Bra-A-Week: Week 33!

Sep 6, 2015 | Bra Makes, Tutorials | 16 comments

Hi All!!

I’m back!! Hosting the Bra-A-Week Challenge! And can you believe we are at Week 33?! Crazy!! It seems like only yesterday it was Week 27 and I submitted my sister’s bikini! Well it’s time for me to get back behind my sewing machine- and this is what I made for the challenge this week!

Overall not an exciting bra- but there is some learning in this bra! and I’m actually surprised by how much I like the beige… this can’t be good!

So now on to the interesting part- the fitting!

There are two main differences between the cups- the direction of stretch and the wire. Both are made with a double layer of 15 denier with the identical pattern pieces. It should also be noted that I am very evenly balanced on both sides- so the fit isn’t influenced by asymmetry 🙂

*Also I should note that to reduce confusion- when I say ‘right’ and ‘left’ side- I mean of the photo and not my right and left side!

On the right side of the photo is the cup made with the direction of stretch in opposing direction- basically eliminating the stretch in either direction. And in that side is a different wire- a more vertical wire.

On the left side is a cup made with the usual direction of stretch (direction of stretch following the neckline on the upper cup, and pointing from mid-wireline of the bottom cup pieces towards the apex) and my normal long wire.

(please excuse the mediocre photography- I didn’t have help today! and excuse the tissues- for modesty sake- if I have any left lol!)
See the difference? The right side is definitely more projected, it also looks a bit tighter and a bit more lifted. Which I think overall makes that side almost look larger. It is a subtle difference – but definitely a difference – and feels very different on as well!

So first I’m going to talk about the wires- because I think they have the biggest impact.

I think it’s easiest to see from the front just how much impact the wire has- you can see on the left side the wire is splaying a lot further into the bridge area, which has the effect of being a bit wider and a bit flatter, where on the other side, it’s more upright and not flattening the cross cup or the neckline edge. Also- from the outer edge of the wire- you would be able to see that the more vertical wire really pulls the breast tissue towards the front.

Here you can see the difference between the wires: There’s definitely more splay on the left!

Next I’ll go into direction of stretch differences. Now I have to admit that it’s hard to see from the photo- and for me this is much more based on the feel. I think this is partly because I am younger, don’t have many support needs, and will stay put regardless of the direction of stretch, BUT I can really feel the difference of support between the two sides, and I do think you can see a bit of the difference in the photos!

Here are my pattern pieces and the direction of stretch I used for the left side (look at the stronger arrow- you can see the opposing direction of stretch through the other side!), which are the usual direction of stretch. And for the other side, I used this direction of stretch along with a second layer of the opposite direction of stretch.

So on the left side- which has the usual direction of stretch, and my usual long wire (this is the identical pattern to my red bra.) You can see that it’s a great fit, really comfortable looking, not super tight or lifted looking- and I can tell you that it is a much softer cup- it isn’t very restrictive, and there is a nice amount of softness and ease in the cup.

Now on the other side- the combination of the opposing direction of stretch from the two layers of 15 denier and the more vertical wire give this cup a more ‘upright appearance’. It also looks more lifted, and it changes the neckline to be slightly more angled. This cup is also much more firm and slightly more restrictive.

Overall from this experience I have to say that I love both cups for different reasons. I really like my original wire and direction of stretch for a more casual and comfortable bra- it definitely was the more relaxed and comfortable cup!

But I really love the shaping and look that the vertical wires and the opposing direction of stretch (almost no stretch) that the other cup gave. Although I don’t think that this cup is quite as comfortable- but definitely not uncomfortable.

What do you think? Let me know your opinions!


And now on to all of your gorgeous submissions!

First we have this awesome swimsuit from Andrea of Obsessive Creativeness!

Andrea drafted this bathing suit pattern from a combination of her bra pattern, stretch bodice sloper and the bottoms from a pair of RTW undies! Very resourceful! And it all came together so well!


She used this lovely blue spandex, and foam in the cups! To read more about the drafting and making of this suit be sure to go over and check out Andrea’s post on her blog!


Next we have a beautiful submission from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

Maddy made this from the Boylston Bra pattern from Orange Lingerie. And she said the fit is bang-on!

She made this bra using fabric she found in a remnant bin (I feel that remnant shopping/hunting should be a sport- and if it were I give you a 9.8/10 for finding this gorgeous fabric and making it into this bra). She also used foam in the cups, and made this amazing pair of panties to match! *swooning* Very lovely! Check out more about this set in Maddy’s post over on her blog!


Next we have this very pretty submission from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

Sofia branched out with this new bra- trying a new fabric and vertical seam! Modifying the seam from her basic bra pattern. And that silky fabric- how pretty!

The fit didn’t end up being a favourite for this bra- but there was a lot of leaning! Make sure you go over to read Sofia’s post about it over on her blog!


Next we have a stunning submission from Karin of Mrs.Weaver’s Finest!

This is Karin’s ‘Black Pearl’ Bra. And this one is definitely a pearl! She made this beautiful bra for a client out of black silk and this beautiful deep red ribbon trim! The cups are also made with foam, and a three-piece vertical seam cup, giving a lovely shape!

And that little bit that finishes it off perfectly- the pearl on the bridge! Very lucky client! Make sure you head over to Karin’s blog to see more about this beauty!

And last but not least we have this pretty lace number from David of Bonnet Bleu !

