Constructing the Watson Bra by Cloth Habit was wonderful! The ease of use and construction of this pattern makes the sewing fun and satisfying. I have made several now and have included some of the key steps of the construction process in this post.
Once I downloaded and printed the PDF pattern, I transferred the necessary pieces to oak tag. That way, I can quickly trace a new paper pattern directly from the oak tag version every time I start a new Watson Bra. I know this sounds like an extra step and believe me I am super impatient; however, when working with small pattern pieces and seam allowances the extra time is well worth it. Otherwise, I’m likely to be cutting little bits of the original paper pattern away each time, resulting in an ill-fitting bra.
With all the cutting done, I also confirm the 1/4″ seam allowance. I do this every time I start a new lingerie project. Some machines will set this automatically. My current machine does not so I use super classy “painters tape” for this purpose. It doesn’t matter what method you use; rather that you get an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance. For lingerie seam construction I use a small straight stitch for almost all of the seams and save the zig-zagging for elastic applications. I also like to topstitch over the seam allowances as this gives a professional finish on both the inside and the outside. I don’t use a serger for any of my lingerie seam finishes but you certainly could with most of these seams (just be careful not to cut off more than the usual 1/4″ seam allowance). Before the top stitching, make sure to press the seam allowances to the side that looks the best. For this bra, I pressed the seams away from the power mesh so the seam allowance does not show through.
The cups of this bra go together nicely and should be pressed once stitched. Your iron and ham are essential lingerie making tools so don’t forget to give the cups a good press once completed. I found the trickiest part of this pattern to be the attachment of the cups to the frame. I recommend using pins and sewing slowly to make sure these pieces are properly attached. Marking the cup-to-frame seam line on each piece was helpful here, especially since most other seams are sewn completely from edge to edge. With this critical seam joined, I removed the excess fabric.
I was an elastic-fearing sewist before I started making lingerie, but that all changed when someone showed me how NOT to stretch elastic when it is applied. It’s true, for almost all lingerie applications I have tried the result is fabulous if you resist the urge to pull on that elastic! When applying lingerie elastic, I use a standard zig zag to make the first pass followed by a wider stretch zig zag on the final pass. I learned most of these techniques in a bra making workshop taught by Orange Lingerie, and you can read more about that here. This approach to elastic application is now my go-to, and I love the professional results.
Finally, the straps and hook/eye closure get added in standard fashion. I’m not going to lie; I have broken a needle or two getting too close to the hooks! I’m still perfecting this step, but highly recommend using a small zig zag stitch and going very slowly. Using your free hand to feel for the metal hook pieces as you go is also helpful.
I love how this bra comes together and plan on making more. If you are a Wonderful Watson Bra fanatic like me, please let me know if you have any additional tips or thoughts on this great pattern!