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What i Made: Watson Bra

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Well, I’ve gone and done it. I made a Watson Bra. It seems like everyone and their mother’s have made a Watson, so I hopped on that sewing train and rode it to bra heaven. Like everyone else who has reviewed the pattern, I am a convert. Amy, you are a sewing God for creating this beautiful pattern. Bra magic!

Inspired by the 1970s, this pattern closely resembles one of my favorite lingerie company’s signature piece. Wherever and whomever the pattern was inspired by, it is just like Anne expressed – the real deal. It offers a modern bra pattern that any sewer can whip up. Most amazing is how flattering it is for a wide range of body shapes. Tiny, skinny, medium, or large – everyone looks so damn good!

The instructions don’t hold your hand. Amy tells you what to do and then supplements with what she did. So, she says to attach the elastic using a zigzag stitch, but doesn’t instruct you to use a particular width or length. I like that because stitch width and length is machine dependent as well as dependent on the width of elastic, which I’m sure many sewers will change to their own liking.

The pattern is cleverly drafted so that for most sizes, you only have to print out the pages of your size set. For my size, 32A, I printed out less than 10 pages, including instruction.

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Construction was straight forward. With no changes to the pattern, the fit was spot on too. The fabric was the same stretch lace I used on Amber Rosalind. As opposed to that bra, I used a micro mesh for the lining instead of a powernet (I lined all pieces). The power net provides a lot more support in comparison to the micro mesh. Although the bra fits and is super comfy, it’s not very supportive. On my next version, I’ll probably use a firmer lining. The elastic was gifted to me from my one of my best sewing buds, Natasha, who is beefing up her Etsy shop with bra fabrics, notions and kits. I originally dyed elastics using Dharma Tradings Acid Dye, but the color did not come out to liking. It was too blue. So, orange it was! I like the combination of light blue and orange. It has a midcentury modern vibe to it, right? My Florida Gator fans would be so proud.

I thought it was interesting that the first steps are to assemble the straps. Assembling straps at the beginning is like ironing the teeth of an invisible zipper at the onset of a project. But since straps are usually the last step, when you’re most likely at your wits end, making them at the beginning when you’re mind is sharp and your eager to start, is smart.

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I eliminated the hook and eye closure and cut the back piece on the fold. The reason being I wanted a super comfy, every day bra. I didn’t add width to accommodate because even with the micro mesh, the fabrics stretched around 40%. The curve made it difficult to attach the strap elastic without it rippling. On body, it lays flat and smooth, but off body, it is flat and I’m not happy with the way it looks. Anyone have any suggestions?

Let’s talk about serging bra seams. Even though it doesn’t serve a purpose (since micro mesh and lace don’t fray), I like to serge the seam allowances. It totally goes again bra convention. Most instructions say to trim and leave raw (or cover with channeling/tricot binding), but something about leaving an edge raw is an eye sore to me. If I use a wooly nylon thread to serge, the overlock stretches with the fabric. Thoughts on this?

And since Heather was a total babe and showed what the Watson looks like on body, I’ll let her do the modeling this time.

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41 Comments

  1. Reply

    Sophie

    Ugh! Maddie. This is so stinkin pretty! Never would I have imagined that those two colors would be so perfect together.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Hopefully I inspire you to make your own!

  2. Reply

    sallie

    So pretty! Those colors work so well together, and are such a surprising combination!

  3. Reply

    Kelly

    I can’t believe I haven’t made this yet!! I love your version, the colors go great together and that lace pattern is so pretty. You’re an inspiration!

  4. Reply

    Jen

    I’d been meaning to try to make a version of the Fortnight Bras since Anabela of Fieldguided featured them on her blog a year or two ago (because omg so dreamy…do you follow them on Instagram? <3) but never had the time so when this pattern came out I bought it right away! Love the color combo as well, as always

    • Reply

      maddie

      Fieldguided is amazing and yes, I follow them on IG! Great feed.

      I HIGHLY recommend you make the Watson. You’ll be a convert just like me!

      • Reply

        Jen

        I’ve actually made one already and have another cut out. Just need to get a bit of time. It was either sew one up or go bra shopping so you know what happened. 😉

  5. Reply

    Abbey (abbeydabbles)

    Oh WOW! This is so beautiful!! Great work, Maddie!

  6. Reply

    Michelle

    Maddie, I love it. It’s beautiful. Well done. I can’t wait to see more Watsons from you. Very very pretty. And thanks for the heads up about your friend’s Etsy shop. I’m going there to look now.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Glad I could point you in the right direction for supplies. They’re hard to find! Stay tuned for many more Watsons!

