My Second Bra, Part 2: Materials from the Scrap Stash

Now I’ve chosen my pattern, made a few minor alterations to it, and organized the pattern elements. With the goal of making as much of this bra as possible with materials I already have on hand, I’m anxious to pick my main fabrics. Off to my scrap stash!


 

Tip: Be sure to read through your bra pattern’s instructions before even thinking about fabrics. In my case, my pattern specifies fabrics with no stretch for every part except the back bands, which use powernet. But some of the patterns I’ve looked at, especially the bralette and some foam-lined styles, call for fabrics with stretch. My pattern also calls for non-stretch lace for the upper part of the cups.


My scrap stash
Quite an impressive pile, isn’t it? Out of my total stash, I pulled just silk and lace fabrics; the silks range from chiffon and georgette to crepe de chine, charmeuse, twill, and brocade. Some of these will hopefully become the main ingredients in my new lingerie wardrobe!

Read More »

My Second Bra, Part 1: Choosing a Pattern

I’m now in the planning phase for my second bra! And since I started this blog only after the first one was completed, this time I can show you my process, from beginning to end. I’m starting today with choosing my pattern.

For me, this part is easy. I’m going to use the same pattern as for my first bra: The Marlborough Bra pattern from Orange Lingerie. I’m choosing this because, although my first one really fits amazingly well, there’s a bit of fine-tuning I’d like to make to the pattern this time around.


 Tip: According to bra-fitting experts, if you’re smaller-busted, styles with rounder cups will help enhance your shape. Larger girls tend to benefit from the structure provided by cups with 2 to 3 pieces, rather than seamless cups. I generally wear a DD/E cup, so I’ve started with the Marlborough’s 3-part cup.


In this photo, you can see the some of the original pattern pieces (on regular printer paper), and a piece I traced from the original onto tissue paper. The red line is the cutting line, and the dashed green line is the seamline.

My pattern: The Marlborough Bra
The Marlborough Bra pattern is the one I used for my first bra. Now I’m going to tweak some of the pattern pieces for an even better fit. (The book, Demystifying Bra Fitting & Construction, is by Norma Loehr, the designer of this pattern and owner of Orange Lingerie. It’s incredibly thorough, and has given me a lot more confidence about making changes to my pattern, and bra-making in general.)

Read More »

My First (hand-made) Bra!

I’ll always remember my first time…

Okay, it does sound a little weird to say this is my first bra, I admit. It’s been quite a while since the day I struggled to put on the unfamiliar little thing. Actually, my memory takes me more to the feeling of fervently wishing to have reason to wear my first bra! Oddly enough, it’s not that different than how I’ve felt throughout this process of making a bra for the first time: hopeful, nervous, excited, a little shy, and more than a little intimidated.

So, after some initial angst, a great deal of procrastination, a few moments of puzzlement (not to say frustration), and ultimate success, here it is:

My first bra!
My first completed hand-made bra (and matching high-waist panty). See the end of this post for a list of material and pattern resources and links.

Read More »