Completed: The Marlborough Bra

19 Nov

Omg, you guys! I made a bra!

Marlborough Bra

And not only that – it actually fits! It’s comfortable! And it’s PRETTY!

Marlborough Bra

Besides the little bralettes I played around with a couple months ago (which totally don’t count), this is actually the first bra I have ever made. The VERY first – it started as a wearable muslin, that is quite super duper wearable. In fact – wearing it as I type this! Can you tell how tickled I am with this turn of events? SUPER pleased with myself right now.

Ok, lemme back up a little bit and talk about the not-so-harrowing process of bra-making. The pattern I used to make this gorgeous gal is the Marlborough Bra from Orange Lingerie. I can’t even tell you how happy I am about the release of this pattern – after reading up on Norma’s (of Orange Lingerie) book Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction after she sent me a copy a couple of months ago (as well as lurking hard on the beautiful custom lingerie she makes), I knew the pattern itself would be amazing, both in terms of fit and instruction, not to mention overall style. Spoiler: the pattern absolutely did not disappoint.

While I’ve had this pattern in my stash for a little while now, it took me a couple of months to muster up the energy to actually make it up. There is a LOT of info in the pattern – as well as on the Orange Lingerie blog – about choosing fabrics and notions. Orange Lingerie’s book, Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction, is also a great resource, with whole chapters devoted to all the fine details. I ended up chatting Norma up via email for advice on what fabrics to buy, and she directed me to Bra Makers Supply (psst – the US version is Sweet Cups Bra Supply. It confused me at first, too, but the shipping is a bit more reasonable for those of us in America. You can click over to the US site from the main site, on the top right hand corner). They actually sell full bra kits that include everything you need to make a bra – the fabric & powernet, all the elastics and notions, even a tiny bow 🙂 The Marlborough bra was designed to be made of a fabric that has no stretch, and specifically, designed for the fabric that comes in these kits. So I bought two kits right away. There are ways to manipulate any fabric to get it to work for this pattern (which is outlined here), but for my first bra, I wanted to Keep It Simple, Stupid.

A few of things I want to point out about these kits:
– They don’t come with underwires. You have to buy those separately. I bought them from the same site to save on shipping. If you don’t know your underwire size (I did not), get your best guesstimate based on your RTW size/measurements and buy the next size up or down. I bought both the 34 & the 36. I ended up using the size 34 for this bra.
– The kits also do not come with lace. You’ll need to supply that on your own. I was all set to make this bra with my red kit, until I realized I didn’t have any red lace! So I’ll be looking for red lace in London. In the meantime, the black lace leftover from my Georgia dress worked nicely for this bra 🙂
– While the kits do come with elastic strapping, be warned that it is NOT enough for this pattern (Maddie warned me to this, and I didn’t listen to her at all because I’m an asshole. Then I had to go back and buy more strapping. Except I bought it from a different supplier, and it was a MILLIMETER more wide than what I needed, so it’s kind of hard to slide the sliders and rings. Argh!). I think the kits are cut for bras with fabric straps. Anyway, you’ll want to buy more strapping – either from Bra Maker’s Supply, or another vendor entirely. You’ll need at least a yard and a half, and the kits come with something crazy like 15″.
– Be mindful of what size kit you are buying. My bra cups are preeeeetty small, so I bought the small kits since I wanted to save on shipping as they weigh a tiny bit less. That fabric yardage worked out great, however, I didn’t think about the fact that my size really needs a 3 hook hook and eye! The small only comes with the 2 hook size. It’s not the end of the world (my bra is perfectly supportive with the 2 hooks), but you will need to recut the back band to fit the smaller size if that’s the case. Just fyi!
– I’ll also mention that the fabric that came in the kits, at first glance, looked really cheesy and cheap. It was REALLY shiny and my first impression was that it looked like a crappy Halloween costume. Ha! For one, you can use either side of the fabric (my shiny side is on the inside, so my bra is more matte). Also, it’ll look better when it’s sewn up. Just looking at a flat, shiny piece of fabric… well, it’s gonna look shitty no matter what. So there’s that.
– Speaking of shipping, Bra Maker’s Supply did refund me about half my shipping costs after they sent my order out. That kind of ruled!

