Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Boylston bra - one, two, three and success!


I bought the Boylston bra pattern by Orange Lingerie a few months ago. I had briefly (!) dabbled in bra-making with a couple of Kwik-sew 3300 bras (below), which were good, but I was keen to make a foam cup bra. 


Then I found a bag full of bra-making supplies at the op shop. Score of the century! I could wait no longer and got cracking on the Boylston.



Notes on Boylston sizing for anyone interested

I measured myself carefully, studied the size chart and decided I was a 34C. This ended up being very wrong and way too small and I will explain why for anyone contemplating this pattern (I would be interested to hear how the sizing worked for others). 

For the band size, the instructions have you take your underbust measurement in inches then add 4 or 5 inches depending on whether it was an even or odd number, respectively. This gave me 34, but the 36 was actually the right size band for me. 

For the cup size, you need to find the difference, in inches, between the high bust and full bust measurements. My difference was 2.5 inches, which put me between a B and C cup. As instructed I rounded up to a C. After making two C cup bras, I eventually decided I was a D cup in this pattern. 

The fitting of the three bras I made was as follows:

34C - way too small to put on and do up.
36C - comfortable and wearable, but the bridge sat away from my chest and the bra tended to ride up with wear. Thank you Mr Humphries (showing my age with that one!).
36D - very well fitting and comfortable with the bridge sitting against my chest. If I was being very picky I would have the top edge of the cup pulled in slightly.

So, my experience was to go up a full band and cup size from what was indicated in the size chart. This meant going from 34C to 36D. My RTW bra size is generally 36D.

The foam I used was 3mm thick. I removed the seam allowances from the foam pieces, so they were stitched with no overlap. Use of foam and its thickness may influence sizing.


I made my first bra, the 34C, from this pretty Potter's Textiles remnant and used some foam I found at Remida for the cups. The back was made from power mesh. I'm so upset this was too small.


 The 36C was made from some spotted polyester satin left over from some dance costumes I made a while back. This is wearable and I love the spots.




My latest, and best fitting, version was made in white cotton with pintucks and lace detail as part of the fabric. The back band is a double layer of mesh. I wanted something that wouldn't show under summer clothes. I'm really happy with this one. It's not a pretty as the others but I love wearing it and don't want to take it off for washing. I need another few, ASAP!




And here it is on me. Now I have the sizing worked out, I'm really happy with this pattern and will certainly be making many more.

22 comments:

  1. Perfection! I've decided to try this bra next and have printed it out. I need to discuss sizing with you!

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    Replies
    1. Anytime Sue, although I don't know if what worked for me would work for others. Experimentation may be required!

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  2. Great fit! Thank you for the sizing information! I have all the supplies for bra making but it is like a fear inside that stops me:). I want to try a "makebra"pattern, I hope to make one this year , I still have a lot of time , hahah.

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    1. Thank you. I say go for it. I was like you and took forever to get going, but it's really not difficult and is very rewarding.

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  3. Your bras are beautiful! I've had the same problem with this bra, my first try using the suggested size for my measurements was a 34B and it was way too small in the cup and band. I'm going to try 36C next. I've been putting it off for the last couple of months but seeing yours has inspired me to get going on it.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting. I hope going up a size works for you too. I put mine off for ages too, but it's so worth it when it finally works out. Good luck!

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  4. You have done a fantastic job. Thanks for the sizing info. Your comments and changes are appreciated as well as your explanations for each change.

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  5. Too bad your first is too small, it is so pretty! As others have said, thanks for the sizing info. I do like this pattern, it has so much potential. And that is the score of the century, what a stroke of luck!

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  6. Megan, these are all so pretty. So glad you have perfected the fit. I'm sure there will be a lot more bra sewing after this. Gorgeous work!

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  7. I have made this twice - my first ended up being slightly too big (but wearable) when I measured myself. I then got my sister to measure me and it was totally different - down a band size and down a cup size! In the meantime I had contacted Orange Lingerie and she suggested that when using foam to go up a cup size to compensate for the foam thickness. Also the pattern didn't say what type of wires to use and I found had to use long wires not regular.

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  8. Great bras. That first one is really pretty so I am sad for you that it was too small. Sounds like you got to a good size relatively quickly for bra sewing though.

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  9. Fabulous bras! Of course the first one is my favorite:) It is really bright and it would certainly give me self confidence if I wore it:)

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  10. I had the same experience - I made the size to fit me, and it was too small. I think the next size up in cup, and lengthening the band would be the fix for me. All of your bras are stunning, and I really feel your pain about bra#1 - it is gorgeous! Thanks for the post!

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  11. That white one is totally perfect! Well done for persevering.

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  12. These are all so beautiful Megan. I love that first fabric, it's such a shame that it came out too small. Can't wait to see more bras from you.

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  13. These are all lovely and so rtw looking. I really want to have another go at bra making this year.

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  14. Every year I say this year I will sew a bra. Love all of your and think you are especially brave to model one!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I value every single one.

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