Sewy Isabelle Bra or Random Complaints About My Chronic Disorganization

I’m not the neatest person (massive understatement. i am a huge slob). A few years ago I couldn’t place my hands on my Rebecca bra pattern from German pattern maker Sewy. I decided to re-order the pattern and of course, my original turned up a few months later.

Last month, after spending a small fortune on RTW bras, I decided it was time to make my own again after a three year hiatus. I started tracing my Rebecca bra in my new size (75G vs 70G) only to discover I’m missing half the pattern. Not just half the pattern, I’m missing BOTH page twos of my pattern. I’m so annoyed with myself. But, after stewing about it all night, I just couldn’t bring myself to order a third copy. That Europe to US shipping is no joke.

Solution: take a stab at my Isabell bra from Sewy instead. I’ve had the pattern for two years and a fabulous English translation thanks to reader Marianne. I made a plea for help and she offered to translate it.

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Anywho, back to the pattern. I can’t even show this on my dressform because my dressform back is wider than mine and not as malleable.

I guesstimated my size in Isabell. When I made the Rebecca bra, I was a 70G. But, had to pinch out some volume from the lace cup and reduce the length of the band. At the time, I was a RTW 32F. Right now, I measure between a 34G and 36H. I can wear both, but neither comfortably. I figured going up one band size and one cup size would get me close. And, it turns out it was spot on with no further alterations.

Notions: size 44 wire (34F), findings from BraMakers Supply, fabric is scraps from this wrap dress. Lace is from a warehouse sale locally and like a $1 a yard.

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These straps were purchased in Amsterdam from Kantje Board. They are plush and wider at the center and narrow at the bottom. I only bought two but wish I’d bought a dozen!

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I’m severely out of bra sewing practice. So, my finishing isn’t nearly as neat as I would like. But, I do quite like this bra and wear it frequently.

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I’ve started a second one in beige. But, need to dye some findings to match to finish it up. Dye purchased. Just shear laziness in play.

I really hope the rest of my Rebecca pattern turns up :-/  It’s sized for non stretch lace and most of my haul from Kantjeboord two years is ago is non stretch.

Also, when checking around for reviews of Sewy Isabell, I stumbled on  Brina’s Sewing Room– a German language sewing blog – that talks about taking classes at Sewy and the store they have. Have a peek at her blog post and photos. I for sure thought Kantjeboord outside of Amsterdam must be the only store of this kind. But, based on their photos, it looks like Sewy near Colon offers the same stock.


  1. I love that leopard bra! I’m glad you were savvy enough to be able to figure out your size. In the mood you were in, it would have been bad if it didn’t fit! I am a slob, too, and I often misplace things, so I completely understand your frustration. If only I would develop better habits and put things up as my mother tried to teach me when I was growing up. But I didn’t. What’s up with that? You’ll get back into the swing of lingerie. I wondered if you had stopped making your undies. I always found you to be the most inspirational maker of lovely, lacy things!

  2. Sewing and machine knitting defy organization—at least in my life. The bra is so fabulous! How do you dye small amounts of stuff? And what dyes do you use?

  3. Oh, Miss C, your bra is gorgeous! I love it. I’ve never seen straps like that, and I think I’d like those too. They look so comfortable. I have the Sewy Rebecca pattern and can scan that 2nd page for you. I’d also love a copy of those English instructions for Isabell.

  4. Love your bra, it’s very snazzy! It would be nice to find some of those tapered straps, I agree with Michelle that they look comfortable. I’ve been wanting to order both of those Sewy bra patterns, but am stymied by the German site — hoping to get my niece to help me order the next time she visits, she’s a German language major at university.

    • It’s really a PITA to order from the website. I think the two or three times I’ve ordered, other people have ordered for me. I just couldn’t navigate my self using Google Translate. If anyone goes to Amsterdam, you know I’ll be asking for those straps! They are very comfortable.

      On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 1:59 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. Ooh, I love the leopard print bra so much! I will probably never make my own drawers but I can see the fascination, especially if you are a tough size to find. In the past I’ve had trouble finding the right band length thanks to my freakishly small rib cage, but now that I’ve put on back muscle I don’t have the same issue. Lol.

  6. Great article. Many thanks for the links. Where do you get your bra fabrics and notions in the US?

  7. Ooohh! Ahhhh! Thank you for the incredible inspiration with the links and photos of you beauties. I am a bit of an organizational slob myself- dupes of sewing patterns as well as notions, found in the craziest of places! I, too am curious of the dyes that you use. I have yet to try making anything beautiful in the world of lingerie- other than half slips and the occasional nightgown. Am absolutely terrified of making the panties and bras.

    • I haven’t actually dyed myself yet. I read on Kathy-Sews blog that she uses regular old RIT dye. So, that’s what I bought. I am a step closer though. I picked up a pot and strainer from Goodwill today. Maybe this will be my Christmas activity?

      On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 3:10 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • That sounds great!! I am confident that you are going to be successful.

        Wow, the last fabric that I dyed was a bright coral linen from my local sewing friends. It was quite bright and very unflattering. So, I ended up doing a black tea dye. It worked beautifully.

  8. The dyeing (I’ve only used RIT) is super easy–like “why did I wait so long to try it?!”–easy. Be sure to keep an eye on the stuff though, because as I recall, the loop side of the hook/eye tape takes dye faster than the hook side (or vice versa, sorry!) so definitely stand over it while it cooks. A cheap/crappy set of tongs are also useful.

    I really need to sew up some bras too, my RTW bras are trying to hurl themselves into the trash when I’m not looking. But at $65-80 each, I have to get every last bit of goody out of them. 😉

  9. If you still need page two I can cover you👊🏽. I’d also love the English Isabelle directions!!!

    And I’m such a slob that I have a clear box from IKEA that I throw all loose pattern pieces into. So when I can’t find one I need I at least only have to tough it out through that box. It’s like a miracle though…finding the piece I need. And usually it’s 5 min or less search. Clear box. Life altering🤣

    Ps…going to Amsterdam 6/2017. Happy to bring back anything you want/need!

  10. Not that you need any more European lingerie sewing websites, but here’s another:
    I recently found out this store is a mere 12 miles from where I live and Sewy is 100 miles away, closer than Kantjeboord! I haven’t ventured to either German store because 1) my German is still lousy so group classes would be pretty tough and 2) I haven’t sewn any of the bra kits I bought from Kantjeboord last August (went there based on your review). Some day.

  11. Your blog interested me because I own a newer Bernina with loads of OEM attachments and I’m getting into sewing bras. Kits from Merckwaerdigh in the Netherlands are current favorites.

    However, it appears that you’re too busy name-dropping and playing jet-setter to answer one simple question about US fabric sources, so I unsubbed.

    • Aren’t you a charmer? My blog doesn’t pay my bills. I appreciate readers and commenters and don’t always get a chance to answer questions. Especially those where answers are readily available. This might help:.

      –sent from my jet set vacation where I am most definitely name dropping you, Paula Johnson.

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