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Tips & Techniques > Don't see a bra pattern in your cup size? Ask and you may receive!

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Posted by: m1khaela

About m1khaela starstarstar
Member since: 8/19/05
Reviews: 76 (tips: 2)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 33 people
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Posted on: 2/17/10 9:24 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 18 people   
If you're a large-busted woman (DD+), you know how much it can cost to buy supportive RTW bras in your size, especially if you have a small band size (like, say 32!). Before I was pregnant I was a 32E, and I routinely found myself having to pay $50-$80 per bra for real support (yeah, I know! OUCH!), and even then they would only last maybe six months, even with handwashing.

Then I got pregnant and had to go to 32F--a pain in the (sore pregnant boobs) and the wallet. A few months later those bras were all too small in the band and cup and now the same bra store told me I needed to pay $120 PER BRA for a supportive 34G bra. For real! And I knew that I'd be an H by the time I was nursing, at least.

So: clearly I needed to learn bra-making. Surely there would be plenty of patterns out there for DIY-minded gals with large busts?

Sadly, most pattern companies have the same limited cup size range in bras for smaller band sizes--Kwik Sew and Elan patterns in small band sizes only go up to DD at the most, for example. I looked at every bra pattern I could find online and only found a few companies that made small band/large cup bras: Pinup Girls (I bought the Classic Bra pattern in sizes 30-38 E-H, which I'm testing right now), Danglez, and Merckwaerdigh.

Most of these patterns are sold on the German (text is in English, though) lingerie-sewing-supply site Elingeria. However, I noticed that there were also some appealing Ezi-Sew patterns--such as a supportive Simplex nursing bra that would be great for daily wear--that weren't in my size range.

Which leads me to my tip--I emailed the contact link asking if they knew of any supportive nursing bra patterns in E-H cups, and by the next day Michaela emailed me back saying she'd be happy to draft one up and add it to the shop (she's a nursing mom herself and totally understood!). So Ezi-Sew 110 (supportive nursing bra with fold-down cups) is now available in sizes 32 F/G/H/I, 34 F/G/H/I, 36 F/G/H/I, 38 F/G/H/I and 40 F/G/H/I ! She sent me a supply list as well so I will be ordering the pattern and supplies this week.

So the moral of this story is: don't just despair if you can't find a bra pattern in your size--why not ask?

I think I also read (can't find the link) on lil miss muffett's blog that she had gotten a custom-drafted bra pattern from Danglez directly, but I'm not sure of the details.

P.S. Not mentioned above because it's not really supportive enough for everyday wear for big cups--I also bought a Blessed Designs soft sleep nursing bra pattern, which can be adjusted for different cup sizes, but needs some additional support and alterations for larger cups--see my detailed review here.

P.P.S. Please don't be confused--it is a coincidence that I happen to have the same name (different spelling) as Michaela the owner of Elingeria!

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tabithadeluna said... (6/5/13 10:10 AM) Reply
SAD, I was so excited for this but Elingeria closed their store 6 days ago. NOOOooooo :(
triciabtricia said... (2/22/10 1:48 PM) Reply
sorry. it posted my comment 2x
triciabtricia said... (2/22/10 1:47 PM) Reply
Because I'm completely cheap, and the cups are what last the longest on a bra (the back straps are what go), I just re-make the straps. You can do it neatly by cutting off the straps and putting new ones on using the old closures, or make the existing straps shorter.
Lucy in Virginia said... (2/21/10 9:39 PM) Reply
Try also Anne St. Clair of Needle Nook Fabrics. She gives workshops on bra-making around the country and has her own patterns, pattern books, and notions/ kits for sale. Moreover her bra-cup sizing is by the 1/2 inch, I think, so is more precise in fit than RTW. Her site is here: . After taking her class, I found out I was a 36 D or DD in RTW and not a 38C. In her sizing I'm a 36H. I have practically worn out the muslin I made in her class and will make more real bras this year.
m1khaela said... (2/19/10 6:28 AM) Reply
That's a good question--I think there is a chart on the site with bra size conversions, actually. Some of the bras sold are in American sizes (since they are from American companies), and I think the bra I specifically am talking about is one of those. However, Michaela sells other bras sized in European sizes.
Mrs.Mack said... (2/18/10 9:27 PM) Reply
Am I right to assume these are in European sizes? I wear a 30J, but an American 30J is several cup sizes too small for me (equivalent to a European 30GG).
li'l miss muffett said... (2/18/10 9:24 AM) Reply
That's awesome that Michaela drafted you a pattern and added it to the shop! I'm sure other women out there will thank you for it! Dini at Danglez and Michaela are both really awesome ladies!
Heather Seccombe said... (2/18/10 6:48 AM) Reply
You might like to check out an Australian website I have seen some bras made from their patterns - lovely! It's good to see that bubs will be in the best place :-)
ClaireEmily said... (2/18/10 0:23 AM) Reply
Very helpful! What a great summary of what you found out. Thanks for adding this!
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