David made this bra using black lace over nude foam lining. Very pretty lace! He made this bra with vertical seams, and a partial band, and a real balconette feel on the cup shape with wide-set straps!

For the back band of the bra David used more embroidered black lace for a decorative touch. Very classy!


Wow- Amazing submissions this week! What a great week to kick off my hosting this fall!!

I’m so excited to be back in the swing of things with this challenge!  And to be bringing a little more theory and info into these challenges too!

For anyone new to the challenge – firstly Welcome! Also if you would like to submit a bra to the challenge I accept submissions 24/7! and any bras that are submitted by friday at midnight, will be included in that Sunday post! 🙂

Please submit your beautiful creations to : 

Please include two photos of your beautiful me-made intimate apparel, along with a short description and any and all links that you would like attached to it! (share the blog love!)

I do wait with anticipation on those emails – and they’re all lovely little surprises sent right to me!! 🙂

Hope you all have an amazing Sunday!

xo erin



  1. ginny

    Wow! What a bunch of exquisite submissions this week! I'll be reading all the related blog posts for sure!

    Erin, I'm fascinated by your experiment with stretch direction and underwire style! I can definitely see myself trying the more vertical wire and the opposing stretch direction, I think the additional support would suit my full & aging bust. Thanks for sharing!

    • EmeraldErin

      Hi Ginny! Thanks so much! I'm absolutely loving doing all these fitting trials and bra tests- I find it so fascinating too! I think it's so important to find all the best techniques and ways to share them- and hopefully make everyone's bra-making better! I also know that most people I make bras for are not my support level and every little bit of extra helps- and some things that seem like little changes actually make a huge difference!

  2. mel

    Hi erin — what a great post! For those of us who aren't lucky enough to have self-supporting breasts, fit and shape are just as important as prettiness but don't get as much attention. What's really interesting is that there's such a divide between the brafitting world and the braMAKING world 😉 they should really talk more!! in the brafitting world, Polish brands such as Comexim are highly prized in large part because of their narrow/upright wires, which give a better and more flattering fit on probably at least 75% of bra wearers. Also, certain cup constructions — such as at the very least a split bottom cup — fit most people better than for example a 2 part diagonal seam. Since making a bra from scratch is so much work i can't believe these "best practices" aren't more standard.

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Mel! I definitely find that there is a huge lack of bra-fitting information out there for the bra-making community! That's why I'm so excited to be working more on the bra-theory and fitting tests.

      I've seen some bras from Comexim (Bliss Bras in Hamilton have that brand) and I was SO impressed with their shaping and fitting- definitely the vertical wire, and also the depth of the cup with the vertical seaming.

      My goal with this bra-a-week challenge was to learn all the different styles and techniques and now I'm looking more into fine-tuning the fitting aspects! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Mrs. Weaver

    Fab post Erin! Have an amazing time at your teaching gig – can't wait to hear all about it!

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Karin!! I'll call you as soon as I get back 🙂

  4. eforshopping

    Erin, I'm so surprised at the difference in the two sides of your bra. Yes, I can see it. Much more lift to the side on our right (looking at the screen), and you look a full cup size different. I'm sure that would be a dream come true for many women! Understanding the support difference is great too! I look forward to more theory next week!


    • EmeraldErin

      I was hoping that it was as obvious to everyone- but I realize my pictures aren't fantastic. I think it would make a world of difference for some woman! I know even for myself I'm going to be changing some things about my bra-making. While I still feel there is a big place in my bra-wardrobe for comfortable every-day bras like my red bra, and with these more splayed wires. I'll definitely be making myself some lovely little things with the vertical wires and extra rigid fabrics.

      Thanks Michelle! I have a feeling theory is going to be continuing through September!

  5. missmaddysews

    Super interesting! Definitely very keen to try the vertical wires now…maybe once I've worked my way through the eight or so regular pairs I have left haha. Although I might overlook that if have a go at a strapless! It's great to have you back, and some super stunning submissions this week – I think Sofia and I have a bit of a florals trend going! Looking forward to Corset October too – I'm aiming to make for that so let's see how i go! 🙂

    • missmaddysews

      (two for that! Is what I meant haha)

  6. Ana

    Great post, Erin! Can't wait for more of "Bra Theory"!

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Ana! I'm loving the Bra Theory too!

  7. Sofía

    That's such an interesting post! Those little differences make really big changes! I love learning more about bra theory, so I know I'm going to enjoy a lot these September posts 🙂
    And the submissions this week are gorgeous, as you said! I love the colour in Andrea's bathing suit, and the back as well! Maddy's floral Boylston may be one of the prettiest sets I've ever seen, and Karin's Black Pearl Bra… well, I think it's the bra of my dreams! (and the vintage lingerie pictures at her website are soooo gorgeous!)

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Sofia! I can't wait for bra theory the rest of September too! Thanks so much for your submission – there was a lot of learning in that bra too!

  8. Amber

    What happens when you put a t-shirt on with this bra? Is there a visible difference in the apexs and does the size appear different?
    I wonder how this would work with women who have a slight size difference in their breasts- to even out the appearance. Loving the theory! So glad you are making it happen! Thanks.

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks for your comment Amber! I haven't checked with a t-shirt on, I don't think the apex would be any different in placement because it really didn't move the apex, but it does appear larger and fuller. I think it would be a great idea for people with small differences in busts!


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