Lingerie sewing can be intimidating for new sewists. But it can be a fun and rewarding project with the right tools and know-how.
Bra-making requires precise cutting and sewing, particularly with stretchy fabrics. It also involves a variety of specialty supplies, such as bra elastic and lace trim.
Knitting needles are a key tool for anyone trying out this popular craft. They come in many different shapes, lengths, and materials, with some brands boasting ergonomic designs that reduce stress on hands, arms, necks, and shoulders.
Beginners should start with a set with needle sizes typical for medium-weight yarns. The length of the needles can also make a difference: short-length hands are easier for newbies to maneuver.
There are two types of knitting needles: straight and circular. Consecutive arrows have points on both ends and are used to work flat pieces (washcloths, scarves, and other patterns knitted in rows, then stitched together later).
Circular knitting needles feature a flexible cable that connects the needle tips and allows you to work in rounds. They’re ideal for sweaters, hats, and other larger projects. Many sets feature a combination of straight and circular needles to give beginners flexibility as they grow comfortable with one style. Some locations even include needle holders or cases, which keep the hands secure when not in use and prevent them from getting lost.
Scissors are a must-have sewing tool for any beginner. They are the most important bra-making tool, as precise cutting and sewing are essential to ensure a well-fitting and comfortable bra.
Fabric scissors and shears have long, sharp blades that can easily cut through fabric. Unlike regular scissors, which only have one cutting blade, shears have two cutting edges pivoted together. This makes them much stronger and sharper than ordinary scissors.
There are many different types of scissors and shears to choose from. You should ensure you have the right scissors for your specific project. A pair of fabric shears will work for most projects, but a rotary cutter is also useful when working with thick fabrics or maneuvering tight curves.
Another tool that is very important for bra making supplies is lingerie elastic. Lingerie elastic is a soft, stretchy material used for underwear and bras. It is a great alternative to the traditional boning in most bras and can help add shape, support, and comfort to a garment.
Unlike scissors, which can be used on anything, fabric shears are designed for specific tasks, such as cutting out fabric pattern pieces and trimming seams. Using them on anything else will quickly dull the blades and result in ragged edges.
Sewing and craft fabrics can be very thick and heavy, so you’ll want to invest in a pair of shears that can cut through them easily without straining your hands and wrists. Depending on the style you need, you can also find shears with an adjustable width that lets you control how wide the cuts will be.
A classic pair of all-metal shears will last a lifetime if cared for and used sparingly. Look for two equal-sized holes in the handles so your thumb fits comfortably through the top hole and your index or ring finger works through the bottom. This will ensure that you have the most control while you’re cutting. They’re heavier than all-purpose scissors but will easily cut through thick fabrics. Pinking shears have toothed blades that create a zig-zag edge to make your work look more finished. They can also be used to grade seams.
Good-quality snips can save work hours by quickly and easily cutting thread, yarn, wire, and other thin materials. They usually feature short, sharp blades that can be opened and closed with one hand. They also often have ergonomic handles for a comfortable grip.
You can find them in various designs and price points, including small spring-loaded scissors that can be worn around your neck or arm for ready access or kept close to your sewing machine for quick trims as you go. Depending on your preferences, they may have a blunt or pointed tip.
This pair from Shozaburo is made from Japanese kumihimo silk braids and has ergonomic handles that feel great in your hands. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver to cut precisely, even in hard-to-reach areas. It also features a built-in measuring tape useful for taking body measurements. It’s the perfect tool for snipping errant stitches, trimming edges, and layering seams. Use it gently and carefully to avoid damaging the fabric or the snips.
A basic knowledge of bra anatomy and an understanding of how fabric stretches are important for successful bra making. Using the right patterns and choosing materials ensures your bra fits and feels comfortable.
While lingerie sewing may seem intimidating, it’s achievable for those who are confident about their sewing machine and have a few projects under their belt. Even if you have never sewn a bra before, with a little planning and the right supplies, it is possible to create a great-looking and comfortable me-made undergarment in no time.
Large fabric stores often carry a selection of lingerie materials, and many online retailers are dedicated exclusively to bra-making. These companies offer various products, including bra linings, strap elastic, metal rings and sliders, fold-over elastic, plush elastic, and lace trims. Lace trims can add a decorative touch to bra straps or as a finishing for other bra areas.