Coral Lace Watson Bra (+ upcoming workshops!)

15 Jan

Coming back after a hiatus – even if it’s a mere 2 weeks – always feels a little awkward writing that first sentence. I have missed you guys, though! Thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments + general encouragement on my last post – I appreciate every single one of you! ♥

Before I bring in the fun underwear portion of this post, I want to address a few orders of business first. Promise I’ll be quick!

Peach Lace Watson Bra
But first, a bra to tempt you to stick around. Ooh la la! Enjoy that butt view in the mirror, too.

ONE I am having a difficult time contacting one of the winners from our Shutters & Shuttles giveaway in December, Shesewsswell. Both Allison & I have sent emails and we haven’t heard a peep back 😦 Neither of us are terribly keen on the idea of passing the prize on to someone else just yet (I would feel absolutely rotten if it turned out those emails went to a spam filter or something), but we will need to if we don’t get a response from the original winner. SO, Shesewsswell, pleaseeeee contact me at lladybirdlauren at gmail to claim your prize! There is a beautiful piece of handwoven, Nashville-made fabric waiting for you 🙂 UPDATE: Found her! Yay! 😀

TWO Upcoming workshops! First one is in March in Brooklyn, NY! I’ll be coming into town to teach the Weekend Pants Making Intensive at WORKROOM SOCIAL, which, if you’ve heard me talk about this class before – you know I’m pumped about it! This is a fun, 2 day class (3/19 & 3/20) at WORKROOM SOCIAL studios in Brooklyn, where we will cover all the basics of making a fine pair of pants – from basic fitting, to following the pattern, to all the little details that make pants look, well, like pants 🙂 This is a really popular class and it always sells out pretty fast, so if you want a spot you better act fast! We also have an afternoon of fabric shopping in the Garment District the Friday before, for those who need some guidance with selecting their pants fabric – or just want to take advantage of a Garment District tour and all the discounts! All the info for the class + shopping trip are on the WORKROOM SOCIAL website, as well as where to sign up! If you want to learn more about the class from my perspective, here’s a post I wrote about the first one I did (wow, that was a long time ago!).

THREE Other workshop! In April, I’ll be in Portland, ME, to teach another open-sewing weekend at A Gathering of Stitches! I had SOOO much fun teaching this open workshop last year, and I’m super delighted to come back for a second round! The workshop is in Portland, ME, and starts Wednesday, April 13 for a pizza + booze get to know you night, then four days (4/14 – 4/17) of awesome fun sewing times! What I love most about this workshop is that it isn’t specific project-based – you get to pick whatever project you want to bring, and sew away in the beautiful shared space, use the cool equipment (like the gravity feed iron), and hang out and socialize with everyone else. And, of course, I’ll be on hand to provide assistance and ~expertise~, as well as comic relief and general cheerleading 🙂 Whether you want to make a pair of jeans, tailor a coat, whip up a bra, get some help with fitting and making muslins, or just want to take a solo sewing hobby and make it social for a weekend – this is the class for you! Plus, Maine is SUPER beautiful (truth, if it weren’t for the winters, my southern ass would figure out a way to move there in a heartbeat. I already have my house picked out and everything haha) and full of such delicious food. For more info on the class, visit A Gathering of Stitches. Official registration isn’t live until February 8th at 12PM EST, fyi, but this gives some time to plan and save before worrying that it will sell out 🙂 (it sold out last time. Actually, we oversold! Whoops! I loved all 11 of y’all though! ♥). If you want to read a brief write-up of my experience with the class last year, you can find that here.

Ok, that’s enough housekeeping! Onwards to the undies 😀

Peach Lace Watson Bra

Peach Lace Watson Bra

Actually, I don’t have too much to say about this project so I’ll keep this (relatively) short! This is another Watson Bra, which is a non-underwired soft bra pattern. Perfect for a first bra project, I think! The fabric + notions are a kit from Tailor Made Shop, which is one of my favorite sources for bra kits and supplies. Everything is sooo nice and the kits are just beautiful! The particular kit I used is for coral and light pink, which doesn’t appear to be available anymore, but this one is pretty similar. And this yellow one is awesome. Ok, enough, Lauren!

