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Topic: Want to plunge into bra-making--size issues  (Read 1807 times)
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« on: January 05, 2006 02:34:03 PM »

Okay, I just read the old thread about bra-making  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=13909.0, which exites me alot.  (Last week I shelled out $100 at Victoria's Secret--makes me sick!).  Anyway, I was wondering how those of you who have sewn your own bras determine size.  I was "fitted" a year or so ago at VS, which I don't really trust. The girl was rude (I have a very ample bosom and she gasped when measuring me) and told me I would have to "make do" with a 36D.  I want to know how to measure myself for a real fit.  I've read the how to's--measure under band and add 5" stuff, but this would put me into a band size that literally falls off me!  (36's don't stay in place all that well sometimes).  I wonder if because my boobage is all up front and center (ain't nothing getting pulled from the sides) that makes fit more difficult.  I don't know.  Can you tell I'm clueless about my poor boobage?!   Cheesy   So, if anybody has advice on fitting and getting started in the bra-making plunge, I'd appreciate it. 

Also, does anyone know why seamless bras can't be sewn?  Is it fabric availability?  I'd love to be able to make seamless bras too as they're the only kind I wear under t-shirts/tight tops.   
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2006 08:29:46 AM »

Hi No_Aloha --
Sorry this is a late reply -- tried to add it yesterday I think, but for some strange reason I just couldn't get the 'post reply' function here to work on some threads, in other words, it  worked for some but not for others ... ??!

Well anyway better late than never, right ... Now please do keep that in mind that I myself can barely sew a straight seam on a flat piece of regular ole cotton fabric, lol -- nevertheless, I hope the info below, which I happened to find online, will help a bit. And, if nothing else, this post might 'bump-up' your question  a little, so hopefully someone with actual bra-making experience willl chime in! ::::

Can't blame you for gettin kinda sick re VS; gave up on that fool place myself years ago. Imo&e, nothing in it is worth the $$$ any more & most especially not their bras.

Just on the off-chance you haven't already seen this, here's one article on the subject, along with & some pretty good fitting-measuring tips, & a link to some make-your-own-bra supply sources :


The patterns/supplies/etc link there was interesting to me because I never realized there 'were' places that specialize in materials & everything for making ones own bra.
The supplies websites also seem to have quite a bit of info, particularly for beginners. Some even sell how-to videos...!

Really didn't spend a lot of time at the websites so didn't happen to notice anything 'specific' about 'not' being able to make a seamless bra -- so maybe it 'can' be done?
Hope so, for your sake. I love those things too, wear them under almost everything.  Even back in the day we used to call the ones with the totally-seamless, slightly/smoothly-padded, stretch-fabric-covered cups "Tshirt bras."

Btw, re the supplies places: you might consider emailing one or more to ask them if & why it's not possible, not advisable, or not-whatever to make ones own Tshirt bras... ?
Good luck!
(this one is a Canadian site but does have US-tollfree ph # & says it ships to US a lot)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2006 08:32:07 AM by Ayn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2006 09:10:08 AM »

I read somewhere that 70% of women are wearing the wrong size bra.  I think the bra "formula" is inaccurate, at least for some people, as it would put me in a huge band size as well.  In my experience, bra sizing is relatively consistant.  If you go to a store and try on sizes with the aid of the 3-way mirror until you find one that fits (start with utilitarian styles: size can be hard to judge in push-up bras) you should have a pretty good idea what size pattern you need.  The important things to remember are that the band should fit and the cup should fit (duh). 

The band shouldn't be so loose that it rides up or down, or makes you overly tighten the shoulder straps to compensate.  It should be parallel to the ground and not uncomfortably tight or straining.  The entire band, including the shaped bits around the cups and the underwire, should fit closely against the body, especially between the breasts.

The cups should be big enough to fully contain the breasts, no pooching out at the armpit. For demi- and push up styles, the edge of the cup shouldn't be so tight that there's a dip between the covered and uncovered parts of the breast (no muffin boobs).  The center front of the bra should fit flush against the sternum, separating the two breasts.  The breasts shouldn't be touching each other and forcing this part of the bra away from the body.

