I came of age in the late 90s, when the two mainstream approaches to women’s lingerie were either Calvin Klein (aesthetic: sleek, plain, androgynous) or Victoria’s Secret (aesthetic: feminine, lacy, pink, smelled like fruit or candy). Guess which approach I decided to embrace?

For 25 years I was happy in my plain undies, maybe branching out into Natori (aesthetic: a single piece of lace trim) if I was feeling wild. But in the two months since I realized I could make bras, I’ve gone from this:

to this:

Suddenly I am all about pink! and lace! and unnecessary bows!

(Mesh and milliskin fabric from Spandex World, narrow lace trim from Mary Not Martha on Etsy)

It started with another Watson Bra and some matching undies. I made the Trixie Briefs on the bottom with mesh paneling and then I made the Rosy Ladyshorts on top that required lace trim.

Shopping for lace for the Rosys led me into the world of stretch galloon lace and all the patterns that were made to take advantage of it, and before I knew it I’d made the Studio Costura Mara Bralette and Stella Panties:

(Lace from Lovely Lace Shop on Etsy, elastics from Blackbird Fabrics)

I’m lace-obsessed now. I can’t believe I made something so pretty! The bra is a beautiful fit but the panties turned out too small (and even if they fit, they’d be too low rise for me now). But the rise of the pattern was limited by the width of the lace, so there wasn’t an easy fix. What to do? Combine that full-coverage Calvin Klein aesthetic with a lace overlay and make a high-waisted Watson Bikini for some ENORMOUS Marie-Antoinette underwear:

Sure, they’re big, but they’re big and pretty. And I finally can have matching sets of lingerie that fit the way I want them to, not how the lingerie-industrial complex thinks they should. Hooray for sewing!