Watson Bra by Cloth Habit
Sewing Projects

ANOTHER WATSON BRA

HAPPY NEW YEAR LOVERS! I hope you had a magnificent holiday and managed to sidestep the terrible plague that took over my soul, lungs and sinuses these last few weeks. I’m back in the saddle and raring to ride 2015 like a magical flying pony across the sky. Right after I deal with the end of year accounting I am writing this post to avoid doing (my bookkeeper doesn’t start until February and until then I will be fabricating all manner of “urgent” tasks to avoid the loathed spreadsheet).

I have a few backlogged projects to talk about this month. First up are my second and third Watson bras (I made my first version in sheer purple mesh). I am growing pretty obsessed with this pattern. It can be a struggle to get properly dressed every morning, and putting on a structured under-wired bra just to sit at my computer all day makes me feel like this:

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(Thank you Paul Rudd in Wet Hot American Summer. For everything.)

So yes, Watson is verrry comfortable, especially after I realized I was sewing my bust elastic in way too tight. It really only needs the very lightest stretch, so be mindful of that if you make it, lest you want permanent elastic indentations under your boobs. I actually ripped out the elastic from my first make to give myself a little more room and have been wearing that one so much I decided it was time to make another. This longline version was made from a crazy floral/galaxy swimsuit lycra I’ve had in my stash forever.

Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-8 Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-12Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-13 Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-9 Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-10

I used lovely plum elastic I found at one of my local notion stores, along with some black strap elastic and gold metal sliders, with black powermesh for the band. I also lengthened the back band by about 1cm for maximum comfort. As you can see, I ran into some issues with the cradle lining. The lycra is VERY stretchy and slippery, and sewing it to a more stable bra lining created the excess fabric you’re seeing under the cups. After sewing the bust elastic in the first time, I ripped it all out so I could cut the lycra a little shorter but it didn’t make much of a difference. I’ve run into this problem before when trying to line lycras – any advice for how to avoid it?

I followed the construction method Amy detailed exactly, but I am curious to try playing with some of the interior cup finishes a little more. Tasia and Caroline have done some interesting tweaks to their bras over on Sewaholic. I haven’t seen too many people post their Watson bras actually on, so in the name of science I’ll share that with you here so you can get a sense of how it looks while you’re wearing it. I am crossing my fingers I don’t see a bunch of creepy web traffic in my google search terms a month from now. Best to avoid words like “nipple”, “busty” or “space boobs”. Oh no, now I’ve done it….

Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-15

As you can see, there is quite a lot of coverage, at least for me, and the cups sit perfectly under my bust. Since the fit is fairly modest, I think it would be a great choice to wear under loose tanks in the summer.

I also got around to making the shorter bralette version and used this weird silver lame 2-way stretch fabric I had in my stash. I made one of my earliest bras in this stuff but that make had a lot of construction issues, so I was happy to give this fabric another go. The pattern calls for 4-way stretch, but I think it actually worked pretty well. I don’t think it has terrific recovery so we’ll see how long it holds it’s shape.

Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-4 Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-6Closet Case Files - Watson Bra-5

I used the same cup elastic, this time in black, but switched to silver hardware. Because the cradle is shorter, this bra doesn’t have as much support but since I’m not a really busty lady (*cue creepy Google search terms*) it’s fine for me to wear this day to day. It’s SUPREMELY comfortable. In fact, these are the only bras I brought with me when I went home for the holidays, because no one wants to deal with digging under-wires when one is stuffing one’s face with pierogies, turkey and chip dip.

So thank you Amy. I am officially off under-wired bras right now and am dreaming up more versions of the Watson. I think I’d like to make a nude “t-shirt” longline to wear under white teas, since my RTW padded nude bra is gasping it’s last breath.

And now I have no excuse not to get back to that accounting. Unless I decide it’s suddenly imperative to re-organize my sewing patterns…..

