Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cloth Habit Watson Bra + Bikini: Muslin #1-- HUGE Bra & Near Perfect Undies


Watson Bra & Bikini PatternI am a sucker for new lingerie patterns so I had to give Cloth Habit's very first official pattern that's she's selling a try: The Watson Bra & Bikini.  It's a basic bralette and undie set that end up looking really great.  I followed her measurement guidelines since I felt this would produce the most accurate results for my muslins.  Nope, not at all for the bra.  I was suspicious that I'd need to size down before even cutting into the fabric but really wanted to stick with her sizing recommendations at first.  I opted for the longline in View A.  I also whipped up the undies.  I had much more success with the bikinis' sizing as I've had experience with making (and really liking!)  her Rosy LadyShorts (here and here) and assumed she used the same underwear block for these.




For the undies I am in the XL size range.  I made a straight size XL but added on some extra butt coverage.  I had to do this for her Rosy LadyShorts, plus I could tell just by looking at the pattern that I'd need to add some material to cover my full rear end.  You can see in the photo on the right where I added on some extra fabric but maintained the XL sizing.  The red line is the original pattern line.  I found that the rise of these undies are a little short for me and will add maybe an inch (2.5 cm) next go round just for personal preference.  The waist is a tad large so I will have to reduce the it down by half a size as well.



My dark blue fabric is a 4-way stretch nylon spandex. I've used it for a pair or running leggings last year.  The white lace is a firm nylon spandex stretch lace that is a nice stand in for a medium powernet... I've it used numerous times and even dyed for a bunch of bras found here, here, here and here.. and maybe other places, too?  I just traced out the edge of the pattern along the edge of the lace then attached it with a medium zig zag stitch along the lower lace edge.


I only used my regular sewing machine for all the seams, the serger would create unwanted bulk.  I opened the seams on the undies and top-stitched them to make a nice smooth look on the front.   I am not a huge fan of having the exposed seam in the crotch as the pattern directions suggest to do.  I enclosed my seams, and it's way easy. I used the 'burrito method'.  You can find detailed directions on this method with the Fehr Trade Free Lacey Thong Pattern.  That purple elastic is the same elastic on these undies, just dyed in a red RIT dye.


And now for that too big but very cute bra.  I measure 36" (91.5 cm) at my underbust, this dropped me in the size 40 band according to the directions.  I was apprehensive, but I went for it.  I am often a 36 or 38 in RTW depending on the bra.  The Watson pattern guidelines: underbusts between 36-37", use a 40 band.  For comparison, I make a size 38B for the Orange Lingerie Marlborough Bra with an aleration for a shallow bust, a 38A for the Pin Up Girls Classic Full Band Bra and about a 38A for the Kwik Sew 3300 bra pattern.  Yes, the fabric has some good stretch but this is waaaaaaaaaaay to huge. Check out the picture below, the cups are massive and I pulled out the band *very* lightly and got inches extra, this is on the tightest set of hooks.  And those cups are gigantor.


This bra is clearly designed for smaller busted women or for women who need minimal support.  I wasn't expecting loads and loads of support with an non-wired bra, but at least a closer fit in the band.  I may be an A/B cup but I need more support then most A/B gals.  I need my band to be tighter-- like the general rule of thumb: if you need more support, use a tighter band... if you need less support, go up a few inches in the band for a looser fit.

What will I do for my second version of the long line Watson bralette?
-Go down a band size and TWO full cup sizes-- from this 40B to a 38A (a 40B cup is equivalent to a 38C cup)
-Use a firmer cup material OR line with a low stretch fabric
-Use powernet or a firm elastic (like the white stuff I have in front cradle) for the band
-Possibly make a shallow bust adjustment


Also, one thing I noted in the materials list that threw off the sewing of the elastics on my bra-- the need for better clarification on which size plush elastic to use for the underarm and neckline.  In the materials list is states to use 1/4" OR 3/8" plush elastic.  I used 3/8" but only to find out after sewing it on that it should have been 1/4".  It would have been helpful to state that the 3/8" was exclusively for the undies in the steps of the directions during that step.  I see that in the Seam Allowance section prior to step one now, it mentions that the SAs on the neckline/underarm are 1/4"... so be careful with that one!  I shoulda done a little better sleuthing.


Overall, the directions are pretty well written but omit a few items that would be of use (i.e. which elastics to use where, there are no metric measurements and inches are used exclusively, etc.)  The illustrations are fantastic.  I followed all of her suggestions for zig zag stitch sizes just for the sake of using and following a new pattern (she does a nice job of telling you what stitch where and when and the size) but I have personal preferences for certain stitches and sizes of them and will likely use my own ideas next go round.  I was a stickler for switching out my threads CONSTANTLY making sure to use white where white materials were used and dark navy where the blue material is... didn't want the contrast stitching.  I sewed this all up quickly, overall not much of a challenge as far as what sewing skills are needed.  I would like to get the right size/fit because I want a comfy, easy to wear non-wired bra.  I always wear underwires (I LOVE my Marlborough. LOVE!)  I think this is a nice pattern with lots of potential for loads of styles/prints/colors.  Plus, if your a bikini wearing type for you swimsuits... this could be a great pattern to use if you added some of those soft padded cups for nippulur modesty.  Alright then, onward!

20 comments:

  1. Love that fabric - shame about the bra, but I love the color combo you've used. Until recently I have totally dismissed non-wired bras for normal day wear, but I had a good result from Merechwaerdigh BHS10 which is surprisingly supportive, but I'm still going to wait and see if there are any C cup and above ladies that have a good result from this one before hitting the order button. You really are getting value out of that lace!!