Marlborough Bra

Based on my measurements and Norma’s email advice, I decided to make the size 30D. I typically wear a size 28DD or 30D in RTW, so pretty much the same. I actually compared the pattern pieces to my favorite lace RTW bra to see if they were similar, and they were almost exactly the same. Fit-wise, things are very close. The upper cups on my handmade bra are a little more snug than the RTW one, but the RTW one also has stretch lace for the upper cup (whereas on the Marlborough, the lace is rigid), so that might have something to do with it.

The Marlborough Bra pattern is very well-written and covers every step of the process, which is super helpful if you’re like me and have never sewn a bra before. There are tips on where to add topstitching, how to sew in the underwire channels perfectly, what pieces to baste on first so they don’t slip when you zigzag them on. In itself, the pattern is absolutely sufficient for making a bra. However, I did find it incredibly helpful to have Norma’s book at my side during the process. Whenever I found a step in the pattern confusing (more so confusing because this was new and alien territory to me – and less because the instructions were lacking), the book answered it right away. It’s also helpful because there are actual photos of the steps in the book, so if the diagrams aren’t doing it for you, you have back-up. Of course, I don’t think it’s necessary to have the book to make a bra – but I was happy to have it on hand.

Marlborough Bra

Marlborough Bra

The one part about the pattern that I didn’t like was that it wasn’t super clear on what pattern pieces to cut from what fabric. This stalled me for a couple of hours, actually – there’s some general info in the pattern, but I’m the kind of person who needs clear-cut specifics. After googling as many Marlborough bras as I could find, pouring over Norma’s book, and referencing Maddie’s bra-making guide from her Sewing Party class, here’s what I came up with:
– The cups, bridge and frame are cut from the main fabric from my kit. I cut them according to the grainline, since there is a slight stretch in the fabric.
– The straps were cut out of powermesh, with the direction of greatest stretch (DOGS) running around my body.
– Since my lace is stretchy, I lined it with more of my black fabric so it would be rigid (as the pattern calls for)
– I lined the bridge with a second layer of the same black main fabric

The kits also don’t tell you which elastic is for what. I wish I’d bothered to figure that out BEFORE I started sewing – as there is actually a cute little 1/4″ scalloped/lace trim for the upper cup. Instead, I used clear elastic on the inside of my cups. Womp womp. At any rate, I figured out the rest of the elastics pretty easily – just measure them and check the widths against the pattern notions list. One thing to keep in mind, again, is that the small kit has narrower trims. Since my size is a D, I should have had the large kit (and wider elastics, including straps). I did not, but the bra turned out fine. I feel supported.

Oh, and I did not finish my seams. I felt that focusing on construction and fit was more important for this go. I do want to explore seam finishing for future bras, though!

Marlborough Bra

All this aside, I had a LOT of fun putting this thing together! Omg! Once the cups were assembled, it really started to look like a bra and that’s when things got exciting. I got to usse all kinds of cool zigzag stitches (these are all covered in the pattern instructions) and play around with lace and trims. So fun! One tip I will give is to be careful with those 1/4″ seam allowances – if you’re not used to sewing them (I’m not), you might have issues with the machine trying to eat the edge of your fabric, especially if you’re sewing something delicate. I have found that by *very* gently pulling the thread tails away from you when you start each seam, it will guide the fabric along until your feed dogs have a good grip and you’re past the danger of your machine chomping a hole in your fabric. Just be sure to hold both thread tails and don’t force it.

Also, that favorite RTW bra that looks a lot like this one? I kept it on hand while I was sewing my Marlborough, so I could refer to it when needed. That was pretty helpful, especially when I needed to visualize how the elastic was supposed to look.

