Adding wires to the Watson

My bra fitting woes, both in RTW and sewing patterns, generally occurs in the upper cup.  An easy way around this is to wear demi-cup bras.  A long time back I bought a heap of demi-cup wires, but so far I have only got around to developing one pattern for them.  I like that pattern, but much as  sewing TNTs makes sense, I seem to want o have a new pattern for every single thing that I sew.  All these new patterns really slow down my sewing rate, but I can't seem to get away from it.  I think that I love making patterns more than the sewing.

Anyway, I like the low CF of the Watson bra, so I thought I would see if I could adapt the pattern to make it a underwired bra.

Here is the original band pattern with the wire sitting on top of it.  I have made a small mark where I want the width of the upper edge of the bridge to sit (I made it the same as my other pattern that fits well).

 I marked a new curve for the inner part of the wire.

The outer wire stretches out when you wear a bra, so I didn't adjust the outer curve this time,  After wearing the bra, it doesn't feel quite right, so I think I will adjust it a bit for next time.

 I added extra height at the CF of the wire, for seam allowance and wire play.

I left the outer cup the same and only made changes to the inner cup.  I lay the cup pattern over my bridge pattern and marked how much length I lost by making a bridge.

The dotted curve in the photo below shows the change I made.

I then made the bra up using some scrap lingerie lycra that I had dyed.  I didn't have enough for bra and knickers, so I combined it with a little bit of swimwear lycra.  I'm not sure what makes lingerie lycra different from swim lycra, but it is softer, and stretchier, and not so hot to wear.  

I dyed the fabric and most of the notions months ago.  Not sure why I did not dye straps at the time, perhaps I did not have strap elastic.  Anyway, I am having trouble dying at the moment, and could not get a good match in straps, so I cut these turquoise ones off an old bra.  Somehow I sewed the bottom band elastic on upside down, which irritates me a bit when I am wearing the bra.

After my last issues sewing channeling into stretchy fabric, I marked the length of channeling I needed to ensure that the fabric did not stretch as I sewed it.  It took a few goes and a bit of unpicking.

So how did it all turn out?  Not too bad,  I need to make a slight fit adjustment to the band pattern, taking out a bit of width at the bottom of the bridge, and I think I will adjust the band so that the wire doesn't have to stretch so far to fit.  Apart from that, not too bad.

I did make knickers to match.  I used an old pattern to get it to fit out of my scraps.  The crotch seams are not in the ideal position, but it fit on my scraps.


  1. I really like the color and print combination on this set. I hadn't thought of using swim wear fabrics, but that's an interesting idea. I'm just delving into bramaking myself, and I'm trying to work through my fit issues after finishing the Craftsy course on bramaking/fitting. I am really impressed that you finished all these bras (including last post) in such a short amount of time!

  2. Thanks Jen, I think the fit issues get worked upon each bra...just keep sewing and keep improving the fit as you go. I didn't sew these so quickly...just a blogging binge.

  3. Some wonderful sets in your recent posts. Love the colors on this one especially

  4. They look great - I admire your dedication to the drafting process and the quest for perfect fit and finish. Your patience will continue to be rewarded I am sure. Mary Nanna