  7. Reply

    tinflutterby

    Have any ladies with larger girls made this. I haven’t had a successful non-wired bra since training days. It’s so pretty.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Yes! Amy is hosting a sew along and I believe there are some women with larger ladies who will be join ing.

  8. Reply

    Sasha

    looks divine … I love it … I so much want one … I look forward to the day when I’ll feel comfortable enough with my sewing skills to make one for myself!

    • Reply

      maddie

      You should attend one of my bra workshops 🙂

      • Reply

        Sasha

        … I took a look at your workshops 🙂 they seem very interesting!

        • Reply

          maddie

          I would love for you to come to one!

  9. Reply

    newmodellame

    Gorgeous! I love the colour choices and that lace is so feminine. I have to admit i have given up on worrying about how my handmade clothes look when flat as they often look terrible. It makes me realise how much RTW clothing is designed specifically to look good off the body rather than on.

    Will get around to the Watson soon, but my queue is already so long….

    • Reply

      maddie

      Interesting point. I remember when I was in the industry, how much discussion and thought was put into how a garment looked flat and on the hanger, almost to the point where it trumped how it looked on body.

  10. Reply

    Carol

    When I clicked on the link for Etsy, it just took me to the Etsy site, not to your friends particular site. Could you give that information? Thanks.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Updated! Sorry about that!

  11. Reply

    grace

    Thanks maddie I’m definitely gonna make a Watson, I love a longline bra and there is such a great range of sizes!

  12. Reply

    Stacia | Paper Swallow Events

    Beautiful work!

  13. Reply

    Naomi

    This is so pretty. I just purchased the pattern and signed on to the sew along. Thanks!

  14. Reply

    Sue @ A Colourful Canvas

    I think this is the prettiest bra ever! The soft periwinkle lace and orange…gorgeous!

  15. Reply

    Amy

    Such pretty colors, Maddie! I’m such a fan of contrasting elastics. And I love the idea to cut the back on the fold for a simpler style–clever! One thing you could try for the strap elastic is to give it a little bit of pull as you’re sewing around the curve. It ripples because the inside curve is shorter than the outside, so if the elastic is going in flat, the excess in the inside curve has nowhere to go, if that makes sense. But on the body is doesn’t make a difference, right?

    • Reply

      maddie

      Thank you Amy! I’ve tried stretching the elastic slightly (on a different bra) and it caused the fabric to bunch up. So instead of the elastic bunching up, the fabric does. Does that make sense?

  16. Reply

    natashaestradalvn

    Lovely combo. The etsy shop link is https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArteCrafts?section_id=14775218&ref=shopsection_leftnav_10 I only have about 1/5th of the stock I have listed so far. Just got a bunch of hook and eye closures in and sliders and more.

  17. Reply

    nickeya

    This looks great!! Love the color combinations!

  18. Reply

    Alice

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I’m loving the orange trim!

  19. Reply

    Mindy

    This is lovely.. Is there a link for this pattern? Maybe I’m just not seeing it. Thank you!

  20. Reply

    petite josette

    I just got all the supplies to make one, and I’ve been browsing the internet on my lunch break, looking at all the pretty versions (including yours!) I can’t wait to go home tonight and start mine!

    • Reply

      maddie

      Good luck!

  21. Reply

    pdewitt01

    Where can I get the pattern?

  22. Reply

    redflaminghair

    Maddie, I gotta tell you, after months of checking your tutorials, tricks, descriptions and stuff, I really want to try myself out in bra-making. Thanks a lot for your blog, your effort, it gives me courage! 🙂 I think I’m gonna start with Mallori Lane and then the Watson Bra. Your choices of fabric and colours are pleasing to my eyes, definitely my style – these light colours, pastel colours – everything looks great, keep up the good work! (Here, in Hungary, it’s like nobody deals with handmade bras which makes me sad, it’s quite hard to gather the materials and tools, but I’ve already discovered some shops, but they are rare indeed…)

    • Reply

      maddie

      Oh you are so sweet! Thank you! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Hopefully, you’ll share your first with me 🙂

  23. Reply

    Debra Drew

    Where do I get a pattern? I only have my iPad and iPhone for downloads, but could I then email the digital pattern to myself and print from a computer that way? Or is there just somewhere I can purchase a physical pattern? Thank you.

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