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hand-dyed lingerie | Cloth Habit

Hi again! So this week we just got back from a trip to my favoritest city, San Francisco. It was a much-deserved get-away after all the moving and house fixing we did this spring. And all that good food and fog must have gone to my head because I came back really looking forward to an Austin summer.

Before we left, I finally finished up the last of my hand-dyed lingerie sets, so I thought you might like to see what became of my dyeing adventures.

hand-dyed cotton bra

Remember the neon lemon elastic? My original intent was to dye this cotton knit somewhat of an ecru color but instead I experimented with a mink brown.

cotton lingerie sets

On these next set of pieces I was experimenting with a cotton/modal knit and a Tencel knit. Both modal and Tencel are dreamy lingerie fabrics. They’re just a bit silkier than cotton, which tends to cling–Velcro, anyone? I’m waiting for a new shipment of Tencel jersey to test some more dyeing, because I think it might just be my absolute favorite.

As you can see, most of these are fairly simple styles. A few months ago a friend and I got to talking about 70s lingerie and how understated it was–feminine and flirty with a little bit of French insouciance. So I took that as a challenge to come up with simple bikini and bra styles that were easy to make and wear. Nothing screams 70s more than a little hipster bikini and triangle bra, dontcha think? Surprisingly, I spent way more time working on the bikini patterns than the bras. It took me five samples before I came up with my idea of a perfect bikini style. Maybe I imagine Annie Hall wearing these under her Saturday clothes, a little slouchy tee and wrinkled jeans. I’m a Woody Allen nerd, what can I say…

I hope you had a great week and happy June!

P.s. Is anyone else getting sidetracked by all the swimwear sewing going on around blogland? I think it might be time to finally pull out that oh-so-soft lycra I’ve been storing for the last year and get cracking on a swimsuit.


  1. Oh, I’ve just bought a book called pattern-making for underwear design. I’m very much inspired by your bra-making skills! 🙂 So, I’m soon off to a bra-making adventure. 😀 Just thought I’d say.

    I really like the neon color with the mink brown. It’s really cool! 😀

  2. Kelly says:

    You do such beautiful work. Glad you had a nice vacation, you always know it’s always good when you end up refreshed and looking forward to life at home again.

  3. maddie says:

    Just when I thought I was getting good, BAM, you have to show off what you made 🙂

    Modal and tencel – I love its hand but what has been your experience with it over time? In t-shirts I’ve made using both fabrics, it has stretched out over time and lost shape. It’s recovery is good over time. Have you found that to be true too?

    These silhouettes are feminine while be refined. Who says Annie Hall isn’t sexy? I think she’s sexy because of the fact that she’s very natural, albeit masculine, looking.

  4. emily marie says:

    Gorgeous. I’d been looking forward to seeing what you’d do with the acid yellow notions- I love it with the mink! You’ve probably covered this elsewhere, but are you using a lock or chain stitch for your topstitching on lighter weight knits?

  5. Kelly says:

    Wow, these are beautiful, I would love to make something like this one day. I bought a bunch of bra making supplies during your sew along but haven’t put them to use yet. I love the simple triangle bra.

  6. Sallie says:

    Beautiful color combos and silhouettes! Amy, you really do have an incredible eye and feel for lingerie. I’ve always loved soft, stretchy cup bras. I think they give the prettiest and most natural shape – which I think is way more sexy than push-up bras! The bikini pattern looks perfect too! Do you think you will release it as a pattern?? (hint…)

  7. dixie says:

    the neon trim bra is too cool for words! you could totally make a cute swimsuit version from that long line bra pattern *hint hint*

  8. Stephanie says:

    These are so gorgeous!! Oh man, I need to make some bras. I love the simplicity of the pieces and the really great contrasting colors.

    Seconding Sallie’s comment, any pattern in the future?

  9. Heather Lou says:

    Dreamy dream underwear…. my lingerie plans have totally been hacked by the swimsuit pattern madness but I will definitely take a crack at the Tencel when I get back into it…Love your colour combos and that soft lemony lace number in the top image made me swoon. You must have a bazillian bras by now….

    Glad you home fun in SF. Where did you eat?

  10. Ashley says:

    My lingerie plans are also being sidetracked by things heating up here in the Northeast. Who needs a bra when all I want to do is live on the beach?

  11. Wow, these are so beautiful! I love the colors and the neon and everything. I just got back from vacation and this is definitely inspiring me to do some lingerie sewing ASAP.

  12. Sue says:

    These are beautiful- and the front bra in the top picture (the drop neck with tiger stripe and lace) really caught my eye, is there a pattern out there for this? Thank you- and I am starting my first Watson bra now!

    • Amy says:

      Hi Sue,

      Do you mean the yellow lace bra? It was a custom-drafted bra (at the time I was playing with push-up bras) so sadly there is no pattern for it. 🙁

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