As a kid, I watched a lot of t.v. I mean, I still do, but now it’s mostly on my computer so it doesn’t feel the same. Anyway, one of the consequences of spending my formative years in front of the boob tube is that I memorized a lot of the songs from my favorite cartoons. And I still sing them sometimes because I literally CAN’T FORGET THEM.
There’s one song in particular that I sing in my head every time I take out the recycling, celebrate Earth Day, avoid using styrofoam containers, watch a nature documentary, hear what new stupid thing Scott Pruitt has done, look at a tree, drive past Mt. Trashmore, etc. (Here’s a link to the clip I found online if you’re curious, but I don’t recommend it.)
What’s this got to do with a bra, you ask? Well, my bra is technically recycled! Reused? Repurposed? Refashioned? Whatever, you get what I mean. It’s made, partially, out of an old silk dress. I bought this dress ages ago, and only wore it once myself. It was to a cousin’s engagement party, and that cousin now has two kids. It didn’t languish in my closet, though. SOMEONE (who will not be named, but she KNOWS who she is even though she doesn’t read my blog) borrowed it and wore it several more times. Long story short, it came back with a bunch of stains, snags, and pulls that no hand-washing or dry-cleaning could fix. It’s also become a bit snug on me.
But it’s silk! I couldn’t throw it away even if I had no clue what to use it for. Flash forward a few years, and I’ve started making my own underwear! The pieces are so small that I could totally work around those pesky flaws.
In my earlier post, I talked about the muslin I made for the Fenway bra. Here are the changes I ended up making:
- Narrowed the back band pattern piece by 1/2″ (which will reduce the back band width by 1″ overall)
- Removed 1/2″ from the depth of both of the lower cup pieces (effectively “shortening” them – a good tutorial is here)
- Shortened the neckline side of the upper cup piece by 1/2″
- Shortened the underarm side of the upper cup piece by 1 1/2″
- The upper cup changes were based on this tutorial
- Added allowance for regular elastic (instead of FOE) to the upper edges of the back band (1/2″), side band (1/2″), and upper cup pieces (1/2″ on the underarm side and 3/8″ on the neckline edge)
- When I did this on the back band I also straightened out the top curve a little
- I decided not to mess with the bridge just yet, since I think my issue with the muslin might have been that my underwires were too short
I overlaid a black lace on top of the silk on the lower cups, bridge, and side band. To help keep the layers together, I tried glue basting them using a spray adhesive. It’s a little sticky and messy with such small pieces, but it worked pretty well! I’ll try almost anything to avoid pinning and hand basting.
I wore the bra around the house for almost the entire day after I finished it. Overall, I’m very happy with the changes I decided to make. I thought I was a foam cup girl through and through, but this bra really has me appreciating the look and feel of a foam-less bra. It’s supportive, yet unobtrusive.
Here are my thoughts about the bra:
- The back band fit is snug, but comfortable – just how I like it
- I’m happy with the lower cup depth, and my upper cup adjustments have definitely improved the fit of the cups.
- There is still some gaping at the underarm, and I’m debating two different fixes:
- I could lower the underarm edge slightly, all the way across the upper cup, side band, and back band (it might just be hitting a little too high)
- I could stretch the elastic a little as I apply it (the gaping is not that bad, so I think this might work)
- The bra definitely feels more stable with the thicker elastic at the underarm. I don’t think the neckline needs as much stability, so I might go back to using FOE there. I think it will be fun to incorporate pops of color that way.
- I think I actually do need to lower the height of the bridge. I’ve compared it to some of my RTW bras and it is taller than all of them. I also might narrow it a little at the top.
I’m going to move away from bra-making for a bit to start filling in some of the wardrobe gaps I’ve noticed since starting Me Made May. I’ll definitely be back, though! I think it’s a good palate cleanser in between larger projects.