Sewing as a celebration

What makes you want to create something? There can be so many reasons. For me at the moment, it’s a celebration of healing and progress. I’ve almost finished a dress – more on that soon – and have really enjoyed sewing a couple of bralettes and figuring out how to adapt them to my new shape.

Both are made with fabrics left from other projects. There are three cotton/elastane jerseys from B&M Fabrics in Leeds and a silk/modal mix from Doughtys, which was a sample piece that I bought when I was planning the prom dress last year.

These are the third and fourth Emerald Erin Jordy Bralettes that I’ve made. It’s a simple but very designed pattern with a wide range of sizes and good instructions and works really well for me.

For one, I used cut & sew foam in both cups, sandwiched between a jersey outer and lining, and used the same size as before (34A); I found the cups a little small for my new shape and scars (and perhaps also due to the foam changing the profile slightly). I love the colours and the overall shape and expect I’ll wear it more when I need less consistent support and my scars are less sensitive.

Fabric and foam pieces laid out on a green cutting mat, ready to sew into a bralette

Bra cup made from blue palm print jersey fabric with a centre seam and navy fold over elastic along one edge, on a green cutting mat

Navy, white and royal blue palm print bralette with triangle cups and navy straps and under band, modelled on a beige dress form

Blue bralette back view

Blue bralette interior

For the next one, I decided to change things around a little. I’ve only used foam in the right cup, and used some fine cotton to interline the left cup, adding stability with minimal bulk. The outer fabric was left over from making a top earlier in the year and the inner is some black jersey that I bought specifically for sewing underwear.

I went up a size on the cups (to 32C/34A) and it feels better for having done this. My scar isn’t completely covered but it’s not going to cause irritation. I’ve used a wider band (38mm) of plush elastic this time, which is what is recommended. The fastening was sold as a bra extender but the two parts were stitched together rather than heat sealed so it just needed unpicking. I find it easier to buy bra extenders locally whereas fasteners are harder to locate, but have learned to check them carefully to be sure that I can dismantle them.

This time I stitched the cups to the outside of the band, and was very happy to find that I had some non stretch lace that was a perfect match and just the right width. I tacked (basted) all the layers together and then used both a triple and single zig zag stitch to attach them all, reinforcing the ends and the centre where the cups meet.

I’m delighted with the results. The fit is by no means perfect but it’s good progress, which is absolutely fine for now.

My scars feel huge at the moment but are healing well. I feel it’s important to share them – to an extent – for all sorts of reasons. The sensations change each day and I still need to be careful about what I do, but it is improving and I feel much more like myself, which is what I hoped for more than anything else. I’m thankful for everyone who has helped me to get this far and have much to celebrate.

Image shows fabric cut out for a bralette (top row L-R teal jersey, pale pink foam, black woven cotton; lower row is black jersey fabric

Teal bralette on dress form

Rear view of teal bralette on dress form

Teal bralette interior

Teal bralette back view with scar

Image shows Eleanor's upper torso, wearing the teal bralette with a black elastic underband and gold/black stripes. The scar on Eleanor's chest is just visible between the bralette cups and appears as a triangle with the point near her breastbone

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4 thoughts on “Sewing as a celebration

  1. I’ve been reading your posts with interest because two of my friends have recently undergone similar surgeries.
    I’m wondering if the bra pattern itself calls for the foam, or if that was for comfort (or both)?
    Thanks for your very helpful and educational experiences and insights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that this has been helpful. The foam is optional with this pattern. I didn’t use it in the first two that I made a few months ago but decided to experiment a little with these.

      Like

  2. Great post and a very brave post, I must admit I didn’t realise the scars would be quite so extensive – at least plastic surgeons know how to stitch so they heal up beautifully. I’ve just joined a bra making facebook page with the idea of making a few, yours look great. Take care x

    Liked by 1 person

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