My bra making experiments continue, and I’ve been focusing on the Maya bra, which amazingly, is a free pattern.
Firstly I made this black set. The green lace was an op shop find and was basically a bundle of pieces – perfect for embellishing underwear!
I had planned to make a second black bra, but haven’t quite got to it. The fit on this one isn’t quite right, I have still got slight gaping at the top of the bra, and the back wings also gape a bit. I made this set from tricot as I thought it would probably dry quickly whilst I was travelling, but of course all that padding in the bra slows the drying down somewhat, so I might not worry about this for a while.
I had another go with this red and black leopard print set. The fabric is left over from this nettie bodysuit, and it is perfect for underwear as it has good stretch and is a lovely cotton.
I reduced the cup size from a C to a B, to see if that helped the fit, but it’s still not quite as I’d like. This bra was made following Anna’s instructions on her blog. They weren’t quite complete so I had to wing the end of the make. The back bands were collapsing a bit so I took it off to Sarah, my pattern making teacher, and she suggested that I add some underwire casing vertically to give it a bit of structure. Of course I didn’t get a photograph of this, but it is just added about halfway between the cup and where the strap joins the back, and it really works.
Sarah then helped me redraft the top cup pattern piece to help reduce the gaping (which worked) and she also suggested altering the cradle to have a separate bridge and then having the underwires form the base of the bra. You can just see what I mean in this photograph.
I used the leopard print again as I have loads of it and I really like it.
Instead of sewing the cups right sides together and then turning them right sides out, as in the first version, I simply sewed them and used fold over elastic right over the top. The bridge was sewn right sides together and bagged out.
The modified cradle meant that the underwire casing is sewn to the cups rather than the cradle. This had the effect of widening the bridge, so I need to cut it down next time. This bra is a tad small in the cup, perhaps because of the new placement of the underwires, so I now need to find a happy medium.
I dyed the straps, underwire casing, some picot elastic (for the first bra), and hook fastening red and I was really pleased with how these turned out. I shall be doing this again as it’s a really great way of getting matching elements on my underwear. Even the rings and sliders took the dye, which you may be able to see in the photo above. I also had to cut down the underwires to fit and used Plastidip to give a nice coat to the cut edge.
So, my experiments with bras are not over. I do have three perfectly wearable bras, but I don’t think I have perfection yet, so will be making more.
The knickers are all Watsons from Cloth Habit, as the fit is really nice.
Finally, my apologies for the paucity of photos. I had no idea what I needed until I started writing and the underwear is currently packed in a suitcase waiting to be taken on my holiday.
The leopard print fabric was bought from The Fabric Store in Sydney, and the black tricot came from Knitwit in Nedlands.