Finished Object: The Fugliest Bra In The Universe

Please, please don’t read this if you know me and don’t need to know about my breasts or underwear or discussions of size upset you.  /end disclaimer. (Also, the banner picture is from grocery shopping today at the markets.  I thought the mushrooms looked gorgeous, and the soup I made from them was even more wonderful.)

So the other day my package arrived from Annele at Makebra.  I got really excited when I discovered her site.  I finally felt like I could tackle bra sewing, and I posted about it enthusiastically.  So many of you went to visit her, Annele wrote to me and we’ve kept up a lively email chatter since then, most of it centering around my boobs.

Annele knows about bra-making, I’m in awe of the depth of her knowledge and wish I could absorb all of it right now.  She’s interested in my sizing issues and understands my lack of dsicretionary funds, so she was kind enough to send me two extra sizes to try and a few extra bra-bits.  Thank you, Annele!

Apparently, I’ve always worn the wrong size bra- “big” band and “small” cups.  Apparently, lots of women do this partially due to the laziness of bra manufacturers and partially from habit and inertia.  I mean, cup size is sort of hard-wired into our sense of identity, isn’t it?

But I started paying more attention and even uncovered a bra hidden in the depths of my dresser that fits better than anything else.  It’s a 12E.  (US 34 DDD/E, UK 34F, EU 75G- convertor here) Yeah.  E.  It’s the best fit I have, but I think the cups may be slightly too small.  The “gore” (middle part) doesn’t lie flat against my chest, though the entire bra keeps me comfortably uplifted through the day.

Chasing bra fit (not to mention learning to sew bras) is something completely new to me.  I know, I know, I should know better and I do.  I really do.  I don’t really like having large breasts and never have, so my reaction was to generally ignore them.

It’s a pain to have a large bust.  People assume things about you that aren’t necessarily true (hey, sexy lady…), bras don’t fit, blouses gape, most clothes make you look much heavier than you are unless they’re carefully close-fitted, they start succumbing to gravity from the age of 25 and girlfriends roll their eyes when you whine about how much it sucks to have big boobs.  So I’ve kept my mouth shut and more or less ignored them up to now. (Though we were on pretty good terms while I breast-fed Lila…)

Anyway, my package arrived form Finland and I tore into it like a ravenous raccoon on garbage day.  The first thing I noticed- no instructions.   Bras are one of those things you can easily sew if you know how to sew them, but what if you don’t have a clue?

These are the two patterns I chose to work from first- 80 F and 75 G.  The band sizes are different, but the cups are the same size.  Here you can see the pattern pieces for the foam cups- they’re identical.  The instructions are minimal.

I didn’t actually know where to start.  Learning a new skill always means a steep learning curve, and I expected I’d have no idea what to do with all these bits and pieces.  It helped to look closely at everything and take stock.

Fold-over elastic for binding the top edge of the bra.  It’s also used to bind panties.  Simply fold it over the raw edge and zig-zag it down.

Bra elastic- very firm, I used it for the band and the straps in this bra.  1/2″ or 1.2cm wide.

Bra backs and rings and sliders.  I’d lump these together under the name “findings.”

Annele also sent me a 75DD bra pattern and underwires.  They’re the size I “should” wear according to traditional bra sizing methods that add 3-4″ to the ribcage measurement.  They are the smaller underwires here.  When I held them up to my body I could see immediately they would cause nothing but pain and torture should I decide to make the 75DD and wear it.  I set them aside.  If you’re a 75DD, email me and you can have the underwires and pattern for the cost of shipping.  They’ll just gather dust here.

And finally, the underwire casing.  It’s a nice soft and tough casing for the wires and is stitched in below the cup for support.

I put all the little bra bits into a wooden cigar box for safekeeping.  Tobacconists often sell them for next to nothing and they’re ridiculously useful.  I have several in my sewing room.

The first sewing step on the Makebra site (no paper start up instructions) shows you how to make the foam cups.  The foam is pretty standard and not interesting, I’m already thinking I can use other materials in place of the foam (hemp fleece…) once I master the trick of sewing bras.

The cut edges of the foam lining butt up against each other with a zig-zag stitch to hold them together.  I opted to use a triple-stitch zig zag, it’s less prone to tunneling.

Viola, the completed boulder-holders.

I cut the bra pieces from a piece of remnant purple rayon jersey leftover from one of my Bow Tie Tees.  It took less than 20 cm (8″) of fabric.  I love how little fabric bras use!

I used the 80 F size first.  Like I said, the only difference between the two bra patterns is the band size, you can see it here.  I like that the pattern has little colored seam allowances, it makes it easier to understand where I will sew.

My chosen cup style comes in three pieces.  I ought to have marked right and wrong sides, or chosen a fabric with an obvious right or wrong side.  Either way, I didn’t and ended up making myself two left cups.  I swore gently and re-cut a right cup.  Again, the instructions for this step were pretty non-existent.  However, it was not complex and actually rather self-explanatory once I paid attention to the diagrams that came with the pattern.

After some head-scratching and plain old experimentation, I ended up with something that resembles a bra.  Not so bad, right?  Right?

Sigh.  There we go.  The fugliest bra in the world.  I didn’t line the cups because it wasn’t in the instructions.  I will for the next one.  I also mis-aligned the underwire casing and stitched it *to* the cup rather than *around* the cup on the band.  That’s ok.

Yep.  Super bad.  I’d never buy something that looked like this.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I have a tendency to just jump in with new projects.  I’m that kind of learner.   Sure, read a bit ahead of time, but I don’t try to figure out everything before I “get my hand in.”  I don’t mind making mistakes and not knowing what to do, I’ll make it up or figure it out.  I know others aren’t like that, and that’s cool too.

When I approach a “new” skill, I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself to make a perfect new thing.  There’s too much to learn at first when honing a new skill (which type of elastic goes where…?) and to expect a perfect finished project on top of everything else is just not reasonable.  I *should* make a mess the first time I try to make something “new.”  That’s normal.

I even accidentally trimmed the fashion fabric when I was trimming the seam allowance.  Lesson learned- don’t try to trim after sewing the underwire casing.  Trim first, then sew the casing.  And sew the casing to the band, not to the cup.

By the time I got around to stitching on the hooks and eyes, I had a list of things to do the next time and had pretty much written off this bra so I got lazy.  It doesn’t fit.  The band is too big and creeps up my back to settle nearly between my shoulder blades.  Not awesome.  That said, the cup seems to hold everything well, the underwires don’t dig in and it fits slightly better than most of the other bras I own.

