I was going to make a Valentine’s bra for myself. I had everything set out and was getting ready to cut it out. I even knew the one alteration I wanted to make.
Still using my Pin-Up Girls Shelley pattern, I was going to add a little bit of width to the bottom of the bridge.
Right there. I want it just a touch wider, but everything else fits really well. In fact, it’s my current favorite.
However, much like making my Personal Croquis (which I’m still really enjoying), I’ve had another project on my list of things to do for a while now – draft my own bra pattern.
I have Bra Design & Draft from Beverly Johnson’s Bra-making Manuals.
In fact, I’ve drafted part of my pattern already. The only part of the drafting process that is new to me is the cup. Because of the alterations I’ve needed for my cradle and bridge, I’ve been drafting my own cradle/bridge for a few years now using information from the Manuals.
Even though only part of this process is new, it still felt daunting. I figured the worst case scenario was it wouldn’t turn out, and I’d go back and use my Shelley pattern making that one little adjustment. The best case scenario would be I’d have a self-drafted pattern. I took a deep breath, and started.
I was geared up to start. I had my paper, pencil and eraser and thought I was all ready. I drew two lines, and then searched the house for a compass. Even my hubby got in on the search. Nope. We didn’t have a compass anymore. Our kiddos are done school, and we didn’t keep any of those school goodies. (I love to declutter!) So, it’s a quick trip to Staples, and now I’m ready again.
From here, I did what I usually do. I decided it wasn’t just right, so I crumpled it up and started again. I did this when making my bodice sloper too. My sloper was fine, and so was this. But I like things just so, and I don’t mind making sure.
The next step felt like going back to the beginning. I hadn’t drawn out the cradle and band this time. But I needed those before I could say the cup fit. So, re-drew my cradle.
Third Time’s a Charm
I was happily getting started on my band and cradle, and realized I didn’t have all my measurements! I was drafting away thinking I was doing better than I anticipated, and everything came to a stop. I needed measurements which I couldn’t do on my own. I’d never drafted the band part, so didn’t have those back measurements. My hubby to the rescue.
There was one more bump in the road. I got to a point with the drafting and mine didn’t look like what Beverly had in the Manual. It really didn’t look the same, but I knew all my measurements were correct. I was stuck. You can see how I was feeling even. No sparkly stars shining perfection on my draft!
I am so fortunate to have worked on a blog tour with The Fairy Bra Mother and Mrs. Weaver. In fact, I’ve worked on a few projects with Mrs. Weaver. I’d mentioned to Mrs. Weaver that I was attempting a draft. She very kindly offered to help if I got stuck. I took her up on that.
It turns out I was on the right track; it’s just much easier to see what the next step was rather than read it. Thank you so much, Karin!
Next Steps (Finally!)
Here’s my newly drafted pattern from my measurements. I won’t sew this up as it is. I’ll change the lines – add a power bar, split the lower cup – add a few of the pretty details I like in a pattern. Once I make it more a style I want, I’ll make a test bra to see how it all fits.