The Making of ~ A Lansdowne Bra ~ Part One

Helen Cloke lansdowne bra mini review the helena the making of

April's lingerie kit for the 'Hot Tropics' colour theme is perfect for sewing up a Lansdowne bra by Orange Lingerie.  The fabric and lace combination lend beautifully to the Lansdowne's plunge front, cleavage boosting style.

I thought I'd try and tackle the making of this bra as though I were a beginner bra maker and follow the instructions step by step.  This is the first time I have made this particular pattern.

Here is how I got on:

Materials and Notions:

This is listed out quite clearly on page 2 of the instructions.  If you are working from 'The Helena' kit as I am, then all the required materials are there.  Note: The 10mm picot elastic replaces the 'band elastic 3/8 (cup A-C) and 1/2 inch (cup D-DD.)

the helena kit

'The Helena' is April's limited edition kit for the 'Hot Tropics' colour theme

Measuring for Size:

This is found on page 3 of the instruction booklet.  The method is to measure underbust, full bust and high bust while exhaling fully and then use these to calculate your size.

My underbust when rounded to the nearest inch is 28" to which it tells me to add 4" = a total of 32"

The fullest part of my bust is 33.5" and my high bust is 31"  The cup size is calculated by 'full bust - high bust' so mine = 2.5" so that is in between a B and C cup and it instructs you to round up.

So my final size is 32C.

pattern instructions showing measurements

My measurement notes

(It is interesting to note that in the Marlborough and Boylston bras by the same designer that I make a 34C) 


The instructions say 'Use the underwires that correspond to your size as determined above' (referring to the measurements we have just done.)

If I reference back to the materials list, the underwires that are recommended are 'regular' underwires.  There isn't any more information than this available in the instructions booklet.  As a beginner I would be a bit unsure of what style or size underwires I needed and would resort to googling 'regular underwires.'

If you look in the underwires section of the Nellie Joans shop you'll see that there is a 'regular' style underwire.  This listing has a chart which lets you know what size underwire you need for your bra size.  The size 32C corresponds to a size 34 underwire.

I was still a little unsure if that was going to be the right style of underwire as in the pattern drawing the bra looks to have quite a low front and I was expecting more of a 'plunge' style underwire.  So I placed my pattern pieces together and 'walked' the seam with the underwire just to get an idea if the length would work and it looked to be ok.

pattern pieces and underwire

'Walking' the seam with the underwire (I also cut out my usual size too just in case!)

My next step was to see if the size 34 regular underwire fitted me! My favourite underwire is an 'Orange 36' so the 34 is a fraction smaller.  This is what they look like together.  

underwire comparison

The Orange 36 (on the bottom) vs. the Regular 34 (on top)

I placed the size 34 underwire up to myself and it seemed to be fine.  Having the underwire that fits you is the most important part; it's not all that useful if the underwires fit the frame but don't fit you as that would make for an uncomfortable to wear bra.  If you find that the suggested size of underwire for the pattern doesn't fit you, there are adjustments you can make but that is probably information that deserves a seperate blog post!

Cutting Out:

Before I cut out the frame/band, I double checked the length (i.e. what it would measure right around from one hook and eye end to the other.) against an existing bra band pattern that fits me, just to make sure it was going to be the right length for me. 

Checking the band length of the Lansdowne (bottom) against the tried and true Marlborough (top)

The Marlborough pattern looked like it was a fraction longer in the band than the Lansdowne so I added a tiny bit extra to the Lansdowne band pieces where the hook and eye would attach. 

There is no lay-plan for the pattern pieces but there is a 'pattern map' that shows you where all the pieces have to go.  I had to rely on the information on the pattern pieces themselves for the cutting out.  If you are a beginner it would probably pay to do some research for tips on how to cut out the stretch lace.

The cut pieces all laid out

And with all the notions added

So I was now all ready for construction!  And I'll write all about that in a follow up blog post 'part two.'



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