After taking Beverly Johnson last course on Craftsy, I was so impatient to try all the pattern modifications she talks about! But, first, I wanted to draft my own bra pattern and perfect the fit. As you know, to complete that task I had the invaluable help of Kristina Shin’s book, my most loyal bra-making companion! 🙂 I believed that I finally succeeded with my Marie Antoinette bra, so now it’s the time that I’ve been waiting for!
I was so excited that I wanted to apply all the modifications to a single pattern, but then I realized that maybe I’ll end up with something like a Franken-Bra-Monster! Partial bra, keyhole bridge, front closure, tapered straps, Y back…. Too many things! So, I’ve decided to try one or two at a time.
With this bra, I focused on the partial band modification and also added an inside pocket for cookies. Just in case 😉 . I’ve used black lycra (the most slippery lycra I’ve ever seen! A nightmare to sew! But it has a really soft touch…) and some dotted mesh for the cups, lined with sheer cup lining, and cotton jersey for the inside pockets. I’ve also used black mesh for the wings, with 3/8” plush back elastic. For the top part of the cups and the band, I’ve combined a black elastic trim with black FOE, just like the matching knickers. Yes, that’s right; I’ve made matching knickers for once!
The knickers are made using my self-drafted pattern for high waisted basic knickers, but I’ve modified it to add princess seams. I love the colour-blocking effect! (If you’d like to see here a tutorial about how to modify a basic knicker pattern to include princess seams, let me know!;) ). The fit of both the bra and the knickers is good, but I think that I like full band bras more… Anyway, I enjoyed making this set, as it gave me the opportunity to try new techniques! I’m thinking on modifying cup seams for my next try… Maybe a vertical seamed cup? I’m curious about how the different seams will change the fit!
And, just before I go to play with my patterns (like a child with a new toy), I’ve created a little list of places where you can find some info about partial band bras:
Resources for drafting a partial band bra:
- Beverly Johnson class on Craftsy Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques (and I assume that her Bra-Making Manual also has this info): Beverly tells you all that you need to know to transform a full band bra to a partial band, and she even demonstrates how to sew it. It can be tricky!
- Madalynne: on her blog, Maddie has this post, which sums up Beverly information about pattern modifications in a very clear and visual way. (No sewing info included).
- Patternmaking for Underwear Design, Kristina Shin: Shin’s book demonstrates how to draft a partial band bra (she calls it the “hook up bra”), but her info is also useful if you want to transform a full band bra pattern that you already have. Although I’ve stated publicly my love for this book before (yeah, Mrs. Shin rules!), Shin’s explanation is a little bit more confusing than the previous two resources. (Also, no sewing info included).
So, seeing the lack of info about how to sew a partial band bra, I’m considering doing a quick tutorial about it. What do you think about that? I’ll be happy to read your opinions below!