I hate bras. I didn’t wear one until I was 45. I was so disappointed when women began strapping themselves in again after the great bra-burning of the ’70s. I do realize that larger-breasted women needed some kind of support. And then there was Madonna. Sigh.
When I came across the free Mallori Lane “bralet” pattern, I thought that might be something that would work for me, so started collecting scraps of knit fabric and mesh fabric. The pattern calls for a short back panel, with two horizontal strips of elastic above that. I decided that would be murder to pull on and off, and so subbed a full back panel.
Instead of a vertical dart, or pleats, under the breast, the upper front panel has a wavy bottom. That attaches to a rectangular band. This two-piece design means the unit doesn’t totally flatten the breasts. I might as well say I quite like the flattened look — it was in vogue, I believe, between the no-bra and the Madonna periods, when lots of women were trying camisoles and tight tank tops under their blouses and sweaters. Still, I liked the idea of getting the little bit of lift provided by this design. Here are the two front pattern pieces.
And here’s the finished product.
I shortened the lower band and omitted the called-for elastic because it seemed more comfortable that way. And I should have used black picot elastic, but didn’t have any. On the other hand I do have a commercial-sized roll of white, so that’s what I used and will continue to use if I make any more of these.
The pattern called for any kind of mesh at all as an inner liner. I know nothing about mesh. My favourite discounter had some scraps of something with holes in it, which I assumed meant it fell under the category of “mesh”. Here’s the inside.
I had to improvise the straps as there was no black bra strap elastic available in Vancouver, or Bellingham (I hopped the border this weekend with a friend who wanted to do some shopping there. I wanted to check out the Bellingham Joann’s Fabric store. They had Vogue patterns on sale for 4.99 USD — about $7 CAD, so I picked up four!)
I could only find half-straps in Vancouver, so slipped some satin ribbon through the rings to add the extra length. I wore this thing for a bit this morning before taking the pics, and this puppy is warm! Okay, here it is.
That’s a pretty bright picture, isn’t it? You think I like red?
I’ll wear this thing a lot to see if it’s comfortable enough over the long term. If so, I foresee lots of colourful versions coming up in the future.