Pauline's Bra Making Classes

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<p></p> <p>Bra-making Class, Bra Size, by Pauline from Australia</p> <p>Start Find Your Size Pattern List Supplies</p> <p>Class 1: Using a</p> <p>Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5</p> <p>Class 2:</p> <p>Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5</p> <p>Class 3:</p> <p>Part 1</p> <p>Fitting</p> <p>Copying one</p> <p>Part 2</p> <p>pattern</p> <p>adjustments</p> <p>that fits</p> <p>Part 3</p> <p>Powernet</p> <p>Contact the instructor</p> <p>Part 4</p> <p>Examples</p> <p>Now if you are not sure about something, please ask. If you don't want to ask because you think it's too dumb, then Contact the instructor. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask!!! I can also post pictures of any notions you are not sure about. This page will get you started. Print this out and keep it somewhere so you've got any easy reference! Firstly, BEFORE you buy the pattern, make sure you have had your measurements taken correctly. Most of you won't be the size you think you are!!! Measurement Instructions: Now about these measurements, you need 3, and you must have someone else do it. The reason someone else needs to do it is when you bring your arms up to take the measurement it alters the measurement, but these need to be accurate for a good fit. Also, use our handy MS/Excel spreadsheet: BraSizeFinder (right-click the link, and select "Save File As" to download it for your use). Enter your measurements into this spreadsheet, and your size will be calculated based on these measurements. If</p> <p>your computer will not process this spreadsheet correctly, the rest of this page tells you how to compute your size. Put your best-fitting bra on and adjust so your boobs aren't sitting down on your waist or under your chin!!!! 1. Keep tape parallel to floor around your back. Measure the under bust, snugly and no "bit extra" and do not pull it too tight .Write it down. Enter this number as "under" in the chart. 2. Full bust is measured same as above, around the fullest part of the bust. Enter this number as "around" in the chart. 3. Upper bust is where the breast starts to come out from the ribs in a gentle slope. Enter this number as "over" in the chart. Got it all. This is how we work out our size. You may or may not be the bra size you are wearing. 80% of women wear the wrong size. Most of you'll just prove this!!!!LOL Band size - add 4" to your underbust measurement to give what size band you'll be wearing. e.g., if you measure 36" add 4"= 40". If you measure an odd number or a fraction go up to the nearest WHOLE, EVEN number. eg.: if you measure 33 1/2", add 4"= 37 1/2", then round UP to 38". The 4" is for ease, otherwise you'd think you were in a vise!!! I know most of you feel that way now. Subtract your upper bust from the full bust to give cup size. Every 1" of difference represents a cup size. If you are less than 1'', it becomes AA cup. eg FB 42''- UB 38''=4'' difference. Makes it A,B,C,D- the D's have it-Should be easy enough! Just keep going down the alphabet for cup size if you are more than 4" difference. 1 inch difference 2 inches difference 3 inches difference 4 inches difference 5 inches difference</p> <p>A cup</p> <p>B cup</p> <p>C cup</p> <p>D cup</p> <p>E cup</p> <p>Pattern SizesThe patterns that will be the easiest to work from are Kwik-Sew 1017 for smaller sizes and 1018 for mid range sizes. These two patterns are exactly the same but only contain a range of sizes. Then for our more womanly gals, Kwik-Sew 2374, which is slightly different, but I think I can manage the slight variations in the one class. Now, I'm sorry if you are out of these size ranges, BUT I suggest you make a bra for someone else to get the gist of how to do it and then we'll work on resizing. I can't do that as well for this class. This is supposed to be basic bra making, but that is more advanced stuff and much more individualized (see classes 2 and 3). These patterns are all what is known as a "framed bra" and are without an underwire. Kwik-Sew 2374 could have a wire put in it if you like.</p> <p>Pattern ListThis is a list of what I've found to be available as of 02/09/08. Booby Traps Nbr B002 Sizes 8-14 A-C 10-16 ADD, 16 ADD, 18-20 B-DD, 2226 C-E Description unstructure with wires</p> <p>B003</p> <p>structured with optional wires</p> <p>Elan Nbr 510 Sizes 32A40DD 32A40DD 42B48FF Description front closing partial band demi-bra</p> <p>511</p> <p>back closing partial band demi-bra</p> <p>520</p> <p>back closing full band bra</p> <p>530</p> <p>32A40DD 32A40C 32A42DD</p> <p>back closing partial band bra with full coverage</p> <p>540</p> <p>front closing padded push-up, partial band bra</p> <p>645</p> <p>back closing full band style with optional wires</p> <p>Ezi-Sew Nbr 101 Sizes 32A40D 42B8DD 32A-8D 32A 40D 32A36D, 38A-C 44C48F 42C48F Description full band bra with optional wires</p> <p>102 103 104</p> <p>front cross-over bra partial band bra front cross-over bra</p> <p>105</p> <p>uplift bra with pad inserts</p> <p>107</p> <p>full band soft cup bra</p> <p>108</p> <p>maternity bra</p> <p>Jalie Bust 