Winter is sneaking up on me. It was 3 degrees C last week and it tried to snow. I was cold. I wanted thermal vests, flannel onesies, plaid pajamas. I was told to get a grip, and close the windows.
Still, even if the weather is meant to improve this week, it's a sign of things to come. Apparently El Niño is set to provide Alberta with a milder Autumn and Winter than normal and if so, I'm profoundly grateful. However, the weather can be fickle and meteorologists can be wrong and I'm not leaving anything to chance, it was time to draft my first winter bra of the season.
When I think of winter I don't just want something warm, I want it to be soft against my skin, eminently touchable, and a delight to snuggle up in. Silks and satins are not what is required here, however luxurious they may be. Then I stumbled across this fabulous tie dye knit fabric last week. It wasn't cheap, but it feels divine - so soft you just want to stroke it. It's very stretchy, very stretchy indeed and probably not the best fabric for bra making, but well, I was determined. And you can put anything over cut and sew!
I started by drafting a new bra cup. The knit fabric, softer than the softest tee shirt material, warranted a clean, minimalist, no frills kind of look. I wanted it to fit beautifully under long sleeve tees without showing any lumps or bumps, but also needed it to remain hidden under a lower cut top. I do this is in a slightly unconventional way. I wear a favourite bra and then, using my liquid eyeliner, draw a line where the bra sits on my breast along the neckline. I then remove the bra and draw a dotted line where I want the line of the new bra to go. Then, I measure the distance between the 2 at various points and change an existing pattern accordingly. It's a really neat way to get a different look without too much experimentation, and I have discovered that eyeliner washes off so much more easily than a Sharpie does!
Cup drafted, I placed a panel of the pink tie dye acoss the cup and pinned it, then zig-zagged the outer edge to keep it in place. I chose the pink as it reminded me of the colour of the wild roses that are so abundant in Alberta in the summer. Ivory colured FOE along the top edge bound it beautifully and I had to admit I was already really liking it despite the fact that the knit fabric was beyond slippery!
I decided to use the stretchy quality of the fabric to my advantage on the back band. The minimalist look of this bra demanded a straight back band, without the scoop, so I amended my pattern pieces and then cut out my 2 pieces of powernet as normal. However, I also cut another 2 pieces of the pink fabric and then sandwiched the frame between the powernet and the fabric before stitching them together. In this way, I hid my seams, reduced potential itchy spots and gave me a full fabric band for even more softness.
A tiny deep pink rose is the only bit of frippery I allowed myself on this bra, and is super pretty.
My final design element on this bra was the straps. I thought it would be fun to have dual straps on each side, one coming up from the side of the cup, the other from the neckline. It would reduce the solid appearance of the bra, and be a little playful.
Time to put it all together!!
After which, it was time to put it on... and oh my! - it's a dream! So soft, so comfortable, I think I will want to wear it every day - every rainy day, every cold day, every lazy Sunday, every hormonal day; I suspect I may even need to change my will to demand I wear it when they bury me!!
And just look at the fit, it sits right back to the wall and holds everything so neatly in place:
Once the bra was made, I lamented the fact that a camisole which is a staple in my winter wardrobe, often clashes with my bra. My leftover fabric begged to be turned into a cami in the same style. Using the So Zo free pattern, I measured, made a few alterations to allow for the seemingly unlimited stretch in the fabric and whipped up a cami worthy of this lovely bra.
Good job I have more of this fabric in different colours, I can feel a few more of these coming on!