Thursday, February 28, 2013

Elite Bra Pattern

We've talked about the Pin Up Girls Classic Pattern. As much as I loved the well put together instructions, I did have a couple reasons to 'feel out' other patterns.

The cups of the Classic bra are made of Duoplex. Typically, seamed bras are made using one of 3 fabrics (from what I can tell). Dupolex, Simplex, or Tricot.  Duoplex had no stretch, but just a smidge of "give". Simplex & tricot are both stretch fabrics. While this means that Duoplex would offer the most support, I...well, I'm not sure I like it.

Second, I wasn't a big fan of the sihloette that the Classic bra left me with. Initailly, I thought this was due to my having left out underwires, but I later added underwires and found the same thing to be true. I still felt like my breast tissue spread out in this bra. I'm sure that can be fixed...but I don't know how. Maybe more underarm coverage?? Anyway, I definitely feel I could make this pattern work for me, with a bit of tweaking, but at the same time I was eager to get to a better jumping off point.  Baby steps.
I just sewed ribbons on as straps for a quick fit check :) And I stuffed the cups with newspaper for the pictures.
That's what brought me to the Elite bra pattern.  I had initlly emailed Anne from NeedleNook Fabrics (the creator of the pattern) to inquire about her bra kits. Somehow I ended up rambling on about the fit issues I had. Imagine my surprise when she wrote me back asking if she could see pictures so she could better analyze the fit.  As awkward as it was to take photos of myself in just my bra (let alone send them to a complete stranger) I was very excited to have some hand holding.  Once I got the kids down for naps that day, I gave Anne a call, and we chatted for over a half hour.  In the end, I ordered the Elite pattern as well as 2 bra kits. Since I kind of fell between pattern sizes, Anne was kind enough to draft me a somewhat 'custom' size. She used an E cup with a 32 band minus a half inch. This would have been very easy for me to do myself, but I found this was just 1 example of how she goes above & beyond for customer service.

Note to self: white on white does not a good photograph make. Sorry readers!
The Elite bra is drafted using tricot for the cups; each lower cup is constructed using a lining & an outer fabric, the stretch going in opposite directions, for better support. I really liked this. Also, the whole band is made from Powernet, with a stabalized center front seam.  Also an interesting tidbit, is that as drafted the straps are not adjustable.  I found this very odd, but have since 'heard' that RTW bras are made this way in order to fit a wider range. When you have a custom made bra, adjustable straps are less necessary.

I'm thrilled with the results.  I had no gaping at the side, the bridge fit well against my rib cage. I initially tried my bra on after nursing my son on my left side and that cup fit perfectly! However, my more "full" breast did not fit quite as well. My next test will be to sew a larger cup size and see how that fits.  That being said, I am confident that my first bra will fit after I'm done breastfeeding.


  1. What a journey you have been through! I am glad you got some great feedback from Anne.

  2. I've been reading about bra-making for a couple of weeks, and this is the first time I've heard of this pattern! But it looks so great!!! Will definitely be making one as soon as my check goes to the bank!

  3. I just got this pattern an excited to try it out :-)

  4. I just got this pattern an excited to try it out :-)


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