Embellishing your handmade bras (I): Echo Stitching

Hi everyone! I’m here again, and with a new post as I promised! We’re starting February now and Saint Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so many of us are using it as an excuse to sew (even more) new lingerie… right? Tell me that I’m not the only one! 😉

Some of us are trying new patterns, while others already have their favourites, the faithful ones that they make again and again. I’m usually in this group: I have a self-drafted bra pattern that fits me really well and I tend to make small modifications around it. I’ve used it for my Marie Antoinette bra, for the Ballerina bra and for my power bar bras. But, as much as you love the shape of your favourite pattern, you could do with a little more variety without compromising the fit or changing the style lines.

 

So, what could we do then? Just a simple word: embellishment! Adding little details can completely change the way a bra looks: adding ruffles, lace appliqué or playing with stitching are easy ways of spicing up your lingerie makes, without dramatically changing the fit of your favourite patterns!
Recently I’ve been able to see the effect of one of the echo stitching when I made a custom bra that was inspired by a vintage Christian Dior one. Echo stitching consists of parallel lines of stitching that usually cover a whole part of the bra. It was used in some vintage bras not only as a form of embellishment, but also as a way to strengthen some parts of the bra, like the lower cup, so the bra would be more supportive. (Think about quilting, it’s kind of the same idea!)
There are some lovely examples of bras that show this technique!

Kiss Me Deadly – Jolie Bra
Topshop Bra

If you want to replicate this look, it’s very easy: first, decide your stitching design and the pieces where you want it to be. Some lingerie fabrics are very thin and they get wrinkled with all the stitching, so it’s a good idea to cut the chosen pieces twice (in the main fabric or in lining) and stitch both parts together. Also, you can opt for interfacing the main fabric to prevent it from getting crumpled with the stitching.
Then, the only thing left to do is… stitching! To make my parallel lines more accurate, I used my quarter inch foot. When you’re done with your design, you can continue the construction of the garment as usual. Easy-peasy! 😉

Click on the image to enlarge!

I leave you some more inspiration below. Have I convinced you to try this technique? 😛

Fleur Du Mal Multi-way stretch-silk satin padded bra
Made By Nikki – Padded Bandeau Bra
Dita von Teese – Madam X Non Underwire Bra
SILVER LINING

3 comments

  1. I love this tutorial! So simple but it does add so much! I just made a bra- ‘The Emerald’ with some echo stitching and I really think it’s the highlight of the bra 🙂

  2. Pingback: Emerald Erin

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