  • I made a Watson last weekend and am on my second one.
    Norma wrote a great post about bonding and fusing fabrics, which my be your lining/lyrcra solution. Even when you underline/line, the two fabrics are independent, but if you bond them, they’ll be one in the same. No shifting!

    http://www.orange-lingerie.com/2014/the-magic-of-manipulation

    • Thanks for reminding me of that post! I have to keep some of that fusible!

  • Melissa C

    Ack! I totally dig your floral galaxy version. It’s a beaut! I purchased the Watson pattern last week and now really MUST get moving on it. Such a gorgeous design.

  • I LOVE THESE! Now that I’m done obsessing over my Gingers (and my crotch curve), now it’s time to obsess over the boobs I think. Btw, I LOVE my Gingers!

    • AMAZING! I’m so happy to hear that. Can’t wait to see them!

  • I’m impressed that you are revving up to go with the accounting. It’s inspirational to those of us who’s accounting is only a glimmer in the farthest reaches of the mind–at this point.
    Beautiful work with the Watson Bra! Love the fabric!

    • Trying to get it OUT OF THE WAY so I can stop having anxiety about it every time I wake up. My “reciept” folder is making me feel ill.

  • Cashmerette

    Someone once found my site by googling “Busty Brits”, so I wish you luck with future google searches.

    AND: ROCKIN BRA DUDE

    • BWA HAHA. To be fair, if I ever hear “Busty Brit” you would probably come to mind pretty quickly. IN A GOOD WAY.

  • i have seen an angel! you look uhmazing. great makes!!!

    • Do angels wear bras!?!?!? I always thought the heavenly gravity would keep things perky.

  • Kathryn

    Love this fabric, the bra looks great! I wasn’t sure about a soft non wire bra but it is sooo much more comfortable. Adding a lining also prevents nips being on show.

    I also had the same problem where my stretchy lycra under the bust didn’t lie flat against the lining fabric as there was excess lycra fabric. I’m going to try again by using water soluble adhesive spray and try bonding the two fabrics together and then cutting out the cradle section from the bonded fabric.

  • Carolyn

    Thanks for posting a modeled photo – it’s amazing what a difference it makes to see the pattern on a real body. You look fabulous, BTW! I hear you about accounting procrastination. I’m on a tight grad student budget and track every penny for fear of not being able to make rent, but I put off my monthly number crunching until the last possible second. Hopefully one day I can hire a bookkeeper too. πŸ™‚

    • There are some good apps that help you track day to day spending. In my better moments I have used them….

  • Ami Lowden

    Looks great! I need this pattern now! πŸ™‚

  • Caitlyn Myers

    I love that we live in a world where floral/galaxy print is a thing that exists. πŸ™‚ Thank you for modeling your finished bra–there really is no substitute for seeing a garment on a real live human body. Since I don’t have business accounting to worry about, I’m actually eager to get my personal taxes finished. Last year I put off filing until the last possible minute and nearly ended up regretting it. I do, however, have heaps of digital organizing and backing-up that desperately need attention that keep slipping to the bottom of the list. So I feel ya!

    • I want to choke myself right now but I’m going to get through it. Courage my friend!

  • Thank you for sharing a pic of you in the watson! I’ve been hanging out for someone to so I can get a feel for what it fits like on someone else. Also, space boobs. SPACE BOOOOOOBS!

  • mokosha

    love them both! and love that you modeled it, i was wondering how it looks on a body (and it looks freaking aamazing!)

  • :). That’s all. Kudos on posting the pic! I can’t decide if I want to make this one or not. I have the Marlborough waiting for this weekend.

    Plaq farts is by far the best search term to find me.

  • As much as I never pictured myself as ever really wanting to make a bra. …this totally makes me want to make a bra. I kind of hate underwire and I don’t have a whole lot of real estate up top that needs support or coverage (lucky me?) so I think I’d really like to wear something like Watson. We’ll see if I ever take the plunge (ha!). Galaxy floral though… I mean, that’s just awesome!

    • You would LOVE this bra. Easy to make and I think it would look great on your bod.

