Completed: Lace Marlborough Bras

1 Jul

Still on a lingerie kick here! Actually, these are old-ish makes – I finished both of these back in May. Whoops, sorry! Haha! I guess at least I can vouch for their wearability, since I’ve been wearing the hell out of these since I finished ’em!

White Lace Marlborough Bra

I’ll start with the first one I finished, a white lace underwired bra. This is the Marlborough bra pattern from Orange Lingerie (spoiler: so is the other bra in this post). I’ve made this pattern quite a few times, but what’s different about these two bras here is that this is my first time venturing outside the world of pre-cut bra kits. I already mentioned this in my Starwatch Watson post, so here’s the Marlborough edition!

White Lace Marlborough Bra

The white lace for this bra came from a new-to-me source – I have discovered a random fabric store in a REALLY random shopping center in Franklin, TN. I was actually heading into Aldi, prompted by the sweet siren song of cheap pineapples, when I noticed a sign 2 stores over that said “Fabric.” In the middle of a strip mall, no less. Turns out there actually is a quilting shop right there, called the Stitcher’s Garden (I don’t think they have a website). It’s like a quilting shop mixed with a thrift store – piles everywhere, products dating back to the 70s, and the prices are surprisingly cheap (especially considering the part of town we’re talking about here). The selection of quilting cottons available is staggering. I’m not one for buying (or sewing) quilting cottons, so unfortunately that was lost on me – but they did have a nice little selection of elastics and stretch laces! And several colors of stretch rib knit (which I will be back for, because, unf). This stretch lace was, I think, $1 a yard. It’s beautiful and great quality and it’s A DOLLAR A YARD. I bought 10 yards. I want more.

Anyway, I digress. It’s always exciting to discover a new fabric store, though!

White Lace Marlborough Bra

Back to Marlborough. The white lace is way too stretchy to actually use with this pattern – the pattern calls for no more than 10% mechanical stretch, and we’re talking about some spandex shit with the lace here. Taking a cue from my lessons learned during the bra-making class that I took in January, I underlined all the pieces with white power mesh. This worked pretty well, although I think my mesh was still a touch too light (we used a firmer power mesh in the class, with great results), so next time I want to experiment with tricot lining instead (I actually have a package of the stuff that I bought from Bra Maker’s Supply and I haven’t even opened it yet). I did not underline the upper lace cup – I left that with the stretch lace stretchy (I know the pattern calls for rigid lace in the upper cup, but I really like the look/shape I get with stretch), and a bit of 1/4″ clear elastic at the top to stabilize it, as called for in the pattern (I’ve noticed my RTW lace bras don’t have this, so I am thinking about leaving it off for the next bra). The back band is simply one layer of the heavier power mesh.

All notions were procured from my stash. I couldn’t tell you where half of them came from – although I do know that the underwire channeling was from Pacific Trimming in NYC. They have giant rolls of that stuff for super cheap, and the quality is excellent. They only have white and black, but the white can be dyed. I didn’t have any white ribbon, so the bow is nude.

White Lace Marlborough Bra

White Lace Marlborough Bra

White Lace Marlborough Bra

White Lace Marlborough Bra

White Lace Marlborough Bra

I made this bra because I wanted something to wear under my white/sheer clothing without show-through. I know that nude is actually a better color for that, but white was what I had on hand and I didn’t want to experiment with dying just yet. Of course, once I started trying to wear the bra – of course it showed through like CRAZY. Duh! I realized that it wasn’t going to get worn at all the way it was (if I’m gonna wear something that doesn’t require a nude bra, then I’m gonna wear a bra that’s a fun color because come on), so I knew it needed a good dye. I’d received a good tip on Instagram to dye the bra with tea for a nice beige-y color – brilliant! I steeped some very strong black tea (English Breakfast, if you must know), let it cool a bit and then dumped the whole bra in to soak for about 30 minutes.

White Lace Marlborough Bra - dyed with tea

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

The final color is something much closer to that of my skin. I know I’m pale, but I’m not literally white πŸ˜‰ I was curious to see how well the tea-dye would hold up with a wash – and it’s actually stuck around! I wash my lingerie with Soak, which is nice and gentle and also doesn’t require rinsing (yay!). I figured if the color faded that I’d just re-dye it (I mean, it is just tea after all), but it’s actually not faded at all. Sweet!

The second bra for this post is my floral wild-card and Mood Sewing Network project for the month of June…

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

Oh yeah! I found this awesome Multicolored Tropical Lace fabric at Mood Fabrics and immediately knew it needed to be a bra. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s a nylon embroidered lace with a bright all-over floral pattern printed right on top. It also has a cool finished edge (unfortunately they were too abstract for me to include in this project, but it’s there!). There are a few different colorways of the lace, which meant I spent about a week agonizing over which one to get – blue/purple, red/green, blue/beige, and beige – but I settled on this multicolor as I liked the pink repeats with the white background.

