Completed: Marlborough Bras for Spring (also some life-y updates, yay)

5 May

I say this every time I post about this subject, but I love making bras. Hell, I really love not having to buy bras. I just realized the last bra I actually purchased was when I was in London back in 2014. Pretty sweet!

Anyway, I don’t have a new bra pattern to share or even new techniques to talk about… so this post is going to be a repeat of most of my other lingerie-making posts. I really like how these turned out, though, which is why I’m showing you them! I used the same pattern for both bras – the Marlborough from Orange Lingerie – which is one of my favorite patterns to use (I also looove the Boylston, which is a foam cup – and don’t worry, I have a post for that to share next week HAHA). I love this pattern because it’s comfortable and supportive, fits me well with some very minor adjustments, and I think the shape is just beautiful. The fabric cups are really soft and natural looking (you better be ok with the world knowing that you are cold, though. I decided that was not something I was going to worry about anymore haha) and you can make it out of a really awesome variety of fabrics. After a lot of Marlboroughs, I’ve learned that my favorite fit comes from woven fabrics that are backed with sheer cup lining. I like slightly narrower straps (3/8″ or 1/2″, as opposed to the recommended 3/4″ for DD+) and a 3 row hook & eye. I use the size 30D.

Also, because I get this question ALL THE TIME – this is a fantastic beginner bra pattern. At least, it was for me! I’ve made some soft bras in the past, but this is the first “proper” bra pattern I ever made – with underwires and all that fun. The instructions are very clear and you can buy a kit that includes everything you need to make it. If you want more info on making bras, check out this post I wrote last year πŸ˜‰

Sheer black polka dot Marlborough bra

Bra #1 is really simple! I bought this sheer black polka dot mesh netting from Blackbird Fabrics (it appears to be sold out, but here is some in the white colorway), and Caroline threw in a black findings kit as a little bonus with my order. I can’t remember where I bought the sheer cup lining (I just got a lot of it so I have a big stash that I dip into haha) but it’s either from Blackbird Fabrics or Bra Maker’s Supply. Both are stores with I highly recommend, especially for their kits! Unfortunately, they’re both based in Canada which is a shipping bummer for us in the US. I’ve recently gone all up Tailor Made Shop‘s butt these days, and I’ve been really happy with everything I’ve received. And she is based in the US, so yay!

Anyway, back to the bra!

Sheer black polka dot Marlborough bra

Since the fabric was pretty flimsy on it’s own, with a little more stretch than I needed, I lined every piece with black sheer cup lining- including the top where one would normally put lace. I thought about leaving that part sheer, but I think I made a good choice because I do like the resulting fit! Because all the pieces were lined, I was able to encase all the seams inside the layers, so the inside is very clean and makes me happy.

Sheer black polka dot Marlborough bra

For the back, I used firm black power mesh on a single layer.

Flat bra shots:

Sheer black polka dot Marlborough bra

Sheer black polka dot Marlborough bra

Sheer black polka dot Marlborough bra

All right, now for the second bra!

Floral/lace Marlborough bra

Bra #2 is definitely a bit wilder in terms of color, and yes it looks suspiciously like another Marlborough I made last year don’t you dare judge me πŸ™‚ The fabric was given to me by Annessa – she was showing me something she made with it and I about lost my mind over how beautiful it was. So she offered to send me some scraps, which OF COURSE I accepted because I can totally sew a bra out of scraps! The lace is from Blackbird Fabrics – it was part of that aforementioned order – and the notions are just a bunch of stuff I pulled out of my stash (I think the strapping and gold hardware are from Tailor Made Shop, actually). I had fun putting this one together in terms of what colors to use – there are so many colors in the fabric, and I have collected a lot of elastics over the past couple of years! In the end, I went with white everything except the underarm elastic, which I think is really pretty.

Floral/lace Marlborough bra

Cutting the fabric was a bit of a bear because I was trying to place the colors with a bit of thoughtfulness, but I think it turned out ok! Honestly, I didn’t really like the way this looked when I first finished it – it seemed a bit chaotic with all the colors and piecing everywhere. But I’ve worn it a few times and have really grown to love it!

Same as with the black version, I underlined all the pieces with sheer cup lining (this time in white), except I did not underline the lace. I did stabilize the edge with a piece of navy powermesh selvedge. I think that looks and feels better than using clear elastic.

Floral/lace Marlborough bra

The back is pretty boring, although it does have purple topstitching πŸ™‚ I just used firm powermesh for the back pieces, again, one layer.

