Jungle Harriet Bra

Well, friends, it’s now that time when we reflect on the past year and start looking forward to the new one.  Personally, I’ve been writing down goals and listing the things I’d like to do now that I’m not only entering a new year, but also a new decade of life.  Creating this blog and starting the Curated Closet series were actually a big part of my plans – something I’ll talk about more as I go.

As cliché as it sounds, I do feel like a new year is full of possibilities!  Of course, it’s hard to predict what will happen.  There are a lot of things I’m hoping for (e.g. new job, new place, new president), but one thing is for sure: I will still be sewing.  So why not set some fun sewing-related goals?  My first sewing resolution is to make one lingerie set each month.  And look!  I already have a head start with this leafy set.

As you might be able to tell, I used the Harriet bra pattern from Cloth Habit.  I was a little late to jump on this pattern, but it was love at first fitting.  I made a muslin and another wearable version back in August.  The only change I made at that time was to widen the top of the bridge by 1/4″.  This tiny alteration made the bridge lay nearly completely flat against my chest.  And if you’ve ever tried bra fitting before, you know that “nearly flat” is totally worth shouting from the rooftops.  After wearing that one a few times, the only other issue that I thought needed solving was the slight gaping I was getting along the underarm edge of the cup and cradle.  So for the new version, I pinched out 1/4″ wedges from the outer lower cup and outer cradle pieces.

 

What I love most about this bra is the fabric print.  It’s a poly/spandex athletic knit from JoAnn.  I bought one yard last fall on impulse while browsing the store, and initially had it pegged for a top.  I changed my mind because I realized that I don’t actually like these slippery fabrics for working out (or just wearing in general).  I feel like they ride up more and don’t stay put when doing floor exercises.  So at that point this small cut of fabric was destined to become a lingerie set.  I used quite a few other materials as well, so if you’re curious where I got any of the supplies, just ask.  I buy from several different sources, so unless it’s a kit,  it gets a little laborious trying to record where each small bit was purchased.  But really, I don’t mind telling you where it came from – I keep no bra-making secrets!

Since the fabric is very stretchy, the cups and cradle are lined with black sheer cup lining, while the back band pieces are lined with black power net.  Technically I could have used the power net by itself, but I liked the idea of all-over print.

The pink findings for the bra all came in a kit from Bra Making Supplies.  Even though I know I’m not original pairing green foliage with pink, I like how fresh it looks.

But can you see the tiny construction error I made?  The hook and eye pieces are reversed!  I know it looks normal and still works just fine, but let me tell you, it is weird when you’re hooking and unhooking it.  It’s sort of like switching the buttons and buttonholes on your shirt, but it feels stranger because you’re doing it with your hands wrapped behind your back.  I’m still trying to decide if I want to go back and fix it because I’m worried the area won’t stand up to unpicking all that well.

Back to the fit!  The gaping at the underarm is much improved with the adjustment I made, and I think if I pinched any more width out there I’d end up with a too-tight bra.  I am, however, getting a little bit of gaping at the top of the cup (neckline edge).  Since this wasn’t an issue with the last bra, I’m assuming this is a combination of a stretchy fabric (the upper cup is not lined) and not stretching the elastic enough when I applied it to the neckline edge.  Overall, it feels like the cup lining fits great, but the outer fabric is a little big – again, probably due to the stretch of the fabric and all the handling during sewing.  I’ve seen this happen before, and it’s why I usually only use super stretchy fabrics when I’m making a foam cup bra.  It’s still very comfortable and wearable, so I’m counting it as a win.

Okay, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the bra, but I made matching undies as well.  These are the Frankie panties from Evie La Luve and they are GREAT.  The fit is awesome – no changes at all – and they don’t ride up or dig in anywhere.  Plus this pattern has single handedly repaired my relationship with fold over elastic.  Yes.  Until now, FOE had been my foe (how have I not used that pun before?).  But now that I know to always stitch it with a 3-step zigzag, we get along again!  I made two pairs because you can never ever have too much underwear.

So, any resolutions yet for you?  Are any of them sewing related?  Please do tell!

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Comments

  1. Jenn

    I have done this with my hooks on the back. I sewed them on backwards. And it is weird! So I unpicked them (which wasn’t easy!) and reattached them. But like you think..my fabric did not hold up well to the unpicking. And I probably shredded some of the fabric during the unpicking. Before reattaching, I ended up trimming the ends a bit and making the band probably about 1/2 in smaller. So it did alter the fit a bit, but I had some room anyways. And now I can hook and unhook with out trying to figure out how to do it backwards! I’d say it was worth it.

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      Henna

      Good to know I’m not the only one who’s done this! I probably have enough wiggle room to lose 1/2″ so I will probably go ahead and fix it. It does feel so weird and I’m not sure I’ll get used to it being backwards!

  2. SaSa

    So pretty! The pink elastic looks so modern with this green print. Maybe the underarm elastic is not stretched to make it gaping? I have to stretch there about one inch. Before, I used to stretch the „neckline“ elastic too much resulting in a sort of bulging cup. I first thought, the cup was too large but with relaxed elastic it fits well. Now, I am calculating minus 8-10% and the fit is spot on.

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      Henna

      I tried stretching the elastic a bit more on my last version, but still had the gaping. I’ve never calculated it, though, so that might be a good idea – I’ll try measuring the length next time! I think it must be something about the fabric, too. I just remembered that on my last one (made with sturdy simplex fabric), my underwire fit perfectly in the casing. This time, there was about 1/2″ extra room on the ends. Maybe I stretched it out while sewing?

  3. Chloe

    Beautiful! I really like how the print carries on through the back band. Excellent idea! I’d love to commit to making a new bra set each month, but I don’t think it’s particularly realistic for me. My big goal for 2018 sewing is a fabric ban for 6 months. I don’t have a massive stash, but it’s too big for me, and I’d like to spend some quality time sewing, not shopping. We’ll see how the first half of the year goes, maybe I’ll make it through a full year (gulp!) I’ll definitely be sewing up some more Harriets, though, it’s a great pattern.

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      Henna

      Oh gosh yes I feel the same way. I think I bought way more fabric in the last year than I have in previous years, and I was sort of in denial about my ability to store it all. Good luck with your fabric ban! I will say that it gets easier the longer you do it – I’m about 3 months in now and the itch has definitely subsided!

  4. Ginny

    Beautiful Henna! I have such a love of colorful, printed undies, and your new set is superb. I generally dress in a rather simple style, and for some reason knowing I’m wearing wild undies underneath amuses me greatly. It feels like an inside joke — with myself. Does that sound too weird 😀?

    You did such wonderful work on this set. LOVE your FOE joke 😍. My relationship with FOE has improved tremendously this year, partially due to sewing many Frankie Panties, though I think that making a few Fenway bras had a positive impact as well.

    I’m sure enjoying your new blog!

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      Henna

      Oh thank you, Ginny! I love the idea of having a secret party under your clothes! It’s one of the best things about sewing underwear – it can be as loud or as frilly as your heart desires!

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