Awhile ago I decided to try my hand at sewing up some intimate apparel. I ventured into swimwear my first year of fashion school so I knew I had a few of the techniques down that would be needed in sewing bras and underwear. Since I haven’t sewn those types of garments in quite some time, I wanted to refresh a few of my skills, gain some new techniques, and continue working on building my handmade wardrobe.
I went about choosing a pattern first and went with the ever popular Watson bra from Cloth Habit and ordered the necessary supplies (enough to make at least 6 bras, yeah when I go in on something I go big!). Anyways, here’s the results of my first attempt:
I went with View B (the regular length band) to start. The fabric was some left over jersey knit from my stash, the band is also lined with black power net that I actually picked up at Jo-Anns, and all the elastics, strapping, and hooks/eyes came from Bra Makers Supply. On one of my selfish sewing weekend mornings, I managed to sew this up with out too much trouble. (I did accidentally not cut the cradle on the fold so I had to add a center seam, I blame it on not having enough coffee-lol!)
This version is in size 40D according to the measurements I took a few weeks ago. I took the measurements before I started swimming several times a week and I didn’t think to recheck the measurements before starting. That ended up being a mistake. My bra ended up a little on the large size mostly on the sides of the cups and the band is also slightly loose. So the fit is off. It’s still wearable for around the house, under pjs, etc. You can see in the photo below (top, left) where the cup is loose at the side even on the dress form. I also feel like I should have pulled the elastic a little tighter on the sides of the outer cups.
Overall, I really like the bra and am hoping to make another version, of course after taking new measurements, in the next week or two. I think I am going to test out View A (the longline band length) on my next try. One thing that really helped was using spray baste to baste the cradle and bands to the power net before cutting the pieces out. It was easy, fast, and since they stayed together as one unit it was relatively quick to cut.
A couple things I plan on changing with my next one:
- Using a more stable knit for the bra and/or lining the outer cups with power net. The knit I used in this version is super soft and great, but I think it will fit better and support me a little more with a different type of knit.
- Cutting the strapping shorter. I wasted quite a bit of excess strapping with this one.
- Pulling more on the elastic on the outer cups.
I can’t wait to make another version and hopefully get closer to finding the perfect “evening/weekend” type bra for me!