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Plus Size Bra Making
I've Had It With RTW....
quirkygal

quirkygal
Advanced Beginner
New Jersey USA
Member since 1/20/06
Posts: 100
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Date: 7/24/06 4:53 PM

So my simple excursion to the Lane Bryant at the mall to by some new bras turned into a two day pain in the behind weekend complete with tears and my feeling like some kind of mutant.

I used to buy all my bras at LB - and bought a few about a year or so ago. I'm now down 30 pounds and need new ones for fit and morale boosting reasons I couldn't get any of their bras to fit me. The sizing within the same style was way off - 44 bands were too tight and 42s were so loose I could have gotten three of me in them. I then trekked to JC Penney's where the sizes were at least consistent - 42s smaller than 44s in the same brand and style but I couldn't get the cups to fit. I kept getting squished.....

All and all in a two day time period I've visited six stores at the mall and tried on countless bras - none of them fit right - or even close!

Even more maddening is according to the size charts I'm an F cup (DDD cup). There is no way that's possible. Trust me - I was a D - maybe a DD - when I started my diet and now suddenly I'm an F/DDD?

Me, who looses weight only from her feet and boobs?

So - I give up on RTW.

I've looked at the http://www.bramakers.com and Ann St. Claire's site http://butterflycrossing.stores.yahoo.net/index.html for info and came away more cornfused. Sew Sassy sells kits for the Kwik Sew patterns but I'm not sure that's what I need.... I've looked at the reviews for various bra patterns here on PR but still not sure where to begin...

So to all my plus size enablers out there - where do I start? Which books, patterns, or sites do you recommend I use or steer clear of?

Many thanks!

Sherril Miller
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Sherril Miller  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/24/06 5:56 PM

I just took apart a bra that fit me and made my own pattern. I tried to sew it up but I didn't have the right materials and it doesn't fit as great as the original. I'm now waiting for a box from Sew Sassy with all the right stuff to make bras. If you don't have a bra to take apart what I recommend is finding a pattern close to the type of bra you usually wear, banded semi-banded, wireless or underwired and make your own. You can use swimsuit fabric and regular elastic for muslins. You'll probably have to make a couple to see what size pattern would be best, starting with your RTW size and go from there. Unfortunately there is no other way to check for fit but to get one sewn up. As for books, my Dsis just bought me The Bra-Maker's manual by Beverly Johnson. However, I think with the KS pattern instructions and the Thread articles on bra-making (on the website) I could have done without the book. I also read all the bra reviews on this site, especially Debbie Cook's as she and I are close to the same size.

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Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

Mary Stiefer
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Mary Stiefer  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Colorado USA
Member since 2/17/03
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Date: 7/24/06 6:47 PM

I just got all of the things necessary from Needle Nook Fabrics, Ann St. Clair. She has been wonderful to work with. After a few measurements she sent me some fitting bras to check out which fits the best, then she put together a kit for me with everything necessary for 3 bras (the pattern too). I haven't gotten around to making them yet - but - Ann said that it takes about three bras before you get the fit down pat. My RTW bras were 42 DD and they didn't fit properly.

Will keep you all posted.

P.S. I'm not affiliated with this company but just impressed with the customer services.

Needle Nook Fabrics

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What is Maxine saying??
"I don't iron. If I'm not wrinkle-free why should my clothes be."

Linda F
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Linda  F
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In reply to quirkygal
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Date: 7/24/06 6:58 PM

Quirkygal,
I noticed that you live in NJ. Go to a Nordstrom and have them measure you.

About losing the weight. The last time I lost 40 lbs, I did not loose a single bit of weight in the b**bs. I went down in number for the bra, but cup size stayed the same. So it is possible that you lost in the torso area, like the chest and back and not in your chest. Bummer, I know. And the reverse, as I gained the gosh darn weight bact, I went up in number for my bra, but cup size stayed the same.