      • Aww thanks! Well I guess I’ll just have to find out now wont I πŸ™‚

  • Lauren Taylor

    Ahhhhh, I love this, I love Galaxy Boobs, and I love YOU!! I’m so glad you posted that photo bc the internet needs it. I can’t wait to make up this pattern – I ordered a kit from Blackbird Fabrics, so I’m just waiting on that to come in. Although now I kind of want Galaxy Boobs… I wonder if I still have any of that leftover galaxy print from my leggings? I’ve been purging old fabrics like crazy this past month o_O

    Also, just wanted to say – as a fellow self-employed laydee, I was really dreading all that tax prep and accounting! I pay someone to do my taxes, but I like to have everything nearly done for her so I can keep costs down. I decided to just work on one small portion so things wouldn’t be too overwhelming, but I ended up in such a ~groove~ that ALL my tax prep work is done (well, at least for now… gotta wait on some stuff to get mailed to me, but I should be able to just plug the numbers in and print everything). Done as of JANUARY SECOND. Here’s to hoping that you find your groove and kick those spreadsheets straight in the butt!!

    • I got it all done today. Praying my tax bill doesn’t break me.

  • I love this print. You have really got me wanting to attempt some bra making! Looks nice and comfy! Did you make matching knickers too?

    • I’m the worst with making undies. I have my favourite Hanes her Way boy briefs that I love (until they changed the pattern on me, doh) and most bikini cut panties give me panty lines or wedgies. The curse of the booty-ed. So basically I have all these pretty bras and then plain black cotton underwear. Party on top, nap on the bottom.

  • Whoever decided to mix galaxy and floral…bless them. so cool. I just printed out this pattern, hopefully I can get to it soon! I need new bras badly, my bust size totally changed after having kids and I would love to make some pretty bras that FIT. I hate underwires so this one looks perfect.

    • I wish I bought ten more yards of this stuff. I want space floral leggings. And this is a pretty fast make so you’d get good results without a ton of work.

  • Seriously you have some kind of freaky superpowers. Firstly you make me want to make jeans, and now you make me want to make bras…how? HOW?

    • It’s the chip I planted in your brain while you were sleeping Sarah. I’m so happy to hear it’s working!

  • charlotte

    thank you for posting a shot of you wearing it – it’s really helpful to see how it actually fits a real human. Love the fabric. I’m cracking the hell up at “space boobs”!

  • coco

    Thank you so much for the foto wearing it…so helpful! This is on my wish list. I can’t wear any hardware (scleroderma) but this bra appears to have potential for modification in the longer version, so that I can do it!

    • I think if you did a stretchy mesh back you could pull it on and off like a bralette! No bra hook and eye needed.

  • Your space boobs are converting me to bra making. Just thought I’d mention that.

    • Hahahahahaha. It’s all part of my evil extraterrestrial scheme! The aliens are right! it’s working!

  • sallieforrer

    Oh my gosh I am so happy to see a real live person inside a handmade bra!! I know no one wants to post pics of themselves in their skivvies on the inter webs, but it is SO helpful to actually see these things on real live ladies who deal with real live things… like flesh and gravity. You look fantastic, and your space boobs have totally won me over on this pattern!

    • At this point, I’m kind of all over the web in a bathing suit, so what’s another boob shot, right?!

  • i am also totally obsessed with the watson! it fits you so wonderfully well too. about the lycra shifting and twisting when attaching it to the lining, i had the same issue with my latest watson (which was a gift to my sister, so i wanted it to be perfect!) i initially wanted to use the lining as a way to make cleaner interiors by sandwiching the cups between the cradle fabric and lining, but that ended up in a twisty mess. so i recut Everything and used fabric glue to hold the fabrics in Place while i carefully basted the lining to the cradle BEFORE sewing the cups in. that worked pretty well!

    • This might be a good stopgap solution until I buy some washable spray adhesive….

  • so here’s a funny story: i lost my watson in progress. also maybe a sad story, because mine is just that small.

    THAT GALAXY ONE!!

  • Jennifer Lachman

    I love your Watson’s. I just bought the pattern and haven’t looked at the instruction but if it doesn’t already call for it, flat lining may help the lining issues. Maybe try some fusible webbing as well. Can’t wait to make my own.

