The Sewy Linda is a full coverage comfort style bra. For shaping there’s one vertical seam, and the straps extend upward from the outer cup. It is basically a cross between a partial and full band bra. You have the look and feel of a full band, but the underwire channeling is sewn to the inside of the cup rather than to the band. I’ve seen this occasionally in RTW – the Cosabella Never Say Never Prettie is one example – but I haven’t seen this design feature in any other bra patterns. The instructions say the powernet lining for the cups is optional, but I think that is the case only for the firmest of stretch fabrics and smallest bra sizes.
For my Sewy Linda I used a lightweight 4-way stretch microfiber from Spitzen Paradies.
Despite the light weight it has a fairly firm stretch. My modified Maidenform boyshort rub-off is meant for knits with about 50% stretch. While this fabric technically has at least 50% stretch, it also has a very firm stretch which starts encountering resistance at the 25% mark. I’ve learned from previous experiments that while the boyshorts may technically fit at first, the firmness of the stretch combined with my pear shape results in them riding up during the day. To compensate for this I slashed and spread the pattern vertically in the center of the leghole, about 1/2″ for both the front and back (adding a total of 2″ circumference to the pattern). I found this did a better job distributing the width evenly rather than just adding to the side seams. The result was very good – I walked around wearing this with some wide leg knit pants all afternoon on Saturday, climbing hills and such, and not once did I have to adjust them.
Back to the bra…
- The lace trim and strap elastic, along with the picot elastic used on the strap inner edge and along the outside armhole edge, are from Sew Sassy. I didn’t have any laces or elastics that matched either the pink fabric or burnt sienna polka dots, so I decided to go with beige trims and have an analogous color scheme.
- I underlined the inner cup, outer cup, and back band pieces using a heavier weight powernet. It is either from Spandex World or an old Elingeria purchase.
- The 5/8″ beige underbust elastic is from FabricDepotCo.com. (Note: if you use a wider underband elastic like this, you’ll have to trim the elastic around the cradle after attaching it to the band.)
- The non-stretch cup lining used to stabilize the front bridge is from Bramaker’s Supply.
- The channeling is an old purchase from Elingeria.
- Underwires are from Bra Essentials.
- The rings, sliders, and back closure were pilfered from an old Maidenform bra. (Before I throw out any bra I cut off the straps and back closure.)
- Satin bows were from Etsy.
My main style adjustment was adding a lace trim to the upper cup. To accomplish this I zigzagged the stretch lace to the upper cup, then trimmed the fabric under the lace. Then I sewed the inner cup to the outer cup. I finished the outer cup inner neckline edge with a lightweight 1/4″ picot elastic and topstitched the seam toward the outer cup using a 4mm straight stitch.
I started off with a 70D (32D), and made the following fitting alterations:
- Took a 1/4″ tuck out of the center front of the bridge, removing a total of 1/2″ of width.
- Moved the apex upward 1/4″
- Moved the vertical seam 1/2″ toward the center by taking out a 1/2″ tuck from the inner cup piece, and slashing and spreading the outer cup piece 1/2″.
- Slashed and spread the band directly under the arm 3/8″, tapering to nothing where the underband elastic is sewn.
- Added 2″ length to the strap.
The original shape was very similar to this photo:
A little bit too pointy for my personal taste. I shaved off a scant 1/8″ from the apex curve of both the outer and inner cup pieces, removing a total of 1/4″ for each cup. (Not enclosing the seam allowances within either the outer or inner cup pieces gave me the flexibility for doing this alteration after the bra was finished.) The resulting shape is softer and rounder than your typical cut-and-sew bra with non-stretch cups, but is a little bit more defined than a molded foam cup.
I will definitely be making this bra again. It is probably the most comfortable bras in my drawer, and the shaping of the band gives one of the smoothest back appearances of any bra I’ve ever owned. (I think Spanx bras have very similarly shaped bands.) The integrated strap combined with the full coverage cups give this a very smooth appearance under higher necklines. I think the design is a little bit more attractive and sophisticated than the Pin-up Girls classic full band bra pattern from Bramaker’s Supply, and the vertical seaming made alterations much easier for me. The part partial, part full band styling also makes some design features like a dropped bridge easier to accomplish.