Have you seen the latest pattern release by Madalynne Intimates, the Eloise bralette and panties? She asked me to be a pattern tester (ahh fan girl moment!) and I could not refuse! These pieces are gorgeous and unique, with asymmetrical lace details and delicate narrow straps. In Maddie’s initial email to me, she described the fit of the Eloise as similar to the Barrett, drafted for people with a fuller chest and smaller rib cage.
“Oooh… that could be an issue for me,” was my first thought. I have a smaller chest (ahem, “small bobbins“) and wider ribs/back, and when I last made the Barrett bralette (for the Free Bralette Pattern Review series! check out the results video here, and blog here), I found that fit wasn’t great for me; the cups were wrinkled, telling me that I needed less volume.
With this in mind, I still really wanted to make the Eloise. I started out by making a muslin/test version with some materials that I had in my personal stash (not my shop!). I needed to get an idea of what exactly needed to be changed before I used my nicer materials.
Here’s the first version!
It’s pretty hard to see; the black and red don’t give a great indication of the fit issues, but as I suspected, the cups were baggy. The band fit fine, and since it calls for a wide elastic band, it was comfortable and forgiving.
I also found some issues with the fit of the panties and my somewhat flat derriere that I wanted to address for my final version.
For the bralette, I knew that I wanted to reduce cup volume by making the curve of the cup seams less dramatic.
The above photo shows the original pattern piece underneath the altered pattern piece. Quite a lot of volume! For both front cup pieces and the lace overlay pieces, I found the apex (the part the stuck out furthest on the curve), and then marked about ~1/2″ in from there. Then, using one of my curved rulers, I made a new line the connected the top and bottom of the pattern piece with that new mark. It’s a very gentle curve (I have a very small chest!). And, when calculating the amount that I lopped off, there’s 2″ less fabric going into the final version. (I briefly thought… do I need to add this amount back somewhere else? side seam? something? but I decided against it; I really was wanting to remove excess fabric, not redistribute it.)
There you can see the four pieces that I did alter (I didn’t do anything to the other three, those are just a standard medium!).
For the panties, I started by sizing down from a Medium to a Small. I found the rise to be awkwardly high in the back (my thinking is, if I had the booty it was drafted for, that extra fabric would’ve been used to cover more surface area), so I lowered the back by about ~1/2″ (it’s the darker, non-dashed line on pattern piece #12 below) and then just sorta shaved off a bit from the matching front leg seam on piece #11 (panty front) so that the side seam would match.
This worked! I did end up losing some of that more dramatic, high waist look of the panties, but I’m still happy with the results.
I made up my final version using materials from my mint green, mauve, and light pink bralette and panty kit. The mint green mesh is soft, stretchy, with a bit of stability (I’d say it’s closer to my stretch tulle than a typical stretch mesh), but it’s limited edition, ex-designer stock so it won’t be around for long! The mauve lace, pink elastics, and rose gold hardware work beautifully with the light green, and then I used my ivory narrow elastic for the spaghetti strap details (which also comes in black). For the wide elastic band, I dug in my stash for this super fun gold and white elastic. It’s surprisingly soft! The gold is only on one side, so there’s nothing scratchy against my skin. I have two 2-meter pieces left that I may put up in the shop as remnants.
I hope this was a useful tutorial! If you remember my Free Bralette Pattern Review results video, I mentioned that several of the bralettes had too much cup volume, so this is definitely a method that I’m going to use for altering future bralettes as well.
If anybody else has seen any great tutorials on fitting lingerie, feel free to mention them in the comments!