    • Next time I’m definitely using fusible!

  • Futuretronic! I am having a Barbarella moment. Then I need that fabric.

  • truebias

    like everyone else thank you for showing it on. im on the fence on this one. worried it won’t have enough support, but i think i want to give it a go.

    • At the very least, the longline is a comfy, hanging out at home bra. I’m sort of over super padded boobs so I like the natural fit but it might not be for everyone.

  • Great post! I want to sew a Watson bra, but I’m a novice when it comes to sewing. Is the pattern good for beginners?!
    Thanks!

    • I think this is as beginner friendly as it gets for lingerie. No underwires and channeling which can be really tricky. Go for it!

  • I actually appreciate the image of you wearing the bra so I can get a sense of how it fits and looks on a person. It’s really hard to judge while on the mannequin and it gives me a better idea about how it theoretically might look on me. Given the fact that I tend to stray from not having underwires, I was a bit hesitant to buy the pattern. This was the tipping point on the scale. xx

  • Susan Buchanan

    I hope it’s not creepy for me to say that I was happy to see a pic of you in your bra, haha. I’ve been thinking of making the Watson and was curious how all that coverage looked on a real person!

  • Love it! I’ve just been working on my Watson and I had the same problem with the cradle…haven’t gotten to the bust elastic yet so I’m looking forward to that nightmare this evening (too much lycra, not enough lining).

    Am I the only one that can’t figure out how long the straps are supposed to be?

    Sending you some warm air from the West Coast πŸ™‚

  • Beauteous πŸ™‚

  • Sassy T
  • Oh my god, I really need to re-watch Wet Hot American Summer. Forgot how hilarious that movie is!

    I’m so glad you shared pictures of yourself in your Watson, because I’ve been wanting to see how it actually looks on someone. I bought two Watson kits from Blackbird Fabric, and I’m planning on sharing photos of me in them as well, especially since I haven’t seen how Watson looks on any busty ladies yet (just trying to contribute to those Google search terms).

    And accounting’s not so bad if you bribe yourself with tea and good music! (I do the accounting for a small non-profit and I’m in school for accounting to pursue my CPA.) Let me know if you have any questions and I might be able to help out!

  • Amy has a sew along group and I have a sew along for the Watson as well in my bra making group. You can find the group here… https://www.facebook.com/groups/bramaking101/

  • Loving the Watson inspiration! Now I need this pattern in my life!!

  • I love all this pattern so much, why haven’t I made one yet???

  • Your sewing skills are seriously impeccable, my gosh. How long have you been sewing for? I seriously am blown away by your handiwork. (Is that the right word? Probably not. haha)
    I also am loving the idea of a bra without under wiring. Forget days when I’m staying home, how about every day of the week! haha now they just need to come up with a way to make comfortable (and cute) jeans and then we’re in business.

  • Those are gorgeous! I’m so afraid to sew bras. I’m afraid it will just be way too frustrating for me. I think I’m going to try a bombshell though! I’m going to Hawaii and need a new suit! πŸ™‚

  • Amy

    Gosh I’m so digging both of these! Space boobs, haha. The cradle fabric is a lot more prone to shift in the longline bra, simply because the fit is so firm across the ribcage. Another way around it is to cut the lining from the main piece and then cut the cradle slightly smaller and the edges (say 1/8″. This is what I do on bra cups, too. Kind of like a turn of cloth idea. But a fused cradle is probably the ultimate solution.

  • I love this! I’m always the last to jump on any pattern buying train but I think the Watson may be winning me over…is it weird if I ask how supportive it is though? I made the Ohhh Lulu longline bra and the was zero support on that pattern. In hindsight I should have noticed that it didn’t really look like it was drafted for support, but this time I’m really trying to do my research before I commit to a pattern. Hahaha.

    • I mean, I wouldn’t go running in it but it keeps thing in place. I have medium sized boobs and I think the support is pretty good considering there are no underwires!