Monday, October 1, 2012

Freya Patsy Demi bra

It's called a Padded Half-Cup normally, but this is really a Demi since it covers above the apex by about 1.5", more or less depending on size but the apex is clearly visible if you look at the cups from the side when not worn. Demi is cut straight across for a more corset look in that it showcases the upper bust, whereas a half-cup is just that, not an everday bra because there usually is no nipple coverage. Also...this thing is not padded. The ever so thin lining is almost like a super thin quilt batting. It's about 1/16" thick at most and if you compress it between your fingers it's as thin as two layers of thin fabric put together - and with a correct fitting cup your boobs actually compress the fabric. When it's too loose there is no compression and the bra will stick out more. If you're getting a size boost from this, or any lined bra for that matter, then your cup is too large.
Something else to note: Demi bras are better suited to shallower breasts, so if you're fuller on top or you have a bit of volume these are not going to fit you. Some websites say these are suited for A-B cups...if you're familiar with Freya they barely have any bras starting in C, nevermind B. This is a shape specific style, NOT size!
Another alteration from a 30F to 26G. I managed to do this in about an hours time. Same alteration I did to the Freya Daphne, though I think this one came out better. The fabrics are different so this one has better stretch but without getting too tight feeling. Finished measurements are 22" unstretched, 26.5" stretched...and with room for a couple of fingers. Before it was 25.5"/30".

Update 2/04/13: Booo...this no longer fits good! I could really go up a cup size and as of now am no longer suited to Demi's because of remigration =( The only thing that could possibly fix this now is if I can manage to find longer and very narrow wires so it changes the shape of the cup some. Same goes for the Daphne.

I also, finally, put a dart in the center gore of my Panache Cleo Sadie....waaaaaaayyyy better fit. I've done this to bras in the past, some it works with, others it doesn't. This bra was a good one for it because of the way it's constructed and the shape of the cups. Normally the vertical seams kind of point away towards the sides and then in /   \ kind of like that. I took off about 1" of the band with the dart and now the seams point more like this \  /, though slightly straighter, so it gives better lift and support from the bottom of the cup rather than just smooshing you down.

Mods I have left to do for underwear include taking in the band or at least minimizing the stretch in the Freya Edina Longline, turning the Panache Cleo Jude from a partial band plunge to a full band balconette/plunge, taking in the band and center gore of the Panache Porcelain (this one I have in 30F because 28F didn't fit and I thought at the time 30 would be the sollution when I should have gone for 28FF), and I may also turn that bra into a full band style...I haven't decided yet. I still have a thong to make for the Fantasie Bridgette Basque turned Longline too.

Underbust Corset

It's finally done!!! Hip hip hooray! I got my steel busk in last week, $6.50 including shipping, all the way from China. Seriously...get your corset stuff on Etsy! I found the same product elsewhere and they wanted over $30 including shipping.

This pattern is from Laughing Moon Mercantile, #113. I did view A (Ribbon Corset). The ribbons are cut on angles, and varying degress so it mocks the curve that normal cuts of several pieces of fabric would do. The fit is pretty spot on. The only thing I don't care for is how far apart the grommets are (I used eyelets). But if you look at the back photos for this they're pretty much the same on the pattern envelope as they are on me. I made the size 8 (26-24-34), although my actual measurments are slightly different from that (the bottom of the corset is not at full hip, it's at the very top of your hips...and unfortunately I have an uber long torso so this sits a little higher up on me than it's supposed to). Basically, just go with your waist measurement. What I love about this pattern is it's so detailed. Every little step, plus inbetween, there are instructions. So much better than the crap that McCall's, Simplicity and all the others put out. It's a very easy corset, all you need to know how to do is sew, measure accurately and be able to install grommets/eyelets, boning and a busk. Those last two were my first try and they came out almost perfect. (I had to readjust the seam allowance for the nubby part of the busk because there was a visible 1/8" space between the front. And the eyelets...well I used the hammer method, so yeah.)

For the fabric I used just a black heavy twill for the inside and the outside is brocade. Too bad they're in small sections because this fabric is gorgeous! (And I rarely use that word.) The ribbons are just your standard stuff, twelve 6.5" lengths of 1/4" featherweight plastic boning, 9" steel busk with a white coating (coating is on inside only) and 6mm eyelets.

^ The inside ^


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Size 26" Freya??

