Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pin-Up Girls Linda Bra

I took the plunge and made myself a bra! It was a lot easier and less scary than I thought it would be.


Materials

All of the materials, *except the underwires*, were included in the Newbie Kit from Bra Makers Supply. (I, of course, forgot the underwires.... sigh).

I bought the kit with the manual. It came with the choice of book or CD manual. I choose the CD manual, because it was less expensive. The manual is nice, but everything you need to know to sew the bra together is in the pattern instructions. The manual will be good if I plan on any design alterations in the future.

The kit includes enough fabric and findings for two bras. I have a small bra size, so I have enough fabric to make another bra or two, but will need more findings (and underwires).

As for needles, I did all of my sewing with a 80/12 Ballpoint. I found that I need to have my normal tension when sewing the elastics to the bra, less tension when sewing just the bra material (ie. sewing the cup pieces), and more tension when sewing underwire casings to the cups.

Pattern

Pin-Up Girls "Linda" (#8230) Partial Band Bra

The pattern along with what is left of my pink bra kit
The instructions were easy to follow. A couple steps could use a few more notes. For example, it says sew the underwire casing 1/2" down from the front and 1" down from the sides. But, it does not say to do this for the top stitching and the top stitching picture shows stitching all the way to the top. It would be nice if it were mentioned again, as this would make it easier if you sew like me - I often put a project down to do other things (I do work full-time after all!) and forget the point of previous steps. So, I of course had to undo some top stitching.



The instructions are also not clear when sewing on the back bra strap. At first, I sewed them at a 1/4" seam allowance, but the ends were too big to fit into the hook and eye pieces. So, I resewed them matching the outside of the bra strap with the bra band edge and that seemed to work.

Wrong side of the bra
As for sizing, I'm somewhere in around a 36B and 34C according to my measurement. I went with a 36B, since that is the size I often buy in the store. This is usually the best fitting size out of what I have to choose from at the store, but I don't think I've ever had a bra that actually fits.

I am amazed with how well my Linda bra actually fits! It's a little snug, but it's definitely better than any bra that I've ever bought. Now for the reveal...



Not bad for my first bra! It's pretty comfortable. It is a little wrinkly in the picture, because I'm holding my arms in an awkward way for taking pictures.

The underwire is a little snug and the hooks and eyes are at the largest setting. I think I might try a 36C using the rest of my kit for a comparison. From there, I should be able to find out what works for me and make many more.

While I paid quite a bit to make just two bras (I think I spent around $190), I have a bra that fits and I now have the knowledge and skills to make many more bras. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I have some left over fabric for a couple more bras on top of that (I'll just need more findings).



4 comments:

  1. Nice work! I don't know if you're finding the band a little snug, but it seems that is a little extra fabric in the upper cups. You might actually want to try a 38A or 38B if it's the band that's the problem. Before you do anything else, you might want to try a larger underwire in that bra, and see how it affects fit. Well done though, you'll be addicted to bra making soon!

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    1. I think you are right! My sister mentioned the same thing to me. The band is tight, the underwires are a little snug, but the cup volume is ok. So, if I go with a 38B, I get the bigger wire and bigger band. I have a big rib cage, so that all makes sense. And I think you are right with how addicting this could be. I'm already dreaming of my next bra!

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  2. Wow. I'm impressed that you tried this. I've thought about it, but I'm not ready to take the plunge yet. Nice to know I can look back at your post for tips if I ever do. Good work (as usual)!

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    1. Thanks! It actually wasn't very hard and it's so worth it. It feels so nice to have a bra that actually fits!

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