Monday, June 10, 2013

Retro-Style Bra For My Grandma

My Grandma, who lives in Portugal, recently came over for a month-long stay with her children here--my mom, my aunt, and my uncle. She is one of the primary moving forces in my sewing: when I was a little girl, she gave me scraps of fabric that I used to dress my dolls; for one birthday she gave me a small toy sewing machine; she was even there a few years ago to witness the madness of me handsewing my Alice in Wonderland costume.

To further foster my sewing *ahem* skills, she brought along an old brassiere of hers, so that I could sew a new one for her. Many many decades ago, when she was a teenager, she was an apprentice to a seamstress, I believe. This seamstress taught her how to sew this kind of brassiere, and my Grandma continues wearing them in this style. In fact, I don't think she's ever bought a real bra?

I'm referring to this bra as "retro-style" because it's so unusual and so different from any bra I've seen...I'm sensing bits of 1950's bullet bra in its construction, but I'm not entirely sure. She instructed me to cut the back and front as rectangles, with the bottom edge on the fold. Two large darts in front and in back help add shape to the brassiere. Topstitching nearly everywhere gives the garment structure and does double-duty as a girdle. The brassiere is made of cotton broadcloth I believe, and sewn with poly-cotton white thread.

Careful, numerous rows of topstitching all along the the front of the brassiere, to give it support--no underwire or boning in this one!

13 neat little button loops, and a twice-topstitched seam.

Inside of the cup--the blue stuff is just the tailor's chalk markings that I didn't wash out.

Exterior of the cup and a view of one of the darts that helped shape the bra.

Very carefully topstitched peak, and a lot of tailor's chalk dust.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to see more bras like that, I find wired ones very uncomfortable and there aren't many other choices out there.