Marlborough Bra

Marlborough Bra

The only downside to bramaking is, unfortunately, it’s very hard to tell if the bra will fit until it’s mostly finished. Of course, you can mock-up with crappy elastics and temporary underwires, but because the fabric is so essential to determining fit, the mock-up needs to be of the same stuff (aka, not cheap muslin, or whatever). So it’s a bit of a gamble. I’m pretty thrilled that mine fits so well – although it can definitely use a little bit of tweaking before it’s perfect. I’ll let y’all know how that goes! In the meantime, here’s a somewhat awkward photo of how this one fits on me:

Marlborough Bra

Sorry that I had to totally erase my body (I’m not terribly shy, but, this is a public blog, after all), but this should give you an ok idea of how it looks. I’m actually pretty impressed! It’s supportive, it’s comfortable, and it’s SO pretty! Looks like a bra you’d buy in a store. Except better, because I made it 😛 As far as wearing it under clothes – it’s about the same as any seamed/lace bra. Not completely smooth (personally, that doesn’t bother me), but not super lumpy. Since this fabric is kind of thick, I’ve noticed that nipping isn’t too much of a problem, either.

I’m looking forward to making more of these! Once I tweak the fit, I want to try some different kits – I see that Grey’s Fabric has some beautiful kits, and I’ve also been eyeballing the ones from Hooks & Wires. Not to mention the famous Merckwaerdigh kits, the holy grail of all that is beautiful about handmade lingerie. I want to buy all white everything and try my hand at dying the whole set to match (there’s a short chapter on dying in Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction, yes!). I want to explore trying new fabrics (I’m thinking this might be the PERFECT excuse to splurge on a tiny piece of Liberty fabric while I’m in London!), laces and trims, and mixing and matching for some cray combinations. I want to make matching underwear (yep). I also want to make a push-up bra, but that may require a different pattern 🙂 Making this one bra just has me itching to sew more! It’s SO satisfying! Have I convinced you to make a bra yet? Have I? Huh? 🙂

Bloggy Disclaimer: Norma sent me a copy of Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction as a gift. I did buy the pattern and kits with my own money, just in case that wasn’t clear!

Ooh, speaking of London – a couple more things –
For those who have asked – there will be a meet-up on Saturday the 22nd! If you emailed me previously, you should have received the details of the meet-up a couple of days ago. Anyone else who wants to join (whether you didn’t contact me, or are just hearing about it now 🙂 ) – we will be meeting at Goldhawk Road at 10:00 AM. We will congregate outside the tube stop until 10 minutes after the hour, then we will be moving on to shop! If you would like to join the meet-up – please, come! You don’t have to email me to get an ~invite~ (nor do you need to have a blog to hang with us). If you can’t make it at 10:00 AM but would still like to try to find us later, you can either email me and I will give you my number (I plan on getting a SIM while I’m there, so it’ll be local!) so you can text me, or just tweet me. Come to buy fabric, come to eat and drink later – whatever works! This is an open invite 🙂

Also, the blog will probably be pretty quiet while I’m gone. I want to really enjoy my vacation and not be sitting at a computer all day! I will have access to the web and will respond to emails and comments as I can (and maybe squeeze a post in if I have downtime waiting at the airport or something), but I don’t have anything autoscheduled and I’m not bringing in guest posters or anything like that 🙂 I’m taking a break and I’ll be back in December! 🙂 In the meantime, if you want to lurk my trip – you can follow my Instagram and/or Twitter.

See y’all laterz!! ♥

64 Responses to “Completed: The Marlborough Bra”

  1. Miss Celie November 19, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    I always feel like a bit of a stalker when I’m near the first to comment. Such is life! Anyrate, I love sewing bras and this one looks great. I find bra sewing the most satisfying because for me, it saves a ton of money.

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      What, you mean you’re not my #1 fan? Come on now, Renee 🙂 haha!

      I agree; bra-making saves a TON of money. For those of us who can’t sclep to Target for a $15 bra, handmades are a lifesaver. Actually, I bet I could get the cost under $15 if I tried hard enough with scraps and budget notions 🙂

  2. Andie L. November 19, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    Lauren, this is amazing! I am so impressed with this and the fact that you did this from a book and taught yourself. 😀 I’m pretty excited because my bra making class is next week! I don’t think I could make it on my own, but I think I need to buy that book now. 😀

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      I’m so jealous you get to take a class! I’ll be taking Maddie’s bra making class when it happens, but it’s sooo far from now (aka, anything that’s not today is so far away haha!). I do recommend the book; there’s so much great info in there and it’s really nice to have on hand when you need it 🙂

  3. Pam November 19, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    Incredibly well done! It’s a beautiful bra and I’m pleased you love it. Gorg!!! Can’t wait to see your future bra makes!

