|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!