Hey everyone, it’s me again with another unpublished post from the past. I am finding so much joy in blogging again, even if it just means editing half-finished texts and adding some long-overdue photos. This time, late-2017-me is talking about bra-sewing. It helped her get out of a sewing slump and there were just started it, mostly out of necessity, and Here’s what she has to say:
Everytime I don’t sew for a long time, then pick it up again and don’t stop for hours, I feel like such an idiot. How could I have ever neglected my favourite hobby? How could I have ever forgetten that wonderful feeling of calmness, alignment and excitement that sewing gives me? I should really make an effort to try and sew again everyday, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
In other news: I made my first bra.
Here’s the thing: I never hated bras
To be honest, I never thought I’d ever make a bra that is neither padded nor underwired. The whole bra-or-no-bra-discussion left me feeling a bit weird, since I never hated bras. It might sound naive, but I was seriously surprised when a friend told me that underwire bras caused her pain and that the first thing she did when she came home, was to take off her bra. I’ve experimented with different bra sizes over the years, but once I’d found my perfect size, underwire bras never caused me problems and I never wasted a single thought on them during the day.
At the risk of sounding even more naive, I actually liked the way padded bras made my breasts look. As a small-chested lady, non-padded bras always had me feeling a bit too “boyish”. Being a huge tomboy already, I felt like lightly padded bras preserved at least a little of my inner “feminine” feeling (it sounds so stupid, but it’s true).
Why I hate the bra industry nontheless
That being said, nowadays it seems almost impossible to find an A cup bra that is lightly padded. Most come with an inch-thick non-removable foam that “makes your breasts appear two sizes bigger”. It’s like the bra industry is shouting at you: “You have small boobs and it’s not okay! Better strap a giant piece of foam around your bust! Don’t you dare feel good in your body!”. Well, up yours, bra industry! I have small boobs and I’m okay with that.
If it’s not the foam, it’s the design. In between the cutesy lacy floral things full of ribbons that make me look like a birthday present and the even uglier so-called “t-shirt bras” in who-does-this-ever-appeal-to nude and white (or plain old boring black), there’s not a lot of bras that speak to my aesthetic, let alone affordable ones. Don’t even get me started on finding knickers to go with your bra that are beautiful, fit well and don’t look like granny panties.
Sewing my own bras
Aaanyway, with most of my regular bras falling apart this summer, I primarily wore triangle bikini tops and quickly realized that a) I don’t need the support of underwires and b) these are easy to sew myself. To take this one step further, after completing those two bras, I also realized that c) there aren’t many logical reasons for wearing a bra in the first place. But more on that another time.
Euler bralette: The pattern
Wanting something uncomplicated, non-underwired, non-padded, yet still stylish, I found the Euler bralette by Sophie Hines. Sophie runs a sewing pattern company specialised in underwear. If you don’t know her yet, check her out! She’s US-based and sells sewing kits as well. Her period panty sewing kits are just amazing. She didn’t pay me for praising her like this, by the way.
What fabric is best for bramaking?
On her website, Sophie suggests fabrics with at least 25-50% stretch. When I first read it, I was a bit confused – my local fabric store has fabrics with 3-8% lycra, but 25-50%? It took me some time to realize that the amount of stretch does not equal the amount of stretchy material in a fabric. For this bra, I used a knit with 92% viscose and 8% lycra and a 100% nylon. Both have around 50% stretch though, as a 4″ piece can be stretched to 6″ effortlessly. Btw, to all the Germans out there: “Lycra” is the English word for “Elasthan” – it took me forever to get that :D
Alright, 2020-me speaking again. I’m sorry if this post is a bit all over the place, but I hope you enjoyed sewing my bra-sewing results non the less. There’s still a lot happening right now but I hope I’ll be back with a few more recent makes very soon.