This is the debut in what will be a monthly series of customer profiles.
I always find it so inspiring reading about others experience in sewing lingerie; it's amazing how broad the topic 'lingerie' is. Don't you just love those 'Me to!' feelings where in that moment you completely connect to what another person is saying? Alternatively, some sewists have such a different take on the topic that your mind is opened and you learn something new despite your skill level.
The lovely Marissa is first up, not only does her name make for great alliteration with the blog title but she is a beginner bra maker who blew me away with the success of her first bra - and it was a nursing bra to boot!
1.Name and Location: Marissa, New Zealand.
2. What first sparked your interest in lingerie sewing?
I have always had a love for lingerie and worked for a while as a bra fitter. Finding bras with a large cup and small band size has been struggle for a long time and after breastfeeding for several years now and wearing unsupportive, non-wired bras and not being able to find any appropriately supportive ones prior to starting back at work, I decided to try sewing my own. I had had a similar epiphany prior to going on holiday and frantically sewed my own swimsuit (which fits better than rtw) and so I decided to push my luck with a bra!
3. How would you describe your lingerie sewing?
I spent time on blogs and was going to go with a cheap approach with patterns (the Maya) when a Kwik sew paper pattern came up very cheap locally and I thought I'd try that too. I've read a lot and got my wire size based on bending some wire to match my breast root. I had no idea what size to make the kwik sew pattern so I made the largest size and band with the assumption that i could go down in size, but not up (and thinking the pattern may just be too small).
4. How has it enriched your life?
This is the first actually supportive bra I've had in about 5 years. I feel so much better wearing it and it makes me look like I've lost weight because it actually lifts my bust again instead of allowing to merge and obscure my waist in clothing.
5. Please describe your best 'Ah-hah! Wahoo! Ye-haw! Tah-dah' moment.
It wasn't until I had made the whole thing that I could tell properly. It was very discouraging up until that point because at one point I thought it was all huge, then I thought the cups were too small. When I put it on all adjusted with the band altered I just grinned. I may have also cried.
6. What is your top tip to share with other lingerie sewists?
Read the forums and blogs but then just start. You have to start someone and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll get there. Expect to alter patterns, unpick, and make alterations to your final bra. I think the general saying is it takes about 4 bras to get the right fit. Start with cheap materials you already have. Mine is quilting cotton that I don't know why I had and mostly normal elastic with some powernet I had left over from making my swimsuit.
7. Random question - do you prefer the smell of coffee brewing or bread baking?
COFFEE!!!!! But for me it's the sound of the coffee grinder that gets me
downstairs fastest. 😂
Thank you so much for sharing Marissa; I'm sure you have inspired other beginners to get started on their bra making plans!
If you are keen to make a nursing bra like Marissa's then you'll need some nursing clips like these ones (unfortunately sold out at the moment but more stock is on the way soon.)
All photos provided by and are property of Marissa.