The Sewing Place

Novice bra maker having a blast!

Seapebbles

Novice bra maker having a blast!
« on: March 20, 2018, 17:24:29 PM »
After three trials, I recently managed to get a perfectly fitting bra.  This one is the Harriet bra pattern from the lovely Amy Champman of Cloth Habit.
https://shop.clothhabit.com/products/harriet-bra-pattern
I smile every time I look at the pattern as I normally wear and have been fitted somewhere between a 36 (80) C and D cup in RTW.  Her sizing is a bit different as the band sizing is actual size rounded to the even number and her cup sizes are a bit bigger in letter than the usual North American.  My best fitting pattern worked out to a 32 FF  :o :D   I worked with Amy a bit via email and she kept putting me in a larger cup size, but she was correct (for her sizes) and now have a great fit in at least one pattern and fabric type.  This reinforces the wisdom of measuring accurately and ignoring one’s RTW size.
My very first bra make was the Pin Up Girl’s Classic bra.  I purchased it when I took Beverly’s first  Craftsy class.  Measuring by her method put me in a 36B.  I defiantly made a 36C, but it was still too small and unflattering overall.  I’ll have to revisit it as I now have a bit more knowledge and skill under my belt.  I might get a better fit by using the bottom cup depth measurement rather than the above/full bust measurement.  She only offers paper patterns, so I hope I fit the next size up as it’s the last in the series of sizes I purchased with this pattern.
If you are on Facebook, there are a couple of wonderful bra making groups I could recommend where people are terrifically helpful and inspiring.
It wasn’t long ago I though ‘why on earth would I want to make my own lingerie?’  Now I’m addicted  :D
=8  =8  =8  =8  =8

Seapebbles

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 17:34:32 PM »
Oooh, almost forgot!  Next up, before I revisit the Classic Bra, I’m going to take a stab at the DL01 MakeBra foam cup bra which uses cut and sew foam rather than preformed cups.  Fingers crossed  ;)
Edited to add the link,
https://www.makebra.com/product/bra-pattern-dl01/
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 17:37:43 PM by Seapebbles »

Ploshkin

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 19:16:52 PM »
I don't like underwired bras and I got fed up with only being able to buy rtw bras in black, white or beige so I had a go at making my own and I used the Cloth Habit Watson pattern.  I've only done 2, a toile and a plain navy one but I have fabric and lace for another 2.  Like you I've wondered why I haven't had a go before.
Life's too short for ironing.

Seapebbles

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 19:51:10 PM »
You’re not alone @Ploshkin, many on the FB bramaking forums dislike wires as well.  There are plenty of bralette patterns around, but those who would like more support have had luck with stabilizing the band/cup seam.  There’s only the odd full bra pattern or so designed for use without underwires, but just saw today on one of the FB posts that Booby Traps in Australia is in testing mode for what looks like a promising supportive underwire-less bra pattern.  At least I think it was Booby Traps, can’t seem to find the post again and their server is down  -<

Now I’ve found it...Kerri wire free bra by Booby Traps, soon to be released
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 20:52:29 PM by Seapebbles »

Francesca

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 19:59:56 PM »
I've been wanting to make bras for a long time. I'm a 40FF/G so it's hard to find styles that are pretty sometimes as they start to get a bit beige and bland at a 40 back. I liked the Debenhams Gorgeous range for £22 a bra but they would absolutely ALWAYS break (under"wire" made of plastic would snap) so I gave up and now only have two bras.

I have the stash of lace and the Beverley Johnson course plus two of her patterns I just haven't mustered up the strength to try yet!

