I just finished my second MakeBra– this one is size 75G (European, keep reading for conversions). My first MakeBra was a size 80F, and the band was too big. On top of that, I used the basic 1/2″ (12mm) elastic the bra band was engineered for and it feels very jiggly and insecure when I wear it.
This time, I used both a smaller band size and wider, sturdier elastic. Lincraft in the Myer Center in Brisbane’s CBD carries a mind-blowing array of lingerie elastics and findings. Once I nail down my fit and engineering, I’ll have so much fun making pretty bras. For now, I used a 1″ (25mm) wide soft band elastic.
I used cotton-linen slub knit for the exterior, and I reinforced the gore with silk organza. The stitching on this bra is not perfect, but it’s lightyears better than the first one. I didn’t need to refer to the instructions while sewing, either! Win!
Last time, I think I might have disappointed some of you by not modeling my creation. When I started thinking about sewing bras I thought “useful, relatively simple project, something new to play with.” I was not thinking “I’m going to take my top off on the internet.” In fact, I dismissed the idea outright. However, since the last bra post several of you have emailed me, tweeted, etc and I realized that showing the fit and exploring it together would be very useful to many of you. And probably to me, too.
So. Ok. I’m taking my top off. I’m not a model, I’m not a skinny beanpole, I’m a grown woman who has had a child and also become lax about personal fitness. And I like beer, that’s just not going to change. If you don’t want to see me in my bra, please go away and come back tomorrow for Day 1 of the Tiramisu Circus! I can’t wait!
If you’re a grownup and interested in bra fitting as well as the “band size” debate and tackling back fat issues, read on.
The black bra at the top is the “best fit” bra I found hiding in my dresser after the first bra post. The center gore doesn’t lie flat against my breastbone, but it’s a darn sight better than my other bras.
The purple is the first one I made from my MakeBra pattern. I’m rather surprised it looks so cute on. It’s pretty “relaxed,” I feel like I’m braless in it. Not in a good way.
The white is the most recent make. I can see the straps are set too wide (easy to fix!) and I don’t believe the cup size or shape is correct. Again, the gore doesn’t sit flat against my breastbone and the cups just don’t hold my breasts. It’s “empty” at the bottom even after I re-arranged the breast tissue, and at the CF the cup looks like it could use an extra 3/4″ of space. Or maybe I should make a bra with a wider gore? Larger cup size or wider gore?
I have to laugh at the way my breasts have eaten the thin elastic band on the purple bra. Where did it go? It flipped up into my breast tissue. It feels like my breast might pop out of the bottom of the cup at any time.
The other two have a better shape, I think the shape is best on the black bra and my next bra will be made from a similar cut. The white one feels great. When I put it on, I forgot I had breasts. Really. It’s a strangely liberating feeling. But I can see the shape of the cups is not correct, even if it is comfortable.
If I had any lingering doubts about my band size, I’m over it now. The top and bottom are the same band, but the white is wider. They both lie through the “middle” of my back, as they should. The poor purple one has ridden north. Please notice, too, that all of the bands bite into my flesh. Apparently, this is necessary in order for the band to help carry the weight of the breast. Breasts aren’t meant to hang from the shoulder! (This is analogous to my hiking/travel backpack which has a hipbelt to distribute the weight of the pack between my shoulders and hips.)
Also, CBS news got something right– a smaller band does indeed make for fewer back fat rolls.
When I saw those photos of my back (not to mention while cropping and collaging them) I almost cried. I don’t often get hung up on body issues, and I spend a fair amount of time and energy trying to help others conquer body issues through sewing. But to have my self-image shattered by incontrovertible photographic evidence…
I almost didn’t write this post. I had no idea I looked like that from behind.
I don’t weigh myself. I don’t believe in it, and didn’t when I was thinner. What am I, a prize pig about to be sent to slaughter to the highest bidder? No thanks. I don’t honestly know the point of using weight as a measure of anything, except to establish some sort of b*tchy body-size pecking order (speaking from experience here, I would love to hear yours!). There are other ways to analyze the body for good health and fitness, which is more important than aesthetics.
I do know my measurements, and I have also noticed a steady decline in my fitness levels from a year ago. I catch colds more easily, I can’t leap up the back stairs like I used to, less muscle tone and I haven’t been hiking or kayaking in ages. My body also feels sluggish. This bothers me much more than my mother’s gentle inquiry via Skype about the last time I weighed myself.
My husband became concerned about his own fitness a few weeks ago and started training for a 5K. I joined him, and now we tag-team most mornings with our Ease Into 5K app. I can hardly believe that in a few weeks I’ll be running at 30 minute intervals, but I know I like feeling fit and strong. I miss it. Besides, the program is very easy to start. Nothing too hard-core.
But you know what will force me into my running shoes at 6am until I build the habit of a morning run? Not the knowledge that I like feeling like an Amazon (I really, really do), but the image of my back rolls burned into my brain.
With body image issues, I’m generally of a certain mindset- “If I don’t like it, change it. If I can’t change it, embrace it.”
The Correct Way To Measure Your Bra Size (I’m a convert. Seriously. Also an awesome blog.)
Recent Article From NY Times: More Data Suggest Fitness Matters More Than Weight
What do you think? Do you prefer wider bands to narrower ones? How about the “Small band/big cups vs. big bands/small cups” debate? What do you think about the female habit of weighing ourselves so we can compare a metric that means basically nothing? Do you want to run with me? What does your back look like? (You know, answer one or some or none of the above…)
This will be the last bra post for a little while, because starting tomorrow I’m spilling the beans about the Tiramisu Dress pattern, Cake Patterns, sharing knit guides and tips, and we’re having a pre-sale of the pattern (deep discount!) as it goes to print! Squee! I really really can’t wait to show you what’s been going on.