Some weeks ago I received some sad news: my go-to store for bra-making supplies in Barcelona stopped carrying several things, like cut-and-sew foam, many types of elastic and almost all underwire sizes. Oh, THE drama!! There isn’t any other place for buying those things in Barcelona (at least, not that I know!) and I decided to order them online.
As I live in Spain and there are huge taxes upon imported goods from outside the EU, I looked for online shops that are in the UK, Germany or the Netherlands. Finally, I narrowed down my search to two places: Sewing Chest and the English Couture Company. Then I asked for the invaluable help of the ladies at two Bra Making groups on Facebook (the Bra Making Forum and Bra Makers – Beginners to Intermediate), who said that both were reliable stores. The prices were mostly the same, although Sewing Chest had more variety of some items, but they also charged higher shipping costs. So, I went to the English Couture Company in the end!
The first thing that surprised me about that shop was the incredibly fast shipping: I placed my order on a Thursday night, on Friday I received the confirmation, and… the next Tuesday it had already arrived! Seriously, I’ve waited much longer for parcels sent within my own country. I couldn’t believe it!
Now, let’s take a look on my order:
- Underwires: I bought a pair of underwires to compare them to the ones that I already use, and was pleasantly surprised to see that the only difference was that the English Couture wires are about 4mm longer. The shape and diameter of the wires is virtually the same. Yay! They’re standard flat metal wires with plastic coated tips to prevent them from poking.
- Elastic: I ordered some 12mm plush back elastic in black, some 8mm white elastic and some 13mm ivory strap elastic. The quality is quite good, specially the strap elastic. The satin finish on the front side really looks high-end! (In fact, I used this elastic to make the straps of a custom bodysuit I made for a bride-to-be, and she was really pleased with the result!)
- Rings and sliders: The strap elastic was 13mm, but the 13mm rings and sliders seemed a bit big. So, I ordered two rings and sliders sets, one of 13mm and the other of 10mm. In the end, the smaller one suited the elastic best. I’d describe the quality as average: they are made of metal and look pretty solid and durable. Also, I believe they’re good value for money, as you can make 4 straps out of each ring and slider packs.
- Cut-and-sew foam: it’s really difficult to find foam in Barcelona, and the one that I used to buy wasn’t of a particular high quality. So, when I saw the English Couture Company foam (or, as they call it, “bra padding”) I couldn’t be happier. The padding is 3mm deep in the two colours I ordered (black and pale pink), although they offer a thinner, 2mm deep, foam in some sort of beige colour. It doesn’t really add a lot of volume to bra cups, but it adds enough structure and it’s much more comfortable than the thicker 5mm foam that I used to buy. The padding is covered in both sides by a knit fabric that is so soft to the touch. Definitely RTW quality!
So, that’s all! In general, I’m really satisfied with my order to the English Couture Company and I’m already thinking about repeating the experience 😉 I did miss more colour variety to choose from in some items (eg. The rings and sliders packs are only available in very limited colours) but the fast shipping and the reasonable price make it so worth it. Now, I can’t wait to use all my new lingerie supplies! 😛
Did you know about the English Couture Company? Can you recommend me other good shopping destinations for lingerie supplies? I’d love to hear!