Perfect Underwear 2: weekend bra

Note that the size of the bra is a bit too big for the mannequin, so it looks a bit rumpled. You can see the five thread stitch used to close the darts.

Requirements

  • cotton fabric, because it’s less stinky than synthetic fabric
  • no underwire, because an underwire is less comfortable
  • a moulded cup, to have support without squishing

Design

We must have made four prototypes for this bra, each time improving the design a bit more or choosing better types of fabric/elastic. In the end we decided that for the fabric a cotton interlock or cotton with 5% elastane is best. For the elastic finishing we used two types from supplier Shindo: a wider ribbed elastic for the ribcage and a narrow supple one for the neck line and arms.

The design is based on a racer back top, we simply added darts in the cup to provide shaped support. As we’re using elastic fabrics, we don’t need to leave the back open, you can simply pull it over your shoulders like a t-shirt. If you want to make a bra suitable for running, you need a tighter fit and a fastening in the back, but this design is more an every day kind of item, though also suitable for a quiet bike ride etc.

The end result is honestly great: The moulded cut gives enough support, first due to the dart which creates the cup and second because of intricate, complicated calculations concerning how to fasten the elastic. Though cut in one long piece (at least, two pieces for the two arm holes and one piece for the neck line), the ‘pull’ is divided in such a way as to provide more pull along the cup and less in the back. This is not easy to get organised and requires a whole bunch of temporary stitches, which have to be taken out again painstakingly afterwards.

Required Tools

All seams are closed with a five thread machine, using 5 different colours to add a bit of fun to the design. The elastics are attached using the same machine with three threads, ensuring maximum elasticity. These are not household machines and I’m not sure if you can get enough elasticity with a more basic machine.

Improvements for next version

For now we have made the model in basic black and blue, it would be fun to add some kind of decoration. We’ll also look into the options for stretchy lace fabric.

Credits

Requirements, design, production & testing: Febe
Design & production: Kristien

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