achievement unlocked: elan 645 peach/ivory bra & underpants


when i made my first bra, i suspected that the cups might be a little bit too small. i had sewn up a 40D, so i decided to try a 40DD with this fabric, which was also purchased from bramaker’s supply. it’s one of their fabric trios: ivory duoplex, peach powernet, & this really interesting lace that is peach with ivory, red, & green elements. i used an ivory findings kit.

construction was indeed faster & easier this time, particularly the channeling. it is so much easier to sew it to the seam allowance than trying to topstitch from the font, matching the original stitch lines! i did spend literally hours trying to figure out the straps. i was planning to use some left over elastic (not strap elastic) for the straps & make them adjustable, but i just. could not. figure out. how to do it! god, it was so frustrating. finally i was like, “you know what? fuck this. the whole point of sewing for yourself is that you can customize the fit. i don’t need adjustable straps.”

unfortunately, the 40DD is NOT my size. the band fit fine but the cups were obviously way too big. i had empty space at the bottom of the cup & empty space at the apex. the apex was also really pointy (maybe due to the excess fabric?), which is not a problem i had with the 40D. i wound up ripping out the underarm elastic, snipping an inch off either side, & restitching. that eliminated the gap at the bottom of the cups. then i pinned out the excess at the apex & restitched the upper & lower cups together. so now it fits pretty well. it’s still a slightly pointier silhouette than the 40D, but it’s definitely wearable.

close-up of the lace:


i am having some problems with my lace. i’m layering stretch lace over non-stretch duoplex. for this bra, i used spray adhesive & then basted, but the lace still shifted & bunched a little bit as i sewed. do i just need to keep practicing with stretch fabrics? or is there some trick to sewing stretch lace? it looks okay, but could definitely look better.

i used leftover fabric to make the undies. this lace was wider than the black lace i used with my first set, so i was able to use it as a side panel. the front is duoplex & i did panels of powernet around duoplex for the back:


no photos of me in it, but trust when i say this stuff makes your ass look banging. the duoplex & powernet skim over any lumps & bumps but stays in place with just enough stretch. the trim is leftover elastic i didn’t use in the bra:


it has little sequins on it! amazing!

so. i am still hoping to perfect the fit on this pattern. for my next try, i’m going back to the 40D but redrafting the bridge to be just a little bit wider. i thought the 40D might be too small because the bridge wasn’t lying flat, but maybe it wasn’t the cups that were the problem so much as the bridge being too narrow for my chest. we shall see!

i’m hoping to get going on another set soon, but i had a grievous sewing injury yesterday so i think i need a few days to recover. i had printed out a couple of PDF patterns & i was trimming & taping them together. the blade on my rotary cutter was on its last legs as far as fabric goes, but still plenty sharp for cutting paper, so i was using that to trim down my patterns. I was standing there feeling smug about finding a solution so much faster & more precise than scissors & thinking i should keep my dull blades around for paper-cutting all the time, but also thinking that i don’t like switching blades back & forth because i worry about cutting myself. as i thought this, i slammed the blade right into the side of my left pointer finger. i gouged a big flap out & when it flipped up, i could literally see my BONE, which is what stopped the blade. blood was EVERYWHERE, all over the blade & my pattern. i shook my hand like you do when you burn yourself (because i don’t know) & blood splattered all over my computer. it was still bleeding hours later. i probably should have gotten stitches, but i didn’t cut the flap off, so i just cleaned it, put on some antibiotic ointment, flipped the flap back into place, & bandaged it up.

the ridiculous thing is that i sewed through this same finger just a few days earlier. i was sewing a project with piping & put my finger next to the needle to feel for the piping between the layers while i was still stitching, & yup. sewed several stitches right through the meat of my fingertip. clearly, at the rate i’m doing, i’m going to lose this finger altogether before the month is over.

the rotary cutter injury still really hurts, & has made me realize how much i rely on my left hand for certain tasks at my sewing machine, so i think i’m going to take a break for a few days & let the healing begin.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

8 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: elan 645 peach/ivory bra & underpants

    1. it actually still really hurts. & (not to be gross) is still bleeding a little. i really should have gotten stitches. my finger went numb, which jared says is a bad sign. & i feel so dumb. “don’t cut toward yourself” is the cardinal rotary cutter rule & not one i have ever had trouble following in the past.

      anyway, thanks!

  1. I second the “ow ow ow!” I have been fortunate enough to have avoided a rotary cutter incident, so far at least. I am pretty freaking klutzy, so it is kindof amazing that I haven’t ever had an accident with one. I did once accidentally shred the tip of a finger with an immersion blender. If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t go for stitches when that happened. I did see a doctor the next day, and she taped it up and gave me Vicodin (???!) for it.

    My biggest fear is actually that LJ will sneak upstairs to my sewing room and get her hands on something sharp. I try to be good about putting everything dangerous out of reach when I’m done with it, but she’s also pretty sneaky about running up there when you turn your back on her for 10 seconds.

    1. my sewing area is in the living room, so there’s no way to keep ramona away from it. she is actually remarkably good about being careful. i do try to always put my rotary cutter away where she can’t reach it when i’m not using it (& i lock it), but i have a bad habit of leaving scissors out. sometimes she picks them up but no accidents so far. she also really likes to arrange my pins. she lines them up, or moves them from one tray to another. i used to be like, “NOOOOOO!” because i was afraid she’d swallow them or something. i still prefer that she not mess with them, just in case, but she has proven to be surprisingly careful. she even says, “be careful with that, ramona!” to herself while she touching them.

      the rotary cutter injury is starting to heal, but there is seriously a chunk of finger missing. i really, really, really should have gotten stitches. i actually have vicodin left over from when i tore a shoulder muscle, but it didn’t even occur to me to take it.

    1. no, that’s totally fine! maybe it will help kick me into gear to sew some more. i have a bunch of kits & a pattern yet to be traced off. thanks for the link & the motivation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: