I was so pleased to check my email this morning and see this gem of a blog post with fantastic pictures awaiting me. Jillian from our KK+ bras series is back with some astute observations on developing her patterns and prototypes. As the Lingerie Addict pointed out last week, bra making can be an artisan skill, and Jillian’s quest certainly underscores this. I hope you enjoy the post as much as I do!
P.S. You can find the two previous entries here and here.
Hey everyone! It’s Jillian again with an addendum post to the second entry. I apologize for its tardiness- I experienced for the first time a tension headache that lasted almost two full months. I basically curled up in a ball and tried not to move or look at light the entire time. In the last entry, I spoke about the thought process used to develop my pattern drafts. The actual materials used for the practice bras and for the final products were mistakenly left out *hanging head in shame*. This entry would serve to correct that.
Pick up a bra that you’re not wearing and try to count the different parts that make up the whole. Such a tiny garment having such vast importance and so many parts. My current bra design has:
Rigid/non stretch tricot knit fabrics for the cups, center bridge and side wings,
ultra thin padding for a strength/shaping layer in the cups,
heavyweight powernet for the back wings,
full plushback satin elastic straps,
Single picot edged plushback elastic in TWO widths for the band,
O-rings AND slides on the straps,
vertical steel underwires,
three row hook and eye tape that can be cut to fit as the back closure,
Twelve components in total- pretty trippy considering everything this garment has to do. It isn’t budget friendly to create an entire complete bra just to test out a design. So practice materials are used to mimic the final result as closely as possible.
When creating a practice garment, the best bet is to use a light toned fabric that is similar to the end product fabric. In most cases for clothing, 100% cotton muslin is the go-to fabric used. It is inexpensive, easy to mark changes on, comes in a variety of weights and is easy to rip across the grain to separate lengths from the bolt. However it is flimsy and can’t support the pressure or weight of a heavy breast like mine without wanting to rip or droop. For jeans, twill and/or drill are often used as their weave is very close to denim and is light toned. But even the non stretch twill/drill does have a fair amount of mechanical give (meaning it stretches slightly on its own without the presence of lycra, elastene, etc.) and would have the ability to throw off the pattern’s physics and lines if you wanted a non stretch fabric for the cups. So my choice of these fabrics in the initial stages was wasteful of time/energy/money and very misguided.
After my review of the fabulous Kix’ies holdups, I was contacted by a distributor for Glamory hosiery about testing some of their products as well. My expectations were high since I was so pleased with the Kix’ies, and after I received my samples, I realized how complementary the brands can be to each other. Kix’ies strictly sells hold-ups at the moment and focuses on modern patterns and textures while Glamory offers a more subdued but equally wonderful range of stockings and tights, even to include those designed for men.
Glamory is also technically a plus-size hosiery line with sizes 40-42 (Large) to 60-62 (5XL), but the size large fit me comparably to my size B Kix’ies. Still, I think the inclusion of higher sizes is fantastic as far too many plus-size women are left out in the cold by the lingerie market. Price-wise the brand is between $15 and $22 making them comparable to what you can find in most boutiques or department stores. For the review, Glamory sent me four different pairs of hold-ups: Glamory Micro 60 in black, Glamory Deluxe 20 in black with red lace, Glamory Vita 40 in black, and Glamoury Couture 20 in black.
Before I begin my gushy outpouring of love for how gorgeous each pair is, I feel obligated to answer the question every woman asks about hold-ups: Do they stay put all day? I am pleased to report the answer is a resounding “Yes!” After doing my now traditional stocking dance around the house, I tested them at the shop, and in both instances, I did not have to fiddle or readjust once. Like the Kix’ies pair I reviewed, Glamory does not cut into the top of the leg to create that less-than-sexy-why-am-I-even-wearing-these muffin top look. In fact, I think the stretchier lace manages to smooth and perfect, even if you’re like me and have jiggly thighs. Glamory accomplishes all of this by using two extra-wide panels of silicone gel at the very top of the lace which sticks to skin to keep everything in place. [Read more…]
Petite and short-waisted women often suffer from an inability to tighten bra straps as much as needed, particularly if the straps are not fully-adjustable, but even women who purchase a well-fitting bra initially can find that time wreaks havoc on how much the straps stretch. Short of breaking out the sewing machine, options were scarce for fixing the problem until Shari and Beth created the amazing Strap Saver.
The Strap Saver was designed to fix a problem: expensive bras and bathing suits tossed in the trash because of wear on only one part – the strap. Shari Deutsch had a favorite, worn, expensive bathing suit and was unhappy that it no longer gave her the support she wanted. (especially given that she’d only had it for 2 seasons!) The straps were stretched out and soon it would be bound for the garbage. One day, hanging out by her friend Beth Lieberman’s pool, Shari started commented about it and Beth chimed in that her straps were too long because of her (lack of) height. It started out the usual “there has to be a way…” and “surely someone has fixed this…” conversation.
After only two plastic prototypes, Shari and Beth had a working Strap Saver template which they then tweaked into the patent-pending stainless steel creation seen today. Straight from their extremely professional press kit, here are some additional facts about the product:
Stainless Steel Construction, designed to outlive several garments
Durable Ceramic Coating on Black and Tan Strap Savers
Works on any strap, with or without an adjuster
Made in the USA
Three Colors: Black, Tan, Metallic
Four sizes: ¼”, ½”, ¾”, 1”
Price: $15 for the first pair, $10 for each additional pair
While I am going to review the product for the blog, I have to be honest in that I almost never have issues with my straps. My average height, long torso, and broad shoulders combine to eliminate issues with slippage or stretching. However, I have witnessed how often straps can ruin an otherwise good fit, and in some cases, women miss out on fantastic styles because the straps do not tighten enough. When I heard about Shari and Beth’s Strap Savers, I admit I was intrigued, particularly because I am always on the lookout for innovative accessories which can help our customers. In our shop alone, there’s certainly potential for this nifty little product to provide a solution to the short or stretchy strap dilemma.
As part of the Strap Saver experience, Shari sent me the sample in the little pink bag which accompanies all purchases as well as a pamphlet with instructions. While the presentation with the bag is nice, I actually appreciate it more for the practicality as the Strap Savers are pretty small even in the 1″ size I ordered. With my personal penchant for tossing small items on my jewelery stand, I could see one or both disappearing into the ether of my house, but the adorable little bag accompanying them provides me with an easy, no excuses way of storing them when not in use. I’m a sucker for thoughtful product details, and this definitely qualifies. [Read more…]
As I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to reinvigorate the Saturday Spotlight by focusing more on the businesses and bloggers and allow them to tell you firsthand what makes them worth reading. Today, I am proud to present the first entry in the rebooted series: Scarlet’s Letter. Named one of the five blogs to watch for 2014 by the Lingerie Addict, Scarlet’s Letter is a lingerie and fashion centric blog which showcases everything from full-bust favorites to hand-made Etsy brands. Before I severely lapsed on the Saturday Spotlight front, Amber’s blog is one I had really wanted to share with you, and I am so glad I now have that opportunity.
The blogger behind the curtain: Hi! My name is Amber, and I run the lingerie blog Scarlet’s Letter. I’m in my early 30s, and have been blogging since I was a teenager…when “blogs” were called “online journals”! I’ve also been an active actress in stage theater since I was 10 years old, and I love to sing and dance. I’m also a total beauty addict, and a collector of antiquarian books. I speak French, and I’m currently writing my first novel which I hope to have published sometime in 2015. Oh, and I also love love love lingerie. Obviously
Scarlet’s Letter according to Amber: Scarlet’s Letter aims to showcase intimates for both lingerie novices and addicts alike, with a focus on full bust, handmade, and luxury brands.
What made you decide to start Scarlet’s Letter? What did you hope to accomplish? Do you feel like you are making progress?
I’ve been blogging for around 15 years off and on, before blogging was really as popular as it is now. Though I’d had blogs over the years, they were more personal based, and I’d never had a blog that focused on fashion and something that I really enjoyed and reviewed. By starting my blog, I was hoping to share my opinions on beautiful lingerie and hoped to help readers along the way with suggestions and honest reviews. Scarlet’s Letter has only been around for nearly 2 years, so I do feel like I am making progress, but would love to take the blog further.
What mistakes have you made in the past?
Well, I didn’t learn about proper bra fit until my very late 20’s, so when I first started writing about lingerie on my blog had misconceptions about bra sizing and fit, and was a total bra size newbie when I began. I had been wearing the wrong bra size nearly my whole life, but after learning through the lingerie community and bra fit blogs and lingerie bra fit retailers, I found that I was wearing a cup size 4 sizes too small for me!
What are you plans for the future? How do you hope to achieve them?
As for the blog, I’d love to add more features and more interactive posts, as well as continuing to add new topics. I recently began collaborating with my blogger BFF Tiah from the lingerie blog The Daily Knicker, and I’m hoping to expand the blog and hope to add better photography to my reviews in 2015.
In what ways does your blog stand out from the crowd?
In the lingerie blogging world, we’re lucky to have bloggers of many bust sizes, including full bust. Besides adding my voice to the list of full bust lingerie bloggers, I try to create content that is fun. I truly think that to enjoy blogging you need to have fun and really like whatever you’re blogging about, so I make sure to have fun in whatever I do on Scarlet’s Letter. Some of my most popular features include my Inspired By storyboards, The Geeky Fan Girl’s Guide to Lingerie series, as well as my newer series Let’s Talk About Sets, Baby! [Read more…]
In the past, I have mentioned I am not one for shapewear since I don’t like the squeezy/bindy feeling of having all my tissue and organs sucked inward. It doesn’t help I find most shapewear pretty ugly with its strictly utilitarian “There’s a job at hand” feel, stubbornly making no concessions toward color, texture, or attractiveness. If Bridget Jones had a pair of black shaping knickers with pink lace color blocking panels and detachable garter straps, the whole functional vs. sexy debate would never have happened. While known for having some pretty industrial, totally unattractive but effective shapewear, Rago also knows how to blend form and fashion perfectly to create a piece that provides hold without seeming like actual shapewear, like the 721 Waist Cincher.
Rago entered our quaint little shop because I received request upon request from desperate brides and bridesmaids who wanted a shapewear piece that practically reshaped their bodies, dropping a size and pulling in the waist. After some investigation, the brand constantly recommended was American-made and designed Rago Shapewear, which proudly carries the torch for girdles, cinchers, and even bullet-bras, and the company certainly lives up to its reputation. Many of the Rago pieces offer superior hold to products like Spanx or Yummie Tummie, particularly because Rago often utilizes rigid tummy panels, flexible boning, and/or heavy powernet mesh. In the coming weeks, I will review the 6101 as well as the 821, which definitely fall on the traditional side of the spectrum, but today, I want to showcase the sexy, flirty, and surprisingly comfortable 721.
In contrast to Rago’s heavy-duty pieces, the 721 uses a softer, smoother fabric with more give to contour to curves, but the side boning keeps the stretchy fabric stabilized to prevent rolling. Front hook-and-eye closures make the 721 easy to put on by yourself too. Sizing is pretty flexible here and more about personal preference. For the photos, I am wearing a size medium, which I like because it offers hold and shaping without feeling too binding. (Note: My weight has been a source of struggle lately, and my waist/hip measurements are currently at 31″/42″.) In fact, I found it to relieve pressure on my back and improve my overall posture while sitting, so this is not a piece best worn when you’ll be standing/walking only. However, be forewarned this is one of Rago’s stretchier, more forgiving pieces. In nearly everything else I have tried, I need the XL/32. [Read more…]
A Sophisticated Pair had a wonderful 2014. Not only did we upgrade retail spaces and host our biggest giveaway yet, but we also worked to improve our inventory mix and selection, bringing in shapewear brands like Yummie Tummie and Rago and expanding into lingerie from iCollection, stockings from Kix’ies, bust-friendly dresses from Bolero, and amazing bra and panty sets from Comexim and Anna Pardal. Now, with the new year officially started, I want to continue offering customers more options, colors, and styles. Once we survived two years of business, I decided to focus my efforts on creating a well-rounded shop that women could visit for more than just bras, a goal I am still pursuing. Since expansion for small businesses is typically slower, we are still balancing the buying plan for the year, but I wanted to give everyone an early sneak peak at some of the brands and styles we hope to carry this year.
Sculptresse from Panache: As successful as Elomi and Goddess are for the shop, I am desperate to have another plus-size option, particularly for women who need deeper cups and narrower underwires than what Eveden brands can offer. Originally, I hoped to carry the charming plaid print bra appropriately named Dixie, but it was discontinued prior to release. Now, I contemplating the feisty animal print Chi Chi.
