Lingerie Anatomy

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

One of the tricky parts of lingerie making is sourcing all of the supplies! Still to this day, I order my supplies from all over the world... shipping can get expensive and sourcing everything is time consuming (this is just one of the reasons why handmade lingerie is a little more costly). 

Almost all lingerie requires a variety of elastic. A bra alone requires strap elastic, band elastic, and trimming elastic.  Most bras require a hook and eye closure and you need the ring and slider hardware to assemble your straps. To make matters a little more tricky, all of the elastic comes in a variety of widths, from 1/4" and up!

Rings and Sliders - I like to use nylon coated metal rings and sliders. They come in a variety of colours and sizes. I always prefer to use metal over plastic for durability.

Strap Elastic - Generally plush on one side (the side that goes against your skin), and matte or shiny on the exterior. It comes in various widths, with the standard being 1/2".

Bra Back Closures - These hook and eye closures come in various sizes, with the average being 2x3 hooks.  The inside of these are plush, so they're soft against your skin.

Fold Over Elastic - I like to use fold over elastic for finishing the upper edge of bras and for waist and leg lines of panties. It comes in a million shades of elastic, and if you can apply binding, you can apply fold over elastic.

Band Elastic - Just as the name implies, it goes around the band, or lower edge of the bra. One side is soft and plush and it often has a decorative edge. Band elastic comes as narrow as 1/4", and up to 1" wide. My preference is 1/2", or 3/4" for larger bust sizes.

I've assembled some kits, in black, ivory, pink and navy, that contain all of the most often needed lingerie supplies in the most common sizes. Each kit contains 1/2" strap elastic, with 1/2" ring and slider set, 1/2" plush band elastic, satin fold over elastic, a 2x3 hook and eye closure, and two satin bows, hand tied by yours truly. There is enough elastic to complete 1 bra and 1 pair of panties.

View my supplies on Etsy

In addition to the kits, I've added a few remnant grab bags to my sewing pattern shop. I've been cleaning out my sewing room, and found a lot of odds and ends. These bags contain various elastics in various lengths and are perfect for practice and small projects. The elastic in these vary in length from 14" to as much as 2 yard lengths.

View the Remnant Grab Bags on Etsy


  1. Thank you for the list. I am just wondering if there is any difference between strap and band elastic or can I substitute one for another.

    1. The main difference is the amount of stretch. Band elastic tends to have more give than strap elastic, which is more rigid. Band elastic usually has 1 decorative edge.

    2. thank you Sarah... I was just wondering if I can get away with strap elastic alone :-) I think the bralet might be too tight :-)

    3. It might be ok on a style with a closure on the back, if you like a really rigid band, but may not stretch enough for pull-on styles! Good luck :)

  2. This article goes in detail about the elastics' anatomy of the lingerie.

    It's one of the cores of the lingeries, and usually very few people talk about it. The images and details in the page are amazing.

    I always have a close relations to lingerie, that's why i love it. When i was kid, my grand mom had a store, and 2 months i decide to start work as a High Class Courtesan with a presence in just one network for elite Courtesans.

    In this way i start to invest in beautiful lingerie. Soon i will have to try for sure some of these.

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