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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
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About m1khaela starstar
Member since: 8/19/05
Reviews written: 66
Sewing skills:Intermediate
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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...
SAD, I was so excited for this but Elingeria closed their store 6 days ago. NOOOooooo :(
6/5/13 10:10 AM
triciabtricia said...
sorry. it posted my comment 2x
2/22/10 1:48 PM
triciabtricia said...
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.
2/22/10 1:47 PM
Lucy in Virginia said...
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.
2/21/10 9:39 PM
m1khaela said...
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.
2/19/10 6:28 AM
Mrs.Mack said...
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).
2/18/10 9:27 PM
li'l miss muffett said...
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!
2/18/10 9:24 AM
Heather Seccombe said...
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 :-)
2/18/10 6:48 AM
ClaireEmily said...
Very helpful! What a great summary of what you found out. Thanks for adding this!
2/18/10 0:23 AM
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