Cleo Marcie in Basic Colors: Over the last two years, I have been asked with incredible frequency whether the Cleo Marcie is available in something other than (insert bright color of the season), and I am always the bearer of bad news. However, in February, we will have both the new beige and black Marcies in stock for our customers! *collective applause*
More Wacoal: Okay, so Wacoal doesn’t seem to receive much attention in the blogosphere, and a lot of women build up animosity toward the brand because it’s usually the only thing available in DD-G cups in mainstream shops. However, Wacoal makes some of the best quality bras on the market, and contrary to popular belief, many of them are downright adorable. On the buying agenda for the new year are the Halo Lace Spacer bra, the Retro Chic, How Perfect Wire Free Bra, and the Embrace Lace non-contour bra. We also want to bring in additional styles from Wacoal’s sister brand, like b.tempt’d like Sheer Delight and b.Delight’d.
More Natori: Natori fares slightly better on the web in part because of the ever popular Feathers bra and their amazing pajamas, but like Wacoal, this is another quality lingerie brand with a lot to offer. For 2015, I am particularly interested in two new expansions. The first is Skarlet Blue, a moderately priced line between Josie and the original Natori, which will have a mix of youthful style bras and sleep sets. Skarlet Blue offers adorable matching PJs for as low as $49 as well as cute sleep shirts and lingerie. While I have admired the Natori sleepwear brands since we opened, the price point even on the cheapest line (Josie) is above what I thought would do well for the shop. However, the new Skarlet Blue line proves to be a lovely bridge line for customers wanting a Natori sleep set at a great price. In addition to Skarlet Blue, Natori will also expand to fuller-figure sizes with the incorporation of more 40-44 bands. These will be bras on the same price and quality level as the original Natori line with a wider size range.
Tutti Rouge: We carried Tutti Rouge when the line first released, and I think the brands fun aesthetic and commitment to improving season after season is wonderful. As a result, I want to at least bring in the sugary Liliana cream set for spring/summer.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are ready to start the new year with renewed optimism! One of the copious things I hope to accomplish/change in 2015 is the revitalization of an old blog post series I started shortly after we opened called “Saturday Spotlight.” In the past, I would showcase websites I thought our readers may enjoy and provide a brief synopsis with a few pictures. With increased activity at the store, the series became hard to maintain consistently, and I never felt I gave the small business, blog, or website adequate attention and detail. As a result, I created an alternative idea for the new year. Instead of a generic description which fails to capture the essence of what makes you, your business, and/or your blog special, I wrote a series of interview questions Saturday Spotlight recipients answer instead. My hope is that Saturday Spotlights will have the opportunity to connect more with our readers and to help them understand what your business/blog/website offers.
If you’re interested in being featured in a Saturday Spotlight, please email me at sophisticatedpair[at]gmail[dot]com; however, I do have a few requirements:
You must fall into one of the following three categories: (1) own a small business in the vicinity of Burlington, NC, (2) be involved in the lingerie industry whether through blogging, designing, or manufacturing, or (3) write blogs/manage a website in topics complementary to our blog, such as body image, fitness/health, or fashion.
You must be currently active in your category, meaning you are not retired from owning a business, an inactive blogger, or someone no longer working in lingerie.
Your website is something I genuinely think my readers will enjoy. Obviously, this requirement is the most vague, but I want the feature to expose our readers to the great businesses and websites they may be missing. If you use the string “Saturday Spotlight” in our search box, you can view past blogs and businesses featured to see what I have enjoyed in the past.
Blogs that feature discriminatory language or posts, including but not limited to racism, xenophobia, ageism, or body snark, will not be considered. No exceptions.
Anyone formerly featured as a Saturday Spotlight will be eligible to be featured again provided they meet the other requirements.
Finally, I am also going to reserve the right to not publish any interviews which I feel do not contribute to the spirit of the feature, and I will not consider solicitations from people purely interested in advertising a plastic surgeon/new product/competitor/etc. Since opening, we have received boosts in traffic and sales because of the small business owners and the amazing bloggers who recommended our services or gave us a little free publicity, and I want to pay it forward by offering the same to others. However, there’s a difference between an advertising plug and a thoughtful article readers genuinely enjoy. If in doubt, remember one of the best rules for writing courtesy of Kurt Vonnegut: “Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.”
It’s not a popular opinion, but I have ambivalent feeling about Christmas. Part of me loves the season—the careful selection and tender wrapping of gifts for loved ones, trimming the house in garland, baking cookies and pies, and donating time and services to those less fortunate. Yet another part feels plagued by bad memories, which creates a complex mixture of joy and sadness. Unfortunately, we do not always acknowledge the duality the holidays hold for many people, but there it is, lurking behind every ornament, holiday knickknack, and poignant song.
Having lost too many family members already, I never avoid the sadness altogether, but this year I missed my mom and grandmother more than any other past year. At one point, I debated not doing anything at all. All of the decorations for my house and for the store belonged to them, and with each box I opened, the bittersweet memories made my heart physically ache with the pain of loss. My inner Grinch toyed with cancelling Christmas altogether when a subtle understanding took root. The pain originated from viewing the memories as reminders of those who were no longer here rather than seeing them for what they are: wonderful moments spent with the people I love.
Instead of blandly wishing everyone a “Happy Holiday” this year, I want to share a few memories with you, and I sincerely hope you will post your own memories below. I know many of us suffer silently this time of year, and I want to encourage healing and even joy this season rather than fixating on the sadness.
As I mentioned above, my family celebrates Christmas ever year, and for me, I spent the season either with my mother or grandmother. Christmas shopping was something we all enjoyed, and it became an even more entertaining endeavor when my grandma purchased a scooter. Let’s just say she wasn’t going to win any awards with her driving, and it was a fairly common sight to see her snagging inventory with the handlebars or baskets. Shopping with grandma became more about damage control than actual shopping, and one noteworthy excursion, she managed to dislodge an automatic sliding door from the track. In all fairness, the doors came precariously near to closing on her, but she kicked the scooter into high gear and zoomed away into the mall, leaving my mom, aunt, and I awkwardly staring at a door which could neither open nor close. Poor driving aside, my grandma is the person who taught me to wrap presents—how to fold the corners just so, the best way to apply bows, and when to call it quits and stick “the damn thing in a bag.” She had an affinity for gold decorations too, regardless of whether it was beads, ornaments, accessories, or bows. Oh how she loved bows! Our shop Christmas tree boasts a mere fraction of the bows she piled onto the limbs. We compensate with bras now.
Outside of a deep abiding passion for white lights, my mom was more interested in color than my grandmother, and we loved crafting together. HGTV was her favorite channel, and every year, she had new projects for the two of us to work on ranging from painted figures to fabric Christmas trees. We also painstakingly collected porcelain houses for a lighted village, adding on each year until eventually presents adorned the side or the wall to ensure room for our idyllic snowy village under the tree. The tree itself changed many times over the years as glass ornaments fell by one by one to cats, dogs, and children until she ultimately bought a big box of plastic multi-color holiday shapes. Her one breakable indulgence were these hand blown glass hearts which are impossibly delicate and shatter into so many pieces that you will pick glass from your feet for months to come. In retrospect, I can think of no better medium to represent the human heart than glass, and I cherish them all the more. We still have about half of those.
My mother is also the reason I love baking. Long hours at work meant we never spent as much time together as we would like, but she always came home early one evening for the two of us to bake dozens upon dozens of cookies for the family. We’d put on our aprons, roll up our sleeves, and have fun doing something that was uniquely ours.
Gift-giving was always a special time in our family too. Every year, we hosted a dinner for the whole family on Christmas Eve, during which we could open all of the presents from extended family but only one from our immediate family. One year, my mom, an expert at sewing, saw a cape-like coat pattern and thought of my grandmother. Around this time, my grandmother saw a cape-like coat in a catalog, and both asked me if I thought the other would like the coat. “Oh, I’m sure she would,” I said to each, biting back laughter. Over the next couple weeks, my mom’s cape came together well, and my grandmother’s order arrived, meanwhile I was still being asked periodically if I thought they would like the gift. On Christmas Eve, my dad, brother, and I conspired to make them each open the other’s gift at the same time. It was priceless.
However, my absolute favorite Christmas memory is more sentimental. For my mom’s gift on Christmas Eve one year, we chose a small box, the inside of which contained an engagement ring from my dad. My dad had planned ahead and asked my grandfather’s permission to marry my mom, and as a family, we worked together to ensure this was her last present of the evening. Slowly, she delicately unwrapped the corners as was her way until she saw the velvet jewelry box. When she opened it, she laughed and, with trademark ability to do the opposite of what people expect, said “You’re so simple. You’re being stupid.” My dad bent onto one knee and replied: “Stupid remains to be seen, but I’m willing to spend the rest of my life with you to prove I’m not. But, simple? Definitely yes.” Since opening the box, her face had become progressively redder, and you could see the glassiness of her eyes forming droplets of tears. She hugged him, called him stupid again, and accepted. Even my grandfather, who was not one to weep, brushed away a few tears. It was one of those rare perfect moments in life where everything goes exactly as planned, and for however long you live, you feel blessed to have been part of it. If that’s not worth remembering with happiness this season, I don’t know what is.
