Shelley & Mix30 Set

After my Marlborough bra fitting woes, I decided I needed a lingerie confidence boost. I was gearing up for a bra sewing day with Tasia this past weekend, and I couldn’t decide what to make. While I was getting dressed that morning, I unearthed my Shelley bra from the depths of my drawer, put it on, and the fog lifted. That bra is so darn comfortable! I had forgotten how well the Pin-Up Girls patterns fit on me. I decided it was Shelley’s time to shine again.

Shelley + Mix30

The lace I used is a gorgeous pale blushy pink stretch lace that I was saving for just the right bra. It’s soft and stretchy with great recovery. I picked some up from Dressew a while ago and I wish I had bought the whole roll! I decided to make an all lace Shelley. Lace, lace, lace! Lace for everyone! (But actually just me.)

Shelley + Mix30 - 3

I underlined the lower cup, power bar, and cradle with pale peach duoplex. The back band is a layer of power mesh with a layer of the lace on top.

Shelley + Mix30 - 4This lace was just too gorgeous not to use the scallops, so I decided to showcase them along the bottom edge of the bra. Normally I would have zig-zagged the band elastic on the right side, flipped it under, and triple zig-zagged it in place. But that would have hidden the beautiful scallops!

Shelley + Mix30 - 2Instead I trimmed down my underlining and then sewed both rows of zig zag with the elastic on the inside. I placed the elastic inside the scallops, and the elastic enclosed the raw lining edges. I wanted to use as much lace as possible, so the band is a little bit longer than a regular bra. It’s not quite longline though – I guess it’s somewhere in the middle. I’m just fine with that!


Shelley Bra Mods - 2I made a few changes to the pattern, and I took photos of the pieces to show you. First I shaved off some of the curve of the lower cup pieces, along the edge that joins to the lace. In the photo above, you can see my rounded off pieces on top, and the original pieces beneath. My only caveat with Pin-Up Girls patterns is that they make my bust look pointy. But it’s a simple fix, as you can see!

Shelley Bra Mods - 1

The second change I made was converting the fabric straps to all elastic straps. To do this, you need to adjust the power bar pattern piece. In the photo above, you can see the original piece on the left, my adjusted piece on the right. The notch on the right side indicates where the lace meets the power bar. I used the top section of the Malborough bra power bar as a template to adjust my Shelley piece. It worked great!

Shelley Bra Mods - 3Finally, I wanted a demi-cup style, so I lowered the center of the bridge by 1″ (2.5cm). I did the same adjustment to the lace cup piece. Above you can see the original pattern pieces under my modified pattern pieces.

Shelley + Mix30 - 5Can’t forget the panties! One of my favorite handmade panties are the Mix30 by Merckwaerdigh. They are so very comfortable and have surprisingly good coverage while still being cute and sexy. I don’t have to make any changes to this pattern, it fits perfect as is!

Shelley + Mix30 - 6I love the way this pattern showcases the lace. I chose this pattern for exactly that reason. The knit fabric is a nylon/lycra that I picked up at locally at Dressew. Nothing else new to report, Tasia and I have both blogged about this pattern and we both agree it’s awesome!

Shelley + Mix30 - 7

I’m so happy with the way this set turned out! Exactly what I needed. It’s great to know I have a couple of go-to lingerie patterns that fit great and have done no wrong (so far). I would add the Pin-Up Girls Classic Bra and Cloth Habit Ladyshorts to that camp too.

Do you guys have any tried and true lingerie patterns that you reach for when you need a confidence boost?

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15 Responses to Shelley & Mix30 Set

  1. Kelly December 10, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    This is a gorgeous set Caroline! I’m really being swayed by all the nice bra sewing going on at the moment…

  2. Carolyn December 10, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Caroline, these are gorgeous! I’m always so impressed with the lingerie that you and Tasia are sewing these days. Your fabric choices here are perfect – I love the combination of soft colors and lace. Very feminine and flattering! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next. :)

  3. Michelle December 10, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    What a delicate looking & lovely set! That is so pretty. I love lace too. And I’m with you… so far I’ve only been able to get a good fit with the Shelley and Pin Up Girls Classic patterns.

  4. SaSa December 10, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    That is so lovely, Caroline! The Shelley pattern is the one fitting me best, too. I only had the problem that the topstitching took the seam in alittle bit leaving a sort of crease. I omitted the topstitching at my next bra which worked fine. I like topstitching however. How did you manage not to have this problem?
    Have a nice advent, SaSa

    • Caroline Amanda December 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      Hi Sasa! I use my edgestitch foot on my bernina for topstitching on the bra cups, and it seems to work fine! I think it depends on the fabric, some fabrics will show topstitching and some will not as much. Try testing on a scrap of fabric with different tensions on your machine. Also, if you aren’t using lingerie thread, then that might be the problem. Lingerie thread is super fine and sinks into the fabric quite well. I didn’t use it for this bra but I try to whenever I can!
      Good luck :)

  5. Ginny December 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Oh Caroline, this is a positively swoon-worthy set! That lace is divine in every way! Also, thanks so much for the guidance for un-pointifying the Shelly cups, and converting from fabric to elastic straps — this pattern fits me very well and those two things have been the only factors that bother me at all. I’ll be eagerly employing your alteration tips for my next Shelly :D. I agree completely with you about the Mix30 panties, they’re great fitting and super comfy for me as well. I enjoy every one of your and Tasia’s lingerie posts immensely!

    • Caroline Amanda December 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Thanks so much Ginny! I’m glad my guidance is going to be put to use :) Hope it works out for you as well as it did for me! I’m wearing the bra as we speak and it’s very comfy and supportive. Good luck on your sewing adventures!

  6. Roni December 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    I’m really enjoying your lingerie posts! I want to learn to sew my own but was wondering how you go about choosing your lace. I had store bought underwear with some lace and after wearing them just a few times my fingers had poked through my lace and I had holey underwear. How can I chose lace for my sewing projects (mainly panties and bras) that will stand up better to wear? Thank you!

    • Caroline Amanda December 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

      That’s a great question! I am still learning myself. The first lace bra I made was with an inexpensive stretch lace and it fell apart. So far I’ve learned to look for structure – nothing too lightweight or flimsy. I usually do some tests by stretching the lace every which way and giving it some stress to see how it holds up. If it doesn’t hold it’s shape or looks like it might rip in the more “holy” areas, then it’s no good! Overall I think it comes down to some trial and error though… and if you find one you like, buy the whole lot of it!
      Good luck :)

  7. Splintersnstitches December 10, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    So pretty! Sewing bras never gives me a “confidence boost”, but sewing knickers definitely does! They are also a good way to kickstart the sewjo when it’s nowhere to be found. :-) I should really try the bra again, I have a couple of Pinup Girls patterns, but I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten either one past the muslin stage. I am also going to need to try the Rosy Ladyshorts–I’ve sewn my beloved KS 2908 to death, and I’d like some variety. ;-)

    • Caroline Amanda December 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      Oh too bad that kwik sew pattern looks to be out of print! I would have tried it myself. You’ve got to try the ladyshorts, they are great!

  8. Sip December 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    This set is gorgeous, I am curious did you dye the bra closure to match the fabric?

  9. Ms McCall December 15, 2014 at 1:39 am #

    Hooray for TNT’s! It’s a beautiful set.

  10. Abigail December 28, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    That set is beautiful. Very inspiring.