I took the Bra class offered by the ASG last month. The class was taught by Anne St Clair of Needlenook Fabrics. It started with a seminar on Friday evening where you get a thorough overview on bras and how they should fit and support you. It was very informative. I tried to sign up for this class back in July (the first week of July), and it was already full. I was added to the waiting list for any opening and got the call on Wednesday October 12 asking if I was still interested, there was a last minute cancellation. The seminar was Friday October 14 and the class was Sunday October 16, but because it was very last minute I wasn’t able to get to the late Friday afternoon fitting. Anne was very flexible and agreed to fit me after the seminar. I was measured and fitted into a bra that felt really comfortable. On Sunday we all arrived machines and all ready to get started. They took the measurements from Friday and traced your specific pattern with adjustments noted from the Friday fitting. So when I got there I had a packet which included all the supplies for 3 bras, the original bra pattern, and a custom pattern for me. You know I was excited! The morning session was pretty much step by step where we waited for everyone to be done each step before moving on to the next. We breaked for lunch which was included in the fee for the course. We then began the afternoon session which felt like we were kind of on our own. At this point people were kind of on different stages of completion and Anne’s assistant (can’t remember her name) who was Great repeatedly gave demonstrations on what the next steps were. I learned that I don’t sew continuously for 8 hours straight, and by the afternoon I was sooo tired. The class was an hour’s drive from my home so it made for a very long day for me. Well we all know what happens when you sew while tired, yup you guessed it, I started making mistakes. I believe I put the elastic on along the top of the band 3 times, and the last time it still was wrong but I wasn’t changing it again. LOL!! I just wanted to get to the end and be able to try it on. It was a lot of little steps nothing really difficult. I finally made it to the end and tried on the Bra and it was too big!! Anne was very clear on Friday’s session that the seam on your bra had to go across your nipple for a good fit. Mine did not. She then told me that I did not really have much of a lower bust and I could use a pattern with the lower bust in two parts and fit for my problem that way. The bra was very comfortable and I had supplies to make two more so I thought I’ll go home and take a look. My one suggestion for this class and anyone who takes it is bring a Mirror!! I didn’t even realize this at the time but there was no mirror there. We are all looking at everyone’s bras and saying how good they look But we can’t really see our own. Once I got home I could clearly see the problem.
This is what I found:
The cups are too big. I believe this was caused by the quick fitting on Friday. At one point I asked her for my upper bust measurement and she told me it was 40.5 which is my under bust measurement. Well just looking at me there is no way my upper bust and under bust measures the same. LOL!! This was very important because it meant my cup sizes would be very large because my full bust would be 7 cups up and she rounded that and gave me an 40H bra size.
Bra Back. I took the custom bra pattern and compared it with the original. The only change I saw was made to the band and not the cups, but the band felt really good. It was perfect!!
Inside of the bra
Markings for the adjustments needed to the pattern.
Traced pattern with changes marked
I basically cu the lower cup in half.
Added Seam Allowance.
Bra #2 results. This is a much better fit, however easing in the much smaller lower cup resulted in some puckering within the two cups. I think the upper cup is also too large, but I’m making progress.
I believe the class was well worth it. They put a lot into it. I think the book is a must have if you will be using their patterns and/or making bras. There is a lot of information in there. Make sure you get rest the night before and bring a mirror!!! LOL!! I have ordered supplies for more bras and will share my progress. The first bra took a LONG time, but the next time I was able to do complete the bra in two sittings. (probably about 4 hours) I expect the next time it will be even quicker. If you want to make your own bras and have the opportunity to take the class I recommend it!!!