Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sewing Bras - Copying your favorite/best fitting RTW bra!

As a newbie making their way in the lingerie sewing realm [after sewing a whopping 3 bras], I've decided to try my luck with combining my favorite aspects of 2 different bras info one custom design. The cups on the Comexim (my first Polish bra!) are awesome - they push the girls up and together while still looking "dainty". The extra wide band on the Satami is pretty fabulous as well - providing a smooth silhouette in my back and underarms.  This, endeavor, however will require significant time pattern making.

Although I've been sewing for over 20 years (remember when Home Economics was a class in Junior High?), I've had no formal training in pattern drafting. Most of the pattern drafting I've done is largely with the help of Pinterest and Googling how-to's in Eggs middle of the night. I bring this up because I KNOW you absolutely need a pattern to sew bras AND that pattern HAS. TO. BE. ACCURATE.

I essentially copied the seam lines of the existing bra(s) using pattern paper, smoothed out the lines with a ruler and ensured all the seams lined up correctly and sewed up a bra muslin.  Try on, more adjustments based on bra muslin, rinse and repeat.  My first try sewing up this chimera of a bra was more or less an exact replica of the cups [barring correcting a few mistakes like the cups being too open, not pulling the plush elastic hard enough/evenly enough on the cups, etc] and fit pretty well otherwise.  On my second attempt, I decided to move the apex of the cups to more closely align with mine AS WELL AS moving in the straps 2 cm. This opened up a whole new can of worms requiring more bra toiles.  Nevertheless, take a gander at my newest creation - mistakes and all!

The end result of Round 2!:




One of the best pieces of advice I read about sewing bras is to create a bra toile, however, I recently came across a bit of related advice that I find equally helpful.  Create a bra toile of ONLY the band.  In most cases - especially true if you're fitting yourself - the band will fit fine and/or remain the same.  Its the cup shape/design/size that differs that will require multiple adjustments.  The fitting band should be complete - with elastic, hooks and straps.  That way, you only need to make a toile of the bra cups!  Easier to sew, try on, take apart and repeat as necessary.

Here's a pic from the Merckewaerdigh site:

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