And the flat shots:

Floral/lace Marlborough bra

Floral/lace Marlborough bra

Floral/lace Marlborough bra

The inside definitely doesn’t look as good as the black one. For one, my dark topstitching doesn’t work with the white interior (go figure?). I should have threaded two machines but I was feeling lazy (although I did at least put white in the bobbin when I sewed the band elastic). Further, I should have changed out that pink serging thread for white – or better, made that open seam the one right below the cups, as it would have been covered by the underwire casing and elastic. Whatever!

So those are the bras! Now let’s talk about meeeee!! I’ve already mentioned most of this stuff on Instagram, but I realize that a lot of y’all probably don’t use/follow me on Insta, and also, I can just go into more detail here!

First of all – as of March, I am no longer working for Elizabeth Suzann. Everything is fine between us – I just got a really good offer for another job that I couldn’t refuse (and unfortunately, I can’t do both because there are only so many hours in the day). More on that in a sec! I absolutely love love LOVED working for Elizabeth – her and her husband, Chris, are some of the best bosses I’ve ever had, and my coworkers were just fucking amazing. I had so much fun on the days that I worked there, and I never really felt like it was a job. Every day was different, and I liked challenging myself to do things faster while still being accurate. Of course, it helps to be somewhere where you feel appreciated and valued, which I certainly did! Liz is always looking for fabulous new seamstresses, by the way, so if you’re in Nashville and have some sewing skills, you should definitely apply! I can’t say enough good things about the company or the people who work there. I offered to help as a freelancer whenever they are overloaded with orders – so we’ll see, I just may be back from time to time πŸ˜‰

So, hey, the new gig! I am now working at Craft South, which is an ADORABLE little crafty shop that Anna Maria Horner opened in Nashville about a year ago. We sell fabric, yarn, Janome sewing machines (which means I will definitely be buying a coverstitch at some point this year, hellz yea), embroidery and weaving supplies, handmade/locally made gifts, and just a general assortment of craft-based merchandise. My official title is “Education Coordinator,” which means I’ll be handling all the class stuff – scheduling and coordinating, planning, making samples, etc. I’m working alongside Anna and we have got some super awesome stuff in the plans for this summer! I’m also teaching Beginner Garment Basics classes – next up is this Breezy Caftan on 5/12 – and whatever else I can dream up, cos guys, I love teaching sewing πŸ™‚ ALSO, I’ll be manning the registers and fabric cutting like a normal retail shop person on Tuesdays and Fridays – so if you’re in Nashville, stop by and say hi! Take a class! Support the local fabric store! You might even run into Anna Maria Horner herself, who is way cooler than I am πŸ™‚

FINALLY, one more big change coming up – don’t laugh, but I’m moving! AGAIN! (and if this doesn’t surprise you – dude, get in line, literally everyone I’ve told this to replied with, “Yeah I was waiting for this to happen” haha) Honestly, I really love the house I live in and my living situation is totally ace (I’m in the middle of the woods with my best friend, so it’s like constant BFF night over here), but the reality is that I don’t like living so far from the city. If I could pick this house up and plop it back down into Nashville, I absolutely would… but that’s not how life works. My commute from Kingston Springs to Nashville is about 30 miles one way, which I’ve learned is absolutely killer for me. I hate it!! I miss being in biking distance of my job! I miss ordering takeout (lol jk I never order takeout or delivery but HELLO OPTIONS ARE NICE)! I miss having a 10 minute / 5 mile commute. These are things that are important to me. I’ve felt stuck here for a while now, because Nashville has gotten outrageously expensive now that everyone is moving here (btw – if you’re thinking about moving here, don’t. We’re full.). However, this new job has literally afforded me the opportunity to get out and back into the city. So I found an apartment in West Nashville (where I was before I moved out here, and also, my favorite area!) and I’m moving in mid-June! Yay! That means a new sewing room will eventually be in the works, too πŸ™‚ I’m not sure how I’ll manage blog pictures since I don’t really like doing the tripod/timer thing in public, but eh, I’ll figure that out when I get to it. At any rate, if things get a little quiet here in June… that’s why. As a side note, I’m cleaning out my closets in anticipation for the downsize in housing, and I’ve listed a few of my handmades that I don’t wear on Etsy. Most have already sold, but there are 2 things still listed if you are interested – you can check out my shop here. Someone give these handmades a good home and the wear that they deserve!

