Or bras, bras, bras for my girls, girls, girls.
Yes, this post is all about bra sewing. Yes it’s a long post. No there aren’t any photos of them on. There’s a nipple situation with all of them and even I can’t go that far. But hey, if you’re keen to read about bra sewing, stick with me.
I picked up Kwik Sew last time Spotlight were having a sale and I needed that third pattern to grab the 3 for $12 bargain they occasionally do. I thought it looked quite vintagey, wasn’t a fan of that centre seam and there was no mention of wires. Hmmm. Tossed in the stash for another time. I found it again when I was going through my sewing room during The Great Clean Up of 2017. Maybe it was time to give it a go. And since I ended up making three of them, you can probably guess I ended up loving it.
The first version I made was the velvet green number. Because who doesn’t need a ridiculous velvet green bra, right? Nobody, that’s who. Helpfully, the pattern doesn’t have any measurements to help you choose your pattern size. Nah mate, it tells you to use your normal size. OH MY NORMAL SIZE. COOL.
FYI, while I’m being completely open and honest, my RTW size is somewhere around a 14DD/16D. Maybe. It’s been a long time since I’ve bought a bra. In a Pin Up Girl Classic I’m a 40D, in an Ohhh Lulu Cindy I’m a 38D, in an Orange Lingerie Marlborough I’m a 40DD – you get the idea right? I compared the pattern pieces to my PUG Classic and decided to start with the 40D. And it was actually pretty close. The band fit well, there was just a bit extra in the pointy bit of the cups. It’s quite a bullety shape. Oh and you will notice I made some changes right away – straightened the bridge, removed the centre seam, separated the bridge and band pieces and added wires). I also didn’t follow the instructions at all, just went with the method I learned from Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy class. (Affiliate link).
Still, old greenie is quite wearable (I have her on today actually). Yeah I made matching knicks, they’re self drafted from the Beverly Johnson underwear class (Affiliate link).
Keen to get this fit right, I made another right away. What can I say, it’s a comfy and simple bra and I love the shape. This time (on the advice of my bra sewing group – yes, it’s a thing), I just flattened out the curve of the lower and upper cup pieces. Worked a treat, fit is spot on – but I did lose the bullet shape.
The lower cups and bridge are from a scrap of silk dupioni, cut on the bias for the cups. Yes I break all the rules. I’m a dangerous woman.
I thought I’d be cool with rounding out that bullet shape, but I sort of missed it. So I decided to go for a third round. This time just re cutting the cups as a 40C instead of D. PERFECTION. Bullet shape remained, but no puckering in the cups. YASSSSS.
And yeah, she turned out more grandma than I expected, but I wanted a neutralish bra that wasn’t nude or white.
It’s probably worth noting that the pattern calls for tricot and non stretch fabric for the cups. I used stretch for everything except the silk cups. You’ll notice that I lined it with bra lining though, which has no give at all. This is particularly important to stop your boobs from flopping about uncontrollably in stretch fabric. Trust me. Just baste the pieces together, it will make your life much easier.
So freaking happy. With all of them really, but I do love that grey one.
So where the hell do I get bra bits, you ask? Well, let me tell you:
Stretch velvet – op shop (sorry).
Spotty Mesh on upper cups – Pitt Trading
Power Mesh for back band – Remnant Warehouse
Lining, strapping, elastics, wires, rings and sliders – Booby Traps.
Tartan silk – garage sale (sorry).
Little red buttons – cannibalised from another bra.
Everything else – Booby Traps
Everything – Booby Traps
(Yes Booby Traps is awesome. I find bits and pieces at Remnant Warehouse too. They often have super different fabrics and cool power mesh. Pitt Trading has awesome lace and spandex).