  4. Teri Poole Augustine November 19, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    It came out beautiful. I had never really thought about making a bra, but you’ve got me considering it. Have fun on your trip. I’m going to go into lladybird withdrawals while your not posting, lol. Oh well, I’ll just catch up on sewing instead of reading about it. 😀

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

      Haha! Well, if it makes you feel any better… I’ll probably be going through blog withdrawls as well! it’s been such a big part of my life for years now, it’ll feel weird to take more than a couple days off 🙂

  5. Indoor Kitty November 19, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Invisible Lauren! Now you can stalk around as a disembodied bra and begin a life of crime!

    Now on to the questions:
    Does either the pattern or the book discuss altering the cup shape?
    I’ve been researching around, and at least one of my issues with my no-longer-nursing books is that the shape and weight distribution has changed. (Shape and weight is apparently why those molded t-shirt bras look terrible once the cups soften up. Google “orange in a glass” if I’m not making sense.)

    What is the strap placement like?
    I have crap posture and slopey shoulders, so my straps are always sliding off. I have done the barrettee trick, and it works for me, but it’s a bit uncomfortable. If I could shift the back placement of the straps just a smidge to the center, I could solve this problem. But then, New Problems! Any discussion of this?

    Other tl;dr thoughts:
    If you plan to dye, start thrifting for a giant stainless or enameled steel pot now. Those bitches are expensive. I’ve been looking for one for a year, and I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and buy new. Pburch says you can’t use a pot to dye and cook in. Bummer.

    When you feel more experienced, consider doing a Marlborough sew a long. Pretty please.

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      The pattern only covers construction of the bra – no fitting or alterations. The book does have several chapters devoted to fitting the cups and the band, so if you need help with altering the cup shape, I’d suggest getting the book.

      The straps are a bit wide, but I also had to change the curve where they sit to get my hook and eye to fit (since mine were smaller than what the pattern called for), so that might have something to do with me. However, the straps do not fall off my shoulders and they definitely are not uncomfortable. I am pretty sure you can adjust the placement of the straps, although how, I have no idea haha.

      Good tip on thrifting for the dye pot! I’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for that. And I can’t promise any bra sewalongs (I’m just as much a beginner as y’all are, basically!), but, I wouldn’t rule it out 🙂 Maybe!

  6. Indoor Kitty November 19, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Um. Boobs not books. Although my books look terrible in my bras, too.

  7. Kelly November 19, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    This looks fab! Looks like a RTW, and in this instance, that is a good thing given I imagine they’re pretty tricky to make! And I’m so excited about your visit, see you on Saturday 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      Yes! I can’t wait to force you to look at my bra! You know I’m bringing it to Paris 😉

      • Kelly November 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

        I’d say I look forward to seeing your bra, but that probably sounds a bit weird right…I’m gonna say it anyway!

  8. Kathy Sews November 19, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Aw snap! You’re hooked! Bra making is so terrific!! Wee hoooooooo! I see many fun colorful underthings in your future.

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

      Your posts were SO helpful while I was making this bra, so thank you for that! And thank you for the inspiration 🙂 I’m thinking I need a green bra next.. 🙂

  9. onejolie November 19, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    I’ve never thought about how much money I could save making bras. I mean, the pricing of these kits means I could make 3 or 4 bras before its the same cost as my RTW. That’s 2 muslins and a good bra *before* its not cost-effective! Holy crap.

    This is totally inspiring. I wish my sewing skills were up to this, and maybe I’ll make the push to try!

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Yep! You’ll spend a little more at first because you have to buy the pattern, plus any bra muslins you make, but i think it really gets cheap after that’s out of the way! I’m so excited to not pay $90 for every bra I buy, ha.

      I bet your skills are up to this! It’s really not that difficult; the elastic can be a little fiddly but it’s not bad. Try making a pair of underwear first and you’ll see what I mean 🙂

  10. Alison Jackson November 19, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Ooow that is nice but so is everything you do so jealous would love to be able to make lingerie x

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

      You should try it! It’s pretty fun 🙂

  11. redlocks81 November 19, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    How awesome! Searching for a decent-fitting bra is always a mission for me ( and expensive). Bra making is so going onto my sewing project wishlist!

