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Sewing Projects

A LIBERTY PRINT BOYLSTON BRA

I have piles and piles of new handmade things to show you, but the light and weather have confounded me at every turn (no shivering for me out in 2 feet of snow, thank you). Thankfully bras are easy to throw on the dress form, even if it is overcast out and you’re starting to actually worry about Vitamin D deficiency. Apparently this is a real thing I need to get myself checked for, since the only bit of skin exposed to the sun lately is whatever is not concealed by my big parka hood (are you tired of hearing me complain about winter in Montreal yet? Well don’t worry, it’s only going to last for four more months.)

Whining aside: on to my New Year Boobolutions! This here is another addition to my sad and neglected lingerie drawer: the Boylston Bra from Orange Lingerie.

Boylston Bra in Liberty Print Tana Lawn // Closet Case Patterns Boylston Bra in Liberty Print Tana Lawn // Closet Case Patterns

This pattern has been on my hit list for a while. I absolutely love the cut and style lines (it’s got a vintage vibe, but with soft round shaping instead of dreaded 50s cone boobs), and I was very keen to try using a non-traditional bra-making fabric since I’ve seen many versions in lightweight wovens. I also thought it was a good excuse to dip my toe in the Liberty pond; in general their prints are not for me, but I think this small scale floral is perfect for this application (nabbed at Gather Here in Boston last year).

Everything they say about Tana lawn is true; it’s dreamy stuff and works surprisingly well for a bra. It’s a little more crisp and structured than traditional bra knits,  which means it doesn’t glide over the body as smoothly. You really need to make sure the fit is spot on before playing around with a woven. Cue sad trombone.

Boylston Bra in Liberty Print Tana Lawn // Closet Case PatternsBoylston Bra in Liberty Print Tana Lawn // Balconette cup bra // Closet Case PatternsBoylston Bra in Liberty Print Tana Lawn // Bra strap // Closet Case Patterns

So… my secret size shame. Did I get a quick fitting with Norma herself? Yes. Did I listen to her and make the size she recommended? Why no, no I didn’t. For some reason, even though we decided that I was decidedly a 36D in the Marlborough, I stubbornly stuck to my traditional bra size for this make and it shows. I widened the bridge slightly (my ladies are very far apart), but unfortunately I get some major under armpit fat spillage (enticing!) since I don’t have enough room for my breast tissue and it’s basically trying to make a run for it in every other direction. Alas, the cup is a little too small, and the band a little too tight.

Now, I would have just assumed that Norma’s sizing is a little different than what I’m used to, but wouldn’t you know, Amy at Cloth Habit sent me her beautiful soon to be released underwired bra pattern and I have the exact same cup issue! I think I have to acknowledge that the ten or so pounds I’ve put on since figuring out my bra size a few years ago is having a real effect on fit for me. I absolutely adore this style so I will be resolutely making another in the size Norma suggested from the beginning.

Boylston Bra in Liberty Print Tana Lawn // Bra back // Closet Case Patterns Boylston Bra in Liberty Print Tana Lawn // Closet Case Patterns

 

Minor nitpicking about not-quite-perfect-fit aside, this bra makes me happy. It’s just so pretty, especially with the straps and rose gold sliders salvaged from a previous Tailor Made kit. I love how it looks inside and out, and I know what to tweak for my next crack at it. It’s definitely wearable, but I’m excited to give the girls a little more room the next go round. I’m also very curious to compare the shape between the Bolyston and the Sophie Swimsuit bra I’ve been working on. Sophie has a different neckline and a rounder shape; it might be fun to do some side by side fit comparisons since they are both 3 piece balconette styles, albeit with different design intents and purposes.

In the meantime, I’m on the hunt for stretch poly charmeuse; my favourite colour way sold out in the recent Tailor Made sale, so please let me know if you know a good source for prints! I love how romantic this pattern is in satin charmeuse.

Has anyone else sewn a Bolyston, or experimented with using a woven like Tana lawn? Please tell me how it went!