So from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you: Have a *happy* holiday!
If you’re anything like me, the early release of Christmas decorations belied how quickly the season would be upon us, and I am by no means proud to say that I have yet to purchase a single gift. My Christmas tree is a barren wasteland of tree skirt and dog hair this year, although if I am being honest, no presents go under the tree until Christmas morning anyway on account of my cat’s affinity for eating ribbon. Fortunately, my family is more low key with gift giving, but I admit to feeling the first stages of holiday panic and have resolved to pick up what I need before Monday. In my case, long hours working retail make me cranky about fighting crowds after a tough day or on weekends, and I try, if possible, to support local businesses when buying gifts—local businesses I might add which run almost identical hours to the shop. Thank goodness for last minute gift ideas, which is my way of segueing to our blog topic. For my procrastinating brothers and sisters, I compiled a list of items you can purchase directly from our shop this season. Did I mention that we also offer gift wrapping for the nominal fee of $5 and that all items wrapped receive a 5% discount? Oh, and we also sell gift certificates if you’re not sure what to buy. Hear that? It’s the sound of those excuses evaporating into the tinsel and poinsettias.
Parfait Charlotte Set – $52
Contrasting black piping pops on all of the colorways for Charlotte while the wide wings and rounded cup shape make the bra a favorite for comfort and fit. Red may be the most seasonally-appropriate of the colors, but my personal pick goes to the new ice blue which released a month early.
Affinitas Sasha – $49
With a lace-up ribbon back and slinky satin fabric, Sasha epitomizes holiday lingerie, particularly in the gorgeous deep red colorway. It’s sexy, festive, and flattering. Detachable garter straps give you the option of wearing stockings too, but with an underwire, the design is friendlier for smaller to average busts.
Kix’ies Stockings – $22
Kix’ies were the first stocking to restore my battered faith in holdups, and they make for a lovely stocking stuffer (yeah, I went there). With multilevel silicone gel at the top and a wide band, Kix’ies never dig into sensitive skin or fall while moving. For more information, check out my review. [Read more…]
After her first installment, I know many of us were desperately awaiting the next post from guest writer Jillian on how she began her journey to making custom bras for her fuller-bust. Her personal struggles resonated with so many people, and I know all of us can relate to bra frustrations at one time or another. As a result, I am exceedingly pleased to brighten up your Thursday with another entry! Also, I want to note that there was some initial confusion with the first post. At this time, Jillian is only designing bras for herself but plans on sharing her patterns and tips in future entries as well as offering personal advice to anyone hoping to pursue making their own bras.
Hello! Jillian again, back with another installment about bra making. In my previous entry, I gave you the sordid back story of my particularly problematic endowment. Today brings the four year research and development pilgrimage to lifted boobies.
I should first say that the decision to sew your own bras does NOT only apply to those that surpassed the cup constraints of RTW. Custom bra making can benefit any and everyone. You will know your undergarments are tailored to you alone. No one else will have the exact same article of lingerie. Plus the sense of accomplishment you feel when the last seam is done- priceless!
Although I knew what my end result should/could be, I had no concrete plan of how to reach that point. So the initial stage of my research was deconstructing a retired bra and analyzing the components. I also collected materials to match the bra I currently wore. Cloning and altering the Panache bra proved to be a great decision- made me that a three part cup was absolutely awful for someone my size! I took the most straight forward approach by just opening up the cup via the centered lower cup seam. Everything, though now fully encased, just gravitated to the floor. It was as if the fabric tension and grainline didn’t even matter. I also concluded that the intended outcome is absolutely dependent on the materials as well.*Note to self: using actual muslin for a practice bra is a bad BBBAAAADDDDD idea.* Like a suspension bridge, the physics, design and materials of a bra must work together. So I invested in stronger practice materials to mimic the final product materials. Trying again with the altered Panache clone did not fare well. Nor did the third or fourth try. There was a lot of foul language directed at the failures in the beginning. Those were dark days….. [Read more…]