OPML – Merckwaerdigh BHS10

Bra sewing can be so rewarding, especially if you can’t find a good fit with RTW.  It can take a bit of work to adjust the fit of a pattern, but once done, you can make a lot of different variations just by changing the fabics.

This first group was made back in Jan 2013 for the One Pattern – Many Looks contest on Pattern Review ( original review).  Most have succumbed to over-use but there are a couple, particularly those made from rigid lace, which are still going strong almost 5 years later.


Gold n Roses

A very sheer embroidered non-stretch netting. The cups and band are lined with powermesh. Black notions with gold rings/sliders. The netting on the band finishes approx 5cm before the closure so the band enough give. The layout of the pattern was a little tricky as the embroidered motif was the same ( no mirroring) and the depth of the scallops varied greatly ( +/- 15mm). The bridge was cut on the fold to have one of the roses centred on the bridge without the centre seam.

Storm blue with ‘fishnet’ band

I like how this turned out in the end. I had originally ordered the lycra, a different lace and notions, all with a description of “petrol blue”. Unfortunately the lace, narrow elastic, strap elastic and closure were a royal blue. On the plus side, there was a short length of gorgeous light blue grey lace in a grab bag of laces I bought that went well with the lycra. The bra is made from the (thin) lycra and lined with powernet. The edge elastic is a piping elastic rather than picot.

Seam allowances were added to the “scallop” edges of the cup pieces so the edges could be sewing to the lining and hidden. The lace was used only on the band. The strap elastic was replaced with clear elastic covered the lycra. Since the elastic was fairly narrow, I knotted it through the loop to have two straps attaching to the band.

Lavender/white sheer

A rigid lace with powermesh for the bands. I fell in love with this lace. It was laid out so the lines of embroidery would match through the cup and that the scallop pattern would flow through the bridge and side cup. The scallop was cut wider along the shoulder and trimmed to the scallops. The bridge was cut on the fold to have a line of lavender embroidery at the centre front.

Since the lace is rigid it doesn’t need a lining for support. I think this one is a little too sheer, now that it is made up. Initially I was going to line this with the white powermesh, but the white embroidery disappeared. Perhaps a flesh coloured lining would have been better. I have enough of the lace left over to I may remake it with a lining.

Blue & black

Black and pale blue lace for the cups and black lingerie lycra with a check pattern for the band. The side and lower cup was lined with nylon tricot. The band was lined with powermesh as the lycra was very thin. Seam allowances were added to the bottom of the band and bridge. The band elastic was applied in the same way as the elastic along the top of the band.

Bikini top

Made from left over swimsuit fabric and lined with swim lining. I used a white piping elastic rather than clear elastic.


Animal print

Embroidered lycra (thin and very stretchy). The band and side cups are lined with another lycra. Chocolate notions and gold rings/sliders. The depth of the embroidered edge varied greatly so it made it difficult to layout and have the narrowest border where it should be. The embroidered edges on the side cup had to be tacked down in places along the edge to stop them from turning up when worn.

Apricot & white

The band is a lovely lingerie lycra with a satin strip running through it. Both the lace and lycra were from a different grab bags, so this bra is a bit of an added bonus. The band is lined with white powermesh and the side and lower cups are lined. The closure was hand dyed using acid dyes. I’m a newbie at dying so while the colour isn’t perfect, it was better than I expected.

The straps are made from the band fabric with the satin strip running through the centre of the strap. The strap was made as a simple tube to match the wide of the sliders (gold).


This is the trial bra I made before OPML but I’m including it here rather than doing a separate review. Nicknamed Kermit because of the lime green colour. Lace is from ELingeriA (not the one I ordered) and the lining is left-over 100% cotton knit. I’ve worn this when the temp has over 40C/ 104F and the cotton was great!

“Red and black”

Red and black stretchy lace with a straight edge on one side and scalloped edge on the other. Duoplex for the band, lower cup and lining of the side cup. Seam allowances were added to the bottom of the band and bridge. The band elastic was applied in the same way as the elastic along the top of the band.



Made from a left overs of a firm cotton knit. The layout took a lot of work. I tried to get the dots to be in a row along the edge of band, the straight edge of the side band and top of the upper cup and through the centre of the lower cup and avoid any dots on a seam allowance. There was one on the join of the upper and lower cup which I tried, but failed to match. To make it harder, the print of the dots didn’t line up when I tried to cut out the other half of the pattern.

This has been one of my favourites to wear in summer because of the cotton fabric


There is a pale blue paisley lace fabric left over from a top I made a while back. It wasn’t finished before the end of the contest, but I did get back to it about a year later. It was gorgeous when it was finished. I must see if I can find a finished photo.

‘Wedgewood’ layout

Mandarin and white

Soft textural lace in white and mandarin. It is lined with a nude powermesh. White notions and rings/sliders.


Footnote: These were sewn over an 8 day period. We were suffering through a heatwave with temps between 41 and 45C so the only useful thing to do was to say inside and sew.