Monday, August 5, 2013

My Brain Is Overrun with Ideas

Oh Lord. I cannot talk right now. Just finished 8 hrs of sewing (good news is I finished a whole bra in that time and it was FAR better constructed than the last one). It's so freakin' pretty/sexy. (Took pics but the camera died mid-way. Hope I can salvage the pics when the battery recharges.)

Bad news - it doesn't fit. In fact, the fit of the uppercups is actually bigger and worse than ever - despite my continued efforts (4 versions-worth) to take volume out of it with darts.

The point is - what I'm doing is somehow making the top cup bigger (don't ask me how - I've only the dimmest sense of it at the moment). This means, chances are if I do the opposite all will aright in the world :-) (OK, I am applying more analysis to it than this...)

I have so much to tell you. So many ideas about how to fix this issue. BTW, I'm totally making them up. I mean, I'm not following Sarah Veblen's book on lingerie cup fitting and alterations. (Don't you wish that woman would write a book on this?!)

In extreme briefness - to be revisited in the next post:
  • I nailed the band. It is the understatement of the century to tell you that this is a joy. Honestly, I want to cry from joy.
  • The lower cups fit my larger breast perfectly. Once I sort this out, I'm going to have to draft a right cup that's about 1/4-1/2 size smaller than the left.
  • I really improved with the straps this time. I mean, it was still a misery but it wasn't a nightmare. I did bang the shit out of the seams before stitching (btw, I did that on the last version too but it didn't work; this time it seems to have) and I made the part of the cup which attaches to the straps slightly less wide.
It's regrettable that one must make an entire freakin' bra before one knows if it really fits. (Yeah, I know I can make a muslin, but they just don't fit properly until all of the bits and pieces are attached to turn them into feats of engineering.)

I guess I only have opportunities to improve my form.

Let me leave you with this: I have not been successful but I finally reached a point of grudging optimism. This is a great mystery to be solved. I think I've got a couple more muslins in me before I burn out with this phase of bra sewing. And if I crack the code, just imagine...

20 comments:

  1. Yay for some modicum of success! i'm never met anyone as detail-oriented and determined as you, so I'm absolutely SURE that you'll work it out eventually!

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  2. Grudging optimism is the story of my life!

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  3. I'm just eavesdropping and admiring 'cause I got nothing when it comes to bra-making. But if Blogger offered a Like button akin to Facebook's, I'd be Like-ing Wendy B's comment. . .

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  4. Yay for small victories! So glad you've at least got the band and lower cup fitting.

    What about on the upper cup taking a wedge out of the center on the top that tapers to nothing along the bottom edge? Try this one on to see how much of a wedge to take, and then true the line on the pattern. It might make the piece look a bit funny until it's all put together, but maybe it will get you where you need to be. You may have tried this already too, I don't know.

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    1. If only I responded to all of my comments in a timely fashion... I'm sure you know that the small victory was fleeting...

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  5. I have been following your bramaking posts with great interest, since I am also attempting to come up with a bra pattern that fits me, though I have no well fitting bra to start with. I really hope that you are successful, it does sound like you are getting closer!

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    1. So close and (as luck had it) still so far...

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  6. Replies
    1. It was looking good there for a while!

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  7. I peeked in a few times yesterday but am happy to see your post with my morning coffee. Darn it doesn't fit but the tone of your post reads positive. I'll add my "like" to Wendy B's comment as well! You are so close (it must seem) that it success is within your reach. You are so right that the frustrating part is that you can't know anything about fit until you finish the darn thing. I think that (and lack of someone to fit me) is what is stopping me from starting the bra making adventure. However, you are further ahead than you were. Better sewn, better fitting and success will come! Hope today is a good day!

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  8. Wow did I pick the wrong weekend to go mostly screen-free. I'm catching up on the saga of the bra.

    This would be why I have multiple self made bras without straps. At that point, I can tell if it's truly a horrible fit not worth the effort of straps or if it's close and worth continuing.

    And you commented on the "one hour bra" in an earlier post. I think it's only when you've done 50 of them, you have the pattern already set and all your supplies already layed out. I dunno, still seems pretty mythical to me.

    You are so close, give it a little time and try again. Once you get it to that perfect pattern, your brain will make all this pain a little hazy and it won't seem like it was all that bad. ;)

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    1. Don't worry, you haven't missed the successful reveal!

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  9. Glad you have had some success. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the pictures.

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  10. I am also bra-making at the moment (but not blogging). I see that you have not attached any kind of reinforcement along the top edge of the bra, neither a strip of nylon nor a thin elastic. I've never bought a bra without that reinforcement and I see it recommended in many patterns. I think that may be all that's missing.

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    1. Ruth: It's interesting you should note that for a couple of reasons:

      1. This is the only bra of the muslin series wherein I didn't add a strip of additional stabilizer (for a variety of reasons) - note the problem has persisted whether the stabilizer has been added behind the lace or not.

      2. In this one, as in all the others, I have stabilized the back of the cup with non-stretch mesh. Effectively non-stretch lace is backed by non-stretch mesh.

      Having said this, I do agree that adding the extra strip of stabilizer (bias tape, twill tape, elastic tape etc.) is a good idea. Mind you it had no impact on the bad fit here. This one fit better than some of the others with tape.

      Would the bra hold its shape better in the long run with tape (this or any other) - I do believe the answer is yes, but with irregular wear, I think this one would have been fine if it had fit.

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    2. Having said all of this - thanks for the comment! I wish it were the fix :-) Read the next post for some more (mind-numbingly boring) info on what I think the fix may be.

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