Saturday, 18 October 2014

Lingerie Sewing Time: Marlborough Bra

Bra time - my first bra is done! It is Marlborough bra and I will share some thoughts on it with you. I searched and read about it a bit before getting it. So I suppose sharing my thought may help someone else in return.

Marlborough bra completed
This spring I decided it was high time I sewed some lingerie for me. So I added some panties to my to do list and even sewed some. But the really important thing was sewing bras. I tend to find one for me harder that its is supposed to be. I am not too picky actually - I like cut and sew cups and since I live in Europe these are available. I like good quality fabrics and since we have a really good local producer this one is easy too. The hard things - sizing and colour. I could get my size or my colours but it is almost impossible to get them both in a single bra. I was looking for a nude colour one this spring and no-match in early spring....At the very start of sheer clothes season!.... So back to the bra!


I chose Marlborough bra for my first bra pattern try. I like Norma creations and I love the idea I get not just indie pattern, but a pattern from someone who makes good patterns. And this is what Marlborough bra pattern looked like from its description, which I interpreted as a supportive, covering, lacy, beautiful, well-tested, printer and maker friendly one. It is one really.

This is a well-thought and beautiful pattern - the design is beautiful and the file just lovely - no tracing, no gluing, no many pages. Perfect!  You have to determine your size and then print a few pages with this size pattern pieces only.

I think, I read some notes on blog on the lack of  matching marks on upper and lower cups pattern pieces. I did not need one really. It might be due to the Tricot I used, the lined laced, or the dual transport on my sewing machine. If you do need marks, for fitting or to check accurate assembly - just take the pattern pieces on a table together, walk the seams and mark notches yourself before cutting fabric.  
Marlborough bra pattern pieces layed together


If you are like me - relatively new to bra sewing /I did draft and sew one bra earlier this summer before this try/ - a print copy of the few pages illustrated construction process is a great thing to have on your table while sewing the bra. You will need it a couple of times, or all the time, depending on how experienced you are.. Whatever the case is, it is helpful and easy to use.

Marlborough bra pattern pieces - no seams yet
Now back to the sizing. It was something new to me. I had read all the new and precise sizing posts and calculators, that was available online lately just a few months before Marlborough and getting the size by 3 circumstances felt odd. But I gave it a try. Well, it proved to be inaccurate for me.  Something, I expected, as the determined cup was a bit smaller in the figure-letter form and the band looked wider. This was the case with bra actually. I think, I might have chosen my ordinary bra size first and it might have worked well.
Marlboroug bra - back view
Other than that, the pattern is a pleasure to work with - straight forward and easy. I could not stand the idea of lining the cups and did so. But no lining would work too, if you re OK with unfinished edges. I am not yet. The lacy part is lined with silk and the rest with cotton Tricot. This results in almost no give in the upper cup an somehow reduced give of the lower of cup. Both Tricot fabric - the print and the pink lining have some stretch and I knew it is not the stretch the pattern is created for. I gave it a try for the love of the print /"I am gorgeous" and a rainbow  - perfect union/ and because I expected small cup and the give would help.

I was not able to find 3 hooks closure, which I prefer, and used a 2 hooks one. Despite it was the one in the list for my size, I had to cut off a bit on the upper center back so it could match the hook height. Might be a problem with the closure. Just make sure you check both heights BEFORE applying the strap. I did not, so some black-on-black seam-removing took place. Not the best thing on this project.

I am to make the next one, moving around sizes a bit and see if number two will be the right fit or I will play a bit more. Love the match with my fave Lola panties. Fortunately  I have some bits for another attempt on this bra. Not so fortunately I have cut some lace impatiently in the wrong size... will see what could be done to save it...

This bra is not wired yet. I see no reason as the wires will not be on the right place. I am happy with their casings though - made them with the lining fabric myself.

It is all cotton Tricot bra with power net back and lined lace upper cups.

PS Yay. black bobbin thread on pink lining. I though a trial bra could bear it. Colorblindness during sewing is something rare here. It does make things get done quicker though. Oh, and bordo closure - the closest match I had.

PPS Just printed the next size to try, I might save the lace....

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