Way too much lingerie!
Last February, shortly before Valentine's Day and not long after my blog post about my Spring wardrobe plans, I caught the lingerie sewing bug. I knew it was bound to get me eventually seeing as it has made it's way through the blogosphere several times now! The bug was passed to me by Caroline of Blackbird Fabrics and Tasia of Sewaholic during a trip to visit them in the winter. They were stocking up on gorgeous lingerie elastics and laces at a local fabric shop and suddenly my shopping list looked so dismally colorless and lacking in frills! It wasn't long before I was in the checkout lineup with a shopping basket of pale pinks and nudes of my own. Of course, Caroline's gorgeous Watson Bra Kits, which she released not long after my Vancouver trip, did nothing to help matters - my mailbox soon contained three of these beauties and I spent quite a few late winter evenings sewing up lingerie. It was so much fun! In case you haven't already read elsewhere, the Watson Bra is really quick to sew, very easy to fit and quite comfortable to wear. It's certainly a different silhouette than I am used to but I'm pleased with how many shirts I find myself happily wearing it under. It suits my Camas Blouses very nicely and is great under cozy sweaters. I don't find myself inclined to wear it with thin t-shirts or sports clothing because I prefer something with padding and more coverage in these instances. The findings in the Blackbird Fabrics kits really make the bra - the hook and eye closures are very plush and comfortable and the jewelry quality sliders and rings make the bra feel very high quality compared to the plastic ones I have on most of my RTW lingerie. The quality of the elastics is far superior to anything I have available locally. I've been very frustrated with underwear sewing in the past because after a couple delicate washes (no dryer) the elastic already starts to break down! It drives me nuts...especially since I have found that the very cheap La Senza underwear that I used to purchase included elastic and lace that lasted longer than the fabric itself! So far, all of the Blackbird elastics show no sign of wear. The stretch lace that I purchased while in Vancouver (the peach lace on the blue bra) is looking brand new as well. On the other hand, the black stretch lace and black elastic that I purchased locally already features fraying portions and exposed inner elastic fibres. To be fair, I find myself wearing my grey bamboo mock up Watson more often than my other two sets because it is so stretchy and comfortable so this might be contributing to the wear. The pretty burgundy and blue sets that I made using Caroline's kits offer much more support than my bamboo knit version and a tiny bit less comfort (but this is all relative - they are more comfortable than any of my RTW underwire bras). I also view them as my 'fancy' sets so I only wear them if I am putting them on under something a bit dressy. I really enjoyed adding to the fabrics included in the kits with additional fabric from my stash, lace, bows and even a lace garter belt (using some of the indestructible lace from one of my old pairs of RTW underwear). Due to the additional trims and fabrics I added, I was left with quite a bit of the kit materials - enough to sew a couple more pairs of underwear if I included additional lace and accent fabrics once again. The patterns that I used for these sets are: The Watson Bra (all are the longline version), The Watson Underwear (included with the bra pattern), and the Ladyshorts (a free pattern by Cloth Habit). I'm taking a break from lingerie sewing for a while now but I'm really happy with how this mini sewing obsession led to a completely updated and fresh lingerie drawer to go with my spring outfits! Now its back to nice sturdy denims and rugged canvases for me :).