I posted a few pictures of last week's makes to my Instagram account and a brief chat in the comments got me thinking about making a Watson Bra to go with the grey and coral briefs. Initially I had dismissed the idea as I'd need a hook and eye fastening / strap elastic to match then it occurred to me that a pullover 'Hack' would eliminate that (and be really comfy!).
After a quick scout around online I saw that Madalynne had already given it a try with her beautiful lace version, so I was sold! The outcome varies enormously depending upon your materials but I thought I'd share a few details in case anyone else wants to give it a try. I didn't take many pictures as I went so I hope it's at least a tiny bit helpful!
So the 'Watson' pattern by Amy at Cloth Habit calls for stretch fabric but the cradle needs to be reinforced in order for it to properly support the cups. I had some cup lining leftover from a previous set so once again used a bit of trusty 505 to temporarily spray baste it into place. The non-stretch cradle was then perfect place for the lace addition to tie the bra and briefs together and like the briefs it was spray basted then secured with a small zig-zag stitch.
The jersey I used is quite thick and stable but has a lot of stretch so I thought I'd try doubling the outer cup for a little more support which worked really well with the added bonus of enclosing the cup seam. It did create extra bulk though which made attaching the rings a little fiddlier so that's worth bearing in mind.
The alteration to the back band was really simple -I cut two jersey layers for strength, and cut it on the fold instead of in two, adding a half inch in total at the centre back. The difficulty is weighing up the ease for pulling it over your head whilst keeping it snug enough to be supportive (and of course this will vary enormously depending upon materials). Happily this version, despite requiring a little wrestling to put on, is a pretty good fit though I would add an extra quarter inch or so next time around.
The strap construction method took a little brain power. Instead of making up two separate straps and securing each in the back fastening they needed to be made and applied as one. The lingerie elastic that I had for this project is very soft and stretchy -not really ideal for straps but I plowed ahead as a bit of an experiment!
I started by attaching one ring and slider and pinning the strap in place to try it on and check the length (these are really short due to the extra stretch). I stretched it taut around the centre back curve then allowed the same strap length as the previous side. Securing it through the second ring and slider is quite fiddly as the top layer of elastic needs pulling out the way of the presser foot to stitch it in place.
I was genuinely only 60/40 expecting this to turn out wearable so I consider this a huge sewing win! My one main criticism with this and my previous Watson bra is the cradle wrinkling between the stretch / non-stretch. If you've used this pattern I'd love to know how you chose to stabilise it. I've avoided fusing them as in my experience the layers tend to separate and 'bubble' over time but perhaps some high quality interfacing will solve that. Any pro-tips? Let me know!
x Happy Sewing Friends!