Peach Lace Watson Bra

I love the effect of the scalloped lace, and I wanted to use that to my advantage with this bra. This makes for some finicky cutting – not only do you have to be sure that you’re cutting the right edge along the scallops, but it’s also nice to mirror them so everything is balanced. Having made this pattern before with scalloped navy lace, I used that knowledge to make the coral lace. The elastics along the scallops are sewn flat and not turned back (such as what you’d do with a picot edged elastic), so the lace retains the scallops. Since the lace is pretty stretchy, I underlined the entire bra with the included powermesh. There was plenty of fabric in the kit for all this – I even have some left over 🙂 I guess I could make some matching undies, but realistically, I probably won’t. I have realized that I don’t like sewing underwear. It’s just… meh.

Peach Lace Watson Bra

Peach Lace Watson Bra

Peach Lace Watson Bra

Peach Lace Watson Bra

For the pattern, I used my normal size 30D and made the version with the normal band (i.e., not the long-line). Sewing the bottom elastic was a little tricky since there’s not much real estate to work with there – I used the included picot that came with the kit, since it was narrower than the 1″ stuff I used on my navy lace version, and that helped a little. I had originally requested the kit with the 3 row hook and eye, thinking that I’d make a longline – but changed my mind and thus had to change the hook and eye. I noticed that RTW bras just zigzag along the top of the hook and eye, so that’s what I did with this one after I trimmed it down. Then I melted the edges with a lighter to really smooth them out (it’s poly, so it works). I don’t think you can even tell there was a surgery on that thing. Go me.

Fit-wise, this one is ok. It’s not nearly as awesome and supportive as the longline versions – which I had suspected would be the case, especially since there’s no underwire to bear the brunt of the support. If I tighten to the tightest hook, it does help some. I reckon this short style is just better suited for smaller cup sizes. If you’re rocking a D or larger (or maybe even a really full C), you probably want to stick with the longline so you can take advantage of that support. It really makes a difference!

This is mostly a bra for lounging around and being all fancy in-house, because it’s PRETTY comfy. And it’s really beautiful on! I think lace bras with scalloped edges are just beautiful regardless, but this one is a lovely shape and the colors are just fantastic. I really love that the kits have different colored elastics that all match the lace, and that the hardware (rings + sliders + hooks + eyes) are metal. Even the strap elastic is fancy. LOVE ALL OF IT.

Peach Lace Watson Bra

So anyway, there’s that. Happy first post of 2016! 😀 😀 😀 Who’s got bra making on their reSEWlution list this year (I am so sorry about that awful word haha)? Who’s coming to NY or Portland? Shesewsswell, where areeeee you? Let’s talk!

Note: the supplies (bra kit) for this project were given to me by the Tailor Made Shop. The Watson bra pattern, however, was purchased by me! And all gushing is 100% my opinion 😉

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52 Responses to “Coral Lace Watson Bra (+ upcoming workshops!)”

  1. Inclement January 15, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    Ooh, you got the pretty fabric to work all over the whole thing! I think I remember asking about that once, and you said it was tricky for stretch reasons? What made it work this time? (Love the color and the lace, btw.)

    • LLADYBIRD January 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

      It works as long as the lace has as much stretch – or more – than the mesh 🙂 The back needs to be really stretchy to fit properly, but as long as the lace stretches with the mesh, it will work layered over for a back band. If the lace restricts the stretch of the mesh, it won’t work for the band (or you’ll have to do stretch maths and cut the band longer and – nope too much work hahaha)

  2. Beckyjopdx January 15, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    1. Argh, wrong Portland! I’m in the Portland, OR. 😛 2. What timing. I pre-ordered 3 (!!!) Blackbird bra kits today and bought the Watson, so I’m committed to this bra making shiz this year! And I’m a large C/slight D, so I fretted about buying the 2 or 3 hook packages. So glad I got the 3-hooks, so long line it is! Sweet. Thanks!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 15, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

      I know!! I really want to visit the Portland in OR… hopefully I can make that happen 🙂

      Yes, you are gonna be happy that you got the 3 hooks! Yay for your new bras! The new Blackbird kits are sooo pretty, I’m super excited for you!

  3. shesewsswell January 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    HOLY CROW!!!! I NEVER WIN ANYTHING!!!! shesewssell is my blog that I never started, but man oh man, I’m gonna go look for that book that has all my “secret passwords” and shoot you an email! I haven’t even finished reading your whole post…. YOU MADE MY DAY!

