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What i Made: Amber Rosalind

bra making

I can be self-deprecating about my boobs — or lack thereof. It took me a long time to accept that my underboob is and will probably only be the mere suggestion of a shadow. I’ve got small breasts, so what? That doesn’t mean I can’t be sexy. Audrey Hepburn didn’t have giant hooters, nor does Gwyneth Paltrow sport a nice rack. Both women were and are gorgeous. The key to getting the most out of my knockers? The right bra. It’s a quest I’ve been on for 2 ½ years and my journey has felt like Cinderella’s. I just can’t find the right fit. It doesn’t have to scream sex kitten, but it does have to be comfortable, beautiful and supportive enough to give some semblance of boobage. Is that too much to ask for? I’ve made so many iterations of this bra – I even thought I nailed it last year. But it wasn’t the one. Dare I say that this is my match? Well, it sure seems like it. If it ain’t, well shit, I’m starting a bra burning club. Who’s with me? Men, you’re invited too.

bra making

To make the details about patterning, fabric and construction for this bra, Amber Rosalind, easy to read and understand, I’m going to be corporate for just a moment:

Pattern: The pattern is the same pattern I’ve been using – a variation of Pin-up Girls #1200. The cup volume was reduced, the band length was increased, the strap scoop was eliminated and the fabric straps were replaced with elastic straps. There were a few other minor pattern tweaks that were specific to my shape, but if you want to replicate it, those are the main changes.

Construction: Increasing the band length allowed me to use a wider elastic at the bottom – 3/4” – which is more comfortable in my opinion. The top band and neckline were finished with ¼” plush elastic. All elastic was first set with a narrow, one-step zig zag, and then a three-step zig zag. The straps features one, ¼” strap looped through an o-ring, which were attached at the strap point. There is a 2×3 sealed hook and eye at the back and normal length underwires. All notions were sourced from Bra Makers Supply.

Fabric: The fabric is a stretch lace from Lace Supply. The bridge and both the upper and lower cups are lined with a firm power net, again from Bra Makers Supply, and the back band is unlined.

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Sara once said that all artists have to learn the rules in order to break them. On this bra, Amber Rosalind, I finally felt confident enough to break a couple major ones. First, I didn’t stabilize the bridge with a firm fabric like Duoplex. Slap me now. Although it is preached that the bridge on all bras must be stabilized up and down and from side to side (in order to support the breasts), after looking at my RTW bras, I decided against it. Maybe us women who are not well endowed can have a bridge that isn’t as firm as a woven cotton? The powernet is pretty firm and does the job – proof is that there are no stress lines. See any? Another rule I broke was finishing the cross cup seam – I serged it. It’s a much easier finish than the one I normally sew, but it’s faster and flatter. Think about it, why do seamstresses use an overlock? Because it’s not bulky, right? Same principle. And no, the serge doesn’t bother my ta-ta’s.

So, the key to my perfect, defectless bra? Just like mom’s homemade stew, it was a pastiche of ingredients – the right fabric, the right fit, the right notions and most importantly, the right knowledge that has mish-mashed over the last 700 or so days and culminated into this.

29 Comments

  1. Reply

    Claire

    Very pretty and clean finished. I love the delicate color. Just saw you use JUki serger. I am interesting in the stitches and tension levels you applied for the cup seam.Thank you

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Normal setting – 5 on loopers and right/left needle

  2. Reply

    Clio

    Beautiful!

  3. Reply

    Lauren Taylor

    So pretty! When I make up my bra, we are gonna match! (Well, sort of- I don’t think mine will turn out quite as pretty haha)

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I smell an Instagram, side by side image coming our way!

  4. Reply

    Michelle

    Maddie, I’m so happy you finally got your perfect fit! I really know the struggle to get there too. It’s really lovely.

  5. Reply

    anto

    It’s so beautiful, Maddie! I adore how delicate it is, and your construction looks perfect! I want to pull a Maddie and sew 2 or 3 bras around the holidays. i know, I know, it’s like 4 months away! But I figure if I start planing and getting all my supplies right away, I’ll be more than ready once I get some free time. How did you like that fabric? is it soft?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Do it! You’d be surprise how time gets away from you. Christmas will be here before you know it!

  6. Reply

    Joelle St-Laurent

    you are such an inspiration in my own bra-making journey, and i am so glad to hear (and SEE!!) how beautifully this one fits!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      You’re a gem. Thank you. Bra making has been a long journey.

  7. Reply

    Heather Lou

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I’m dying to make some new bras and you’re just encouraging me to drop everything I’m working on to play with lace.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Play girl!

  8. Reply

    sallieforrer

    This is a gorgeous set!! And I’m really intrigued by the ‘shape’ of bra you ended up with. I might send you some risque pictures of myself in my second attempt at the Pin up girls bra to see if you can help me with some fitting issues one of these days. I really love the idea of making my own lingerie, but I just get SO frustrated with all the fitting issues!!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Send me photos! I’d love to help!!

  9. Reply

    Melissa Wehrle

    It’s so beautiful! Your dedication and skill certainly show in the construction.

  10. Reply

    Ginger

    Really pretty!

  11. Reply

    missceliespants

    I really like how you do your straps. I’m always too nervous to play around with mine too much. Very pretty.

  12. Reply

    Christianne McCall

    Thank you! I am small topped as well and HATE bra shopping. I’m hoping to try to make my own and you are very inspiring!

  13. Reply

    Stacia

    It’s lovely!

  14. Reply

    poppykettle

    It’s an ethereal beauty, just like you! No wonder it’s such a fabulous match 🙂

  15. Reply

    juliana gago

    beautiful!!
    perfectly made. just beautiful!
    (and that dress!!)

  16. Reply

    Pauline alice

    This is such a pretty lingerie set! You make me want to clear my schedule and buy bra/panty notions and sew fabulous matching sets like yours…

  17. Reply

    Amy

    This is a beautiful pale blue… so lovely Maddie!

  18. Reply

    Elise Harris

    The fit looks impeccable. I am so confounded on the right bra shape- I can never find one with a band that doesn’t make my underbust achingly sore part way through the day, even when on the loosest hook. My me-made bras are even worse! The struggle is all too real

  19. Reply

    Amanda Russell

    The grass is always greener, right? ^__^ Being of ample bosom, I often wished I could be LESS booby – the wrong styles can instantly add 30 lbs to my shape and/or give me that six months pregnant look, which is not a good thing if you’re not LOL. Also, all the cute & pretty tops, dresses and lingerie never come in my size. I think we can definitely say we share a common problem, even if we live on two different ends of the spectrum – your solution is gorgeous, elegant and the perfect amount of sexy 🙂

  20. Reply

    Sari Ganulin

    Those briefs! I still want to make them. Tell me your ways! 😀

  21. Reply

    Patricia

    Very lovely!!! I definitely want to make my own bra/brief set.

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