Posted on Thursday the 23rd July 2020 by Sew Mama Bear
Jalie is not a pattern brand I had come across before, but the lovely shape of this bralette totally drew me in. Bralette’s are something that pre-lockdown I would have scoffed at the idea of… Being large busted I have become very reliant on underwire as a part of my daily life but when you can’t go anywhere comfort becomes way more important so frankly it wasn’t long into lockdown before I discarded my bras. And with my new love of comfy underwear raging this pattern became a must to try out and see if it would contain me sufficiently.
Now never being one to make things I could easily find on the high street I went hunting for a jazzy print and fell instantly in love with this fabulous Nasca geometric print jersey. The colours felt right, and the print felt cool and fun. When the fabric arrived, it looked even better than it had on the website, and the feel of it is wonderful. Its lovely and soft but feels strong with a great thickness to it.
The first thing to check before starting with any new pattern brand is to check the sizing (every brand is different). The pattern clearly states to let the full bust measurement dictate the size… I’ll admit, I was sceptical about this. I’m large busted but small backed, this can mean with things like bralettes, the under-band is often too large if I go by my largest measurement. My waist measurement was coming in as 2 sizes smaller… so after a cup of tea and a lot of humming and hawing I bit the bullet and decided to follow the instructions.
With this fabric… before you cut, it’s worth taking extra care to ensure that the fold of the fabric is down the centre of the pattern. Balancing the pattern like this will make such a difference to the finished garment, otherwise it will look very strange and totally skewwhiff. With this pattern almost every piece is cut on the fold, so I created a lot of folds as I was pinning them on and taking this extra care to choose where in the print I was placing the fold has made the final outcome look extra fabulous. I didn’t worry about pattern matching though, if you’re that way inclined you could do this where the bodice section meets the lower band, but it didn’t feel like a necessary step for me on this type of garment.
The bodice part of this is lined, there are 2 options for this… use the same fabric as the outer or the instructions suggest using a power-net if you’re after more support. I used the same as my outer, although may try a power net in the future to see how it compares. From experience I felt self-lining was going to result in a softer and therefore more comfortable finish (which was what I was after).
The seam allowance on this pattern is ¼ inch. It is so important to check what seam allowance has been accounted for on a pattern before starting… If I had just used the standard it would have come up significantly smaller than planned.
As a result of this seam allowance I used by ¼ inch seam foot to sew a lot of the seams, it makes it much easier to stick to the seam allowance (the only thing you don’t want to do with this foot is attempt a zig zag).
The support in this bralette is created using elastic in the under-bust band. The pattern calls for 2cm wide to be used… but there is a lot of room in this band so you could very easily use a wider elastic (which I think I’ll do when I make the next one).
The construction of this bralette is super simple, the biggest job is attaching the fold-over elastic (which is done in a 2-step process that makes it really easy and neat). All the seams are enclosed within the lining which also leads to a very neat looking finish without any worries about seam finishing.
To attach the fold over elastic, I used 2 different widths of zig zag. The standard 5mm wide one for attaching the first side and then I dropped it to 3.5mm for the top side… I felt it gave a neater finish given the second line of zig zagging is visible from the front side. The elastic creates a wonderful edge and they continue past the bodice to become the straps perfectly. Choosing the right colour of elastic was the tricky bit, as it makes such a statement… especially as this is the bit that may be visible through a lot of clothing. I toyed with several different colour options given how many colours are in the print but felt grey was going to work the best for me.
For finishing off the straps I added adjustable sliders (an optional extra)… they really make such a difference when wearing the garment and are really simple to add. Its little touches like this that make me love my handmade garments so much. Even with the sliders though the straps are very long, I’ll be shortening them by at least an inch when making again so that the sliders don’t come as far to the front.
My only real irritation at this pattern is that the instructions are part of the large sheet that the pattern pieces are on. It’s quite hard to manipulate to show/find the bit of information you need… they do however give information as to where you can find and print the instructions onto a4 to make this easier.
Other than that, I have been super impressed. It is beyond comfy and despite my sizing concerns it fits well under my bust. I may try the next with the under bust elastic slightly shorter to make this a little tighter as this would be my preference, but the fit is fine as is and wears like a dream. I’ve been having a lot of fun styling it with strap tops so that the funky print is visible… I’m also particularly enjoying it as lounge wear in this heat.
I’m already planning the next couple of fabrics I want to turn into bralettes… and questioning if I’ll ever go back to daily underwire wearing again… only time will tell on that one, but till then I’m going to enjoy my new found comfort.