Sounds good, doesn't it?
But with bras, it's always a long view proposition.
Turns out I do not have the right widths of elastic to proceed. My stash is comprised of much thicker stuff. The more I compare the pattern bras for my size, against the RTW bras I own, the less surprised I am that the handmade bras haven't fit. We've been trained to think that wider or bigger is more "supportive". It's really not true. The more I consider this, the more I come to the conclusion that it's the construction mechanism which defines support. Of course, this implies use of the highest end materials and notions. RTW bra companies have ready-access to these supplies. Home sewists trying to make large bras, not so much.
My point is, if you have small(ish) breasts and you look around a bit, you can find totally adequate fabrics, notions etc. If you've got large breasts, requiring "architectural" supplies, that becomes a much more challenging task.
For example, even having spend hundreds of dollars on bra supplies, here's what I've figured out I STILL need - stuff I'm still working to source:
- Stable, high-end wires. (Note: I have bought some I have high hopes for from Danglez. Dini, the owner, was kind enough, when I requested, to mail me 4 sets of wires in a small box for 15 euros less than 20 euros it costs to send anything from NL to Canada via Danglez. That made the risk affordable and I greatly appreciate the consideration.)
- 2 wide x 3 long hook / eye sets that aren't made of inferior quality with badly finished siding. I also need them to be 1.25 inches wide, not the 1.5 inches that the other sets I've bought have been.
- Top band elastic at 3/8 inch. I've got 5/8 inch...
- Bottom band elastic at 5/8 inch I've got 3/4 inch...
- Really high quality lingerie fabric with the smallest amount of width stretch. I've been working largely with Duoplex, a fabric with no stretch and it's limiting! I do have all kinds of stabilizers and linings and interfacing but I really don't know how to work well enough with them yet. And till I do, I need some gorgeous, stable, fashion fabric options (the likes of which all the high-end lingerie RTW companies provide).
Unless you're really skilled or really lucky, I sense that getting from "bra making novice" to "bra making expert" is a long and expensive road. The only thing I can say is that RTW bras are so costly, eventually the scales may level.
I'll keep you posted on developments...