Written by Kimberly Hamilton, a graduate of De Montfort University’s Contour Lingerie program who now works as a bra pattern cutter in Germany. Her blog is a treasure trove of technical information and intimate apparel insights.
The name is a mouthful for this English only speaker but I love the behind the scenes look of how she develops her lingerie patterns. I also appreciate that she still does all of her illustrations and patterns by hand.
I love Sofia’s blog for her helpful computer illustrated diagrams of pattern manipulations for bra making. Encourages me to keep on working at getting better at Adobe Illustrator for the sake of my bra making.
One of the most comprehensive bras making blogs on the internet
Your favorite bra making blog didn’t make my list? Let me know in the comments below. Best is always subjective and as much as we like the sound of the word and how definitive it makes us feel there really is no such thing. I just couldn’t resist the alliteration of the title. ;D
Check out the new stretch lace styles that we have recently added to the store. More coming in soon.
A little late night bra making. Simplicity 8229 #bramakingwithmadalynne
I recently made Madalynne x Simplicity 8228 in our Victoria Secret Crochet style lace in White to make a wonderful halter neck bralette. I’m looking forward to making the racerback version in a black and silver metallic lace with a gray metallic glissette lining.
Just a quick post today to clear up a couple of bra making terms that can be confusing. Wire play versus wire spring. I see these terms used interchangeably but they are two different concepts both related to the underwire.
Wire play is the amount of room you would add to each end of the wire line where the channeling is sewn into to allow room for the wire to move back and forth inside the channel. Too much or too little wire play can cause your wire to start poking a hole in the underwire channeling. Ouch! To prevent that it is standard to at 5mm at each end of the wire plus 3mm for bartack sinkage. A grand total of 16mm (8mm at each end).
Wire spring is how much the wire will “spring” open from it’s relaxed state when worn. Wire spring is what allows the wire to fit to the natural breast root. You want the wire to be able to spring open rather than having a wire that is exactly the same shape as the breast root. The bra also gains it’s cantilever effect from some tension being placed on the wire. Not enough spring may mean the wire will poke at the underarm or some support will be lost by the lack of tension placed on the wire. Too much wire spring will force the wire into a S shape poking you in either the arm or the sternum.
How much is the correct amount of spring? Well there is no one rule and it does depend on the wire. For a standard shape core size in a 20/22 15mm wire spring is common. However plus sizes may spring up to double that amount. Sometimes wire spring is added to the pattern at both the center front and at the arm. Wire spring is a complicated subject. You need some but not too much.
As you can see the typical amount of wire play and wire spring is very similar so it’s easy to get confused. Just remember that wire play is added so the wire can move vertically and wire spring is added so the wire can move horizontally.
Just listed some of that wonderful famous maker lace in the store along with a roll of pretty pink and grey that I had gotten months ago and forgotten. So many pretty lace designs some actually go missing sometimes!
This is the Victoria Secret lace I was showing sneak peeks of earlier this week. This stretch lace is perfect for a bralette or a pair of lace boyshorts. It’s soft while having a substantial quality to the lace without feeling stiff or heavy. It has a crochet style floral pattern with open loopy scallops. This lace was used in Victoria Secret’s 2016 collection. We also have it in stock in blue. Note even though Victoria Secret called it crochet lace it is a woven construction lace.
This lace has a corded swirl pattern with a chevron design at the scalloped edge. Very modern and on trend.
Can you believe I forgot this pretty grey and pink one? It would go perfectly with our High Rise Grey or Rose Quartz Findings. Not as flimsy as it looks. Would make a perfect bra lined with bra tulle.
A good chunk of my day when I’d rather be sewing bras is spent sourcing new and exclusive supplies for Arte Crafts. I’m not happy just sourcing the same old thing as everyone else though I do aim to stock customer favorites as much as possible. But I’m always looking for that special vendor relationship. This Monday I’m pleased to get my first shipment from a new lace vendor that also supplies for Victoria Secret. You like the crochet lace in the example above? Well, we’ll have it in White and Blue and I snagged everything they had left. I have a couple of bras in this lace and am looking forward to seeing what you create with it. This was something someone asked me if I could get 6 months ago and had had shook my head at the time and said no way. Well as it turns out there was a way.
Get early access to our Boxing Day Sale with coupon code CHRISTMASCAMEEARLY to take 20% off your entire order. The regular post-Christmas day sale won’t go live to the public until December 25th so this is your chance to stock up on items you love before everything is sold out.
