Merckwaerdigh BHS10, View D

This was a quick Sunday evening make.

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I used a hot pink lace bra kit from Merckwaerdigh’s Etsy shop:

Construction notes:

  • I underlined the upper/lower cups and wings of the band using a lightweight nude power mesh. (The power mesh also helps make the fit more predictable when you’re using a variety of laces, which can vary in their degree of stretch.)
  • When I topstitched the front diagonal seams I used zigzag stitch and trimmed close to the stitching. I think it makes the seam less bulky than a straight stitch topstitch, and it is also more appropriate due to the stretch of the fabric. The seams are unbelievably smooth.
  • The kit included 1/8″ clear elastic for stabilizing the upper edge of the cup. Words cannot begin to describe how much I loathe clear elastic in this width. It is fiddly and tends to get caught between the front toes of my presser foot. I sewed it on, but just barely.
  • Due to my hatred of the 1/8″ clear elastic I stabilized the scallops of the straps with some 1/4″ clear elastic I had in my stash. I sewed the elastic to the straps after I attached the lower/upper cup to the power bar, and stopped the elastic just below the intersection of the upper cup with the power bar.
  • I sewed the 1/2″ bottom band elastic with two rows of narrow zigzag stitches, one at the the upper edge and one at the lower edge. In my opinion it keeps things in place a little better than doing just one wide zigzag. The lace is so busy that the stitching is pretty much hidden.
  • My elastic was a little wide so at the lowest point of the cup curve I had to trim away 1/8″ so it didn’t get in the way of folding down the channeling.

I started off with a 32C/70C (aka 75B tracing lines with the back band shortened a total of 1.5″). My fitting adjustments were:

  • Lowering the center front of the bridge 3/8″ and adding 3/8″ to the top of the cup curve of the back band. (This rotates the cup to be lower at the center front and higher at the sides, which is what works best for me.)
  • I also pinched out 3/4″ from the bottom center front of the bridge.
  • When I was trying it on to check the fit of the band I ended up removing 2 cm (3/4″) from each wing, making the final size of the bra a 30D.

Thoughts after making this:

  • I LOVE the look of the band, with the lace scallops and how it curves up in the front.
  • I like the little V-shaped notch at the center front gore. It gives just a little less coverage, which makes it work better with wrap dresses.
  • Even though the seams are diagonal the shaping of this bra works for me. I think the flexibility of the stretch lace, in combination with the draft, helps a lot. (Non-stretch lace, diagonally seamed cups look terrible on me – they often give the orange-in-a-glass look where the cup appears both too big and too small. By too small I mean bulging at the neckline, and by too big I mean wrinkles in the cup, especially at the apex.)
  • I’m thinking of tracing the 80B next time. The bra is definitely wearable, but the seaming passes about 1/4″ below the apex rather than directly over it and the cup feels like it is on the verge of being too small. It doesn’t matter when I wear a wrap dress since my silk charmeuse Alisha slip, with its self-lined cups,  completely hide the seaming. But I still think the placement is a little off.
  • I wish I had turned the picots of the elastic inward so they would be hidden rather than outward and visible.

My next project will be the Style Arc Jett jacket. Now that the zipper for it came in, my Ziggi jacket is done, Tom found me a “beater” for commuting on the salty, slushy roads during the winter my mind is at ease and I can focus on a more challenging project!

20 thoughts on “Merckwaerdigh BHS10, View D

  1. Lovely! I’ve been waiting on a review of the Jett jacket – not sure on how the raglan shoulders will look. I’ve figured out by now that if I just wait a few weeks, you’ll sew it up first! 🙂

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      1. The muslin looks GREAT! I was thinking there’s no way you could get the square shoulder in the pattern drawing with a raglan sleeve… but it has a center seamline down the sleeve to take care of that. Ordering it right now. 🙂

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  2. Anne, I was so inspired by what you did that I checked out the etsy shop and bought 2 patterns and 2 kits! I have so desperately needed new bras and it never occurred to me to make them myself! Everything you do is great, I so look forward to reading your updates.

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  3. This is lovely. How do you attach the band elastic and yet keep the scallops of the lace visible? Maybe you could do a tutorial 🙂

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    1. The same way I stabilized the lace of the upper cup and straps – omit the seam allowance and just zigzag it to the back. The band elastic is wider so that is why I did two rows of zigzag stitching (one along each edge of elastic).

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  4. Wow! This is beautiful. I would love to try that but figured it would be way too hard. I’m impressed but you motivate me to try and see how it works Thanks! If it works it’s got to be less expensive than the $140 Prima Dona ones I’ve worn out because they cost too much to buy new ones. Yours looks just like them!

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  5. Such a lovely bra. Thank you so much for including all of the details and adjustments you made. It’s also really informative to see the original picture of the kit. I have to admit, the kit doesn’t look that nice to me, but your bra is stunning, you have a great eye to see the potential in fabrics/laces!

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