Completed: Black Lace Boylston Bra

11 Mar

Ooh la la, y’all!

Black Lace Boylston bra

Hands down, this is definitely the sexiest bra I have ever made. Although, to be fair, it’s kind of hard to steer away from sexy anything if it involves black lace amirite.

Black Lace Boylston bra

It’s been a couple of months since I made this thing, which means I am going to have to dig deep into the recesses of my brain to try to remember all the little construction tidbits. On the flip, however, it does mean that I’ve worn it a lot in that time and can seriously vouch for the fit and comfort factor.

Black Lace Boylston bra

Black Lace Boylston bra

I used the Boylston bra from Orange Lingerie as the base for this pattern. Having made this pattern several times before, I did not make any additional changes to the fit (other than my previous edits to the back band). I sewed a 30D, which is in line with the size I wear in RTW. The big changes I made were in terms of construction – namely, trying to figure out how to incorporate both foam cups and a lace outer, while retaining all those cool little scallops that make the bra so pretty. I think this rendition is pretty good, although there is definitely room for improvement in future versions. Always learning 🙂

Black Lace Boylston bra

Black Lace Boylston bra

Like I said, getting that form cup + scallops gave me a bit of a head scratch, so I took to some store-bought bra snooping to try to figure out how to make it work for this lil guy. It appears that most RTW bras have the foam cup and lace outer cup sewn separately, and then tacked together at the top in a few places. With this in mind, I finished the top edge of my foam cup with a simple 3 thread overlock (it’s not really imperative to do this, as the foam doesn’t unravel – but it does look nice!), and then simply laid the constructed lace cup on top and lined the innermost points of the scallops with the edge of the foam cup. Rather than tack it down, I actually stitched all the way across. The lace is super busy, so the stitching doesn’t show- but it’s very secure. For the remaining edges of the cup, I followed the pattern as instructed.

I also had to figure out how to do the straps, as the patterns calls for self-fabric straps with a little bit of strapping elastic at the back. I actually spoke with Norma (she of Orange Lingerie, and the mastermind behind these patterns) at length about this when I met with her in Boston, and while she gave me some really good advice on how to do the fabric straps with a scalloped edge – I ended up not having enough lace to cut them! Whomp whomp. Maybe for the next one. For this particular bra, I had to stick with regular elastic bra strapping. I sewed the underarm elastic as instructed, stopping right where I planned on adding the straps (as the pattern is written, you attach the fabric straps and then sew the underarm elastic all the way up. Since I had no fabric straps, I had to improvise!). When I trimmed the excess elastic, I made sure to keep intact scallops so things looked more intentional. The front of the straps are attached with the rings going through a tiny piece of elastic – again, something I snooped on existing bras. The back is attached the same way the pattern instructs.

Black Lace Boylston bra

To get the scallops along the bottom, I used the same method of flat attaching the elastic, instead of turning it back, as I did on my lace Watson bra. Since having finished this bra, Erin has published a wonderful post on how to make a lace frame bra, one method which gives a beautiful gothic arch along the bottom (instead of the straight band you see here). I am really excited to try that method!

Black Lace Boylston bra

I really love the lace I used for this bra! This is the second piece that was given to me by Tailor Made Shop, and if it looks familiar – it’s because I also have some in navy (which I made into a lace Watson bra). It looks like the shop is out of this stuff in black, but they do have navy, pink, purple and white 🙂

Because the lace is a bit lightweight, I underlined all the pieces. The bridge and frame have sheer cup lining for stability (mine is from Bra Maker’s Supply, but you better believe I am excited to restock from a US source haha!), while the band pieces are underlined with power mesh. I didn’t underline the cups, since there are foam cups and that’s pretty supportive enough 🙂

All elastics and notions are from my stash, which the exception of the scalloped bra strapping – which is also from Tailor Made Shop 🙂

Black Lace Boylston bra

Black Lace Boylston bra

Black Lace Boylston bra

Fit-wise, this is one my best yet! The bra is super comfortable, super supportive, and gives me a really nice shape (hell yeah my boobs look awesome in this thing). It’s not a push-up, but there is definitely some lift action going on in there. If you would like to see a picture of me wearing it, click here. This should go without saying, but, again, PLEASE do me a solid and don’t post this image all over social media 🙂 Posting strictly for science purposes.

My only complaint is the horizontal wrinkle along the bottom of the bridge. It only shows on the outside, when I’m wearing the bra, which leads me to believe it’s from excess lace fabric in the front (the inside stays smooth regardless). Ugh! It’s not a huge deal – the bra is still wearable and absolutely no on has noticed (or at least pointed out) the wrinkle, so I ain’t gonna let it bother me. But the next one will be wrinkle-free, hopefully 🙂

Black Lace Boylston bra

Ok, I think that wraps up about all the bra talk I have in me for today! 🙂 Happy Friday, y’all!

43 Responses to “Completed: Black Lace Boylston Bra”

  1. dr P March 11, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    Beautiful! Everytime I see a gorgeous handmade bra I wish I could make one too….better learn the sewing basics first!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

      Thank you! I promise, once you get the basics down, you can make anything… even a gorgeous handmade bra 🙂

  2. Ellie Swanson March 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Wow! That’s a beautiful bra. I want to try one too!.

  3. Amanda March 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    This is absolutely gorgeous. Wonderful work.

  4. Alexa Shelton March 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    Your bras are gorgeous!!! I’ve admired all of the ones you’ve shown off over the last year or so. I’m an intermediate sewer and would like to try my own. And wondering if you could offer some really quick advice:
    – Was there any of the patterns that you’ve tried that are better than the others for a first attempt at an underwire? I’m a 34DD, so like you I’d need some actual support.
    – And do you think it’s easier to get started with a kit or just buying what I need?

