I have a friend who broke ten (!) ribs and her collarbone last December after being thrown off her horse. Since then her bones have mended, but she still has a lot of pain and swelling in her abdomen every afternoon. She told me that wearing a bra is very uncomfortable, and has mostly resorted to wearing only a camisole under her shirts.
Now, my friend is about the same size as me, and she previously took a lesson from me in bra-making, so I knew she wouldn't think it too strange for me to make a bra for her. So a few days ago I issued a design challenge to myself, to design a bra that put only a minimal amount of pressure on the back.
I was inspired by some of the wrap bralettes that have just come out, like the Gemini Bra by Gravity by Grandy, the Wrap Bralette by Merckwaerdigh, and also some triangle bras like the Jordy Bralette. I love the look of these bralettes but I was concerned that the multiple layers of wrapping and wide elastic would cause my friend too much pain. I wanted to stick with 1/2" band and strap elastic and see how much support I could get.
Here is my first prototype. Cups slightly wrapped at the front, extended onto the back. An adjustable strap for the torso with a front-bra closure. I originally had the straps attached straight down, but it just pulled up the torso strap, and I thought a halter neck would put too much pressure on the upper spine. Straps the crossed at the back and connected at the side rings seemed like the best option. I tried it on and was surprised that it did have a good amount of support. The closure at the back was unnecessary, and the cups needed to extend a little more to the back. The wrap front wasn't a good look on the body, the wrap mostly pulled apart and sagged, so that detail needed to go. I also needed to fill in the curves at the neck and armhole a bit. The fabric for this one is nylon tricot, two layers, with opposing stretch in each layer. I decided to try a stretch fabric in the next version.
Much better! I love how it turned out. The back is simpler without the closure, and the shape of the cups is better, and the wrap front was changed to a v-neck. For this one I used two layers of pantie spandex by Sew Sassy. It is an 80/20 nylon/spandex knit with 75% stretch in both directions. The cups fit very smoothly, but I noticed the apex seems to be a little too far towards the side. For now, I will give this bra to my friend to try out and see if it is comfortable for her.
I want to make another bra for myself, and I'm thinking to try lace, and probably change the dart to a two-piece cup. I know someone will ask if I'm going to make this a pattern for sale. I'm thinking about that, and I honestly don't know if this style would really work for larger cup sizes. I would probably increase the width of the elastics as the sizes get bigger, but I'm not sure if that would be enough. I have gotten feedback on the bra patterns I have already published asking to increase my size range, so I definitely don't want to release a pattern only in small sizes because that really isn't fair. What do you think? Any interest in a pattern?
Today I am happy to share with you the lovely projects created by my hardworking pattern testers for the Maritza Sports Bra. Enjoy!
Today I'd like to talk about the various fabric choices for the Maritza Sports Bra. While I designed the style to be a supportive bra, the fabric makes a huge impact on whether the breasts are supported or just covered.
I design lingerie sewing patterns for everyday comfort and feminine style in an inclusive size range. Fill up your underwear drawer with beautiful custom-made bras and panties in your favorite fabrics and trims, designed to fit your body.