|I was inspired by the EXCELLENT Bra making sewalong at Cloth Habit to try my hand at sewing bras again, this time with a fresh start and new-to-me pattern!|
"Back Closure Underwire Bra. Full coverage underwire bra has stretch satin cups, back hook closure and optional tapered straps."
Size 32&34, Cup sizes A-D. Size 36, Cup sizes A-DD. Size 38&40, Cup sizes B-DD.
After agonising over which size to sew, measuring, remeasuring, laying RTW bras' underwires against charts and cross-referencing against sizes, I ended up sewing... exactly the same size as I wear in RTW anyway, 34B! ;) I guess some women really ARE wearing the correct size bra.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, though their line drawing shows the simplest option with plain fabric for the cups - I chose to overlay lace on both cups pieces and the bridge for a fancier look!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I've made several bras before, so the instructions were only briefly looked at. I did have to refer to another bra pattern to remember how to attach the sliders, though, as their diagram here wasn't as good. But there are enough free tutorials online to tell you how to sew the basic underwired bra that any patterns' instructions are mostly irrelevant these days.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked that the seaming on the cups is a different orientation to the KwikSew bra pattern I'd tried in the past and could never get to fit quite right. I also like that it has the option of fabric straps (with elastic in back), so you can change the look of your bra.
I originally bought this pattern because it reminded me of a satin bra Victoria's Secret used to do in the 1990s (maybe they still do?).
For the finished bra, I used the "Gabi" lace from eLingeria plus some mystery black nylon(?) lingerie lycra from my stash for the cups, lining, and back (Lace placement photos). I had to look up my order details, but I'd bought this lace last May, and paid only €9 for the 2 meters, which is fantastic value if you ask me!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
First off, I made a muslin (bra sewing is really frustrating because you can't check the fit until you're totally done), with basting and stay stitches in places, and using the actual fabric I intended to use in the final version (Muslin photo). After checking the fit, I adapted the bridge (based on excellent instructions in Orange Lingerie's upcoming book!!), added 1.5cm to the band as it was too tight, and pinched a little out of the cups along the seam line before unpicking it all to reuse some of the parts in the finished bra.
The pattern comes with an optional facing for the top of the bra, but I prefer to line my bra cups, and I've outlined my method for creating lined bra cups with nicely encased seam allowances which are anchored at the central seam, which you can read here.
In the end, I also had to bend some underwires to exactly match the curve of my RTW example - the length was right and most of the curve matched, but the purchased underwires were all too narrow at the underarm and needed to be bent outward a few cm.
Annoyingly, I got shingles really badly on my torso right after finishing this, so I've been unable to check the fit of the finished bra until my poor skin heals! But I'm pretty confident from the muslin that it'll be okay.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I definitely will sew this again - as soon as I can double check the fit I've got another lined up and ready to sew! From the muslin though, I really like that the cups feel more like the RTW bras I wear than the KwikSew pattern, which felt like they were too wide in the base (even with the same underwires, oddly), and the cups went way too high up my chest). This feels more natural to me.
Fingers crossed, but I may have actually conquered the quest to sew a well-fitting bra after like 6 attempts! There's not much point in it looking pretty if the fit is off...
Too see way more photos plus details of the matching panties I sewed, head over to FehrTrade.com!