21"-50" Nbr Sizes Description</p> <p>2563 2564 KwikSew Nbr 1017 1018 2101 2358 2374 2477 2489 3166 3167 Sizes</p> <p>sport bra pull-on bra</p> <p>Description no wire no wire partial band bra merrywidow and similar bodysuit no wire high-neck pull-on sports bra (OOP) full band demi-bra bustier pull-on body-hugging camisole</p> <p>32AA-34D 36A-40DD 32A-38C Sx-L 42C46DDD XS-XL 32A-38C XS-XL XS-L 32-36 AD, 38 BDD XS-XL 32AA40DDD</p> <p>3300</p> <p>vertical seam bra</p> <p>3301 3594</p> <p>pull-on bra back closing full band bra</p> <p>PinUpGirls Nbr Sizes Description</p> <p>1225</p> <p>30AA30A 30A38D 30E38H 40A48D 40E48H</p> <p>full band bra</p> <p>1230</p> <p>full band bra</p> <p>1235</p> <p>full band bra</p> <p>1240</p> <p>full band bra</p> <p>1245</p> <p>full band bra</p> <p>Lingerie Secrets Bust 32"-53" Nbr Sizes SXL4 SXL4 SXL4 SXL4 Description Crossover sport bra</p> <p>"T" sport bra</p> <p>Front closing sports bra, cups A/B/C/D</p> <p>Shelf bra camisole</p> <p>SuppliesCheck the pattern envelope for actual requirements of fabrics and supplies, but it's the sort of thing you can pick up odd bits for, or create a whole new stash!!!</p> <p>Bonding media</p> <p>You will need iron-on web with paper backing, known as visoflex or Wonder-Under or Stitch Witchery, to bond pieces together. You need this to fuse the stabilizer to the back of the bra center piece. If you are going to use a lace overlay there, you should bond the lace to the fabric you are using.</p> <p>StabilizerYou will need a fusible knit fabric, such as Fusi-Knit, to stabilize the front "T" piece, but you won't need much. Woven fusible fabrics will also work, and would need to be cut on the bias, but knits are easier to work with.</p> <p>ElasticsYou need good quality plush elastic here. Plush elastic has one side like normal elastic, and the other side is soft and fuzzy. Also, plush elastic has one straight edge and one scalloped edge. If it's available, you might be able to buy your elastic to the match fabric, or to contrast if you like. Elastic widths needed are 1cm (3/8") and 1.5cm (5/8") for the small/medium sizes, or 1.3cm (1/2") and 1cm (3/8") for the fuller cups.</p> <p>Bra strap elasticA class all in itself, this comes in all sorts of finishes. My suggestions are that only if you are an A cup should you get narrow width. The more weight you need to support, the wider it should be and less stretchy. You can not substitute any other type of elastic for straps. You must use bra strap elastic for the bra straps.</p> <p>Rings and slidersTwo rings and two sliders, which should fit the width of the elastic you use for the straps.</p> <p>Underwire CasingI always use underwire casing even when I don't use wires. This gives the bra more support and better definition. I also use it to put boning in the side seam (optional), but it helps the breast to stay forward. I also cover the side seam with underwire casing.</p> <p>Polyester threadYou need a good quality thread to match.</p> <p>Underwires to fitOnly Kwik-Sew 2374 calls for them, if you want to use them.</p> <p>Sewing machineYou must be able to do at least a zigzag stitch. If you have a machine that does a 3-step zigzag stitch, this is what is used in the industry.</p> <p>NeedlesUse ball-point or stretch needles to fit your machine.</p> <p>AdornmentsSmall bow, flower, or diamante, to sew to the middle of the bra when you've finished!</p> <p>FabricsChoices can include: </p> <p>Satin Lycra Cotton Lycra Tricot, which is also used for slips and petticoats Stretch or woven lace if you want for trim or to cover the cups. I only ever use soft feeling laces. They don't have to sit on the skin, can be an overlay. stretch or woven lace (), even some bridal laces work well Cotton interlock to line the cups if you want Powernet if you want for the sides (comes in different weights, but not a huge color choice, usually)</p> <p>Powernet Now if you are not sure about something, please ask. If you don't want to ask because you think it's too dumb, then Contact the instructor. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask!!! I can also post pictures of any notions you are not sure about. Powernet is the support in a bra. Contrary to popular belief its not the straps that support your breasts, its the bra band, the piece that goes around you. This page discusses Powernet as it is used in the bra band. Powernet comes in weights from quite light to really heavy duty, so heavy duty that it can be difficult to even stretch it. The weight of the powernet used depends on how much weight you are trying to support and what your undergarment is designed for. Remember that Powernet is used in girdles and form fitting undergarments. If you are lucky and dont have to support a lot of weight in your bra, then you can use satin lycra, cotton lycra, or any of the lightweight powernets. When you have much to support, for extra support and longer bra life, use two layers of light weight fabric, or use one or two layers of a medium weight powernet. On bras for very well endowed ladies, I always use either the heavy powernet or heavier lycra, which I sometimes double for even more support.