Are you as excited as we are for our brand new Barbelle Collection? Some of the patterns in the collection have been a long time coming. We’re PUMPED (no pun intended) to be releasing the first four – Youth and Adult Lulu, and Youth and Adult Finley. As with our other collections, you’ll see more patterns added to the lineup over time, but check out more info on Lulu below:
Lulu is a sports bra, longline, crop, and top! The front has two necklines – a high scoop or a soft v-neck. The back features a scooped neckline. Lulu’s wider straps are comfortable, and provide ample support. All of the hemmed options are finished with a shelf bra, while the banded options are lined. The shelf bra is finished with an elastic enclosed band, and optional removable pads. There are five hemlines with Lulu: banded sports bra; banded longline; hemmed longline; hemmed crop, and hemmed top. You can opt to add clear elastic in the neckline and armscye for added support. Lulu is the perfect tank for the gym, dance or pole classes, swimming, lounging, every day wear, or layering as a basic tank.
Before you purchase your pattern, there is a ton of helpful beginner information between the M4M and P4P blogs, in case you are new to knits, or new to PDF patterns in general:
- New to PDF patterns? Check out our helpful tips here
- New to sewing with knits? Brittany has some great info here
- Not quite sure how to measure yourself accurately? Don’t worry; check out the post here!
- Having issues printing? Most issues can be resolved by using our FAQs/troubleshooting tips
- Join our Facebook group here.
Choosing Your Options
We have lots of tester photos in our FB group and on the site if you want to see a variety of photos of each option before you decide! Here is a quick snapshot of the different options:
Fabric + Notions
Lulu is designed for medium weight knits (200 gsm +) with 4 way stretch, great recovery, and a minimum of 50% horizontal AND vertical stretch. You’ll want to look for a high spandex content – 5% minimum, but 12%-25% will be better!
Recommended fabrics for athletic wear include ribbed athletic knit, athletic brushed poly, nylon spandex, poly spandex, supplex, yoga knit, nylon spandex tricot, poly spandex tricot, ribbed tricot, athletic foiled knit, etc.
Recommended fabrics for more casual wear include cotton lycra, double brushed poly, thicker ribbed knit, etc.
Note – higher spandex content and heavier weight knits will feel tighter and provide more compression.
Strappy Back Hack
Hi friends! Today, I’m showing you how to achieve this fun strappy-back hack for the Lulu Crop! This technique can of course be used with other views than the crop, that’s just what I used. Let’s get started!
First, choose which view you’re going with. I used the hemmed crop with the built-in shelf bra. Cut your pieces and assemble through step 2 (sewing the shoulder seams of your exterior and liner).
Next, cut two long strips of fabric at 1 1/4″ width for the back straps, making sure they’re longer than the U in the back of the top – see below (we’ll trim these down later). Place them right sides together (RST) and sew the long edge, sewing them into tubes, and turn right side out.
Lay your piece with the back exterior right sides up (RSU). We’ll now make markings where you want the straps to sit (I laid mine out across the U). Using a ruler, measure how far down from the seam your straps sit, and mark with a water soluble marker. Use those same measurements to create marks on the opposite side, so that your straps sit straight.
Next, making sure the work is laying flat, measure the distance across the U for each strap. Do this for the upper and lower separately, as they’re likely to be different widths. Now, ADD 1/2″ to this measurement, and this will be the length to cut your strap to. (Reasoning: the neckline is sewn at 1/4″ seam allowance (SA), so we add two SA’s, one for each side, totaling 1/2″.) Repeat this for your lower strap.
Now that your straps are cut to length, clip the straps to the back exterior ONLY. We will sew only part of the neckline next. With your exterior pieces laying RSU, lay the liner pieces on top (RST). I like to clip all the way around for accuracy, but we’re only sewing part of the neckline right now. Sew or serge, less than half way around, between the center front and center back, making sure to catch the straps well. You can reinforce the straps by zigzag stitching over them if you wish.
Next, roll the liner in towards itself, opening up where you just sewed but keeping everything clipped around the neckline. Open up the opposing side (remove a couple clips if need be) and sandwich the straps between the two layers. BE SURE not to twist your straps! Re-clip, and then sew/serge the rest of the neckline. I like to start where I stopped on the front side which then allows me to sew the majority of the remaining neckline before having to move everything out of the way. Be absolutely sure that you’re moving the other layers out of the way as you sew, so that other layers aren’t accidentally caught.
**Tip: When you get to the straps on this second side, make sure they are straight (see third pic below). The many layers may want to shift these and you don’t want them stitched in at an angle, it will show at the end!**
Once the neckline is finished, thread your serger tails and turn right sides out (RSO). As long as straps are straight and not twisted, you can go ahead and finish the construction per pattern for your chosen view!
Great job on your new strappy-back Lulu crop!!
Katy and Rachel made super simple swim hacks using the Lulu pattern!
Rachel used a crinkle swim fabric.
We all know how great Lulu is for athletic wear, but don’t overlook it as an addition to your swim capsule. Whether you swim laps or just want to look cute on the beach, Lulu is a modern and very popular silhouette for the season.
Line with swim lining and simply swap your clear elastic for swim elastic and attach with a 1:1 ratio.
Don’t forget to understitch!
If you prefer, you can also add 1″ swim elastic into the underbust band.
I love patterns that go the extra mile! Lulu is a must-have for your library!
Katy lined her bodice with swim lining, and added swim elastic to only the neckline. She paired the Lulu top with the Roxy bottoms. The length of the long crop paired with the high waisted Roxy bottoms gets close to the coverage of a one piece, but the convenience of a two piece.
We can’t wait to see how you take Lulu and make it your own! Don’t forget to share with us on Insta, in our Facebook group, or over on TikTok!