Holy grail, attained. Stick a fork in me Jerry, I AM DONE. I found my perfect everyday underwire bra pattern and all I want to do is make approximately eleventy squillion so I have one for every day for the rest of my life.
Naturally, this revelation was brought to me by Amy at Cloth Habit. She released the Harriet pattern this year and I knew it would be brilliant before I even made my first muslin. I know Amy personally, and she is one of the most obsessively methodical people I've ever met (kind of necessary when it comes to the complicated architecture that is boob rigging). My previous go-to bra pattern was her soft cup bra Watson, one I made many, many, many times, to the point where most of them just need to be harvested for parts and thrown in the garbage since I sucked the life right out all of their elastic. I've been on a soft bra kick since I'm in front of a computer all day, and I simply found them more comfortable than most of the underwired bras in my underwear drawer, even if they didn't have as much support as I probably need. But something magical and alchemical is happening with Harriet, because after a little tinkering, it is hands down the most comfortable underwired bra I've made. It hardly feels like I'm wearing anything at all. And the ladies have never. looked. better.
As I've documented this year, my breasts have grown a lot and I've been struggling with sizing. I first made Harriet in my traditional size, finding it much too small (much like my experiments with the also lovely Boylston). I then went up a cup size to 36D. The new underwire and width of the cups was much better, but I needed to remove some of the volume from the lower cups. I also widened the bridge about a quarter inch, since I prefer a slightly wider cradle. Once I did that, I had a total Goldiboobs moment; finding that in between size that was just right.
After nailing the fit, I went on a Harriet sewing tear; this is one of my favourites. It's made from white stretch lace and notions from Bramaker's Supply, the elastics hand dyed using acid dye from Dharma Trading Company (the colour is "Brilliant Yellow"). I am so smitten with the contrast between yellow and white- this is one of those bras that just makes you smile all day long. While i'm generally not a bra straps exposed kinda gal, I would be perfectly happy to have these peaking out during cami season.
I really cannot say enough about the fit. The shaping is truly spectacular; the tissue is thrust out and to the center from the sides, creating a very lovely, soft, rounded fit. It basically makes my boobs look their natural best, and I love it under clothing. And did I mention the comfort? I realized I've been cutting my bands too short, and now that they are perfectly snug it honestly feels like I'm wearing nothing at all. One of you also kindly pointed out I've been installing my channelling upside down, so I'm curious to see if it's even more comfortable and amazing with the plush side up (don't ask me how this escaped my attention).
I also love the subtle contrast of the nude bra lining I used on the insides; pretty guts at work here y'all.
I've since made three, with many more on the horizon, especially after my lace buying spree at Tailor Made Shop. I've never really worn or made lace bras before, but they are so pretty and delicate that I'm completely hooked; every time I finished one I couldn't help but run to Guillaume for an old fashioned flashing. I also plan on revisiting my Bolyston fitting; now that I've got my underwire sorted I think I can get similarly rhapsodic results with that pattern, which I love for its gorgeous fabric strap and pretty proportions.
I highly recommend this pattern if you'd like to dip your toe in underwire bras; Amy offers amazing resources on her site, and her bra-making sewalong is super helpful. If you need even more incentive, 100% of the proceeds from this pattern go to Syrian refugees, which I think is an a amazing gesture on Amy's part.
Have you made Harriet yet? Are you as in love as I am?