As far as getting bigger when you lost the weight, I am not an expert. That is why I suggested going to get measured. I love Nordstrom, but that may be because I live where there are none. So when we get to go, it's like going to DisneyWorld for us. Crazy, I know.
Linda

Sophiecat

Sophiecat
Intermediate
Oregon USA
Member since 1/27/06
Posts: 827
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In reply to quirkygal


Date: 7/24/06 7:24 PM

Hi quirkygal,

You might like to take a look at Decent Exposures' web site:

Decent Exposures

They will custom make their bras to your specifications, with 150 sizes, 15 colors and 3 fabrics to choose from. I have worn their bras for many years, until the first ones I ordered were literally in tatters. I like the all cotton for comfort, but you may wish to choose a more supportive fabric.

Good luck in your search!

Oh, BTW, NAYY.

Regards,

Sophiecat

------
Well-behaved women rarely make history.
Laurel Ulrich

NancyDaQ
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NancyDaQ
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New Mexico USA
Member since 1/12/02
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Date: 7/24/06 7:27 PM

Even when you go down in the band size, the cups can be the same or even larger for a couple of reasons. First, if you lose weight on your torso but not in your breasts. This has already been mentioned. Second, even though the alphabet is the same for any and all cups, the cups vary in size for each band. Cups for a 34D and a 38D are not the same size; the 34 D cup will be proportionally smaller in volume than the 38D. In other words, the "D" is relative to the band. If you didn't lose weight in your breasts, they could be equivalent to a larger cup designation in the smaller bra.

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Now blogging at http://sewwest.blogspot.com

licarritc
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licarritc
USA
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Date: 7/24/06 8:43 PM

I'll sew with you!!!! I need new bras and I have a bunch of ill fitting RTW so taking one apart isn't going to work. I keep falling out of the bottom of the cup and nobody can figure out why. I have KS2374 with the bigger cup sizes but I need a smaller band I think, still not sure. You are not a mutant!! I'm convinced that there is so little standardization that sizes have become meaningless there is a good basic instructional website that I'm going to use Here She gives lots of resources and the price (free!) is great!

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Amber in Norfolk
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Amber in Norfolk
Beginner
Virginia USA
Member since 2/16/06
Posts: 165
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Date: 7/25/06 9:46 AM

Hey, I highly suggest getting fitted by a bra specialist (not Lane Bryant). Nordstrom is the absolute best. I also recently lost 40 pounds, and went from a 40DD to a 38F. I know it sounds crazy, esp since your bust measurement probably went down, but it is true. As the band size goes down, cup size often goes up.

I didn't believe it either but after trying on like 7 bras and about to pull my hair out, I finally asked to be re-fitted and was amazed.

I also highly recommend the bras by Le Mystere (on sale right now at Nordstrom!), they are specially made for women with big boobies, I LOVE them.

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http://www.myaimistrue.com

Irene Q
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Irene Q  Friend of PR
Intermediate
New Hampshire USA
Member since 3/19/04
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Date: 7/25/06 11:03 AM

I get all my bras at Walmart, of all places! The "Just My Size" brand works really well for me. I'm a 42D or 44C - that's the same cup size but a different band size. I find shopping in department stores to be very frustrating because they tend to stop at a 40 which is just below my size. I think I ended up in tears the last time I tried one, too! And mail order is very hit-or-miss, mostly miss. This is one clothing item that you really need to try on.

quirkygal

quirkygal
Advanced Beginner
New Jersey USA
Member since 1/20/06
Posts: 100
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Date: 7/25/06 2:03 PM

Thanks all for the great info and support

Hmmmm - going into Nordstrom's? That's almost as bad as sending me into a fabric store for one spool of thread

I'll have to head over there this week after work and spend my lunch hours visiting all these great websites. There isn't a Wal-Mart in NYC but my Mom also has bra fitting issues so I'll pass the info on to her.

You guys are the best!

PS- Does this mean I get to buy any fabric that could be made into a bra guilt free? I think I like this expanding my sewing horizons thing

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