The Simplicity 8229 by Madalynne is the only bra I have made and my first attempt was made using the pattern in kit form. This made the whole process a bunch easier as I didn’t have to source all the fabrics and findings from scratch.
Fabric and other supplies
For my new bra, I sourced all my supplies from the Sewing Chest as individual items and not as a kit. I decided to go for a cream / off-white colour scheme and selected lace and findings accordingly. However, it did seem like I spent an age on the website trying to figure out what to buy. If you have a look on the site, you’ll just see how many pages there are of little coloured rings! I don’t think I made the best choice with the rings and sliders (they are supposedly “fawn”), but I don’t think I did too badly with all the other components.
Although I can say that the original 8229 bra fits, after some wear I have come to some conclusions on suitability of the style. I have a very short torso, and as such the extra fabric under the cups just bunches up and settles at the level just under the breast and above my stomach. I wouldn’t say this causes any discomfit, but it doesn’t look right. For comparison, here is a (very old and comfortable) RTW bra (black bra in photo below) that I wear compared to the Simplicity 8229 (white bra in photo below). As you can see there is nothing below the underwires on the black RTW bra, whereas the Simplicity 8229 has extra fabric in this area.
I thought that I could make another version with some adjustments that would make the bra more in line with the style that seems to work better on my body. These adjustments included:
- Making the bottom band come directly under the underwire
- Reducing the height of the back band and front band at the top too
- Adding bones where the front band joins the back band to prevent the fabric “scrunching-up”
Another problem that seemed to occur is that the straps were always falling off my shoulders. I really don’t know what caused this. I don’t like changing things unless I know they will make a difference, so I’m not sure the adjustments here will work, but I hope so:
- Decreasing the length of the straps (yes, I adjusted them to fit, but there was a double thickness of the elastic for virtually half the length of the strap)
- Making the strap elastic wider
I remembered to look at the short video that Madalynne provides online. It’s not really a sew-along, however it helped me improve the finish of the bra, with lots of tips on how to hide raw edges etc.
It has been a long time since I made the original bra, and I don’t remember whether I used Wonder tape to the extent I used it this time. Anyway, it was brilliant for holding straps down where using a pin just wouldn’t work.
I felt sure that I would have lace left over for a pair of knickers, but sadly I seemed to use it all up making sure that the bar cups were cut symmetrically.
It looks great; every bit as good as underwear from a shop. I wouldn’t normally be flabbergasted that this is the case, but being still a novice at bra-making (and definitely a novice at selecting the right components for bra-making) I am delighted with the way it looks. I haven’t worn it yet, but will do tomorrow.
February 19, 2022 at 7:05 pm
Wow that looks so professional! You’re maybe inspiring me to have a go at underwear. The strap falling off shoulder thing happens to me with RTW. I read somewhere to try thicker straps that give more of a rounded U shape at the back. I’ve also been wearing more bandeau style bras which have been better for me as I guess my shoulders are narrow sloping ones 😕
February 20, 2022 at 12:54 pm
Wearing the bra today, the wider straps are really helping, seems like they have fixed the problem. I think this bra is much better than the prevous one, it just goes to show how even a second go at something can improve the outcome. Definitely have a go at underwear – it isn’t as tricky as it looks.
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