Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The continuing Bra saga

 I wanted to do a quick update in the continuing search for the perfect bra.  I've got a number of pretty good contenders here.

The first I actually made probably a year ago, but I wanted to include it for completeness and so I can go back and remember what I did.


The fabric I used for this is a bright pink cotton jersey with pineapple print.  It has about 50% stretch in both directions.

I used exactly the same pattern as I did for my previous bra  - two piece cup, front bridge with seam up center,  full coverage back, full lining and non stretch wide straps.

The straps are made of a black cotton sateen, both sides interfaced with iron on interfacing for a nice supportive strap.

The lining for the bra is made from black swimsuit fabric which has 50% stretch  in one direction, but only 20-30% stretch in the other.  I cut all lining pieces with maximum stretch running up and down and minimal stretch across the body.


The biggest change i made to the pattern was to cover the bottom elastic with my main jersey fabric.  This makes the elastic so much more comfortable.  For this bra I used basic 1" wide no roll elastic.


The majority of the edges in this bra are finished just by sewing in the lining, but I did add a strip of 1/4" wide elastic to the neckline seam.  The elastic is stitched to the seam allowance from one strap to the other before turning inside right.

I really love this bra - It's super comfortable with just enough support for everyday wear.

However during the heat this summer I've found that having the full coverage back can be a bit annoying at times - whilst It's great once it's on - and I love the smooth lines it gives me, trying to get it on after getting out of the pool or shower can be a struggle - everything bunches up - it's not pleasant.

So I decided to try a different solution.


For this second bra I used exactly the same pattern pieces for cup and bridge, but the back I curved down from the strap placement to the center back and separated the two back pieces so that it's now only the elastic band that connects at the back.


I used a poly lycra fabric for this bra which has 40-50% stretch in one directions but minimal to no stretch in the other.  The outer cup, bridge and back pieces I cut with the stretch going up and down, then fully self lined the bra with the fabric with the stretch going across.  

The straps are again made from cotton sateen but with no interfacing this time.

The bottom band is 1.5" wide plush elastic which is super comfortable so I didn't cover this band with the fabric.  The band closes at the back with 4 snaps. 


Unfortunately the straps on this bra do not stay nicely on my shoulders - without the coverage on the back the straps slide off my shoulders constantly.  I may need to add an extra cross piece on the back - I'm thinking a piece of elastic sewn across the upper back.

And so I tried again.  


Same type of fabric with 40-50% stretch in one direction and little to no stretch in the opposite - cut so that the stretch runs one way on the inside and the other on the outside.  This time however I cut the back piece to include a 1" wide strap across the center back.  This made construction more difficult - trying to finish both the top and bottom edges of that strap was a hard task, but it I did it.


Again I used the 1.5"wide plush elastic for the bottom band with two snaps to close at the back. The straps were made from some cotton batik material as I'm all out of the black cotton sateen I've been using.


I also left off the elastic on the neckline for this bra. This definitely changes the way the bra fits. I think next time I'll go back to adding that elastic.