Soft bras (Watson and Jalie 3131)

Watson bra and lace tanga
Taking picture of my new bra

It seems that nowadays I sew more lingerie than ordinary clothes. Sewing lingerie is so addictive. The pieces are small so it doesn’t take too much space, but the number of variations and alterations that can be made are endless. Wearing a pretty set of lingerie always makes me happy, as if I’m having a beautiful secret.

Watson bra and lace tanga Watson bra and lace tanga

Here is the most popular Watson bra. I’m sure you have seen this pattern around the blogosphere and maybe have made one for yourself! It is indeed a beautiful pattern with very clear instructions. I used white stretch lace because I want a white bra that can be easily matched with other panties.

The cups are lined with white powernet, while the bridge is lined with non-stretch lining. I made the longline version in size 30D, shortening the height of the band a bit because I’m short-waisted.

Watson bra and lace tanga Watson bra and lace tanga
I was very satisfied with the fit and how pretty it looks. However, after wearing it for sometime I found that the bottom band keep flipping up. I’m not sure what causes this, probably because I’m short-waisted? To fix this problem, I stitched underwire casing on the sides and center front of the bra, and inserted rigilene plastic boning inside. Problem is fixed, no more rolling up! I feel that the boning also makes the bra keeps its shape better.
Watson bra and lace tanga Watson bra and lace tanga

The panties are made with Lace Tanga pattern by Sew Fast on Burdastyle. I have made this pattern several years ago for this red lace set. It’s free, very easy to sew, and doesn’t require any elastics.

Jalie 3131 and Jalie 3242 Jalie 3131 and Jalie 3242
The second set is made using Jalie patterns. I just found out that Jalie patterns are also available in PDF. How did I not know this?? Anyway I quickly went ahead to buy several patterns.
Jalie 3131 and Jalie 3242 Jalie 3131 and Jalie 3242

The bra pattern is Jalie 3131, it is a bra and camisole patterns in 17 sizes. In Jalie patterns, you pick the band pattern according to the underbust size and the cups pattern according to the full bust size. My underbust falls to size Q, and coincidentally my full bust is also size Q.

The panties pattern is Jalie 3242, it includes 6 underwear patterns for men, women, and children in 29 sizes. you can make underwear for the whole big family just using this one pattern. I also made size Q for this underwear, but it feels a bit too snug. So next time I will make size R.
Jalie 3131 and Jalie 3242 Jalie 3131 and Jalie 3242

The instructions for both patterns are very good with diagrams and step by step instructions. You can even watch this video on how to sew the Jalie bra. I also like that Jalie patterns have suggested elastic length for every part that needs it. The bra cups and bridge are lined with powernet and all the seams inside are enclosed between the fabric and the lining.

Here is the fit of the Watson bra (size 30D) and Jalie 3131 (size Q) on me. My underbust is 26.5″ and full bust is 31.5″.

watsonside  jalieside
I really don’t like how the cups of Jalie bra seem to smush my breast. The cups on the Watson bra gives a much better shape compared to Jalie’s. Having said that, the Jalie bra is surprisingly very comfortable! I wore it reluctantly (because I hate the shape), but at the end of the day I went to sleep in it. The next day I even made another one with the leftover fabric!

Looking at the pictures of the Jalie bra, I probably need to make one cup size bigger although I have used the size according to measurements. I also might need a smaller band because I wear this one already in the tightest hook. However I’m not really sure if I want to experiment with this bra anymore because of its shape. But it is comfortable! But the shape! That’s the kind of dilemma that I face in daily life….




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  • Worthitall

    It looks like the Watson bra fits better because of the “princess” seaming. Could you use the Watson cup pattern on the Jalie bra?

  • Debi S

    So nice! I love these soft and comfy undies!

  • Amy L

    I am about to embark on the Watson bra and love your version!

  • Beautiful! The boning in your Watson bra looks really good, I might try that sometime. The bottom band doesn’t flip up on mine but it does start to creep upwards after I’ve been wearing it for a while. Do you always line your Watson bra cups with power net? Does it give you more support/better shape? I’d like my Watson to provide more ‘lift’ and I wonder if that would help.

    • I lined the cups with powernet because I’m afraid that the lace is too fragile to use as it is. I think you can use the same way to provide more lift as the more stable the cups, the better they hold the shape.

  • Brandy

    Beautiful as always.

    (When trying to show off white fabrics on your light dummy it’s best to put a dark/bright t-shirt/bodysuit on the dummy first, then it’ll be much easier to admire your skillful handiwork.)

  • Becky

    Both of these sets are lovely. I think the cup size on the Jalie is way too small. You might like it better if you went up at least 2 sizes. But the Watson is certainly a better looking bra, and it seems you have solved all its problems. Great work!

  • Anne

    I have the same feelings about both of these bras! The Jalie band does run big and the cups small. Going up a cup size or two might help with the shaping, but since there’s no seams or darts that actually go over the bust I think that no matter what it is going to “squish”. Meanwhile my mom LOVES Jalie 3131. She’s 100% about comfort and loves how every bit of that bra stretches and conforms.

    • I can’t argue about the Jalie 3131 being so comfortable! I have decided to use it as my ‘house bra’ 😛