It’s here! I’m pleased to introduce you to Harriet, my newest bra pattern.
You may have heard me whisper or squeak about this pattern in the last year or so. It’s been a lonnng time in the making! Two years ago I drafted my very first version in order to make a special set for Valentine’s Day and it couldn’t be a better month to finally share it with you.
In my own bra wearing I try a lot of different styles and moods. I have casual days and super form-fitting days, grey days and neon days, and sometimes I just want to drape myself in chantilly lace. My goal was to design a pattern that straddles that line between sensuousness and practicality, and the Harriet has been a template for my many moods.
I designed the Harriet bra to become a truly foundational style, which meant a bra that can work for a wide range of shapes and sizes. And it brought together all the best things I’ve learned about bra fit. More importantly, I wanted to create a style with a certain point of view but keep it simple enough to encourage your creativity. I’m a designer but I’m also a tinkerer! And I love that you like to tinker, too.
For the Harriet I revamped my sizes and worked on drafting and fitting larger and smaller cups in separate groups. I’m happy to say I’ve was able to create a fairly large range, starting from 28A up to 42H! You can choose between two groups: A to E cups or E to F cups, depending on your needs.
This pattern is different from my previous pattern, the Watson, in that it uses UK cup sizes, which means that the cups progress like this: A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H. I’ll explain more about fit/sizing in a future post but the pattern has some good guidance for you in measuring! I’ve also published an approximate conversion chart if you want to know how this kind of lettering compares with other size systems.
Edited to add: The size section in my shop listing now includes links to the pattern’s measuring guide and wire charts. I drafted Harriet around regular length wires from Bra-makers Supply. The wire guide should help you compare wires from other suppliers if you choose to use different wires.
Harriet features a 3-piece cup with a balconette neckline. The straps are wide enough to reveal a lovely sweetheart decolletage without pushing the straps too far apart. (I went through a lot of versions in different sizes to find that sweet spot!)
The cup has a classic seam design that is quite popular in ready-to-wear wired bras and for good reason. It creates a fantastic silhouette! The combination of the slightly diagonal bottom seam and the outer cup piece that extends into the shoulder strap helps push those bosoms inward.
The band is a full frame design with a u-back strap. This is my personal favorite style of band and in my opinion the most versatile. A full frame bra tends to anchor and lift just a bit better than a frameless bra, especially in larger sizes. Combined with the u-back strap style, it’s super comfortable and makes it easy to adjust the band width without needing to change the hook & eye.
Views and Fabric Choices
There are 3 different views which you can mix and match depending on your fabrics. (View the technical illustration here)
Views A and B are unlined and you have the choice of a folded or scalloped lace neckline. Both of these require supportive bra fabrics for good fit and support.
If your fabrics are lighter or you want to use lace, you can choose View C which uses my favorite method of lining the cradle and the cups. I made the three samples in this post from View C with a supportive lining beneath the laces.
As is a tradition with my patterns, I included an extra section with tips on fabric choices and substitution. I like my patterns to be mini-booklets in bra making!
The Harriet’s namesake is inspired by one of my favorite childhood literary heroines, Harriet the Spy!
Just like Watson before her, Harriet is an empathetic soul, a keen observer and a detective in her own right. Harriet the Spy is a story about the power of observation and convinced me that I was either going to be a spy or a writer when I grew up. Seriously, I wanted to be a spy. (And write all my top-secret observations in a composition notebook just like her.) It’s a great young-adult book with an old soul, and still a favorite read when I’m in need of a cheeky heroine.
I hope you love my new pattern! Please feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Happy Valentine’s month! Let love rule.