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Can I tell you a secret?
I was too afraid to cut into this lace! I remember browsing Phee’s website one late night. When I came across this lace, I was immediately captivated by its beauty. I HAD TO HAVE IT!
So I got it. And after holding it (and sniffing it because everything from Melissa smells like unicorns riding rainbows), I felt an overwhelming sense of intimidation.
Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets this way?
I wanted to choose a pattern that would maintain the elegance of the lace. I thought Madalynne’s free Sierra Bralette pattern fit that bill.
And after making the initial cut, I felt confident to continue with the project.
Although the pattern calls for powernet as a backing, I decided to use nude circular knit. I then used powernet to create pockets for inserts.
This project was my first time working with scalloped stretch lace. It definitely required finesse and delicacy, both with which my bumbling and clumsy hands struggled! lol
So, read on for some tips (and some lessons learned) for working with this beautiful lavender lace!
List of Materials
Note: I used 3/8″ picot elastic and strap elastic that I had in my personal stash.
Tips for Sewing Stretch Lace
First, use a small needle. When it comes to my swimwear, I pretty much use a Schmetz 90/14 needle throughout the entire project. For lace and thin pretty thangs, I recommend switching to 75/11.
Second, if you struggle with fabric slipping as it feeds through, use a walking foot. This really helped me with maintaining an even feed.
My third tip is more of a “wish list” thing:
I wish I had a second throat plate for sewing thin and delicate fabrics. My current throat plate has a wide eye (for zig zag stitches, moving the needle to the far left or far right, etc). But, what I would like is a throat plate with a small diameter eye for simple straight stitching. This would prevent fabric from being pushed into the machine and jamming everything up.
I didn’t have an issue with that, but if you do, you can feed your fabric through with paper or dissolvable stabilizer.
Tip No. 4: I don’t topstitch to secure the elastic; I bottom stitch (if that’s a thing). On the final pass for the elastic, try to zig-zag as closely to the elastic’s free edge as possible. This will prevent the elastic from flipping over to the front.
Also, I always use my standard presser foot when sewing elastics. It provides much more pressure than my walking foot. Finally, I switched to my 90/14 needle for this step, but that’s not necessary.
Something that I really struggled with was zig-zagging the scalloped edge to the circular knit. There were a bunch of twists and turns, which I wasn’t used to. When sewing the scalloped edge, I used my walking foot again. I was afraid of slippage. But, Madalynne’s pattern does recommend spray gluing your layers together (which I didn’t do because I didn’t have glue on hand), so I definitely think that would be the best route!
Last tip: Be very patient when you trim away the excess along the scalloped edge! And if you have duck-billed scissors, I highly recommend using them! If you’re not paying attention you can easily accidentally snip your lace.
Yes…I learned the hard way and immediately turned off Netflix after that one mishap. But, the beauty of this lace is that any mishap is easily camouflaged.
Overall, I’m happy with how my bralette turned out. There are a couple of changes that I will make to it once I am settled after my cross country move. One of those changes will be to make it a two-strap bralette rather than a halter bralette. There’s just too much tension around my neck with the way it is now. Also, I used strap elastic that I bought a long time ago from a Hancock’s out-of-business sale. I don’t like the ruching in the elastic. So I’m definitely going to get my hands on Phee’s strap elastic.
Other than that, this is a super comfy bralette that I’ll definitely be wearing! I’m usually in sports bras or bikinis. This is definitely a welcomed change! Makes my muscles and bitty boobies feel purdddyy lol
Talk to you later!