Bravo!!!! The Bravo Bra 2

Dear Readers,

Yesterday was one of those awesome days where I had chance to spend significant time in the sewing room!!!!!  I cut and completed the Bravo Bella 2….  Before I get into my dissertation, here are some pics of the finished bra.

IMG_1151 IMG_1154  IMG_1158

Overall, I’m very pleased!!!!  I think I might have a new favorite bra pattern!

Things I like:

  • The side cup panel.  I don’t know what it’s called exactly, but I think it makes the bra so pretty…and it’s easy to, so why not?!
  • The wider back.  That was actually one of the reasons that I wanted to try something different than my regular KS 2101.  It has basically a straight back and takes two bra hooks, this one has a different style and takes 3.
  • The underwire sits where it’s supposed to sit!!  That’s one of my problems with KS 2101.  When I wear them, it feels like the underwire is just a bit below where it’s supposed to be and even when I made the 32D sample, it was still down to far.  I’m not really sure what causes that.
  • The center seam lands right where it’s supposed to!  On KS 2101 it had a tendancy to be too low (But to be fair to the KS 2101, I think that would have been improved if I made a 32D.)
  • Underwires are flat against my chest!
  • I had to trim the underwires (I used size 34) and I used heat shrink electrical tubing (bought @ home  depot) to seal the ends.  This was super easy and quick!!  I had tried that rubber coating the last time I trimmed some underwires and it took FOREVER (as in 4 days or so) to actually dry.   For this tubing, I just took a bit and slipped it on then end and then held it over the flame on our gas stove until it shrunk up.    (I did accidentally catch the tips on fire, but it wasn’t a big deal..ha ha ha.  I’ll know not to get so close next time.)     It cooled in just a minute and I was able to go right back to bra sewing.  I hope this stuff holds up well.  I think I read this tip on someone’s blog…
  • IMG_20141101_195003 IMG_20141101_195044
  • The straps are exactly where they should be!!  No adjustments necessary.

Things I either adjusted for or need to adjust for otherwise watch out for on the next one: 

  • I didn’t like the center front seam, so I moved it to an underbust seam.  This was a very easy mod, but I think it goes along way in improving the look of the bra.   Here’s some photos to show you what I mean:
  • IMG_20141101_151004 IMG_20141101_151010
  • The band is just a hair tight.  It’s totally wearable, but on the next one, I’m going give myself back the little bit that I removed.  I think it’s contributing to the bulges on the back view on me above.  (Ha ha…that’s not a dislike of the pattern…just more of a reminder to myself to change something.)
  • The elastic on the upper cup is creating a tiny bit of overflow. You can see it in the side view above.  When I made this one, I trimmed off a tiny bit from the center front seam cup towards the center, and I may put that back in and see if it corrects this problem.  The common guidance for this issue is to go up a cup size, but geesh, I’m not that big.  I think if I went up a cup size, it’d be huge on me.
  • My channeling application leaves a bit to be desired.  I think when I do this next, I’ll actually mark 3/8″ down from the top of the pattern  with one of those pens  that disappear when you iron over them instead of just eyeballing it like I did this time.
  • IMG_1162
  • I deviated from the directions and didn’t use twill tape to cover the seams.  I’ve tried that in the past, and it was a mess.  I find that if I do a wide zigzag over the allowances moved to one side, it actually looks better.
    • IMG_1166 IMG_1165
    • I also did my own thing for topstitching the cups.  I think the directions just had you do a straight line.  I think it looks better (in other words – less show through), if you do a triple zigzag over the allowances that have been trimmed down to about 1/8″. Use caution when trimming that close!
    • IMG_1164 IMG_1163
    • Looking at that pic above, I need to make sure my picot application is done right at the center front.  I have too much showing on the bottom, and the top was just a little messed up – so the bow came to the rescue!

For this one, I used powernet for the back, and for the front, the top and bottom cup are two layers of tricot each.  For the lace, I basted the two or three layers together and then treated as one.  So for the front band, it was powernet, green tricot, lace.   For the side panels, it was just tricot and lace on the top, plus the tricot for the lining.  The basting was pretty easy to do.  I know that a long, straight basting stitch works best on my machine for this (I used 3.5).  I also found that if I fed my machine little scraps of paper when I started the seam, it was less likely for the machine to eat it the beginnings.  I hadn’t ever tried this method before and it worked great.  I just used wax paper because it’s what I use to trace on, so there was lots of scraps of it in the trash. It was easy to pull off the paper once I had the seam done.  I just used a little inch or so of it at the beginning of the seam.   I wish I would have tried that long ago!

Overall, I think this bra is FANTASTIC!!!  I have some minor quibbles, but they are very minor and easily corrected on the next one.  If I were to try this one on in a store, I’d buy it in a second.  🙂

Now…to pick out the fabrics for my next one!!  🙂

Happy Sewing!

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8 Responses to Bravo!!!! The Bravo Bra 2

  1. Laurie says:

    Most excellent work!! I just finished buying everything to make my first bra. Now I need to muster enough courage to get past the fitting stage!

  2. jay says:

    Good fit, I like th ‘side cup’ styling too.

  3. Rachel says:

    Thank you for such a detailed review! I’ve tried quite a few patterns and this one was next on the list!

    • Good luck!!!! I was wearing my blue bravo the other day, I think I made it after the green one. My only quibble is that I need to move the straps on the back just a bit closer together b/c I kept having to pull the straps up through the day. Otherwise, it’s a great bra!

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