Completed: Scuba Watson Bra + Bikini Set

26 Jun

I can pretty practical when it comes to sewing garments – I’ve figured out what I will and won’t wear, and stick with those styles & colors pretty consistently across the board (save for the occasional wild hair because YOLO). However, this goes completely out the window when it comes to making lingerie.

Me: I should really make some neutral bras, almost all my summer clothe are see-through.
Also Me:

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

ha! I realize there is a trend right now of wearing your underwear as outerwear, and while I did not sew this set with that intention in mind, I will certainly mostly definitely be following it. Because, again, YOLO. btw, sorry about the YOLO.

In all seriousness, though, I actually do need some new bras in my wardrobe. Most of the stuff I sewed in the past has gotten quite ratty and stretched out, and definitely needs to be replaced. I also appear to have gone up a cup size (wah), so they don’t quite fit right, either. It seems really silly to have the ability to make beautiful underwear and yet still be wearing the faded/ratty pieces that give me quadboob, so I’m slowly trying to fix that.

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Sooo, this fabric! This is the Italian Red & Orange Floral Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics. I’ve been creeping on this fabric for a minute now (it’s actually still available if you want to creep, too!) but I honestly don’t like the way Scuba feels and didn’t have any interest in sewing anything out of it. It seems that the thickness and body of Scuba – aka, the two features that people enjoy the most – were everything I did not want in a fabric. Eventually, the creeping got to me and I decided to buy a yard and see what I could figure out.

You know what works splendidly with this fabric? Lingerie. There’s enough stretch for comfort (assuming you are making a pattern that requires stretch), and the additional thickness means you get a little extra coverage. So I decided to make a Watson Bra & Bikini set with this fabric. If you look at the product listing for the fabric, you’ll see that the floral design is fairly large scale, which means it got chopped up to make the cup pieces for the bra. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like that; turns out I LOVE it. It turns this decidedly floral style into something more abstract and a bit painterly. I think it’s very pretty!

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

I did have to do a bit of testing to figure out the best way to sew this scuba – needle choice is very important, otherwise you’ll get skipped stitches (and there is a lot of topstitching here, so I definitely wanted to avoid that). I actually tried every single needle in my arsenal before determining that the 70/10 Jersey needle (not stretch, not ballpoint) was the way to go. After that – it was pretty smooth sailing! I don’t know how well Scuba does or does not press, but you don’t have to press it for lingerie (hence all the topstitching) so that wasn’t an issue.

I’ve made this pattern numerous times before, so nothing new to report on that end. I did go up a cup size, which means I sewed a 30E for this piece. I lined the entire bra with lightweight power mesh – this isn’t necessary (the scuba is comfortable enough on it’s own), but I like the clean interior finish. The bridge is also lined with sheer cup lining under the power mesh, for added support. All elastics are from my stash; likely mostly from Pacific Trimming or Tailor Made Shop. I kept all the elastic white except under the arms, which is orange (just cos a little to get a little wild sometimes).

Oh, I also made some matching underwear, too!

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

I am making it a point to sew 1-2 pairs of underwear with each bra that I make – so that I actually have matching sets (and stop complaining internally that my lingerie doesn’t match). I did cut two pairs here, but I wasn’t careful about pattern placement and the other pair looked like there was a flower exploding out of my butt. So. Scrapped that one, will revisit later haha. The underwear is single-layer scuba (no power mesh), except for the crotch lining, which is 100% organic cotton (cos I’m a fancy bitch). Again, all white elastics.


Spandex Watson Set

AKA my attempt at pretending I was going to sew something neutral (this dusty rose is pretty neutral on me, fyi). It all went great until I decided to add black elastics ๐Ÿ˜›

So I actually bought this fabric from Spandex House back in March – it’s just a basic, I dunno, spandex knit – in order to sew some underwear. I had just bought the Joan bra from Agent Provocateur and was considering the matching underwear, except they were slightly uncomfortable, very unflattering (on me) and also $60 and you know what, let’s not. So I took my bra to Spandex House and found the exact same spandex, figuring I’d sew my own matching underwear for WAY less than $60/pair. Which I did, but I also decided to make this non-neutral Watson bra, too!

Spandex Watson Set

Spandex Watson Set

So yep, there’s that. Same 30E, but the regular (not longline) version. Lined with matching powermesh (also from Spandex House), with black elastics and topstitching. It’s… neutral-ish. I like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Spandex Watson Set

The matching underwear is unlined and finished with black foldover elastic.