The instructions for Makebra bras are very much geared towards someone who has sewn bras before.  Also, Annele is in Finland and while her English is very engaging and clear, the technical writing leaves much to be desired for an English-speaking bra-newbie.  That’s cool, I can’t expect someone else to do my sewing for me and I figured it out relatively easily from the pages on the MakeBra site.  In the end, I realized that sewing a bra isn’t very difficult, but does require a bit of practice.

I’m nearly finished with my second, a white with blue lined cups made from linen-cotton jersey left over from my poor doomed SpinaLace top.  It’s already much nicer than the purple one, and in size 75G.  Once I work out my system, I’ll definitely document, document, document for the other bra-newbies out there.

So tell me- have you ever, ever seen a fuglier bra?  How do you approach learning a new skill?  What do you think about the weird relationship we have between our cup sizes and our identities?  Do you have any tips for me?


112 comments

  1. It’s true that people with smaller chests (or men) don’t understand how hard it is on us gals who are more well endowed in that area. For example, I was crushed when I had to buy my first DD bra (American sizing) and my husband wanted to go off and brag to all of his friends.

    I think your bra looks awesome considering that you’ve never sewn one before and you were going mostly without directions. It’s hard not to be a perfectionist when you’ve gained some skills but when you’re starting out in a whole new genre of sewing, it’s hard to live up to your own standards on your first go.

    Can’t wait to hear about your next bra making adventures. It’s rather inspiring.

    • Yeah.. My husband likes them, too. Men. ;)

      Thanks! :) I think the second one will be better, and maybe the third will be a nice decent standard. We’ll see, no bigs.

      :)

  2. Fascinating! I have often wondered about making my own bras – I am a similar size to you as well – though have long been obsessed with having the right size and getting everyone I know in the right size – a waist will appear as if by magic! On the rare occasions that I make dresses or tops for large-busted women, I first take them to get a properly fitting bra, as clothes won’t fit or flatter without a good bra. I’m pleased to discover you have found it not too difficult to sew; I wonder if there is a good book with instructions which might do instead, as the bits & pieces could be found easily and I often think I could take out the wires from an old, worn-out but well-fitting bra. And now I think about it, make a pattern from the pieces… hmmmm

    • Yes. And I’ve encouraged others to go get a properly fitting bra, though I never really focused my attention on learning about it. I just sent people to upscale department stores. :)

      I think I’ve read before not to recycle underwires… But honestly, I’ve done next to no research for this project. It’s playing time. :) Nothing, nothing very difficult at all, it’s just learning the order of operations. Once I get that down, I can’t wait to start experimenting with fabrics and finishes and colors. :D

  3. I’m like Ruth Singer. I’m obsessed with finding the right size and trying to help others into the best size for their bodies. I have to share a couple of links that might help others curious with bra sizing. You’re onto the bra companies. I don’t know who’s told them that everyone wears a certain band/back and cup combination. I hope you don’t mind me sharing these links. You’ve probably seen them on my twitter feed.

    This links shows you bra size combinations by volume. http://blog.butterflycollection.ca/2012/05/bra-school-not-all-d-cups-are-same-size.html They talk a bit about sister sizes and while I know a sister size will “do”, it still won’t fit like my true size.

    I like this page on the HerRoom site (I don’t work for them, btw, or any of the people I’m linking to). This page shows what a cup size means. For instance, a D cup means that the difference between your rib cage and your bust is 4″. Once I understood that, talking only of a cup size seemed incomplete. http://www.herroom.com/full-figure-bra-cup-sizing,905,30.html

    And the last link is a bra size calculator. http://www.sophisticatedpair.com/bracalculator.htm I was surprised by what this calculator told me and while it’s really a starting point, it’s a pretty accurate starting point. Just like you said, smaller bands and larger cups!

    Awesome post Steph!

    • No, of course I don’t mind. You’re a trustworthy source. :) If you say it’s good, I believe you. Thanks! After I hit publish last night, I realized I hadn’t peppered the post with references to this and that, but honestly I’m not referring to them as I sew so I’d have to go find all the links and decide if they were worth sharing, etc. Thanks for the extra info!

  4. Just posted about making bras a couple of days ago (watch it, there’s a book that might come in handy for us bra sewing-newbies! Well, you’re the newbie, I’m still only thinking about it lol) so I’m sucking it all in. Thank you so much!!!

    • Oooh neat post! I’m so excited to see what you come up with!

      This project is definitely not one I’m researching. I just don’t feel like digging up all the info, and the technical stuff goes over my head anyway because I’m barely aware of what elastic goes where and etc…. I just want to sew, make a few mistakes, scratch my head and sew some more…

  5. I think you should be proud of your first efforts. I think bra-making has a really steep curve, not unlike pants making, but pants are relatively easy to sew, it’s the fitting that’s nasty. As much as I hate it, failure is part of the creative process. I have a jacket in my closet that I made when I was first sewing, and it’s a train wreck. I didn’t understand how to sew in the collar, so it’s quite fishy, and the hem facing peeks out considerably from the bottom because I couldn’t figure out how to deal with the curve of the hem. Worst of all, there was no ease in the pattern for a lining and it had all this shirring which made trying to approximate a lining pattern kind of impossible, so whatever I “approximated” I had to rip out, but I kept the sleeves, kind of ruthlessly hacking around the armscyes, folding under some fabric and tacking it in place–horrid. But there’s something about that jacket that keeps me from tossing it–because I can look at jackets now and see how far I’ve come–to know that I can put in zippered welts, zippers, contrast collars, vents, with bagged linings no problem, it’s good. You’ll get there with the bra-making too.

    And whine all you like about big girls. I’ve ignored my own often because they just plum get in the way. I agree they are annoying and troublesome.

    • Aw! Thanks for that! I rather like failure, it’s one step closer to knowing what works, right? Thomas Edison failed a whole lot of times, in fact it seems to me that anyone who ever did anything worth mentioning had plenty of failures under their belts. The trick is to not get too upset about it, just move on. :)

      Suuuuper annoying. Ugh. ;)

  6. hey – not bad for a first bra! love how you described the process.
    with the wide band – maybe you should use a more staple fabric then jersey. the bras that are comfortable to wear (for me in 80D) the band is a fine but strong nylon net……..

    • Thanks Beate! Yes, the first bra was rather… Hmm.. It’s not engineered for what I’m carrying around. That’s fine, I’ll work out the engineering.. The second band I made is partially interfaced with silk organza, we’ll see how that improves matters… :) Thanks for the tip!

