We are SO excited to bring the first part of the Lounge & Lace Collection to you! We know everyone has been on the edge of their seats waiting for the patterns to officially release, but Megan worked extremely hard to give you the best sewing experience possible for these! Hopefully, the Mama Bridgette and Mama Victoria patterns make you feel just as beautiful as our gorgeous testers felt.
For many of you, this may be your very first time sewing lingerie, or even sewing with fabric as delicate as lace, so we put together some of the most frequently asked questions. Be sure to read all the way through, but certainly post a question in the Made for Mermaids Facebook group if you still have questions.
What skill level is this?
We would probably label the difficulty as “intermediate” due to the delicate materials, adding elastic, fitting, etc. However, don’t let that stop you if you are a beginner! Make use of the wonderful tutorial, and don’t forget to join the Sew Yourself Some Love sew-a-long for even more support. I would advise NOT to use your favorite lace or fabric for your first; as always, plan to make a muslin first so that you can perfect your own personal fit and it won’t be nearly as heartbreaking if you happen to make mistakes. Also don’t get frustrated if you find the first one takes you several hours; they do get faster after your first one, but don’t plan on rushing through your first time.
Can I wear this without a regular bra?
That partially depends on personal preference, but the Mama Bridgette is not designed/intended to serve as a stand-alone bra, especially for larger cup sizes. That being said, some of the testers were perfectly comfortable wearing as a regular bra, especially those made out of cotton lycra. Ultimately, it is a personal decision and may depend on the specific materials you choose.
Can I easily nurse in this?
Should I use my regular sewing machine, my serger, or my coverstitch?
You can absolutely construct both Mama Bridgette and Mama Victoria using a regular sewing machine. Most testers opted to use a combination of serger and sewing machine, using their serger for the inside seams, and their sewing machine to do all the top stitching/elastic attachment. You could use your coverstitch machine for the bralette or nightie options using fabric yardage, but I wouldn’t recommend using it with lace.
Do you have any open back tops that would work with Bridgette?What about robes?
YES! Mama Claire and Mama Ella (or the Mama Ella/Mama Nina hack) would both look gorgeous with Bridgette! Also, head over to Patterns for Pirates and check out the Ragdoll Raglan pattern! Lots of people asked about robe patterns, as well. Mama Isabel or Mama Darcey could definitely be used as robes! Also check out the Summer Kimono from Patterns for Pirates.
Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the Lounge & Lace collection because there may be something else that’ll showcase Mama Bridgette perfectly 😉
Can I cut the Victoria thong pieces on the fold if I’m using yardage instead of galloon lace?
Sure! Just be sure to take out your seam allowance, and finish the edges appropriately 🙂 It’s only done as separate pieces for galloon lace so that the edges are already finished with the lace edge.
Will Megan write a doctor’s note to excuse me from work/school/chores/parenting for the next three weeks so I can sew up all the lace I bought?
Sadly, no. 🙂 But we do hope you love these patterns as much as we do!
Is my ready-to-wear cup/bra size the same as my sewing cup size?
This is the single most important question. They are not, I repeat, they are NOT the same! If you go by your ready-to-wear bra size, you will very likely be disappointed. Make sure to measure correctly over a light bra (even if you don’t plan to wear with a bra), or the bra you plan to wear under it most often. Trust the pattern and the measurement chart! There may be a few exceptions, so if you notice yours is WAY off (for example, if you normally wear a D/E cup in ready-to-wear, and measure an A cup), post in the Made for Mermaids Facebook group so we can give some extra guidance! There was only one fit issue like that during testing, and we had models for every size.
Do I need to adjust for height?
Yes! Megan suggests trying the bralette/nightie on before attaching the straps, to determine if you need to remove/add length. Additionally, you may wish to adjust the rise on Victoria to fit your personal preference. Another reason making a muslin first is the best option!
How do I know when I need to size up in the band or cup size?
If you are at the top end of the measurement in a particular size, you may want to size up. For example, if your upper bust measurement is 41″, you may be more comfortable making the 42″ band rather than the 40″ band since 41″ is the largest measurement the 40″ band is drafted for. If your cup size falls in between two cups, opt for the larger cup. For example, if the difference between your upper bust and full bust is slightly over 2″ but not quite 2.25″, plan to make the C cup rather than the B cup.
What supplies do I need?