Next up – I need to make some underwired bras in my new cup size, and realistically at least one needs to be neutral. I am hoping to combat the beige boredom by finding a pretty lace to compensate, and sewing it up in the Berkeley Bra pattern. Stay tuned!

**Note: The floral scuba knit was provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All other patterns, notions, and spandex were purchased by me, though!

41 Responses to “Completed: Scuba Watson Bra + Bikini Set”

  1. anotherwhodat June 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm #

    (Hopefully this is not a duplicate comment.) This fabric and pattern sewed up beautifully. I just love it! You mention you sewed a 30E. Is your ribcage 30″? I have this pattern and haven’t tackled it yet. I know cup size will be trial and error, but wondering if I can find a reliable starting point on the band. I’m 32″ ribcage. Thanks so much for the feed back (and for the details on what worked with this pattern.) Beautiful job on this set!!

    • LLADYBIRD June 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

      Thank you! My ribcage is 27.5″, and my full bust is 34″. This corresponds with the size chart in the pattern to put me at a 30E. I would recommend measuring your ribcage and full bust, then using the size chart to determine which size to cut. It is fairly true to size, and the fit is very forgiving since it’s a knit.

  2. Deborah June 26, 2018 at 2:24 pm #

    Very pretty bra. I am inspired by your ability to find new fabrics and ways to construct. The floral looks wonderful.

  3. Kat June 26, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

    Both of these are gorgeous! I swore I would never make lingerie but the Watson pattern is so tempting. I wonder how the fit would be on myself (I’m a 38 C in commercial bras), may give this a try for shits and giggles. As you said earlier, YOLO!

    • LLADYBIRD June 29, 2018 at 9:36 am #

      I think you’ll like the fit! You should just go for it!

  4. Aileen June 26, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

    I love the Watson Bra pattern! I’ve made three for myself and they’re so comfortable. I’ve used scuba knit for all of mine. Your two new ones look great!

    • LLADYBIRD June 29, 2018 at 9:36 am #

      Thank you! I agree, scuba is great for this pattern!

  5. ellegeemakes June 26, 2018 at 6:41 pm #

    This is so cool – – I might just have to make one of these for myself. Honestly, your fabric choices are so cute.

    • LLADYBIRD June 29, 2018 at 9:37 am #

      You should give it a go! It’s a great pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Heather Myers June 26, 2018 at 9:26 pm #

    Nice! And happy to see/ read you approaching your former self.๐Ÿ˜

  7. Dona Carberry June 27, 2018 at 9:14 am #

    I love the idea of scuba fabric for a bra! I think it would have all the โ€œhold me inโ€ properties that I want. I havenโ€™t ever made anything with it though, so this is just supposition. My question is how does it work for underwear? Iโ€™m always looking for the holy grail of fabrics for underwear (still looking) and had never considered scuba! Thanks for any tips you can offer!!

    • LLADYBIRD June 29, 2018 at 9:38 am #

      It works fine for underwear! Holds it’s shape well, so it doesn’t bag out over the course of the day (of course, the attached elastic around the legs helps too – but i also don’t get diaper butt with scuba haha)

      • Dona Carberry July 1, 2018 at 9:49 am #

        Awesome! I ordered some and am giving it a go. Iโ€™m always searching for the โ€œHoly Grailโ€ when it comes to underwear. If scuba fabric turns out to be it, you will have become my savior and Underwear Queen!!

        • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2018 at 5:31 pm #

          Woohoo! If it does turn out to be your holy grail, I would love to know! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Katie June 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

    Two things: one, your blog got me sewing bras, and I’m so glad I did, so thanks for that. Two, let us know if the scuba is hot. While I am tempted by all the pretty prints, I do not want sweaty boobs. Is scuba really functional for summer in the south?

    • DatPixieGirl June 27, 2018 at 10:21 pm #

      I second Katie’s inquiry! I haven’t even considered sewing with scuba or ITY/Ponte because in heat and humidity, just looking at polyester fabric makes me sweat…

      • LLADYBIRD June 29, 2018 at 9:40 am #

        Yeah but aren’t most of your bras and undies made from a poly fabric? I know mine are! I don’t find it hot at all… it covers such a small part of your body, and if you are gonna get sweaty boob, fabric choice has little to prevent or cause that.

