Back before my breast reduction, I had to learn to make bras, custom ones run in the hundreds of dollars (and rightly so) and I was a poor single mom at the time, custom bras weren’t going to happen.
But, I had to draft from a old Kwik-Sew pattern. A 38J didn’t happen, even in a pattern. So, a lot of experimenting and I could finally at least keep all that boobage in one place. After the surgery however, I stopped making them except as an odd foray into sewing.
Then I decided I wanted to make some again, patterns have come a long way from the old ones you’d find from the 60’s, and the Kwik-Sew that only fit you if you were under a D cup and a 38 band. Now you can find patterns all the way up to my old J cup! It’s fantastic.
Now I’m a healthy 44D according to the bras from Walmart. Our RTW bra size has zero to do with custom sizing, so after I had one cut out, I had to do a second.
I of course didn’t save my pictures the first time, but if you’re on my Facebook, I do post pictures of projects all the time, so feel free to look there for more pictures. (someday I have to organize my albums)
But, this is the second try. I cut a new pattern, this time adding my seam allowances, something I forgot last time. The larger size is much larger, but honestly, fits much better too. I don’t think my store bra is “wrong” really, I just think that once again we’ve run into a case of patterns versus ready to wear sizes. The fashion industry wants to make us feel better, so stuff is smaller in RTW. No biggie, I know I’ve got giant tits.
So this is a pattern from Danglez DB7E, which, may I say, it seems none of the big bra bloggers have attempted. Probably part of that being that this is a bra for big girls. I also picked up DB4E, although with this size issue, I might not be able to use that one for myself, which is a bit disappointing. But I’m not 100% sure yet about that, as you’ll see if you keep reading.
Part of the issue is being able to measure, these are Dutch patterns, so obviously they use the metric system. Here in the states, we’re discouraged from fitting in with the rest of the world, and are taught metric only from about 5th grade on, by which time it confuses us so badly we can’t quickly convert a thing.
As I said, in RTW, I wear a 44D, easily done, so I go to the chart and this tells me that in European bra sizes, I am a 100E in Japan and Europe. Which, I knew I was an E cup, I’ve had my fair share of imported bras.
So the 100E made me happy because yes, it is a big size, but it meant for many of the patterns I was finding, there were a few that’d be worth getting, Kwik Sew bras are a bit of a joke for sizing and it seems American women aren’t deemed worthy of decent bra patterns, even though several of us out here hunt down vintage patterns and modern bra patterns constantly. We’re obviously in the minority. /eyeroll
But, obviously, I was wrong. A measure taken finally last night told me my under bust was 116, and my full bust 130. That throws everything into confusion and tells me that I’m a 110E
And of course me being me, I misread from the start and cut my first as a 95E. So, the one today was cut as a 110E, and it doesn’t seem *too* large, but I’ve got to get some fabric and cut another at 100E, and cut another at 110E just to see which fits better.