Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On Making Bras



I've raved about Beverly Johnson before. (Yes, that's a long post, but it's in there.)

I'm not sure if I would have tried sewing bras without her class on Craftsy. I have a brand/style of bra that I've worn for a long time and it didn't really occur to me to try making my own.

That is, until a random, 1970 bra pattern showed up among a box of Stretch and Sew patterns that I bought on Ebay. The pattern isn't Stretch and Sew (I don't think Ann wrote bra patterns), and I didn't talk about it on the blog because the sizing was rid.i.cu.lous, so I threw the bra away, in frustration. But, it wasn't that hard to sew, really. It was just enough to make me curious. 

I watched all three of Beverly's Craftsy classes, bought a kit at Bravo Bella Bras, a pattern from Sew Sassy and it was off to the races. 

My first bra fit pretty well. It had a few errors that I figured were from my inexperience. So, I tried again. Bra number 2 (we're not counting 1970, thank you), was AMAZING. I felt (and feel!) so good in it! 

I'm short and short-waisted and I'm starting to think that part of why I've always had a love/hate relationship with bras is that the underwire, inevitably, is just too darn long for me. That makes it dig into my side/underarm. Ouch!

For the last few years, I've worn bras that are foam cups and very stretchy. Really - now that I've worn another style, I'm realizing that I probably liked them just because the underwire didn't actually do much. The bottom band hangs so low on my body, even when I wear a somewhat smaller size, that the underwire doesn't even really touch me, if that makes sense? The shape of the bra forces the underwire to rest lower against my chest than my assets actually are. Everything just hangs, with the bra more or less sitting like a cover, not like a sling. It looks ok, but it's not as comfortable as actually having support. At certain times of the month, everything would get so sore that I would swear to never eat salt, again. But, it wasn't the salt. It was my bras. 

I've read advice about how molded foam cups aren't great for a lot of women. As in, “(your breasts are) going to settle at the bottom of the contour cup and you’ll going to have space at the top of the strap.” I've noticed this in my foam cup bras, but I just was too afraid to try a different style and get murdered by escaping underwires, again. 

As an aside, the expert above also says that you should replace a bra after 8 months. Let's do the math. She suggests not wearing the same bra 2 days in a row. Let's assume she has 2 "everyday" bras that she rotates through every single day and never wears another kind of bra. I was told, when I was growing up, that you should really have 3 bras you rotate. If her 2 bras last 8 months, that's about 120 wears each. If I use her same idea and do it with 3 bras, I would be replacing them all after about a year. Which, actually, is pretty much what I did when I was a teenager. 

A wardrobe of 5 bras should, using these numbers, last for about 20 months, or almost 2 years! Not bad for $10 to $20 per bra, once you get into the swing of it. That comes to just over $50 per year spent on bras. I don't know about you, but there have been years where I've spent a lot more than $50 on bras. Heck, there are months where I've spent more than that. Plus, if my weight changes and I need a new bra after 3 or 6 months, I'll be way less annoyed about it, if I make it myself. 
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