Before I proceed to the pattern drafting phase of the Foundation’s Revealed test I wanted to first cover how the sizing for this method differs from the normal bra sizing “standard”. I say standard loosely because if you’ve ever gone bra shopping you’ll know how inconsistent standard sizing can be.
Standard bra sizing involves taking two measurements: the circumference of the ribcage and fullest area of the bust. The ribcage measure determines the band size. Whether this measurement is used straight or with extra inches added depends on the particular sizing method used by each band. (See, not so standard!) The difference between the circumference of the bust and the ribcage determines the cup size.
However the ribcage measurement alone doesn’t tell us everything we need to know to get a successful fit. It assumes that the volume of the ribcage is distributed in a certain way. It doesn’t tell us whether the back is narrow or full. In the same way the overbust doesn’t show the distribution of the circumference between the back and the breast. Once a bra size is selected the wire size is automatically assigned based on those two measurements but it may not reflect the actual shape of the breast root.
Two different women can have the same set of measurements and would be sized into the same size bra but one might have a narrow back and full breasts while the other might have a wide back and small breasts. They might be the same bra size but it might fit neither of them.
The sizing system for the Foundations Revealed method by Mark Garbarczyk is different. When I first announced this project Mark was kind enough to send me some supplementary material that helped explain this sizing method a little better.
It uses three data points to develop the pattern by measuring the back and breast volume separately and taking a breast root trace to select an underwire size. In theory this should lead to a more personalized fit.
The back measurement is taken across the back from the inframammary root (which is from where the wire/breast root ends) on one side to the other.
The overbust measurement is taken from the center front of the breast root over the apex of the bust to the side of the breast root. (where you start measuring the back from) You then select a cup size from this measurement. Both breasts should be measured to get an average or if there is a great difference you might want to draft both cup sizes.
The wire size is determined by tracing the breast root with a flexible ruler and picking a wire size based on this but accounting for wire spring. I wasn’t able to effectively photograph this so I will refer you to the original article here.
The next blog post of this project will cover my experiences with drafting a darted cup bra from this article. As of the writing of this blog post I have completed the cup portion of the drafting and have been trying to stick to my original vision of pretending I have no prior knowledge though this has not been an issue since the method is well documented. Though I have used this method before so familiarity may play a factor. However I will save the rest of this conversation for that post.