Colette

Pattern of the month: Get the Florence Bra for $5

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Dorothy Parker once said “Brevity is the soul of lingerie”

I have to be honest, most days my under-things consist of a nude or black bra that is strong enough to muzzle a shark, plus a pair of underwear that are more simple than they are exciting. I hardly consider these items lingerie, they are simply foundation pieces that make my clothes look good.

Lingerie is a whole other story. It brings to mind lace, net, and other luxuriously delicate fabrics. Things that are generally left for special occasions. But why?

This month is Florence month and I am vowing to marry aesthetic beauty with daily practicality when it comes to my underpinnings. I am full busted, so brevity where my bras are concerned is not an option. I do however, feel that the illusion of brevity through delicate colors and fabric can be achieved.

Florence is a bralette that can be made with or without underwire, and can be supportive in either form (yay!). This project takes a mere 3 hours and offers plenty of opportunity for pretty little details.

I plan on sewing up a couple Florence Bras to kick start my swan dive into the world of pretty me-made lingerie. I have gathered some inspiration for my planning and yours alike.

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  1. A sexy black bra with a center front hook and eye detail.
  2. A nude and black bra with a gorgeous lace appliqué.

  3. The ribbon detail added to the straps of this blush bra are so simple and lovely.

  4. I can’t get enough of this modern geometric bra.

  5. This delicate blue lace bra has lovely contrasting blush details.

  6. I love this eyelet bra, wouldn’t Florence be adorable sewn with stretch eyelet details?

  7. The use of striped elastic in this peach bra is the perfect contrast of sweet and preppy.

  8. I adore the idea of turning Florence into a slip, like this one here.

  9. The hardware used in this satin bra is so unique and beautiful.

  10. The beautiful lace placement on this peacock colored bra is genius.

  11. Florence would also be lovely lengthened into a tank, like this ivory camisole here.

For the month of June Florence will be $2 off, no promo code needed. That means that if you are not a Seamwork subscriber you can get the pattern for $5, but if you are a subscriber Florence is just $3!!!

Haley Glenn   —   Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.

Comments 17

Krystina

Okay I am finally convinced… I haven’t wanted to take on lingerie, but I trust Colette to tell the truth about how long the project will take. Also, your model is gorgeous!!!

Georgia

“a nude or black bra that is strong enough to muzzle a shark”
Nooo I think I just peed myself

Karen Saari livinginserendipity

Instead of using knits, can we make this with a woven fabric that is cut on the bias?

Haley

Woven fabric could be used for part of the bra as an accent. Perhaps on the side cup panel, or the band if a hook and eye closure was added. Whenever making a big pattern change like switching between knit and woven I make a mock up just to check.

Karen Saari livinginserendipity

Ok, thank you. Yes, I think even without a big change a mock up would be a good idea! :)

nothy lane

I need some handholding to tackle this one…so I am really looking forward to the upcoming posts. (And a whole lotta shopping for lace and clasps, etc)

Jess

I would really love to try the pattern but right now I have some…special needs. Any tips on modifying this pattern for a nursing bra?

Haley

Hi Jess,
You could use nursing bra clasps like these ones here:
http://www.sewsassy.com/BraProducts/nursingbraclasps.html
Just attach these where the bra cup and strap meet. You could even use these to adapt a ready-to-wear bra into nursing bra.

Denise

I have done the Craftsy class for bra making – it still came out the wrong size. If I go in to be measured, what I measure at doesn’t fit right for some reason. I guess I have fit issues. I have tried to find good material without spending a fortune on shipping – can’t. All the patterns I have use power mesh for the band but RTW does not. Most of the power mesh readily available is not heavy enough. I have found the process very frustrating and given up. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I am also full-busted so the pretty little things don’t work for me.

Denise

I forgot to add that finding the bra pieces such as hooks and eyes is difficult – the stores carry extenders which are not the same. Elastics of varying widths and colors are only available online. To get all the pieces usually means ordering from multiple sites – not a problem until you add the shipping.

daiyami

Denise, have you already tried looking for bra kits? It seems like a lot of bra supply places sell them, and I was thinking I’d probably start out that way (when I finally decide to tackle the fitting challenge).

Haley, definitely getting Florence because it seems like fit won’t be so critical–looking forward to the upcoming posts. Would LOVE to see some ideas on adding a slip/nightdress like your inspiration photo.

Denise

Yes, I have used a kit. I purchased one of the kits for the class and that was the best bra I have made. However, the kits are designed for one bra and usually a particular pattern or company (this kit is for Kwik Sew bras). If you are trying to perfect fit, you need more supplies. Lingerie making has become popular – the availability of supplies is not there yet.

Haley

Hi Denise,
I can’t say enough good things about Bra-Makers Supply. Although the shipping can be costly, I find that their quality of product is great enough that I don’t mind at all. I have some power mesh from there, it is firm, stable, and soft. Sometimes small businesses like Grey’s Fabric will make kits available for a new pattern release. I like signing up for email updates to shops like these so I don’t miss out on great bra making kits.
It is also all bout finding the right pattern. I know that I will always be unhappy with the fit of a bra unless it is a 3 piece cup. I just hate the way anything else fits! In addition to all these things fitting can tough, especially for bras. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few tries! I have found these two blogs to be incredible resources for bra making.
http://www.orange-lingerie.com/blog/
http://www.madalynne.com/blog/

Denise

Thanks Haley. I haven’ t tried a three piece cup – I’ll have to do that. I actually hate bras and hate shopping for them. I did go shopping recently and finally found some that are comfortable and learned a lot about me and bras in the process (my daughter went with me and kept me sane!). As I finished in the fitting room the lady asked if I had any “nos” – oh yes – a lot!

debbie

I find this intriguing…being full-figured and a little older than most of you. I love your patterns!
Could you post a list of online suppliers for bra making supplies? That would be helpful.

Stirling

I love this pattern. It’s really cute. Are you guys going to be print together some hacks and tips for it? I’d love to see more versions. Ooh, maybe how to make the band out of something other than double bordered lace?

Haley

We will be sharing a pattern hack and a couple tutorial before the end of the month, so stay tuned!

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