I know finding a properly fitting bra can be difficult, as most stores only carry up to a size DD, but I say, ladies, stand up for yourselves!  It's possible to buy larger sizes in specialty stores and online.  Stop squeezing yourselves into DDs just because that's all the department stores deign to stock.  You'll be much more comfortable!

[end of rant]

I too have been wondering if it's feasible to make seemless cups at home.  The fabric on mine looks like it's been stretched into a cup shape rather than knit that way, could it be possible to mold your own cups?  Failing that, manufacturers must buy the fabric from somewhere.  Maybe there's a textile mill that would be willing to resale some of its cup material to home sewers.

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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2006 09:18:27 AM »

I have a very deceptive ribcage (it looks bigger than it is!) but when I measure myself and use "THE FORMULA" I come out as something rediculous like a 40C, when I'm actually a 36E!!!

I've salvaged bits as pieces off old bras over the years and I think it's about time I put them to work!  So, let us know how you get on in your bra-making adventures.

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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2006 10:00:17 PM »

VC doesn't carry sizes that don't sell much (like 34 almost A for us itty bitties)

I was told to try on this bra that I could probably fit both my breasts in one cup ...if that was possible....but I digress let us know how this goes I am truely interested (YAY I can finally use the new bookmark button!)
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2006 10:33:08 AM »

Thanks for all the info/advice!  Maybe I will try on some more bras at the bad size I'm "supposed" to have, Bigmouth, but I still think I don't get a fit with the traditional fitting methods (I say because my 36 bands won't stay put--stupid things--and I've been told that means it's too big.  Maybe I was lied to!  Who knows.). 

It'll probably take me a while before I have a bra made.  I've got to job search in the next couple of weeks. Plus, I know my boob shape and the pinkie's width between them will require some fiddling with the pattern, I'm sure. But, I promise that once it's done, you all will see and have a total run-down of the process.  I'm going to play around with the seamless idea too.  Maybe I can figure it out.  Grin  I'm excited!!!!

If anyone else takes the plunge before me, please, please, please, let us all know how things went!

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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2006 10:39:34 AM »

bras never fit me right! i wish a size was really A SIZE. instead of going into la senzam finding a 34D that fits me nice then grabbing another 34D only to find that the 36C works way better? PLease, you're hurting this girls brain LOL

it was like 2 days ago I was thinking about making bras and underwear. Im taking textile studies in school and we have a fashion show coming up in February I was like "i should make a bra and underwear set!" then there was a huge discussion on supplies, sizing etc. Im in class we are going to learn how to rip off patterns and how to do knock offs. Im wondering if i can take a good 'ol  great fitting bra from my closet that ive adored, rip the pattern and make the same one just with different material. If i CAN, that would be amazing.
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2006 11:45:31 AM »

Hmm...I wonder...I just had a thought.  Are the seamless bras just cut on a form?  what I mean is...not flat-patterned but draped?  I've got some scraps of t-shirt lying around.  I think I may try to drape a bra cup. 
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2006 11:56:25 AM »

Most T-shirt bras use a thin molded foam that has to be heat-shaped, often molded straight into the cup size and shape.  Bra-Maker's Supply http://www.bramakers.com/bms_index.html sells the foam used to make the shaped swim cups, although it says you may need to make a dart for larger than a C cup.  They have a huge selection of all sorts of bra making supplies!  The bras with cups that are just stretch fabric are knit in the shape of the cup, so they'd be awfully tricky to make.

I wonder if VS trains their sales staff properly.  Specialty stores, and some bridal/formal shops, measure better and often carry an amazing size range.  I was taught to start with the high bust measurement (over the top and thru the armpits) to get a possible band size, and subtract that measurement from the full bust measurement for the cup size.  No formula.  Different styles will fit differently.  The bra should pretty well stay put with the shoulder straps off your shoulder, and the front should lay flat on the breastbone.  Underwires are way more comfy and suportive when you have the right size! 

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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2006 12:31:27 PM »

I just draped a bra cup!   No darts.  No puckering.  I think this is going to work.  I may have to tear up an old bra and steal the pieces for a "mock-up" draped one.  Weee!  I'm excited!   

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