Category Archives: Bra Making

Braga aka The Bra Saga

Well, the last few days have been allergy hell. My bi-annual sinus infection showed up. I was actually very productive all week so far, but the bra wasn’t something I worked on.

Last I’d said, I’d done a mock up of the Danglez DB7E which at first had confused me on everything from instructions to constructions. I finally figured it out (after some d’oh moments) and put together two sizes using some old pajama material.

$22 later, and I had most of the materials for a new bra in the bigger size (I decided to go with a 110E) and I cut it, and pinned it, and then promptly got sick.

Sidebar, I want to thank my friend Sarah at my local JoAnn’s. Not only is she a “real life” friend, but she’s also just one of the best employees a JoAnn’s can have. She’s helpful and always cheerful and uncomplaining when I drag her from one side of a store to the other searching for fabric for one of the oddest things an Oswegonian can sew, bras. Her enthusiasm for my projects never fails. She also can lay out the best Power Point on kink that I’ve ever seen this side of a dungeon party. That was one hell of a class Sarah.

But, good news, I now have antibiotics and am hoping that tomorrow I can sew the bra together. No straps, and no wires yet, so this’ll still be a temporary fit. I also ordered another pattern, this one for a t-shirt bra that’ll require foam cups that I am SUPER excited to attempt, I love t-shirt bras.

Anyhow, on to the new pinning.


First is always fabric. I picked out a 2 way stretch knit that happened to be two sided. The pattern calls for being lined, but I decided that the knit was fairly sturdy, so I’d skip that step. I might be wrong, we’ll see when the wires are in if I was way off. Some pretty little velvet flowers with pearl centers, some pink piping, pink double fold elastic, and some pretty wide pink ribbon “just in case”.


Pinning went fast now that I get how it goes together, I used the polka dots as the band and center front, stripes for the cups. This was the look I was going for, and I found some hot pink plush for holding the wires.

Now, the piping. It goes all around the band and I need to pick up more, and yes, I realize it might be a mistake, but I added piping to the cups. I do know this’ll show under thin shirts and don’t especially care. Ain’t no shame in my girls.


And last, I set the flower just to show how cute’ll it’ll look, along with using the pink ribbon as temporary straps.

So, so far so good, tomorrow, I sew!

I figured I’d also share some other sewing I’ve been working on, I have an embroidery machine and want to design my own patches eventually, meanwhile, I use those that are out there. So, yesterday, I made these two “Hit Like a Girl” roller derby patches. I love RD, have many friends in the sport and am always happy to cater to them. Check these out, I’m seriously fucking proud.


How awesome are these? The next one planned is in lime green and black. That’s the colors of Medusa Place a proud New Hampshire Roller Derby babe.


This was a “for the heck of it” project. No reason other than I could.

Last thing to share, felties. These honestly, are not my things. I do not cater to kids, and my sales to people with kids are off Etsy. I do not feel people want to come to “Dirty Girl Designs” for kid’s toys, and I’m totally fine with that.

Anyhow, felties (which, yes, I totally have adult ones) are cute little felt embellishments that are mostly done by people like me on their embroidery machine by designers out there who specialize in this sort of thing. I had two requests, one was zebras, which I found at DejahVu Designs, and another which isn’t ready to be shared yet. Here are the zebras, and also that stupid grouchy cat Tard, who I’m seriously just not into.


People tell me these  make them think “Yipes! Stripes!”

I know these just look pastel……


But they actually glow in the dark.


Then you have Grumpy Cats from Bobbin for Appliques. Yes, I made his satanic eyes red.

And lastly, these are also done on my embroidery machine, I’m using up felt scraps to do up some pillow covers. I don’t have the wherewithal to do an entire quilt from 4×4 squares, but my nerves can handle 40 squares. (20 per pillow)

IMG_0950 IMG_0951 IMG_0952

Pretty cool eh?



Filed under Bra Making, Embroidery Machine, Sewing

Bras Bras Bras

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.

Confused yet?

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Filed under Bra Making, Sewing