Offer applies to in stock items. Coupon code does not apply to wholesale orders. Coupon code does not apply to shipping costs. Free domestic shipping on orders over $35 available at https://bramaking.supplies only. $35 minimum purchase after discount required to qualify for the free domestic shipping option. Some exclusions apply.
It’s been a while since I posted an update for Project Patternmaking and my goals have changed since I first started it. Since I’ve started I’ve learnt a more industry based method of pattern making that isn’t covered in one of the books I was reviewing and have started to develop my own style. At this point since my focus is to develop and release patterns in 2017 of my own I don’t want to be distracted by covering different methods nor do I want to unfairly criticize another method because it’s not the same as my own. I also most importantly of all want to feel that my work is MY work and that is not a hodge-podge of other people’s patterns and instructions. I don’t want anyone discounting my knowledge because it seems derivative or plagiarized. Though in reality, most bra making methods are similar because there is little variation in bras themselves.
So what I will focus on is making more tutorials on how you can make your own pattern adjustments and how to emulate the RTW bras that you love. Copying a bra from measurements not by pin copying or taking the bra completely apart has been a revelation for me. I hope in the future I can explain it well enough to share with you. But all in due time.
This week in bra making forum a member posted a picture of a Victoria Secret bra and pointed to a design detail on the bridge and asked how to recreate it. I happened to have that bra in a couple of different sizes so I offered to write this post as an analysis on how to recreate this RTW detail on your own bra. The technique uses a variation on the Gothic Arch an alteration that has been covered by Beverly Johnson on both her blog and in her Craftsy classes.
It also features an open bridge attached at the top and utilizes a stabilizing piece of bridge lining behind the gothic arch to further reinforce it. Now the key to making a bridge like this work is having the measurements just so and the bridge in the right place so the cups don’t fall forward. This is not a partial band bra even though it looks like it from a distance. It is still a full frame bra but you’d need to thin the band pattern on most commercial bra patterns. However, it’s easy to do this at the same time you change the arch.
For this comparison, I am using the measurements from a 38C bra. I will also provide the measurements for the 34B. The bridge width is exactly the same for both sizes at 25mm which is a pretty standard measurement. In general bridge width does not change when grading a pattern up and down in size.
For this example I have used the bridge from Elise Pattern‘s Chelsea bra which I have previously reviewed. Start by drawing a center line down the middle of the bridge. If your bridge is cut on the fold you will not have to do this step. The measure down 10mm from the top of the bridge and draw a line parallel to the top of the bride. This measure was the same for the 34B and the 38C. This becomes the top piece for your two piece bridge. Then measure down 33mm from the top of the bridge (30mm for 34B) and mark a guideline.Read More
Offer applies to in stock items. Coupon code does not apply to wholesale orders. Coupon code does not apply to shipping costs. Free domestic shipping on orders over $35 available at https://bramaking.supplies only. $35 minimum purchase after discount required to qualify for the free domestic shipping option.
When cloning a bra make sure to remove the underwire first. You need to do this for a couple of reasons. One to ensure you can match the original wire against one of our wire charts. Two to truly get the shape of the frame. The frame may look very straight with the wires in but the true shape of the pattern should have a more “frowny” look to it. This Stella McCartney bra shows the difference quite well. On the left, the underwire has been removed. You can see that the left frowns and has a convex shape while on the right the band is straight except at the hook. The downward shape at the hook may have been caused by wear since many women pull the band down when hooking it up from behind. This shows the importance of springing the wire into the breast root and projecting the breast shape.
Stella McCartney Cherie Sneezing Bra
Now you can get away with cloning a bra without removing the underwire in case you want to still wear or return the bra. However, this does require more drafting since you will draft a new pattern using a basic bra block and measurements from the bra itself. Most home sewers clone their bra patterns by pin tracing or using press and seal wrap. When you do it that way you need to remove the underwire for best results otherwise you may find your wire won’t spring open correctly.
Here is the wire I extracted from that bra compared to two wire shapes that I stock. The demi and the shallow demi. The sample wire, however, is a much sturdier gauge about a 24 gauge vs the two 20 gauge wires shown for comparison. If I was to truly recreate the uplift of this bra I would need to have the factory make this wire style in that gauge. Because a lot of the forward projection of the breast in this particular bra comes from the rigidity of the wire pressing in at the side of the breast root. This gives the breast a round shape but maybe less forgiving in fit. It may not fit as a wide a range of customers as a bra with a more flexible wire. It may be less comfortable to wear. However, as this is a high-end fashion bra by Stella McCartney style takes precedence over comfort. Unfortunately.