I can be self-deprecating about my boobs — or lack thereof. It took me a long time to accept that my underboob is and will probably only be the mere suggestion of a shadow. I’ve got small breasts, so what? That doesn’t mean I can’t be sexy. Audrey Hepburn didn’t have giant hooters, nor does Gwyneth Paltrow sport a nice rack. Both women were and are gorgeous. The key to getting the most out of my knockers? The right bra. It’s a quest I’ve been on for 2 ½ years and my journey has felt like Cinderella’s. I just can’t find the right fit. It doesn’t have to scream sex kitten, but it does have to be comfortable, beautiful and supportive enough to give some semblance of boobage. Is that too much to ask for? I’ve made so many iterations of this bra – I even thought I nailed it last year. But it wasn’t the one. Dare I say that this is my match? Well, it sure seems like it. If it ain’t, well shit, I’m starting a bra burning club. Who’s with me? Men, you’re invited too.
To make the details about patterning, fabric and construction for this bra, Amber Rosalind, easy to read and understand, I’m going to be corporate for just a moment:
Pattern: The pattern is the same pattern I’ve been using – a variation of Pin-up Girls #1200. The cup volume was reduced, the band length was increased, the strap scoop was eliminated and the fabric straps were replaced with elastic straps. There were a few other minor pattern tweaks that were specific to my shape, but if you want to replicate it, those are the main changes.
Construction: Increasing the band length allowed me to use a wider elastic at the bottom – 3/4” – which is more comfortable in my opinion. The top band and neckline were finished with ¼” plush elastic. All elastic was first set with a narrow, one-step zig zag, and then a three-step zig zag. The straps features one, ¼” strap looped through an o-ring, which were attached at the strap point. There is a 2×3 sealed hook and eye at the back and normal length underwires. All notions were sourced from Bra Makers Supply.
Fabric: The fabric is a stretch lace from Lace Supply. The bridge and both the upper and lower cups are lined with a firm power net, again from Bra Makers Supply, and the back band is unlined.
Sara once said that all artists have to learn the rules in order to break them. On this bra, Amber Rosalind, I finally felt confident enough to break a couple major ones. First, I didn’t stabilize the bridge with a firm fabric like Duoplex. Slap me now. Although it is preached that the bridge on all bras must be stabilized up and down and from side to side (in order to support the breasts), after looking at my RTW bras, I decided against it. Maybe us women who are not well endowed can have a bridge that isn’t as firm as a woven cotton? The powernet is pretty firm and does the job – proof is that there are no stress lines. See any? Another rule I broke was finishing the cross cup seam – I serged it. It’s a much easier finish than the one I normally sew, but it’s faster and flatter. Think about it, why do seamstresses use an overlock? Because it’s not bulky, right? Same principle. And no, the serge doesn’t bother my ta-ta’s.
So, the key to my perfect, defectless bra? Just like mom’s homemade stew, it was a pastiche of ingredients – the right fabric, the right fit, the right notions and most importantly, the right knowledge that has mish-mashed over the last 700 or so days and culminated into this.