  7. Yours is not the ugliest homemade bra I’ve ever seen, lol. Too-small band is easily fixable at the back, at least for fitting purposes, to let you know how much to take out next time. Kwik Sew lingerie book should have decent instructions in it — their pattern instructions are quite clear. You may be able to pick up one from a remaindered books website (I like Edward Hamilton booksellers in Connecticut); or Dover Books may have a re-print in their vast listings. Helpful hint about underwires — if they are close to the correct length, you can gently reshape them with your hands or a pair of pliers, to fit your personal curvature. You may find — as do some of us — that the perfect semi-circle laid out so beautifully on the pattern for the band needs to be more like an oval to fit our mammaries. The underwires need to conform to the shape of the cup-curve of the band. They need to conform to YOU, not you to THEM.

    • Thanks, Lin! I think I had a look through the KS book (why are their illustrations so gross and off-putting?) a while ago and everything went over my head… Might take a look later when I have a specific question… :)

      Yes, could not agree more. Fit the body I have, not squish it into some other mold. :)

      • I know! Even the technical drawings in their pattern books look like something engineered by NASA. I think it’s just that the illustrations were done in the 1970s, and never ever ever ever updated.

        • Oh, and about recycling bra hardware — I mainly do that for trial bras. I plunk down hard cash for new underwires, etc. for the final products. Although, the steel in the underwires ought to last for several lifetimes … and you really shouldn’t put a bra through regular wearings for more than a year. (Say the experts, anyway.)

  8. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It looks lovely from the front, I’ve done the same thing at the back, and it’s pretty honest slip to miss the inside of the cup. I have made many pretty bras that don’t fit at all, so if you’ve got the right fit you’re ahead of the game.

  9. wow – i’m impressed and think you are being far too hard on yourself! it might not be the prettiest from the inside but looks lovely from the outside and hopefully you can get the fit down perfectly. really interesting post – thanks for sharing. it doesn’t seem quite as scary as i expected!

    • Yeah, it’s funny, somehow I expected it to be all mysterious and difficult, but it’s really really not. :)

      Thanks for that. If I’m not hard on myself, I’ll never improve. Too lazy. :D

    • Well go on and give it a try. The initial expense is minimal (all my makings and the shipping for one bra + pattern was about $20) and the sewing isn’t difficult. :)

  10. Props for trying it! I’m pretty impressed – it turned out a lot better than my first attempt would. Why is it so hard to get a decently fitted bra? I probably have a dozen rejects in the back of my underwear drawer. And I still don’t understand exactly what an underwire is supposed to do. :-)

    • Try it and see what your firstie would look like! You might well be very surprised.

      The underwire helps maintain the shape of the cup at the root of the breast on the chest. I know some people don’t like them and I suspect it has to do with badly fitting ones. Honestly, when the underwire is the right size/shape, I don’t feel it. I just feel nicely liberated from having to constantly negotiate my breasts… :)

  11. I appreciate your “warts and all” review, both of the pattern and your process. I look forward to seeing your bra-sewing evolution (bravolution?). I avoid bras completely at this point — my girls are wildly different sizes since I had a mild case of breast cancer several years ago. A stretchy camisole with a shelf bra is as complicated as I get. Being over 50, my breasts aren’t really of general interest anymore (though my 75-year-old pharmacist did hit on me the other day — I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry).

    • Bravolution? Didn’t the bra burning women’s lib types beat me to it? ;)

      Mmmm, I like camis with built in shelf bras… I don’t wear them out of the house, but I do like them. So much. They saved my life when I was breastfeeding.

      Oh! Dear me! How did you know he was hitting on you? Haha! Just laugh. Laugh wrinkles are prettier than cranky wrinkles. The other day I got myself chatted up by an Italian guy, I was kind of flattered (it’s been a while since someone called “molta bella!” in my direction…) until I realized he was trying to sell me makeup. Sigh.

      • Well, I was picking up medications for my elderly mother and asking him questions about them. He set them down and said, “I’ve been looking for someone like you.” I don’t know, maybe he wasn’t hitting on me. Maybe he just wanted me to look after his 100-year-old mother or something. My mom said he probably just wanted “a nurse with a purse.” But she’s a little cynical.

  12. Huh. Not too bad, really, and if you got a decent fit in the cups with no underwire discomfort, I think you’re ahead of the game. Was this the bra that suggests going 5 inches above your measurements?

    I tackle new skills just like how you do, by jumping right in. (Case in point: knitting.) In fact, that’s my MOD for most things. I’ve had some disasterous relationships because of it. Yeash. I’ve since learned to think things through now…but not when it comes to new skills! :D

    • Hmmm. I don’t know. There’s the traditional way of sizing bras, which I found out about the first time I posted about bras… Apparently it is much reviled because there’s many people for whom it does not work. That’s the one where you take your ribcage measurement and add 3-4″ to get your band size. If I went with that one, I’d be wearing an 85 DD or something. But.. Uhm… The next one I’m making is a 75 G and I’m not sure I won’t need to try an H.

      I love how you jump into things. Reminds me of a kitten, you’re so good natured and fun.. :) Do take care of your heart, but don’t lose joy because it’s wonderful.

  13. I thoroughly enjoyed my larger breasts while I was nursing, but I definitely noticed a difference in how the things I wore looked. A lot of my cute little tops looked less cute and more skanky. And while I’m not categorically averse to skanky, it was, well, a *different* look on busty-me than it was on un-busty-me. It would be nice to have large breasts sometimes, but definitely not all the time… LOL!

    The blue bra actually looks pretty good, I think, from the outside anyway. And yeah, I’m all about the learning by doing. Even when I’ve read the “right” way to do something, I often have to try the “wrong” way just to make sure for myself. I blame it on scientific curiosity—test everything! ;) So I totally enjoyed reading about your “process.” And I can’t wait to hear about the next one.

    I think before I ever tackle a bra I want to know a) what width of underwire I want, and how deep (i.e. shallow) the cup needs to be. Hmm. I feel like some 3D geometry is called for…

    • Yeah. I always love love love a lot of the stuff you wear (Uhm… leather dress! Cute tops!) but it kind of makes me cranky because I know I can’t wear it. Skanky, yes, skanky. I skanked it up for a few years in my early 20s…

      Yes. I like to try a lot of different ways to do something too… You just never know when having another way to do something will come in handy. And if you can decide for yourself what techniques are good and which aren’t, you can always spot bullsh*t in sewing writing…

      Annele is really nice. I suspect your bodies are more similarly shaped than mine, so she may well have some super good advice for you. if you decide you’re into it, that is… :D

  14. You’re really not doing badly at all for a first effort. Nobody’s first bra is a masterpiece :-). But it sounds like you’re not taking advantage of all the resources you should. First, there’s http://sigridsewingprojects.blogspot.com for inspiration, and also very good instructions. Then you have elingeria.de for supplies, a good array of patterns and especially good kits. And most of all you have http://www.bramakerssupply.com who have written an excellent book- it’s pricey yes, but you can also buy one of their very good patterns and get a whole little course in the instructions.

