Saturday, February 20, 2010

What a Bust

So, I made my first bra and it doesn't fit. Not surprising - even really awesome sewists tend to have challenges with their first few attempts.

The issue is twofold:
  • Wire bras really are a feat of construction, with all the complexity that entails
  • If you think fitting a skirt is difficult, try getting lift and fit perfection with fabric and boobs
There's a reason Freya charges $125.00 per.

I'm not going to bitch about it. Although it doesn't fit (somehow it's both too small and too big simultaneously) - and although I'm not really so experienced that I feel comfortable doing major pattern redrafting (which might be required) - I'm incredibly proud of myself for having undertaken this adventure.

I mean, I have a bra that looks like a bra. (Part of what demoralizes me so is that it actually looks like a real bra one might wear to good effect.) That's half way there, no?

My new friends on the lingerie blog might be able to guide me. I hope so.

And when the dust settles, I'm going to succeed. I will make a bra that fits me perfectly. I just have to be patient.


  1. OMG - you tried to make a bra! Crazy but brilliant. Honestly the construction of lingerie is the most difficult thing to crack. I've never bothered when it comes to make anything of substance or supportive.
    Now you'll be wanting to crack this one - look forward to the bust photos!!

  2. PS - it might be your measuring - ie not getting the band the right size and fit for back and rib cage - think tighter than you've probably done.

  3. I cannot get over this. I had no idea people tried to make their own bras. It is absolutely official, you are Maple Leaf Martha! Next thing you know and you are going to be making shoes. I am sure you will master the bra and soon be making bras that make La Perla look like a hack.

  4. Great spirit. Keep up the good work, you will get there.

  5. Don't'll get it in time! I know I've told you that before but it bears repeating. ;-D
    BTW, check your inbox 'cause I emailed you again!

  6. Just keep trying! You can do it.
    Maybe you can buy a cheap bra (I know, God forbid), and rip it apart to dissect and study it. Use the pattern pieces as slopers to adjust as you need. Just an idea...

  7. I have to congratulate you on this sewing feat, whether it fits or not. It is amazing that you even attempted this.

  8. So I'm dying to make a wicked pun on "feat of construction" but am minding my manners.

  9. If my Nana was still alive she could show you how to make supportive "cabana wear" as she had been a seamstress in the 50's when ladies liked to lift and divide.

    Her granddaughters decided to make bikini's in the late 70's with squares of fabric tied into triangles and tied again at hip and bust.

    They fell off when we did bomb dives off Dromana pier.

    I think you are great for trying


  10. I'm blown away by the fact that you even tried it! Well done!

  11. It would never even occur to me that you COULD make your own bra. It's like the time my grandfather announced that he was going to make his own false teeth!

  12. I can't believe you tried something as complex as a bra! That is serious construction work. Good luck with it.

  13. Kate: I know, it IS crazy. The band was too wide, the cups (2 part - not 3 part) to small on the top. I've done some more research and realize that a 3 part cup is probably better. I did a bit of pattern drafting aka pattern rip off this weekend. I used the pin method to create a paper pattern from one of my existing bras. Hmmmm, let's see how that plays out.

    Bel: You are too kind! And Scott told me to mention that I have looked into shoe making. But not seriously.

    Sigrid: Thank you!

    Heather: The new bra cups are together (the ones I copied from the Panache). I'm very intrigued. Not demoralized!

    Stacy: It's actually a really good idea, but I think (given the feat of engineering my breasts require) I may have to rip up a good bra - one on its last legs, mind you.

    Belle: Thank you!

    Miss C: Very Canadian of you. :-)

    Wendy: I will!!

    Hammie: I love your stories. And anything called cabana wear is fab in my book!

    E: It's one of my crazier initiatives, but I'm working it :-)

    Janet: That's hilarious. And, it really didn't occur to me either, till I got immersed in the subculture!

    Imogen: I need the luck, so thank you! I'll keep you posted.

  14. What a booby trap this bra stuff is. I'd really like to see the ol boulder holder but you'd not suffer such impropriety;-)

    Why not try a training bra? As far as I remember, those have no wires or any use, for that matter. Or, do what I'd do when I get pissy and just tie a piece of fabric around the jewels and whine about how difficult it all was. . . Le sigh.

    Really, though, you are one woman who I wish lived on my block!

  15. dude. that is a MAJOR undertaking (pardon the expression). you have BALLS. or boobs. or whatever you want to call it!

  16. Lydia: I wish I lived on your block too! And the no wires scenario is not for a woman as well endowed as I am :-)

    J: It's a mega undertaking and I think your comment about it taking boobs is utterly hilarious!