    • LLADYBIRD January 15, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

      YAY I’m so glad we were able to connect! And super happy to be the person to grant you your first giveaway win AND make your day! 😀

  4. Akram Taghavi-Burris January 15, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    I love your fabric for your bra. Bra making is actually on my reSEWlution list this year. (Hmm, #reSEWlution sounds like a new hashtag). Anyways, I’ve heard some other sewing blogers mention the Watson bra as well, so I guess I should look in to it.

    • LLADYBIRD January 15, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

      haha it does sound like a hashtag. Wouldn’t be surprised if someone is already using it 🙂

      The Watson is great! It’s the perfect pattern for an intro to bra making. The instructions are really good, the fit is really easy, and it has just enough pieces to give you a good sense of accomplishment when you’re finished. Not to mention, it’s so pretty!

  5. sewsincity January 15, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

    Love that bra! I agree with undie sewing. Once got the bright idea to use scraps to make a bunch of undies… Never again. Not worth it!

    • LLADYBIRD January 15, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

      Forreals! I’d rather just buy my underwear and make everything else. Sewing undies is sooo boring and, ugh, I feel like it’s basically a waste of lingerie elastic hahaha. I’m not opposed to the occasional matching set, but ain’t no way my whole undie drawer is suddenly going to switch to me-made, you know?

      • shesewsswell January 16, 2016 at 9:08 am #

        I’m pleased to hear as well, that buying underwear is OK…. Girl could go crazy trying to make all this stuff. Silk camisoles….. Now that is something I love…. great story, I’ll save it for real life. 🙂

  6. feministgina January 15, 2016 at 11:54 pm #

    Wah! I might be going to New York the week before your class (March 7-11). The trip isn’t for sure yet, but I’m so sad that I’m going to just miss the class!

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

      Nooo move the trip back another week! 😦

    • Catherine from Canada January 19, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

      My heart stopped, a Garment District tour?!?!, then I checked my flight itinerary.
      Darn, I’m going to be there the weekend before too. Can’t change it either. Boo

  7. Katrine Smedegaard Sewing January 16, 2016 at 1:58 am #

    HI, I am also in the bra making mood at the moment, and have made my first toile model of a bra. I am waiting to receive an order from a bra notion supplier called Make Bra, but will definitely look at the shop you mentioned in your post.

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

      Oh, I’ve heard Make Bra has some really nice kits! Interested to know what you think of the quality of their stuff 🙂

  8. Sandra January 16, 2016 at 4:43 am #

    Haha 😂 I am. This year i wan give one stap in the bra- list-resewlotion

  9. Jessica January 16, 2016 at 5:06 am #

    Man…. I would just love to join classes like this! But, I am in the Netherlands and to come over to the States just for a weekend would be a bit… Ehm less than cost effective 🙂 However, I’m planning a big holiday somewhere in august/ september and the US is one of the options i’m looking at. Is there a chance of a class like this in that time- frame?

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

      I’m not 100% sure at this moment! Having some talks with some folks but nothing has been set in stone just yet 🙂

  10. Lisa Poblenz (patternandbranch) January 16, 2016 at 6:35 am #

    You know, I pretty much want to move to Maine every summer, and then, every winter, I think, “Thank God I don’t live in Maine!” Their winters are cold and long! You just need to buy a summer house there when you make your millions!

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

      Hahah don’t think I haven’t thought about it! 😛

  11. Crafty Clyde (@craftyclyde) January 16, 2016 at 7:17 am #

    Yes! Watson bra is on my 2016 list although nervous about trying – all your versions are great inspiration, and good advice. Is it ‘doable’ for someone never made underwear before? Need to find some nice supplies in UK 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

      I think so! The instructions are really good, so as long as you follow those you should be fine 🙂

  12. Becky Thompson January 16, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    Your new bra looks great. Can you recommend a suitable sub for fabric to make a muslin? I want to try this but I’m kind of torn. The only brand I can find that fits me is made by Vanity Fair, isn’t very pretty, but they’re less than $30. The pretty kits on Etsy are $22 + shipping so I don’t want to spend that and then screw it up, ya know? I have a Watson pattern but I need to practice and don’t want to do it on the real deal.

