Impending Bra Doom! Eek!!
About 2 years ago I made my first bra. It was the Pin-Up Girls Anita foam cup bra. Even then I knew that I needed a dozen more to replace my aging RTW bras. I use to buy bras at the Victoria Secret during their Semi-Annual Sale. When I say “buy” it was more like binge buying. I hate shopping so I just stocked up; buying up any bras that were my size and style just so I wouldn’t need to shop again for a long time. Now another 2 years later (that’s 4 years for those counting) all of my bras are on their last leg… all at the same time. Binge buying bites me in the butt.
The Search for Bra Do-dads
My first bra I didn’t wear that much until recently when bras where dying left and right and I had no choice. They didn’t fit right and I hated the foam cup that was designed for the pattern. I still love foam cup bras like the Victoria Secret T-shirt bras so I decided to give the Pin-Up Girls Anita and Amanda foam cup patterns another try. I slowly started amassing bra do-dads. I picked up components from random places in the LA garment district, the swap meet, on-line and from other sewists’ stashes. Finding the right foam cups and getting all the components in coordinating colors was a huge challenge. I know some sewists dye but it’s too messy for me. So I ended up picking fabric that have multiple colors i.e. multiple matching opportunities. This really worked for me and relieved me of the stress of trying to match everything.
Let the Binge Sewing Begin
First up: black knit with white and yellow large polka dots. The fabric was leftovers from this maxi dress. I love using up scraps. I was able to use white powernet since I covered it with the polka dot fabric. For straps I used pre-made white and yellow straps. The underwire channel is beige but who cares. No one will see it. I was making myself crazy looking for matching components when it was so unnecessary. This is the bra on invisible me. It has the nice clean lines of a t-shirt bra. *I’m not sure who to credit invisible bra person to. I think it was either Sandra from Brown Paper Pattern or Kathy from Kathy Sews. It was brilliant.*
Forgot to mention that I put a dart in the fabric because my fabric didn’t have enough stretch. Since the dart is under the bust I don’t see it under my clothes.
Next up: White fabric with tiny black polka dots. I bought a small bit of this fabric for a dalmatian plush puppy. I ended up not using it when I found this perfect dalmatian fabric.
Back to the bra… I had bought a very small amount of the now unused white dotted fabric, so it’s been sitting in my scraps pile. Since bras don’t take that much fabric, it was perfect. I used self fabric for the straps with a small length of pre-made straps in the back for adjust-ability. I had black picot elastic so I trimmed the cups and straps.
And finally: green lace with beige and white flowers. The lace was left over from my lace undies sewing binge. I bought the lace in the LA Garment district. The straps are fold-over elastic with some nice (read: not that stiff, thick stuff from JoAnns) clear elastic in between. I stitched the layers together using a long swiggle stitch. Since matching the lace pattern wastes a lot of lace I wasn’t able to make a lacy strap or to cover the back band with lace.
I think I’ve delayed Bra-megeddon for a little bit. I still have lots more bra sewing to do. Since I’ve tweaked this pattern to my liking, I’m planning to just sew up an arm load. I hadn’t notice how awfully cheap my VS ones were. The fabric is glued to the cups. The bands are filmsy fabric. The fit wasn’t quite right. So needless to say, I’m very happy with these me-made bras.
Link to my pattern review.
Happy Bra Sewing,