I’ve been paper piecing my final blocks for the Lonestar Burst scrappy throw. I like to mull while I piece. Today I couldn’t stop thinking about making bras. It seems natural to me to discuss bras and boobs while quilting, I guess I’ve hung out with enough quilters to know what gets talked about during an afternoon spent piecing with other women! So pretend we’re piecing together.
Boobie Disclaimer- I’m discussing my measurements and underwear preferences in this post. I usually refrain from both, but this is in the interest of “science.” I know measurements can be triggering for some, or you may know me personally and have no interest in knowing about my underwear. That’s cool. Please stop reading now and come back for the next post, Conversant in Color: Wardrobing.
Last week, Zoe at “So, Zoe…” posted a great essay about indie pattern companies, and featured many of them in the post. It’s good, go read it. In the post, she features Make Bra and I was sucked into their clean, clear website full of photos of bras that look like something I’d like to wear:
Ooooh! I want to make that! I haven’t ventured into sewing underwear (do corsets count?), but for me it makes sense. My bras are dead, dead, dead and I’ve been trying to ignore it. I can’t afford to buy high-quality ready to wear bras at the moment, but the thought of doing another Target “grab-n-go” doesn’t appeal to me either. Cheap bras don’t last as long, they don’t fit as well or as uniformly, and I like nice fabrics. Besides, everything else I wear is made to measure and well sewn, why shouldn’t my bras?
I’ve been trying to persuade myself to sew some bras for a few months now, but the thought of figuring out the drafting, fiddling with the pattern and gathering all the findings meant I made a pinboard to collect undies inspiration and tutorials, but not much else. That’s why I was so SO excited to find Make Bra. The site itself has plenty of info, all kinds of bra styles AND all the findings in one place. I put together everything I needed for a bra (foam lining and pattern included, but not the fashion fabric) for about 20 euros. Including shipping from Finland to Australia. That’s more or less the cost of a Target bra. Wicked!
I was so excited, I posted about Make Bra on Facebook. That’s where I put stuff I’m SUPER excited about but not ready to blog. I mean, it’s a balconette bra pattern with all the little pieces arriving at my house! I love balconette bras! It will take an Act of Dog to keep me from ripping into that parcel the second it arrives and whipping up a new bra.
Then Cassandra asked a very sensible question about bra fitting:
I bought a 34DD this morning. Without going into too much detail, I was a 34C before the baby and settled down to a 34D later. Some of my bras have a 36 band if that’s the cup I could find that fit on the day I went shopping. I notice those ride up in the back which is a sign of bad fit. When I was a teenager, my measurements were easy to remember- 36-26-36. These days I’m a thicker, ever-shifting version of the same shape- 40/41-28/29-40/41. My bust and hips have expanded more than my waist, to be perfectly truthful it’s a pain to fit my clothes and figure out how to dress without looking either frump-tastic or “sexy”. But that’s a post for another time..
So after the Facebook discussion I went back to quilting and thinking about bra sizing. I decided to go back to Make Bra and order the findings for another bra, and to order the size suggested by the instructions below their extensive size chart. According to their chart, I should add 5″ to my rib cage measurement for my band size. 38. That puts me in C cup range.
So what am I carrying around? C or DD? Who knows? I do know for sure that bra fitting can be quite treacherous for many of us, so I’m putting myself “out there” as a guinea pig. What works best? My intuition and habit, or the sizing chart? I’ll make both sizes, wear them a bit and we can talk about it. Make Bra also offers a free pdf panties pattern. They look pretty good and I keep telling myself to make some panties, so I’ll give that a whorl this week and report back.
What about you? Do you find the whole bra sizing mess scary and weird like I do? How weird are boobs? Have you ever sewn your own bras? What are your favorite bra-making resources/inspiration? I’m a lingerie newb here and I’m positive you’ll know something I don’t, so please do tell me your secrets…
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