    Anyway, I too wore the wrong size for decades. Not wanting to face the truth, knowing that any bigger cups and I’d be putting myself right out of easy shopping range. But you know what? A good bra is worth its weight in gold.. Keep it up!

    • Thanks for that. And yes, I’m being lazy about the research. I’m not too worried about it, this is my playtime and release from the other stuff I’ve been doing lately which requires a lot of reading and a lot of writing and a lot of research.

      Thank you thank you for the links! That’s awesome!

      Yeah… Moving up cup sizes is kind of… weird. But I guess if it means better shape and comfort in the long run, so be it! :)

  15. with heavy breasts, i always found that single narrow straps dig into my shoulders. i have shoulder ruts that looks like a bicycle drove on them for the last 50 years. and i don’t just mean the grass is dead, i mean that we’re down to earth and rocks. is there a way that you can widen the straps or cushion them at the boniest part of your shoulder? even though my underwires and bands carry most of the weight, still my shoulders bear a lot. on my custom-fitted purchased bras the straps curve outward and also cushion at that very spot.

    • Oh no! How evocative! And sounds so painful!

      I would think it would just be a matter of cutting the straps, lining them with padding between the layers, binding the edges and putting them in… Seriously doubt it would be very difficult, even to mod existing bras. I’ll definitely post about that. :)

    • If you have straps digging into your shoulders, you do not have a strap problem, you have a back problem. It means the front is not being adequately supported, which means usually a combination of band too large (and often cups too small to go with that) and back too narrow. Don’t ever get less than 3 hooks, for instance. Simple engineering, but it works :-).

      • Besides which, yes, it is both possible and very easy to sew a shaped strap with padding, a strap that is narrow at the attachment ends and as wide as you want to make it in the middle.

          • To M-C: i always wore a 40G and after careful fitting by a professional i found that what i needed was a 38I. it was the larger band that caused the ruts. the smaller band and larger cup made a huge (pun intended) difference, but there will always be some weight carried by the shoulders. breasts are very heavy and even a small amount of their total weight digs in. that’s my excuse for being overweight.
            btw, when i started wearing the 38 i could hardly breathe. as you can see, i’m still here and much more comfortable. sadly, a lot of my clothing no longer fit me and was donated to st. vinnie, my new BFF.

      • to M-C again: i was thinking about what you said and why it wasn’t working for me. i think i know why. let’s see if i can explain this. if you’re talking about large sized cups for big busts, then your bust is shaped like a tear-drop. the cup of the bra is a container that holds it and conforms it to the shape you want it to be. on most american women that means more youthful looking. so if you have a heavy bust, you want your bust lifted and rounded. (i can’t speak for women from other places.) to achieve that you need to push up from the bottom and pull up from the top. remember, this is a heavy bust here. the wire and the band do their share by pushing up (not really – but the effect is the same) and the straps have to pull.
        the shoulder strap comes down and attaches to the place on the cup where the top edge of the cup, on either side of the strap, lays. that top edge should be stable. when it all come together, it all it forms a ‘Y’ shape, but upside down. the two outer ends of that top edge of the cups end at the top of the underwire or very near. between the underwire beneath the cup and the outline strips (i really don’t know what to call them) above the cup, and the cup itself, a cradle is formed. they are all necessary to hold you up. the underwire and those strips at the top of the cup have formed a teardrop also. the cup is still whatever shape and size was chosen.
        the band is there to balance everything. the band keeps the weight of your bust from sliding down and forward and dragging the cups with it. the band has to be very tight to do it. but without the straps the only thing holding the cups in place is the band and that can’t work alone. without the straps, your bust would go toppling over and flip the cup right over the edge. not a pretty sight. you can test the theory by removing the straps on your bra and seeing what happens. there is a cutoff point. that point is a size not known by me. above that point, what i said is true. below that point, maybe not. all i know is that there is no strapless bra that works for me. some companies make ones that they claim will, but they’re really nothing more than a wide strip of fabric, underwires, a lot of bones that hurt, and a wide elastic band top and bottom. since there’s no uplift, nothing gets lifted up. my bust just falls as far down as it can, wires and all and looks smushed. not the look i want. that also tells me that straps play a role in lifting up a heavy bust. when i was fitted for the right size, i can’t say that the discomfort vanished, but i can tell you that it was REMARKABLY better. there will always be pull on my shoulders, but this is such a relief for me. i have three bras that are full cover, with wider padded straps and one with skinny straps that’s pretty. i only hand wash them and they take forever to dry, but i want them to last forever. i also have some old, junky ones for emergencies.

        i’m sure that’s way more than you ever wanted to know. :>

        • Barbara- Thank you for your very well-thought out, respectful insight! I agree, the larger the breast, the more that straps will come into play simply due to the nature of gravity and physics… :)

          Have you seen the thing about washing bras in a salad spinner? I so want to try that… Very sensible for washing delicates.

        • Actually 2Barbara I want to know everything :-). But seriously, I agree that the larger the breast the more of an engineering problem you’re going to have, there’s no going around that. And I totally agree with you too that stabilizing the top of the cup is a big help, often overlooked, as it integrates into a good firm sling in the front. Let me also point out that a very firm bridge is also essential. Often much smaller than we think is necessary. But you can’t have it too firm, as otherwise you get sideways distortion and then anything might happen.

          And if I can make a weird analogy, I think bras are a lot like backpacks. You want the weight firmly anchored at the bottom, whether the hip belt or the bra band, and most of the weight supported there. Then of course the shoulders have to cooperate and do some work, but you can’t have them do too much or you’ll have problems. Does that make sense?

          That said while I believe strapless bras can truly work, I can’t imagine they’d work for large busts without being totally custom-fitted. We have enough trouble finding regular bras that work, without straps we’d be toast!