And, in case you were wondering – only my cat is coming with me (cat is a deal-breaker!). The pigs actually belong to my roommate, so obviously they are staying here in the country πŸ™‚

One last thing – it’s May, which means Me Made May ’16 is in full swing again! If you’re not familiar with Me Made May, it’s a month where you challenge yourself to wear handmades (every day, a few times a week, entire outfits – whatever works for you!). I have participated in the past (see: 2012, 2013, 2014), but I won’t be doing it this year. About 99% of my clothes are handmade at this point, and it’s pretty much Me Made Everyday. There’s not really a challenge involved for me to wear them, so it seems silly and almost a little show-offy to jump in with everyone else. Also, I hated doing the daily selfies πŸ˜› But rest assured that I am still rocking the me-mades – today I am wearing my Ginger Jeggings, the Starwatch Watson bra, a handmade black tshirt (unblogged because, it’s a tshirt) and a striped hoodie (also unblogged. Man I’m behind on this).


Anyway, that’s about it for me! Have a picture of my favorite part of my (current) sewing room. I really love this space, but it’ll be fun to set up a new one πŸ™‚

64 Responses to “Completed: Marlborough Bras for Spring (also some life-y updates, yay)”

  1. heather May 5, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    congrats on all your accomplishments! πŸ™‚

  2. Betty May 5, 2016 at 8:59 am #

    Just the cat? No Landon? Whatever the case, good luck with all your endeavors.

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 9:10 am #

      Landon and I broke up toward the end of 2015 (I mentioned this in my 2015 wrap up post, so you may have missed it!). So nope, no Landon πŸ™‚

  3. lisa g May 5, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    Whew, what a lot of changes! Congrats on the new gig – sounds like fun! Oh, and I especially like the black polkadot bra, so cute!

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 9:10 am #

      Thank you! I’m really excited for the new opportunities I have πŸ˜€

  4. Chris @ makeandwear May 5, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    Congrats on your new job – you’re a very talented maker so it’s good to see it bringing opportunities for you:) Best of luck with your move too!

  5. Splinters&Stitches May 5, 2016 at 10:08 am #

    Urg! Moving is the worst, but the new opportunities sound like they’ll make it worthwhile. πŸ™‚ Congrats on your new job!

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 10:11 am #

      Forreal, I hate moving! But I like setting up new places, so at least I have something to look forward to at the end πŸ™‚ haha! And thank you!

  6. Veronik May 5, 2016 at 10:08 am #

    Congrats! You must know my friend Hannah T.; given how often she tells me about Craft South, she must spend a lot of time there.

  7. Deborah Penner May 5, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    Happy for you that you can return to the city. Wondered about the commute. We lived in the country for about a decade (just five miles but with 3 kids all driving age) and the cost and time was significant.

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 10:13 am #

      Yeah, the commute would be ok if I didn’t have to do it every day! It also gave me flashbacks of my high school years (I grew up in the country on the opposite side of Nashville – I hated it then and I hate it now! haha!). I bought a new car that gets fantastic gas mileage and is really fun to drive, however, that doesn’t change the amount of time I have sit in it πŸ™‚

  8. carlalissa May 5, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    Your future plans and accomplishments sound exciting. Let me know if you do any weekend classes; might be an excuse to visit Nashville (not even in my wildest dreams)

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 10:14 am #

      I am trying to get some weekend workshops going and I will certainly let you know! Would love to see you again πŸ™‚

  9. Shaneka Giscombe May 5, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    Have you ever thought of setting up a backdrop indoors? That way you can be free to use your tripod and remote?

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 10:33 am #

      I’m less concerned about the background and more thinking about the shitty indoor lighting πŸ™‚

  10. Liberty Hall May 5, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    Congratulations on the new job, it dounds like a perfect fit. (Gosh sorry terrible pun…)

  11. Heather May 5, 2016 at 11:04 am #

    Congrats on all the goodness! I hope you really love your new workplace and new home (when you get there). I’m looking forward to seeing yet another one of your gorgeous sewing rooms!!

    CAn’t get over your awesome bras. Seriously, I want to try my hand at them. Cept…sort of worried about non-foam cup bras, since everyone can see when I’m cold through THEM, nevermind just plain fabric! Still, it’d be nice to make them myself in whatever wild fabrics I can’t actually get in bras of my size. πŸ˜›

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

      Well, there are foam cup patterns, and ways to make a non-foam pattern work with foam! I personally just decided that I don’t care if people know I’m cold! haha! Being able to have all the color options my heart desires is worth it!

