start experimenting with other fabric combinations. I’m thinking maybe a nude lace and hot pink Watson is in my future. Hmm…