The Cloth Habit patterns look lovely.
Stash Busting 2019
Goal: 100 metres
So far: 13.3m metres

My Blog - Plus Girl Sews // Follow me on Instagram :)

Seapebbles

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 04:19:26 AM »
@Francesca, I encourage you to give it a try.  The sewing part is straightforward, especially if you follow Beverly’s classes.  Fitting can be a bit of a journey for some, and you may have to make a few test bras, but less precious fabrics can be used to get you most of the way there.
The most important place to start is finding your personal best fitting underwire.
They come in different lengths and shapes.  Bras are designed around different length and styles of underwires, but you can usually substitute your best fitting underwire in terms of shape and length, not style.  It should follow your underbust crease where it meets the chest wall as exactly as possible.  Once you have the correct underwire, the bridge may be altered to fit if necessary.  The cups are then fitted and lastly the band and straps.
Approaching it this way is recommended by many experts and is also outlined in the bra fitting book by Orange lingerie.
I think you may have more luck with high quality steel wires.  These are sold by many bra suppliers and are available in heavy gauge.
I’m still a novice myself, but have gleaned much info from those who have made many bras.
One day I might even take a stab at drafting my own  8)

FloBear

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2019, 09:58:12 AM »
I hope I'm not causing havoc by ignoring the red warnings and posting in old threads but, as I said in another thread in here, I have had thoughts about bra-making for a long time and never known how to get started.

I'm hoping that by posting here, I can easily find it again!

Dogs are such a help when dressmaking!

Greybird

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 10:27:29 AM »
This is a subject that has flitted through my mind a few times but hasn't yet "taken". Because I have a very long abdominal surgery scar which has gone funny in the middle, I prefer to wear all-in-ones because they are more comfortable. They are not cheap and I have several, otherwise good ones, which I can't wear because the bra part is gone - either the underwire has escaped or the straps no longer stretch. What are the practicalities of making a new bra part to attach to the top of them do you think?

Lyn-J

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 10:48:40 AM »
I'd love to give bra making a go, but where can you get supplies?
Stash Busting 2019
Goal: 100 metres
So far: 0m metres

FloBear

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2019, 11:28:21 AM »
@Lyn-J . I think if you read posts on this thread and the other one I found by Ploshkin, you'll see quite a few different companies mentioned.
Dogs are such a help when dressmaking!

Acorn

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2019, 12:08:25 PM »
Coincidentally, yesterday I came across a small plastic bag with all the bra-making supplies I bought a while ago, after being motivated by Ploshkin's successes.  I had the idea that I would do it mostly by hand, and it would be a great thing to do in the winter evenings in front of the TV.

I can't for the life of me remember where I got them, and a quick search of emails isn't helping, but it will almost certainly be somewhere recommended on this thread or this one, which has lots of suppliers listed.
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

Francesca

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2019, 18:57:29 PM »
I have so many bra making supplies that I'm still not ready to commit to yet. My main difficulty is that since I bought them all, I've pretty much stopped wearing underwired bras. I don't really see the point (I'm 38FF/G so I don't necessarily buy the idea that large busted women "need" support from an underwire. The underwire is more about shape than support from what I can see). I'd love to have a go at some prettier bralets.
Stash Busting 2019
Goal: 100 metres
So far: 13.3m metres

My Blog - Plus Girl Sews // Follow me on Instagram :)

Lyn-J

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 22:57:04 PM »
Thanks @Francesca,
I was hoping to find kits. I know there is one for the Harriet bra.
I'm allergic to underwire, a nightmare if the escape from there casing. I had one snap when I was wearing it nearly stabbed me. can you imagine the newspaper headlines.
Stash Busting 2019
Goal: 100 metres
So far: 0m metres

Morgan

Re: Novice bra maker having a blast!
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2019, 12:23:44 PM »
For anyone, and especially ladies with larger cup busts, starting out on the bra-making journey - fitting is everything and to cut down on the stumbling around, trial and error and frustration, I recommend very strongly that you save up and make the the time to treat yourself to this 2 day weekend course with Michelle Pye https://englishcouture.co.uk/course/bra-making-weekend-2/
It's well worth taking a couple of days annual leave, paying for 2 nights accommodation and investing in the course.
Then plan that you will sew 3 or 4 more bras in the couple of weeks immediately following the course to make the most of your investment.


It's quite a long time now since I went on the course and I've moved on and made many beautiful bras since - great once you have your personal pattern.  It takes about 6 versions of tweaking to nail it.   
On the course I attended there were 3 large cup ladies, one was in the region of 34/36 GH with narrow back and everything up front.  The memory of her utter joy and relief has stayed with me.