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Thank you! I’ve only used two underwired bra patterns, the Marlborough and the Boylston (both from Orange Lingerie). Both are equally great, although the Marlborough may be a tiny bit easier since it doesn’t involve foam cups or fabric straps. The instructions are fantastic for both patterns, though. And I always recommend starting with a kit! It’s definitely cheaper to buy what you need, but I found the supply list really overwhelming, and it’s nice to just pay someone else to figure out all that shit for you (as well as coordinate the colors). I’ve used kits from Bra Maker’s Supply, Blackbird Fabrics, Grey’s Fabrics, and Tailor Made Shop – all of which I recommend, so it’s really a matter of finding one that you like the colors and fabrics of 🙂

  5. Beth March 11, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

    oooh…major dishy! don’t you just want to pop a voile shirt over it and head out the door belting some Madonna or Lady Gaga numbers? 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

      A bit, yes… don’t tempt me! 🙂

  6. carlalissa March 11, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    You sexy thing! That bra is awesome!!

  7. Katie Lynn March 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

    This bra is just stupid pretty. I’m really quite envious of it! (Don’t worry, I can’t steal it as I am a much larger size). It honestly looks like you purchased it in-store, and you’re right, it does wonderful things for your boobs. I find the thought of bra-making freaks me out, but I keep seeing more and more wonderful versions of this and the Watson coming through and I think I may have to try it soon! I’ve been having difficulty buying bras recently because a major bra-maker (ahem…VS…ahem) has been moving their cups further and further apart the last few years, until they’re too wide for my frame. But if I make my own that wouldn’t be a problem any more!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

      Ever since I started making my own bras, I have really been side-eyeing VS so hard! They really aren’t the best quality… and while I like some push-up from time to time, I always hated the amount of padding that they shove into EVERY bra they sell. I love making my own, since it gives me complete control over all the fabrics/colors, as well as fit. And once you nail your pattern fit, it’s SO much cheaper 😉

  8. Staci Flowers Carpenter March 11, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    Drool~!!! That is stunning. It truly is a beautiful work of art. And one I aspire to 🙂 Thinking that my Maine trip this year will be all about bras. I’m in desperate need of them and tired of RTW frump bras for my heaving bosom :p You inspire me!!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

      Yess!!! Let’s get you into some pretty bras this April! I’d reckon that your boobs deserve it 😉

  9. Jenny Cashmerette March 11, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    SO impressivo lady!

  10. Margo March 11, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

    This is gorgeous! I love seeing the bras you make! I have yet to give then a try….such a not you. 😉

    • LLADYBIRD March 15, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

      You’re not a loser! Eventually, the fever will get to you and you’ll HAVE to start making lingerie 😉 heh heh heh!

  11. Buttonme March 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

    Whaaaoouu !!! I love it!! It’s georgeous and so beautiful! You’re amazing…

  12. Anonymous March 12, 2016 at 12:29 am #


  13. Claire March 12, 2016 at 1:36 am #

    Wow, seriously impressive. I am definitely not at the stage of my sewing skills to take on bra making !

    • LLADYBIRD March 15, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

      I bet you will be sooner than you think! 🙂

  14. Evie March 12, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    Gaaahh that’s so pretty!!

  15. Nky March 12, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    BEAUTIFUL bra! Kinda makes me want to get over my fear of lingerie sewing….kinda.

    • LLADYBIRD March 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

      Dooooo it! Catch the lingerie fever! 😀

  16. Mary Lewis, YarnTangler March 13, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

    This bra looks great but it also looks really comfortable, and I personally think that life is far too short for uncomfortable undies. Great job x

    • LLADYBIRD March 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

      Totally agreed! I definitely don’t have room in my life for uncomfortable underwear 🙂

  17. shannon March 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    Beautiful! I just ordered sheer cup lining from Bravo
    Bella. So much less expensive than BMS.

    • LLADYBIRD March 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

      Oh, that’s good to know!!

      • Shannon March 16, 2016 at 9:20 am #

        Just got the sheer cup lining from bravo Bella and found it not to be as nice as BMS. It is not as soft, but I am going to give it a whirl and see how it goes.

  18. jqrd March 13, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

    Simply beautiful
    Well done

  19. thetelltaletasha March 16, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    Very impressive. That fit is SO spot on!

  20. Natasha Estrada March 19, 2016 at 3:08 am #

    I’ve been stocking bra+cup lining in the US for over a year now if you’d like to try some to compare.

  21. UtaC March 31, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    I admire your skills in this area.. amazing.. too beautiful..

  22. TarcyD April 26, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    I’m curious if you’ve ever run across a pattern for a cami with a built in bra with cups similar to this one I’m thinking I could get a much better fit if I made my own. Plus it would be like a baby step towards making something as wonderfully complicated as the bras you made.

    • LLADYBIRD April 27, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

      I’ve not seen a pattern for that kind of built-in bra, but it would certainly be cool to have! I imagine if you had the tank top to look at it, it wouldn’t be terribly hard to reverse engineer and make your own 🙂

      • TarcyD April 28, 2016 at 8:04 am #

        Thanks for replying back! I just keep thinking it would be awesome in the hot humid summers in the South to be able to just skip one layer of fabric even if it is just a bra. I ordered a cami from uniqlo to look at and I found a tutorial someone made for adding foam cups to the shelf bra in a swimsuit so between the two maybe I can figure something out. 🙂

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