          • now that you mention backpacks, it brings this to mind: many,many years ago, in a land far away ….oh, wait, that’s a different story! i’ll start again – years ago there was something called a ‘merry widow’. it was a strapless bra that was really a corset, that flared out over the hips. it’s purpose was not to cinch your waist, but to hold up your bust. it had coiled metal bones every 3-4″ apart and hooked very tightly in the back. the cup was slightly padded, i would say some kind of foam, but not a push-up. it was usually a 3/4 bra, meant to be worn with low cut dresses or gowns. the reason it flared over the hips was to make the hips do the carrying. sitting down was a horror. the bones dug into any fleshy part of you below the waist. they were very popular during the 60′s. are they still around? they worked for large busts, but i don’t know up to how large.

  16. I often approach learning new skills by just diving in too, which has lead to some pretty horrible results with a few gems here & there. Love the idea about using cigar boxes for storage & thanks for being so detailed with your tips. It will really help me once I finally get around to making bras for myself- I had no idea you could cut & sewed the foam! All the other cups I’ve seen from American sites have been molded & ready to go, which never seemed like it would get that good of a fit. Also nice to see you didn’t have to buy specialty tricot or powernet- getting those additional supplies on top of new wires & foam has been holding me up. Looking forward to hearing more on bras.

    • Yeah- you win some and lose some, but at least you got your hands dirty, right? :)

      Totally sewed the foam. Between me and you, I hate sweaty summer boobs and the scent of foam soaked with sweat and quickly mildewing…. So I think I’ll look into using hemp fleece, it wicks and absorbs, and it’s super ethical to grow, and should work. Might have to quilt it first but no bigs…

          • They do, but when I checked a few months ago they didn’t have their Nike fabrics on it. It’s Vogue Fabrics. I can send you a picture I took of the rolls & they might take your order via e-mail.

          • Steph, if you get stuck searching for fleece a good friend (also in B’ne) made Modern Cloth Nappies with bamboo bleece and probably has some hemp fleece and other stuff in her stash :)

          • Hey thanks Mari- I was asking more for others, I have a supplier here.

            Thanks Margo- I’ll keep it in mind! There’s definitely some great nappy resources here, that’s exactly the sort of thing I was thinking. :)

  17. first off, i saw your new header and immediately my brain said “ICK!” i just can’t stand the taste or smell of mushrooms for some reason. so i quickly scrolled down so they were out of sight and then laughed at myself “it’s just an image!” i don’t think i’ll ever make my own bra, but it’s very interesting to read about the process.

    • Ah… I went to the farmer’s markets yesterday and everything I looked at seemed unspeakably beautiful… Far too beautiful to ignore or keep to myself. So I walked around taking macro shots of vegetables, thinking of the words of Georgia O’Keefe : “Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” It’s part of a mindfulness exercise I do. I try to notice beauty wherever it is. It really helps with stress/anxiety, too.

      The little rippled undersides are soft, so soft, and more delicate than a baby’s lips. Look how the flanges radiate perfectly from the center- it just grew out of the moss that way. And the colors- such soft and pretty colors, beautiful together. The velvety brown goes pinker in full sun, and it’s a perfect compliment to the smooth ivory outer caps.

          • Oooh I made a pasta dish tonight, using small brown mushrooms sauteed whole in butter and oil as the main ‘star’ of teh dish and they were so delicious! I cooked them off with jsut a smallest splash of white balsamic for a tang, threw in some beans, the pasta, an egg and some cheese and fresh ground pepper. Anyway, Im happy to eat any mushrooms Soi doesn’t hehehe.

            • Love it. Sounds delicious!

              I like sauteeing a big mushroom cap and making “burgers” or cream of mushroom soup, or raw mushrooms sliced on sandwiches… Nom. I love em. ;)

  18. I’m aware that I’m more product- than process-oriented, though I know intellectually there are skills that can’t be learned except by doing.

    I get hung up on the waste aspect – I hate throwing things away, and I don’t like the thought that I’ve taken a perfectly good piece of whatever, cut it into bits and created garbage. I may be aiming to far beyond my existing skill set. It wouldn’t be so bad if I felt like I had learned something, but I think my anxiety about waste stops me from trying new stuff sometimes. Still not sure how to get out of the corner I’ve painted myself into.

    • I have had many people like you in classes. Respectfully, let me suggest you quit thinking and go sew something. :) I am absolutely positive I have ticked off a lot of people by refusing to answer questions in classes that can be answered by shutting one’s mouth and stitching. My stock answer is “it will take me longer to explain to you than it will for you to do it exactly the way you’re shown and then it will make sense.” But- I find my peeps are usually happy once I’ve pushed them a bit and so far no one has punched me in the nose.

      I also think of the product rather than process orientation as a beginner sewist trait (sorry! i don’t know your level… it’s just usually beginners are like that), as is the craving for instant gratification that so many people have… It’s more sensible to be product oriented when the only option to acquire something means to go out and buy it. Where’s the process in that? Finding parking, negotiating escalators, talking to sales people. Completely different…

      Waste? Well… What waste? I cut up some scraps of jersey from another project. I’ll probably cut out the underwires and hook and eye tape, and maybe salvage the straps. When I’m playing around and learning something new, I write off the materials. I have struggled a LOT with all kinds of anxiety in my life and I will tell you anxiety is a complete and utter waste of time. That’s the wastefulness. :)

      The way to get out of the corner is to relax, switch off the brain a little bit and *do* something. Honestly. Make some mistakes, make a mess, throw away the tiny bits of evidence. And tell your brain to put a lid on it for a few hours. You’ll see, it’s quite alright.

      • For some context: I’d say my technique is intermediate, but fitting is a struggle (trousers in particular – I’m super-short through the rise even though my horizontal measurements are fairly ordinary).

        Instant gratification isn’t it. I’ve made a few pleated, tiered skirts that take 15h to assemble (not including cutting), so it’s not the time. Construction and technique don’t worry me.

        What I mean by waste is the environmental side. I’m not talking about bra-sized bits, but trouser-sized. If I had a use for the remnants or knew someone who did or could even just recycle them, I’d feel a lot better about generating them in the first place. (This is where the “anxiety” comes in, although I think that may be the wrong word anyway.)

        When I mused that I may be aiming too far beyond my skill set, I was referring to fitting. I made a few pairs of trousers and ended up feeling like I was going backwards fitting-wise after a point, which is pretty frustrating. If I had a few basic patterns that I knew would result in a garment that (more-or-less) fit, I would happily run up a handful of each (trousers and T-shirts to start). If I wanted clothes that don’t fit, then I *would* go and buy them :-) It would be a lot easier ;-)

        But fitting is the major hurdle, and I’m not seeing how just sewing something will help.

        • Ah ha! And we reach the root of the issue… I was kind of scratching my head, thinking… Well… I’m using scraps.. Will probably re-use some of the bits… Bras are little… ;) But now I see.