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure how this was going to pan out until the very end (yeah, that was a bit agonizing!), but I think it worked out all right! I used the aforementioned multi colored floral lace for the body of the bra, and cut it according to the grainline on the pattern pieces (as I’ve mentioned, this pattern requires about 10% stretch in the fabric, which usually means cutting it on the bias for firm wovens. This lace had just enough mechanical stretch so that I could cut it according to the pattern grain). Since the lace has giant open holes throughout it, I underlined each piece with a layer of power mesh to add a little bit of opacity. The back band is cut on one layer of firm power mesh. The white lace upper cup is cut using the same stretch lace as from the first bra in this post, stabilized again with 1/4″ clear elastic along the top.

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

For the notions, I decided to go with all white so that the colors in the fabric would really sing. All notions were pulled from my giant stash – I think (think) the bottom scallop elastic came from Madalynne. I’ve been hoarding that stuff for ages because I think it’s really pretty, and this bra seemed like the perfect excuse to finally use it. Oh, and the rings/sliders and pink bow are rescued from an old bra destined for the trash πŸ™‚

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

Sewing this bra was pretty easy, but dealing with the lace was harder than I thought it would be. Because there are such large open holes in the lace pattern, that meant that topstitching the tiny seams took some finesse. I don’t want to say it was necessarily hard, because it wasn’t, but it also wasn’t a walk in the park like my white lace bra was. There were always tiny little pieces of lace that wanted to stick up and poke out and make weird lumpy shapes. And you have to topstitch the seams, because they can’t be pressed (this is a poly lace). I actually wondered if I’d even be able to wear this bra under a fitted shirt, because the topstitched seams look preeeetty lumpy, but it looks fine. Of course, it’s WAY too bright to wear under a white shirt, but whatever. That’s what the nude bra is for, ha πŸ™‚

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

Anyway, bra worked out all right in the end and I’m a happy camper πŸ™‚ I really love the shape and the colors in the lace are sooo pretty! Yeah, that lace was $40/yard, but something like this only requires maybe 1/4 yard, so it’s a good excuse to splurge on the nicer fabric πŸ™‚ Seeing this bra actually work out makes me excited to find more cool non-kit fabrics to make more Marlboroughs out of πŸ˜€

Floral Lace Marlborough Bra

Speaking of cool fabrics for Orange Lingerie patterns – have y’all seen her newest pattern, the Boylston balconette? OH MAN. I saw sneakies of this when I met with Norma in Paris back in November, and I’ve been soo excited about it ever since. I just bought a copy over the weekend, as well as some lingerie foam, and I can’t wait to start playing around with it! Eep!

* Note: The multi-colored floral lace fabric was provided to me by Mood Fabrics in exchange for my contribution to the Mood Sewing Network. All other fabrics and notions were purchased by me. As always, all opinions are my own!

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33 Responses to “Completed: Lace Marlborough Bras”

  1. Carol S July 1, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Glad the tea dying worked out so well. Loved that printed lace the minute I saw it at Mood. I’ll be very tempted if there’s any left when I’m next there.

    • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

      It’s really beautiful, you should definitely consider it! I got a little extra so I’m trying to think of what (exterior, ha) garment I can make with it πŸ™‚

  2. roslynholcomb July 1, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    The Stitcher’s Garden is an AWESOME fabric store. I’ve been shopping there for at least twenty years. I used to commute from Huntsville AL all the time. Haven’t been there since I moved to Atlanta though, and I miss it desperately.

    • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      It’s really awesome and I’m so glad I discovered it! I will definitely be going back!

  3. Evie July 1, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    The tea dying turned out great! These are both really pretty. The second I saw the Boylston pattern I about died. I’m dying to make a few for myself.

    • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

      It’s SUCH a pretty pattern! Can’t wait to make it up (and experiment with making foam cups, yay!)!

  4. Michelle July 1, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    You’re killing it! These look better than most bras I’ve seen in shops!

  5. Tina July 1, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    Hi. My first time ever replying to anything!! Live your work! Keep inspired!! It’s catching on! Tina and Maggie (shop dog)

    Sent from my iPhone

    • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

      Aw, thank you! Glad to be the recipient of your first comment πŸ™‚

  6. Abbey (abbeydabbles) July 1, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    Both of these turned out AWESOME

    • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

      Woohoo they sure did πŸ™‚ haha!

  7. Anna July 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Yeah, yeah, cute bras, blah blah. WHAT ABOUT PERU? since I’m unlikely to get there, I wanna read about your travels and live vicariously through you πŸ˜€

    • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

      Welllll, my trip to Peru was anything but sewing-related (I mean, other than the one piece of fabric I bought haha) and I’m not really a ~travel blogger~, so I wasn’t planning on writing about it here. Sorry! I also spent a full week of it at a spiritual/healing retreat, which was pretty personal and something I don’t necessarily feel the need to share with the entire internet haha πŸ™‚

  8. sunshineinal July 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    I have done a lot of French Hand Sewing and often used a tea bath to dye laces. If you ever want a nice beige without as much red try a strong coffee bath for your lace.

    • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

      Ooh, that’s a great tip! Will have to trip that next time, thank you!

  9. Katy July 1, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    Wow, these are really beautiful! Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to tackle handmade lingerie…

    • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

      Doooo it! It’s not nearly as scary as it looks πŸ™‚

  10. Ines July 1, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

    Wow, I am in awe, these look incredible! Brilliant idea about the tea I think its such a pretty color. So just out of curiosity how much do you think it costs you total to make , lets say the white one just an idea? I’m asking just b/c rtw bras are so expensive! I understand it’s not about thesavings but rather about the fun of Making it yourself and having something unique, but still I am curious to know if you think there are any savings,

    • LLADYBIRD July 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

      Well, it depends on where you buy your bras to begin with – if you’re shopping at, say, Target, it’s definitely cheaper to buy. I have to get my bras from a specialty store (I wear a 28 band), which costs me around $75-$90 a pop – so for me, it’s cheaper to make.

      The cost of making a bra will vary wildly depending on the fabric you use, but for that white bra – I’d estimate I spent around $10 on the elastics and underwire channeling (maybe less? That’s a REALLY generous estimate haha), $1 on the lace (it was $1/yard and you don’t need much!), maybe $2 on the power mesh, $2.50 on the underwires, and $2 on the back closure. The rings and sliders came from an old bra, so those were free, but they’re usually $1.50-$2 for a set. Then there’s the cost of the pattern, which was $17 – but I’ve already used it several times, which brings down the cost (I think this is my 6th bra from that pattern, so the cost per use is less than $3). So the total for that bra was around $20. You can bring that cost down by buying in bulk (or hoarding it up like I do so you forget about what you spent hahaha), but $20 ain’t bad!

  11. cassie July 1, 2015 at 11:11 pm #

    GURL. How have you never been to the hoarder’s paradise that is Stitcher’s Garden?! Fur realz?! What I really wanna know is how have the fire marshals that are so hard on my art teacherin’ butt for hanging things from the ceiling not all over that shop for it’s obvi breakin’ of every fire code ever written. Don’t get me wrong, I love the place…but it’s most def not for the OCD faint of heart. Since the place pretty much looks like my sewing room, I don’t have a prob with it. Glad you found it!

    • LLADYBIRD July 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

      HA! Well, to be fair, I pretty much neeverrrrrrrr went to Franklin until I started working there. Had no idea about that place, and now I’m sad that I didn’t discover it sooner! And holy hell, I wonder too about the fire marshals not giving them shit! That place is like the most amazing fabric flea market yard sale digging pile ever. Maybe they have a killer sprinkler system or something, ha.

  12. MotorMonkey July 2, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Wow, this is amazing. I could barely make my own clothes, let alone under garment. I hope to get there some day.

  13. qplourde July 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    They came out so good! So pretty.

  14. Becky Thompson July 3, 2015 at 7:17 am #

    Hey! You’re famous! Well, you were already famous, but I see “A Gathering of Stitches” you’re teaching was on Sew Mama Sew yesterday. Very cool! I just saw it this morning. I wish I could go but the calendar is booked that weekend. Rats! I hope you have a great time and meet some really cool people. Good luck!

    Oh, btw, I’ve started a blog: powertoolswiththread.com It’s all kinds of machine sewing vs. just garments or quilts. I’m a little manic that way and hope to capture those tendencies on the blog. There’s only one post right now but if you have a few, any advice or feedback on the look & feel of the site would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    • Becky Thompson July 3, 2015 at 7:20 am #

      Oh, I forgot… I was “this close” to purchasing that pattern for the bra and have a go at it but my skills are not there yet. So I see Craftsy has a class on bra making and I put it in my wish list. Lots of times they will discount classes in my wish list and I’ll snag them on a sale. Once I’ve completed that class I’ll start making my own. Please make sure you categorize your bra posts on your blog so I can find them for your sage advice when I’m ready. Thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2015 at 8:06 am #

      Oh man, that’s so cool! I FEEL famous for getting a shout-out on Sew Mama Sew!! I was just talking about that class last weekend – starting to get pumped for it (and for visiting Portland, which I’ve never been to but I’ve head is beeeeautiful!). Must be something in the air… or, you know, an upcoming date πŸ™‚ haha!

      Yay for starting a blog! Love your sewing space and that it’s pocket-sized (I don’t think I could ever manage to work in a space that small, but I’m always impressed by people who can!). Blogging is funnnn, welcome to the endless internet rabbit hole πŸ˜‰ ha!

      Oh, and to refer to my older posts once you get started on bra making – I always tag my posts, which you can see at the bottom of each post. Mostly so I can find my own damn posts when I need the reference, so the tagging system works pretty well πŸ™‚

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