Monday, 2 February 2015

Bra making part II

I got so disheartened when I made my first bra, gave it my all, finished everything perfectly and then it didn't fit at all... I had wasted all that time and more over I had cut all the elastics and underwire casing to fit and it was too small so I had nothing left to make another one with.

I ordered more supplies. Made another one. It was ok but had big fitting issues. Which I solved with the help of the amazing Craftsy class (click on the link in the sidebar to join Craftsy. They rock!).

Then I made a third, having learnt my lesson and I didn't cut the elastics, used huge stitching etc. It was pretty good. So I took it apart to reuse some things like closures and underwire casings and set about making a 4th. I stitched it beautifully. Cut the elastic. I was on safe ground no? I spent ages on it. But if truth be told I was also having a fairly traumatic time in my personal life. A good friend had had a heart attack and he wasn't doing so well. His partner is in the middle of a horrible and painful treatment for bowel cancer. I couldn't concentrate. My own partner moved out. Pretty much out of the blue. I was falling apart. And kept sewing as I didn't know what else to do. It's great therapy to lose yourself in something like sewing. Any crafts really. I once crocheted my way through someone I loved going missing for three days. I could never wear the scarf I made but it stopped me going completely mad. So I made a bra.

And it didn't fit at all. I had mixed up some of the pattern pieces I think from the first trial and the third one. Now I date them so that can't happen. My sewing machine ate the fabric in those tiny seam allowances until I got the baby Elna Grasshopper out. This gorgeous 1946 machine doesn't eat stuff. She purrs. And looks stunning. But she doesn't zigzag so I had two machines out. Not unusual for me as such but since living with another adult I've been as bit more careful not too take over the living space. Especially as I shouldn't have to as I have a studio!

Anyway. I almost cried. I almost just gave up. But my sheer bloody mindedness coupled with the fact I had just spent &@£!*% on more bra making supplies which were winding their way from Sweden meant I couldn't. I worked out that it was too small in places and too big in others. Some bits pulled and rouched and others dug in. The underwire sat in the wrong place completely.

So I made another one. I started from scratch with the pattern pieces, cut out one cup only (saving on fabric and sewing) in a D cup and the band in a 38. Much bigger than I normally wear but hey ho that's what I had arrived at. I had made he adjustments I had made before (opening the top out a little as it was too flat before and rounding the cup out a little).

I stitched it roughly, in a contrasting thread so I could pull it out quickly. It took me an hour or two all in all, with masses of distractions from Max, cats, texts and a call from my mum (she's ever so pleased it seems that the boyf has moved out. Justifies her wonky ideas that all men who Internet date are scumbags. She's not hearing we are still together. She called again yesterday, happier than I've heard her since, well, since I told her I had met Sean I guess. Grrr. We will show her!).

And this bra fits. It just does. I'm so ecstatic! And this morning my box from Sweden turned up. It was like a box of springtime lushness. I had not realised quite the palette I had put together. It was beautiful. I now have a pattern that rocks. And enough fabric to make about ten bras. In all colours and combos thereof.

If only I didn't have to work and I could start on bra number 5 right now!!

I'm really hitting on the zeitgeist it seems as everyone is making bras. All the blogs I read. New books are appearing. Inspiration is everywhere. Check out Colette patterns new Seamwork online mag (for $6 you get to download it and you get the patterns too!). And Sarai's blog.

And check out Tankgirl. Right now I'm Tankgirl. Strong and passionate and fighting for the good things in my life.

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