Well, after many hours, and lots of ripping out seams and discovering mistakes, it is finished. I made a big mistake with the elastic, which, in turn, caused me to have to cut the back band shorter. So, it is a little tight in the band, but not too tight to wear. (unless I gain back the 5 lbs I've lost lately!)
This bra is basically a muslin, so I just used what I had on hand. It is wearable though, so that is good.
Here is a partial of my review at PR:
This bra took me 2 days to put together. The next one should go together much faster. I now realize that I prefer non-elastic straps, so next time I will make them out of fabric. Also, this pattern has a fairly wide back, which I did not think I would like. Even though I made a mistake that made my band smaller than it should be (in circumference), I still think this wider back really helps eliminate “fat back” and looks nice under a top.
Fabric Used: the pattern calls for lingerie lycra for cups and sides. I did not have findings that matched any of my lycra, so I used tricot instead. The lower and side cups, as well as the sides and back are all lined with powermesh, so you really can use any kind of knit you want.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: For this one, I made a straight 75E. I’m going to try the F next time to see how they compare. I did not make any intentional design changes, but I did run into a few problems that created unintentional changes.
Conclusion There are several things that I need to change or mistakes that I made. I will let you know what they are so you can avoid the same mistakes.
- First of all, I do not like that the lower cup does not come up high enough to cover the nipple. I’m hoping that using the next size up will correct this. Otherwise, I will line the upper cup with flesh colored tricot.
- The center front is a little wide, so I will make that a bit narrower next time.
- The English instructions I used said to add 10mm seam allowances to the upper seams, or whatever size elastic you are using. Well, the pattern calls for 1.5 m plush elastic and with all the changing from metric to standard, I didn’t realize that it didn’t say what size. I had 5/8” elastic on hand and didn’t realize that I had only added 3/8” seam allowances to the pattern. This caused the back to come out too narrow, which meant that I had to shorten it in order to get the hook closure to fit right.
- The pattern didn’t really show any way to clean finish the upper edge of the cups where the elastic meets and there are seam allowances turned under. Next time I will finish this as soon as I add the elastic.
- I like using 5/8” elastic at the bottom, so I will need to widen the seam allowances there, although I can use 3/8” at the top.
- The wires I used I had ordered from Sew Sassy last year, but they were too long and I had to cut them. It was kind of a pain, but I was able to get the plastic tip off and replace it on the wire. You might want to measure the cup and your wires before beginning.
- I used crappy plush elastic from JoAnns which has WAY too much stretch. This is fine for the sides, but terrible for the straps. If you end up using this type of elastic, do NOT make your straps out of it. (also, it's not very pretty)
Since it is very difficult for me to find my bra size in RTW, and when I do I’m usually looking at $75.00 up, I’m definitely going to try to perfect this pattern. I do like the shape of the cups better than the result I got from KwikSew 3300, however, I think the construction on the KS pattern was much easier and gave just as nice a result.
There is still some wrinkling under the cups that I'd like to correct, but I still think I need to go to the bigger size in order for it to fit better in the CF. Also, I'm hoping the larger size will bring the lower cup up more