It's not quite true. According to Freya and their design team, it would not be possible to make bands smaller than 28 because there is no demand for them? And also, this particular style loses all support and is not possible to make below a size 30? (words I've seen written by them) Really, Freya?? Do you guys just look for fabric and call it a day? Do you even discuss sizes with your design team? Considering they are only a design team and not a size team...this all makes sense to me now!

This was originally a size 30, measuring 25.5" unstretched and 30" stretched to it's maximum. There are some people out there who really put this last number to the test and pull with all their might to find the max stretch. BIG. FAT. NO-NO! You want this number to be what the bra stretches at comfortably without popping any stitches or turning the fabric translucent and wrinkled. Would you honestly wear the band that tight around? I say that because the people who do this wear the size they measure at and think it's the absolute maximum of stretch in a bra...Dear God, how much pain are they in when doing so??!

Before taking off the amount necessary, 1) remove the stitching from the back closure, 2) the stitching holding the ring/strap in place (or on the strap itself if yours doesn't have a ring), and 3) the stitching holding the decorative elastic that's connected from the strap and running along the top of the band. 4) Mark how much is to be taken off, first on the bottom of the band, then top (mine was 1.5") and also the height of the band at the very end (mine was .75") then make a gradual curve from point A to point B keeping the curve as similar to the original.

After removing and trimming everything away, mark the edge for where the fabric will meet on the decorative elastic. It's easier this way because it slides around like crazy in the machine. Or you can baste it in place but keep the stitches loose because you will be pulling the two together as you sew to give the stitching some stretch. I just used the typical polyester thread and a straight stitch, set at 3 for length (my machine goes up to 4, so 3 is the average for most fabrics). You'll be starting just at where the fabric folded when it was in the ring for the strap. Do 2 rows of stitching, the first one about 1/8" in from the raw edge of the band, then flip the bra over and stitch 1/8" in from the edge of the decorative elastic (about 1/4" from the first row of stitching, alternatively you can do this all on the same side, but flipping it is easier since you know you'll have both piece sewn and won't have your stitching line going off).

Sorry this is flipped upside down. Blooger (haha - give me a break, it's 3:30AM) doesn't work well with JPEG's... Below is the stitching you'll be doing to reattach the strap. Simply fold the little strap through the ring (make sure your bra straps are facing the correct way. I had a retard moment and had mine flipped!), then straight stitch across 1/8" from the edge (on the inside) then zig-zag over that twice to secure.

What it should look like after the main stitching is complete.

The band completed.

Up close.

 The difference between the two sizes. Top is the new 26, bottom is the old 30.

Firm and even, and at the proper level around back (this varies depending on torso length, mine is very long). It may look like the hook & eye closure is strained but I assure you it is not. I can very easily close this on the tightest eyes no problem. Some light stretching like this is quite acceptable and common in a tighter band. What you DON'T want is for it to be strained that you can actually see your skin through the space created, or to have it digging in at the sides to the point of flesh spilling over the edges on top and bottom = both are an all too common problem seen on many women (more specifically on Bratabase) claiming their band fits.

The cups on this will always sit lower than the band because that's the styling of it, you can see this in the photos above when the bra is lying flat. It doesn't pose too much of a problem though, as far as digging in my ribs. I get that more with partial bands, but it's a cup size issue.'s sitting much more level, when I move around it doesn't ride up.

THE VERDICT: I am still strongly against one single method of measuring for bras. You'll find tons of nonsense out there ranging from adding 4 to as much as 6" to determine band size, and then you'll find the complete opposite where you don't add anything at all (unless you need to round up or down because your ribcage is measuring at an odd amount). The method depends entirely on the person, and personally...with my somewhat bony ribcage and various health reasons, I prefer a size 28 hands down! For reference my ribcage measures 26" exactly WITHOUT pulling the tape tight - just as you would measure for any other part of your body, it is held around without any slack but without pulling at all. Some rules will say to measure this snug and inhale. If I do that I can get this number as small as 23.5". But, pulling the tape just a little snug results in about 24.75". Some people would argue that I can also try a size 24 band because of this measurement, but if I want to be restricted that much I'll ask Luke ;)

I did this yesterday afternoon and finished some time around 4, then proceeded to wear it out and had it on until about 10. It wouldn't have been uncomfortable had I not gone out to dinner then for a walk and over to a friend's house, but the elastic was a little unbearable with not a whole lot in me. At almost it's (the correct version of) maximum stretch (since technically compressing the flesh around me would still allow for 2.5" of ease, without compressing only 0.5") this was not a good feeling. I had slight heartburn and kept burping because I wasn't digesting as well with such a firm band, and it wasn't so much the fabric as it was the elastic on the band. As far as fit goes, it's absolutely spot on for cup and band size. But this is not something I would wear unless I'm just going out to hang out. I don't know how some women do it (and especially those that are heavier). Do they not eat? Or move?