    • Indoor Kitty May 5, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

      My nipple coverage solution is to just tuck a sew-in moulded foam cup in the bra. My bras last longer since I can just toss the moulded cup when the foam starts to break down and get lumpy. (After a year of nursing, having stuff tucked inside my bra cup doesn’t even register.)

  12. Beth May 5, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    yee-haw! sounds like things are really happening for you — happy to hear about your new work and home lives. I think I was somewhere in my 20’s when I realized that some people are mostly city, some totally city, others mostly small town/rural, and still others totally rural. Took me long enough to realize I fit happily in that 3rd group πŸ™‚ I’d say it sounds like you’re getting back to where you belong, in the first one! And, the bras a freakin’ gorgeous, m’dear. And…that floral fabric is definitely TDF. Happy trails!

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

      Yeah, I agree with you – there are different types of people for different areas, and I’m definitely more of a city person! Feels good to be going back to where I belong πŸ™‚

  13. racurac2 May 5, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    Woohooo!!! Good for you! It’s the best situation to have a job that you can enjoy, I wish you the best! And about moving: I love moving! I adore to live here in Tennessee, but I’ll move in one or two years back to Florida, so enjoy your new home!

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      Haha! Well do you want to help me move?! πŸ˜› Kidding! I don’t actually mind most of moving – packing doesn’t bother me that much, and I really enjoy unpacking and setting up! The part I hate is the actual moving part, and those weird couple of weeks where you mostly live out of boxes. Worth it, though!

  14. girlintheflammableskirt May 5, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

    Congrats on the new gig and the move! Not going to lie, I’m excited about you moving back to West Nashville for entirely selfish reasons, i.e. being easier to get to when I visit πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

      Totally understand! I’m excited too because now people will actually want to come visit me! Haha!!

  15. Dawn May 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    Wow, I am completely in awe of your bra-making! Making underwear is one of those “one day I’ll learn to do that” projects.

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

      You should try it sooner than later! It’s really fun and surprisingly not that difficult πŸ™‚

  16. SomedaySewing May 5, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    Oh my gosh! That is so exciting! I have been looking forward to visiting Craft South since we decide to go to Nashville later this month! Congrats!

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

      Yay! If you see me, please say hi! πŸ™‚

  17. Katie May 5, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    Congrats on the new job. I love Craft South and look forward to seeing you in there! I should also sign up for one of your garment classes soon, seeing as I haven’t made any clothes since the dress in your class at Watkins 😐

    • LLADYBIRD May 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

      You should!! If anything, I’d just love to see you again πŸ™‚ and YES you should be making more dresses! The dress you make in that class was fucking perfect!

  18. nycbookwriter May 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    Fist pump.

  19. Louise May 5, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    Congratulations on all these exciting changes!! Craft South sounds amazing and is on my list of must visit places when I get to America one day. And having just moved back to the city after living in a small town over an hour away for the last six years, I completely understand the idea of not liking the commute!! I hope you’ll be really happy in your new home, and your new job too!!

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

      Oh you will love Craft South! Definitely check it out if you are ever in the area πŸ™‚ And thank you!! I’m super excited for all this newness πŸ˜€

  20. Genevieve May 5, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    Woot woot! Moving up and up, love it. Education Coordinator! Don’t ya just love bein titled and all important? Hehe. Congrats πŸ‘

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

      Forreal!! The title makes everything sound so legit, I love it πŸ˜€ haha!

  21. Indoor Kitty May 5, 2016 at 6:44 pm #

    Does Craft South have a Janome technician who comes by? My Janome is way overdue for service, but my Knoxville service options are terrible and non-Janome specific. (Do not get my mother started on her two month long Husquvarna embroidery machine service odyssey It was bad. Very, very bad.)

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

      We actually just started doing this! You can drop off at the shop and we have a Janome technician (a woman, in fact) who comes by and repairs within the week or so. Turnaround is fairly quick (MUCH faster than two months, ha) and the prices are the standard $79-$89.

      • Indoor Kitty May 7, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

        Excellent. Next time the husband has to go to Nashville for work, I may be sending him on a little errand. (If a confused man in his late forties shows up with a sewing machine, lead him gently to the appropriate counter. He’s still a little skitish from that one time he went in JoAnn’s.)

  22. georgine BOSAK May 5, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

    I went to Craft South this weekend thanks to your suggestion (I asked you on Instagram). It was wonderful and I bought some lovely Anna Joyce fabric (and jeans across the street). I am excited for you that you get to work in a great, creative place.

