Partial Band Bra with Partial Success

I know, I know, it’s been a million years since I last posted. I have no excuse. No, I take that back, I do: America’s Test Kitchen. All 15 seasons of the show. Bam. Hence the lack of blogging :P.

Ok, that’s not completely true; I’m also just not as jazzed about these latest bras as I have been with some of my others. I mentioned in my last post that the Marlborough bra is the best fitting underwire bra I’ve made, and today I have the other underwire bra to show you. I.e., the less successful one.

This is the Linda Bra by Beverly Johnson of Bra Makers Supply, her partial band pattern. Now, I should start out by saying that this bra was not less successful because this is a bad pattern – it’s a great pattern! I just had a harder time with fit because of my particular shape, and haven’t yet created a truly successful version.

I muslined it in two sizes, 32A and 32B, since that can vary from pattern to pattern, and neither fit perfectly. I decided to start with the 32A and alter from there. Initially, I took a bit out of the cup to alleviate the “bullet bra” effect and removed a bit of width from the top of the band. Here she is:

  

Now, I do really love this bra – the contrasting lace is so striking and lovely! But, alas, it’s unwearable. The cups are so tight across the top that they cut into the breast tissue and literally give me an extra set of boobs busting out the top. Not a good look. Sigh…

For version 2, I added about 1/2″ of length to the upper cup and also widened the bridge a bit. The cups fit much better this time, but now the bridge is too wide. Argh! But I’m definitely getting closer with this bra.

  
    

I do love lacey bras – they’re so gratifying to sew!

One thing I’ve realized in my bra making journey so far is that I have fairly wide-set breasts, so patterns with power bars tend to create a more flattering shape than those without. As a result, this bra still allows the breast tissue to “spread” a little more than I would like, while the power bar of the Marlborough gives a really nice shape. So now I’m toying with the idea of converting the Marlborough to a partial band using the method Beverly Johnson discusses in her mind-blowingly awesome second Craftsy class. (Seriously, if you haven’t seen this class and are at all interested in bra making, go watch it now) While I want to nail the fit with this bra, I’m wondering if it would save me some headaches to just alter a bra I already know works.  Any thoughts on that?

So, those are the latest bras! And I’ll give you a teaser about my next post (so you don’t stop reading my blog entirely out of boredom :P) – JEANS. Woot!

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12 thoughts on “Partial Band Bra with Partial Success

  1. I know the journey of making a bra only to have it not fit perfectly, or even not be wearable. The bras are lovely, and you sound like you’re really close to your perfect fit though. I look forward to seeing your next bra.

  2. I think you could go either way on it. It is easy to do the partial band conversion, it is also easy to add a power bar to the classic! Changing a full band to a partial should nt affect the fit, so if one fits better than the other, I would go with making the changes to the one that fits!

    • I definitely want to experiment with converting the Marlborough, but the stubborn seamstress in me wants to defeat my fitting challenges, too. So, I’ll probably end up doing both eventually!

  3. On the plus side, both bras look fantastic! I’m only 4 bras in myself, 3 different patterns, and have had my share of initial fit issues, which I’m still trying to correct. About the only thing I’m not liking so much about making bras is that you really can’t effectively fit them before they’re done.

  4. I agree with not being able to fit properly until you the bra is completed- all elastics stitched and closures added. I’m getting very good at deconstruction so I can reuse everything – only takes a couple of hours!

  5. Have you considered trying the Shelley bra pattern, with its “built-in” power bar? I find the cup shaping very nice. A single seam across the cup just doesn’t fit a curved breast well IMHO. The more seams in the cup, the better it fits the curve of the breast.

  6. Pingback: Red and Black: Bra Edition | Dressing the Role

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