Why do I make my own bras? Because I want them to fit properly! I'm sure you've heard over and over that most women wear the wrong size bra. I spent most of my adult life wearing a 34B, and always had a problem with the band riding up and the straps falling off my shoulders. In addition to that, I felt like I just wasn't getting a lot of support. I got a bra fitting and was told yes, you are a 34B. So I decided that was just as good as it got and I just didn't have the right shape to fill in my bra properly and have cleavage of any sort.
Fast forward to 2015 and I'm living in North Carolina. After spending my first 27 years in a hot and dry desert in California, living in a very humid subtropical environment is a big shock to me. Every time I left the house, the wet wall of hot air would make me feel drenched, and I'd have to change my clothes after coming home. The worst of it was my bras. I could literally wring the sweat out of them, and I really didn't enjoy feeling like I was wearing a damp sponge. So I went shopping to look for a plain cotton bra with no foam cups. But, guess what? Apparently, there was no such thing! I looked at every store I could think of, and it was all thick molded cup bras in synthetic fibers. I decided it was time to look into making my own bras. At that time, bra-making wasn't as popular so I it was difficult finding the right resources and patterns. I made a few bralettes in cotton jersey, which weren't supportive but at least I felt comfortable at home while wearing them.
After I moved to central Texas, another hot and humid subtropical area, the Watson Bra by Cloth Habit became very popular. On social media it seemed like every sewist in the world was making them. Eventually I bought the pattern and made myself a few, and I finally found relief from spongy cups and got a decent fit and support.
When the Harriet Bra was released, I was in love. It was such a pretty design, and I had never had a lace bra. So I bought the pattern and carefully read the directions. When I measured myself to determine my size, I laughed out loud. 32D, yeah right! I had always thought of D-cups as big, and I definitely was not big. I ignored the sizing and made my first practice bra in 32C and... it was way too small. As in comically small.
Alright, I guess I should have made 32D. So I made another bra, and was suprised that the fit was better. Somehow I still thought I'd be swimming in it, but I filled out the cups nicely. I made two more Harriet Bras, tweaking the fit each time. For the first time, I felt very supported and lifted. My clothes fit better, and I wasn't fiddling with the straps and pulling down the band.
While out shopping one day, I peeked at the bras (the dreaded foam cups) just to see if they had my size. No 32Ds in sight. So now that I know what size I should really be wearing, bra-making has become more of a necessity. I have recently jumped into drafting a bra pattern using my own measurements, which has been an adventure all on its own and will be a blog post for another day.
Do you make your own bras? If not, is there something about it you find intimidating?
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.