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

      Oh awesome! I’m so glad you gave it a visit and that you loved it! And DUDE hell yeah for those I+W jeans!!! Aren’t they amazing?! I love mine so much!!

  23. Becky Thompson May 6, 2016 at 5:46 am #

    Girl, I used to move so often my dad once said, “You know, it would be cheaper if you just got a tent.” lol I was very nomadic back-in-the-day. Glad you’re moving closer to the new gig. If anything, you’ll have more sewing time since you won’t be driving all that way twice a day! As soon as you said that, I was thinking about Kev. I’m sure she will miss you! From your post, I went ahead and purchased the Marlborough pattern. I’ve got the Craftsy class for making bras that I’ll check out this weekend. Even at their cheapest, $30+ for a decent bra is getting to be annoying. I wish I had a hands-on class nearby. Maybe that’s one you can strive for once you get yourself set up at your new job. Glad to hear all the great news! Congrats!

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

      Not gonna lie, making more sewing time in my day was a big push to shorten that commute! πŸ™‚ And I would LOVE to do a bra making class a the shop, you know I’m gonna push for one of those πŸ™‚ We’ll see!!

      • Indoor Kitty May 7, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

        Second the bra making class!

  24. Akram Taghavi-Burris May 6, 2016 at 10:01 am #

    These are amazing! I’ve got to get the courage to make my on bra, maybe someday. Nice job!

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

      Do it! With a good pattern and a pre-made kit, it’s so much easier (and fun!) than you would think πŸ˜‰

  25. Sara Noemi May 6, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Love the bras and congrats on the new job. It’s not always easy to part from a job on good terms. Good luck with the move!

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

      Very true! I try to keep my job bridges as un-burned as possible, just in case I need to crawl back later πŸ˜‰ haha!

  26. SheSpoke Clothing (@SheSpokeOttawa) May 6, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    So many changes – exciting! I hope I’ll get down to Nashville one of these days, otherwise I will definitely be joining you at one of your next sewing retreats. (Anything lined up yet?!)

    I’m SUPER excited for you that you might get a Janome coverstitch!! Not just because I’m sure you’ll love using it, but also because I have one and I cannot solve a %*&^% tunneling issue with really slinky knits. I know it’s a matter of playing with tension but I could sure use a magic formula. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

      Yay! I’ve got some stuff in the works, announcements coming soon πŸ™‚

      And I am really excited about the coverstitch too! I need to cool my jets for a bit and let my finances settle first (moving is so expensive, blech), but I am hoping I can get it before the end of the year! And hopefully I’ll have some magic formulas to share πŸ˜€

  27. Miss Celie May 6, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

    Congrats on your new gig and (IMHO) moving back to City limits. I miss biking to work.

    • LLADYBIRD May 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

      Thank you! And, just throwing this out there… but my new place is only like, 3 miles from my fave hot chicken joint in Nashville ::cough cough:: ::nudge nudge::

  28. sullivan1970 May 7, 2016 at 9:01 am #

    Hey Lauren so glad to hear your life updates. They sound like super exciting changes! I’m going to be in Nashville labor day weekend to catch the South Carolina Candy football game so will definitely have to swing by and check out the store and say hi!

  29. Elaine Laswell May 8, 2016 at 7:01 am #

    Retreat, eh? I’d LOVE to check it out! Never been to Nashville. Colorful bra ROCKS! I tend to personally shy away from the underwires, so I’d need to find one w/out them. Congrats on the new job! When one door closes, another one opens…..

    Hope to meet you someday! Take care!


  30. Aubrey May 13, 2016 at 7:39 am #

    Hey girl, so much going on with you! Miss you much, and I’m excited for all of the new changes happening for you. Maybe I have to sign up for a class at Craft South so I can see your face more often? πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD May 13, 2016 at 8:08 am #

      Miss you too! And yesss, you should take a class πŸ˜‰ You’d love Craft South!

  31. nikita May 28, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    lol I left Nashville in 2000. It was full back then! If you’re born and raised someplace, it just hurts to see it overrun with all those people and traffic. Nashville is just another freaking Atlanta, and has been for years.


  1. Your Makes Vol. 4 – Blackbird Fabrics Blog - July 12, 2018

    […] one of ourΒ black findings kitsΒ in action!Β LaurenΒ used it for a classicΒ Marlborough Bra. I need one of these in my […]

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