Monday, November 05, 2018

Sew Your Own

Well, the month of November is here! (Where did October go?) I had ordered some bra-making supplies from...Bra-Makers Supply. And the package came in time for my birthday! Which is pretty good since Canada Post is doing rotating strikes around the country. (Just in time for the holiday season, huh? Typical.) So here’s the pile of goodies:

You get exactly what you want when you buy your own birthday presents, am I right? Though now I’m kind of wishing I had bought more. Now that I’ve dug more thoroughly into my supplies I can see a few more gaps. You need so many different fabrics and elastics and other findings for bras. Oh well. There’ll be a next time. Soon too.

When Beverly Johnson came out with her Pin-Up Girls Ingrid #5382 pattern I was determined to try it out. I had some success with her Classic bra after I modified the heck out of it until it resembled her Shelley bra - right before her Shelley was published, of course! However, I’ve come to realise that even when it fits pretty well I still hate underwires. Also all the underwire bras I’ve made, the ones that fit properly at least, are pretty much worn out. Couldn’t bring myself to make another. So much so that I actually bought several non-wired RTW bras. (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!) Anyway, the Ingrid pattern ticked all the boxes for me: no wires, full coverage, padded shoulder straps, innovative sizing system, “gothic arch” upward curve in the front and optional front closures. I may not ever use a zipper or front hooks but this pattern is ready for that option. It’s not lacy or sexy but that’s not what I need or want in a bra. I need support and plenty of it! I think this bra will be easier to fit too. Here’s hoping anyhow.

So while I was ordering the pattern, I got enough supplies for a complete bra and also to add to the stuff I already have for several more. The Black Cherry colour is really pretty although I actually wanted navy but they were out of some of the matching supplies for that. And black is always useful and can be easily combined with other colours. This colour-blocked one from the website is cute:

I also got some cut and sew foam for further versions since that’s what’s needed for the shoulder strap padding. Plus I could also make a foam cup version if I want. Getting the pre-cut findings kits makes it easy to see what elastics etc are recommended before I go getting creative with what I have on hand. (Hint: nothing in the stash matches!) So nice that Beverly has many of her fabrics and notions dyed to match each other for coordinated sets. Much nicer than the usual white or beige, huh? I also got a metre of sheer cup lining so I can stabilise a stretchy cup fabric. That gives me more options. But first I need to make a trial bra. Crossing my fingers that it will be wearable.

Naturally I was right in the middle of sewing another shirt for Thom when the package arrived. I promised to finish it first but, ahem, this happened:

Oops! I traced off what I hope is my size. There is a very inclusive size range and you choose yours by measuring your Bottom Cup Depth (from apex to wire line while wearing a well-fitting bra) and your actual Rib Cage Measurement. No magic numbers, sister sizes, guesswork or other folderol. The pattern is further divided into 2 size ranges between the 4.25” BCD and the 4.5”. The difference is that the larger sizes are drafted for a wider band elastic and a 3X3 hook and eye set. Unsurprisingly I fall just a little before the dividing line. Betweenies ‘R’ Us!

That should have been sufficient but I’m pretty convinced that I need the straps closer together to accommodate my narrow sloping shoulders. Luckily, Beverly has a helpful blog post outlining exactly how to do that. (Which I would love to link for you but it’s not happening for me.) Adjustment already done and although a little tricksy, I didn’t find it too hard to do. Hopefully it’ll keep the darn straps from falling down all the time. Now I’m ready to go. But there’s a darn linen shirt I have to finish first...and this is calling to me...


Sharon in Surrey said...

You know, after a lifetime of trying to find a bra that fit - I remember one bra that literally pulled your boobs into the bra frame & added inches to an already impossible to fit 'H' cup - I have gone the way of the one piece, stretch, over the head & pull into place, sports type bra from Decent Exposures. I decided comfort & compression was the way to go in my old age. And no hooks, zips or fasteners to make my morning hands unhappy. Maybe I'd have sewn my own if the kits & findings had been easy to find but I like the slip-ons that I wear nowadays. I still like making my own panties - I'm short waisted & can make them to fit so easily but I always knit my own socks!!!

Louisa said...

Sharon, I used to wear pullover sports bras too but finally quit because they compressed me too much. My belly already sticks out farther than my boobs and it just wasn’t a good look for me! Also wasn’t comfortable or supported enough. Yes it’s hard to find bra supplies but mail order is still less expensive than buying a quality bra. I’m crossing my fingers that this is going to be the one that works!