Disclaimer: there is swearing in this post.
I sort of knew going into this project that it might fail horribly. I have huge boobs, after all, and the phrase “lounge bra” as Seamwork calls it doesn’t really fit with huge boobs, even if my measurements are within the pattern’s specifications. I wanted to try it out, though, because I had some scraps lying around and it doesn’t hurt to try things and watch them fail. It’s all a learning experience.
I really like the idea of Florence, I do. I also have a major crush on the model, Sierra McKenzie. Most of her stuff is nsfw, fyi, btw. So google her carefully or don’t, whatever. 😉 Anyone else giggle when they say they are googling someone or is that just me? It sounds oddly dirty.
I was pretty excited for the lingerie issue of Seamwork and the two patterns. The Geneva knickers are also really cute, but I had a good pattern already. Florence, however, took me in. I want a lounge bra: something to wear at home or to bed and feel supported but not restrained. Florence isn’t really that unless you do major changes for larger cup sizes.
In the larger sizes, the cup increases length-wise, as well as in the width. It’s a significant increase length-wise. Based on the line drawing, I wouldn’t have thought that it would be such a long cup, but in the larger sizes it is very long.
The instructions have very little information in them as well as an odd instruction or two that made me question the process all together.
First off, there is no instruction on stretch percentage. The fabric is simply listed as 6″ stretch lace, but there is no guidance given in terms of stretch percentage. I have four stretch laces in my stash that vary from 20% – 150% stretch. That’s quite a difference. Not all stretch lace is considered equal, either; some can be higher quality than others and have perfect recovery while others have shit recovery. I decided that my lace was either too stretch or not stretchy enough and figured for my first Florence I wouldn’t risk using any of it and instead went with a spandex that had a good stretch/body to it. You saw it before with my gold Moneta.
Second, there is a far easier method to creating the adjustable straps than the one listed in the instructions. Here is the easier method via Madalynne. I was taught this way in my bra class and the method in the instructions, which is here, kind of makes my head spin. You can still attach the extra bit of elastic to the other side of bra ring after or before, but why go through the trouble of sewing the slider bit around other bits of elastic, when you can make a much neater bar tack without all that crap in the way?
Third, I find it very unlikely that they tested this for the larger sizes.
Fourth, I think the band runs really large. So test your fit before you put the elastic in. In comparing the Geneva knickers to my pattern, I also see those run rather large….and there might possibly be an overall issue in both patterns and how they are graded up.
Of course, I know I am not a typical size in my chest, but I doubt this works for larger bust sizes (1X-3X). That’s the problem with lounge bras, I guess, they cater to small busted women, which is great…for small busted women.
I guess I have a problem with creating a pattern for a certain size when it won’t work without proper guidance on stretch percentage or possibly reinforcing with powernet or etc.
If you want the Florence to work for you and you have a large bust like me, be prepared to do a ton of shit to make it work.
Things you might want to do to make the Florence work for a larger bust:
1. Line it with powernet.
2. Add in a closure at the back so that you don’t have to stretch it over your head, because the powernet won’t be as stretchy as the lace.
3. Extend the bridge length slightly so that the cup is more supported underneath.
4. Shorten the cup length, if you have to. I would have to, because I have short shoulders (wait, is that a thing…. I dunno how to describe it…) and the bra cup extended to the back….
5. Drink lots of wine.
6. Repeat #5 until you forget what you are doing.
*please drink responsibly*
I think I will just get a sports bra pattern from Pin-Up Girls and toss this in the garbage. The nice thing is that I didn’t use much new material for it. No big loss there. 🙂
Honestly, I am glad for fuck-ups like this, because they help me learn. I learned more about sewing with spandex and using elastic in lingerie. It was a nice learning experience even if the pattern didn’t work out for me. 🙂
Here is a picture of my Florence. I literally got to a point when I didn’t care about creating a perfect finished product….so the sewing isn’t great, because I just used it as an opportunity to try new stitches and play with elastic methods…