Pattern: Jalie 3886 "Julia'
Fabric Used: Jersey with 2 way stretch
We have had a lot of success over here sewing up comfy underwear using patterns from Jalie and so when everyone started raving about the Julia pattern I wanted to try it. It is a standard Jalie pattern where the sizing runs from ages 2 - 13 for the children and 33" - 51" bust for the ladies, so all three of us will get some use out of this. There is a camisole, bralette and knickers within the set and the knickers can be made high waist or low.
I made this set for my eldest daughter, she tends to be my guinea pig for these things and most patterns tend to get purchased with her in mind anyway. Not that she's my favourite or anything. Just the eldest..!
The bralette top has sewn up beautifully, and it looks really good on her. It is a racerback, pull on style with a lined bodice and a good firm elasticated band.
The elastic I used is fold over elastic, which is an absolutely fantastic product for finishing this top. I have actually never used it before (yes I know it has been around forever, but I have never needed it!) and am now addicted!
The front gives good coverage, not too low at the bust and nice and comfy under the arms. I hope that when I make one for myself, that I will be able to wear it under some tank tops and not have to worry about straps showing.
I lined this with solid black just to help me differentiate between the lining and the main fabric during construction. It feels lovely and soft against the skin because all the seams are concealed.
All sizes have bust darts to give a better fit, as you can see below.
The front band is not meant to be pieced together, I was just using up some scraps and couldn't make it fit any other way. So ordinarily, that front band would be smooth.
One thing to note on the under bust elastic band, is that once it is attached, there is no going back. So make sure you have measured the bust size correctly. The elastic strip is sewn on before folding the band and attaching it to the bodice. It makes it super firm but impossible to alter if it is too big/tight.
The straps meet at the back and are secured by one of those little bra rings. Also, the instructions show you when to attach sliders so you can alter the straps when wearing if you wish. I had a look in my local haberdashery, but sadly couldn't get any bra findings. I thought my project would grind to a halt until I ordered some, but then in my stash at home I found these....
And they worked perfectly! Never tell a crafty person they can't do something. There is always a way!
I tried it on her first and pinned the straps so they wouldn't need adjusting. This enabled me to leave off the sliders for now. I found a seller on ebay that supplies the rings and sliders but have also used sewingchest.co.uk for my elastics and they have a great range of supplies.
On to the knickers.... there are two options and here I have gone with the high waisted ones just so I could get a good idea of the fit on her. My girl has a long body and so I didn't want to find out they would be too low on her.
After trying them on, I know she could carry off the low waist ones too and so I have another pair cut out already with the lower option. She has declared them the comfiest knickers ever. The design of them might have something to do with that.
Firstly, there is no side seam. The back piece wraps around to the front making it nice and smooth over the hips.
The elastic around the back piece is only stretched between the top of the crotch piece and about a third of the way from the end. This gives good coverage where the bottom is fullest, meaning the back piece clings (and doesn't gape) when you are standing still, but has the flexibility to stretch out when you are more active.
You can just about see where the back piece looks gathered on the left of this photo. Its a great design.
I suspect there will be a few more of these in our house soon!