Sewing Bras


I've been sewing my own bras for about a year now, but I don't think I've ever written about it here before. I started sewing my own bras mostly out of necessity, however they are pretty fun to make! When I finally discovered the correct size bra (and shape) that suits me, I also discovered that this particular bra had been discontinued. Why?! And while I'm sure I could search and find another perfect bra, I was starting to get tired of ordering bras online from far away places and the cost was getting excessive. Most of the bras I've been able to find in my size are made and sold in the UK, so that means the cost of shipping can get a little expensive. I decided I would try making my own, I mean, everyone else is doing it! I tried a few patterns before I realized I should just copy that favorite bra of mine. Since the band pattern pieces were almost identical to the ready-made bra, I only needed to copy the cup. The band pattern piece I use is from a Make Bra foam bra pattern. Fitting is probably the most frustrating part of sewing your own lingerie (or any garment sewing for that matter!). A lot of people will just not even want to attempt sewing a bra, knowing it will take some trial and error before getting the right fit. To me it is worth it. I guess after you make one bra, it gets kind of addictive! My personal favorite is a foam pieced bra. That means you cut pieces out of foam and sew them together with a zig-zag stitch (no seam allowance between the foam pieces), this forms the cup. I have tried bras without any foam support and they just don't work well on me. I need all the help I can get in that department, if you know what I mean!

My favorite company that sells materials and patterns is Make Bra. I have ordered materials from other suppliers and I have found Make Bra is by far my favorite. Even when you take the cost of shipping into consideration, the materials are still very reasonably priced. They also sell kits which is what I purchased when I first started. I definitely recommend starting with a kit, however keep in mind you may need to purchase a few extra supplies (underwires, a sewing pattern etc), but they will tell you which supplies are not included in the kit. They have loads of information on their website with tutorials to help you along the way. Also, when I have ordered from them, they have always shipped everything incredibly fast.

I like to use a non-stretch fabric for the front of my bras, switching to a stretchy fabric or powernet with a 4-way stretch for the back/underarm band pieces. This gives me the fit I want. Some people think that small chested women have an easy time finding a bra that fits. But trust me, it is not that easy! At least not in my experience. You either have cups that are too big and basically give you no support, or you end up wearing stretchy shapeless bras because nothing else fits and you are left with a not very flattering "flat chest" look, which isn't my thing. I discovered that I had been wearing a band size much too large for my frame and cups that were too small. Of course everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to lingerie, but I prefer something that gives me a bit of lift. If you struggle with bra fitting, I would highly recommend you check out the reddit group, ABraThatFits. And if you are crazy like me, consider making your own bras. The best part is deciding which fabrics to use. For me sewing a bra doesn't take a lot of time. I could literally sew myself a new bra in less than a day. The possibilities are endless when you sew your own lingerie!

Here are a few bra making resources to get you started:

Skincare Update


Affiliate links included in this post.

I thought I would write a quick skincare update for anyone who was wondering how it's been going. I'm still dealing with acne, but it's going down... slowly. I did change up my routine a bit as well. I have been doing more research and found some other products that I absolutely love so far.

Number one product I am in love with is the CeraVe moisturizing cream. There is a lotion that I got as well and I like it, but it's not thick enough for my face. I am now using it on my body after showers, which works great. But the cream in the pot is thicker and absolutely amazing on my face or any dry patches (like elbows). I mean, I'd probably use it on my whole body, but sometimes thick creams are harder to spread on larger surfaces and I'm lazy! But I absolutely adore this as a facial moisturizer. It actually makes my face more matte after applying, and it feels so good! I use it around my eyes as well. Most thick creams have made my eyelids puff up when I use them overnight, but not this one. It comes in a large tub (now with a pump, which is awesome), but I got it in a small travel size to test out first. I definitely recommend this moisturizer if you have dry skin like me and need something that isn't greasy.

I found a few great reddit groups that have so much good information. In case you are interested, do check out SkincareAddiction and AsianBeauty. I've been spending a lot of time on SkincareAddiction, but both seem pretty awesome. I learned a lot about the ph of your skin and why it's important in skincare. Here's a great article if you want to learn more on the subject.

I've also switched out a few of the "actives" I had been using. I decided to try for a stronger retinol cream, so I stopped using the Paula's Choice 1% retinol product. I thought it was an ok product, but when I started using it I did find a slight bit of itching under one of my eyes (it could have been from something else I was using, though), which usually means for me that it's causing an allergic reaction. It didn't get any further than that, though, so who knows. Now I am using tretinoin .025%, and I haven't noticed any itching. In fact, I haven't noticed much of any of the side effects people say you will experience when starting a prescription strength retinol. Most people say you will peel like crazy, but I haven't experienced this. I eased into it, though, starting with just 2-3 times a week, at night. It took me a couple of weeks before I started using it every night. The only issue I have come across is the "purging" which I believe I have been experiencing since starting retinol. It apparently causes many people to break out more than they usually do when they start (possibly due to the increased skin cell turnover), for a couple of weeks or more. You can read up on why this is if you are curious (do a search for "tretinoin purge" on the reddit group "SkincareAddicts"). I am hoping my skin is finally starting to calm down in that department, but I am still breaking out a little bit (not as bad though, crossing fingers!). I will say the tretinoin really helps speed up the healing process after a breakout, though!

Another acid I have been loving is the Paula's Choice 2% salicylic acid and the BHA9 for spots. I will say that the salicylic acid works much better when I leave it on to work for several minutes to an hour before applying my moisturizer. I notice every time I use the salicylic acid my acne goes down and the BHA9 as a spot treatment works wonders!

Recently I decided to add a new active to my routine. It's called azelaic acid and I've heard it is a wonderful skincare product. I read it is not available over-the-counter and that you need a prescription for it. However, I happily discovered an over-the-counter product called Melazepam which is for people who suffer from rosacea. It has 20% azelaic acid and is actually the same amount you will find in a prescription strength azelaic acid product. I have only used it a few times, but so far it has not caused me any itching or burning, which is what I read many people experience while using it. I'm also still using the .025% tretinoin at night and then will use the azelaic acid in the morning. I'll do a quick update on this post in a few weeks if anything changes with my skin while using the azelaic acid. So far so good! I have been taking photos, but I'm not ready to share any just yet. If someday I see a dramatic change in my skin, I might be willing to share photos. But until then, I'm still figuring stuff out!

Oh, another thought. If my current routine isn't working after a time, I will definitely look into seeing a dermatologist and will consider getting some type of oral antibiotic if it comes to that. I'm worried that the antibiotic would be a short term cure, but I know some people have had success taking it for only 2-3 months and that's all they needed to get their skin back on track.

P.S. Sorry for getting a little "off topic" with my skincare posts. I want to get back into talking sewing and other fun fashion related topics again, but I thought perhaps others who are dealing with adult acne like me  may find this information helpful. And I know how frustrating it can be to deal with this on your own! And as always, feel free to leave comments on what works for you or any suggestions you may have. :)

Update 3/15/16: Okay so after using the Melazepam, I got a whole cluster of cystic bumps around my mouth, one on my cheek and on my forehead. I am afraid it might be the Melazepam (possibly some ingredient in it, not sure if it's the azelaic acid). So I decided to discontinue using it for now. :/ Working on fixing the situation with lots of salicylic acid!