Saturday, June 22, 2013

Balconet bra - part 2, band construction

This post describes the construction of the bra band. In this bra I’ve used boning at the side of the cups for extra stability. Therefor the pattern piece is divided in two pieces.
The first photo is of the original pattern from Paula of Kantje Boord, the second photo is a mix from that pattern piece (the cup part) and the band I use for myself. For me this band is comfortable and does not ride up. When trying other patterns I mostly still use this band pattern. It has the “downward hike” which is good for me and though it looks very vertical, it has a nice curve when worn.
The photo below shows a piece of the wire chanelling, above and below are the seam allowances for inserting the cup and attaching the picot elastic. Under the cup there won’t be more than the width of the wire chanelling.
The elastic will be sewn under the wire chanelling.
Cut the band pieces. As I use lycra here the center front (bridge) can be cut on the fold.
The center front part is interfaced with a non stretch tule. Stitch the tule on the right side of the lycra.
Fold the tule to the wrong side of the lycra and topstitch.
I use a long zigzag stitch to secure both layers. Stitch in the seam allowance.
The lycra I’m using is too stretchy for me and I use a thin stretch tule as interfacing. This is also attached with a zigzag stitch.
Whether this is necessary completely depends  on your lycra and/or the amount of support you need. If you use a stable lycra, you will probably not need this (I don’t in that case, and I’m an E/F cup).
Stitch the center front and side part together. For the boning stitch a piece of wire channelling very close to the seam but don’t stitch to the edge. Leave some room for turning the elastic.
Stitch picot elastic at the top and bottom of the band. The right side of the elastic is up and the picot side is on the side of the band.

This is a photo of how I stitch the elastic: the lycra I keep at the 0,5 mm mark at the stitch plate, the elastic a bit to the right of it.
The needle is in the left position and I use a small zigzag stitch (on my machine 2.5 width, 2.2 length).
I pull the elastic a little, stitch, pull a litte, stitch just below the picot edge.

Until recently I measured my elastic and pinned it. At a workshop at Kantje Boord I learned to do it like this, which is more efficient in sewing and no need to trim the seam allowances afterwards. So much quicker.
At the cup side the seam allowance is kept free of elastic, to prevent bulk.
Fold the elastic to the wrong side and topstitch with a triple zigzag. At the top the elastic is folded over the wire chanelling for the boning. Less irritation under your arm when worn.
Don’t topstitch the wire chanelling at the bottom! The boning still needs to be inserted.You could do that now, prior to topstitching the elastic, but I prefer to do it later to keep it all flexible till the last minute.
The band is fnished now
The next photo shows the wire channelling for the boning: at the top under the elastic, at the bottom it’s not closed yet.

Next part: part 3 – inserting the cups

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Lovely to hear from you. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please let me know.