          Yep. Pants are hard. When I found out how to fit them well and how to help others fit them well, I started the Pants Block service. It’s been good. A bit shaky at first, and had some pdf scaling issues, but mostly it’s been quite good. I haven’t been promoting it much lately because I’m working on Cake and some other weird side research projects digging into pants sizing statistics, but I’m still taking blocks clients and make a few a week. The process is constantly being refined, so I’m (we’re) doing less tweaking now than when I started. Which is good.

          One suggestion- make shorts. Make shorts you never ever expect to wear. When you’re first fitting, eliminate any interesting design details and just focus on finding the fit for the basic pants. Generally, generally, I don’t really think that the slash-and-spread type alterations so often touted in sewing mags works very well. This is me, speaking from experience… I’ve tried heaps of ways. It may work well for some, and that’s awesome. There are many ways to answer the same problem. Some ways are harder, some are simpler. I try to stay simple.

          Start with the hip measurement and work from that size. You can work the waist into the pants more or less easily..Hmmmm.. There’s too much to write on the subject and it sounds a lot harder than it is, and it’s very individualized… That’s why I just started drafting blocks directly and working as a “at your own pace” email answer service of sorts.

          Anyway, once you’ve made a shorts muslin of the basic pants without any fancy stuff and get it to fit, you can use your altered pattern to help alter any other pants patterns. More or less. It at least works as a tolerably reliable guide. I don’t muslin pants anymore for myself. I can sit down, sew some pants, and get along with my life… It’s nice.

          The other thing to do that reduces waste and wadders for pants-makers is to sew samples. If you’re uncomfortable with zipper flies or welts or something, then use some “waste” fabric (ie, crap fabric or scraps) to practice that technique until you can do it in your sleep. Sewing samples doesn’t have the same “Squee I made a pair of pants!” value, but it does increase the likelihood you’ll love and wear your finished pants if you take the time to build the skills first…And probably makes the whole process of making a pair of great fitting pants less difficult and scary..

          Also, I very very seldom experiment or learn with fabric that I paid decent money for or is worth making into an actual garment. If you know any older sewists in your area, you may ask around about their stashes.. I have a stack of de-stashed fabrics from sewists who will never sew with them, a lot of it is rather hideous 70′s polyester that is not really fit for anything but muslins. And it’s great for muslins. Then I use the scraps as cleaning rags, shopping bags, etc. Another good source of muslin materials are the bedsheets from thrift stores. Cheap, plentiful, cheap, plentiful. Sometimes fabrics found that way actually do make it into my wardrobe rotation…

          Natural fibers are compostable, though I recommend chopping them up first because it takes a while for them to break down. For polyester, I really don’t know. Maybe someone reading does and will share with us.

          I’m sorry, I feel like I’m being so boring! :D

          • Not boring to me anyway! (though I will admit that I’m not having any revelations either) Fibre recycling opportunities depend so much on where you live. I think the pants block is the way to go – I’ll email you.

  19. I think it is pretty. You’re doing great! I cannot wear foam cup bras, they are only for those whose breasts still have some fight left in ‘em, but what a great thing to be able to see the shape coming together so well. Well done!!

    • You’re far too kind, MrsC.

      Still have some fight left in ‘em?? Hahahah! I love that!
      Also, I’m kind of curious about the foam cups issue but I’m not exactly sure what to ask about it…

  20. I took a bra-making class almost a year ago from Anne St. Clair (in the U.S.). It took an evening (for measuring us, so they could make custom patterns for each person in the class before the next day’s session) plus a full day of sewing, with Anne and her assistant leading us step by step. My resulting bra is very ugly plain white nylon but it is one of the most comfortable I have ever worn. The materials included enough for two more bras, which I have cut out but still not sewn (procrastination …). She sells a book with pretty good instructions; also you can buy the kits from her in various materials. But the real benefit of the class was getting the custom pattern. One of these days I will get around to finishing these and maybe getting a kit or two for some prettier ones.

    • That’s soo cool! I’d’ve probably made up ten nicely fitting ones by now, but that’s me. :) Go get on it! You can do it! You’ve already beaten the hard part. :D

  21. Isn’t it funny, being afraid of a number – or a letter really. After my son was born, I went from a 12C (probably a D, they were a little gapey) to a 16DD and I went into severe denial. By the time my daughter pushed me up another two letters I’d decided I didn’t care what the label said as long as It made me look good. I have some extremely flat chested friends who’ve never understood the annoyance, but then they’ve never had to walk around with their shoulders severely hunched to stop buttons flying off with great force.
    Definitely seen uglier, in stores, though perhaps with less accidental cutting of proper fabric… but hey as long as it fits, does it REALLY matter what it looks like? It’ll be covered with clothes most of the time, and husbands have short memories when it comes to underwear.. (gosh I’m in a cheeky mood today..)

    • Uuuugh. I wouldn’t call it fear, maybe aversion. It doesn’t help that our culture fetishizes breasts to the point of being ridiculous. Probably kind of perverted, to be honest. Is it permissible to use that word anymore- perverted? Sometimes my English is not so good… The thing I used to find most hurtful is the people who would ask me why/when I got implants or the name of my doctor… Uhmm… No, sorry, I’m all natural. I tried to pass that kind of thing off as a compliment, but I always hated it. Same with other girls handling my girls. Get off.

      Bahahaha! You’re hilarious. I like pretty things though, especially if I made them myself, and especially if they’re utilitarian. There’s already enough ugly stuff in the world….

  22. I love that you’ve taken a dive in and love even more that you are so willing to share all the guts to your experience. I can’t wait to learn how it all works out for the better. Because….I’d really like to think that after all these years I can finally learn from others – say – advice ;-)

    • Yeah, it’s fun. :) A bit time consuming to do all the photos, but I don’t mind. :)

      Seek ye wisdom wherever you may find it?

      also–

      “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

  23. I own several uglier bras and they are shop bought! Go easy on yourself, for a first draft this is pretty impressive. Cup size is a funny thing. I am relatively small breasted, sitting somewhere between a B and a C cup but a few years ago I purchased one of those strapless stick on bra things for a backless dress. The women in the shop recommended I buy a D cup (which freaked me out at the time) because she said my breasts are wide, meaning that a lot of the flesh goes out at the side and towards my under arms. She was right, the cups fit perfectly. Since then I have begun to suspect that I have always forced myself into bras that are too small. When I was in the US last year I was fitted for bras as Victoria’s Secret and Fredericks of Hollywood. The Victorias Secret bras are WAY too big in the band, to the extent where I unpicked the hooks and chopped an inch off each side before sewing them back on. Their C cups fit quite nicely. The Fredericks bras fit better in the band but some of the cups are too big. What I need is to find an independent store with many brands and get fitted by a real expert. I need to let go of the idea that I am a B cup and listen to someone who knows what they are talking about! I will follow your bra-making career with great interest.

