Sewing bras: ups & downs (part. 2 – Watson)
Hey! I’m happy to meet you for this second part of my series of articles on the adventure in which I embarked to sew my bras, my panties, in short, my lingerie. If you have not read the first episode, it’s here.
Sewing soft bras
And besides, why sewing bras would be more of an adventure than sewing clothes? My answer is that with lingerie, you can’t cheat. There is no “loose” or “oversize” fit to save the day. Neither frills or ruffles large enough to hide a crappy fit.
Starting from there, and as for all the clothes molded on the body, it is necessary to make canvases and canvases. For a bra – especially with underwires – a real toile allowing you to assess it correctly the fit … is, well it’s a completed bra, with good fabrics, elastic and all the hulabaloo (even if you’re not not obliged to go for the top quality). And, as always, some patterns brands will fit naturally better than others …
That being the case, after my underwired bra test with Marie’s Master Class, everything in zero-stretch woven fabric (so non-stretch that we even used some sheer lining to line it to be even safer in the rigid side of things), I decided to try the comfort of stretch with soft bras. Jersey, mersh & powernet are generally more forgiving in the adjustment department thanks to their elasticity.
In addition to all this, we also avoid a number of difficulties such as getting the right underwires: find a supplier, make sure you have the right shape according to the pattern and the correct size according to … self. Because even though there is a chart to help choose on paper in Harriet Bra’s explanation, for example, it’s not that simple. As a bonus, we also avoid sewing the chanelling.
But let’s get back to it with the rest of the adventure …
The Watson Bra : a beginner project?
If you remember, I bought the Watson Bra pattern before even booking the Master Class. After the class, I got on to try the Watson Bra and some Megan Nielsen’s Acacia panties (free pattern). We will say that the panties were clearly more successful than the Watson. I wear it anyway, but it’s not not the ultimate comfort.
Not so easy
The Watson bra is often recommended as a first project for beginners in lingerie. I think it’s a mistake.
The way of assembling the straps on the back, the junction of the cups in the middle front, the assembly of the band with the cups … allied with the problems of the fabric’s type of stretch for the underbust band doesn’t make it a first easy project.
To start sewing her bras, I would rather recommend OhhhLulu’s Hyacinth (free), Eclipse Lingerie’s Cassiopée or Vega (in French), Emerald Erin’s Jordy bralette, or several models including the Darcey by Evie La Luve (English).
Bad fabric choice
To start, I would say that I did not bring together the right materials. Biiiig mistake.
I used stretch tulle for lining (Stragier, recommended by Eclipse Lingerie) and it’s bad (in lining). It’s either not stretch enough, or too much (I’m not sure), but in any case, it’s itchy. Oh yes, perhaps I didn’t tell you but I’ve got a suuuper hypersensitive skin. Like, my pretty 100% cashmere turtleneck sweater scratches my neck. Yes. Cashmere (and don’t let me begin on mohair please).
Then, I messed up the famous cups junction at the middle front.
Finally, I also think that I would have to make some adjustments, like taking in the side / back pieces … just like I did on the Harriet. Marie did told me that she had this problem quite often during her classes with Cloth Habit patterns.
And finally … Frankly, OK, it was a toile, but it’s ugly anyway, right?
My Toucans Watson: the ugly duckling of my lingerie drawer
Quoi qu’il en soit, le bilan de tout ça, c’est que quand je lève les bras, le soutif voyage et je me retrouve avec les bonnets à mi-boobs. OK, à un tiers de boobs. Mais ce n’est toujours pas très confortable de mon point de vue.
Anyway, when I raise my arms, the bra travel and I find myself with the underbust band at half-boobs. OK, at one third-boobs. But it’s still not very comfortable from my point of view.
Also, the piece between the breast does not rest against the skin as the presentation photo would suggest. I’ve been watching quite a lot of photos on Instagram (although proportionally fewer seamstresses are posting photos, which I understand perfectly), and it seems like I’m far from being the only one with this concern. (If it is one?)
Conclusion sur le Watson
OK, with all that, I wear it anyway … but clearly when I have nothing else to put on in my lingerie drawer. But, I will try again to sew some Watson’s bras one day. I am a little more seasoned in lingerie making and I am also both better informed and better stocked in terms of fabrics & elastics.
So, how are you doing ? Still bearing with me? As it was already a very very long article (sorry), I’ll stop here. In the next episode, I’ll give some feedback of the 2nd soft bra pattern that I bought and sew : the Marcus Patit Patron … Stay tuned!