</p> <p>On merry widows where some figure control is wanted, I use a medium weight to heavy weight powernet in the back and center panel, and prettier fabrics on the sides. When they want all round figure control, I use Powernet on the sides. Powernet can also be made into ladies briefs (knickers) as front or side panels or the back for control briefs. These can also be layered for more control. I think its a good idea to go looking in lingerie shops. Dont just look at your own size, but smaller and larger sizes as well. Feel the weights and see how they have combined fabrics to make the garments functional and feminine at the same time, especially in larger sizes. Looking and observing - and writing some covert notes will give you a better understanding of the functions of these fabrics and how to apply this knowledge for better garment making in the future.</p> <p>Please read the instructions with the pattern and print out and read mine BEFORE you start!!!</p> <p>Tracing Pattern Trace out pattern pieces to whatever you like to use. Mark stretch and grain line directions and notches. There are only 4 basic pieces to the pattern. I don't use the cup binding in the pattern. Instead I use the underwire channeling (casing), as I find it sits on the body better. I also do not use the bra strap pattern, as I prefer an elastic strap. When you lay out your pattern pieces, use the instructions with the pattern, but make sure you have the stretch and grain lines going the right way. I'm doing mine in a cotton Lycra, so will put a stabilizer fabric (sheer nylon) into the center T piece and lower cups, as the fabric offers little support and my boobs would end up on my waist and under my arms! If you want to line the cups or T piece, cut out lining fabric at the same time as the bra fabric by laying the pieces together, wrong sides together and stitch on the edge, then treat as one piece. Same goes for lace and sheer. If you want to pad the lower cup, sandwich the padding between fabric and lining, and edge stitch to hold the layers together. The alternatives are endless.</p> <p>Laying Out Pattern If you are not using power net for the T piece, you need to stabilize it if the fabric is very stretchy. Use your iron-on webbing and lining, and fuse the layers together. This can be done with the cup linings as well. I use a fading marking pen to mark all my notches, but I wait to mark until just before I'm going to use the piece! Have a NEW STRETCH needle, a full bobbin of good quality thread. A ball-point needle will do, if you don't have the stretch on hand, but the stretch is better. Following your instructions, pin cups wrong sides together, matching notches. You will use 1/4" seams (6mm) throughout. Straight stitch together. I use length 2.5 on my machine and have used contrasting thread so you can see it more easily in these examples.</p> <p>Center Cup Seam If you have one breast larger than the other, this is the time you can do a rough check on the cups. Place stitched cup over the breast and tape in place, hold the breast in position, pinch out excess, and pin very carefully. Re-stitch the seam. Do this before topstitching! Use a triple zigzag or serpentine stitch to sew the cup seams, as per instruction sheet. I use triple zigzag with a setting of W 7.0 L 1.5. Trim this seam. Sew cups into T piece, per instructions, then sew center fronts together. Now topstitch just the center front.</p> <p>The picture shows T piece with triple zigzag also scissors I use to cut lace trim- a worthwhile investment if you plan to do a lot of these!</p> <p>If you're wondering about the picture, it was lost in cyber-space. We hope to find it soon or make a new one!</p> <p>Now this is where I digress from the pattern instructions. I use underwire channeling (casing) to add support without putting in wires.</p> <p>Fold right cup back so cup/frame seam is showing (like when you stitched it). Place the stitched edge of the casing to the stitching line of the cup, starting a little less than 1/4" (6mm) from the top of the cup but finishing right to end on the side seam part of the cup. Stitch using a straight stitch on the stitching line of the casing. Turn casing into bra and from the right side straight stitch around bra cup to catch the other side of the casing on the inside.</p> <p>Casing To Bra Cups</p> <p>Now, if using wires, pattern 2374, this is where you put them in and do a bar tack at each end of casing to stop wire from popping out! NO gaps here!</p> <p>Your bra should look like this right side and inside out! Go have a coffee or G &amp; T. You've done well!</p> <p>Topstitching Casing</p> <p>Inside with Casing</p> <p>Nearly home now! Sew side seams (step 5 on pattern instruction sheet). I put the underwire casing over this seam as well, finishing the casing just under 1/4" from each end. Now, if you like, you can put some light boning in here for some support, which helps when there are wires and when you want to stop the bra from rolling up! TIP: put scotch tape (cellotape) on the end of the boning to help it slide through, and cut it to a rounded end. For 2374, follow pattern instructions for placement of shoulder straps. If y...</p>