Friends, we’re creeping ever-closer to a month that I think many #SewMyStyle2018 participants have been anxious about since the get-go: lingerie month. It took me a while to get on the lingerie making train, so I totally understand why some people might be made nervous by this prompt! But I hope that November helps lots of you realize that sewing lingerie is not as big of a deal as you think it is. My first-ever piece of lingerie was a Simplicity bra pattern designed by Madalynne, and it was a way easier sew than I was expecting. That’s why I was so excited when she reached out to see if I wanted to try out a kit for one of her newest patterns, Simplicity 8711! It was such a fun make, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it today.
*this kit was a gift from (the other) Maddie. the thoughts and experiences are my own!*
The Simplicity 8711 Kit
I know lots of people are nervous about sourcing all the fiddly bits for lingerie. A kit is a great way to make sure you’ve got everything you need! And an insider tip: usually you get enough fabric and findings in the kit to make a pair of undies or something. Maddie sent me this kit, which goes with her Simplicity 8711 pattern. It’s a monowire bra, which I NEVER would have thought to try my hand at! It’s so nice to have that bralette style with the support of underwire.
Sizing for Simplicity 8711
Maddie recommended that I sew a 38D. I will be honest: that seemed insane to me (sorry Maddie!). I wear a 32C from Victoria’s Secret! This feels like a great reminder that a – there is honestly no such thing as your “real” bra size, so b – you should always compare your measurements to the pattern’s so that you’re choosing the right side, and c – breast size can change alllll the time. I have no doubt that when I sent my measurements to Maddie that I measured at her 38D size. Hashtag pre-period body changes, a thing I am not ashamed or embarrassed to tell you because that is a natural thing my friends. When I re-took my measurements before making the bra, I measured at a 36C. I think that’s probably closer to my normal size, so if I made the pattern again, I’d size down.
Anyways: one more thing before I move on to the sewing process. The monowire is optional! Yes, if you don’t want to try out a big wavy underwire, you can easily sew Simplicity 8711 without it. But if you’re on the fence, might I recommend that you try it? It’s such a fun addition, and like I said earlier, something I’d never think to try on my own.
Sewing Simplicity 8711
Like I mention above, the first bra I ever made was Madalynne’s Simplicity 8229. Yep, I jumped right in and made an underwire bra! It was absolutely a good choice for my first bra: Maddie’s directions are clear and simple, and she has a sewalong for that pattern on her YouTube channel. (Normally I’d insert some links here but YouTube was down when I wrote this! I will update later with links.) She has a full sewalong/tutorial guide for this pattern on her site. It’s in this post. Scroll down to find the link under “sew along.”
Simplicity 8711 is no different. Maddie’s instructions are super accessible, and you end up with a gorgeous bra! The only change I made was to enclose the back band seams instead of using channeling to cover the seam. Personal preference!
The kit has truly everything you could need, fabric and findings alike. I used the power mesh in the kit to line the bra, and the cup mesh for the bridge. If you’ve got the kit and you’re not sure which is which, I used the stretchy one to line and the stable one for the bridge!
This was a really fun Sunday afternoon project for me. Bras come together surprisingly fast, and this one especially so since you don’t have to put together a lot of cup pieces. I threw on some Riverdale and sewed away. I have lots of leftover lace, so I’ll be making some matching undies sometime soon.
Finishing off Simplicity 8711
I finished this project off — until the undies — by washing my new bra with the little packet of soap Maddie includes in her kit. There were multiple times I had to stop myself from ripping it open preemptively because I was dying to know what it smells like! I got the scent “Lady,” and it is so lovely: light and feminine. A bottle of this may just end up on my Christmas list! It was the perfect finishing touch to this gorgeous kit.
So, if you’re looking for an easy way to get all your lingerie fabric and findings, an easy bra to get started on, or something different than your regular underwire bra, I think that Simplicity 8711 and Maddie’s kits could be the right fit for you!
I’m going to finish out this post with a few modeled shots. I’ll be absolutely honest with you: I really struggled with whether or not to include these. I don’t even like shots of me in a bathing suit, which is basically the same thing! Like basically every other person with a body, I am self-conscious, and I also work for a (comparatively) conservative employer. Still, I feel like these are tasteful and it does make a HUGE difference to see the bra on someone else. I know there are a lot of people nervous about posting lingerie next month, and helloooooo, I am one of them! You can post gorgeous shots of your lingerie with flat lays or with mannequins. But if you’re proud of your work and your body (as we all should be), post those babies on you!