It looks like I have a tendency to sew a new soft bra whenever I have impending international travel. I made the Seamwork Florence Bra when I went to Japan in the spring, and now I’ve gone and made Madalynne’s Noelle Halter Bra for my fall trip to Europe.
Isn’t she glorious? And do you want to know the best part? She’s F-R-E-E!! Hallelujah!
So why did I make another bra instead of using the Florence I already had? Well, I planned to wear my Hemlock tunics on the plane, and although Florence is a lovely lady, she doesn’t keep things in place when you’re hauling butt from one end of the airport to another. Plus, I don’t think that bust seam would look too pretty under that tissue-weight jersey.
Noelle seemed like a bra better suited for the action of travel and she looked like she would keep things smooth.
I used this black lace in my stash from SAS Fabrics. I bought it a couple of years ago for just $1 a yard!! I made [unblogged] leggings with it but realized quickly the recovery wasn’t good at all when I had droopy knees by the end of the day. The leggings have since been given to Goodwill. 😦
Even though I knew the recovery was bad, I decided to give it a try and lined it with Nude Power Mesh from Cali Fabrics. This ended up working brilliantly! Not only did everything stay in place and look smooth, but it was comfortable and kept its form after a whole day of flying which blurred into a whole day of driving around Germany and visiting family.
The top of the bra did peek out from the top of my tunic, but it doesn’t scream “LOOK AT ME, I’M A REAL BRA.” It looked like a halter tank instead (or so I think).
My measurements put me at a size L. I found this peculiar since I’m in no way “L” up top. It was confirmed peculiar when it was indeed way too large as I was sewing. So I took out a good 1 or 2 inches from either side to make it fit better and that did the trick! The bust darts are only slightly skewed from where they should be but I’m surprised the rest fit well after being the wrong size.
The instructions aren’t your usual friendly indie pattern company hold-your-hand instructions. There are no pictures and once I got to the elastic part, I was scratching my head. I decided to just wing it and do my own thing.
The pattern calls for bra rings and sliders, but since I was making this the weekend before my trip, I didn’t have time to go shopping for some. Plus, I don’t really find a need for those since this is MY bra and it will fit only ME. So there!
But since I was winging it, the construction isn’t as pretty as it could have been:
Eep! That elastic is a hot mess! At least it doesn’t look nearly as bad on the right side.
I basted my lining and shell fabrics together, then sewed the elastic to the right side edges using a zig-zag stitch. Then I simply turned the elastic under and sewed with more zig-zag stitches.
I sewed the elastic on the neckband first (because I was still kind of following the directions) then sewed the sides front to back and attached the free elastic at the front points.
I think next time I will use fold-over elastic as I think I would be able to catch the edges of the elastic on the neckline and just make the whole thing look a lot prettier. Or maybe I should learn to follow instructions and sew with lingerie elastic as intended!
Since hindsight is 20/20, I’m thinking I should have sewn the darts with a stretch stitch instead of a straight stitch. Every time I pull this over my football-player shoulders, I hear POP POP POP. It’s probably those darn darts! But I don’t think they’re going anywhere since this is a solid little bra!
I also deviated from the instructions a bit and added 1 1/2 inch elastic to the bottom of my bra instead of the delicate picot plush elastic recommended. WHATEVER, I DO MY OWN THANG.
Oh! I forgot to tell you the Noelle pattern also comes with a free high-waisted panty! It’s also suggested on Madalynne’s site that you can make this into a bathing suit. GENIUS! Honestly, if I was brave enough, I could wear this bra as a regular cropped halter top with high-waisted jeans or a skirt. But let’s get real, I’m 33 and don’t have a 6-pack (plus the comfy-casual people of Tucson would be like “whaaaaaaaaat is she wearing?”) so I don’t think it’s going to happen in public. 😉
Oh oh oh! Another bit of good news! Madalynne has MORE free lingerie patterns for everyone to download! Check them out here! Make yourself something pretty and TREAT YO’SELF!
Oh, Madalynne, you spoil us. ❤ ❤ ❤