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Morning.Bra

Victoria's Secrets

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I've been chased out of more hosiery sections that I've had hot dinners, trying to buy a bra for my daughter. Equalities has got out of hand IMO, if a woman can have a wife, why cant a man buy womens underwear?

Well for one no maker worth their salt would pay £25 for something he can make himself for less. Far, far less even buying the fabric at retail prices, and as easily as the women who churn the things out in sweatshops for peanuts.

Ladies, if you joined HackaDay and learned to sew like a man, you wouldnt have to put up with that nonsense. It isnt a challenge, its just a statement of fact. The companies that make these things are run by men, and designers these days are predominantly still male. Not that they act like it, but thats IMO.

It's gone from abilities with no rights to rights with no abilities - only a small percentage of the population has the skills and its because of education. It just isnt taught anymore instead of being taught to all, and has become sophisticated by industry. You're being ripped off by the system, not supported by it.

Equal Rights, fine. Liberation, fine. Chauvinism in any form I dislike, and I will always pick at those seams when I encounter them. Here's what I found.

10 minutes with an old bra that Bea had destroyed the clasps on revealed the secrets I wanted to know. A seam ripper is the tool for this, just find an edge and carefully slice the major seams. Modern clothing is componentised and made in batches of parts on numerous machines, each setup for that part.

The sophistication here is obvious. Bra sizes have two metrics, bust and cup. This is done to calculate how far round the harness has to go, and how deep the cups need to be without a lot of detailed measurements, and adjustments are made by the shoulder straps, which would otherwise.

In order to mass-produce them, normal dress metrics are used, and the cup is calculated by adjusting the length of the curves forming the oval it folds into. This bra didnt fit quite well enough anyway, so I have adjusted the curve to fit her new bust measurement. This does change over time, luckily not by much now she's an adult. It should be stable by now.

The parts cut out after printing and templating them. The harness is folded in half, and the upper and lower cup parts separated. The fabric I found in my favourite Haberdashery, C&H Fabrics in Chichester.

The lace is a stretch polyester, and the backing is poly-cotton. I havent included any upholstery or bones. Those things are a menace, I wind up taking my washing machine apart to recover them, and they dont seem to do anything functional here.

All the strains in the fabric are taken up by elastic interfaced directly to the edge. There's a panel covering the side that also secures the edge of the lace so it doesnt tear as the panel stretches.

It's all done with a zig-zag stitch so that the threads can expand with the elastic, but the fabric only goes so far anyway.

Now the sun's up I can see to thread that bloody sewing machine. More later :-)


After a lot of screwing around with pins its nice to get in front of a machine and let that do all the hard work. Follow the seams around, removing the pins as you go. I'm going to put bias strips on all the seams. Normally these would be finished by rolling them inside and over-stitching, or just over-locking the edges of the hem together. Thats fine with outer clothing, but this needs to be flat and tidy inside and out.

A lot of tidying up in fact.

I have some metallic gold thread, I might use that to give the seams detail and finish the edges.

Pinning in the panels that the straps attach to. These have to be sturdy, two layers and elastic brought up into a triangle and a cross to take the strain from the straps.

Next time I'll use the plain zig-zag stitch, that looks a bit untidy. Good job its a prototype...

Mmm sexy knees. It still has pins in it... XD

After a bit of a tidy up and adding the fittings, not so bad.

Handy tip if you have to attach hooks and eyes or even buttons and have a sewing machine. Take the footplate off the feed arm so you can see where to put the needle through the eye of the part and use the buttonhole endstitch, its the same width as the diagonals between 4-hole buttons too. ;-)

Finally the Bias strip, which is a...

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  • Plan Bea

    Morning.Star02/15/2018 at 07:43 1 comment

    Nothing should go to waste, and I dont obsess over little things like wasting my time. Its annoying, but it isnt the end of the world.

    Wasting my time on stupid, obstinate excuses for authority will be if they dont pay attention.

    Anyway, during my research I discovered bras have been around for thousands of years, its just the culture around them thats changed. Hellenic Greece favoured a girdle securing a tunic, the Egyptians a cord crossed over the breasts in a similar manner, and the Mayans dispensed with cloth altogether and worshipped them, like they are supposed be IMO. If you cant have equality, celebrate your differences...

    The theme of the girdle uplifting and separating was easy to incorporate into the design for something which I've toned down a bit. There's a line between sexy and smart I cant cross with her so its deliberately conservative. I decided on a dress, she doesnt have any because she's not really into bare legs so its styled to include leggings without looking scruffy. I'll buy those, and add a bit of lace to the bottoms of the legs.

    Instead of a plain hem, which looked top-heavy, I decided to add a valance. I've taken it up into a point with angles midway between the hem and the cross which balances it out and gives it a natural look reminiscent of a flower, which suits the colour.

    There's enough base fabric for the dress, and plenty of lace to make the shawl and valance. The shawl will be stitched onto the dress at the edges so it gathers at the sides and stays flat on the shoulders and across the back. That has a point similar to the valance on it so it matches up nicely.

    It will be washable, and not just dry-clean only. That's a consideration for Bea, she makes everything grubby pretty quickly bless her, misses with food and spills drinks, so the last dress she had was a party dress bought her as a kid by relatives. One-time only, she killed that lol.

    Lets hope she likes this one. :-)

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Morning.Star wrote 02/14/2018 at 09:10 point

Oh trust her to throw a clog in it. Flatly refused to even try it on for fitting, hell will freeze over first. Pfft, WTF am I going to do with a yard of purple lace, ponce around in it myself? Screw this.

Happy Valentines Day ladies, one MorningStar going cheap. Housetrained. Comes with accessories. X

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dr. Cockroach wrote 02/14/2018 at 10:18 point

One trick might be to make up a label and price tag on it and put in a shopping bag. Might work but Bea has smarts and might see past that trick...

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stuart Longland wrote 02/14/2018 at 12:00 point

I really do admire your patience with all of this.  Maybe she'll change her mind later, put it aside for a bit, who knows.  I don't blame you for saying "screw this" though.

I think many of us would have said the same long before you have. :-)  Thumbs up for giving it a shot.  People can be soo judgemental in this day and age.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Morning.Star wrote 02/14/2018 at 13:31 point

Thanks guys, thats sage advice :-) I do have to vent sometimes, and this is not one of my favourite days. Probably not one of hers either!

If it comes to it, I'll make her a top or something. She usually does like the things I make, but she is fussy and I have to understand. Try to.

Sometimes I'm too damn clever for my own good... :-\

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