Sewing the Watson bra

I first cut out this bra in June of 2018 after I had lurked through BrAugust the previous summer and promised I would make myself a bra. I’ve found the idea of bra making extremely daunting. I know that you have to expect a few duds before you get your perfect fit and I think that offends my instant gratification brain. I don’t like failing, so knowing it’s likely to need a few goes before I get it right is off-putting – to me anyway. This was my third attempt at a bra and I really wanted it to work.

(C) Cloth Habit – the Watson Bra

Getting the band, cup and wire size seemed like alchemy and I stepped back from the patterns I had and decided to try the Watson bra, as with no wires, it looked like it might be easier.

I decided to make it in this beautifully marbled scuba that I bought from Fabric Styles just because I liked it. I thought the thickness of it would provide a kind of padded effect – not to boost the size of course but to give a bit of coverage for the nips. This could become a tee-shirt bra if it worked out.

I closely followed the instructions to fathom my size and went ahead. I decided to make the longline version for the extra coverage and support. I chose to use a size 36DD. I used bra strap elastic and I actually used fold-over elastic to trim the tops and sides of the cup: white elastic for the tops of the cups and burgundy for the sides and back

The fabric is really nice to work with it cuts beautiful with the rotary cutter. The fabric does not fray, it shows up the topstitching nicely on the cups. It’s quite forgiving, it also sews up nicely using a Jersey needle and a narrow zigzag.

All this time later, I think I followed the instructions properly for determining the size but I can’t swear to it, however when I completed it, while the cups seemed alright, the band was not big enough. Lots of measuring and adjusting to try to adjust to the right size but when I tried it on, of course, it didn’t fit.

I sulked for 3 years picking it up occasionally to think about how to salvage it.

What with the onset of the pandemic, I warmed to the idea of having loungewear or even sleep bras and I substituted power mesh with more of the scuba fabric at the sides and back.

I did have to make a few adjustments and the final version is not a great fit, but it looks beautiful. The cups are the right size, and the band fits too, but my boobs lack support so spill out a bit at the side. No modelled pics here! It has given me the confidence to try bra making again, I think I’ll have another go at fitting this Watson bra before delving into wired versions.

What’s your last sewing frontier?

Thanks for dropping by,

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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