Lingerie, Pattern Review

The (Lingerie) Game is Afoot! My Watson Bra and Panty Sets.

“When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

When I began sewing almost 4 years ago, I would have thought it impossible that one day I would make all my own lingerie.  Now that I have made my first bra and panty set, I know that, while it may seem improbable, one day it will be the truth!

(Apologies in advance for the upcoming photo dump 🙂 )

Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
My pretty Watson bra and panty sets.

One of my sewing goals for 2015 was to learn to sew my own lingerie.  To ease into this goal, I decided to start with the new Cloth Habit Watson bra pattern.  I’ve made two of them now and I love them!  In fact, they’ve become my go-to bras for the weekend.  I still prefer the extra support and shaping of underwire for the office, but when I’m hanging around the house with my kids on the weekend, these are perfect.

Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
Watson bras, side by side.

The best thing about this pattern is that it’s a pretty quick sew (a couple of hours at most) with such a professional, satisfying finish.  It’s the rare pattern that gives a truly RTW finish on what is perceived as a complicated piece in such a short amount of time.  It’s a great palate cleanser for that reason too.

Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
The lace. My first Watson attempt. Didn’t know to coordinate the thread color with the elastic so this one looks much sloppier even though it’s still pretty well done.

The lace bra was my first, made with random stash fabrics.  I had a couple of Watson kits but I wanted to make one from cheaper stash fabrics to test the fit and practice the techniques before diving into the kits.  I actually really like my “test run” bra but I was glad I made it before breaking into the nice milliskin in my kit.

Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
The lace is a random stretch lace from my stash. I don’t remember where I got it.

By trying it out and practicing the techniques, particularly attaching the elastic, which I had never done before, I was able to make some little changes in how I sewed my second bra to make it more comfortable.  Minor things like paying closer attention to my allowance when attaching the elastic, and coordinating the thread color with the color of the elastic made a big difference in the final look and comfort.

Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
Pink milliskin set from a Grey’s Fabric kit.
Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
I love this fabric. It’s so soft and comfy to wear.

The panties were kind of an afterthought, but I’m really glad I made them because I love them!  I think I’ve found a go-to panty pattern.  These are comfortable, have nice coverage, and they stay where I put them!  I used the pink milliskin to make a matching pair first, and then cut a few more from random knits in my stash.

Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
Stripey panties. The fabric doesn’t recover as well as I’d like.


Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
Stripey panties.

I’m a little ambivalent about the stripey pair of panties actually.  It’s the fabric, though, not the pattern.  This is a random cotton/spandex knit from my stash and while it has good recovery generally, it’s not as good as the milliskin.  As a result, it tends to stretch out after a few hours of wear.

Overall consensus is that this pattern was definitely worth the money for me!  I can’t wear cheapo bras anymore, so I spend an average of $70 per bra if I buy them in a store.  At $15 for the pattern and about $25 for the kit, the pink set cost me about $32 and the lace one about $10, with more to come!

Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
Watson bras and panties.
Watson bra and panty sets sewn by Katie @
Watson bras and panties, all together.

Pattern: Watson bra by Cloth Habit, longline version.

Size: 32C and M in the panties.

Fabric:  Almost all the supplies I used in my pink and red Watson set are from a Watson bra kit from Grey’s Fabric.  The main fabric is a milliskin with red lingerie elastic and fastenings.  I did line the cradle and band with nude powermesh from my stash to give more support.  I made my lace Watson from stash fabrics, which is totally doable but I highly reommend the kits!  Looks like all the Grey’s ones are currently sold out but I believe Blackbird Fabrics still has a few.

Difficulty: Intermediate.  This is probably as simple as it comes when making a bra, but I definitely think you should have a decent number of garments under your belt before attempting a bra.  The slippery fabrics alone make this an intermediate project, and the topstitching needs to be pretty precise.

Techniques required:  Sewing straight lines, sewing with slippery fabrics, sewing tight curves, inserting lingerie elastic.

Similar patterns:  Colette Florence

Modifications: None. 

Fit:  Amazingly good.  I was shocked at how supportive this bra is.  The fit on the panties is good too, though I prefer the ones I made with the Grey’s milliskin to the striped ones, which are just a jersey from my stash.  The jersey stretches too much and gives me saggy butt after a few hours 🙁

Pattern Format: This pattern is available as PDF only.  However, because the pattern pieces are so small, there is no taping involved.  My kind of PDF!


  • Surprisingly comfortable and supportive, at least the longline version.
  • Great first lingerie pattern for a bra-sewing newbie (like me).
  • Good drafting and instructions, even includes stitch length and width, which I really appreciated.
  • Great for using up small pieces of fabric.


  • Lack of underwire might present support issues for the bustier among us.
  • General con of all bra patterns is that it’s pretty much impossible to check the size before the whole bra is finished.  And different fabrics will give a different fit, so if you have a really prized fabric, don’t use it for your first try, and try to make a trial run in similar fabric with similar stretch.

Overall Grade:  A.   I really love my Watson bras and already wear them every weekend and most weeknights after I finish my workout.

*I eventually plan to post photos of these on me, but I will wait until my photographer extraordinaire friend Crystal is here visiting this summer.  We plan to do a boudoir shoot, which means that this blog will be full of lingerie posts in June and July as I plan to make a variety of (under)garments for that shoot!  Crystal does beautiful and tasteful boudoir work and I’m already really excited for it!

8 thoughts on “The (Lingerie) Game is Afoot! My Watson Bra and Panty Sets.

  1. Love these! I searched all the kits a couple of weeks ago and found some gorgeous ones. I’ll need some kind of lining in mine, but I don’t want cups. Still trying to figure out how I’ll make that work. . .

    Great job! They’re lovely.

    1. Thank you!

      There are some gorgeous kits out there. I’m particularly tempted by the lilac mesh at Blackbird fabrics. Do you means you don’t want to line the cups? That’s not a problem at all. In both of mine I used a power mesh lining to give the cradle and band more support. The pattern has you treat a lining like an underlining so one of the first steps is basting the main and lining pieces together.

  2. Very nice! I was all excited about this pattern when it first released, then I kind of waned… I’ve decided for now that regular underwire bras just aren’t worth my time (I can find inexpensive RTW with little problem), but the Watson I’ve been thinking about more and more. P.S. Your opening is one of my all time favorite Holmes quotes. I could read those stories over and over!

    1. Holmes rocks 🙂

      I haven’t spent a ton of time looking at RTW soft bras (as is rather spend my lingerie money on nice underworld bras) but the ones I’ve tried on haven’t come near my Watsons. For one, they’re not nearly as supportive!

      You might be pleasantly surprised if you go back to this pattern. It’s also really nice that all the kits are available to newbies like us don’t have to source all the little pieces. I’ll watch to see if you make one!

  3. Adorable! I need to get my machine running again and maybe this is just the project I need to get me excited. They are beautiful! 🙂

    1. Thank you!!

      I had been on a bit of a sewing hiatus before I made these also. My machine was silent for most of the winter, and I knitted instead. These were the project that busted me out of my rut! I still have one more kit that I’m itching to break into (and enough supplies left from my other one to make another bra if I wanted), but there are so many other things in the queue!

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