Lingerie & Lace: Tips to Make It Easier

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Have you ever wanted to create stunning intimate apparel, only to find yourself frustrated with a pile of wasted lace and elastic? This post is for you! This spring we’ll be sharing two different types of intimate apparel that you will love to make for yourself.  First up is a stretch lace bralette. This type of garment can be very comfortable for sleeping in or for wearing as a camisole underneath a sweater or blouse. With just a couple of tricks and tools, you’ll find yourself making these in a rainbow of colors!

I used a pattern from Made for Mermaids, a fabulous indie pattern company in the US. Their patterns come in a wide range of sizing, making it simple to find one that fits your exact body shape and size (because no two are alike, right?) M4M has a whole collection of intimate apparel patterns, including the Bridgette Bralette.

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I pulled some “Pink Beauty” Galloon Lace (slightly stretchy lace with a scalloped edge) and matching picot elastic (narrow elastic with a fancy edge) from a local online shop Kiss My Stash Fabric Co and went to work!

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The other materials I gathered were the following: a fabric glue stick (my fave is my Fons & Porter refillable stick), some Blue Tip Janome needles and, of course, matching thread.

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Before we start assembling, however, let’s talk machine settings just for a moment. Most sewing machines have a built in stitch that is perfect for stretch lace lingerie. On the Skyline 9, it’s #6 in the utility section. The stitch looks like a tiny lightening bolt. When it is used with lingerie, it’s best to have a very narrow width for stability and strength. I suggest a 0.5 width setting, and a 2.0 length setting for construction seams, and a 2.0 width/2.0 length for top-stitching. Lingerie needs to be able to move in all directions, so these settings allow for that.  I found using the A foot also to be beneficial, as it’s width is perfect for a 3/8″ seam allowance. Sewing right along the edge with the stretch lace allowed it to move properly without bunching and getting stuck.

Blue Tip Needles are slightly ballpoint and separate the fibers of the lace instead of piercing the fabric and creating holes. Click here for an excellent post on our needles.

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The fabric glue stick is a lifesaver, in my opinion lol. Many fabrics that are used for intimate apparel are quite delicate and can be ruined with pins, so I like to use a little dab of glue in the seam allowance and clips when I need a little more help. It also makes the construction go a little faster and allows you to wiggle the pieces as necessary for accuracy. Attaching picot elastic with the glue stick is also very helpful. Most picot elastic is very narrow, and is difficult to anchor with a clip or pin. Glue to the rescue!

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There are two ways that you can attach picot elastic to a garment. The first way is to place it underneath the edge of the fabric and top-stitch into place. This is handy for matching up a decorative edge and hiding the elastic behind your fabric. The second way is excellent for raw edges – right sides together, stitch, turn and top-stitch. We are all very familiar with that method, right? Attaching it this way allows for the pretty edge to show and gives it a polished finished look.

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Sewing stretch lace lingerie is fun and can be very addicting! Have fun creating some intimate apparel that will leave you feeling amazing and confident.

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Until next time,

JanomeGirl

 

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6 Responses to Lingerie & Lace: Tips to Make It Easier

  1. Virgie V. Martin says:

    Would love to see more on lingerie sewing and fitting sequences. Sewing for XL and tall sizes for slips/half slips and coulottes is necessary as you do not have many choices in store bought items. The purchased lingerie fabric does not go well with knits and other types of popular fabrics. Any suggestions are welcome.

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    • anne says:

      I would try some lightweight china silk. Although on the straight grain there is minimal (if any) stretch, if you cut it on the bias it will stretch enough to be comfortable and move with you. Since this fabric can be a bit pricy, I would look for a really fine satin polyester to use as a test piece. There are some with the same weight and drape as china silk they just don’t breath well so tend to hold in heat, but are good for testing.

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      • Virgie Martin says:

        Thank you and I will locate a fabric company that offers the lightweight china silk after testing the fine satin polyester. In our area, there is no choice of designer fabric but surely can find a source on the net.

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  2. anne says:

    Thank you for your post, I have actually made a few bralettes already and paired them up with panties made with the same lace. Not only did they turn out beautiful but the sets made really great Christmas and birthday gifts. One caution, if you decide to make the panties add something decorative (a bow perhaps) to indicate the front as it is not always easy to see. My granddaughter complained about the first pair I gave her and it turned out she was wearing them backward.

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  3. Thanks for the helpful information! 😁👍

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