The folks over at Colette have posted an interesting question this week about finding time to sew in summer. This made me wonder. I love summer! I love warm weather and I love spending time outside, whether it is walking my dog or just sitting on the patio. Of course that takes away precious sewing time. However, I find my issue is not having difficulty finding time to sew, but rather it is finding time to photograph and write about it. I still sew, may be a little less than in winter, but I still do. I have a very strong suspicion that if I didn’t sew I would go slightly insane, would be difficult to be around and will likely lose all my few friends. I can not risk it. So I will find time for sewing. However, blogging and photographing things may suffer a bit… but I will try my best!
This summer will be especially busy. We are moving into our new place sometime in the second half of July as well as getting a new addition to our family on July 1. I would imagine July and August will be less about sewing than I would like it to be. Then there is a whole issue of packing and unpacking and setting up my sewing space… And don’t even get me started on moving my fabric stash!
Update aside, this post is meant to be a requested tutorial on how I modified Boylston Bra pattern to include a regular bra strap over a fabric strap. The tutorial was requested via Instagram awhile back and I apologize for taking so long to finally post it! While I was taking photos for the tutorial and thinking about how best to explain it, I realized there are a couple ways to do it and it may be best to divide the tutorial into two separate ones. The first installment of the tutorial will show you how I modified the pattern to make lace upper cup and a regular strap, just like on this bra below:
For this modification you will only need the upper cup pattern piece and I will take you through the easy steps to create your own lace upper cup Boylston Bra. I assume you have constructed a bra before and know basic steps of attaching elastic and such.
Take you upper cup pattern piece. The pattern already comes with marked seam allowances (which is awesome!!) so you don’t need to worry about marking seam allowances in. Mark two dots in the upper corners on the seam allowance line, mine are in red.
Draw a straight line through the two dots you just marked. You will notice that the original pattern line is slightly curved and that’s okay if you are using fabric. If you want to use lace you need to have a straight line on the upper cup edge. This will be the low point of the lace. What is low point of the lace? Well, lace has a very pretty scalloped edge. The line will hit the very bottom of those scallops, not the top, hence it called the low point of lace. You’ll see it in pictures below.
Cut your pattern piece out. You do not need to add seam allowance on the top of the upper cup, since that will be lace edge and it is already finished.
To cut your upper cup out, lay it on the lace. See how the lace peaks over the upper cup and the pattern edge lines up with the bottom of the scallops? That’s the low point of lace. Also! Notice how the red dots on the pattern, the spots where my seam allowance starts on the side and where my pen and pencil point, also line up with the low point of the scallop. This will ensure my upper cup looks the prettiest with the lace not sticking out unsightly or looking chopped off when the bra is all sewn up. This will not always line up perfectly widthwise for different laces and different cup sizes, but play around and try to do your best for your seam allowances to start at the low point of lace.
I like to finish my upper cup with the elastic. You can use either clear elastic or regular lingerie elastic, like I did with this gray and white bra. I also lined my lace with white lingerie lining, so I had to attach some kind of elastic. I attached the elastic from the inside with the plush side facing out. I used a triple zig-zag stich to do this. Note that there is only one step in attaching the elastic and you don’t turn it over at all. Also I attached the elastic after the rest of my cup was already assembled since everything was lined and I wanted to hide all my seams in he lining.
Now, once the cup is finished and the bra is pretty much assembled we will be attaching the side elastic. I am still using my paper pattern since I didn’t have time to actually assemble a bra for the tutorial. But note that your bra is constructed at this step. You will be using the elastic on the sides of the bra and cup to attach the ring to hold the strap to the bra. Hence the important part here is to make sure your elastic extends past the top of the cup. I like to give myself about 1.5″ length there.
Attach your elastic as you would normally. Start from the right side, then flip it over to the inside and use a triple zig-zag to finish it off. Ha, my penciled zig-zag looks super professional!
To attach the ring and the strap, follow the steps you normally would. Assemble the straps, together with the slider and the ring, and then feed the rig through the strap extension on the upper cup. I didn’t have a ring on hand, but pretend there is one in the picture. Fold the strap extension over to the inside and stitch it in place. Trim the strap extension excess from the inside. That’s it!
Here are some close up shots of what the finished bra looks like. Here it is from the top:
Here it is from the side:
And here it is from the inside:
That’s it! I hope it helps anyone out there wanting to modify Boylston pattern to have regular straps. It is such a great pattern! I can not stress enough how awesome of a pattern it is. In the next couple days I am planning to post part 2 of the tutorial to modify the pattern to have an actual strap extension for the time when you don’t want to use lace, like the bra below: