Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Orange Lingerie Marlborough Bra: Third Times The Charm!


I think I got it!  I think I got the fit spot on!! It's my latest Marlborough Bra from Orange Lingerie.  I sewed my first version (the cream colored one) a couple weeks ago, thought it was too big in the cup, went on to sew Version 2 (photos immediately below)  which ended up a disgustingly small fit in the cup ), went back to Version 1 (that cream one), then sent photos and asked Norma (designer of the pattern) via Twitter for advice on how to adjust the cup.  Of course she was right, check out Version 3, the pink one above!  But first, I must mourn the loss of a the gorgeous, too small bra.  I took photos for posterity, then ripped it apart to keep the findings.  I hand dyed all the fabric and lace that lovely shade of purple and lined it with silk organza.  It was about 95% done.  No way I was tossing out those elastics from a pricey Merckwaerdigh kit.

Update, Sept 30, 2014: Version 4 can be found here!



  I used size 38B for this pink Marlborough Bra.  I found that my original one version (the cream one) was much too large in the upper area of the cup.  This is a very common occurrence in nearly every RTW bra I try on since I have a shallow bust as well as a wide root.  This means most of the bust tissue is lower on the bust and each bewb takes up a pretty wide area.  So I need a wide cup... but the top half of the cup has a hollow, open space creating wrinkling and a "hammock" effect.  Funny fact, a 38B cup is equivalent to a cup in a 32DD.


I could pinch out a decent amount on the upper cup (LEFT).  After removing a
sliver from the pattern pieces, the pink bra is the result (RIGHT).
Yes, I took some generic, vague pics of the cups while it was being worn.  It was the best way to demonstrate the problem.  I asked Norma, the designer of the bra, what would be the best way to remove that excess material.  I used her advice.  I pinched out the extra fabric along the vertical seam, I wanted to only remove material from the upper and lower cup and NOT the power bar. I pinned it.  I then transferred the markings to my pattern.  You can see this below in the photos.


First I lined up and taped the upper and lower cup where their seams meet on their right.  I marked and drew in a new seam line and cutting line.  You can see it's a wedge.  I cut the extra pattern edge off. I then re-drew my seam lines as dotted line to match  the rest of the pattern pieces.  For my ease of reference, I wrote on all the seam lines to let me know which seam line it will be sewn to... i.e. "attach to lower cup", etc.


I laid my first bra against my latest bra for comparison's sake.  All's the same except for the height of the top of the cup, plus there is a little space removed in the volume on top.


Crazy how the fabric pieces and lacey bits are all just a tiny mess of a pile that turns into something so pretty and quite supportive.  This bra pattern is great for everyday support.  I am not jogging in it or hiking in it.  But I'm doing normal stuff in it.


I used the same laces and elastics in this pink bra as I did in my first bra (the cream one) just so I could compare apples to apples.  A different material can drastically change the fit of a bra.  I hand dyed this lace a while back.  I wish I thought to toss some findings, underwire tubing and the bra clasp for the back.  And that bridge... it's making me so happy.  I altered it to fit using Norma's book Demystifying Bra Fitting & Construction.  Check out my review of the book here.


If you look real close, I did use a different lace for the bridge... it has the same qualities, hand and stretch as the other so there would be no noticeable difference in fitting.



I always want to see what a finished garment looks like on the body.  And when it's a bra I like to understand the shape the cups produce.  So I took a few photos and tweaked them for modesty's sake.


And to get a better idea of how it works under just a regular top, I took a shot while I wore it under a plain tank top here.  Bewbies!!!!


Here's a fun little trick I've seen in a variety of places (I can't recall the original source, possibly Sigrid?)  To get the lace to line up ever so perfectly, line up the seam line with a low dip in the lace's scalloped edge.  Perfection!


ANYONE sew up this pattern yet besides me?!  I want to hear what you've experienced and see what you think, too.  Do share!

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Kathy! The problem that you describe is the one I have in all my RTW bras and it drives me insane. Looks like I'm going to have to get into lingerie making soon.

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    1. Isn't that crazy! I always had that issue and figured I just needed a smaller bra or something. Nope, the bras in stores are just wrong.

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  2. This is so fun to read along to. I did just buy the Craftsy class too. But, I tried to watch it in bed and the hubs begged me to turn it off. heh. I really need to try some bra dyeing!

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    1. Ha! I would be up all night just watching the whole class! Yeah, didn't you get like 100 yards of that same lace from that warehouse sale last year? Dang, they need to hold another one for me.

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  3. What beautiful lingerie you have created! Bra-making is on my bucket list, but there are a lot of other things I need to master before I get there.

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    1. Thanks!! Bra making is actually VERY easy if you are a decent seamstress. It took me exactly 3 hours to sew this last night, not including cutting the fabric though. That was like a half hour.

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  4. Thanks for this in-depth review!

    I'm looking to start bramaking, and I actually found your blog while searching for bramaking resources. Would you recommend this pattern for a first "real" bra, or should I stick with something like the Pin-Up pattern that I'm seeing mentioned everywhere? Thanks for your input.

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    1. Thanks! And no problemo! I started with the Pin Up Girls classic full band bra. I learned soooooo much from it. Comparing this pattern here on this post to the Pin Up Girls one, I'd lean towards the Pin Up Girls as a 1st bra. Beverly Johnson, the bra lady who is behind the Pin Up Girls bras, JUST posted her first class online, too. It's on Craftsy.com (you probably already saw it!) I would bet that it's a solid course. The directions in her pattern are fantastic (I was a total bra sewing newbie when I used her pattern!) Here's a link to her blog that announced the class: http://bramakers.blogspot.com/2014/09/craftsy-class-launch.html It was wild what a great looking bra I made for my 1st one with her pattern.

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  5. Oh now I know *why* bras don't fit me well - I have shallow bewbs too! :) Thanks for sharing your journey. I'm new to your blog, but not sewing. I just bought the book the other day after seeing it on Melissa's blog (Fehr Trade) and it came today. I also bought the Craftsy class last night that just came out. I'm dying to sew myself some bras that fit and I think with all the info I've gotten lately, I might actually have some success.

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    1. Thanks! I just figured out all my shallow boob "problem" fairly recently. I knew I had issues but didn't get it why at all. I am soo curious about her class on Craftsy.

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  6. Great bra. I love making my own bras I just which the supplies were more readily available locally!

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  7. This is fascinating! You had me wanting to give this a try just because your bras are so pretty. BUT - I have that same shallowness going on, and it never occurred to me I could fix it by making my own!! Super tempted now! Yours are just beautiful - you should be proud!

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  8. I tried this pattern, and will need to try again as the first one was too small....I think the power bar helps the girls to the front, but I had some top "spillage" and it looks a little "tarty". So I think I need to go up a cup size. BUT I have the same shallow top, wider root issue, so I am hesitant ...maybe do a pinch out like you did on the next cup size up. However, This is the first bra pattern I have tried that has the band- to- cradle join in such an angle that it fits my body. I have had SO much trouble with other patterns gaping and wrinkling here, even with pinches taken out--so I LOVE that part of the Marlborough. So my next version will probably be: go up a cup size for some volume, raise the height a wee bit of the top cup, pinch a little out of the top as you did...at least that's what I am thinking.

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  9. I am so stinkin impressed. this is beautiful. and to think that you can now make all of your bras and they will fit perfectly. I dont think that I have ever had a bra that fit right. i really want to do this, but am scared about investing the time. it seems like everyone who tries bra making loves it, but it takes many versions to get it right. well done.

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  10. Kathy, that is so beautiful! And what a delight that it fits! Congrats on that! I can hear the Marlborough calling to me. :)

    Michelle

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  11. These are so pretty! I love the orange elastic so much.

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  12. I just bought this pattern yesterday, so I was glad to see your review. You did a beautiful job.

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  13. Beautiful! The colors and laces are just lovely. I actually opened my Lingerie box to pull out some long-stashed stretch lace to add to an XYT top, and visions of bra making started to stir. If only there weren't twenty or so projects in the queue...

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  14. These are so beautiful, Kathy! I just love seeing the work you do. I'm taking a bra making class on craftsy and its inspiring me to finally delve into making a bra.

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  15. I wrote to Norma and asked her the same question! She referred me to this post. You gave explained the needed alteration so well, thank you! Have you seen the new bra pattern Norma released today! I can't wait to try that one as well!

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    1. That's great I could help... well really it was Norma who helped me on this. I know... I JUST saw the new pattern... I MUST buy it asap.

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