    On the other hand, I love making my own undies. I’m a size 12-14, have a really high waist, hate VPLs, and have yet to find RTW that doesn’t make a muffin top or creeps up in the back. I used a favorite swim bottom as a pattern and was able to make the waist large enough that there isn’t a muffin under my dress clothes or feel the need to go gold digging every time I get up from my desk. I got a yard of 60″ wide white stretchy t-shirt type fabric at Wal-Mart for $5.99 and made four pair. Bliss! I need to blog that process I guess.

    If you ever decide to do any classes in Texas, please share and I’ll be there!

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

      Honestly, you can’t really make a muslin for a bra 😦 You can make a mock version with cheap fabrics and notions, but you won’t know how it fits exactly until all the elastics and stuff are in place (and underwires, if you’re making an underwired pattern). I think the best thing to do is just find a fabric that has a similar weight/stretch to what you have, and use off-color elastics that you don’t care too much about. Although, most of those kits have a lot of fabric included so you might be able to make 2 bras with the fabric. You’d need to get more elastic though. I guess you could unpick it and reuse if the mock-up didn’t work, but I can’t imagine putting myself through that kind of anguish haha!

  13. Regina January 16, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    Luv your bra! Please consider holding a Weekend Pants Making Intensive class in Nashville, TN or a southern region in the future.

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

      The Weekend Pants Making Intensive class is specifically a WS class, so it stays in Brooklyn (or get Jen to come down here!). I am looking at doing some classes here in Nashville this year, though, and I will let you know if that ends up happening!

  14. Tomasa January 16, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

    Beautiful bra. Love the coral lace. Very delicate looking and pretty.

  15. Emily Bowie January 17, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

    Question here! I got a kit from this shop for Christmas, and tried to dig into it tonight. The lace I got in my kit is 6.5″ in width. When I try to line the cup pieces along the lace’s greatest stretch direction, they stick WAY off the ends. Is this just due to too large of a cup size? Or can you disregard lining up pattern pieces with the way of most stretch when cutting from lace? Because if the pieces could just line up the opposite way, that’d work perfectly! I haven’t come across any mention of this in the sew-along or sewing directions for the pattern..

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

      Try turning them the other way so the length of the lace runs vertically on the pattern pieces, like how you’d cut it in order to have a scalloped edge. I understand that you were trying to cut it in the greatest stretch direction, however, I think the lace is a little toooo stretchy on it’s own! I usually underline with power mesh, so it’s ok if you sacrifice a little bit of stretch (as long as you still have some stretch, that is). I hope that makes sense!

  16. Michee Rose (@elfieodette) January 18, 2016 at 7:49 am #

    I’ve made myself a few Watson’s (mostly for wearing around the house) and am a 34DD…I’ve made the longline per recommendations but I’m going to try the 2 hook version next. I find that the long line wants to slid up on my body (I’ve tried two different band sizes and hooking on whichever hook). It seems like it’s already trying to be a 2-hook instead of 3-hook. I’m curious to see how the fit/support is different (if at all). Probably a weird quirk of my body.

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

      That’s interesting! I wonder if it’s a shape of your body vs the shape of the pattern issue. My longline doesn’t have a problem staying in place, but then again, I wear a pretty tight band so it doesn’t have much room to slide around hahaha. I’m curious to know what you think of the 2 hook version and how it supports!

      • Michee Rose (@elfieodette) February 3, 2016 at 8:36 am #

        So I’ve had a chance to compare my 2-hook vs 3-hook Watson’s.
        I did notice that the 2-hook had a little less support/stability than my 3-hooks but not a ton. And some of that may have had to do with fabric choice and not properly stabilizing the cradle (wtf, past me?) However, it’s really nice to not have the front band curl up/ride up under my bust line (which every 3 hook does). I think in my next 2-hook attempt I’m going to straighten the cradle line and extend it slightly (it has some shaping to it compared to the long-line) and see if that gives that little extra security. (And properly stabilize the cradle too).

  17. LinB January 18, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    Me! I have “sewing some new bras” on my calendar for 2016. Have lost enough weight (eat less, exercise more, ugh) that I no longer fill the cups on my horrible old bras of doom. Lauren: if you are a DD, you must Must MUST wear a properly supportive bra!!
    I came of age in the 1970s, and am suffering a wee bit now because I did not believe I’d ever need to wear a bra. And I was never a DD … I was the President of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee in my dorm.

