Friday, December 31, 2010

Brave New World

It is my husband's theory that all creativity starts with a little bit of destruction.

Meet Exhibit A:

Seriously, I've owned 3 of this bra, and this is the first one that looks like utter crap on the inside. Almost made it easier to rip up...

And Exhibit B:

I may have had my doubts about this but, I can already tell, this deconstruction was a very smart move. (And Scott loves demolition so much he did half the work!)

For starters, the upper front piece (the part that forms the plunge of the cleavage) is that long skinny piece. In all of the patterns I have made heretofore, that piece was twice as fat and 2/3 as long.

The bridge (where the 2 cups converge) is about 30 per cent the size of the ones I've been making. See how mini it is? It's the tiny triangular shape on the table...

And the under wires are a totally different shape than the ones I have purchased. Much better quality than the ones I have purchased, alas. I sure as hell hope it's even possible to purchase that quality of wire. It doesn't wiggle like a tightrope, you know... Intriguingly, I've bought every size of wire you can imagine and the only one that works (albeit imperfectly) is the smallest one I've got. And I'll have to cut it at the centre front or it'll be too long for the bra shape.

The band and other elastic are thinner on the RTW bra than any of the stuff I've used in my previous work (wherein I was following pattern directions).

In an extremely strange turn, all of the materials in the RTW rip-up are slimmer and smaller, and still my previous homemade bra (from pattern) construction attempts have yielded a bra that doesn't fit because it appears to be to small. Well, that is where it's not too big.

I don't understand - but I'm gaining a lot of insight.

I think I may have to rip up that other bra (the one I originally tried to replace because it's on its last legs) after all. It's not a plunge, but a balconette, and I'm so intrigued to see if the pieces are as divergent as this plunge bra is from the pre-purchased patterns I've used until now.

Sewists: Can you tell me if there's anywhere better than Bra-Makers from which to purchase wires? Have you got a source that produces ones which rival those in bras that retail for $75.00 or more? Please say yes!


  1. Well, that is something else! I'm so looking forward to seeing how well this turns out! I may just take my old Freya apart since it finally decided to fall apart. I hope the pieces aren't too distorted since I've worn/washed it so much.
    I left a comment on the lingerie blog about the wires!

  2. The underwires from are much stronger than the ones from BraMakers. When you are sure of your size, you can buy them in bundles for less.

  3. I get all my wires from Needle Nook, they even make it obvious which side goes in the center front (the sparkly one). I've never had any problems with the wires from Needle Nook not being heavy enough. I've also heard good things about, but I've never ordered anything from there.

  4. Hey you three: Thank you SO much for your info - I love that you all have different source suggestions because it gives me more options. I'll let you know how I make out (though I'll likely buy from all 3 :-)) You know how I like options...

  5. Have you looked at this source?

    I don't know how Canada friendly they are, but I've ordered from them (only elastic and rings) and they are very quick.

  6. Are you making this bra???? WOW!!!!

    Have a blessed and happy New Year my darling.

    BTW - As you might know I'm in Toronto, maybe we'll make something to get in touch...


  7. Elle: I have - and I've even written up on them on this blog (check the search feature). As far as I can tell, they don't sell wires.

    Seeker: Just sent you an email about timing...

  8. I've saved the info you got here too as I will undoubtedly attempt bras eventually considering how much of a headache they are giving me at the moment. Apparently I need a 34 in front and a 32 in back, or something like that, because the 32's are all too small in the front portion and the 34's are all too big across the back. Does that sound like something possible or have I lost my head.

    As for deconstruction, I've learned more from deconstruction and altering good RTW than from any amount of sewing books and classes, so I think you should go for it.

  9. Enjoying this blog about bra making~ thanks for all the resources!!!

  10. Mardel: A couple of things could be happening: You may need to go to the 32 back size but go up a cup size - so the 34E (for ex.) that fits in the cup and is too big in the back, will generally work as a 32F. The proportions and size for the cups are the same. However, more insidiously, it seems that - just as crotch depth can be so challenging an nebulous in making pants - the depth of the breasts, how exactly they hang, can also impact things significantly. You may need to consider a different shape of wires. Email if you want to chat about this more.