Saturday, April 25, 2009

We Knew There'd Be Alterations

But that's why I'm sewing my own bra, right? To get one that fits *me* (and the girls). Really, though, this one is pretty darn good for a first go. I'm thrilled.

Here's the ugly muslin. Yes, those are fish. No, I have no idea what I was thinking. I hope I was thinking to use this for a muslin but it's been so long since I bought it, I can't swear to that.

I sewed this tester just as you see here – simple straight stitching, no seam or edge finishing. I did not use channeling, wires, edge elastic, or even powernet. This muslin was just to test the fit of the cups and to get a starting point. I did use some strap elastic and real hooks, though. Safety pinned bras are just too hard to get in and out of. Trust me, I know.

Because there's absolutely no support in this muslin, I tried it on over an existing bra to see if:

1. Do the cups contain all they need to contain? Yes. The bottom of the cup is perfect. The top edge goes high enough.

2. Are the seams hitting in the correct spots? Yes. The diagonal intersects the apex.

3. Does the band go all around me? Yes. It's a bit big right now, but powernet instead of Lycra fish will fix that.

4. Does the center panel lay against the breastbone? Yes. It's hard to tell over the RTW bra because the RTW is not as good in this area anymore since its wires are misshapen from age and wear.

5. Are the straps in a good place. No.

As you can see, there's only one area that needs adjustment. At least at this stage. I may change my mind after sewing the next bra, which will be a "real" bra with all the support-y things I left off of this muslin.

Here's what it looks like on me. That white stripe down the center is just the odd fabric.

And with the seams drawn in:

Using the bra I was wearing underneath as a guide, I used a narrow strip of yellow duct tape to "draw" a line where these pieces should end on me. I actually just happened to have this duct tape in my sewing room. Serendipity!

I haven't given it much thought yet, but I believe I'm just going to lay my pattern tracings over this edge, mark the adjustments, and trace two new pieces. I suppose this would be a "narrow shoulder adjustment" in a bra. ;-)

As I mentioned, I did sew on strapping elastic and hooks. But I used a zigzag and contrast thread so it would be easy to rip and use over. That's a little tip in case you didn't recognize it. ;-) I'll leave this test assembled for now, at least until the next one is sewn.

Next, I'm going to hop in the shower, take the dogs for a walk and then get back at this while the Mojo is still strong.


  1. Hey that fits pretty darn good! When/if I get this pattern I'll put it into consideration about the straps.

  2. That's a very good cup fit. The straps do look rather off the shoulder - I think most would find that bothersome. BTW - I do love the fishies! It would definitely add color to my drab beige and black bra collection.

  3. That's a good way to test fit a bra. Thanks for sharing. I hope the sewing mojo continues. I'm on a roll too. I sewed more in one afternoon yesterday than I have in three months.

  4. Great going on the bra! I love the idea of a fishy bra--it seems perfect for Florida! Fun underwear--love it!

  5. I was thinking the fishies are great for Florida as well!
    Although I doubt I'll ever make a bra (I probalby should since I have fitting issues) I'm still gratefull for all the knowledge you impar. Who knows what the future holds. thanks so much!

  6. It fits and looks great to me

  7. Damn Debbie! I think you just officially crossed me over to the side of I "should" try and make my own bras!


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