Here is the supply list for Mama Victoria:
To clarify – CHEEKIES will need galloon lace and optional lining, OR yardage, optional lining ,and elastic (or stretch trim). THONGS will need waistband lace, yardage, optional lining, and elastic, OR waistband lace, galloon lace, and optional lining. Use the chart above to determine yardage needed.
Here is the supply list for Mama Bridgette:
To clarify – GALLOON LACE BRALETTES will need galloon lace, optional lining, and lingerie elastic. FABRIC OR STRETCH LACE YARDAGE BRALETTES will need fabric/stretch lace yardage, stretch lace trim, optional lining, and lingerie elastic. GALLOON LACE NIGHTIES will need galloon lace (for bralette portion only), optional lining, lingerie elastic, and yardage for skirt. FABRIC/STRETCH LACE YARDAGE NIGHTIES will need fabric/stretch lace for bralette, optional lining, lingerie elastic, and yardage for skirt.
Just as a note – on the back of Bridgette, elastic will be seen at the neck line for some options, and at the top of the upper band. Most other elastic is “hidden” on the inside. For the Victoria thong version, elastic will be seen at the top edge of the waistband if lace trim is not used for the waistband.
Where can I buy supplies?
Supplies can be found in chain stores such as Hobby Lobby or Joann’s, but supplies, especially colors, are limited. During testing we had great luck with Surge Fabric Shop, Pretty Posh Prints, and Sew Sassy Fabrics. You can also check out So Sew English and Boho Fabrics. Sly Fox Fabrics and Knitpop have great yardage options. We also found several shops on Etsy with wonderful supplies and prices (including FabricBistro, MarySupplies, and LaceandTrims). If you’re in Canada, try Kiss My Stash Fabric or Libelle Sewing.
Can I line with power mesh?
Yes! Power mesh will give a little extra support.
What is the difference between picot elastic, lingerie elastic, plush elastic, fold over elastic, etc? And what on earth is galloon lace?
Many suppliers use “lingerie elastic” as their umbrella term to cover all elastic used in bra/underwear sewing.
Lingerie elastic includes “picot” elastic. The term picot refers to the small loops or scalloped trim on one edge of the elastic. Picot elastic is probably the most widely recognized of lingerie elastic. It’s especially common in underwear waistbands.
Some stores will also include “stretch lace elastic” under the term lingerie elastic; this is not the same as stretch lace and will definitely work! It looks similar to picot elastic.
Additionally, plush elastic has one brushed/felted side; this is often what you’ll see on your ready-to-wear bra straps! Some elastic will have a decorate edge, but not all.
Fold-over elastic (often referred to as FOE) is elastic designed to “fold over” and finish a raw edge. You’ll see a faint crease down the center of the elastic. It is not generally listed with lingerie elastic, but can be used for these patterns. Just as a note, FOE will not offer the same amount of support as some of the other lingerie elastics.
Finally, stretch lace can be found as trim, or as yardage if you’d like to make an all lace nightie. Galloon lace refers to stretch lace that has a scalloped, lacy edge on both sides.
Why will only certain widths of galloon lace work for upper size cups? Can I use widths other than 6” or 8”?
The size of the cup determines the width of galloon lace needed. The upper sizes simply won’t fit on the small width galloon laces. Some testers did use the lace as an appliqué with a stretch mesh lining, so that is an option to use a narrower galloon lace is there’s one you simply must have 🙂 For this, you would cut your cup pieces out of the mesh lining as usual, and then cut the lace to whatever size you wanted for the appliqué, and then stitch on using a stretch stitch.
Yes, you can use other widths! For cup sizes larger than B (possibly C), you really need 7.5” or greater, but it does not have to be exactly 8” wide. For the upper cup sizes (D+), 8” or greater is your best option. The smallest cup sizes can get away with most any width.
What can I use besides galloon lace?
Stretch lace yardage, rayon spandex, jersey knit, double brushed polyester, cotton spandex/cotton lycra, stretch velvet, stretch tulle, or stretch mesh are all great options as long as you have the appropriate stretch percentage! Keep in mind, different fabrics may give you a slightly different fit.
Happy sewing! We can’t wait to see what beautiful sets you make. Don’t forget to share what you’ve sewn up in the Made for Mermaids Patterns Group page on Facebook or Instagram. #mamabridgettepattern #loungeandlace #madeformermaids
All the patterns in the Lounge & Lace Collection are made to match perfectly together! Stay tuned for our Mama Stella Sweater and Mama Lexi Loungers patterns!