    • Yeah. You know me. I’m not terribly serious. It’s a bra, it’s not like I’m failing to create a homeland for the Rohingya.

      That’s so so so interesting! To be honest, I was always jealous of Bs and their wardrobe options. VS has really gone down the tubes in the past ten years.

      OH! I love that you went to Frederick’s!

  24. I reckon I’ve seen more poorly made bras in some shops – OK so they were lined but….

    fugly – nope – first attempt – yep…. onwards and upwards you can only get better :)

  25. RE breasts pushing out to the side: Part of the class included a lecture on proper bra fitting, and we learned that if your breasts are pushing out to the side, your bra cup is too small. Your breasts should sit forward — and they actually told us to periodically adjust them inside the bra to the correct position, and that doing this would train the muscles. Also, if your bra fits correctly, the straps will not dig in. Straps shouldn’t be supporting — they just hold the bra in place. But they also didn’t recommend having straps narrower than about 3/4″.

    Another interesting point was in relation to sports bras: they were totally against them. In fact, they were against any type of bra that presses the breasts flat. The book includes some suggestions for making one that is more supportive.

    • How interesting, thank you Harriet. I do the “bend over and settle in” method for putting on my bras… Hadn’t heard that one…

      Yeah… I’m going to go for wider straps… I have a few engineering ideas once I get the basics down.. :)

      That sounds really interesting about the bras.. I can’t remember the last sports bra I had… I do most of my regular activities in bras, and I remember wearing nice securely-fitting bras to do cardio and weights work was always better than a flattening bra…. Hmmmm…

  26. That’s very encouraging! I’d actually like to sew bras, as I’ve mentioned here before. But I’m intimidated (and time poor). Sometimes I look at the complex support seams in my favourite bra and think about sewing it and want to weep! But I could definitely approach it like this, knowing that the first few are going to be steep learning curves. Makes it seem doable – and I’d probably rather an ugly bra that fit!

    Have you seen busty girl comics? I definitely identify http://bustygirlcomics.com/

  27. Ok, Steph… you’ve convinced me. I took the “plunge” and went to Makebra and ordered a pattern (90G – OMGosh) and accessories. The one bra in my drawer that I THINK fits me best has started to poke holes in the sides of my breasts with the underwires… makes me want to give up underwires. But after reading Harriet’s post, I’m convinced I’m just wearing the wrong size. I’m guessing shipment will take a while to the middle of the US, but if I can make myself a good fitting bra, it’ll be worth it.
    Thanks so much for your candid chatter on the subject.

    • Your 90 G’s will feel so well supported… I’m not sure about the bra type you ordered, but I suspect the construction is a little more geared towards smaller breasts than ours. I’m nearly finished with my second bra (just had to, you know, work the past few days instead of sew bras.. ;)) and it has a 1″ wide band elastic. I’ll show it, and the post will be much more technical and less chatty than this one… :D

  28. I think they look pretty ok for a first try! What about the fit? and the ‘support’? I’m not going to make bra any time soon partly because it’s fiddly and mostly because I have *finally* found bras that fit me and support my breast – so why bother? But never say never!

    • Thanks, Sophie…

      Well. The fit is not great. I chickened out about posting photos, I’ll get brave and do a comparison for the next post…

      No, definitely! If you found bras that fit and support and you can afford them, then definitely why bother? :) I sew just about everything else, it was really only a matter of time before I started dabbling in lingerie…

  29. Steph, I loved that you also rush in where angels fear to tread. I ordered Vogue pattern 1291 from the US and cut it out and ripped right into sewing it, following the diagrams. However, unlike every other Vogue pattern I have ever made, you need to read the little comments sprinkled around the pattern sheet – like “this top has a forgiving fit BUT if you have a bit of a tummy you might want to make your first one with the centre panel or the entire top in a knit so that the fabric can stretch over the tummy.” And “If you have a large bust and you want to make the entire top in a woven, you could put a short zipper in the side seam”. Then there was the suggestion to hem with fusible thread in the bobbin. Buy fusible thread at a store? Not b. likely. Spotlight have never heard of it, nor have fabric shops around the area. So bought online, with added postage cost of course. And at the very end of the instructions: “If your top is too snug over the tummy, you can insert a gusset at the side seam. Because the style is a blouson, it will not be visible.” Just a bit late in the game for that little hint. But it’s finished, and if I lose two more pounds I should be able to wear it without the side seams splitting at the hips. Or buy one of those old-fashioned things, a girdle? The good thing is, I absolutely love it – it was a complicated pattern to make and I’m about to make it again in partly lined chiffon – but I just might make it a size bigger.

  30. Very very interesting. I’m waiting for my underwires to arrive, then I’m going to try too. It really isn’t that bad for a first attempt, you know. It looks like a bra! You should see my first pair of knickers (panties), they are atrocious.

    • Thanks! I’m sure yours will look great. :)

      Yeah… I haven’t had any luck with panties at all either… Time to try again, methinks… ;)

  31. I just went and bought the pattern and fixings from makebra. I’m following along with your adventures and looking forward to your instructions! I’ve been properly fitted a number of times, so went with the multisize pattern that covered my supposed size and my actual fitted size. Like you, I have a small back and large front. I look forward to properly fitting bras without having to pay $80 for one! Thanks for being so open and generous with your experiences.

    • Cool! :) Like i said, once I get a handle on my process, I’ll do a nice introductory bra making post or two.. Small back and large front can be such a pain to fit! :)

  32. I am bigger chested than you but I am also heavier. We probably started in the same place. I now wear a 36I, American sizing. 95% of American women wear the wrong bra size. Too small cup, too large a band. A proper fitting bra will make you look lighter and shapelier. Also, it will prevent the sagging from gravity. As big of a pain as they make my clothes to fit, I am still proud of my chest and would not trade my body. I do wish I still had the younger, skinnier version but don’t we all. There are a few other great bra resources out there. Sarai of Colette used http://www.bramakerssupply.com/site2009/cart/shopdisplaycategories.asp and I think they have a nice selection and great teaching manuals. It is an investment but maybe the Canadian/Australian exchange rate works in your favor. There is also http://www.sewsassy.com/, Etsy, and a variety of Kwik Sew patterns. MakeBra seams to rely on foam cups but there are other styles out there if you look. You have convinced me to take the plunge.