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    1. Thanks! And oh my goodness I have that Merckwardigh pattern! Which view did you do? I did the one on the pattern drawing where the lady is leaning back and really enjoying touching her shoulders-- but needed to do some sizing tweaks because I made it a little big and the materials were a little too stretchy and never did... It's here http://www.kathy-sews.com/2013/03/bra-undies-set.html I'm curious to see what you made. I may need to lurk around your blog now...

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    2. That one is pretty! I made view A and B, A is the leaning lady. I have been a super lazy blogger of late, so they're only on instagram (http://instagram.com/p/u3iN1ekN4t/?modal=true and http://instagram.com/p/vOboXWkN0B/?modal=true ). View A is surprisingly good looking under clothes for me. I was hoping view B could have made a sports bra - I found some fabric that seemed like the stuff sports bras are made from. It wasn't supportive enough for running, but it would be fine for day wear.

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    3. I'm a 32E/30F, so definitely in the c cup and above camp! I'm in the process of writing my review, but long story short, it's not super supportive, but is comfy and very cute. I have "house bras" and "outside bras" and this definitely will not work for me as an outside bra.

      And, Kathy, this is gorgeous! I love the lace detail on the undies! I'm giving that one a try soon :) Shame it's too big, though. Maybe you could just take in the band and wear it around the house? lol it's too pretty to let it go to waste

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  2. this is looking lovely! i really like seeing the creativity people shows in making the watson, it's really inspiring! my watson also turned out big in the band, but i think my fabric is to blame. i followed amy's directions for sizing but measure myself VERY snug. i was wondering, about your band being too large, did you line the cradle with a stable fabric? i looks on the pictures you used the same blue lycra, but it's hard to tell. i assume it would make a big diference in the fit!

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    1. Thanks! I used the same blue fabric to line the cradke really for aesthetics. The lace is a very firm material and comparable to a stong medium weight powernet so this should have restrained some of that mega stretch. I need to size down in the band even if I was using my mega powerful powernet because it's so loose. I measured myself in a pleasantly snug way. There are a zillion suggestions on how to properly measure for bras and what not in the world and I've tried most of em. It's all just a starting point just like this muslin. But I know the pattern will give me a really cute good fitting bra soon enough ! It's a sweet little pattern.

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  3. Thanks for the detailed review! I found out that we're bra size buddies through Ms. Frizzle's helpful list, so now I'm hanging on your every word when it comes to bra sewing! I'm going to attempt my first one someday soon, and it's so great to hear from others' experiences.

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    1. Thanks, bra size buddy!!! Yes, you need to sew a bra. It's so addictive and you will likely get shockingly amazing looking results on your first few tries.

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  4. Good info, I am eyeing that pattern! It would be my first attempt at a bra, it seems less intimidating to me.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, this is a sweet pattern. I just didn't get the fit right in the 1st go... but that normal with any new pattern. My very favorite bra pattern (the Orange Lingerie Marlborough) took 3 tries to get it right... the 2nd one was THE worst fitting bra I ever put on my body... but the 3rd was the best. And three tries ain't bad, it can take more work sometimes.

      And yes, this can be a nice pattern for folks who are nervous about bra sewing. You don't need underwires, so that's one less component. My 1st bra pattern was the PinUp Girls classic full band bra (underwired) and I made a REALLY nice little bra with it off the bat. The secret is bra sewing IS NOT hard if you know how to sew already.

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  5. Thank you for this. I didn't like that she uses the old standard of measure yourself and add 4-5" for your band size and that's put me off buying it. But I do like that there are lots of cup sizes.

    It's really pretty and at least you now know what size to use for the next one!

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    1. No problemo. Yeah, that whole adding many inches business to find your band size is not meant for the busty gal or the gal who needs more support. I really like the idea of this bra so I am going to work on the fit, it takes like no fabric and have plenty of elastics so it's easy enough.

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  6. Thanks sooo much for this review, and your good works in reviewing the other bras roaming the range. Thanks for taking a couple for the team!

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    1. Thanks!! I am obsessed with bra sewing and will make more of these to get the fit right, maybe this week.

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  7. What a lovely set! I love the navy and white together - it's very fresh looking. And thank you for all the information about the pattern. I'm thinking, if it's not that supportive for an A/B woman who needs support, I won't even consider it except for an at-home bra.

    Michelle

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    1. Thanks! What's funny, I thought it looked 'fresh', too :) I think this will be much more supportive (not like underwire supportive) when I get the sizing/fit correct for my figure and use a more stable cup fabric. At this point , this version is unwearable for me

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  8. Thanks for the review. Your lingerie set looks great. I like the contrast between the colours. Love your blog and you inspired me to try dyeing lingerie stuff so I gave it a go. It was really easy (like you said). Thanks for all the information and pretty pictures. After your reviews I have decided that I need the Orange Marlborough bra pattern. Katherine

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    1. Thanks, Katherine! Hurray for dyeing at home... it IS so freakishly easy. And the secret is bra sewing is easy if you already know how to sew. It's the fitting that's the challenge. I think I may dye some more stuff today :)

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  9. The set looks beautiful. It's really sad that it doesn't fit properly. I bought this pattern and have hopes to sew a swimsuit from it prior to leaving for a vacation next weekend. I really appreciate that you shared your fitting experience, and I'm going to keep it in mind as I work!

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  10. This is cute! I love navy and white together. Too bad it came out so big. :/ The band has an 85% reduction for firm powernet. That is fairly long for many fabrics including 4-way spandex, but was just right on the bras I tested in firm powernet. I'd definitely shorten the band or go down a band if you're using anything that stretches more than 50%. Also if the cradles stretches at all that will make the whole thing stretch more...

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