My First Watson Set
I’m back from my vacation to visit family in Minnesota, and I’m happy to report that not only did I finish my Watson set in time for the trip, but it is now officially travel approved. Totally comfortable for a day of buses, airplanes, and layovers with no underwires to set off a metal detector. This is my first attempt at sewing lingerie, and I am pretty stinkin’ proud of it.
Rather than use the sizing instructions on the pattern, I chose to go with my RTW bra size. With my shape, it doesn’t seem like the upper bust is a useful measurement, but obviously I’m a novice bramaker and could be very mistaken. I had fingers crossed the entire time I was making this bra that it would fit me when all was said and done, and it does! I’ll make some adjustments for the next one because the cup seams are not centered on me, but this first try is perfectly wearable.
Since I was nervous about sourcing materials and didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, I chose to start with a Watson kit from Grey’s Fabrics that I snapped up during a sale. For the most part, I was pleased with the kit, but I do have some critiques. The first is that the findings were not labelled, so I had to measure the yardage of the elastics to make sure that I was putting them in the right place. Since this kit is marketed towards those who aren’t ready to source their materials (or simply don’t want to), it would have been nice to have labels on each of the elastics. The picot elastic that runs along the top of the bra and all around the panties is very cute, but it did mean that I needed to shave some fabric off the top of the bra cups to get them to meet in the center properly. Had I not read the sewalong for this pattern, I (again, as a new bramaker), wouldn’t have known any better and would have messed that one up.
The more substantial problem that I had with this kit is that it does not include the tricot lining or fusible knit interfacing that the pattern calls for and does not account for this omission. The materials slip included with the kit makes suggestions for dealing with the band in the mesh kits, but I purchased the milliskin kit and wasn’t sure what to do. I believe the mesh kits were the first ones sold, so my guess is that the slip was not updated to match the new milliskin kits. Since I wanted as much support as I could get from a soft bra, I went with the longline band and added both fusible knit interfacting and a self lining to the cradle, which seems to have worked.
This wasn’t my only problem with the cradle. I printed all of my pattern pieces at once, but for some reason the scaling was terribly off for the cradle piece. I didn’t realize until I went to stitch the side seams that the cradle I had cut was huge. Luckily, the amount of fabric in this kit was generous enough to allow me to cut a second cradle, but if I hadn’t made this error I probably could have gotten another pair of panties out of the fabric.
I don’t like to leave my seam allowances raw, so I finished them with a zigzag in matching thread. Since I lined the cradle, I was also able to clean finish the side seams. It bothers me a bit to see the blue stitching on the back of the white elastic–I wonder if I should have put white thread in my bobbin.
I made the matching bikini style panties, and I don’t have a whole lot to say about them–after making the bra, they were pretty simple and gave me additional practice tensioning my elastic. I’m really glad that I took a look at the sewalong for these since there’s a method for clean finishing both the front and back end of the crotch lining that looks very nice. Speaking of the sewalong, I referenced it throughout this project and found it very helpful, but I was surprised at how frequently it strayed from the written instructions, especially when it came to zigzag stitch length and width. My assumption was that the sewalong was the most recent information, so I went with that over the written instructions when they differed.
This was a really satisfying project, and now I really do feel like I can make anything. Between knitting and sewing, the only thing I wear that I don’t know how to make is my shoes. I’d say I’ll never make those, but I’ve proven myself wrong before!