Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lingerie Doubts

Perhaps the title pun is a little obtuse?

At any rate, the message is clear.

Of course, it's unsurprising that, to make a bra that fits is a big undertaking (haha). I mean, if constructing a shirt that fits is tricky - and that has skim, I'm whack to expect perfection in the first, third, maybe even 5th attempt.

And yet I am so abstractly confused and frustrated with every muslin.

The last bra I cut seemed like it might fit in the cups (finally) but the back was so small I had to do surgery on it. The result is a crappy rework, that confirmed the right back size and informed me that it's not quite there in the cups. I mean, it's close - or closer - but it's not there yet.

I belong to a closed lingerie sewing blog wherein members make - and then post photos of their efforts - in the aim of gaining feedback and strategies for improving cut and fit and design. Until now, I haven't posted my photos there. I didn't have something that fit well enough.

I find it interesting that, instead of feeling great about having got to this stage - and incredibly grateful to have a community that cares to help - all I can think about at this moment is that I took some really unflattering photos of my boobs in a bra that doesn't fit well and now I'm asking for constructive criticism.

Of course, I post photos of myself on this blog. But, in those pics, I am tremendously careful to preserve my image (such as it is in my own mind). Maybe it's one of those things (like religion and politics) we shouldn't discuss, but I do aim to look as slender as possible, as healthy, as young, as chic... Half naked (and I don't mean that in a burlesque dancer kind of way), I sure as hell can't rely on a) good angles or b) good clothes or c) a friendly smile or d) a sweet pose.

It strikes me that I'm either vaguely self-loathing or very vain to be feeling this push/pull.

So here are today's questions:
  • Would you ever post a photo of yourself in a forum- on a private site composed of vetted, women-only and without your face showing - if it meant you could glean constructive criticism in an effort to construct a bra (presuming you wanted to construct a bra)?
  • Do you carefully compose yourself - protect your image, as it were - in the name of perfectionism?
I'm really curious to hear your feedback on either or both of these.


  1. While I'm new enough that the though of trying to make a bra still makes me shake in my boots, I'd like to try it one day. I love the idea of custom sets.

    Yes, whether the photo is for my makeup, nails, or sewing, there are probably at least twenty shots that get taken and deleted by the time I find the right one. ANYONE can track down something on the internet. The last thing I want to do is post a photo of myself that I wouldn't want the whole world to see. I don't think of it as vanity. I think of it as potential publicity for when I'm a superstar! Just kidding. :)

    Good luck with the bra making!

  2. I say "yes" to both! But, I think you already understand the little issues with each muslin and you try to correct them with each new attempt. It's a learning process and it's also (as we've discussed before) the most difficult category of sewing -- foundations. You're doing a great job and you're going to have the perfect bra in no time.

  3. Oh yes if it is a forum and they are there to help, I'm sure it will be fine. I'll pop back to see what WendyB says!

  4. I agree with kate, can't see a problem. If they can't see your face - it could be a model or someone you are making a bra for. I am amazed that you are trying to make such a difficult item but am sure the finished bra will be perfect. Well Done x

  5. Are we talking Penthouse Forum? Then of course!

  6. As initiator of the private blog I do know what you're talking about and wonder why you make it so hard for yourself. Those of us who posted pictures (I did) do that to learn ourselves and to help others to get the perfect fitting bra. As you know a well fitting bra makes you look much better and make your other clothes look better. If your pursuit is to make a well fitting bra yourself and want help, go for it. If you don't want to post pictures of yourself in a not well fitting bra, that's fine too of course. But like you said yourself, we're there to try to help. Robin once wrote a post and wanted to write something about a figure flaw she thinks she has, but then said "no, that's not what this blog is about", and that is so very true. It's about sewing and fitting, not about how you look.
    I myself would never post these pictures on my regular blog, that's too public for me, and in that way we all have our boundaries of what we share or not. It's completely up to you.

  7. If it were a vetted forum, I'd say yes, because you are there to glean knowledge; as are others, ostensibly.
    And actually, I figure that others have seen me in a bikini top, so what the hell- I'm not that worried about the difference between a bra and a bikini bra.
    But to post it in an open forum (i.e. website or blog); maybe not so much. There are countless creeps out there who can steal your picks and do what they'd like with them. Rat Bast@#ds.
    And I'd be lying if I said I didn't try to control my image, even when going out to run errands. Lipstick and sunglasses are wondrous gifts from the angels above...

  8. 1. No way!!!!!! I am VERY shy.
    2. I definitely try and protect my image. I don't think it is for perfectionistic reasons but rather for professional reasons.

  9. Andrea: You are so right!

    Stacy: Thank you for your continued support. Right now I'm having a bit of a low moment...

    Kate: Don't we all need to know what Wendy says!

    Sigrid: Of course, you've hit the nail on the head. I should focus on the benefit of availing myself of your collective expertise. I am continuously in awe of the beautiful things that you and the other sew along sewists are creating. Thank you for your comment.

    Rita: I'm a one piece girl all the way :-)

    Bel: I wouldn't say I'm shy. More vain :-) And of course, the good shots are professionally savvy!

    -h: I hear you. This blog is private so I feel ok about it from that perspective...

  10. Wendy: How did I neglect to reply to your comment. I'm glad to know that you've got your fora straight :-)

  11. you are one brave soul! then again, it is a forum where all women seem to be doing it, so that has to make it slightly less painful.

    this isn't really related, but i have joined a couple of on-line dating websites. of course i had to post a picture of myself. BLEH. i loathe having my picture taken -- i never think it looks like me (and i know how retarded that sounds). i have many insecurities (with reason) related to body image, and part of me just wants to post a half naked shot of me so that the mystery is over, and those that see the pics and are interested stick around, and those that are not interested can bow out and move on to the next chick. ugh. i hate dating.

  12. J: I remember reading about the dating site on your blog. You are one brave soul, honey. I know you are gorgeous though!

  13. Not only am I ridiculously shy, but I'm also fairly useless when it comes to sewing machines, so I'd probably be on the no end of the scale.

    That said, I think it's AMAZING that such a forum exists, and I mean amazing in a good way. Bras are SO freakin' expensive over here, so I'm literally slapping my forehead that making my own has never occurred to me before.

    First, however, I might try to sew some cushions. Baby steps!