        • ule July 1, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

          All the pieces look great! But my underwear is all cotton. I can just look at poly underwear and sense a yeast infection coming.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          • LLADYBIRD July 1, 2018 at 5:30 pm #

            I can’t speak for every individual lady, but generally speaking as long as you line the crotch with a cotton fabric, you can wear whatever on the rest of the undies and it breathes enough to keep infections at bay. Of course, if you are extra sensitive that may not be the case!

    • LLADYBIRD June 29, 2018 at 9:39 am #

      I don’t find it hot? Most of the fabric that makes lingerie is some sort of poly or poly blend, and this is no different.

  9. Aubrey (@alwaysaubrey) June 27, 2018 at 12:41 pm #

    Usually I just read and lurk, but THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. And so are you. Let me know when you’re free/in town again and I’ll buy you a margarita to match your cute bra.

  10. bethnegrey June 27, 2018 at 12:57 pm #

    These are absolutely gorgeous!

  11. FabricHoarder June 27, 2018 at 8:59 pm #

    They’re all gorgeous, but I also really like the blogging – made me smile!

  12. Nyssa Jayne Tyers-McGwyre June 28, 2018 at 3:03 pm #

    I sewed a Harriet bra out of scuba and it looked fab, but I didn’t underline it, and it was totes not supportive enough — it looked fine, but was hella uncomfortable. So the powermesh in the cups is a grand idea (I’m going to remake the bra, got plenty more scuba scraps!)

    • LLADYBIRD June 29, 2018 at 9:41 am #

      Ohhh that’s good to know! Although the Harriett is supposed to be a little more rigid, and the Watson is intended to stretch… so yeah, that makes sense that it wasn’t supportive enough. I’d actually suggest lining the cups with sheer cup lining, rather than power mesh. That should give you the best support in that pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. olivia June 29, 2018 at 2:18 am #

    I was just going to start a Watson bra made from scuba. I am glad I read your post. I am going to wait until I have the right needles. I just finished one in lace!!! yes!! it’s my first wearable one. My first try was horrible. Matching undies are next.

    • LLADYBIRD June 29, 2018 at 9:42 am #

      Yay! Matching undies are my favorite part about sewing lingerie ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Kelly July 2, 2018 at 9:54 am #

    There’s just about nothing I love more than big florals chopped up by seamlines or pleats! So pretty and organic, yet not quite representational. Your lingerie is lovely!

  15. Jane Valenti July 2, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

    Watson has always given me some trouble at the straps. The elastic used on the upper cup edge plus the elastic used on the underarm edge make it really difficult to fold down that little flap around the ring. I tried twice and ran into the same problem. Any advice?

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2018 at 10:07 am #

      Leave a little tail of elastic after you sew it and use that to hold onto when you’re folding down the flap. After it’s sewn, then you can trim it off ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Ciara July 7, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

    Have you ever thought about sewing the Watson with non-stretch fabric in the cups? I’m considering it, because I really want a semi-functional non-wired bra/bralette, but I’ve had nothing but terrible experiences using the recommended stretch fabrics in the cups. My boobs just nope right outta there. I might as well just set my elastics on fire for all the good they’re doing me. What do you think? Brilliant new approach, or just a new kind of disaster waiting to happen?

    • LLADYBIRD July 9, 2018 at 10:55 am #

      I think you’d be better off finding a non-wired pattern for woven fabrics, rather than trying to change this one. The cups are designed to have stretch, which affects how they fit. You might be able to try it with woven by going up a couple cup sizes, but I personally would rather just find a pattern that is already drafted for that. Are you stabilizing the center front of the bra so that it doesn’t stretch at all? I’ve noticed that is the key to getting your boobs to stay in the cups with this bra – if the center front stretches, you lose loads of support and lift. Combine that with the longline version for even more support.

      • Ciara July 9, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

        I actually haven’t tried the Watson at all yet. I’ve tried some other bralette patterns drafted for stretch fabrics in the cups & they were just total disasters. Like, tehy actually somehow made my boobs look even worse than when I’m not wearing a bra at all! I straight up looked like a Baba Yaga. But maybe I should try the Watson as-drafted before fiddling with it too much.

  17. Sandra Woods July 10, 2018 at 11:27 am #

    You could still make a second pair of matching panties by use some scruba scraps, for instance, insert it in the side panels, or in a front panel.


  1. Completed: Madalynne x Simplicity 8711 Lingerie Set | LLADYBIRD - August 23, 2018

    […] all seriousness, new undergarments are happening! You’ve probably seen a few in previous Watson makes, as well as on Instagram. I don’t blog too much in the way of lingerie these days, just […]

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