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It’s Back! Noelle Warner

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I’m sure you thought you saw the last of Nina, Nicole and Noelle. If you did, think again. Noelle is back. Mwahahaha!

This week, I’m a busy bee. Okay, I’m more like a chicken with its head cut off as I prep for my bra workshop on Saturday. Even when life gets chaotic, I still try to squeeze in pockets of time to sew, and whatever I’m sewing, it is a tried and true pattern/project. Noelle is definitely a TNT. Although you’ve seen and read about this bra before, I learned a few new things that I want to share with you.

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O v e r v i e w

Good design versus a great design – what do you think is the difference? I expressed my opinion before – I believe a good design is one that works in many fabrics, colors and trims, and a great design is one that in addition to the previous, is flattering on many shapes and sizes. For women, Diane Von Furstenberg’s wrap dress is an example, and for men, a Ralph Lauren button down shirt. Is this bra, Noelle Warner, a great design? Mostly likely not. It’s a soft cup, sports-bra type bra that provides little support, not enough for larger-chested ladies. But is Noelle a good design? Well, that’s what I’m experimenting. I’m making many versions with different fabric and trims, and the one you see today uses a point d’esprit fabric (or stretch swiss dot tulle). My original inspiration image used this type of fabric, so this is also a good measure of how close I have come to nailing what I initially envisioned.

F a b r i c + T r i m s

Front and back:Black point d’esprit (stretch swiss dot tulle) from Bra Makers Supply underlined with beige/nude stretch mesh from Fleishman Fabrics. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the fabrics together prior to cutting. I treated the layers as one going forward.
Front and back bottom band: 6” black  stretch scalloped lace from Bra Makers Supply
Trims:
1/4” stretch piping for front neckline, underarm and racerback. I applied it as I would a normal picot/plush elastic and I really like the look of it. It’s cleaner than elastic with a picot edge.
1/4” strap elastic
3/8” firm band elastic for bodice/band seam
all from Bra Makers Supply

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C O N S T R U C T I O N + P A T T E R N

The only made 2 changes to the pattern, and as small as they were, I believe they made the bra pretty darn similar to the original inspiration image. First, I scooped out the neckline just slightly and then I increased the dart spacing apart. Ying made a Noelle and she commented that the darts were too close together. She had to push them out ¾” on each side. I’ve made this bra for several women and asked two where the darts hit on their body. Both said that they were too close together; they only noticed because I asked them. I’m very narrow (28” ribcage), so it makes sense.
Construction was exactly as the previous versions except that I added channeling to the side seams (no boning), which really helps prevent the bra from rolling up while wearing.

C O M M E N T S

A woman on Bra Making Forum recently asked how many bras one must make before finding the right fit. Some responded with 4, some responded with 5 and some responded with 6. Every time I make a Noelle, there is something I want to change, and when I do, I think I have finally reached the perfect fit. Then I make it again and find some detail, usually very minor, to correct. So, I can’t answer that question with a number. My tastes and my body will continue to change, so I’ll always be fine tuning. I’ve finally reach the perfect fit for today. I could feel differently tomorrow.

Just for fun, below is a comparison of Noelle and the inspiration bra/image, which is by For Love and Lemons. It has an underwire, which I think is weird, so I eliminated. Other than the bottom lace, I think it’s pretty spot on, don’t you?

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8 Comments

  1. Reply

    Andrea

    Like you, I’m always making a little tweak here or there with each new bra. I’ve never made the exact same bra twice. I think your latest bra looks better than your inspiration picture. What’s with those underwires anyway? Is the bra just too big for the model?

    • Reply

      maddie

      Thank you! Totally agree that the underwires are very odd.

  2. Reply

    Abbey (abbeydabbles)

    Oooh Maddie, each of these makes keeps getting prettier than the last!

  3. Reply

    Ali

    It’s really interesting to read how you’re developing the pattern 🙂 It’s not something that I’d be able to wear (I need more support) but it looks wonderful on you. Oh, and I think your version is prettier than the inspiration you posted!

  4. Reply

    Busty Gal

    Underwires aren’t weird. They provide support and shape for breasts. If one is smaller breasted, she likely doesn’t need underwires. If one is larger breasted—or larger than a B or C cup—an underwire gives a bra the shape and support necessary to shape breast tissue. Even smaller breasted women who have soft breast tissue find underwire shaping helpful.

    See how the model in the inspiration picture has two separate breasts? That’s what underwires are for.

  5. Reply

    Andrea

    Underwires in general aren’t weird, and every bra I have made (so far) has one. The underwires in the inspiration photo however, are weird. They aren’t actually providing support or shape for her breasts, and by the look of it are there for decoration only!

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