Adventures in Bra making: Part 2

Hello makers,

I thought it was about time I’d show my face here again. I hadn’t planned to stay away for 3 months. I had a couple blog post in the works when I wrote my last blog posts, some of which were largely written and I had concise ideas for others. I will briefly relate to you what I’ve been up to and why I haven’t been around here before I move on to talk bras with you (you can scroll on if you are only here for the crafts bit!).

So, after I published my previous post a couple of things happened. On a personal level: I semi unexpectedly moved house. I got the callback and go ahead for the new place in January and then had to prepare for a impending move on short notice. In addition to packing up my life at the old place and prepare for the move in general, the new place was just the bare bones and needed a lot of work like installing the floor and painting all the walls. I got a lot of help from my family but it was still an intense period with lots of work and I was basically a tired dust ball for about 2 months. I’m mostly on the other side of all of that now though and super pleased with the new place. But moving is intense and tiring y’all.

Another thing that has kept me occupied and away from this place is the movement that the craft world has been seeing around racism, privilege and inclusiveness.  It started at the beginning of this year and is still going on. There have of course been call outs and talks such as these before, but I’ve never seen it on this level in any community I’ve been part of. Most of it happened on instagram, but there was also a Ravelry thread. If you have missed it, you can read a good article relating the events here, as well as this blog which was started by some of the BIPoC crafters who have been leading the push back against racism.  I participated in the discussion as well, and you can see some of that in my saved stories on my instagram profile and on some grid posts if you want to. This is an important subject and at the beginning of this year I wanted to focus my attention there, which in turn affected the time and effort I spent on here. I’ve also been reflecting on my own part in this, what I’ve been projecting, what and who I’ve been lifting up and where I want to go with my online spaces and my making. That’s still an ongoing process. So, that’s where I’m at.

The Crafts Bit

Now I thought it would be nice to get back into blogging by talking bras with you.  I finished making my second bra just a bit before my move and it has been waiting to grace the blog since that time. I already told you about the first bra I made here. I started making this bra with working on the fitting issues I encountered there, so you can read my thought on my first bra fit there if you like.

My idea for my second bra, or sewing strategy if you will, was to start with one pattern and get that one to a perfect fit, or as close to a perfect fit as I could get before I’d start faffing about with other patterns. So for my second attempt at a wearable bra I kept the ingredients the same: I used the same pattern – Harriet by Cloth Habit-, made the same view -view C-, used the same  type of fabric -lace for the outer fabric, and sheer nylon lining-, and the same notions kit for the rest of the bra.

I read that when tackling fit, it’s best to make one change at the time. With bras the thing is if you go up a cup size, all the other pattern pieces are altered as well to accommodate for that, so you the fit will be different. The fit issues with my first bra were particularity evident in the cups so I decided to focus on that. So, I went up two cup sizes, but kept the band the same as with the yellow bra.

This lace was a bit trickier to sew, I assume because the lace holes are a bit larger, so the fabric overall was a bit less substantial. I used a stitch starter (just a similar piece of scrap fabric) at times to make the sewing a bit easier. The overall process of sewing the bra was already a ton easier than my first one, because I was more familiar with the steps, material and techniques.

Bra fit

I said before that picking a different bust size has an effect on the sizing of all the other pieces. For this size, this meant that the bridge was a lot more narrow than on the first bra. Not just relatively, but actually in absolute measurements. Likewise, the outer cradle was more narrow. I presumed this was to accommodate for the larger cups, which needed more space.

Overall this bra fits so much better than my first bra, and this one is actually wearable. My second bra is still not a perfect fit but definitely gotten a lot closer. Going up two cup sizes definitely was the right call and the bust fit is close to perfect. I think that with this bra, I figured out my correct wire size, which is a huge win for me and hopefully something that will help me when I go and try out different bra patterns.

I’m really pleased with the fit of the cups and figuring out the wires is a huge deal, however there are some things that I want to change on my next bra. The bridge specifically is too narrow for my taste. One of the positives about the first attempt is that it showed me what a difference a well fitted bridge makes, and I lost that fit in this attempt. Along with the narrower cradle, the band is a bit too tight for my liking.  I can wear it, but if I wear it for a longer period it definitely reaches the limits of comfortable wear.

About the photo’s

As a -on the whole not very important, but I’m going to talk about it anyway- side note, this bra was terrible to photograph. I tried on three different occasions to get some nice and clear shots, but don’t feel I succeeded. I still lack both the confidence levels and trust in the internet to model the bra myself and I don’t own a sewing dummy, so I’m reliant on flat lays or hanging ghost bra photos. The latter was my go to method, because my flat lays never looked like anything (try getting a 3D garment to lay flat) but with this one the cups kept sagging while hanging, dragging down the entire front of the bra, which apart from making it look all weird also blocks you from actually seeing any of the details. I’m guessing I had these problems because the cups are bigger than the yellow bra’s, too big to stand up by themselves apparently. I’m not entirely sure what to do about it, for this one I just kept adjusting the bra and took a ton of photos, which sort of works but doesn’t make for an entirely relaxed shoot.

In any case, these photo’s were taken at my old apartment, where I had these wooden ceiling beams, where I could just hang a ton of stuff on whenever I fancied (such as handmade bras on occasion). My new place doesn’t have these, so I’m going to have to figure out something else anyway. I better find out fast, because I’ve got another attempt at bra making to show you soon…..!

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