    As for sewing panties, I’m with you. Both Hanes and Fruit of the Loom make excellent all-cotton women’s briefs in all sorts of colors and styles. (I favor white granny panties myself, tra la.) I cannot buy fabric and notions for a lower cost than these dainty offerings cost me at my local discount department store.
    I DO sew some underpants for my Dear Husband — Beverly at MakeBra has a new pattern with interior slings, to “properly separate.” It’s easy to sew, and DH is pleased with them. He crowed that “I have no visible panty line now!” when he test-fitted the first pair I made last week. (He was joking. He had no VPL before. He is very kind to me.)

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

      Wellllll, I wear a mostly supportive bra! 🙂 I prefer underwires, and my soft bras (other than this one) are good on that front. Also, me being a DD is a bit misleading… yes, it’s what the tag says, but they sure don’t LOOK like a DD! They look like they are Bs. I just have a small frame, so the proportion makes it a DD, if that makes sense.

  18. vicky January 18, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Wow, weird thing about the pants party in March – that Friday is totally my birthday! So I kind of have to be there to go shopping again and get some celebratory fruit noodle salad. I still haven’t seen the new studio so maybe I’ll bribe Jennifer to let me hang out for a while that Saturday or something too!

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

      Do it! I wanna buy you a birthday drink!! 😀

  19. Charlotte January 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    Ah bad planning on my part – I’m in NY in March but I fly to Boston on the 17th – so close! Love your Watson x

    • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      Aw bummer! 😦 Would love to see you!

  20. Staci Flowers Carpenter January 19, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

    Gah!!!!!!! Portland in April this year? Absolutely count me in! I had such a good time at the class in September and have been waiting for this announcement from you and Sam. I’ll be hovering over my keyboard waiting for the ‘go live’ to order 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 20, 2016 at 11:18 am #

      YAY!!! I’m looking forward to seeing (and sewing and hanging out with!) you again, Staci!! 😀

  21. Jennifer A January 22, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    I haven’t attempted to make pants yet. I’m new to sewing and pants and shorts are specifically the reason I started sewing. Nothing in RTW seems to fit my odd shape well. I sure wish I could make the class, but I’m out in CA. I’ll be in New York in October though! Staying in the garment district and I am SO excited! 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

      Lucky you! I love visiting the Garment District and NYC in October is SO BEAUTIFUL! You are going to have an awesome time 😀

  22. Carla January 26, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Love this bra! I ordered a few kits from this shop also to make some watsons and was wondering if you only underlined the lace with one piece of the stretch mesh or two? The stretch mesh I got in my kits isn’t very heavy weight..

    I was thinking of making the whole bra lace like this, each underlined with a layer of stretch mesh and then for the band and cradle have two pieces of stretch mesh that have stretch in opposite directions….what do you think?

    Thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

      I only used one layer of mesh to underline the lace – the amount of stretch that gives is perfect for my needs. I have the cradle with the two layers of mesh running in opposite directions and I think that works really well if you don’t have a more stable lining. However, for the band – I like mine to be as stretchy as possible (I wear my band pretty tight), so I either do one layer of mesh or two layers that run in the same stretch direction (if the mesh is really lightweight). Doing opposite directions will make it a bit more stable, which may or may not work for your bra fitting needs. Like I said, for me- I want that band to stretch! 🙂

      • Carla January 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

        Thanks so much for the reply! I just finished making a test version in some leftover swimsuit lycra with a lighter weight lining-type material for the cups….I interfaced the band/cradle and cut it according to the pattern and it fits pretty well except for being a bit tight around the ribs and I think I might reshape the apex area a tiny bit…

        I’m thinking doubling on the stretch mesh in opposite directions for the cradle and doubling the stretch mesh in the same direction for the band with the tailormadeshop fabrics will probably work well for me…

        So when you had the cradle/band did you have 1 layer of lace and 2 layers of mesh, or 3 layers of mesh?

        Thanks again!

        • LLADYBIRD January 28, 2016 at 10:21 am #

          The cradle is 2 layers of mesh (in opposite stretch directions) plus one layer of lace 🙂 Even better (for me) is with some tricot lining/interfacing – but if you find the cradle to already be tight, you’ll probably be better with the minor amount of stretch you get from the 2 layers of mesh 🙂

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