  12. Michelle November 19, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    HOT DAMN! It’s a totally legit bra. It looks fantastic. I really like how Norma does the straps on this pattern. They look pretty great. Do they fit differently than the standard over the shoulder bra strap?

    Have an incredible time in London! I’m pretty darn jealous. I’d love to go back.

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      It’s a beautiful pattern! I love the strap detail too 🙂 I think they fit pretty much the same – they definitely don’t slide off my shoulders, which is perfect as far as I’m concerned 🙂

  13. Fleur November 19, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    Another really excellent supplies site is The English Couture Company: they have the most expansive colourways for elastics, trimming, underwire casings etc. I took courses with them years ago and their little store was a GOLDMINE of notions.

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      Well, there goes all my money 😛

  14. Nickey Robo November 19, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Very inspiring!
    Were the ~fancy~ zig zag stitches essential? As a vintage machine afficianado I don’t have anything that can do fancy zig zagging… Just normal old zig zagging.

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      Naw, you could use a regular zig zag. By fancy, I just mean adjusting the length and width to get a satin stitch, bar tack, or for decorative purposes. There are a few parts where you’d use a 3 step zig zag, but again, you could totally get by with the plain zig zag 🙂

  15. thenerdyseamstress November 19, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    This bra is pretty! I bought kits from sweet cups bra supply too. I love them too. I had my first go at this pattern, but my problem is that it’s not drafted for my size. I’m going to try to make a bigger sister size bra and make the band smaller.

    I agree with you. I absolutely hate, hate that you can’t try on the bra until it’s done. It’s so annoying, but at least you get some practice in right?

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      You are super brave to try to redraft the size! Can’t wait to see how that turns out 🙂

      And yeah, it sucks that you can’t try on until it’s done. You’re right about getting some practice, though – that’s never a bad thing as far as I’m concerned 🙂

  16. Ms. McCall November 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Love it! You got a great fit right out of the gate, which is very lucky. I also don’t bother with fancy seam finishing for the first go of any bra pattern, and I just use a regular zig zag for both passes (rather than a 3-step zig zag) because it is a WHOLE lot easier to rip out.

    I also don’t like the Bra Makers duoplex very much, it seems plasticky to me. I liked the tricot that came with a Bravo Bella kit, but I don’t like her elastics so I’m doing to try the tricot from either Sew Sassy or Fabric Depot and see what they’re like. Tricot can be harder to handle though, the duoplex was very well behaved, I’ll give it that.

    Looking forward to future bra’s from you!

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

      Yeah, I’m really glad the fit was this good from the get-go. Dunno if that means my boobs are super standard, or Norma’s just a drafting genius (or both!), but it was really reassuring 🙂

      I’m excited to try different fabrics. I don’t hate the duoplex, but I would love to try something fancier.

  17. Amanda November 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Wait, is no one going to mention that you have three tags for boobs? Because that seriously cracked me up. Anyway, love the bra! So crazy, I sign up for the Marlborough bra-making class/Camp Workroom Social thing and then see this very bra all over the place lately. Can’t wait! Have a great time in London. Sooooooooooo jealous. Love London to bits.

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      I’m so glad you noticed that! ha! I was cackling while making those tags 🙂

      Can’t wait to see your bra after Camp Workroom Social! I’m just so jealous you get to go. Oh well, maybe next year for me 🙂

  18. Sylvie November 19, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    I just have to say that I love the erased body picture. It’s so nice to see how it actually looks on without compromising your privacy! Great move!

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      Thank you! I can’t take credit for that; I’ve seen some other bra-making ladies do the same thing so I just copied them 🙂 It’s nice to show the bra on a body, though, as it looks completely different than when it’s flat or on a dress form. I’m just glad I don’t have to be nude on the internet to do that, ha 🙂

  19. Miss J November 20, 2014 at 3:08 am #

    Lladybird’s coming to London!!!

    I hope to be able to get down there for the meetup!

