December 15, 2015

My Sierra bra...

Today, I was feeling a bit under the weather which, for some reason meant I got to take some time out of a normal day and sew. Sew something simple.
And because I was thinking about experimenting with new bra styles anyway, I went back to those free downloads I wrote about more than two months ago. The simple option was clearly the Sierra bra, so I made that one using fabric and trimmings from my stash.

The pattern is intended for stretch lace over a lining. A lining which, interestingly, is defined as "stretch mesh, micromesh or powernet". That phrase sounded some alarm bells in my head: Powernet is a really sturdy stretch material commonly used for control-wear, mesh is a very fine, soft and open stretch material. These fabrics can never be treated as one and the same. 
I only had some very sturdy powernet in my stash and I didn't think it would be appropriate for this design. Instead, I used lycra.
Instead of the picot elastic for the top edges, I used fold-over elastic and rather than not putting elastic at the bottom, I applied this beige-ish stretch lace.

The end result doesn't look bad on my dummy. The fabric and notions have a nice effect and the wrap-over feature is quite interesting.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look anywhere near as nice on me. The dummy doesn't have a lot shoulder and its breasts don't get compressed at all. 
On me, the lines at the top of the bra are quite unflattering. I don't really think my chest muscles have grown a lot yet (from the climbing) but in this bra, I end up looking like I have big chest and shoulder muscles, a sportswoman's figure and I just tried to look girly anyway. NOT a good look. 
The bust shape isn't nice either. The design only provides support by compression and it wraps around and down. As a result, it mostly squashes the top part of my breasts and leaves these pulling lines from the apexes down. 
I suppose if I had not applied elastic at the bottom, those lines might have been less and the bottom edge would have flared away from the ribcage (basically providing no support at all).

You may have noticed that I only pinned the halter strap. That's because I was trying it on to determine the right length for it and then decided this thing wasn't worth wasting my good strap elastic on. 

I'm not saying it is a bad pattern. It just really doesn't work for me. If you are a bit more dainty and, like me, have a small bra size, it could work for you. I only knew about this pattern because Carolyn wrote about. She made it both for herself and for her daughter and it works for them. 
I think I will move on and try and draft some unwired styles for myself. 


  1. That's good to know! It's on my sewing list, but i too have big shoulders and upper-body muscles in combination with small breasts, so i think I'll skip this now :-) thanks for sharing!

  2. It's such a shame when a pattern doesn't work out, isn't it? I had the exact same issues when I tried this pattern. I thought I could fix my issues though, so made some adjustments and tried again. The second one was better, but still not comfortable on my body shape. My 6 year old daughter likes them though!