Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bra Pattern Comparison

Now that I’ve sewn four different bra patterns and have had a chance to wear them, I thought it would be valuable to do a comparison. The four patterns include: Cloth Habit Watson, Cloth Habit Harriet, Madalynn Barrett, and Ohhh Lulu Romy.

It’s also worth noting that the first two patterns come in traditional bra sizes (band + cup) while the latter two come in S/M/L/etc. This affects both the design and fit of the final bra.

Watson is an awesome starter bra pattern. The instructions are easy to follow — including walking you through unfamiliar techniques and giving guidance on stitch width and length — and you end up with a nice bra. In terms of wear, it’s comfortable, though not the most comfortable on my list. I’ve also had some “muffin top” in the cups which are related to fit issues/being pregnant, but are still more of an issue here due to Watson’s cup shape.

Harriet is the bra to be proud of making. It’s more complicated to sew, but still has Cloth Habit’s accessibility in the style of directions. Sizing on Harriet is key. Once I made the bra in the correct size, it was comfortable (though a different comfortable than wearing a non-underwire bra). If you’re looking for an underwire bra pattern, this is a good one to check out.

Barrett is the bra I both love and hate. I hate putting it on (it’s a pull-over with no back fastener) but, once it’s on, it’s the bra I’d rate as most comfortable. I also wasn’t a big fan of the directions, which were very text heavy and didn’t have clearly enumerated steps; I definitely wouldn’t make this as your first bra. That said, this is a free pattern and could easily be modified to include a back fastener.

Romy is an all around solid pattern. Good directions (though lacking some of the extra details of Watson) and a comfortable wear. I also like the finishing detail in the enclosed seams. I think Romy is more forgiving of fit issues, likely due to the cup shape. I really like my Romy bras, with the exception that the back straps need to be closer together.

All told, if you’ve never sewn a bra before, sew a Watson. Otherwise, try a Romy or, if you don’t mind a pull-over, a Barrett. For a good but accessible challenge, tackle a Harriet. I hope this comparison helps!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Romy and Romy

I seem to be finding the bottom of this bra rabbit hole, or at least loosing some steam. It might have had something to do with the chaos of moving my sewing room and then sewing 3 bras in 2 weeks. I won’t say I’m done with sewing bras, only that other types of patterns and my WIP pile are looking pretty appealing right now.

Before I hit this point, I tried a new pattern: the Romy Bra by Ohhh Lulu. I like the simplicity of this pattern — bonus points for having straightforward directions with pictures — and a construction which leaves the seams enclosed between the main fabric and the lining (see last photo).

And because I’m obsessed, I actually made two of these bras: one standard version (hello pink!) and one with the strappy modification included in the pattern. Both were easy to construct, though the strappy version did not easily convert to a nursing bra.

The problem was that I thought I could anchor the maternity clasp on the added front strap. However, this resulted in the front strap pulling in and the cup pulling out, meaning the clasps popped open much too readily for my peace of mind (the twisted area in photo above). The solution was to add another strap on the outside to balance the pull of the front strap. It took a little jiggering, and an added O-ring, but I made it work.

Two more things about this bra pattern. First, pink version is actually the only bra I’ve assembled using my serger; I’ve been surprised by how readily you can make a bra on a regular sewing machine. Second, I don’t like how far apart the straps are at the back of the bra. It’s only a problem with the white version because I used tighter elastic, but it’s something I’d modify if I made this pattern a third time.

So there you are, bras #10 and #11. The current total include 6 Watson’s, 2 Harriet’s, 2 Romy’s, and 1 Barrett (6 of which are nursing bras). I’ll have to do a comparison of each bra pattern in a future post.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

A Small Hat

It's rather shocking to be blogging about something other than a bra, but I do occasionally sew things other than lingerie. These things are often hats, but at least it's a change from the last eight (!) items I've made.

This particular hat is another bucket hat from the book Sewn Hats. I made one for the toddler last summer in size XS and he's already outgrown it! So this time I sewed a size Small. As in, an adult-small hat. For my 2.5-year-old. I guess he just has a lot of brains.

I didn't have enough of the fox fabric (only a fat quarter), so I decided to make this hat completely reversible with a different lining. You might recognize the lining as leftover fabric from one of my Scout Tees. It's a bit of a departure from the pattern specifications (which don't call for lining the crown), but it wasn't a difficult modification and I actually prefer the full lining + reversibility.

We told him to smile for this picture and the results could not be more adorable. But at least he likes his new hat (and it actually fits him)!