[sewing] Bra #4

No need to look in the archive, I’ve never really shown you any of the previous version, and some of them have been thrown away! The first one came from Merckwaerdigh: I had bought a complete bra kit with all the fabrics and notions and it included a pattern. It was great for a first try because it involved some hand holding. In the end, the bra ended up not being wearable mainly because of the fabric that was too stretchy; I didn’t have the support I wanted. I recently checked the website to purchase another bra but I didn’t like the colours on offer.

 

The second kit came from BWear; it was a Craftsy bra kit containing all the elements needed to make a bra and a Classic Full Band Bra pattern by Beverley Johnson. It was a great experience to be able to feel the fabrics recommended for the pattern and shown in the Craftsy class. I don’t know about you but none of the fabrics shops around me carry Simplex, Duoplex and Powernet fabrics. The bra I made looked very good but was not wearable without some tweaking: the underwire was too long and so was digging in my underarm. Apart from that major issue, I didn’t like the pointy cup (or perky as B. Johnson says) but she shoes in the first Craftsy class how to round the cup.

The third try used the Watson bra pattern by Amy from Cloth Habit. It’s not a style I usually wear because of the lack of support for me. However, I didn’t use the right fabrics for this try so I could be wronged 🙂

And finally here is the latest experiment: the pattern comes from the Bare Essentials: Bra with no modification whatsoever. I used underwires from a dying bra that fitted me very well so I knew for sure the underwires would be the right size for me. I also unpicked the hooks and eyes and the rings and sliders (all the little things you can gather from an old bra).

 

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I’m very happy with it! It’s not perfect but it is fitting perfectly in some crucial areas such as the band, the bridge at the front (resting nicely against my rib cage). The straps are in the right position too.

 

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It was the first time for me using a stretchy channeling; it felt weird to start with but in the end the stretch factor was useful so I think I’ll buy this type of channeling again.

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I lined the bra because the outer fabric was too stretchy and I wanted support at least for the lower cup. The lining fabric is Simplex, a fabric not very stretchy but with nice support. The strap and bande elastic and the channeling and fabric come from The Sewing Chest. bra1_07

Chosing the right fabric is very important for a bra, you can’t use exactly what you want, it has to bee stretchy enough in some areas and not too stretchy in others, which can be a little confusing for a beginner. For the back band, I used two layers of light powernet and it gives me support and comfort which is exactly what I’m looking for in a bra.

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The all over white colour is a bit bland but I plan to give some colours to my bras in the future!bra1_04

Pamela doesn’t have the same cup size as me so she needed a little padding. As I mentioned, the fabric used for the public side of the cups and the front band is a very stretchy, very fine and slippery fabric and I absolutely did not enjoy working with it. Since the stretch is different between the public side fabric and the lining, there are wrinkles everywhere on the outside fabric. I still have some of this fabric so I’ll use it for bottom underwear instead of bras.

Even if Pamela is padded here, you can see that the cups are a little too pointy for me.

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Things that need to be changed for the next version:

  • making the upper cup a little larger, a wedge of 1/4” or 6 mm might be enough
  • rounding the apex

If you want to have a look at the fit on me, you can check my Instagram feed.

If you want to try bra-making, there are lots of information on Amy’s and Lauren’s websites, do check them!

See you soon for the next version!