It’s been months since I made a bra just for me, so I decided to revisit one of my favorites. Ever since making my first couple of bras, I’ve rarely made the same pattern twice for myself. I count my experiments as a journey to becoming a better lingerie patternmaker–I’ve tried different underwires, cup styles, band styles, fabrics, and pattern drafting methods, and sometimes at the expense of whatever might be my dream fit.
Just like my new pair of jeans that I can’t seem to take off, I do have a couple of favorites and and one of them was the fourth one I ever made. It was messy in that I was still figuring a lot of stuff out, like how to properly get the strap elastic stitched to the cup without tearing the lace. And the band was way too big. Still, any time I wanted an “invisible bra” that felt like nothing next to my skin, this was the one I reached for, and I kept wearing it way past its expiration date. It took me two weeks to get up the nerve to cut out the underwire! It was pretty bent out of shape, but I knew it had been part of the magic fit and I wanted to trace off what I could of its shape and length so I could cut others like it.
Then I went about trying to remake my original. Luckily I had just enough lace, lycra and tricot lining from my original Merckwaerdigh kit to cut the cups and add a little lace panel to the bikini.
This time I removed the side seam from my original pattern, and added a seam under the cup. This let me cut the entire band from lycra and use lace and lining in the center.
That also meant I needed to shorten the band to remove some stretch because I no longer had a lined (and stabilized) cradle going around the entre cup. Other than that, I had to do a some tweaking to the pattern for fit. I’ve gone up in cup size… or maybe I haven’t and just noticed some things that were off in my original fit.
I normally prefer my strap adjusters in front, and have been playing around with different methods of making a loop at the top of the cup for the strap ring. One method involves making extending the underarm elastic past the top of the cup, and looping it over the ring, securing the elastic back on itself. With narrow or lightweight elastics, however, it’s easy for that loop to get stressed, or to stress the top of the cup. Norma Loehr’s book has a good tip on using some kind of tape to stabilize the loop. I always have a little bit of silk ribbon left over from my trims, so lately I have been using it as a “loop stabilizer”! I take a little strip of the ribbon, lay it underneath the elastic and loop the two together as one. I’m going to trim this down so the ribbon is hidden, but I left a bit hanging out so you can see what I mean:
If you don’t have ribbon lying around, I’m sure other things would work–twill tape, tricot tape or any stable tape narrow enough to get hidden behind the elastic.
My favorite bra, back in action!
Bra pattern: Pin-up Girls Classic
Bikini: self drafted
Fabrics: Lace, tricot lining and lycra leftover from bra kit
Elastic & notions: stash and dyed to match
Dyes: Dharma Acid Dyes Silver Grey and Peach Blush
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