    • Good to have plenty of input…. There’s so much information already out there about women wearing the wrong sizes, etc etc, I figure everyone knows that already… Maybe not? Anyway, thanks. :)

      Yeah… I think the reason I latched on to Makebra is that it was pretty much everything I was looking for (style, etc) in one place. I don’t have much interest in other bra shapes, this is the one I like that suits my body best, I do know that much! :) I’m really not the biggest fan of full-coverage and dainty little demis don’t do much for me. Everyone is different. I just can’t possibly cover all the different styles and types, and to be honest I don’t really care to try…. I’m just documenting my own process. :)

  33. Oh, good to know. I emailed her and asked about measuring, and she told me to use the +4 method to find my MakeBra size. I’ll probably order myself a bra kit in my normal (well, UK) size for Christmas! So excited to see that this is working for you, and also see the construction. Bras are so expensive (my fav brands are ~$180 here, so I get less nice ones at about $60) that making them seems like SUCH an amazing alternative.

    • Fitting the world in proper bras isn’t my calling, but it seems to me the +4 method goes out the window for anyone with D or above… And apparently there’s lots of us… so… Hmm… Someone needs to deal with that… The sizing issue.

      YAY! I have some serious engineering ideas, once I get the basics down I’ll go play with that and we’ll all learn something maybe?

  34. I thought your mushrooms were a subtle visual allusion to breasts. And instead they were mushrooms!
    On product vs process oriented…remember discussing quilts? Some expert quilters have tons of quilts, while others have tons of quilt ideas they work on enough to see how they’d turn out, some of which they complete? I think it’s a question of personality and where one finds greater pleasure.

    • Hahah. They weren’t on purpose, but after I published the post I saw the subtle visual allusion and chuckled to myself.

      Yes.. I have more pieces of quilts than finished ones… We know what that makes me…

  35. I’m 100% in the “just jump in” camp. I feel like otherwise I’d NEVER get to making anything with my nice fabric. Though I do make muslins/cheap fabric versions of things before cutting into the really good stuff, and I often mock up the bust area when I’ve done a full bust adjustment. There are so many things I just have to see go together before I can really “get” them, so I try to just go ahead and do it.

    Ironically, I do find that some of the things that get the most wear are the “test” versions that were hacked together and not finished very well because I never intended them as “real” garments. Having a serger has at least helped with durability in some of these cases, though I do feel like I should be a bit more particular about seam finishes and so on. At least in these cases I can usually replicate whatever it was that made the test version so compelling, and make a better one later.

    I’m quite excited to see your next foray into bra-making. It seems like the learner bra was most definitely not a waste of time. They’re quite complicated items, so it seems like it would take some practice to get right. But hopefully the quest for perfect fit will pay off!

  36. Today seems to be my day for commenting rather than sewing and blogging. At 57 years old, I am going through the bra dilemma in a big (pardon the pun) way. When I was young and slim I wore a 34 D which fit perfectly. I used to train people in bra fitting back in my retail management days, so I have the advantage of actually understanding how they are supposed to fit.

    My body changed and bras changed. The materials are different and so are the styles. Ironically, when I was obese I had a better ability to find bras that fit because I was wearing a 40D. Even when I wore a 36DD it wasn’t impossible. Now according to the old way of calculating I wear a 34 DDD (or E/F) or according to one website a 30 J. I have been to almost every store in Merida and I found ONE size 34DD (which didn’t fit, it gave me a double boob). This is an improvement a few years ago you could only find size 36 B except at Sears. I used to have my friends bring me bras from NOB when they went.

    I have taken my old 36DD bras and hacked them to fit. The cups fit fine, I took them in a quarter of an inch between the cups then moved the eye portion of the hooks over.

    I made one bra, it was too flimsy but the fit was good.It was also much uglier than yours So that is my next big project, making bras. I am going to try using foam for the cup inside this time for support.

    regards,
    Theresa

    • Oh how cool! Thanks for sharing your experience… Bras are.. Weird.

      I never even heard of a J cup until maybe a year or two ago… I wish the manufacturers would see fit (ha) to open up a dialogue with us bra-wearers so we know what they’re doing, and they know what we want…

  37. Pingback: Finished: Linen/Cotton Bra with Fitting Photos « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  38. Farmer’s markets with fabulous produce. Mushroom soup. Homemade bras. Someone else who wants to be able to have the fabulous new skill right now, and absolutely nailed. Just the most fun post.
    And then there’s the comments…don’t you just love the sewing community. Such skills; such knowledge; such generosity in sharing it. Wow!
    And I have to say that the bra looks far better than you’re giving yourself credit for.
    Bra-vo for even trying it. (Sorry…couldn’t resist!).

  39. Love the tute … and for a first time, the bra doesn’t look too shabby. If you are still searching for a home for the 75DD pattern & wires that you received, I would be happy to re-home it … so frustrated trying to locate a bra here, in the States, that fits but also doesn’t cost you your first-born child to purchase already made.

  40. Hi! I found your blog through a link on Lladybird’s latest post about her new “tshirt”. I’m discovering a love for sewing clothing (sporratic as my creative desires may be). I would simply LOVE to sew my own bras. I was actually just looking at corsets today and thinking I’d like to make one of those- I’ve always wanted one. I recently learned to knit just so I could make socks, so the idea of making things for myself is apparently a recurring theme in my mind.

    Anyway, I like the way you write and your unabashed way of discussing topics sensitive to you such as your back shape. I hope to learn lots from you and we can all explore the fun world of sewing together (if I can ever get up the motivation to photograph myself and talk about the stuff I’ve made :P)

    • Cool! Love Lladybird, she cracks me up. And that new Renfrew of hers is super cute.

      I’ve made corsets before, they’re definitely much more involved than bras..

      I started knitting because one morning I woke up and my first thought was “I want to make some socks!”… Three years and many sweaters, hats, scarves, and mitts later I have yet to finish a pair of socks… Shaaaaaame. ;)

      Thanks. One of the things that’s great about the online sewing/crafting/knitting community is the way we support and encourage each other… I did hesitate about posting those back pictures, but in the end I figured that *probably* most of my readers would appreciate it for the fitting aspect and would be highly unlikely to point and laugh.. :)

      Yes! Photos! Inspiration! You can do it! When I first started blogging, I had to get over a life-long aversion to being photographed, but I have to say it’s really helped me figure out ways to dress and also be less emotional about my body and my looks. Kind of the opposite of what you’d expect really… ;)


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