To Freya: Yes, size 26 IS possible! And yes, this half-cup style is also doable in smaller than a 30. As you can see, none of the support is lost from a smaller band with this style of cup, and this smaller band fits on real women like myself. Because you forget about the slender and curvy much too often, pushing them off to the side as if they do not exist. How many more people and blogs will it take to get you to realize this? Please, listen to your customers. They know what is best, and you definitely have a large market for smaller band sizes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fantasie Bridgette Basque #6880

It's done! It's finally done!

What you'll need:

Tape measure
Seam ripper
Needle (light hand sewing to finishing)
Matching thread (or somewhat matching, I had no light pink for the inside.)
1/3-1/2" wide Elastic, trimmed to desired length (mine was 17", used over 22.5", minus the back closure, for a 24.5" waist)


Decide how short/narrow you want yours to be, and be as accurate as possible. Don't just guess.
Rip stitches out (as called for below)

-Before =/ The pic above this one really doesn't look too bad. But I find garters to be a joke, so it was useless to me.

- Determine how short you want the torso to be. I cut mine just above the 2nd to the last hook/eye, then 1" above the hem on the hips, then a 1/2" below the zig-zag stitching for the front boning. It's not completely straight across, the edges should curve into one another. (Click photo for more illustrations)

- Remove zig-zag stitching. If you want, stitch close to hooks (you can see mine just above them). Trim away excees material from closure. You want there to be about 1/8" of space between the last eyes and the edge. On the hook side this is going to be just a hairline more since hooks are narrower than eyes. Don't trim the back band fabric. This will be placed back inside of the closure when you're done, and some of it is needed for the hem and elastic.

- *See "New seam allowance" in second photo up above* To taper the waist in more, undo the stitching that's holding the last seam together (the back band and side wing seam). Stop until you're 2" from the top. Trim away excess material from the side wings only. Do not trim the back band. Reattach them, then reattach the seam binding on the inside.

- Baste and press the hem in place (about a 1/2" wide). Boning channels will be on top of the hem. Restitch these down (as noted by the brown thread on mine). Also reinsert the boning, then zig-zag stitch the channel closed just after the bottom of the boning. Trim away excess channel fabric close to the edge.

- Using the Mend stitch, stich the elastic in place (wrong side facing, this is just to show the outside), pinning it in place on either end and in the center. Stretch elastic evenly as you go along. Reattach the back band with elastic into the closure. Zig-zag the side edge closed, then go over the bottom of the closure by hand to finish the edge.

- After! =D  Check out that rounded profile! (I didn't have the straps pulled snug enough in the other photo so it gave a slightly more conical shape. This is the correct shape.)

- I lacked the sufficient colors, but it's not like anyone will be staring at the inside...

And I don't know why some of these photos are upside down. Stupid Blogger.

Well, hope you had fun reading this. I recommend to only attempt this mod on your non-favorite basque. Unless you know you can do a decent job. It's not fun to mess up a bra.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

From Basque to Longline

I've been going through my undies drawer trying to weed out the ill-fitting stuff. I still have this really cool basque I bought on eBay a few years ago by Fantasie of England. I never wear it because 1.) it's a basque and when am I going to ever prance around in that with some thigh-highs and heels with garter straps that smoosh down on my derriere? (yeah, that's unattractive) And 2.) my torso is unfortunately too tall so where the sheer lace should be at the hips is more at the bottom part of where my waist tapers out. About an inch off and it makes it uncomfortably awkward. The cups on it fit great despite it being a balcony style with a traditional seamed- 3 sectioned cup. I could actually wear it with t-shirts. And even though it's sized as a 30, it fits more like a 28. 24" unstretched, 28" stretched. Normally I can't wear this brand because they don't make 28's and I find their 30's to fit loose.
So my task over the next couple of days is to turn it into a long-line, like the Freya Edina (should be getting that in on Monday!!) and the Panache Cleo Sadie. It's not a true long-line. The bottom will end just where my waist nips in.
It looks nicer in person.