I had planned to sew 4 garments in August. Quite realistic plans, or so I thought. I got one made, and then the demands of life got in the way. So back to sewing bras. They are much easier to fit into small chunks of time.
I always meant to re-visit the Marlborough bra by Orange Lingerie, after my first attempts were too small. When I got the pattern out and started looking at the different sizes, I realised that my original print-out was not to scale. Rookie mistake! I remember that we were in temporary accommodation at the time, and I did not have a printer, so I must have got someone else to print the pattern out for me and then not checked. Turns out my original size was the correct one, I just needed to print it properly. I did make a few minor adjustments to the pattern after sewing a muslin.
I used a lingerie lycra for the cups and the band. This lycra stretches horizontally, but not vertically. The lace is cut from a pair of French knickers that I never wore.
I did make one modification to the pattern, and combined the side band and the back band pieces. This makes the band a little stretchier than the original design, but I like my band a little looser, so this is okay. I made this change because the side seams in bras often irritate me. Removing the side seam has made this bra super comfy.
I didn't have great colour matching notions. I dyed the underwire casing and hooks and eyes. I used ivory straps, but I am annoyed that they don't match as well as I would like.
I used the same materials to make the Harriet bra by Cloth Habit, after ordering matching strapping.
The band sizing on this pattern was different to any other that I have seen, supposedly to match the British bra sizing. This did not make sense to me, as I thought a UK 34B was also a US 34B. I usually start with a 34B. The Harriet sizing put me at a 30DD.
I have found a bra wire that I like and bought it in bulk. It is an Australian 12B from an Australian manufacturer. Apparently Australia sizing is a little different than other countries because they use different increments between sizes. Anyway, this is the wire that I like. However, when I use patterns for this wire, I have to remove a fair whack of volume from the cup. I have tried just going down a cup size, but smaller wires dig into me. Amy provided an image of the wire sizes used to draft her patterns, so I compared my wire to her chart and went with the pattern for her 36 wire. 36B = 34C = 32D = 30DD cup. So I started with the 30DD. After making a muslin, I had to make quite a few changes to the pattern, removing volume both vertically and horizontally. I got there in the end though, and am happy with my final fit.
Again, I eliminated the side seam.
These two bras have quickly become my favourites, being both lightweight and comfy. They are also the perfect nude colour for me - much better than beige. This means I was able to wear this slightly sheer top, that I love, but has been hanging in the cupboard unworn because my other bras show through.
When I ordered the champagne strapping for the above bra, I also ordered some champagne microfibre striped tricot, thinking it would be good for matching kickers. I thought tricot was stretchy, but this stuff isn't. I tried it out for bra cups instead. This next bra is a surprising success. I used the band from the Cloth Habit Watson bra, and than modified the cups from a self-drafted halter bikini pattern to fit into the Watson band. In actual fact, the cups are a bit small, as I didn't change the pattern for non-stretchy fabric. This is not a problem in a wireless bra. It just means that the bridge does not sit flat against my chest. The fit is more like wearing a bikini. Next time I make this, I will increase the dart on the bra cup, which will make the cup a little bigger and probably provide a little more coverage as well. In spite of the slightly small cups, I have worn this the last two weekends, and each time I forgot I was wearing it until I went to take it off at the end of the day, and really, that is what you want from a bra. It is also more supportive and shapely than my stretch Watsons. The powernet is not the same colour as the tricot, but it seems harmonious. I dyed the frilly elastic used to edge the cups.