Yesterday I sewed my first Darcey Bra by Evie La Luve. My feelings about it are a bit mixed, but I think I will sew myself another Darcey Bra in the future with some modifications to the fit and the fabric choice.
Self: Satin Spandex from Spandex World, which has 50% lengthwise stretch and 0 crosswise stretch.
Lining: Lightweight power mesh from Fabric Depot
Ivory fold over elastic from Sew Sassy
1/2" picot edge elastic from Fabric Depot
3/8" strap elastic from Fabric Depot. I didn't realize until the end that I really should have used wider strap elastic, so I had to redo the FOE on the strap attachment points to make them narrower.
Choosing a Size
According to the pattern instructions, the Darcey Bra was drafted for B-D cups, and the only measurement given for choosing a size is the full bust measurement. Every time I see this in a bralette pattern it makes me a bit nervous, because the full bust vs band size for a B cup is much different than a D cup.
The last time I chose a size based solely on my full bust measurement I ended up with a band that was way too big. This time I decided to make an educated guess, and I measured the bottom of the pattern pieces, subtracted the seam allowances, and added in the hook and eye width to figure out the band measurement.
I also measured my bras and bralettes and found that I usually make a band 28" finished. This includes the elastic, so I know that without the elastic it should be slightly longer. My full bust is 37.5", which puts me between and medium and large, but my underbust is 31.5".
Size small band measured 27.5" and size medium measured 31". I decided to try using medium cup pieces and a small band, and that combination would produce a 29" band.
Sewing went pretty well. The pattern was clear, and the pieces went together easily. I really like that all the seams are enclosed in the lining, so it makes a nice finish.
I did end up with two small problems, both my fault. Number one, at some point the right side of the cup snagged on my feed dogs and made a run in the fabric. A bummer, but that happens with nylon knits. Number two, I didn't pay enough attention when I chose my strap elastic and realized it was a bit small. I also didn't see I needed two sets of rings for this project. So instead of using rings at the front of the cups I just underlapped the straps to the bra cup and added zigzag at the join. Not the prettiest joining method, but much less bulky.
The fit is wearable, but could use a few adjustments. Overall, this bralette does not provide a lot of support; but I think that is an unreasonable expectation for a simple bralette that doesn't have a separate cradle and has stretch cups. I think I need to take about 1/4" each side of the center front seam because it is quite wide on me. The band still feels pretty loose, but I think that is from my fabric choices.
The pattern said to use stretch fabrics such as cotton/spandex jersey, mesh and scuba and to line with power mesh or power net. The stretch factor on all those fabrics is quite different, so I think the results would fit quite differently. Next time I think I will choose a fabric with a bit less stretch for the cups, maybe scuba or lace, and use a heavier powernet for the back band. Also I might add a bit more projection to the pattern, like I did with my Barrett Bralette.
Overall, this was a fun and quick bralette to sew. I love the different style options, so once I nail down the fit alterations, I'll have some fun with adding lace and mesh inserts.
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