    This bra is just unbelievable, love it!

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Yes! I’m leaving so soon, cannot wait! Hope to see you at the meetup 🙂

  20. BeckyLeeSews November 20, 2014 at 5:32 am #

    So I’m reading your post and I tell hubs, “My blue haired blogger made her own bra! This is so cool!” He says, “But she doesn’t have any t_ _ _.” I said, “Yes she does. She’s just tiny and wears a 28DD or 30D.” So for once, he comes over to the table to see your work. I was thrilled that he was finally showing some interest in my obsessive hobby. But no. He said, “Where’s her t_ _ _? I want to see some t _ _ _.” Great. I married a Neanderthal.

    Now for the garment itself. I tend to shy away from bras with a center seam. Does this seam show through a tee too badly? I just dropped 40 lbs (well 30 now – had a bit of a rebound since folks began asking me if I was sick) and the tops of my molded cup bras from Vanity Fair have all kinds of gappies going on. I’m still a 38C for some reason, but the top of the cups no longer runneth over. If these upper cups are a bit more snug, maybe that’s just what I need.

    • Grazia November 20, 2014 at 8:31 am #

      Hi Lauren, would love to join the London gathering, could you please send me details of the meeting? I would need to travel London on the day and might not make it in time for the 10 o’clock start, but would love to join the group at some point…

      • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

        Hi Grazia, of course you’re welcome to join the meet-up! The details are in this post (we are meeting at Goldhawk road, outside the tube stop at 10:00 AM). I’ll also include you on the email list for when I send out a reminder tomorrow; hopefully by then I’ll have my new number so you can text me if you’re late and I can help you find our group 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      haha! Tell him these boobies are for Landon’s eyes only 🙂

      I don’t think the bra shows a lot of seamlines through a tshirt, however, I don’t really pay attention to it because it doesn’t bother me. I really hate the big foam bras that are one piece, so there’s that as well. Those molded cups gap like crazy on me; I think it’s just the way they are made. The bras with seams across the cups tend to hug my breasts better, and I actually fill them they way they are supposed to be filled.

  21. Lola (lovelola) November 20, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    Lauren.. you’re looking very pale in that last picture. HAHAAHA sorry cant help myself. good PS job though.. maybe I can hire you when I don’t want to silhouette people out of things.

    • LLADYBIRD November 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      HAHA! Umm… you don’t want my rudimentary photoshopping skills touching anything you do. I’m amazed this one turned out as good as it did because it was pretty hacked! Honestly I’m really a MS Pant sorta gal, tbh 😉

  22. SewSouthLondon November 21, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I’m so excited to hear that you’ll be on Goldhawk Rd tomorrow. I’m hoping to meet you there. Bring warm clothes – it’s a drizzly old day in London today!

  23. Jo November 21, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    Bras!! One day I’ll make one. Yours looks totally fab! Congrats 😀 I still find the idea of gathering the multitude of supplies too intense. But I hate bra shopping with a passion, so this seems like a good idea!

  24. Kit November 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    You are incredible!!!! I am so glad I found your blog.

  25. senjiva November 26, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    That’s amazing! Good job!!!!! I’m intrigued. Perhaps I should follow down the brasierre path as well? I’m beyond frustrated trying to find a bra that fits. There is no such thing as a 35 ddd/e/f/g whatever the fuck i am.

  26. Grace November 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    “The straps were cut out of powermesh, with the direction of greatest stretch (DOGS) running around my body.”

    Your straps are made from the elastic. I think you mean that your band is made from powermesh.

    “The Marlborough bra was designed to be made of a fabric that has no stretch, and specifically, designed for the fabric that comes in these kits.”

    I find it hard to believe that this bra is design for non-stretch fabrics if the kits include powernet and duplex. I haven’t bought this pattern (my cup size is not included) but I did buy Norma’s e-book way back when she had no plans to print real copies (imagine my pissed off face here) but I’ve bought those kits and the fabrics definitely have some stretch. Are you sure the pattern is designed for no stretch?

    • LLADYBIRD December 1, 2014 at 5:15 am #

      You’re right. That was totally a typo on my part – should be the band, not the straps. Sorry about that.

