I'm still in the middle of learning everything I can about making bras. Maybe I should rephrase that and say learning everything I can about fitting bras. Sewing a bra is actually very easy but as in most of sewing it's the proper fitting that leaves us scratching our heads. Below is my latest version of Kwik Sew 3300.
Sewing a bra is relatively easy. Fitting a bra can be a monumental Unlike our beloved Big 4 pattern companies, there are no uniform measurements or "blanks" from which they pull information for pattern making. I am by no means an expert but I do know how to do research. After all I did graduate college with a 3.875 GPA and Summa Cum Laude!
I have learned that getting the perfect-fitting bra takes time...lots and lots of it. There is absolutely no way to know whether the bra is going to fit until the entire bra is completed. Always, always, always use the suggested fabric for your bra. Changing the fabric can change the entire fit of the bra. Ask me how I know! There do seem to be some shortcuts for a toile bra, but I prefer making the "real deal."
Can we talk band size? Where in the hell did the notion of adding 4" to your rib cage measurement come from? There is quite a bit of elastic and powernet on a bra. I think there is more than enough ease without adding 4". I recently had a conversation with a high schooler. She wears about a size 4. She had been "professionally measured" at a size 38D. No freakin' way. Sure she had large breasts but she was a tiny little thing and her rib cage could not have measured more than 32"!
In the last two months I have spent about $200 on bra making supplies. Has it been worth it? Of course. The thought of having bras that fit better than anything I can find in the store makes it all worth it. I spend about $40 each for the bras I usually wear and yes, I buy more than five bras a year. Last night I painstakingly figured out how much each component of a bra costs:
- Fabric for cups and straps $1.60
- Power net .70
- Hook and eye closure .37
- Wire channeling .76
- Elastic .89
- Underwires .55
- Rings and adjusters .40
- Total $5.27
Five dollars and twenty-seven cents for a custom-made underwire bra! It's absolutely worth it. I will continue to try for better fitting bras. So far the Queen Bra Elite is pretty near perfect fit with the Kwik Sew 3300 being a close second because it just pretty! I have to start making matching panties as well. Stay tuned for more bra-making post.