Still Life With Lingerie

Blue lace lingerie set | Cloth Habit

I love coming up with unique ways of shooting my lingerie sets, probably as much as the sewing itself! Sometimes I shoot them on a lightbox (basically like shooting on top of one big light), sometimes in a window, or on my favorite throw. At times I still feel like a baby with a big camera and have so much to learn, but really enjoy composition and thinking about proportions within a frame. Before my sewing blog days, one of my weekly hobbies was floral photography, which inspired me to take some photo courses and upgrade my camera. I not only loved taking photos of my garden but then bringing picked flowers inside and assembling all sorts of still lifes in front of a big back light. It seems like shooting lingerie has replaced my still life hobby.

And I also particularly love trying to capture the textured and often gossamer nature of laces and lingerie fabrics. Feels like peering into the deep throat of an iris. I saved this particular lace for over a year and probably pulled it out 15 times just to roll it through my fingers. I do that a lot–it’s kind of dorky but I’m so tactile!

Blue Lace Lingerie | Cloth Habit

The lace and all notions came from a Merckwaerdigh kit, and while I was at it decided to have a whirl at a different bra pattern, Merckwaerdigh Mix30. I’ve had this pattern in my collection for ages but never got around to the bra, in part because I already have two personal bra patterns with vertically seamed cups. But sometimes it’s fun to veer off and try something new. I need some reason to justify my crazy lingerie pattern collection!

I started with a 75C (US 34C) cup, which I arrived at by comparing with one of my best fitting cup patterns, so I got very close to a perfect fit. All the band sizes in this pattern are a 75/34 so you have to remove or add length to arrive at your particular band size. My preferred band length is somewhere between a 30 and 32 but whatever length I use depends on fabric choice. Since I already have a few tried-and-true band patterns, I used my own frame (bridge, cradle, band), and simply added the same design details, such as the scalloped back band with camisole-style straps.

Blue Lace Lingerie | Cloth Habit

The pattern’s design uses lycra on the outer cup and bridge, and lace on the inner cup and band, which lends itself to a pattern blocking look. I really didn’t want to this to get that busy looking so I went all lace, and lined the entire cup with sheer tricot.

Blue Lace Lingerie | Cloth Habit

Blue Lace Lingerie | Cloth Habit

When I use these kind of lightweight fabrics and sheer linings, the cups end up very soft with just a slight amount of give and lend a natural shape, which I like. I have a lot more of these sorts of bras than those with stand-up-on-their-own cup fabrics. The particularly good aspect about this bra’s design is the long strap extension which is not only very comfortable but helps keep the top part of the bra from sagging.

Speaking of lace and softness, many readers have asked me how seamed or lacey bras look under clothes. Oddly I had never stopped to think about all this–I was blissfully unaware of “show through” until people asked. I bought my first lacey seamed bra when I lived in Europe, in a place where seamless bras were few and far in between. So maybe it is a cultural preference for suggestion? But now that you asked, I don’t really notice the seams–it just depends on the weight of the top I’m wearing. What I do notice is color and so I like to have a lot of pale neutrals. This bra is definitely something for dark clothes.

However, I do like playing with seamlessness in undies.

Blue Lace Lingerie | Cloth Habit

These are a hipster style and were an experiment in making a pair that were cut entirely from one piece folded over and seamed at the front. Tulip bikini–that’s what I’m calling this!

Bra: Merckwaerdigh MIX30 (using my own band)
Bikini: Self-drafted
Lace & most notions: Merckwaerdigh bra kit
Fine stretch mesh: (band lining and underwear fabric) Fabric Depot Co.
Dye: Washfast acid dye, National Blue (strap elastic and mesh)


  1. Sip says:

    Beautiful I love the lace! I have collected all my items to make bras and has not began YET!! 🙁 I even bough craft foam for testers (like a muslin) first before I cut into my real foam. Anyway any thoughts on creating strapless? I think I need that more than regular bras? And low back cut bras? Since I am a D teetering on a DD those “sticky” things just don’t work and I love to wear low back items.

  2. Naomi says:

    Lovely. What a pretty summer set. Always fun to see what you’ve been working on. I’m inspired. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Amanda says:

      I was going to ask the same thing. I love the look and lack of seams…even in places that it won’t “show” through pants I find seams sometimes annoying pressing against my body.

  3. Mady says:

    This is just beautiful! Like everyone else I’m also curious if you’re considering making this a pattern. The undies are really interesting and clever!

  4. Katherine says:

    This is really gorgeous! Such beautiful lace. I need to try lining lace with tricot.

    Glad to hear this pattern fit well, because I have it in my collection also.

  5. Michelle says:

    Amy, what a lovely set! So delicate and fresh looking. Love the bikini. Can you tease us a little with a picture of these patterns you mentioned?

  6. Msrlie Collins says:

    I really like those undie’s could you make a pattern and sell it to us. I want to make a bra but feel stuck with where to begin!!!!

  7. lsaspacey says:

    Wow, this set is gorgeous and those undies are clever. So happy I already have a personally fitted bikini pattern so that I can try to draft a similar pair off of it. However, if I were you I would see if you could patent that design, it’s so cool!

  8. Kimberly says:

    Great set!! And great ideas! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us!

  9. CGCouture says:

    I love this set! The lace is beautiful, and the one piece design of the undies has definitely intrigued me. I’m going to have to pin it for future reference (unless you’re planning to share the pattern!) I’ve got a TNT pattern, so I think it could be tweaked…

    BTW, that foam from a few posts back, can it be used for swimwear?

  10. Alison says:

    That fabric is the most tip-top perfectly pleasing thing I have seen all summer! The colors and the lines and the texture. Wow and wow and wow. LOVE!

  11. Ralitza says:

    It is beautiful set! The pictures are beautiful too! Love the lace.

    Being in Europe, I was surprised, to discover sew-and-cut cups are considered more luxurious. It is was the standard here for decades. The form foam cups are rare even today. Only really big sizes need to buy them often as sewn cups are rarer in F and above cups. A skin tone lace bra is a summer a must, I think

  12. nettie says:

    I hope a pattern for those panties is in the works, too!! They are lovely! And simple enough for even lingerie dummies like me to make ;o)

  13. Leah says:

    Beautiful bra! How do you construct the band with the scallop? I have been making my own bras and can’t figure out the order of construction to achieve this look.

    • Amy says:

      Hi Leah, thanks! To cut the band this way, you need to have a seam under the cup that joins the bridge with the band. That way you can cut the band with the hem on the scallops.

  14. Sherie says:

    I have just discovered your blog and I’m in love. Have been scrolling through for hours. I’ve learnt more form you than I did my tutors at Uni! I was just wondering what pattern you used for this specific bra? I love the centre seam and the panel thats extended to the strap. I have never made a bra with this seaming and not sure how I would adjust my pattern 🙂

    • Amy says:

      Hi Sherie,

      I wrote out the details of the pattern I used and fabric at the bottom of this post with links :). If you already have a bra block of your own with a center vertical seam, it would be very easy to draft on your own. You would simply extend the neckline of the outer cup piece where the strap is usually attached to go upward until it narrows into the width of a strap ring. You can extend it as high as you want. I love strap extensions—so comfortable!


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