Are you enjoying our “Project of the Month” series? I love seeing new projects and techniques that can be completed with tools and supplies that I have on hand. Because we all have a stash, right? Perhaps you have been collecting knit fabrics, fold over elastic, and bra hardware over the last little bit. Or maybe you have some lingerie that is sooooo tired (this is definitely me lol) that you could harvest the sliders and rings from? Today I bring to you a review of two free patterns available for download from Ohhh Lulu, a lingerie designer and maker from Ontario. I dug through my scrap bin and found this lovely chunk of cotton lycra that was calling out to be transformed into the Hyacinth Bralette and Celeste Bikini Cut Panties. Follow along with me and make these super cute and quick ‘unmentionables’ that you will be dying to mention haha.
OhhhLulu has amazing lingerie patterns for all sizes and shapes. I downloaded and printed the patterns, pulled out some other supplies and went to work.
When making your first bralette or undies, make sure to grab a ballpoint or stretch needle. This is so so important, I can’t stress it enough. (If you are unsure of the difference between our needles, click here). Ballpoint needles allow for adequate movement in the stitches and the fabric for stretch fabrics. Instead of cutting the fabric, it moves the fibers apart to allow the stitch to form. Sharp needles (ie not a ballpoint or stretch needle) pierces the fibres of the knit damaging them. This means it may rip or run when the seam is stressed. Also, choose a stitch that allows for movement in the seam. On my Janome Horizon MC15000, I really like both Multiple Zig zags and the Stretch Stitch from the Utility menu. I stitched them out on a scrap to confirm the tension settings were what I wanted.
Instead of pinning and cutting my pattern pieces, I cut them out with paper scissors and then traced around them on my fabric with a washaway pen. I prefer this method, as then the pattern doesn’t accidentally get trimmed while cutting out your pattern pieces. I absolutely adore how Sarah from OhhhLulu gives her pattern instructions. Not only does she provide a table of contents in her pattern, but also has a glossary at the end and often has YouTube videos showing techniques. (Click here to find her YouTube channel.)
The first step for the bralette entailed applying stretch lace trim to the front neck edge of the pattern piece. I stitched the lace down twice so that there was enough of the lace stitched down before cutting away the excess seam allowance. No measurement for the length of trim needed was given, which initially bugged me but as I was sewing it down, it made it so I could customize the fit.
After the top lace was attached, I then sewed one side seam. In my opinion, this is a brilliant way to do lingerie. It reduces so much bulk at the seams when working with lace and elastic. I used the lightning stitch to sew the seam, and then the triple stitch as a top-stitch to secure the seam allowances after trimming.
The bottom band elastic is attached first on the right side of the fabric, and then flipped to the wrong side and top-stitched. I had a plush backed elastic from Bra Makers Supply in Hamilton that was perfect for this. The softness is so gentle right next to skin. I trimmed the seam allowance, sewed the other side seam and then flipped it under for top-stitching. Again I used the triple zigzag, I think it’s my favorite for lingerie!
Now it was time to finish the other raw edges of the bralette. I had some fold-over elastic hanging around, which is perfect for this because it’s designed with a fold line built into the elastic. The Taping Guide Foot was essential for this step. The pattern writes it as sewing it in two steps, but the taping guide foot made it so much faster.
Again no measurement was given for this length of elastic, but I was totally fine with that. It’s much easier to adjust the tension of the elastic when you have enough to hang on to. The purpose of the fold over elastic is more to finish the raw edge and provide stability to the garment, not to hold it up. The second Multiple Zig zag stitch was perfect for this part. The parts of the stitch are closer together and worked so well to anchor the elastic.
Now that all the edges were finished, it was time to add the straps. The pattern called for elastic strapping that you can purchase, but I didn’t have any of that in my stash. So I used some more fold-over elastic. On my next one, I will use the proper elastic because the one I used is quite soft, so it stretches much more easily. Using metal sliders and rings make this garment go from homemade to hand-crafted, it adds such a nice finish to the garment. They are available in all different sizes from Bra Makers Supply.
The method used to attach the straps to the front of the bralette is quite nice. It uses a straight stitch, and then fold it under and top-stitch. I stitched it with the triple zigzag twice to try to enclose the raw edges of the straps under the edge of the top. See the next picture.
The finished item!
Using all of the same techniques, I also made the Celeste Bikini Cut Panties to match. I really liked the construction of the seam that joined the back to the front. This method also enclosed the raw edges of where the lining attached.
After finishing the edge of the lining, I laid the front and back right sides together, and then added the lining with the right side against the wrong side of the back. That way when folded over, the seam is enclosed.
The pattern calls for the lining to be basted down on the edges, which was so worth it lol. When I went to add the lace using the same method as for the bralette, I didn’t have anything getting bunched up or missing layers. I did, however, measure the lace for the panties and matched the centers. Leg openings are much more comfortable when both sides fit the same?!
After attaching the lace to the legs, it was time to use the Taping Guide Foot again to apply the fold-over elastic to the waistband. I hate it when undies cut into my tummy, so I didn’t stretch the elastic too much while sewing it. And I think they turned out great!
No modeled shots of these garments, but I know they will be super comfy and add a little personality to the lingerie drawer! Make sure you check out what other patterns are available from OhhhLulu. She also has patterns for lingerie made with woven fabric like silky satins.
That’s it for the October Project of the Month! To see past projects, click here.
Until next time,