The Watson Bra - The Gateway Drug of Bra Making


When Cloth Habit first came out with the Watson pattern I told myself that I was going to wait to buy it - mostly because I've gone a little crazy with fabric and pattern buying lately.  But the fact is that I couldn't resist.  I loved the style of it and I was super-excited to try out a new bra pattern.  Plus, it seemed like the perfect way to work on some bra-making skills without taking on a complicated project.  And given the great sewalong that Amy put together in the past I was pretty sure that the instructions were going to be spot on.

And I'm pleased to say that I was right on all fronts.  The pattern is super-simple to put together.  The bra is incredibly cute.  And the instructions are great.  Win, win, win!  (One of the things that I like most about the pattern?  That she tells you what width and length of zig-zag to use at each step.  So helpful!)

Now I realize that this bra is not going to be for everyone - particularly those who need more support - but it works great for those of use who are, well, less endowed.  I guess there are a couple benefits to having a small chest!

As for the sizing I went with a 32C again knowing that this pattern was going to be a little more forgiving in terms of getting the perfect size since it's made for stretch fabrics.  I'm happy to say that the fit ended up being spot on.  The band fits great and the cups fit perfectly.  I was pretty excited that there was no gaping at the upper cup, a problem that I usually have with bras.

As for materials, this bra is wholly made from scavenged items around the house.  The lace is from a pair a pair of undies that I made and never blogged about.  They looked lovely (they were made out of silk and lace, after all) but they were super-uncomfortable so I chopped them up and used the lace for this bra.  The cradle and band fabric is leftover from the the bra kit for this bra and the hooks and eyes are also scavenged from my first bra attempt.  That bra isn't a great fit and I don't think I'll wear it as it is, so I figured I might as well reuse whatever items I could off of the bra.  The straps were originally purchased from Sew Sassy and are left over from my Soma bathing suit.  The elastic is left over from my undie making bonanza, although I should point out that technically I was supposed to use a plush back elastic for the band rather than a regular lingerie elastic.  What can I say?  I was far too impatient to wait for some new elastic to arrive.  As for the rings and slides, I just bought those from Bra Essentials.  I love the idea of having metallic rings and slides so I don't have to worry about anything matching or coordinating.

So not bad for mostly just using materials leftover from other projects, right?  Don't congratulate me too much though, because I just put in a big order from Sew Sassy for some new supplies.  I'm hooked, people!  Send help soon!

A Bra! (Otherwise Known As "Things I Make When I Should Be Studying")


Since starting to sew there have been many things that I told myself that I would never make either because I had no interest in making them or because they looked too hard.  Quilts.  Too boring.  Bathing suits.  Too complicated.  Shorts.  Too many fitting issues.  And yet time and time again, I've found myself making the things that I was sure that I would never make.

What can I say?  I'm a fickle human being.

So surprise, surprise, I made yet another thing that I told myself I would never make - a bra!  Now I should point out that it ain't perfect and I still have some fitting issues to work out, but look - it actually looks like a bra!  I've never been so proud of something that doesn't really fit.

Okay, now on the details.  After much internet surfing research I settled on making the Marlborough pattern which is a recently released pattern by Orange Lingerie.  I had read many great things about the Pinup Girls patterns but in the end I decided against it for two reasons, one being that the design is a much fuller cup than I'm used to wearing and I was worried that it would look too matronly on me.  The second reason is that after spending too much time reading about bras and breast shapes I became convinced that I may have a shallow bust which basically means that I don't have enough breast tissue to fill out a full cup.  Is this more information that you ever wanted to know about my breasts?  Yeah, I figured as much.

Anyway, that's how I decided to go with this pattern (plus, I like the little lace detail).  As for the supplies, I ordered a kit from Sweet Cups Bra Supply which is a US affiliate of the Canadian store, Bra Makers Supply.  They sell a fairly limited amount of items, but they do sell underwires and kits and you don't have to pay international shipping, so yay!  (Also, just a FYI that they're planning on having a 20% off black Friday sale).  The lace was purchased from this etsy shop

Once the kit arrived it was on to making big decisions like what size to make. I ended up not following the sizing directions on the pattern because I was coming up with weird size recommendations.  In the end I went with what Nordstroms measured me to be a couple months ago - a 32C.  I also made sure that the underwires that correspond to this size fit my breasts well, which they did.  I cut out this size without making any modifications and went to work.

All things considered, the actual construction of the bra wasn't so difficult, although sewing the channeling on was a pain in the butt and I ended up having to rip it out once.  Also, ripping out stitches on this fabric is a major pain in the butt.  I also ran into problems with the supplies because the kit is designed to be used with the Pin Up Girls Classic bra pattern where the front fabric goes halfway up the straps so you need less strap fabric.  As a result, the kit included half as much strap fabric as I needed so I fudged it with some leftover elastic.  Not a great solution, but it worked okay in a bind.  Also, the kit rings and slides are for 3/8 elastic, but the pattern calls for 1/2 rings and slides.  Not a huge deal, but just something to be aware of.

As for fitting issues, I think the first thing that I need to do is widen the bridge a bit.  I think that making that modification will make the cups fit better.  The band is fairly tight right now and adding to the bridge will probably help with that issue as well.  I should also probably pinch out a tiny bit of space in the top of the cup to prevent gapage.  Hopefully those modifications solve all the fitting issues.  The hard part for me was that I really couldn't assess the fit until the bra was entirely done and by that point you can't really fix anything.  Oh well.

I'm definitely intrigued by the whole bra making process and I'd love to have at least one bra pattern that fits me well.  I'm guessing that it'll probably take me another bra attempt or two to get there so watch out for some more bras in the future.

PS - Oh, and did you see Cloth Habit's new bra pattern.  I may just have to try my hand at this pattern too!

Simple Clothes For A Simple Gal



I realize that it's been incredibly quiet around here, but I can assure you that it's not from a lack of sewing.  Mostly it's from a lack of picture-taking, because if there's one aspect of blogging that I loathe, it's taking pictures - especially when I have to be in them.  For all you gals who lug your tripod around to find fantastic spots to take photos, I applaud you because I can barely get it up to take a picture in my living room (which is what you get today).

Most of the things that I've been sewing lately have been extremely practical and these shirts fall firmly into that group.  I mean, can you get more practical than a plain white tee?  I think not.

Both of the tees are made from the Plantain T-Shirt pattern by Deer & Doe and the pattern is every bit as lovely as you've heard it is.  Like most knit tees, it's super simple to whip up and I love that it flares out towards the bottom.  I sewed up my recommended size and didn't make any modifications to the pattern.   Because each knit fabric has a different amount of stretch the white tee neckline came out a bit lower than I would have preferred, but it's still very wearable.

As for the fabrics, the gray fabric is a soy organic cotton jersey from Drygood Design and it is luscious.  In fact, I went back to buy some more of it recently, but it turned out that they only had about a yard and a half left.  Boooo!  The white fabric is a Kaufman laguna jersey and I was pleasantly surprised with it.  It's actually a nice weight for this tee, it comes in a ton of colors, and all things considered, it's usually fairly inexpensive.  Score!

These may not be the most exciting projects, but I'll tell you that they've gotten a ton of use.  I actually finished them a couple weeks ago and I've worn them regularly since then.  What can I say?  I'm a simple gal at heart.