Guysguysguys, I MADE A BRA
I had been dreaming of making bras for a while but figured it was such a specific skill set it would take ages to get even close. Meg posted about her Bra Quest and that brought it more into the realm of possibility, and I decided to try and start my own bra quest, thinking it would be a long time until I had something that I could wear comfortably.
After reading several reviews I decided to go with the Pin Up Girls Classic Bra by Bra Makers Supply, and I went with a kit from Summerset rather than trying to source every bit myself and ending up with a hodge podge of colours – this is Wedgewood Blue. While the supplies took a while to get to me, took even longer to finally build up the courage to make it. I traced off the pattern and it sat for a week before I pulled out the fabric. (Note: I used my regular tracing paper and I wouldn’t recommend using something so flimsy, because the pieces are so small I think you should really use the cardstock and trace route rather than tracing paper and pinning).
I did make a muslin with underwire and everything (just missing the elastic, using woven fabric for the straps and muslin for the band) and while I did make a change, in retrospect it may have been the wrong fix! I’ve worked out over the last year that I have a broad base relative to cup size, so I need quite a large underwire. When I tried on my muslin I had fabric pooling in front of the side of the underwire so I took that out – but now the underwire sits a bit too close at the underarm. Neither of my bra fitting books deal with this so I’ll either add back the fabric I took, or try and lever the underwire out at more of an angle (does that make sense?). The second fix I can try on this actual bra so I’ll see how it goes.
I’m really truely surprised at how good this looks, and how easy it actually was – although it did help to have experience with stretch fabric, and other lingerie (I’ve made lots of underpants) as it’s quite fiddly. I found the bra sew-a-long by Cloth Habit extremely useful.
The bra has some issues with construction but they’re mainly just aesthetic – the zigzag being too big, etc.Also, I stupidly got my left and right lower cups mixed up so the shape isn’t quite right and there’s some pulling.I did my bar tack at different heights on the bridge casing and I suspect it’s causing problems with the underwire sitting in the wrong place.
Most importantly though, it fits, and fits reasonably well – I wore it for the first time today and while there is a small amount of irritation under the left breast, it’s pretty comfortable! And it’s pretty – I like how it all matches, including the rings and sliders. I decided to put the sliders at the front because it’s sooo annoying tightening a bra strap when they’re at the back, amirite?
A few other bloggers who have recently made bras commented how odd they felt in soft-shell cups rather than padding – I don’t wear padded bras so this isn’t an issue for me. Most of my RTW bras are partial-bands so maybe part of my discomfort comes from a full band, I’m not sure. (The most annoying this about all of this is I don’t quite know WHY I’m getting the discomfort). I would love to make a long-line bra and it should be pretty easy, particularly if I put boning in the sides.
Not sure what else I can say, other than “I have caught the bra bug” – I can see why most bloggers who have made a bra haven’t stopped at one (and this is surely the best bra set in the world – it matches my shoes!), and I’m looking forward to being a fancy lady having matching underwear sets (that don’t cost $100+).
Has anyone else made bras, or thought about it? What about lingerie? I’ve also got the two Ohhh Lulu bralet patterns, which I keep meaning to make again (sooo comfortable). I do make my own underpants as well which is cheap and quick to do once you have a good pattern (I have Ohhh Lulu’s Ginger and Betty patterns found here, and Jalie 3242).
Pattern: Classic Pin Up Bra from Bra Makers Supply, $27
Fabric and Notions: Wedgewood Blue kit from Summerset, $29. It came with this beautiful lace too but I FORGOT to put it on
Total: $56. Not tooo dissimilar from a fancy bra, although I used to rough it and buy $20-30 ones.