      As far as the fabric for the bra, I guess I wasn’t very clear. The Marlborough is designed for low-movement fabrics. There is a very small amount of stretch – around 10%, such as what you’d get with the kits, or cutting certain fabrics on bias (although Norma told me she is currently experimenting with cutting woven fabric on the straight grain, and I’m interested to see how that works out). I said no stretch, but there is a very minor amount of stretch. It’s just not the type of stretch you’d have with, say, jersey knit. And yes, the band is cut from a stretch fabric with a good recovery – i.e., powermesh (it has to be so you can get it around your body and it have it fit comfortably). I want to say most modern bras are cut that way? Being that I’m brand spanking new to the bra making world, I’m just going off what the pattern directions/other blogs are saying in regards to the types of fabric this pattern needs. Sorry if it was confusing.

      • Grace December 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

        No problem! I’m still hemming and hawing about making my first bra… I’ve read everything there is to read about it and even cut out a pattern but I still haven’t sewn a single stitch. The fit issues terrify me to no end.

  27. Kelly November 29, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    It looks pretty great! I’m so close to making my own bra, and the Marlborough is definitely on my list. Hope you’re having a great time in London!

  28. cléop4 December 1, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Where are you ?????no news since november 19, 2014

    • LLADYBIRD December 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      I have been on vacation since 11/20, just now flying home today. I mentioned this in my post, guess you didn’t see it 😉

  29. Datura December 2, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    Would you mind sharing where you find size 28dd bras in RTW? I also wear that size, but it’s nearly impossible to find, so I typically end up settling for 30d.

    • LLADYBIRD December 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      Both Freya and Panache sell bras in 28DD. I got my locally from a shop here called The Fitting Touch, but you can also buy them at Bravissimo. Just a warning – most stores carry a VERY limited range in that size (at least, in the US they do). My shop only carries two styles, in one color each. Not a lot of choices! Bravissimo is awesome if you don’t mind waiting to have stuff shipped.

      • Datura December 2, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

        Very helpful, thank you!

  30. Andrea December 17, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    Great work on your first bra! Isn’t bra making fun? And so addictive too. I started making my own this year too, and I think I’m up to number 7 that I’m working on at the moment. I actually made my pattern from scratch, it’s not that hard, honestly! You should try doing your own patterns.

    • Andrea December 17, 2014 at 5:26 am #

      Forgot to mention, I love the snow you’ve got going on across the screen. Adorable!!


  1. My Trip to London & Paris! | LLADYBIRD - December 8, 2014

    […] fuck yea!), and let us hang in the shop for a bit. Norma came out, because I wanted her to see my Marlborough bra and assess the fit. Sooo… long story short, after realizing there was no bathroom to duck […]

  2. 2014: A Year In Review | LLADYBIRD - December 31, 2014

    […] Marlborough Bra Didn’t see that one coming! This bra – while not 100% perfect by any means – makes me so happy whenever I wear it. I can’t wait to make more, to tweak the fit to perfection, and to start playing with fabrics and trims. Making this one bra has really opened my sewing to another level (the level of “oh yay I can keep endlessly sewing and not worry about filling my closet too full because EVERYONE NEEDS UNDERWEAR AMIRITE”), and really challenged my skills and given me something new to work toward. I’m really really excited to take s Maddie’s bra making workshop this January, to really polish up and learn from someone who’s skills and expertise I really trust (and, of course, get to hang out with Maddie! Pretty pumped about that too 😉 ). […]

  3. Completed: The Watson Bra & Bikini Set | LLADYBIRD - January 19, 2015

    […] loving my Marlborough bras so so much (yes, plural. I actually have two now, but I’ll save #2 for another post – […]

  4. Completed: More Bras! | LLADYBIRD - February 23, 2015

    […] made this bra exactly the same way as I sewed my black Marlborough, except I left off the clear elastic and lining on the lace (I used the underarm elastic at the top […]

  5. Completed: Silk Leopard Print Boylston Bra | LLADYBIRD - August 5, 2015

    […] I’ve already made the Marlborough bra a number of times (one two three, etc etc), and I was pretty comfortable with the fit, I compared the pieces of the two […]

Yay, comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: